Home Cars 20 Discontinued SUVs Everyone Wants to See Back

20 Discontinued SUVs Everyone Wants to See Back

Vukasin HerbezJuly 25, 2017

  1. Chevrolet Blazer

Back in 1969, Chevrolet was caught off guard with the success of the Ford Bronco, the Jeep CJ, and the International Harvester Scout. They knew the current market wanted a small, good-looking, capable off-road SUV, but they didn’t have one in its model lineup. Chevy had to do something, so their engineers thought of a brilliant idea.

They decided to use an existing pickup truck and mount a full interior and roof, and then call it the Blazer or GMC Jimmy. The idea was great and soon Chevrolet fans had a new SUV model with bigger dimensions than the competitors, but also some bigger engines under the hood. At first, all-wheel drive (AWD) was only an option. Some versions even came with rear-wheel drive only, but soon AWD became standard.

The Blazer soon became popular and not only civilians used it, but also the U.S. military. It sold well in America, and in the rest of the world, especially after they equipped it with a 6.2-liter diesel V8 engine. The Blazer was so popular the second generation stayed in production from 1973 to 1991 with minimal modifications.

However, in the early ‘90s, Chevrolet introduced a smaller, more modern-looking Blazer that wasn’t as tough and off-road capable. And in the mid-90s, they replaced the Blazer line with the Tahoe. Ever since Chevrolet fans have called for the introduction of a modern Blazer with all characteristics of the old one, but with updated technology, safety and fuel economy.

Chevrolet keeps introducing SUVs and crossover models, but there is no confirmation the new Blazer is in the works. Everyone hopes the “bow tie” guys from Detroit will understand how important this model is and how big their success will be if they bring the Blazer back.

  1. GMC Typhoon

Out of all the SUVs they produced in the early ’90s, the most interesting and fastest was the GMC Typhoon. It was a limited production small SUV with a high price tag for its day and unbelievable performance, setting it apart from all the rest. More than 25 years since the first Typhoons saw the light of day, this vehicle is still a benchmark of performance and style. But, what makes it so interesting and desirable?

It starts with the engine. Typhoons came with a 4.3-liter V6 engine with a turbocharger and intercooler. The power output was 280 HP, which is not that impressive today. But back in 1991, it was a nice number. The automatic transmission, performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system and suspension helped the performance. In fact, the Typhoon could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds. Even today, this is fast for an ordinary SUV.

The rest of the package included a special trim, luxury interior details, special colors and wheel choices. And it was in limited production. In just three years, from 1991 to 1993, they made 4,697 Typhoons. Since then, this model has achieved collector car status. Now, they are worth more than the original sticker price of $29,000.

You may think the performance figures are not that unique in 2017. But you need to consider that the Typhoon could outrun a Ferrari 348 back in its day. Today, performance SUVs are relatively common. Although they come with high price tags and big weights, you can’t feel that performance and speed.

That is why the market needs a new Typhoon. It would reintroduce pure performance in the compact SUV class. And it could be capable of defeating those modern sports cars in any stoplight drag race.

  1. Ford Bronco

The car industry has been going crazy ever since the Ford Motor Company announced the legendary off-road SUV Bronco will be back in 2020. And they are bringing back the Ranger, a compact pickup truck, too. But, the biggest news is the return of the well-known and missed Bronco. It’s an iconic Ford SUV they produced for 30 years from 1966 to 1996.

Everything started in the mid-60s when Ford realized the market for compact and off-road capable SUVs was emerging. Ford invested a lot of effort and money into constructing the Bronco since it had its own platform, suspension and drivetrain components. But finally, they equipped it with a straight six V8 engine, giving it plenty of power and performance.

The Bronco was compact and maneuverable on and off the road, making this Ford quite capable when the asphalt stops. The small dimensions meant the interior was cramped, but car buyers loved it nonetheless. Soon, the sales numbers went through the roof. And the second and third generations were even more successful. But also they were bigger and more comfortable vehicles with a longer list of options and updated equipment.

Despite the solid sales, Ford decided to retire the Bronco in 1996 to concentrate on its pickup truck lineup, as well as the new SUV models. However, the fans of the Bronco have always been vocal in their requests to see the legendary SUV again. So, finally, last year, Ford announced the Bronco will be returning by 2020 in a new form, but with the same spirit and appeal.

  1. Hummer

Back in the late ’90s and early 2000s, the H1, H2 and H3 models were extremely popular, and not only in America but globally. The H1 was the civilian version of a military vehicle with the same design, but with updated equipment. Basically, only the interior and color choices were different.

Even though the H1 was a U.S. Marine disguised as a civilian, it was a sales success despite the high price. This vehicle was too big for the streets and parking lots. Also, it was hard to drive and impractical in real life conditions. But, the customers loved it. They even featured the Hummer in many films and music videos. So, Hummer introduced the H2. It was a more normal-sized, yet still big and opulent SUV.

They produced the H2 in two models, as a regular SUV and as an SUT, a truck version with four doors and an open truck bed in the back. They built it on a Chevrolet chassis using their mechanics and engines. However, the body was reminiscent of the H1 with a big chrome grille, strong bumpers and overall boxy shape.

Similar to the H1, the H2 was hard to squeeze into small spaces. Also, it had a high-consumption big gasoline V8. Then Hummer introduced their third version, the H3. It was even smaller with a V6 engine, making it was more usable in real life conditions.

The recession, rising fuel prices, and environmental standards killed the Hummer. So, in 2010, they discontinued it after unsuccessfully trying to sell it. Interestingly, there is still a big number of Hummer fans who want them to bring the brand back.

  1. Simca Matra Rancho

If you are familiar with the Simca Matra Rancho, you are one of the few who remembers this brave model and the innovative concept it presented. The Rancho was ahead of its time and today, people regard it as one of the first true SUVs. It had a rough appearance with car-like technology and updated interior features.

Matra, a French car company famous for developing concepts and producing cars for Renault, Simca and Talbot unveiled the Rancho in 1977. The idea behind this model was to use the existing Simca 1100 pickup version. But they equipped it with the basic mechanics and a 1.4-liter straight four engine. This transformed it into a modern people carrier with some off-road capabilities.

Despite working with an old design, the Matra designers managed to present a contemporary shape with some interesting features. The Rancho was a three-door wagon, but with a wide opening tailgate for easier access. It also had third-row seating that could accommodate two more passengers.

Thanks to the auxiliary lights, the bull bar at the front, higher body clearance and off-road tires, the Rancho looked like it meant business. With front-wheel drive and a 1.4-liter engine, it didn`t have significant off-road capabilities. But it was good enough to serve as a camping or leisure vehicle.

After its release, the Rancho proved to be popular, selling over 50,000 of them during the eight years of production. Unfortunately, the Simca car company started experiencing financial difficulties, so they didn’t want to keep producing the Rancho, even though it was profitable.

By late 1984, the Rancho was gone, but fans remember it as a cool-looking, utilitarian and influential vehicle. Although Simca is no more, the Matra is still around. So, today, more than ever, a similar model could be quite popular.

  1. 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 a 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.

  1. 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 the 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 70’s.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 slant six unit. 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 for 1974. However, it had loads of torque, which was more important for off-road driving and pulling the Ramcharger out of the mud.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 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.

  1. 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 on 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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