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8 Awesome SUVs with Captain Seats: The Best on The Market in 2022

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White Cadillac Escalade

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When buying an SUV, your vehicle’s second-row seating configuration is one of the more specific choices you have to make. Traditionally, the second-row seat of sport utility vehicles is a bench that accommodates three passengers. However, some SUV models, especially the luxury variants, offer the option to upgrade the second row to captain seats or captain chairs.

Captain chairs are more comfortable, often with better cushioning and support and dedicated armrests. Plus, the center aisle offers a convenient way for kids and teens to access the third row. However, SUVs with captain seats cut down the seating capacity by one, so it’s a tough choice between passenger capacity and convenience.

If you’re looking to buy an SUV that offers captain seats, you have some excellent options. Below are the best SUVs with captain seats you can find in the market.

1. 2022 Cadillac Escalade

When it comes to luxurious full-size SUVs, the Cadillac Escalade is undoubtedly one of your best options. For instance, no Japanese or European brands can match the sheer passenger and cargo space of the Escalade. Over the years, Cadillac has done a great job of refining the Escalade and the 2022 model year is probably one of its best versions.

The hulky Escalade offers 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque; it’s a very capable SUV that delivers on the performance front. Of course, the 2022 Escalade offers two decadent captain chairs on the second row with standard leatherette and available genuine leather upholstery.


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2. 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

The Grand Cherokee L features legit off-road performance and three-row seating, making it an ideal adventure vehicle for the whole family. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is a highly-rated full-size SUV that can accommodate six to seven passengers. For this beast, you can choose between two powertrains, a 290 hp V6 or a 357 hp V8.

One of the best things about this SUV is its premium interior, even with the base models. Going up to trims like Summit and Overland, you’ll get several luxury touches like quilted leather, wood trims, and a high-end infotainment system. Unlike many full-size SUVs, the Grand Cherokee L’s captain chairs are standard for six-person seating.

3. 2022 Acura MDX

The Acura MDX has the distinction of being the most successful three-row luxury SUV of all time. Thanks to its handsome styling, competent AWD, spacious interior, and smooth ride quality. Under the hood, you have a choice between two engines: the base 3.5-liter V6 and a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 for the Type S variants.  

The MDX is a sizable crossover SUV that offers three rows of seating. Acura’s engineering team has focused on making the interior space flexible and functional. For example, the second-row seats are usable as a bench that can seat three people. However, you may also remove the outboard seats to convert the remaining ones into captain seats.

4. 2022 Kia Telluride

We’re big fans of the Kia Telluride, and we’re willing to bet that many of our readers do as well. If you’re looking for the best SUVs with captain seats but not too eager to break the bank, the Kia Telluride is an easy recommendation. From its attractive styling to lavish levels of standard features, it’s not hard to see why it’s one of Kia’s best-sellers.

If you’re looking for a Telluride with captain seats, you’ll find them as standard on the S or SX trim levels. Choosing these models with captain seats means reducing the overall capacity from eight to seven passengers.

5. 2022 Volvo XC90

Volvo’s flagship midsize luxury SUV, the XC90, is another outstanding option for buyers looking for SUVs with captain seats. The XC90 makes a great first impression with its minimalist Scandinavian exterior design, helping you stand out in the middle of traffic. With Volvo’s reputation for advanced safety features, you’ve got one of the safest luxury SUVs on the market.

All trim levels of the 2022 XC90 are available with second-row captain’s seats. This is great because you don’t have to compromise features and your budget just to get captain chairs.


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6. 2022 GMC Acadia

The American GMC Acadia remains a popular choice for buyers looking for a good mix of luxury and affordability. The GMC Acadia has been battling it out in the American crossover market for quite some time now – fortunately, with some level of success. The 2022 Acadia offers a wealth of powertrain options, including a 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque.

By default, the Acadia is a six-seater that trades out the bench chairs for a pair of captain’s seats. However, you may opt for the seven-seat configuration at no extra cost.

7. 2022 Lincoln Navigator

Even among the lineup of full-size SUVs, the Lincoln Navigator boasts a more commanding presence that’s hard to ignore. Lincoln has recently refreshed the Navigator SUV, which was well-received by critics and customers alike. This luxury SUV delivers on all fronts, including the gorgeous interior, aggressive and intimidating exterior, and a beastly turbocharged V-6 engine.

Like many full-size SUVs in the market, the 2022 Lincoln Navigator prioritizes the captain chairs on all of their trims – so captain seats are standard. Upping the luxury is the addition of an available wide console that offers extra storage and controls for heating and massage features.


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8. 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

If budget isn’t an issue in your quest for the best SUVs with captain seats, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is a delightful recommendation. Fortunately, Mercedes has given the GLS-Class the complete luxury treatment, including its stylish, high-end cabin and opulent creature comforts. Plus, it’s available in a wide range of powertrain options and boasts a composed and confident ride quality.

All 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class starts as a seven-passenger unit, but you can convert to the six-seating layout for no extra cost. The right-side captain seat has a power tilt-and-fold capability to help your kids access the small-ish third-row seats. This gives easier access to captain chairs because you don’t have to select certain trims just to get them.

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