Which car is good on gas and has three-row seating?

Can you help me find a car? No vans.

Michele, Warfordsburg, Pa.

OK, got it: no vans. Vehicles with a third row that are best on gas include smaller cars like the Kia Rondo, Mazda5 and Toyota RAV4. The Mazda5 comes standard with three rows of seats and can carry a total of six people (2+2+2). The Rondo can carry seven passengers (2+3+2) when equipped with the $500 optional third row and the RAV4 (2+3+2) has an optional third row for $950.

Mileage ratings are 19/26 mpg city/highway for the base Rondo — which Cars.com senior editor David Thomas points out as “sub-par” in his review of the Rondo — while the Mazda5 scores 22/28 mpg with a manual transmission and 21/27 mpg with the automatic. The RAV4 with four-cylinder engine is rated at 21/27 mpg.

The Mazda5 is small enough, and in our opinion sporty enough, to skip the minivan branding. The Rondo is also on the smaller side; however, each model’s usability is very similar to what would traditionally be considered a minivan. The RAV4 is more like a traditional SUV. See our expert reviews of each to learn more about each one of these oddball non-minivans.

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Answered by Joe Bruzek on June 10, 2008 in I'm Just Wondering , What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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