The original Ford Explorer from early â90s was a tremendously influential and popular model despite its questionable stability. Back then, Ford had an interest in Mazda. Their marketing managers thought they could direct some sales to Mazda by introducing the Navajo.
It was a three-door Explorer with a Mazda badge on the grille. However, for some reason, the Navajo wasn’t that successful. So, people have forgotten about it nowadays.
In the early 2000s, crossover SUVs started emerging on the market. Most of the companies presented such models, but after a while, the classic SUV form proved to be dominant and popular with the customers. But Isuzu was struggling to find its place in the market. They even played the crossover SUV card with the Axiom, which they introduced in 2002.
However, despite being a solid model with lots of usable features, the Axiom failed to capture the imagination of the crossover SUV buying public. So after just three years on the market, they discontinued it in 2004.
In the late â70s, Plymouth decided to try their luck in the off-road market with the Trailduster. It was a two-door, all-wheel-drive vehicle identical to the Dodge Ramcharger. The idea worked since the Trailduster was an attractive truck, identical to the Ramcharger, but with different trims and details.
To promote the product in that market, Plymouth even offered all-wheel drive at a less expensive price and more equipment than the Dodge. But it had no luck, so after a couple of years, they discontinued the Trailduster, although the Ramcharger stayed on the market.
How about a two-seater, two-door SUV with compact dimensions and a removable T-Top? It that sounds insane, but that is exactly what the Suzuki X-90 was when they introduced it in 1995. Powered by a 95 HP 1.6-liter four-cylinder, the X-90 offered rear-wheel drive as standard or an optional all-wheel-drive model with limited interior and trunk space.
They officially sold the car in America. In fact, Suzuki managed to sell 7,000 copies, but neither the buyers nor the motoring press understood what Suzuki wanted to say with this model. The problem was, it wasn’t an off-roader and it wasn’t a roadster.
It looks like Acura didn’t have much luck with the first SUV models they produced in the â90s. Back in the day, Acura concentrated on taking other company’s models and re-badging them with minimal differences from the original. And that is exactly what the SLX was. Acura took the design and most of the technology from the Isuzu Trooper.
The Trooper was a capable off-road SUV, but in the late â90s, it failed to pass the crash and stability tests. And because of that, it affected the Acura brand. Unfortunately, few buyers ever purchased the SLX. Acura only sold it between 1996 and 2000.
Kia debuted the Borrego in 2009 and some people say that the timing proved to be the reason for its poor reception. The Borrego was a full-size luxury SUV with V6 and V8 power Kia introduced just as the recession started.
Despite being more affordable than similar models from their competitors, the Borrego just wasn’t that good or even economical. The marked and motoring journalists were harsh to this car, so in just one year, the Borrego was history.
Pontiac presented the Torrent in 2006. It was one of their final attempts to make Pontiac profitable and save it from its demise. The car was the twin brother to the Chevrolet Equinox and it wasn’t that bad. However, with little money for styling improvements and a dull interior, the Torrent wasn’t appealing to the customers.
The problems with the Torrent was that it wasn’t all that exciting, but Pontiac was desperately in need of a game-changing model. Torrent wasn’t that, so they discontinued the rest of the Pontiac lineup in 2010.
Suzuki is another company that left the American market due to poor sales. One of the reasons was a failure to position themselves on the SUV market. Suzuki did have a big success in the ’90s with the Sidekick and Vitara models, but the follow-up versions weren’t as successful.
When Suzuki revealed it in 2007, the XL7 was a bigger, more spacious model. But sadly, it failed to attract enough buyers. Due to its strange design and lack of interesting features, the XL7 wasn’t popular. So, just a few years later, they discontinued it.
The idea behind the Lincoln Aviator was a good one, but Ford was too greedy and ruined the whole deal. The Aviator was Lincoln’s version of the popular Explorer. The Ford marketing strategists thought if buyers were willing to spend extra for luxury versions of the Explorer, they would be willing to spend even more for a proper Lincoln product.
However, it turned out that they were wrong, so the Aviator sold poorly. Soon, they withdrew it from the market.
In the early â90s, Honda needed an SUV to follow the current trends. But since they didn’t have anything to offer, they were forced to use other models and re-badge them as their own. And the Honda Passport was the first Honda SUV.
But in fact, it was an Isuzu Rodeo with an “H” on the grille and a higher price. Despite being an adequate model for the times, it wasn’t particularly interesting. Also, it lacked in refinement and features. And that is what made the sales so disappointing for the Honda Passport.
This list covered the 20 forgotten SUV models you will rarely see on the road. Which one appealed to you? Hopefully, you’ll be able to find one without any trouble since these are so limited and hard to find.