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20 Expensive Luxury SUVs That Now Cost Next To Nothing

Cameron EittreimNovember 29, 2021

The luxury SUV segment was officially started way back when the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was released. The Grand Wagoneer was everything that drivers never expected an SUV could be at that time. It was luxurious with leather seating, a comfortable ride, and an attractive exterior that looked impressive no matter where you went. Throughout the years, the luxury SUV market adapted and offered many different vehicles.

Lincoln was most notable for spurring the popularity of the segment with the Navigator, and shortly after that drivers got the Cadillac Escalade. But as with the luxury car segment, depreciation is a killer for these huge SUV models. What you could once get for a pretty penny can potentially be had for next to nothing these days. We looked back at 20 luxury SUVs that have depreciated the most.

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20: Mercedes Benz ML320 (First Generation)

The original Mercedes Benz ML320 was a groundbreaking SUV for many reasons. It was one of the first crossover SUV models. It was also the first Mercedes SUV designed for the masses, unlike the much larger G-Wagon. The design was unmatched at the time, with the ML320 even starring in Jurassic Park 2 (via JP Motor Pool).

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The design proved popular and became a top-selling model for Mercedes-Benz. Nowadays though, the original ML320 has depreciated considerably. Sometimes drivers can find one for as cheap as $1800. Considering all the luxury features that you get, that’s a reasonable starting point.

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19: Infiniti QX4

The QX4 is sort of the forgotten member of the Infiniti family. This SUV was based on the Nissan Pathfinder and was one of the first mainstream luxury SUVs to hit the market. The design was timeless, and as time goes on, the QX4 is still attractive-looking. With the V6 engine and the off-road package, the QX4 was more than capable (via Motor Trend).

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As with most of the last 1990s SUVs, the resale value hasn’t stayed strong. You can find one of these for a fairly cheap price. The crucial thing is that the QX4 has the legendary reliability of the Pathfinder to fall back on. This means drivers could own a first-generation QX4 that will still be running smoothly years from now.

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18: Lincoln Aviator

By the mid-2000s, the SUV boom was in full swing, and luxury SUVs were big business. Lincoln had a runaway hit with the full-size Navigator, but there was still a market for a mid-sized model. The Aviator shared its sheet metal and platform with the Ford Explorer. The interior was completely revamped to appear like the larger Navigator model (via Car & Driver).

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On top of that, there was a surprise under the hood, which was the same motor used in the Mustang Mach 1 sports car. Because the Aviator was a sales flop, you’ll seldom encounter on the road these days. The resale value has remained fairly affordable since this SUV is seemingly obscure these days.

1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ)
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17: Jeep Grand Cherokee (First Generation)

The first-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, which hit the market in 1993, was a rarity when it first came out. But the brand was known for innovating, as they did with the Wagoneer and the Cherokee before it. The Grand Cherokee was a different type of SUV, it was mid-sized and flush with amenities (via Motor Trend).

Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited
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The Grand Cherokee was attractively designed and had many important features. The most notable of which was a V8 power plant. The Laredo trim was decked out with all kinds of luxury features that hadn’t been recognized on an SUV before. Needless to say, the Grand Cherokee was the main reason for Chrysler’s purchase of AMC.

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16: Acura SLX

Honda and Isuzu had a strange partnership in the 1990s that led to many ill-fated models. The Isuzu Oasis, which was a Honda Odyssey, was an utter failure, and the Acura SLX, which was based on the Trooper, also failed. The SLX was not at all different than its Isuzu sibling other than the badges on the front and rear of the truck (via Motor Trend).

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The interior was not especially luxurious, especially considering the segment in which the SLX was competing. The SLX was so poorly rebadged that potential buyers could tell right off the bat that it was nothing more than a Trooper. Nowadays, the SLX is rare and cheap to buy. You’ll seldom encounter one on the road anymore.

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15: Porsche Cayenne Turbo

It was a shock to most people that Porsche was getting into the SUV business. But the market for luxury SUVs was booming, so why not? The original Porsche Cayenne Turbo was a novelty both in terms of styling and performance. The performance wasn’t lacking either, with 400 HP under the hood (via Motor Biscuit).

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The Cayenne Turbo moved with authority and offered all the creature comforts you’d want in one of these cars. The resale value of the Cayenne Turbo has depreciated dramatically over the past decade. You can find one of these for a low price and it will still boast excellent performance.

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14: BMW X5

The BMW X5 was big news in the early 2000s. The BMW SUV was one of the first SUVs to hit the market from the German luxury brand. The driving characteristics were different than a sedan, which resonated with BMW shoppers. The styling was also reminiscent of the consumer vehicles on the market (via Car & Driver).

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The X5 has suffered the same rapid depreciation as many luxury SUV models. But there is a lot to like about this SUV. The interior is still fairly modern, and the styling hasn’t aged that badly. For the price, you can get an excellent driving experience with plenty of luxury options that will be an excellent deal.

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13: Lexus RX 300

The original Lexus RX 300 is rarely seen in today’s automotive world, but because of the caliber of the people who bought these, you can still find a reasonable mileage example. Surprisingly, although the RX 300 was a hit for Lexus, it was one of the original crossover SUVs. The styling is still handsome to this day, and the engineering was impeccable (via AutoBlog).

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The factory V6 engine has more than enough power to get you where you need to be. Later models from the early 2000s had unique features, such as a navigation system pre-installed. With the legendary Toyota reliability behind it, the RX 300 is an SUV that has stood the test of time.

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12: Subaru B9 Tribeca

Subaru struggled to evolve in the mid-2000s, and part of that evolution was to expand the product line. The B9 Tribeca was universally panned for the front-end styling on the vehicle. The Subaru brand was seeking to change the image for all their cars, starting with the jet plane-inspired B9 Tribeca (via Car & Driver).

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This didn’t last long, and the B9 Tribeca was discontinued after a few years. But the B9 did have a lot of comfort and luxury features for the price. With seven-passenger seating and an attractive exterior, the B9 Tribeca is one of the best-looking used luxury SUVs on the market.

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11: Lexus RX 350

The second generation of the Lexus RX has depreciated quite a bit in recent years. The styling was by far the best and most modern for the brand. The interior was also vastly more luxurious than the previous outgoing models. Likewise, this generation of the RX was larger and more spacious than the previous generation (via Car & Driver).

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The resale value for the second generation of the RX has also become economical. With the luxury package and an optional 3.5 L V6, the RX 350 has 270 HP. The driving experience of this crossover is plush and comfortable, coupled with the legendary reliability that comes with a Lexus product.

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10: Acura MDX

The first generation of the Acura MSX was a surprise for the automotive industry. Before this, Acura had been pushing a rebadged Isuzu Trooper known as the SLX. The RDX was a natural product designed from the ground up. The driving experience was enjoyable and its styling was reserved (via Consumer Reports).

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But the MDX was also adept at going off-road, which was a huge plus. The interior was vastly more luxurious than the previous SLX. Honda put a lot of technology into the MDX, so the SUV is still enjoyable to drive today. The performance of the V6 engine was also excellent and has the Honda reliability that drivers expect.

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9: 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

The second generation of the Mercedes Benz ML320 was a vast improvement over the original model. It was more structurally sound, had a much more refined exterior, and also many more advanced technological features. The SUV was an original design that offered an impressive exterior (via Edmunds).

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The power came from a stellar engine and transmission combination and there was even a rare AMG version. With the more spacious interior, the car provided a much more comfortable driving experience. The resale value for this generation of the ML320 has also gone down quite a bit.

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8: Lincoln MKX

The original Lincoln MKX was based on the Ford Edge released in 2008. But that doesn’t mean it was an unpleasant SUV because there was a lot of luxury that was put into this SUV to help it compete with Lexus and Mercedes. The drivetrain is vastly improved over the previous Lincoln Aviator (via Car & Driver).

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The MKX hit the market when Lincoln dramatically improved their interior build quality. Even a used MKX provides a subtle and quiet driving experience. There’s more than enough luxury for you to enjoy on an extended trip or commute. With the reduced resale price, you can find a MKX for a next to nothing and have a wonderful ride.

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7: BMW X3

The original BMW X3 took the magic of the X5 and shrunk it. With a smaller platform and size, the X3 is the perfect SUV for someone who needs something less than the much bigger X5. The X3 had more than enough power for its size, and there were many luxury features that came as standard equipment (via Car & Driver).

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You get the driving characteristics that come with a BMW vehicle at the price of something much more affordable. There are few compact SUVs that provide as much of a well rounded package as the X3 does.

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6: Acura RDX

When the Acura RDX hit the scene, it was a refreshing change from the much larger MDX. The size was the perfect blend of versatile and sporty. Although crossover SUVs were still a new thing in 2011, the RDX was one of the innovators. The styling is distinctly Acura and completely upscale for the price range (via Car & Driver).

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The lightweight design and the AWD drive-train make the RDX a well driving machine. The interior has many comfort features that were new for this vehicle. The interior is spacious enough and there is a lot of cargo space. There were also options like a roof-rack and a bike-rack, which make the RDX an important recreational vehicle.

Troubled Lexus GX 470 Air Suspension: Repair, Replace or Convert?

5: Lexus GX 470

Perhaps one of the most unusual luxury SUVs of the early 2000s was the Lexus GX 470. The massive outward appearance of the GX 470 is one of the most iconic parts of this SUV. There were also many luxury features included as standard equipment. The platform was shared with the Toyota 4Runner, but the GX 470 was unparalleled (via Car Buzz).

Unboxing & Installing the Eibach Lexus GX470 Lift Kit - Shock Surplus
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The interior was spacious, with room for five passengers and a lot of cargo. The GX’s off-road capability is well regarded and one of the best used vehicles for recreation.

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4: Infiniti FX

The original Infiniti FX was one of the most popular early crossover SUVs of the time. With the platform based on the Nissan 350Z, the FX drove like a dream. The performance was one of the best selling features for the FX. The reliability was among the best of any of the Infiniti models, and that’s why you can find these with a lot of mileage on them (via AutoBlog)The interior was comfortable with comfortable seating and considerable cargo space. The AWD version of the FX was also a popular choice for consumers who tend to do a lot of recreational activity. The styling has kept up with the test of time, and even a used FX still looks good to this day.

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3: Yukon Denali

The original Denali came at a strange time, as GM was getting ready to release the next generation of their full-sized SUV models. With a distinct badging and identity, the Denali was based on the Yukon at the time. But there were many interior luxury appointments that made this SUV nice (via Edmunds).

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A two-tone stitched interior made it stand out from the crowd, complete with a massive cargo area. The tried and true Vortec V8 engine was more than reliable enough, and these cars are still driving around today. The real-time 4WD system is also one of the best GM has ever developed, and its towing capability is massive.

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2: GMC Jimmy Diamond Edition

This is a rare one here. The GMC Jimmy Diamond Edition was meant to spur interest in the Jimmy. It was also released alongside the Denali to transform GMC’s image into more of a premium SUV brand. The exterior and interior were both separate from the regular Jimmy model. There was diamond stitching in the leather seatings and a push bar up front (via Auto Trader).

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There were no performance advantages to the Diamond Edition, but the styling and interior made it vastly more luxurious. Because it was based on the GM S-Series trucks, the GMC Jimmy Diamond Edition was more than capable of going off-road. You also had the stellar reliability of the GM Vortec V6 engine.

Cadillac Escalade EXT
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1: Cadillac Escalade

The second generation of the Cadillac Escalade is probably one of the most well-known SUV models of all-time. It became the poster child for everything from music videos to NBA stars. The styling was iconic with that blocky appearance, which became the signature Cadillac of the mid-2000s. There was also a pickup truck version of the Escalade called the EXT, that was popular (via Motor Trend).

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With seven-passenger seating and the reliable Vortec V8 engine, the Escalade can be had for a low price these days. If you can find one that hasn’t been abused or had some obscenely huge rims put on it, this can be a great SUV. There were plenty of luxury features, and the drive quality was above average.

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