Home Cars 20 Discontinued SUVs Everyone Wants to See Back

20 Discontinued SUVs Everyone Wants to See Back

Vukasin Herbez July 25, 2017

10. AMC Eagle

It is interesting to see how some car manufacturers were ahead of their time. Their products received recognition long after they were gone. And one of those manufacturers is the American Motors Company (AMC). Constantly flirting with bankruptcy, AMC was forced to explore the limits of the conventional car classes.

One of their experiments was the Eagle, a passenger car lineup with Jeep-derived all-wheel drive. Also, it had great off-road capabilities in the form of a regular sedan, wagon or even a coupe. AMC conceived it in the late ’70s as their answer to the rising popularity of AWD vehicles and SUVs. AMC wanted to combine their compact sedan and wagon lineup with the tough and proven Jeep AWD system.

The result was a surprisingly capable vehicle with the comfort and luxury of a sedan. It had compact dimensions, a relatively low weight, and rugged off-road characteristics, too. The Eagle was one of the first crossover models in the world. It’s only today that people can see how important and influential this car was. The Eagle was a popular car, especially in areas with harsh climates.

AMC produced the Eagle with AWD as standard. Unfortunately, AMC was losing money and was forced out of business in 1987. And this meant death for the Eagle, as well. Today, the AMC Eagle is highly desirable and in some areas, you can still find them in use.

The Chrysler Corporation is the owner of the AMC name, so many drivers think it’s time to reintroduce the Eagle to the world. They could use the same recipe as the last time: a sedan body with a Jeep all-wheel-drive system. And it could even achieve even better success than the original model.

11. International Harvester Travelall

Even though the International Scout is the most famous and popular SUV model from this factory, it is not the only one. Even before they introduced the Scout, International produced a big SUV model they called the Travelall. This model was a step beyond the Chevrolet Suburban since it offered powerful engines and all-wheel drive. Also, the build quality was second to none.

Some say they built the Travelall with industrial-strength materials for trucks. So, that was the secret of its durability. International presented the first generation in 1953, and the fourth and last one in 1969. They discontinued the Travelall in 1975. This was a shame since the company had high owner loyalty and satisfaction due to the quality and power of its vehicles.

Customers could get the Travelall with a choice of a six or eight-cylinder engine. AMC provided the smaller V6 engine and International designed and produced the V8. Also, Travelall was the first model to offer an interesting version called the Wagonmaster. It featured a truck bed and double cab.

The International Harvester company is still in business. But today, they concentrate on medium and heavy trucks and equipment. But ever since they discontinued the Travelall, the car world hasn’t produced a model of similar quality, power and dimensions.

12. Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40

Toyota produced the legendary Land Cruiser FJ40 from 1960 to 1984. It was one of the best classic off-road SUVs, proving itself in numerous wars and expeditions. Especially popular in Africa and South America, the FJ40 is still roaming vast deserts and jungle areas with ease. Toyota conceived it as a copy of the Jeep CJ2, which they later called the Wrangler.

The Toyota Land Cruiser featured the famous rugged body on frame design. It also had a selection of four-cylinder diesel and gasoline six-cylinder engines and several body styles. The FJ40 came in a two and four-door model with a long or short wheelbase, as well as a pickup truck. Various military versions were also available.

In its last few years, the FJ40 became popular with the new generation of off-road enthusiasts. As a result, prices are starting to go up. But most car fans think Toyota should bring back this model in a modern form and not as an FJ Cruiser model. This is because the Land Cruiser has become a luxury SUV, abandoning its off-road roots.

13. Jeepster Commando

The Jeepster Commando is a forgotten Jeep model they produced between 1966 and 1973. It was an upscale version of pure off-road models with a removable hardtop. It also had a small truck bed behind the front seats. The Commando was a practical model that drivers could use for cruising.

And it was also good for carrying smaller items and going off-road. Car buyers had a wide selection of engines from a small inline-four and six-cylinder, to a V6 or V8 engine. AMC produced most of the engines because they owned the Jeep brand at the time.

Also, Buick produced a 225 V6 known as the Dauntless V6. But despite the solid sales results, Jeep decided the Commando had no future in the market. So they discontinued this interesting, capable convertible SUV in the early ’70s.

14. Plymouth Trailduster

In Mopar nomenclature, Plymouth was always an economy or muscle car brand. They were dedicated to family cars, small sedans and two-door coupes. During their history, Plymouth produced some pickup trucks, but never any SUVs. But Dodge focused on the car market with a series of SUV models, gaining big success in that field.

However, in the late ’70s, Plymouth decided to try its luck in the off-road SUV market with the Trailduster. It was a two-door, four-passenger, all-wheel drive vehicle identical to the Dodge Ramcharger SUV. And the Trailduster was an attractive truck. Basically, it was identical to the Ramcharger, but with different trim and details.

To promote their product, Plymouth offered an all-wheel drive at an affordable price. Even though they added more equipment than Dodge, sales were sluggish. So after a couple of years, they discontinued the Trailduster, although the Ramcharger stayed on the market. Today, many Mopar fans want the Trailduster back since it was more dependable than other Dodge products from the period.

15. Isuzu Trooper

Isuzu introduced the Trooper in 1981, and it was the perfect car for the times. It was a relatively spacious, great-handling off-road SUV with dependable mechanics. It featured a nice design and lots of character; something that Japanese cars often lack. The Trooper was a capable off-road vehicle.

Yet it still retained a certain level of on-road highway manners. This made it equally at home on dirt roads as well as on the interstates. Even though most U.S. competitors had V8s and bigger engines, the Isuzu 2.8-liter V6 didn’t sound as good. But it was enough for most purposes as well as off-road driving.

16. Ford Centurion Classic

Ford offered the Bronco as their prime off-road SUV model as well as a lineup of full-size trucks they designed for towing and carrying. However, this left space for the Centurion company of White Pigeon, Michigan to produce and sell a combination of Bronco closed bodies and big F- Series chassis.

The result was the Ford Centurion Classic. It was an attractive conversion job they sold in two versions. They based the smaller one on the F-150 with AWD as an option. And the bigger version they based on the F-250 truck with AWD as standard. Also, Centurion produced interior kits to transform the crew cab F-series trucks into nine-passenger, fully operational SUVs.

17. Dodge Ramcharger

The success of the Blazer and the Bronco inspired Dodge to offer its own off-road model. So, they based it on a shortened truck chassis and with a closed body style. They called the new model the Ramcharger. And Dodge presented it in 1974, along with the identical Plymouth Trailduster.

The base engine was the Chrysler venerable 225 slants six units. But buyers could choose between four more engines, including the mighty 440 V8. The power level of this famous big block was not that high in 1974. However, it had loads of torque, which was more important for off-road driving and pulling the Ramcharger out of the mud.

18. Nissan Patrol

Today, most U.S. customers recognize the Nissan Patrol as the Armada. It was a big and heavy luxury SUV often in a two-wheel drive configuration. But long ago, the Patrol was a serious off-road vehicle they intended for heavy-duty use with mechanics to cope with the toughest terrain. Nissan designed it as a competitor to the FJ 40 Land Cruiser.

But the Patrol grew and matured, so by the early ’80s, it was a modern SUV with global appeal. Nissan redesigned its chassis, interior and engine, introducing the third generation of Patrol in 1980. Many car fanatics would love to see this boxy SUV with lots of interior room, tough mechanical components and undeniable off-road capabilities return.

19. Isuzu VehiCROSS

During the ’80s and ’90s, thanks to cooperation with General Motors, Isuzu sold numerous models on the American market. And they gained a reputation for being durable and dependable vehicles. However, Isuzu realized that the future was in SUV models. So, in the early ’90s, they decided to produce a new, highly capable lifestyle model they called the VehiCross.

Behind this strange name was an even funny and stranger vehicle that they only sold in a three-door specification. Also, it only came with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and automatic transmission. Isuzu designed the VehiCross to be a futuristic off-roader, giving it their best all-terrain technology and components.

20. Suzuki Escudo/Vitara/Sidekick

In the late ’80s, the Suzuki Motor Company needed something to make buyers forget the Samurai scandal. They wanted to regain the position they lost in the compact SUV market. And the answer was a new model they called the Escudo in Japan, as well as the Sidekick or Vitara. It was Suzuki’s global project to introduce a contemporary, on-road-oriented model.

They hoped it would appeal to the younger crowd because it was safer, better equipped and more usable than the small, problematic Samurai. So, they presented the first-generation Sidekick or Vitara in 1988. Immediately, it met universal praise from car buyers and the motoring press.

It was the right model for the times with its cool looks and updated options. Also, they offered long and short wheelbase versions and optional open top. The Vitara worked well as a family SUV, as well as a fun vehicle for weekend trips to the forest.

Most car enthusiasts would love to see the 20 discontinued SUVs on this list make a comeback. They would probably do better nowadays due to the huge popularity of this type of vehicle. In fact, most people finally appreciate the versatility of the SUV.

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