With gas prices soaring, it can be extremely difficult to find a three-row SUV that offers the seating you need and decent gas mileage. Many of these large SUVs are built on truck frames and use the same powertrains. This means you are stuck with truck-like fuel mileage numbers on most of these vehicles. Fortunately, two three-row SUVs offer more than 30 mpg combined without plugging them in.
Which two three-row SUVs offer the best fuel economy?
You won’t have to plug it in, but you’ll opt for a hybrid to get the desired fuel economy numbers. The two models we are talking about are the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid.
US News and World Report tells us the Highlander delivers 36 city/35 highway mpg while the Sorento returns 39 city/36 highway mpg, giving you a pair of three-row SUVs that have impressive fuel economy results. .
What does the Toyota Highlander Hybrid offer?
The powertrain of the 2022 Highlander SUV is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine plus an electric motor on FWD models. This setup returns 243 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque along with 3,500 towing pounds to go along with the quoted fuel economy.
The Highlander Hybrid is available in AWD with a second electric motor, lowering fuel economy to 35/35 mpg.
Inside, Highlander gives you three rows of seats and an expandable cargo area that tops out at 84.3 cubic feet.
Four trims are offered for the three-row Highlander Hybrid SUV, LE, XLE, Limited and Platinum, each benefiting from the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ suite of safety features. As you go through the trims, the price and trim levels increase and the Platinum model reaches luxury territory with:
- panoramic sunroof
- 12.3-inch infotainment screen
- 360 degree camera system
- color front screen
- Adaptive Front Lighting System
- 2nd row heated captain’s chairs
- Driver’s seat with memory
- excellent fuel economy
- nice interior
- Many standard features
- great resale value
- IIHS+ Top Safety Pick
- narrow third row
- Noisy engine when accelerating hard
- High starting price: $38,855
What does the Kia Sorento Hybrid offer?
The Kia Sorento Hybrid’s power comes from a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine plus an electric motor. This system is good for 227 horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque.
When required, the Sorento Hybrid is a three-row SUV that can tow up to 2,000 pounds. FWD models give you quoted fuel economy, while AWD versions return 36/33 mpg.
The cabin area inside the Sorento gives you 40.7 inches of second-row legroom, which is a generous number. You’ll find 12.6 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 38.5 cubic feet when the last row is folded down, and 75.5 cubic feet with both rear rows hidden.
Kia offers a couple of models for this three-row SUV, S and EX. There are more versions in the Sorento lineup, but not for the hybrid models. Both models benefit from an excellent security package and many wonderful features. Choosing the EX model offers the features you want, including:
- led fog lights
- cordless phone charging
- hands-free tailgate
- Cyclist detection
- crossing assistance
- roadside driving assistance
- Navigation-based smart cruise control
- Front parking sensors
- great fuel economy
- Second-row captain’s chairs are standard
- Many security features included
Could one of these three-row SUVs be right for you?
If you’re looking for a roomier three-row SUV and want 30 mpg during your drive, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the right choice. On the other hand, the Kia Sorento Hybrid maxes out the fuel economy numbers and is a bit smaller. Either way, you’ll get the best gas mileage you can find in a three-row SUV you don’t have to plug in when you choose one of these two vehicles.
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