3rd-row in 7-seater SUVs or MPVs: How often do people use it – Team-BHP

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BHPian jonesanto recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
I have been using an Innova for a year now, recently I had an interesting chat with a friend who owns a 2018 Crysta and owned an Innova before. It started with why we Indians simply love the Innova and then he pointed out, he hardly ever had to use the last row for seating purposes. His old Innova and Crysta combined he could surely tell, not more than 15 times last row was used for accommodating people.
Then I had to do my count, till then I never ever thought about this, I used the last row 4 times in one year. It is not that we never travel with more than one family, 4 adults and 2-3 kids are fine, but if more adults are involved, we simply prefer taking another car. Then we checked the cases of other 7-seaters from our known circle and most Toyota’s hardly use their third row for seating purposes, my brother owns Innova and Fortuner, same case with him too.
Think this is an interesting observation and it’s mainly applicable to Toyota 7-seaters. Because if you purchased any other company’s 7-seater you sure would have had the use for it, but not with Toyota, many like me, my brother and my friend simply purchased a Toyota 7-seater because of the reliability, space and comfort it offers. It is easy to own, easy to service and easy to sell if required.
How about you? Did you buy a 7 seater because you actually need a 7 seater or bought it considering other factors (whiteboard of course)?

Here’s what GTO had to say about the matter:
There are many SUVs & a few MPVs I’d buy, not because I absolutely need a 3rd-row of seats, but because I love the vehicle. Examples = XUV700, Kodiaq, Innova Crysta & Hycross, Carnival, Scorpio-N, Carens & Mercedes GLS.
We are 4 siblings & roam around a lot with our families. A 3-row SUV & MPV will definitely help, even if we use that 3rd-row just once or twice a month. Kids can jump on the backseat. That 3rd-row can many times be the difference between all having fun travelling together, or being forced to take a 2nd car along… thereby splitting the group.
3-row SUVs also usually have amazing boot space for hauling cargo. I like big cars and naturally gravitate toward the longer variant. E.g. I love the Safari more than the Harrier.
Here’s what BHPian SmartCat had to say about the matter:
I paid Rs. 2.5 Lakhs per seat and I make sure all seats are used extensively used -> for city travel & outstation trips (with in-laws) and even school runs (car pooling).

The roof rack + roof bag too is being used extensively. I’m actually on my second roof bag, because the last one had minor tears in places.
However, it has done just 55,000 kms in 7 years. That’s because it is a “second car” and is used only when needed.
Here’s what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say about the matter:
My Hexa’s third row is used pretty often. The seats are almost never folded down, always up and ready for use. The fact that this is the most comfortable third row in the business has played a big part in this, for no one has ever been apprehensive about getting in there, even if it is for a few hours. My daughter’s child seat is also set up in the third row.
The car retains a proper usable boot even with the third row up, and that has been a crucial part of the practicality equation.

Here’s what BHPian libranof1987 had to say about the matter:
Absolutely. We are a family of five, and my kid is always in the car seat.
There is no car that seats two adults and a car seat in the middle row comfortably. Sure, you can have just about sufficient space but when you want to do long road trips (~ 6-10 hours/day), you want to travel in absolute comfort, i.e. no rubbing shoulders, adequate leg room and so on.
Eventually, we realised we’d need a three-row car just due to this. Sold off the EcoSport and got the Crysta. Had we not been using the car seat for the kid, even the EcoSport would have sufficed, albeit at a significant compromise for the middle occupant and the child’s safety (no three-point belt for the middle occupant).
Furthermore, when getting the Crysta, there was confusion regarding getting the bench variant vs. the top variant (most safety features) since the top-end Crysta only has captain seats. Decided to get the top variant since even if we had a bench middle row, we’d still use the third row anyway, and safety has always been THE deciding factor on variant/car.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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