For many car shoppers with a family, sticking to the budget is of the utmost importance. Luckily, auto makers have taken notice and have released plenty of quality, reliable vehicles that offer plenty of room and comfort for passengers of all ages. Over the years, engineers have taken steps to increase efficiency, add entertainment features, and squeeze every square inch of usable space out of older designs. As 2014 and 2015 models have started to take to the road, fresh iterations are giving shoppers whole new options at prices they can afford.
For families, a third-row of seating can not only be practical, but invaluable. Whether its needed for passengers or cargo room, extra space can make a vehicle’s value go up exponentially in the eyes of consumers. But that extra space doesn’t need to come at the cost of an arm and a leg, as Kelley Blue Book has shown us with their list of the most affordable three-row vehicles on the market. Compiling information from Kelley Blue Book‘s Fair Purchase Price as of May this year, the results yield some impressive models at surprising prices.
Read on to see the ten most affordable vehicle’s sporting a third-row of seating, as compiled by Kelley Blue Book.
10. 2014 Ford Transit Connect Passenger
A bit of a surprising entry to kick off the list, Ford’s (NYSE:F) Transit Connect Passenger van offers some European styling with everyday practicality. The Transit Connect Passenger is outfitted for up to seven passengers, with a variety of options for rear doors, including an available lift gate. This is the van you’ve always thought was better suited for businesses than families, but thanks to Ford’s ingenuity, that’s not necessarily the case. It can also pack in excess of 1,200 pounds in cargo, giving it an undeniable sense of utility. The price is a little high compared to some rivals, but with a starting price of around $26,200, it’s still well within reach.
9. 2015 Kia Sorento
For those concerned with capability and power, the Kia Sorento is a must-see. The 3.3-liter V6 engine is capable of supplying up to 290 horsepower, and is also more efficient than many vehicles in its class. The Sorento also comes with a long list of standard features that put it a notch above its rivals, including spacious seating, an easy-to-use infotainment system, and parking sensors. A couple of gripes that customers do bring up are the cheap looking interior materials and lacking cargo space with a full cabin. But at a price of around $26,000, the Sorento offers SUV lovers a reasonably priced choice.
8. 2014 Toyota Sienna
The 2014 Toyota (NYSE:TM) Sienna offers family exactly what they’re looking for: a dependable, powerful minivan that offers seating for up to 8 passengers at a reasonable price. Clocking in at between $25,000 and $26,000, the Sienna is one of the best bargains available. A V6, 3.5-liter engine supplies 266 horsepower that is more than enough to get you and your family anywhere you need to go. Available all-wheel drive is also a big plus, and is a near-exclusive to the Sienna in the minivan segment. Where the Sienna comes up short is in some of the interior features, such as that the second-row seats don’t fold into the floor, and the plastic trim can be kind of tacky. But as far as reliability and space, the Sienna is a solid selection.
7. 2014 Nissan Quest
Nissan’s (NSANY.PK) Quest minivan offers an attractive option for consumers looking to stick to their budget. For families, the Quest offers superior interior features, as well as an incredibly comfortable and stylish cabin. A suped-up climate control system highlights the vehicle’s creature comforts, making a long ride suitable for the whole family. The Quest does fall short when it comes to cargo space. Its engine stacks up nicely to its competitors, with 260 horsepower supplied by 3.5-liter V6. The price does come in a bit above other minivans as well, at right above $25,000 for the base model.
6. 2014 Kia Sedona
Drawing its name from the expansive desert in northern Arizona, Kia’s Sedona minivan has firmly supplanted itself as a customer favorite. It’s also a bargain with a price tag of roughly $25,000. There is a redesign on the way for 2015, however, which may lead to great deals on the 2014 models. Critics love the Sedona’s strong 3.5-liter V6 engine, capable of kicking out 269 horsepower. The spacious and comfortable interior also add tremendous value. Other minivans do offer more in the way of features, but as previously mentioned, the redesigned 2015 model may level the playing field.
5. 2014 Nissan Rogue
The year 2014 saw a complete redesign of the Nissan Rogue, one of the smaller SUVs that still offers third-row seating. In fact, it’s the only vehicle in its class to offer a third-row of seats. The Rogue even offers ample cargo space and fantastic fuel economy, an advantage offered in only a select number of SUVs. It delivers only a modest level of power, supplying 170 horsepower from the 2.5-liter four cylinder engine. The Rogue offers a superior driving experience for those looking to get from point A to point B, but wouldn’t hold up to its rivals in off-road potential. With a price of around $23,000, the Rogue does offer some big advantages over other compact SUVs that shouldn’t be overlooked.
4. 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander
Starting at right around $22,000, the Mitsubishi Outlander is a sporty SUV that offers plenty of room for all your friends and family. The Outlander is aptly named, loaded with features that make it a great choice for drivers that like to get off the beaten path. Standard features include hill-start assist, traction control and stability control, all to keep you safe and secure no matter where the path takes you. The downside is that acceleration tends to be a bit sluggish, and you can expect that to intensify with a full cabin of passengers. Cargo space can also become scant at full capacity. That said, if you’re looking to get the whole crew off the road for the day, the Outlander should be a prime candidate.
3. 2014 Dodge Journey
If there’s one thing Dodge (FIATY.PK) knows how to do, its build popular, family friendly SUVs and minivans. The 2014 iteration of Dodge’s Journey is no exception, as it provides three rows of seating or plenty of cargo space for a reasonable price of around $21,000. The third row can be a bit cramped, however, and power isn’t exactly this SUV’s strongest suit. The Journey isn’t exactly a workhorse like some of Dodge’s other vehicles, with a 2.4-liter four cylinder engine that pumps out 173 horsepower. On the other hand, drivers love the intuitive infotainment system and available storage bins in the floor. All in all, the Dodge Journey makes for a solid choice for families on a budget.
2. 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan
A longtime stalwart of American suburbs, the Dodge Grand Caravan offers a great deal of space and comfort at a very reasonable price. The Grand Caravan has been one of the most popular minivans on the road ever since it debuted, and Dodge engineers have managed to make it better year after year. Plenty of power in the form of 283 horsepower is supplied by the 3.6-liter V6 engine, and the vehicle itself is loaded with safety features. Some complaints have resulted from somewhat overwhelming infotainment system, as well as the driving dynamics. But with a price of just over $20,000, the positives outweigh the negatives.
1. 2014 Mazda 5
Taking the top spot as the most affordable three-row vehicle on the market is the 2014 Mazda (MAZDY.PK) 5 minivan. The Mazda 5 is not nearly as spacious as some of its competitors, offering seating for only six passengers. It also doesn’t exactly pack a lot of power, with 157 horses being supplied by the 2.5-liter, four cylinder engine. However, with a sticker price of less than $20,000, the 5 might be the most cost effective way to get your family and friends from one place to another. Another advantage over its rivals is the available manual transmission, a feature not seen in many other vehicles in the Mazda 5′s form. The 5 has its strengths and weaknesses, but for your money, it’s the most affordable vehicle sporting three rows you can buy.