15 Luxury SUVs You Should Never Buy Used
With SUVs taking up such a big chunk of the automotive market, you’d think it should be easy to find a decent enough used vehicle. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the case, as even manufacturers with a reputation for reliability and quality seem to struggle to make an SUV that actually performs the way it’s supposed to.
Update February 2022: Used car prices have skyrocketed since Covid hit. If you’re looking to buy a used SUV, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve updated this article with more reasons for you to steer clear of these particular models.
In some cases, the problems are due to all the features and technologies that we expect from our cars these days. But there are also much more worrying issues with SUVs. Several of them have earned a reputation for tipping over, and others have been known to lose parts all over the road when involved in an accident. Here are 15 of the luxury SUVs you should never buy used.
15 Buick Enclave
No one should buy a Buick Enclave, new or used. This SUV is nothing but a huge disappointment as a luxury SUV. We can live with the fact that some features are only available on the higher trim versions, but what’s totally unacceptable are all the interior issues and mechanical issues. Things are actually so bad that Consumer Reports put it on its list of least reliable vehicles.
14 Land Rover Discovery Sport
If you happen to be an English farmer or a football player, you might seriously consider one of these. But you really shouldn’t buy a used one. It’s one of the most unreliable vehicles from the British brand – which is saying something, really, considering they’re not renowned for their reliability in the first place. It’s also not very good on real roads, with its poor ride quality and spongy handling.
13 Tesla Model X
The only good things about the Model X are the whole futuristic gimmick and fancy rear doors – when they actually work. Only the most obsessed Tesla fans would consider buying one after all the negative things that have emerged regarding the pricey Model X. It costs a lot of money, and for that money you’ll get an SUV with the build quality of ‘a 90. Korean car, not exactly what we’re looking for in a ridiculously expensive luxury SUV.
12 Lincoln MKT
First off, the Lincoln MKT has plenty of cargo space, unfortunately that’s about the only good thing we have to say about it. We’ve never met anyone who likes the SUV design, maybe that’s why the resale value is so low? The MKT is depreciating over 66% in five years, which means a lot of money is gone just by owning it. At least it means those who don’t mind driving that hideous pile can get their hands on a bargain.
11 Volvo XC90
Volvo, a company that gave us safe cars for decades, also gave us the XC90…which suffered major brake problems. Since the Volvo XC90 is heavy, powerful and fast, it’s a shame and their reputation has taken a serious hit. Another thing Volvo is known for is reliability, but the XC90 is riddled with various issues, most of which are electrical gremlins.
ten Jeep Wrangler
To all credit, the Jeep Wrangler is a true off-road icon! If that’s all you need from your SUV, then go for it. If you want a vehicle that’s really good when used as a regular car, you’d probably be better off looking elsewhere.
There’s the infamous Jeep Death Wobble, the handling is unpredictable, the ride quality is harsh… Some say the Wrangler is downright dangerous on the road.
9 Chevrolet Suburban
The Suburban certainly doesn’t lack space for either cargo or passengers. The cabin is one of the best in its class and packed with features. However, it’s the size of a ferry, and maneuvering is one too – ideal if you’ve always wanted to be a captain but easily get seasick. Some of its rivals can tow more, and the Suburban has also a below average reliability rating.
8 GMC Yukon
For some reason, the full-size truck-based GMC Yukon ranks lower than the Chevy Suburban—which is essentially its twin—when it comes to reliability. The Yukon also has this nasty bearing problem. Still want one? Ok, what if we told you that this is one of the worst SUVs in terms of depreciation? It’s true, the Yukon has lost nearly 65% of its value in just five years. Sure, it’s possible to save money when buying a used model, but those reliability issues could soon outweigh any savings.
seven Cadillac Escalade
Once upon a time, the Escalade was the status symbol of choice for all budding gangstas. These days, Consumer Reports wants to revoke the Escalade’s luxury status because of its poor ride quality, poor handling, terrible brakes and unreliability. These are major flaws, and we don’t think anyone should buy this old has-been.
6 Ford Explorer
Although there is a new Explorer on the market now, we will focus on the older model since they are used SUVs. The previous Explorer model tied for the lowest reliability score in its class. If that’s not enough to keep your distance, it also had one of the highest starting prices and “entry-level” models that offered few features and unimpressive cabin quality.
5 GMC Acadie
A few years ago GM introduced their new Acadia, but soon after they kinda forgot to give it the proper updates. That’s actually pretty fair, because a lot of people don’t care about those things anyway and just want a reliable vehicle. Unfortunately, reliability, or lack thereof, is another reason to look elsewhere. The Acadia has a rough drivetrain and its electrical components are notorious for malfunctioning – like the backup camera and navigation that only work when they want it to.
4 Mazda CX-9
Mazda is generally known for making reliable and quality vehicles, but they really messed up the CX-9. It’s one thing that owners have reported several issues with the electrical and braking systems, but it’s more than a little scary that the CX-9 suffers from a major body integrity issue – it’s a huge security problem. Apparently, the CX-9 will lose its body parts anywhere on the road if it’s involved in a crash at over 45 mph.
3 jeep grand cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is an excellent choice for those who regularly enjoy off-roading. But just like most Jeeps, the Grand Cherokee is far from impressive on the road. There’s something else to consider if you’re also planning longer off-road adventures – it has a below-average cargo area. You will need to get creative if you plan to stay in the wild for long periods of time.
2 Acura MDX
There are so many great things to say about the Acura MDX. It has excellent handling, there are plenty of safety features as standard, it is very comfortable and also one of the cheapest cars in its class. Unfortunately, the MDX isn’t very reliable, and the dual-screen infotainment system will have you tearing your hair out while you yell at it.
1 Mercedes-Benz GLA
At first glance, the MB GLA is actually an attractive compact luxury SUV – especially if you look at the sporty AMG version. But, of course, there are some problems with this. Owners ranked the GLA as the least reliable model in its class, with most complaints being various mechanical issues, a lack of durability, and a lack of interior features.
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