Toyota RAV4 with 3rd Row Seating

RAV4 with 3rd Row: Options for a 7-Seater Toyota SUV


When it comes to a RAV4 with 3rd-row seating, many potential buyers are curious about their options. The Toyota RAV4 is a popular and versatile SUV, but can it cater to the needs of those requiring more passenger space? Is there a RAV4 with 3rd-row seating?

Yes, the RAV4 does have some options available with 3rd-row seating, but only in some older models. RAV4s produced between 2006 and 2012 occasionally featured a 3rd row, while more recent models do not offer this option. 

In this article, I will explore the availability of RAV4s with 3rd-row seating and provide alternatives for those in need of a 7-seater Toyota SUV. The 3rd generation RAV4 not only had a 3rd-row option but also some models came with a V6 engine (see details about the RAV4 V6).

Curious about your RAV4’s fuel efficiency? We’ve got you covered!

Is there a RAV4 with 3rd Row Seating?

The modern 5th and 4th generation (2014-current) RAV4 models do not have 3rd row seating. However, a select few RAV4s between 2006 and 2012 had a 3rd row added, accommodating up to 7 passengers.

RAV4 Models with 3rd Row Seating

The Toyota RAV4, a widely-loved SUV, has seen various iterations since its inception. However, only a specific range of RAV4 models came with a 3rd row seating option:

  • RAV4 models produced between 2006 and 2012

It’s important to note that even within this timeframe, the 3rd row seating was not a standard feature and was only available in select models.

Availability and Comfort Concerns

Finding a RAV4 with 3rd row seating from this period can be challenging due to their rarity. If you somehow manage to locate one you should consider the following:

  • Limited availability: These models are no longer in production, making them harder to find in good condition.
  • Comfort: Owners of RAV4s with factory-installed 3rd row seating have reported that the seats are cramped and uncomfortable for most adults, making them more suitable for children or additional storage.
2012 Toyota RAV4 with 3rd Row Seats

While a RAV4 with 3rd row seating does exist, it is limited to older models and may not be the most comfortable option for passengers. As such, those seeking a 7-seater Toyota SUV may want to explore alternative options to find the perfect vehicle for their needs.

How Many Seats Does a Toyota RAV4 Have?

When it comes to seating capacity in a Toyota RAV4, there are two primary configurations, depending on the model year:

5-Seat RAV4 Configuration With 2 Rows

The most common seating arrangement in a Toyota RAV4 is designed for five passengers, including the driver. This configuration is standard for:

RAV4 models produced between 2013 and 2023

These models provide ample space and comfort for a typical family or group of friends, making them a popular choice for many drivers.

7-Seat RAV4 Configuration With 3rd Row (Limited Availability)

As mentioned earlier, certain RAV4 models produced between 2006 and 2012 occasionally came with an optional 3rd row, increasing the seating capacity to seven passengers. However, there are at least two drawbacks to consider with these models.

  1. Difficult to find because of limited availability
  2. Cramped and uncomfortable for most adults

The majority of Toyota RAV4 models accommodate five passengers, while a limited number of older models offer a 3rd row, allowing for a total of seven seats. Keep in mind the availability and comfort concerns when considering a 7-seat RAV4, and explore other Toyota SUV models with 3rd row seating for more options.

Toyota RAV4 with 3rd row seating that can seat up to 7 people

Can You Add a 3rd Row to a RAV4?

If you’re set on a RAV4 but still desire the extra seating, you might wonder if it’s possible to add a 3rd row to a RAV4. In this section, we’ll discuss aftermarket 3rd row seating and the associated safety concerns.

Aftermarket 3rd Row Seating

Aftermarket 3rd row seating refers to seats that are not manufactured by Toyota but can be installed in a vehicle post-purchase. While this may seem like a viable option to increase your RAV4’s seating capacity, there are important safety concerns to consider.

Safety Concerns and NHTSA Warning

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a warning against using aftermarket 3rd row seats due to the following reasons.

  • Insufficient seat security
  • Inadequate seatbelt safety
  • Subpar construction and specifications
  • Suspension issues

So Should You Add Aftermarket 3rd Row Seats to a RAV4?

Given the safety risks associated with aftermarket 3rd row seats, I strongly advise against adding a 3rd row to your RAV4. Instead, consider exploring other Toyota SUV models that come equipped with factory-installed 3rd row seating, ensuring the safety and comfort of your passengers.

Why Are Aftermarket Third-Row Seats Unsafe for the RAV4?

As mentioned previously, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a warning against using aftermarket third-row seats. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the specific safety risks associated with aftermarket third-row seats:

Top Reasons Aftermarket Third-Row Seats are Unsafe for RAV4

  • Inadequate seat security: Aftermarket seats may not be properly secured to the vehicle’s structure. In the event of an accident or sudden stop, these seats could shift or detach, putting passengers at risk.
  • Insufficient seatbelt safety: Seatbelts play a crucial role in protecting passengers during a crash. Aftermarket seats may not meet federal safety standards for seatbelts, compromising their effectiveness and leaving passengers vulnerable.
  • Substandard construction and specifications: Aftermarket seats might not adhere to minimum safety requirements in terms of material quality, strength, and overall design. As a result, these seats may not provide adequate protection in a collision.
  • Suspension concerns: Vehicles not originally designed for third-row seating, such as the RAV4, may experience suspension issues when extra seats are added. This could affect the vehicle’s handling, ride comfort, and overall safety. Interested in lifting your RAV4? See if a RAV4 lift kit is worth it for you.

The Importance of Heeding Safety Warnings

It’s essential to consider the potential safety hazards associated with aftermarket third-row seats. Often marketed and used for children, these seats can pose significant risks to passengers if they do not meet federal safety standards. 

To ensure the safety of your loved ones, it’s best to avoid installing aftermarket third-row seats in your RAV4 and explore alternative Toyota models with factory-installed third-row seating.

Tips on Where to Find RAV4s with 3rd Row Seating

Finding a RAV4 with third-row seating can be challenging since they were only produced between 2006 and 2012. Here are some tips to help you locate and purchase a RAV4 with the desired seating configuration:

  1. Check Online Listings
  2. Visit Local Dealerships
  3. Search for Private Sellers
  4. Contact Car Auctions
  5. Join RAV4 Forums and Social Media Groups
RAV4 3rd row seats

Check Online Listings

Online platforms such as AutoTrader,, and CarGurus are great places to start your search. These websites allow you to filter your search based on the make, model, year, and specific features like third-row seating.

Visit Local Dealerships

Contact local Toyota dealerships and inquire about any available RAV4 models with third-row seating. They may have access to used inventory or can refer you to other dealerships in their network.

Search for Private Sellers

Online classified websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace can be useful for finding private sellers who may have a RAV4 with third-row seating for sale. Be cautious and diligent when dealing with private sellers to avoid potential scams.

Contact Car Auctions

Car auctions can be a good source for used vehicles, including RAV4 models with third-row seating. Look for local auctions or online auction websites like Copart and IAAI.

Join RAV4 Forums and Social Media Groups

Join online forums and social media groups dedicated to Toyota RAV4 enthusiasts. These communities can provide valuable information on where to find RAV4 models with third-row seating and may even have members selling their vehicles.

Remember, when searching for a RAV4 with third-row seating, you will be looking at older models. Be prepared to invest time and effort into finding the right vehicle, and always have a trusted mechanic inspect the car before making a purchase.

Toyota SUV Alternatives with 3rd Row Seating

While the RAV4 may not offer the 3rd row seating you’re looking for, there are other Toyota SUV models that do provide this feature. Let’s explore some popular alternatives with third-row seating, making them a great choice for larger families or groups:

Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is a mid-size SUV that comfortably accommodates up to 8 passengers with its standard three-row configuration. Its spacious interior and smooth ride make it a popular choice for families who require extra seating. 

Some key features of the Highlander include:

  • 3rd row seating for up to 8 passengers
  • Ample cargo space
  • Advanced safety features

Toyota Sequoia

The Toyota Sequoia is a full-size SUV that offers 7 or 8 seats. With its powerful V8 engine and generous cargo area, the Sequoia is ideal for those who require both space and power. 

Key features of the Sequoia include:

  • Three-row seating for 7 or 8 passengers
  • Large cargo area
  • Powerful V8 engine for towing capabilities

Toyota 4Runner

The Toyota 4Runner doesn’t come with a standard third row but it is available as an option on certain models. The 4Runner is known for its off-road capabilities and rugged design. 

If you’re considering a 4Runner with third-row seating, keep these points in mind:

  • Optional third-row seating on select models (SR5, SR5 Premium, and Limited)
  • Reduced cargo space with the addition of a third row
  • Off-road prowess and durability

While the RAV4 may not offer the 3rd row seating you’re looking for, Toyota has other SUV models that can meet your needs. The Highlander, Sequoia, and 4Runner all provide third-row seating options, catering to various preferences in size, power, and off-road capabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a RAV4 with a 3rd row seat?

No, modern RAV4 models do not come with third-row seating. Third-row seats were only available in some RAV4 models produced between 2006 and 2012.

Are aftermarket third-row seats safe for my RAV4?

No, aftermarket third-row seats are not recommended due to safety concerns. The NHTSA has issued a warning against using aftermarket seats as they may not meet federal safety standards.

How many seats does a Toyota RAV4 have?

The Toyota RAV4 typically has seating for up to 5 passengers, including the driver. Models produced between 2006 and 2012 may have an optional third-row seat, increasing the capacity to 7 passengers.

What Toyota models have 3rd row seating?

Toyota SUV models that offer third-row seating include the Highlander, Sequoia, and 4Runner. The Highlander and Sequoia come with standard third-row seating, while the 4Runner offers it as an option on select models.

Can I add a third row to my RAV4?

It’s not recommended to add a third row to your RAV4 due to safety concerns. Instead, consider exploring other Toyota SUV models with factory-installed third-row seating, such as the Highlander, Sequoia, or 4Runner.

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