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17 SUVs And Crossovers You Need To Avoid

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SUVs And Crossovers You Need To Avoid

The SUV and crossover market is on a serious boom. People love them for their practicality and in most cases off-road abilities. Some, on the other hand, handles like a small car with good fuel economy. Others offer excellent resale value and are very durable. In all these attributes, it’s not all SUVs and crossovers that are suitable. Some are terrible at best and have a serious defect which was rectified in a midlife restyle or was completely discontinued. In this list, we will be looking at 15 used SUVs and crossovers that should be avoided.

Dodge Durango

Years: 1999-2000, 2011-2013

If an older Dodge Durango is what you’re aiming at, know that millennium models suffered from very unreliable engines which were prone to building up oil Totally Integrated Power Module sludge, and stall or shut down while driving. Magnum V8’s simply can’t be counted among some of the better things that Chrysler’s produced over the years. Newer Durangos, on the other hand, suffer from FCA’s (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) well-known faulty TIPM’s (Totally Integrated Power Module) which, in turn lead to all kinds of different electrical issues. It’s no wonder why most of 2011 through 2013 model year Durangos have been recalled for the mentioned issue. If Durango’s your vehicle of choice, better choose something in between these two model year runs.





Dodge Journey

Years: 2009-2010

It’s the brakes on this one. Mid-size crossover SUV might be one good-looking car, but it’s first two model years were plagued by thin brakes and rotors which would wear down after less than 10,000 miles in some cases. They simply weren’t made for the vehicle of Journey’s size and weight. Dealers would either cover this under warranty or bill you to full extent, but that wouldn’t fix the issue. It was only a temporary solution as they only replaced worn-out brakes and rotors with new faulty units.

People that have stuck with their Dodge Journeys through thick and thin have been forced to replace several brakes and rotors over the years. Some are closing in on the jubilee 10th set. Just to let you know what you’re getting yourself into with 2009 and 2010 Dodge Journey. The best option is to go for aftermarket (more quality) brakes and rotors.

Ford Explorer

Years: 2002-2004

Ford Explorer has had long and well-documented transmission troubles – most notably during the early 2000s. One dealer goes as far as to suggest that one out of ten 2002-2004 Explorers won’t be able to avoid transmission failure somewhere down the line. Hard shifting, slipping gears and flashing O/D light are what accompanies the issue. Typically, early 2000 Explorer should be fine for anything between 50,000 and 100,000 miles before requiring entirely new transmission. You’ll agree, however, that vehicle with that kind of mileage on its odometer shouldn’t require a rebuilt trans. Even one with double the figures shouldn’t be having that problem. You can’t say you haven’t been warned.

Honda CR-V

Year: 2015

If you see a 2015 Honda CR-V for sale at a reasonable price, don’t jump in on the opportunity just yet. There’s something off with one of the most popular compact crossovers in the US. Many CR-V owners have reported unnatural vibrations coming from both the engine and the transmission. Needless to say, they experienced them straight from upon delivery which can only mean one thing – it’s a defect on Honda’s part. Even numerous test drivers experienced the issue upon their review of the car.





New Honda CR-V shakes violently while idle and at low rpm, and it’s not only the shifter and the steering wheel that serve as vibration conduits. Vibrations break out from the dash and pedals as well. Apparently, Honda has found a solution, but neither they nor the dealers deemed they’re obliged to inform the owners of that. This can only mean Honda is trying to play this one quiet in hopes the word won’t spread out. In other words, they know they’ve screwed things up.

Jeep Cherokee

Years: 2014-2015

Brace yourselves, for we are entering the Jeep part of this unholy list. First of the lot – the Cherokee. Smaller of the two Cherokees has been experiencing some consistent transmission troubles lately. ZF Friedrichshafen’s 9-speed auto trans assembled in Gray Court facility, South Carolina simply doesn’t adhere to ZF’s usual quality standards. It shifts roughly, has odd shift points, and even suffers from sudden shutdowns. These are only a few transmission-related problems that give headaches to Jeep Cherokee KL owners. In Cherokee’s defence, it’s the first vehicle that’s been outfitted with the 9-speed ZF trans, so both ZF and FCA are probably using the SUV as some sort of a test bed. If you have a used Jeep Cherokee in sights, think first if you’d be comfortable being their guinea pig. Oh, and the same thing goes for the compact Jeep Renegade.

Read Also: 10 Discontinued Honda Models (photos)

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Years: 2011, 2014

Being so long into this world, it’s understandable that larger of the Cherokees also suffers from issues of its own. 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee suffers from faulty TIPM, for instance. FCA’s Totally Integrated Power Module can cause a lot of ruckus if faulty, and Fiat-Chrysler simply loves making things that are broken down. TIPM is basically FCA car’s brain for all electrical-related things and it’s understandable how big of an issue defective brain might be. It affects everything from power windows to engine. Needless to say, the biggest issue is the engine that doesn’t want to start or stalls during driving because some part of the TIPM system doesn’t do its job properly.

Jeep Liberty

Years: 2002-2007

It might not be such big of a deal, but if you aren’t up for constant window regulator replacements, you’d be advised to avoid buying used Jeep Liberty – model years 2002 through 2007. If a cold ride to the job on early January morning sounds like fun to you, be our guest. You just can’t be surprised if your window decides to slide down into the door and decides to stay there. Window’s cold too, you know. Moreover, it seems that 2006 and 2007 models are the worst.

Kia Sorento

Years: 2012-2014

Sorento’s main problem is related to engine and engine cooling, so it was crucial to saving your oil change receipts if you wanted Kia to honor the warranty. That’s a thing many Kia Sorento second-gen owners learned the hard way. They were baffled by the fact their car simply burned through the oil reserves even though they changed it regularly. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a 4-cylinder or a V6, Sorento’s engines are prone to catastrophic failures. Buying a used one won’t come with those receipts, so it’s better to avoid 2012 through 2014 model years altogether. Engine replacement isn’t something you’re looking forward to, isn’t it?

Nissan Xterra

Years: 2005-2008

Another Nissan, another set of 2005 through 2008 model year runs, and once again the same problem. This shows that Nissan did a really lousy job with their radiator design a decade ago since more than one model suffered from the leakage. Xterra owners, just like Pathfinder owners, have had their share of transmission failures due to this defect.

Toyota RAV4

Years: 2006-2008

Toyota is generally some of the most reliable cars, and so is their best-sold Crossover/SUV, the RAV4. However, if there are model years to avoid when shopping for a used RAV4, those would be the 2006, 2007 and 2008. Problem? Excessive oil consumption. Of course, Toyota will tell you that it’s nothing serious or even normal behaviour, but running through a quart of oil on every 1,000 or so miles can’t be normal. It may be caused by defective piston rings, but the only thing Toyota has done so far is to issue a TSB to their dealerships. This still doesn’t mean your vehicle will be covered by a full warranty.

Chevrolet Equinox 3.4L V6

Year: 2005

Unfortunately for prospective Equinox buyers, some early first-gen models have suffered from well-documented head gasket problems. It’s probably due to poor design of the engine cooling system, but Equinox’s 3.4L V6 deserves the title of “head gasket eater”. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it was made in China. Proper maintenance and reserved driving style simply won’t do you any good here. The 2005 Chevy Equinox is one risky used car to buy, and it’ll likely fail you somewhere down the line. If it hasn’t failed the previous owner already. Needless to say, if you decide to join the army of disappointed ’05 Equinox owners, be prepared to rebuild or change your engine entirely somewhere down the line. Blown head gasket requires nothing less if not treated preemptively.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Year: 2008

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Year: 2015

Suzuki XL7

Year: 2008

Thankfully, the Suzuki XL7 was discontinued after the 2009 model year. It was another atrocity that scored a mere 5 out of 10 in the J.D. Power studies. Add to that the fact that Suzuki is miles behind Asian competitors with its 3-year/36,000-mile warranty (when Hyundai and Kia are at 5-year/60,000-mile) and you’ve got a vehicle to pass on even with a good price tag. The interior and exterior stylings are listed as mediocre, but effective. Still, the risk of breakdown is high, and the warranty low.

Acura ZDX

Year: 2010

Rarely do you find luxury vehicles on lists of cars to avoid, but the Acura ZDX in these model years just isn’t appealing in any category, least of all reliability. The one good thing that can be said for it is that it scores high on the safety scale, and it still possesses all the comfort and elegance which gave Acura its name. However, it is a newer model line that suffers from newer model line problems. Is it an overweight hatchback or a sporty SUV? In either case, the Acura ZDX is an automotive oddity that compromises in the wrong places. It possesses a cramped backseat, compromised cargo capacity, and unimpressive power from the V6 model.





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