Why more SUVs, crossovers are getting useful third rows

Immediately after many years of boasts about the expanding dimensions of their infotainment screens, automakers appear to have collectively moved on to a new measuring contest with which to extol their personal virtues: third-row real estate.

Throughout the marketplace, there is certainly now a increasing checklist of increasing crossovers and SUVs — motor vehicles that possibly experienced a few rows and are now incorporating inches exclusively for their 3rd-row seating, or extensive-standing two-row vehicles that are growing to seven-seaters from 5.

Like most issues in the field, the explanation will come down to money: Client demand for three-row motor vehicles is escalating all round, and, according to executives from various automakers, including much more legroom to 3rd-row seats is amongst the finest ways an automaker can make some more revenue with minor extra expenditure.

It truly is “one particular of the greatest returns on financial investment in the business,” a person automaker government, who did not want to be discovered, advised Automotive News, “mainly because I can add basically a number of inches of sheet metallic” with extremely number of other modifications to the other factors of a car or truck and cost extra.

The list of automakers that either have extra, are including or will include house to their three-row SUVs or crossovers is extensive and expanding. Some examples:

  • This calendar year, Toyota will introduce a new, bigger variation of its well-liked Highlander crossover named the Grand Highlander, which won’t go on sale right up until 2023. It will be constructed in the exact Indiana assembly plant as the Highlander but differentiate itself in substantial element by introducing inches to the 3rd row. Toyota will also tackle the 3rd row of its human body-on-body SUV, the Toyota Sequoia, as portion of its redesign on to the brand’s new F1 platform this year.
  • For the 2021 model year, Typical Motors gave the third rows of its extremely financially rewarding Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVs a important enhance by introducing 40 per cent extra legroom — about 10 inches — as element of a redesign.
  • Stellantis also received in on the craze in 2021 with its addition — soon after practically a few many years — of a third-row variant of its well-known Jeep Grand Cherokee, as perfectly as with the return of the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer nameplates.
  • While it wouldn’t confirm it formally for the U.S., Audi very last drop was spotted testing a much larger variation of its 3-row luxury Q7 crossover in Germany, termed the Q9, which would immediately deal with a major shortcoming of the Q7 — 3rd-row legroom. Sellers said the Q9 is expected to be in U.S. showrooms by 2026.

“There are generally some engineering fees associated, but when compared to a comprehensive motor vehicle program, those charges are really incremental as opposed to what you can charge for it,” spelled out Sam Abuelsamid, principal exploration analyst for Guidehouse Insights and a former automotive engineer. “For most cars, from the rear axle ahead, there are almost no one of a kind parts” needed to add place to third-row seating.

Eleanore Beatty

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