Buying Guides

Midsize SUVs With the Most Legroom

Leg cramps become a distant memory in these spacious family SUVs

Jane Ulitskaya, Digital Content Specialist

Midsize SUVs provide a practical (and sporty) minivan alternative for large families. This segment offers ample space, comfort, and power to lug the entire clan from soccer practice to weekend road trips. Although in some cases, the cavernous cargo space is the reason that buyers choose to go midsize, most are looking for a vehicle that comfortably fits up to 8 passengers. While some SUVs shortchange 3rd-row passengers with limited legroom, the following 5 midsize SUVs offer generous space throughout and even fit full-grown adults in the rear-most row.

2020 Hyundai Palisade

  • PROS: Strong physical presence, beautiful interior, huge amounts of passenger space.
  • CONS: Average fuel economy, high floor in the 3rd row.

The Hyundai Palisade is the best new midsize SUV on the scene thanks to its attractive exterior, luxurious interior, and a smooth and comfortable ride with plenty of power from the 291 horsepower 3.5-liter V6. The Palisade is offered with 2nd-row bench seats or optional captains chairs, and the front and 2nd row offer excellent cushioning and support. The 3rd row, although spacious enough to fit adults, has a higher load floor and the seats don't offer as much bolstering as the first two rows. The Palisade takes the first place spot for average legroom coming in at 44.1" for the 1st row, 42.4" for the 2nd row, and 31.4" for the 3rd row.

2020 Kia Telluride


for Adventurous families

  • PROS: Unique exterior, excellent driving manners, one of the best interiors for the money, great space for large families.
  • CONS: Only one engine choice.

As the sister vehicle to the Palisade, the 2020 Kia Telluride brings many of the same benefits to the table, with a more rugged edge. The Telluride's naturally-aspirated V6 is potent for confident acceleration and its handling is composed for a large SUV. The Telluride makes a stunning first impression with a bold and sporty exterior that evokes thoughts of adventure. Inside, the Telluride sports premium touches like a unique seat stitching pattern and excellent faux wood trim. The front seats are large and with ample cushioning for comfort on long trips. The 2nd and 3rd rows give passengers room to breath with plenty of legroom and headroom. The rear seats even offer heating and ventilation, a feature usually reserved for premium vehicles. Legroom comes in at 41.4" in the front row, 42.4" in the 2nd row, and 31.4" in the 3rd row.

2020 Ford Explorer


for The power hungry

  • PROS: Handsome exterior design, improved interior, ample amounts of space.
  • CONS: Lackluster interior in lower trims, awkward infotainment screen.

Fully redesigned for 2020, the Ford Explorer offers more passenger space, better handling, and a selection of powerful engine options. Although the interior is more basic than the previous vehicles on this list, there is no shortage of space in the Explorer. Inside the cabin, driver and passengers will enjoy the ample legroom in all three rows along with good support and cushioning. The 2nd-row captain's chairs are excellent in terms of comfort and can easily slide forward for access to the 3rd row. One of 4 engine options, the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 will have no trouble moving this midsize SUV even when it's packed with passengers and cargo. Legroom measures 43" in front, 39" in the 2nd row, and 32.2" in the 3rd row.

2020 Buick Enclave

  • PROS: Huge amounts of space for all occupants, handsome exterior, good driving manners, full of features.
  • CONS: Frustrating infotainment controls, some cheap interior bits.

One of the most well-rounded premium crossovers on the market, the 2020 Buick Enclave presents a comfortable ride, a strong and responsive engine, loads of space for passengers, and a long list of standard features. The Enclave's only engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 310 horsepower and brings the SUV from 0-60 in a quick 6.6 seconds. Inside the elegant cabin, the Enclave offers space and comfort in all three rows with well-cushioned front seats and convenient 2nd-row Captain's Chairs that slide and recline to allow 3rd-row passengers to enter. In the legroom competition, the Enclave comes in at 41.2" in the front, 38.9" in the 2nd row, and 33.5" in the 3rd row.

2020 Chevrolet Traverse


for Carpools

  • PROS: Powerful and smooth V6, cargo and passenger space galore, good fuel economy.
  • CONS: Not as agile as the competition, lackluster cabin.

A sibling to the Buick Enclave, the Chevy Traverse makes an excellent choice as a daily driver for large families. Although its interior lacks the Enclave's premium aesthetic, the Traverse is comfortable, practical. and comes with a more affordable price tag. The Traverse sports a powerful V6 engine (shared with the Enclave), a large cargo area, and spacious seats that take the stress out of daily errands or long road trips. The Traverse fits 8 passengers with the standard 2nd-row bench seats or 7 in the captain's chairs founds in higher trims. Even adults can fit in the comfortable seats of the 3rd row which is easy to access. Stretching out on a long trip is no object with 41" of legroom in the front, 38.4" in the 2nd row, and a generous 33.5" in the 3rd row.

What to look for in a midsize family SUV

  • Generous passenger space in all 3 rows
  • Available captains chairs
  • Ergonomic seats

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