If you really need a minivan, nothing else will do, but many three-row SUVs come close — without the uncool, dad-jeans vibe. Shopping for the right three-row SUV for you means balancing priorities: If seats trump all, many three-row SUVs offer seating for up to eight people with a second-row bench (a few, such as Chevrolet’s big Suburban, even still offer seating for up to nine with a front bench option), but many families these days are willing to give up the second-row middle seat to get the comfort and convenience of second-row captain’s chairs.
Related: Which 3-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs for 2021?
Captain’s Chairs Offer Comfort, Convenience
Captain’s chairs are usually more comfortable for adults and teens and bring front-seat features to the second row. The captain’s chairs offer individual adjustments for each passenger along with more support, and they typically include dedicated inboard armrests. Depending on configuration, they can also let kids quickly reach the third row without moving a second-row chair or, in fancier SUVs, add a second center console for second-row folks. Separate seats also can help parents by keeping siblings separate. And some captain’s chairs have tilt-and-slide access to the third row that lets parents leave an empty forward-facing child seat installed while giving passengers access to the wayback — something few second-row bench seats allow.
But You May Pay More for Less
Captain’s chairs will drop the potential seat count to seven (assuming the third row is outfitted for three). And some third rows are too tight to seat three people of any size — even if equipped with triple seat belts and head restraints. Others, such as the Volkswagen Atlas, Kia Sorento or Jeep Grand Cherokee L, have a third row outfitted for just two passengers. That’s more realistic for adults or teenagers, but with second-row captain’s chairs, total seating drops to six. One other captain’s chair variations are found in high-end SUVs such as the Bentley Bentayga and the new Lexus LX and Land Rover Range Rover: a four-seat configuration with a spacious second row featuring plush captain’s “thrones” and luxury fittings without the third row.
Even with most mainstream-price SUVs, however, you can expect captain’s chairs to be an extra-cost option, to be fitted only on more expensive trim levels, or both. For example, with the 2022 Honda Pilot, you must move up to the Touring trim, some $6,000 more than the base model, to be able to get captain’s chairs for $300.
New 2022 SUVs With Captain’s Chairs
New for 2022 on the list of three-row family haulers offering captain’s chairs are the Jeep Wagoneer and grander Grand Wagoneer, a revival of classic Jeep names for a pair of all-new full-size SUVs. They are soon to be joined by stretched L versions with more cargo space for 2023. Several other models are freshened or redesigned for 2022, some with captain’s chairs newly available, such as the Nissan Pathfinder and its Infiniti QX60 luxury corporate cousin.
More From Cars.com:
- Which 3-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs for 2020?
- Which 2019 Three-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs?
- Which 2018 Three-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs?
- Which 2017 Three-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs?
- Which 2016 Three-Row SUVs Offer Second-Row Captain’s Chairs?
- Which 2014, 2015 Three-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs?
If captain’s chairs in a three-row SUV sound right for you, here are the 2022 models that offer them. They are listed below by root model name, though some models may or may not offer captain’s chairs in hybrid or other variants. Some of these SUVs offer only captain’s chairs; more offer them as options or only on certain trim levels. Meanwhile, if a used SUV better fits your budget, check out the links above for three-row SUVs with captain’s chairs from earlier model years.
2022 3-Row SUVs That Offer Captain’s Chairs
- Acura MDX
- Bentley Bentayga
- BMW X7
- Buick Enclave
- Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV
- Cadillac XT6
- Chevrolet Suburban
- Chevrolet Tahoe
- Chevrolet Traverse
- Dodge Durango
- Ford Expedition, Expedition Max
- Ford Explorer
- GMC Acadia
- GMC Yukon, Yukon XL
- Honda Pilot
- Hyundai Palisade
- Infiniti QX60
- Infiniti QX80
- Jeep Grand Cherokee L
- Jeep Wagoneer
- Jeep Grand Wagoneer
- Kia Sorento
- Kia Telluride
- Land Rover Range Rover
- Lexus GX 460
- Lexus LX 600
- Lexus RX L
- Lincoln Aviator
- Lincoln Navigator, Navigator L
- Mazda CX-9
- Mercedes-Benz GLS
- Nissan Armada
- Nissan Pathfinder
- Subaru Ascent
- Tesla Model X
- Toyota Highlander
- Toyota Sequoia
- Volkswagen Atlas
- Volvo XC90