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13 SUVs That Are a Collector's Dream (And 12 Everyone Should Avoid)

A few years ago, manufacturers had saturated the car market with sedans. The overwhelming demand forced automakers to mass produce sedans. Although sedans dominated the car market since the advent of cars, consumers sought vehicles that were capable of hauling heavy loads and providing safety features that sedans lacked.

Consumers also wanted vehicles that could perform off-road as well as it did on the road. SUVs provided the answers that consumers were looking for, and the rise in popularity of the vehicles resulted in SUVs becoming the world's largest automotive segment.

In 2015, sales of SUV rides had quadrupled since 2000. The popularity of the SUV is evident, and car pundits predicted that automakers might sell 42 million units by the year 2031.

The rising gasoline prices haven't impeded consumers from buying SUVs, as the market prefers the 4/5 door models in favor of the popular 2-door off-roaders. The future for the SUV market looks bright, allowing consumers to take advantage of the existing models to make a handsome profit in the future.

For consumers to make profits from their SUV rides, they need to know which models are poised to become classics. Furthermore, consumers also have to know which models to avoid. To help collectors find the perfect SUV, we compiled a list of cars that they should bag and the ones they should avoid if they intend on making a profit from their purchase.

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25 Collect: 1983 Land Rover Defender

via Wikipedia

Although production for the Defender ceased in 2016, the manufacturer announced at the beginning of 2018 a special edition Defender Works V8 that will pump out 400 horsepower. The reason we selected the 1983 model was that the newer generations weren't as bare-boned and off-road capable as the earlier models.

When you purchase a Defender, you know that you're getting a great combination of off-road capability and comfort, according to Autowise. The manufacturer had launched the original Land Rover series in 1948 at the Amsterdam Motor Show.

24 Collect: 1993 GMC Typhoon

via Hemmings Motor News

The Typhoon was in production for only three years, but it made its mark in the SUV segment. From 1991 until 1993, GMC produced almost 4,700 units of the car that fostered a 4.3-liter V6 engine, capable of pumping out 280 horsepower. The car was capable of reaching a top speed of 125 mph and needed 5.6 seconds to reach 0 to 60 mph.

When the Typhoon debuted in 1992, GMC priced it at almost $30,000. One of the drawbacks of the car was the fuel economy. In the city, drivers could expect 15 mpg and 19 mpg on the highway, according to Road and Track.

23 Collect: 2006 Jeep Wrangler

via Youtube

When you talk about one of the most capable off-road SUVs, you can't leave the Wrangler TJ out of the conversation. TJ was the second generation that Jeep introduced in 1996 and reintroduced the round headlamps from the classic Jeep models.

In 2006, the Wrangler was smaller than the latest models and used more capable suspension, at least off-road. The main engine was the AMC 4-liter inline, and Jeep fitted all the Wranglers with coil springs instead of leaf-spring suspension.

22 Collect: 2015 Chevrolet Suburban

via Car and Driver

The 2015 model is part of the eleventh generation. Chevrolet has manufactured this magnificent SUV since 1935, making the Suburban the longest continuous use automobile nameplate in production.

What started as a three-row half-ton Carryall Suburban in 1935 has become Chevrolet's most successful vehicle of all time. Drivers can expect to get 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, according to Motor Trend. The car has a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8, pumping out 355 horsepower. The six-speed automatic is the only transmission offering.

21 Collect: 2006 Mercedes Benz G-Wagen

via Wikipedia

Otherwise known as the G-Class, the Mercedes Benz G-Wagen is a mid-size four-wheel drive luxury SUV that Magna Steyr manufacturers in Austria and Mercedes Benz sells. The G-Wagen has a boxy styling and body-on-frame construction. The car uses a three fully locking differentials, making it one of the few vehicles to have such a feature.

In 2006, Mercedes introduced the Grand Edition. The version offered optional alanite gray Magno metallic body color with integrated Grand Edition lettering, as well as non-embossed natural leather upholstery. The G-Wagen has been in production for 40 years.

20  Collect: 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser

via Zombie Drive

Toyota has been making reliable cars for decades. Considering that production for the Land Cruiser commenced in 1951 and hadn't stopped, most people will agree that the Land Cruiser is one of the best SUVs on the market.

The Land Cruiser is Toyota's longest running series of models. Global sales of the Land Cruiser totaled more than 6.5 million units as of 2018. Although Toyota has garnered massive sales, the Land Cruiser J200 isn't available in markets such as Hong Kong, North Korea, Brazil, Thailand and large parts of Europe.

19  Collect: 2018 Toyota 4Runner

via Tachkit

Toyota unveiled the fourth generation of the 4Runner at the State Fair of Texas in 2009. When iSeecars.com conducted a study in 2016, it found that the 4Runner ranked third in the top ten longest-lasting vehicles in the US.

The study showed that 5.2 percent of 4Runners lasted longer than 200,000 miles. If you ask Consumer Reports what one of the most reliable cars on the road is, the answer will be, "The Toyota 4Runner." The 4Runner has been in production since 1983.

18 Collect: 1996 Ford Bronco

via Iron Bull Bumpers

The legendary SUV was in production for more than 30 years before Ford decided to scrap the project. While Expedition and Explorer have proven to be capable SUVs, the Bronco's demise left a big gap in Ford's lineup. After more than a twenty-year hiatus, the Bronco is poised for a return in 2020.

The Bronco was more than a reliable and capable SUV; it was the heart and soul of the Ford Motor Company for three decades. The standard engine on the 1996 model was a 4.9 liter. The major drawback of the Bronco was the fuel economy. Drivers can expect to get 14 mpg combined, according to Edmunds.

17 Collect: 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe

via ZombieDrive

Consumers who want more than the standard space that an SUV offers should opt for the Tahoe. The car provides three rows of spacious, comfortable seats that accommodate up to nine passengers if you buy the front bench seat model, according to US News.

Apart from the high reliability that the car provides, the Tahoe won over customers with its high-quality interior materials. The standard engine is a 5.3-liter V8, which is capable of towing up to 8,500 pounds. The car handles well and returns good gas mileage.

16 Collect: 2010 Honda CR-V

via Concept Carz

Who can argue that Honda doesn't make one of the most reliable cars on the road? With the Civic being one of the best selling vehicles in the US, Honda thought that it would use its sedan manufacturing ingenious to produce an outstanding SUV.

The result was the CR-V. Honda CR-V was the winner of U.S. News' 2010 Best Compact Crossover for the Money Award. The car seats five passengers and offers comfort and versatility in the top-notch cabin. Consumers who want to buy the 2010 model will spend around $9,000.

15 Collect: 2012 Toyota RAV4

via ZombieDrive

RAV4 debuted onto the market in 1995, but it has proven to compete with the most prestigious SUVs that have been around for decades. Apart from the reliability, the RAV4 offers seats for five passengers and has a four-cylinder engine that is suitable for the daily commute.

Drivers shouldn't expect too much power from the base 2-liter engine but can opt for the more powerful 3.5-liter. Drivers can upgrade to the V6 and third-row seating. The RAV4 offers competitive fuel economy for its class and provides plenty of cargo space, as well as receives strong safety ratings.

14 Collect: 2011 Audi Q7

via Top Speed

Production of the seven-seater Q7 commenced in 2005, making it the first SUV offering from Audi. The car shares a Volkswagen Group MLB platform and a chassis with Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne and Bentley Bentayga.

Audi fitted the 2011 model with a 3-liter supercharged V6 engine that is capable of pumping out 272 horsepower. The upscale version can produce 333 horsepower. The fastest 333 horsepower version can reach 0 to 60 mph in seven seconds, as well as 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

13 Collect: 2018 Buick Enclave

via Car and Driver

Drivers who want a reliable midsize SUV but don't mind spending $40,000 for the base model should test drive the 2018 Buick Enclave. The car had outstanding predicted reliability ratings and was the finalist in the US News Best 3-Row SUV for Families award.

Under the bonnet, drivers will find the 3.6-liter V6 engine, which delivers a composed ride. The plush cabin provides three seating rows. The Enclave needs 7.2 seconds to reach 0 to 60 mph and offers 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

12 Avoid: 1988 Suzuki Samurai

via Bring a Trailer

Automakers who want their vehicles to sustain high sales for many years should design vehicles that impress Consumer Reports. Many people considered the Samurai as one of the most rugged and durable SUVs until Consumer Reports tested in 1988.

The Samurai had considerable sales success until 1988 when Consumer Reports deemed it to be unsafe for US roads. The report contained strong language and called Suzuki to recall the 150,000 units to replace with safer models.

11 Avoid: 2001 Mitsubishi Montero

via Car and Driver

Mitsubishi's marketing strategy for the Montero was to convince the market of its large size and safety. When Consumer Reports tested the vehicle, the watchdog discovered that the Montero had high rollover risk when taking corners at over 37 mph.

After the testing, Consumer Reports issued a 'Not Acceptable' rating for the Montero. The US market didn't want to take a chance on the vehicle, which reflected in the sales. The Montero wasn't a financial success, so Mitsubishi pulled it off the market in 2006.

10 Avoid: 2010 Lexus GX 460

via zh.wheelsage

The first time Consumer Reports tested the GX 460, the watchdog discovered that the car tended to roll over. Then, the watchdog purchased a second model and ran documented tests on the SUV. The second model vindicated the watchdog's theory of the SUV possessing a tendency to roll over, so Consumer Reports informed the public not to buy the vehicle, as it was a safety risk.

Toyota took the watchdog's advice to improve the vehicle by fixing the issue to make the subsequent models safer.

9 Avoid: 2012 Dodge Nitro

via Dodge

SUV enthusiasts who wanted a car with an eccentric design and subpar build quality would have bought the Dodge Nitro. After Consumer Reports tested the vehicle, the watchdog found that the Nitro had a cramped interior, a sluggish engine and cheap material in the cabin.

Consumer Reports didn't have to deter the market from the car, as consumers saw that the Nitro didn't offer anything special and took their business elsewhere. The Nitro was one of the contributors to Chrysler's downfall.

8 Avoid: 2018 Cadillac Escalade

via Service Chevrolet Cadillac

At first glance, you wouldn't say that there's anything wrong with the Cadillac. After all, it has a bulky frame that looks lavish and a spacious interior. The V8 engine allows the Escalade to carry the heavy frame, and the cabin provides several luxury features. So, what's wrong with the Escalade?

Considering that the starting price of the Escalade is $75,000, it qualifies as competition for prominent brands such as Mercedes, Lexus, Range Rover and Audi. Apart from featuring on Consumer Reports least reliable list, the Escalade is lacking in refinement and has an interior that doesn't take wear and tear well, according to Cheat Sheet.

7 Avoid: 2005 Pontiac Aztek

via ZombieDrive

The Aztek made its debuted in 2000 and garnered a reputation for one of the worst cars produced. The car had bad styling, an awkward interior and a high base price considering its offering. The car was so bad that Time Magazine featured it in its worst inventions ever list.

The Consumer Reports team admitted to feeling embarrassed about driving the car, so they performed most of the testing at night. After the testing, Consumer Reports struggled to find a buyer for the Aztek.

6 Avoid: 2005 Saturn Vue

via Momentcar

The production of the Vue commenced in 2001 and ended in 2010, but Saturn should have scrapped the project before then. Apart from the mediocre design, the Saturn Vue was unreliable. General Motors settled a class-action suit related to the car's unreliable VTi variable transmission.

Although Saturn offered an extended warranty, it didn't mean that the problem vanished. The extended warranty was 125,000 miles/8 years, but that would've lapsed by now, so drivers would struggle to find parts, as CVT VTi was discontinued in 2005.

5 Avoid: 2012 Kia Sorento

via Autoweek

Reliability is a key component that consumers look at when purchasing SUVs, as repair costs can run into thousands of dollars. Consumers who don't want to experience engine problems should avoid the 2012 Sorento.

The car had a problem with engine cooling, baffling owners about how the car burnt through the oil reserves despite the regular change. Whether it was a 4-cylinder of a V6, the Sorento's engine was prone to failure. If engine failure is not your thing, then avoid the 2012 Sorento.

4 Avoid: 2002 Ford Explorer

via Consumer Auto Guide

Ford has redeemed the Explorer's performance in the last few years, as evidenced by the sales. Consumers who want to avoid transmission failure should avoid 2002 until 2004 Explorers.

To make matters worse, the Explorer also had hard shifting, slipping gears and flashing O/D light issues. Explorer owners also complained about the rough idling and stalling. Consumers who insist on buying an Explorer should stick to the latest models, preferably a 2018 model to minimize transmission failure.

3 Avoid: 2013 Dodge Durango

via 12Volt.Solutions

Durango enthusiasts who want to purchase a used model should be aware that the millennial models provided owners with a tremendous amount of headaches due to engine unreliability. The engines were prone to building up oil sludge, as well as stalling or shutting down while driving.

Drivers should also note that the newer models suffer from a faulty TIMP, resulting in several electrical issues. Those issues are the reasons that Dodge recalled 2011 until 2013 models. Consumers should also be careful of the 1999 and 2000 models.

2 Avoid: 2008 Nissan Xterra

via Rowland Street Garage

Xterra models that consumers should avoid are 2005 until 2008, according to Autowise. Like the Pathfinder 2005 until 2008 models, the Xterra had a subpar radiator design, resulting in leakages. Due to the poor radiator design, Xterra owners experienced a fair share of transmission failures.

The defective radiator tank design that leaked coolant was the biggest problem. When the coolant mixed with the transmission fluid, it triggered the irreversible transmission erosion, providing drivers with countless headaches.

1 Avoid: 2014 Jeep Cherokee

via Motor Trend

Jeep has made several good models, but it struggled to get the transmission right on the 2014 Cherokee. ZF Friedrichshafen’s 9-speed auto transmission didn't adhere to the usual ZF's quality standards. The transmission provided rough shifts, odd shift points and was prone to abrupt shutdowns.

Perhaps the reason that Jeep didn't get the transmission right was due to the Cherokee being the first car that Jeep fitted with a 9-speed ZF transmission. Practice makes perfect, but the 2014 model was the guinea pig.

Sources - Road & Track, Motor Trend & Auto Wise

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