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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're looking at buying a new Ascent, but also comparing with other 3-row SUVs. I'm a bit concerned about the ability of the third row to seat two adults for long trips. I'm 6'4" and they are not comfortable for to sit in, but in general they'll be used for folks 5'9" and shorter. Would love to have some real world data points from owners who've taken 7/8 people on longer trips in the Ascent, including adults in the third row.
 

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I haven't stuffed anyone back there yet, but if you really need to put an adult in the third row you might want to take a look at the VW Atlas. My wife had strong moral objections to VW and we're extremely happy with the Ascent, but the back row of the Atlas is cavernous.


Keep in mind the second row in the Ascent is on tracks so you can adjust the legroom in the third row by cutting into the second row if needed. And with the captains chairs (7P) I imagine it could be pretty comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't stuffed anyone back there yet, but if you really need to put an adult in the third row you might want to take a look at the VW Atlas. My wife had strong moral objections to VW and we're extremely happy with the Ascent, but the back row of the Atlas is cavernous.


Keep in mind the second row in the Ascent is on tracks so you can adjust the legroom in the third row by cutting into the second row if needed. And with the captains chairs (7P) I imagine it could be pretty comfortable.
Thanks for the feedback. Didn't know that about the Atlas. We'd have a couple of kids in car seats so that might allow us to move the 2nd row forward more. Or maybe put the kids in the back.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. Didn't know that about the Atlas. We'd have a couple of kids in car seats so that might allow us to move the 2nd row forward more. Or maybe put the kids in the back.
If you're thinking of putting the kids in the third row, get the Ascent. It's the only car in its class that I know of that's extensively tested for third row crash safety. And, they've claimed it's already ready to pass the upcoming third row tests.

Considering their safety records, (Subaru being the top of all 7 and 8 seaters in and out of its class (link)), that's the only third row I'd trust.
 

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If having adults in the third row is a priority then you should be looking at minivans or larger SUVs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you're thinking of putting the kids in the third row, get the Ascent. It's the only car in its class that I know of that's extensively tested for third row crash safety. And, they've claimed it's already ready to pass the upcoming third row tests.

Considering their safety records, (Subaru being the top of all 7 and 8 seaters in and out of its class (link)), that's the only third row I'd trust.
Oh that's really interesting. I've been doing some Googling and haven't found any specific comparisons/ratings of third row safety. Honestly when we test drove the Ascent my wife (5'5") sat in the third row and found it comfortable enough. But then again, sitting for a few seconds vs. a 4 hour road trip are different things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If having adults in the third row is a priority then you should be looking at minivans or larger SUVs.
Thank you for the suggestions. Looked at a minivan, but my wife wasn't comfortable driving a vehicle that large. I suspect we'd be in the same situation with a much larger SUV. It sounds like we'd likely go with kids in the third row and adults in the second for long trips. The vast majority of our travel with 4 adults and 2 kids will be in the ~ 1 hr range so I'm hoping the third will be sufficient for that purpose.
 

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We're looking at buying a new Ascent, but also comparing with other 3-row SUVs. I'm a bit concerned about the ability of the third row to seat two adults for long trips. I'm 6'4" and they are not comfortable for to sit in, but in general they'll be used for folks 5'9" and shorter. Would love to have some real world data points from owners who've taken 7/8 people on longer trips in the Ascent, including adults in the third row.
I looked at a You Tube video that compared the 8 passenger Ascent with the 7 passenger with captains chairs. One very important fact was that for 3rd row occupants, the 7 passenger was much more comfortable for shorter adults, than the 8 passenger bench version. It seems that you can seat 2 adults in the 3rd row more easily due to the space in front of them between the 2 captains chairs. This space allows each adult to stretch out one leg forward between the 2 captains chairs. Person on the passenger side stretches out their left leg, person on drivers side, stretches out their right leg. Makes sense to me!!!!
 

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I cross shopped the Atlas and I agree it has better 3rd row accommodations than the Ascent. Not to say the Ascent is bad, just that the Atlas is slightly better. I'm 5'8" and rather large. I can sit in the 3rd row for 30-60 minutes without a second thought. I don't know that I would want to be back there for several hours though. My Ascent is has captain's chairs in the second row.

I agree that if you're going to put adults in the 3rd row often, a van might be a more reasonable choice. I understand not wanting a vehicle that's too large but keep in mind the Ascent, Atlas, and similar vehicles are not exactly svelte either.
 

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I'm 6'4" and have the 8 seater and it is not happening. I might be able to suffer for a short trip to dinner or a movie, but not a full on trip. One thing if you are trying it out is to make sure you pull the head rest on the third row up otherwise it feels like a torture device. Being tall you run into issue that the third row floor usually sits a little higher or the seats are down lower which means your knees end up at your chest. If you need full head room you would probably need to look at a full size SUV or a mini-van.
 

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Third row is for people less than 63 inches, teens, tweens and or kids. Anyone above 61 inches will need to adjust the 2nd row and it will depend who or what is in the 2nd row to be OK
 

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We're looking at buying a new Ascent, but also comparing with other 3-row SUVs. I'm a bit concerned about the ability of the third row to seat two adults for long trips. I'm 6'4" and they are not comfortable for to sit in, but in general they'll be used for folks 5'9" and shorter. Would love to have some real world data points from owners who've taken 7/8 people on longer trips in the Ascent, including adults in the third row.

My 2 cents here. I'm 5'7" and did comparison shopping with the Atlas, and I had an old Traverse for comparison.
The Atlas has huge leg room for the 3rd room. More than any other vehicle out there. The third row has only 2 seats, quite comfortable but also quite wide.
The Ascent has 2 narrow seats and a flat zone in the middle. The 2 people going in the seats will be quite comfortable, the third person in the flat area much less, so that position is probably not for a long trip unless it's a kid in a booster or something like that.
The actual seats in the Ascent are much more comfortable than the Atlas for people my size. The narrower seats make it a better fit for me (unless you are a wide person, then go with the Atlas, no doubt there). The comfort comes from the shape of the seat but mainly because it reclines. Both the Atlas and the Traverse suffer from the same issue: to give you more cargo space behind the third row, the third row seats are quite vertical. My first impression when I reclined the third row in the Ascent was "ahhhhhh.... this is how it's supposed to be". Since I'm not huge I don't care about extra leg room, as long as there's enough for my legs, anything else is just wasted space. If you have long legs, go with the Atlas.

I only tested with captain chairs on all vehicles. One of my tests was to see how easy it is for me to get into the car without folding any seats, walk between the captain chairs and into the 3rd row. The Ascent has one big disadvantage: I cannot walk with my legs extended or my back hits the roof. This doesn't happen in the Traverse or the Atlas. This is due to two things: the moonroof lowers the ceiling by a couple of inches while at the same time there's a 3" to 4" step up on the Ascent floor. Both the Traverse and the Atlas have flat floors and this is not a problem for me.

And now that I have the Ascent with the kids chairs on both 2nd row chairs, I can say it's not so easy for an adult to do this maneuver. The captain chairs in the Ascent are higher from the floor than the Traverse I had (with the exact same children seats, so I compare apples to apples). In the Traverse I was able to fold my body over the kids chairs, but they are higher now so I can't do that and need to squeeze myself in front of the seats. I still managed to do it, but used to be a lot easier.


I did long trips (11 hrs) with the Traverse. My mother in law didn't like the 3rd row after 5 or 6 hours, so I moved one of the kids chairs to the back and her to one of the captain chairs. I haven't done any long trips on the Ascent yet so no data to report.


FYI, we went with the Ascent because rear seats (2nd and 3rd row) are overall more comfortable than the other vehicles, especially the third row when reclined. The extra leg room is unnecessary in my family and the walk to the third row is only affecting me, so I can solve the problem by sending my wife...:grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I do come from a 2016 Pilot, which has a bigger 3rd row, now my 15 year old who is 5ft3inc , 170 lbs, prefers to go in the middle
Interesting! How would you compare the Pilot with the Ascent overall? We drove a 2019 Pilot and thought it performed well.
 

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So, the second row does move to give more legroom for row 3 but keep in mind there are only two lock positions for that row 2 seat on a 7 configuration. But then, the 7 configuration makes accessing row 3 a breeze even with the row two pushed back. With the Pano roof, feels very roomy indeed. And row 3 seats can recline a bit. Makes a world of difference.

We are 4 adults and two kids in car seats. Loving the Ascent so far.
 

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So, the second row does move to give more legroom for row 3 but keep in mind there are only two lock positions for that row 2 seat on a 7 configuration. But then, the 7 configuration makes accessing row 3 a breeze even with the row two pushed back. With the Pano roof, feels very roomy indeed. And row 3 seats can recline a bit. Makes a world of difference.

We are 4 adults and two kids in car seats. Loving the Ascent so far.
I have rented all sorts of minivans and SUV's including some full size ones and in my opinion, the third row is reserved for kids and teens on long trips. I'm 5'11 and comfortable in the third row of my Ascent.
 

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So, the second row does move to give more legroom for row 3 but keep in mind there are only two lock positions for that row 2 seat on a 7 configuration...
I have a 7 seater and the second row can lock in 7-8 incremental positions fore and aft.
 

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I sat in the 3rd row of my Ascent for about 30 minutes. I'm 6'0. My 8 year old was sitting comfortably in the captain chair in front of me. My wife, 5'8 was in front of him driving comfortably. I was comfortable but started to get a little car sick towards the end. I'm not used to the smaller windows and reduced visibility they provide. My 8 year old and 6 year old that usually sit in the 3rd row absolutely love it. They are back there in their own world doing their own thing.
 
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