Best Used 3rd Row SUVs Under $10,000

By Suzanne Kane

Families need SUVs that can accommodate all or most of their needs, including third row seats, so look for some great deals among these choices for best used 3rd row SUVs under $10,000. Of course, the latest model year SUVs fitting the third-row seating parameter will be out of the price bogey, but there are still some great finds here.

To begin our search for top picks in this price category (under $10,000), we checked Consumer Reports “Best Used Vehicles for Under $20,000.” We further refined the list by verifying approximate market value using Edmunds True Market Value (TMV) pricing.

Here, then, are our selections for Best Used 3rd Row SUVs Under $10,000:

  • 2001-2004 Toyota RAV4Smallest of Toyota’s family of SUVs, the compact RAV4 was also one of the first entries in the hot crossover SUV market. For the used-vehicle shopper, the second-generation (2001-2004) RAV4 with optional 3rd row, makes a lot of sense. First of all, it’s larger than the first-generation RAV4, all-new styling in 2001, and featured innovative (and truly removable) second-row seats that provided a lot of cargo space. Edmunds comments: “Overall we found this RAV4 to be a fun-to-drive urban runabout thanks to its precise suspension tuning and high fuel economy ratings.” Edmunds TMV for the 2001 RAV4 ranges from $7,510-$8,208. TMV for 2002 models ranges from $8,173-$8,890, 2003 from $9,180-$9,811, and 2004 starting at $10,303.
  • 2004-2005 Hyundai Santa FeThe midsize Hyundai Santa Fe featured an optional third-row up to 2010. Best used vehicles are in the 2004-2005 years, during Santa Fe’s first generation. Note, however, that the third row in this SUV is small, some say suitable only for small children. Edmunds comments: “When new, this Santa Fe was outclassed by other top crossover SUVs, but still represents a decent used-vehicle purchase.” Edmunds TMV for 2004 ranges from $6,759-$9,188, while 2005 TMVs begin around $9,440 and go to $11,440.
  • 2003 Honda PilotIntroduced in the 2003 model year, Honda Pilot was one of the first midsize crossover third row SUVs available. Still, many consider the third row to be a bit uncomfortable for adults. But the Honda brand speaks to the SUVs reliability and prestige. Consumer Guide gave Pilot a Best Buy, commenting: “Honda’s first homegrown midsize SUV strikes us as the Accord of its class….A tight focus on room and versatility, refinement, ride comfort, and workmanship replaces unnecessary hardware or tough-guy posturing. Toss in Honda’s strong reputation for reliability and resale value and it’s no wonder Pilot is in short supply and rarely discounted.” Expect to pay in the area of $10,500 for a base Honda Pilot, however, as Edmunds TMV for the 2003 Pilot ranges from $10,465-$11,788.
  • 2000-2002 Chevrolet TahoeFor full-size SUV capability – and spacious third-row SUV seating – check out the 2000-2002 Chevrolet Tahoe (and sibling, GMC Yukon). The second-generation Tahoe (and Yukon) were either top or runner-up in the Most Wanted List from 2000-2004. Depending on how Tahoe is configured, it can accommodate six to nine passengers – plus tow decent loads. Downside of the third-row is no fold-flat feature, and seat must be manually removed for maximum cargo space. Edmunds TMV for 2000 Tahoe ranges from $6,016-$8,507, 2001 from $6,497-$9,429, and 2002 from $9,155-$11,007.
While there are other third row SUVs available, start with these choices for Best Used 3rd Row SUVs Under $10,000 and go from there. Be sure to have them thoroughly inspected by a professional and also obtain a vehicle history report.

See a list of all currently available used cars under $10,000.