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One of the important considerations when looking for a seven or eight-seater family car, especially here in Australia, is having air vents for the second and third-row passengers. It can get really hot in the back of the car in this climate and having good airflow to the rear passengers, big and small, can also help reduce travel sickness.

Land Rover Defender third row air vents
Land Rover Defender third-row air vents

There are a lot of seven and eight-seater SUVs, 4x4s and people movers to choose from when you are looking for your next family car, whether you are a large or blended family who will be using all seven seats constantly, or you regularly have passengers in the third row when grandparents and in-laws visit, or for when you have after school playdates and transporting friends' kids around. Or perhaps you usually use five seats and need a large boot for the dog!

Below are all the cars BabyDrive has tested in Australia that have air vents in the second and third-row seats for all the rear passengers…

Which SUVs have air vents in the second and third rows?


2021 Hyundai Palisade Highlander family car review

Hyundai Palisade Highlander

The 2021 Hyundai Palisade Highlander is the latest addition to the Australian three-row SUV market and widens the options for large families. Prices start at $60,000, this SUV has pretty much everything a family needs in a family car without being a people mover or minivan! It includes air vents in the ceiling for all three rows of seats, so the kids in the back aren't getting cooked while you are driving along. Rear passengers can adjust the rear climate from a control panel in the back of the central console box and you can change and lock it from the front media screen, to avoid little fingers playing with it while you are driving. Seven and eight-seat versions are available and it is possible to install one child seat at a time in the third row, either the central or passenger side position.


2021 Kia Sorento Sport and GT-Line has 4 ISOFix points

NEW 2021 Kia Sorento

The 2021 Kia Sorento is priced similarly to the Kia Carnival, ranging from $46,000-$63,000. This seven-seat SUV has air vents in both rear rows of seats: In the back of the central console box for the second-row passengers and in the side panels for the third-row passengers and controls in the third row too. The driver can control the rear ventilation from the front climate control panel too. The new Kia Sorento has four ISOFix points and five top tether anchorages. The central second-row seat is the only one to use the seatbelt instead of ISOFix for securing child seats.


BMW X7 has 4 ISOFix points

BMW X7

The BMW X7 is a big luxury seven-seat family SUV. It offers so many air-conditioning vents in the rear rows of seats it is fantastic for keeping rear passengers and kids at the right temperature. There are vents in the ceiling for both rear rows as well as vents in the back of the central console box and pillar air vents for the second-row passengers. There are controls in the back of the central console box for the second-row passengers to reach and use or the driver can control the second and third-row climate individually from the front media system. Prices start from $120,000, the X7 has excellent third-row access and the ability to install five child seats using ISOFix and top tether anchorages.


Hyundai Santa Fe (2018-2020)

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a practical family seven-seat SUV. It has air vents in the back of the central console box for the second-row passengers and vents with fan controls in the for third-row passengers. I also like this positioning for the vents in the third row because if you are not using the third-row seats then with the roller blind in position this vents can cool the contents of the boot if you are transporting the shopping for example. Priced from $41,000, the Santa Fe is one of the least expensive seven-seat SUVs with third-row air vents.


Toyota Kluger

Toyota's Kluger is a super popular seven-seater for families. This SUV has strips of air conditioning vents in the sides in the ceiling above the second and third-row windows so all rear passengers are well ventilated. There are controls in the back of the central console box as well as some in the front so the driver can have ultimate control over the climate.


NEW 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe (review coming soon!)

The NEW 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe continues to be a practical option for a family SUV. As previously, it has air vents in the back of the central console box for the second-row passengers and vents with fan controls for third-row passengers.


Nissan Pathfinder

Prices range from $42,000 – $70,000 for the Nissan Pathfinder, which we found to be a very practical seven-seat family SUV with good third-row access. It has air-conditioning vents in the back of the central console for the second-row passengers as well as air vents in the side walls for the third row. There are controls in the back of the central console box for the second-row passengers to reach and use or the driver can control the rear climate individually from the front media system.


Holden Acadia

No longer sold new in Australia the Holden Acadia is definitely worth considering as a seven-seat family SUV if you are looking in the used car market. It has air-conditioning vents in the ceiling in both rear rows of seats. There are controls in the back of the central console box and you can control the rear climate from the front media system.


Lexus RX350L

Prices range from $82,000 – $109,000 for the luxury Lexus RX350L seven-seat SUV. As you would expect in a luxury family SUV there are air-conditioning vents in both rear rows of seats. For the second-row passengers, they are in the back of the central console and for the third-row passengers they are in the side walls and there are controls back there also. You do have ultimate control from the driver's seat though, and can turn the rear air-con on and off with a button on the dashboard, which I find really useful if your kids fiddle with them from the back seats!

Which People Movers and Mini Vans have air vents in the second and third rows?


2021 Kia Carnival Launch Review KA4

NEW 2021 Kia Carnival

The NEW 2021 Kia Carnival is the ULTIMATE three-row family vehicle, with looks that straddle the SUV and people-mover fence! It has air vents in the ceiling for both rear rows of seats. There are controls in the ceiling in the second-row for rear passengers to adjust the temperature and airflow or you have ultimate control in the front and can lock the rear controls so kids can't fiddle with them. Prices start at $47,000 for the base model New Kia Carnival up to $67,000 for the Platinum.


KIA CARNIVAL has 3 ISOFix points

Kia Carnival (2014-2020)

The previous model Kia Carnival had ceiling air vents in both rear rows of seats. There are controls in the ceiling for the second-row passengers to use but ultimately you can control the rear climate from the front dashboard and lock the rear buttons. This earlier model Kia Carnival may have been the ultimate in family people movers but it only has three ISOFix points, one in each of the outer second-row seats and one in a third-row seat. There are four top tether anchorages too, one on the back of the outer second-row seats and two in the third-row seats, so you can install two child seats using ISOFix with top tether anchorages and two using seatbelt with top tether anchorages. The 2021-onwards Kia Carnival now has five top tether anchorages and five ISOFix points and we could instal five child seats.


Volkswagen Multivan has 4 ISOFix points

VW Multivan

The VW Multivan is a fantastic vehicle for families, ranging in price from $53,000 up to $84,000. The Multivan has two rows of air vents across the ceiling for cooling both rear rows of passengers. You can not reach the rear air vents from the front but you can control them from the front dashboard. There are ISOFix points in four out of the five rear seats and top tether anchorages in all five. So you can install four child seats in the outer rear seats using ISOFix with top tether anchorages and one central rear seat using the seatbelt with top tether anchorage. Legroom is fantastic throughout the Multivan and the central walkway goes all the way through from the front seats to the back making access to any row easy (great when it's raining too).


HONDA ODYSSEY VTi-L 2018

Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey is a fun seven-seater people mover for families that ranges in price from $53,000 up to $84,000. It has cinema-like captains chairs in the second-row and a bench seat in the third row. The Odyssey has two sets of round air vents and lights running along the edges of the ceiling above each of the rear rows of seats. There are controls in the ceiling of the second-row seats and thankfully there are also controls in the front so you can adjust the fan speed and temperature from the front while driving along. You can install two child seats in the third row but the top tether anchorages are on the outer edge of the boot meaning you can't put anything big in there, such as a pram.


Toyota Granvia has 4 ISOFix points

Toyota Granvia

The Toyota Granvia is an eight-seater people mover with air vents down the side of the ceiling for all three rows of seats. There are controls in the ceiling above the second-row seats but they are not reachable or adjustable from the front while driving so with small children travelling in the back you would need to set the temperature and fan speed before you set off. The Granvia also has ISOFix points and top tether anchorages in four individual rear seats. Ranging in price from $62,000-$75,000, it offers parents a central aisle walkway through from the individual first two rows of seats to the third-row bench seat, which has no top tether anchorages or ISOFix for baby car seats.

Which 4x4s have air vents in the second and third rows?


Isuzu MU-X has 3 ISOFix points

Isuzu MU-X

The 4×4 seven-seater Isuzu MU-X is priced from $43,000 to $57,000. It has ceiling air vents in both rear rows of seats and controls in the ceiling above the second row. Although you can't adjust the rear aircon from the front, you can turn it on and off with a button behind the indicator stalk. I found that once we had cooled the car down we'd turn off the rear air-con and used the front air-con to maintain the temperature in the rest of the vehicle and this was enough even in summer.

The MU-X has three ISOFix points across the second-row seats and three top tether anchorages too (but no child seat anchorages in the third row). I fitted three child seats across the second-row seats.


HAVAL H9

Haval H9

The most affordable four-wheel-drive in this list, the seven-seater Haval H9 is priced from $41,000 to $49,000. It has air vents in the ceiling of both rear rows of seats and you can control it all from the front. The Haval H9 has a lot of features you expect to find in more expensive 4x4s and SUVs, like heated, cooled and massage seats.


Ford Everest can take five child seats

Ford Everest

The Ford Everest is a fantastic family four-wheel-drive, priced from $50,000 to $74,000 it is a good all-rounder and does most things a large family would need from a vehicle well. This includes having air vents in the ceiling in the second and third-rows of seats. There are rear climate controls in the back of the central console box that the second-row passengers can adjust it with. Or the driver can adjust the rear climate through the media screen, which I like because you can override any children in the back who mess around with it!

And a BIG selling point for the Everest is its five top tether anchorages, so you can fill it with child seats or have flexibility about where you install them.


MITSUBISHI PAJERO SPORT 4X4 top 3 family-friendly features

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

Mitsubishi's Pajero Sport is an affordable and popular off-roader for families who like road trips and camping, whether it's towing caravans and camper trailers or swags in the back! Prices range from $45,000 to $60,000. This four-wheel-drive has air conditioning vents in the sides of the ceiling in the second and third rows of seats so all rows are well ventilated. There are controls in the back of the central console box as well as some in the front the driver can use to control the rear air conditioning.

Silly ceiling mounted top tether anchorages that get in the way of third-row passengers spoil what is otherwise an excellent family 4×4!


Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series

The Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series is one of the most expensive and capable four-wheel-drives in our list, with prices ranging from $79,000 to $121,000. This big brute of a family off-roader has air conditioning vents in the back of the central console box for the second-row passengers as well as air vents in the sides of the ceiling above the second and third rows of seats so all rows are well ventilated. There are fan speed controls in the back of the central console box for the rear air conditioning too.

Easily takes three child seats across the second row but there are no top tether anchorages for the third-row seats.


TOYOTA_FORTUNER_

Toyota Fortuner

The Toyota Fortuner is one of the more affordable seven-seat 4x4s in this list. Prices start at $48,000 and range up to $68,000. In the back, there are ceiling mounted air vents in both the second and third rows, which is great for keeping the rear passengers cool during summer. The climate throughout the car can be adjusted from the dash controls.

The Fortuner has three top tether anchorages and two ISOFix across the second-row seats and can fit three child seats.


2021 Land Rover Defender 110

Land Rover Defender

The Land Rover Defender is a very capable seven-seat 4×4. Prices start at $75,000 and range as high as $205,000 for the new V8 model. In the media screen of the Defender I tested, you can adjust the climate for the second and third-row seats individually and you can lock each row too so little fingers can't fiddle with them. There are air vents in the back of the central console box and controls there too and in the third row, there are pillar air vents and a fan speed adjustment knob as well.

The Defender has ISOFix anchorages in two of its second-row seats and top tether anchorages for all three second-row seats too. But if you want a Land Rover with third-row top tether anchorages you need to look at the Discovery although it only has third-row air vents in the more expensive versions!


Toyota_LandCruiser_Prado_2018

Toyota LandCruiser Prado

Another very capable family four-wheel-drive is the Toyota Prado. This off-roader costs between $54,000 and $85,000 and has air vent strips in the second and third-row ceiling above the windows. There are controls in the back of the central console box as well as the drivers controls in the front dash.

The LandCruiser Prado has two ISOFix points and three top tether anchorages in the second-row seats but none in the third row. I found it would accommodate three child seats.


2020 Nissan Patrol Ti Y62

Nissan Patrol

The Nissan Patrol is a large seven-seat 4×4, prices range from $76,000 to $92,000. The Patrol has air vents in the ceiling of the second and third-row seats above the windows. There are controls in the back of the central console box as well as in the front dash so the driver can access them while driving.

The Patrol has three top tether anchorages (two in the second row and one in the third row) and two ISOFix points in the second row. We found can accommodate three child seats.


Land Rover Discovery has 4 ISOFix points

Land Rover Discovery

The Land Rover Discovery SE is a luxury seven-seat 4×4. Prices start at $67,000 and range up to $117,000 and beyond if you choose a lot of options. The model I tested only had second-row pillars air vents but third-row air vents are available on the top-spec model, which I think you would need in the Australian summers if you are going to carry third-row passengers.

With ISOFix points in four of its five rear seats and top tether anchorages on the back of all five, I found the Discovery would accommodate five child seats.


Infiniti QX80

Infiniti QX80

The Infiniti QX80 is a luxury version of the Nissan Patrol seven-seat 4×4. Priced around $110,000 before it and the Infiniti brand were discontinued, it has air vents in the ceiling of the second and third-row seats above the windows. There are controls in the back of the central console box as well as in the front dash so the driver can access them while driving.

Like the Patrol, the QX80 has three top tether anchorages (two in the second row and one in the third row) and two ISOFix points in the second row. We found can accommodate three child seats.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi, this is the best coverage ever of SUV’s that comes with REAR AIR vents I have ever seen, most people with babies have never sat in the rear of a SUV with no rear air on a 40degree day not alone being strapped tightly in a forward facing car seat because it’s out of sight out, out of mind. I got a baby out of a car seat on a 40 degree day once and she was dripping wet with sweat and the Parents had NO IDEA how hot their baby had become. I have sat in one on a 40+ day and the aircon relief was almost non existent but the front occupants had no worries sitting in a nice cool flow of air. Thanks again for your educating article for baby travel.

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