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35 Iconic SUVs Drivers Love More Than The Jeep Wrangler

Cameron EittreimOctober 28, 2019

The sport utility vehicle (SUV) is the perfect combination of ruggedness and an outdoor lifestyle. Developed as a more consumer-focused variation of the pickup truck, the SUV has been around for decades now becoming more popular than ever. When people think of the SUV, the iconic Jeep Wrangler is probably the first vehicle that comes to mind. The Wrangler is one of the few SUVs in the world that popularized the open-air design. But there have been many other reputable SUVs to come along that haven’t gotten the love they deserve.

Some of these iconic SUV models have recently begun an uptick in value, but many new drivers don’t know about them. Taking a look at some of the other iconic SUV models will give you a better idea of just how far the vehicle has come. Read on as we take a look at some of the most iconic SUV models that you may not realize were cooler than the Jeep Wrangler via Autowise.

1992 Daihatsu Rocky
Photo Credit: Car Domain

35: 1992 Daihatsu Rocky

Believe it or not, there was a time when the domestic landscape was flooded with Japanese SUV models. The most notable is the Geo Tracker and the Suzuki Samurai, but there were other lesser-known models as well. The 1992 Daihatsu Rocky is very rare and was produced in limited numbers. Part of this was due to a limited dealer network and the fact that Daihatsu is a fairly known entity in this part of the world. But if you want sheer off-road capability with rugged looks this was the SUV for you.

1992 Daihatsu Rocky
Photo Credit: Car Domain

You can build it up with ease thanks to a standard ground clearance that is very high. The simplistic design of the Rocky makes it easy to work on, and parts can be imported fairly affordably. In larger cities, you’ll be able to find service centers for these and a fairly tight-knit community of owners. The 1992 Daihatsu Rocky might not have the prestige of being a Jeep Wrangler, but it can handle its own off-road with ease.

Pontiac Sunrunner
Photo Credit: Car Domain

34: Pontiac Sunrunner

Bet you didn’t know Pontiac sold a topless SUV at one point huh? The Pontiac Sunrunner was based on the Geo Tracker but it was only sold in Canada. At first, the Sunrunner was going to be marketed under a new brand but it was eventually absorbed back into Pontiac. The Sunrunner was not much different than the Tracker other than the fact that it had a Pontiac badge on it. Nevertheless, these are very capable SUVs that have amassed quite the following over the past two decades.

Pontiac Sunrunner
Photo Credit: Car Domain

The ease of maintenance and cheap replacement parts make these SUVs the ideal choice for enthusiasts who want something different. The Sunrunner is not the sporty SUV that you’d expect from a brand like Pontiac, but the stiff design makes it an excellent platform for off-roading. Finding an affordable alternative to the Jeep Wrangler can be a difficult task, but the Sunrunner is that hidden jewel that you might not expect.

AM General Hummer H1
Photo Credit: Car Domain

33: AM General Hummer H1

For the ultimate in off-road capability, it’s not the new crop of SUVs that you need to look to. Instead, take a trip down memory lane and reminisce on one of the most iconic SUV models to hit the market. The H1 was pioneered during the military heydey and was brought to the consumer market by Arnold Sqazeneggar. The thing was massive and wide which don’t bold well for driving on pavement. But if you needed to go off-roading the H1 was perhaps one of the best vehicles ever created.

AM General Hummer H1
Photo Credit: Car Domain

The impressive H1 is fully capable right out of the box, no modification is needed. However, for those of you who choose to create a lifted beast you can’t go wrong either. The abundance of aftermarket parts is massive and working on an H1 is relatively simplistic. Few SUV models have been as iconic as the original H1, you just can’t go wrong with it.

1991 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer
Photo Credit: GM

32: 1991 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer

The original compact “box” from GM was a hit with consumers and serious competition for the Jeep Cherokee. With a rugged design and a notable level of comfort, these early model Blazers have begun to spike in value over the past decade. Low mileage examples have become highly coveted collector’s items and the vast majority of these are rust-free. Maintenance is simple and the ability to upgrade to a V8 engine with ease is very appealing to most potential buyers. There were four-door and two-door options at the time and a very luxurious “Tahoe” option.

1991 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer
Photo Credit: GM

These are becoming rarer as time goes on and there were also the Oldsmobile Bravada and GMC Jimmy which shared the same platform. If you want an all-around great SUV that doesn’t sacrifice then you can’t go wrong with one of these. Working on it is a sinch and the massive collection of replacement parts is very appealing, not to mention the fact that most mechanics know this vehicle like the back of their head.

1991 Jeep Wagoneer
Photo Credit: Bring a Trailer

31: 1991 Jeep Wagoneer

The big and brawny Jeep Wagoneer was the original “luxury” Jeep to hit the road. The iconic styling was only one of the reasons that the SUV became so massively popular. From the onset, the thing had the dimensions of the family-oriented Chevy Suburban, but a much more plush interior. This was indeed the Grand Cherokee long before it was even a concept car, and thus the Wagoneer managed to remain a classic.

1991 Jeep Wagoneer
Photo Credit: Bring a Trailer

There has recently been a surge in restored Wagoneer models hitting the market. Many of these trucks have been re-done with modern parts. This means that you are getting a classic SUV that still has the fortitude of a modern offering. Without all of the fuss and muss, as well as the high price tag. The Wagoneer is one of the most iconic SUV models to hit the road in the early decades.

Ford Excursion
Photo Credit: Car Domain

30: Ford Excursion

The Ford Excursion is a rather controversial full-size SUV because it had downright horrible fuel economy but it was based on a heavy-duty platform. This meant that you could build a lifted Ford Excursion that could hang with even the toughest SUVs. While it never sold well when it was in production, the Excursion has since become a classic among enthusiasts. The Triton V10 engine is among one of the best that Ford has produced, and a rare diesel-powered model is also a desirable option.

Ford Excursion
Photo Credit: Car Domain

With the durability of the Super Duty line underneath the sheet metal, and Excursion is a stand-out option for many reasons. You can still find low mileage examples that are in decent shape and most of the California models are rust-free. The Excursion never reached the popularity of the Suburban and that’s alright because it is an SUV that stands out from the crowd wherever you go.

1995 Nissan Pathfinder
Photo Credit: Car Domain

29: 1995 Nissan Pathfinder

Although you might not realize it, the first generation of the Nissan Pathfinder is one of the most desirable off-road vehicles on the market. The hardbody design of the thing that is shared with the Nissan Truck makes it an extremely durable vehicle. With a standard lifted body height and shift on the fly 4X4, this is perhaps the most underrated SUV that you can get. And that’s a good thing because it has managed to keep prices low on the Pathfinder. With the standard V6 engine the Pathfinder is extremely durable and reliable.

1995 Nissan Pathfinder
Photo Credit: Car Domain

Replacement parts are a dime a dozen and you can find these just about anywhere. The original Pathfinder is extremely easy to work on, which bolds well for do-it-yourself enthusiasts who don’t want to go to a shop. The Pathfinder hasn’t aged well in the crossover generation but if you can get your hands on an original you’ll have an excellent off-road vehicle on your hands.

1989 Isuzu Amigo
Photo Credit: Car Domain

28: 1989 Isuzu Amigo

The Amigo was the original top-less SUV to hit the market and rival the Suzuki Samurai. What makes the Amigo special is not only the removable top but also the body on frame construction. The little SUV is remarkably solid and this bolds well for off-road capability. Ground clearance on the Amigo is already tall, and that’s from the stock factory height. With a cheap lift kit and some nice off-road tires, the Amigo becomes a dream rig for most enthusiasts. Amigo owners are fiercely loyal to the SUV and the reliability is legendary.

1989 Isuzu Amigo
Photo Credit: Car Domain

Because the Amigo doesn’t have the brand recognition of Toyota and Jeep the prices have remained low. You can find a clean used Amigo for under $3000, and that’s a great starting price for anyone who wants to build an off-road rig. The Amigo might not be the most attractive-looking compact ute, but for the price and the versatility, you can’t go wrong.

Honda Passport
Photo Credit: Car Domain

27: Honda Passport

The original Honda Passport was manufactured in a joint venture between Honda and Isuzu. Underneath this handsome SUV are the makings of an Isuzu Rodeo, but that’s not a bad thing. Because the Passport is a lesser-known nameplate you can find one for a great price tag. The Passport had the attractive exterior styling that you’d expect from a Honda product. On top of that, the off-road capability of the Rodeo is in line with other mid-size SUV models from this period.

Honda Passport
Photo Credit: Honda

The Passport is perhaps one of the most underrated SUVs from the original SUV boom and the fact that it bolds so well off-road only benefits potential owners. You could spend a boatload of money on a used 4Runner, or you could go ahead and get the Passport. With the right amount of work, the Passport will offer a superior level of off-road capability and comfort for a fraction of the price.

International Travelall
Photo Credit: Wikimedia

26: International Travelall

The International Travelall is an SUV that was sold for a very limited amount of time. The design of the SUV was very similar to the Suburban, but International didn’t have as extensive of a dealership network as GM did. Likewise, the Travelall was also hurt by the fuel embargo of the 1970s, which as the time sparked higher fuel prices. The Travelall has a storied history as one of the first “full size” SUV models on the market. With a plethora of aftermarket options that you can add to it, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Photo Credit: Car Domain

When you think of a multiple-passenger SUV that also has an insane amount of off-road capability, you think of the Travelall. The basis of the SUV is something that you can still build on and continues to appreciate. For the right price, you’ll have a rugged SUV that offers the passenger capacity of a Suburban with the prestige of the International nameplate.

Photo Credit: Four Wheeler

25. Plymouth Trailduster

Yes, you read the title right, there was a Plymouth SUV at one point. Although the brand was the value leader for Chrysler, the Trailduster was far more than an economy car. The big, burly SUV was based on the Ramcharger, which itself was a big off-road rig. The overall design of the Trailduster was similar to the Bronco and other large SUVs of the period. The removable top would expose a rollbar and the backseat area, giving the truck an open-air feeling.

Photo Credit: Classic Cars

The standard 318 V8 engine was in its element, and the manual four-wheel-drive piloted the Trailduster through anything with authority. The Trailduster is very hard to come by nowadays, as the model never sold as well as its Dodge stablemate. In terms of being different then the Ramcharger, the Trailduster only has a few unique features. But the fact that its a Plymouth is enough to garner attention at any car show, not to mention the fact that the Trailduster is a very capable off-road rig.

Photo Credit: Bring A Trailer

24. Suzuki X-90

The 90s were a revolutionary time for the automotive industry. New vehicles were hitting the market left and right. Everyone wanted to take advantage of a booming economy, and Suzuki was quick to jump at the opportunity. The X-90 is unique in terms of style and its two-seat design. Suzuki had success with the Sidekick and Samurai compact SUV models and then decided to introduce the world to something even more unique. The X-90 was a topless two-seater that featured a plethora of unique colors and an even more colorful interior.

Photo Credit: Moment Car

Styling was a mixed bag, combining a sports car and an SUV. The removable top allows drivers to experience the same open-air feeling as the Samurai. Power was limited to a four-cylinder engine, which didn’t offer much in the way of acceleration. The little SUV never really sold well because no one knew exactly what it was. In recent years, however, 90s’ nostalgia has caught up with the X-90 and values have been rising. Some even feel they are now cooler than a Jeep Wrangler.

Photo Credit: Automobile Mag

23. Isuzu Rodeo

You’ve seen them just about everywhere. In fact, this particular SUV defined the modern mid-size SUV. There was a time when Isuzu was a major player in the domestic automotive market. The brand dominated the SUV segment with its off-road capability. The Rodeo was available in a four or two-door, and it featured a removable top as well. The capable Isuzu had a high ground clearance which made it more capable off-road.

Isuzu Rodeo
Photo Credit: Isuzu

The Rodeo was the pinnacle of the SUV boom where just about every family in the 90s had to have one in the driveway. Sadly, the Rodeo fell out of favor as more modern SUVs hit the marketplace. Still, in recent years, the Rodeo has developed an afterlife on the used car market, especially with its two-door configuration. Isuzu is one of the most renowned brands in the worldwide SUV business to this day, although the company has left the American market.

Photo Credit: Bring A Trailer

22. International Harvester Travelall

There was a time when International was more than a big rig manufacturer. The company had a line of sport utility vehicles that were well-built and offered all of the versatility you see today. Before the Suburban hit mainstream popularity, there was the Harvester Travelall. The Harvester was available in a four-door configuration and initially a two-door before the company discontinued it. The big V8 engine was enough to haul tools around the farm, while the interior volume was enough to take the entire family on a trip. The Harvester had all of the comfort features such as air conditioning and even an 8-track player in the console.

Photo Credit: The Street Peep

The body styling was eerily modern for the period, which led a lot of buyers into International showrooms. Unfortunately, by the 80s, sales had begun to tank and the company just didn’t have the resources to compete on a mainstream level. Thus, the Harvester went the way of automotive history. In recent years, the values of these vehicles have skyrocketed, and a good condition one will fetch you a fair amount of money. There’s a huge aftermarket community that has interest in these vehicles.

Photo Credit: Youtube

21. International Harvester Scout

The Scout is an SUV that has begun to receive a lot of recognition in the last decade. Offered initially as a comparable model to the Trailduster and the Blazer. International marketed the Scout under the Travelall, although the SUV was based on the same platform. The SUV had many of the same features that the Trailduster and other SUVs offered, such as a removable top. The ground clearance of the Scout was also extremely high, making the SUV perform for off-roading. A good deal of Scout models were used by government agencies at the time, such as the Forestry Service. These big SUVs were a breeze to work on and very reliable, which made them great fleet vehicles.

Photo Credit: Gezenbilir

There has been talking that after the success of the Wrangler the company might attempt to revive the Scout model. The aftermarket community for these SUVs has shot the value up tremendously and the amount of aftermarket accessories is ridiculous. Another thing about the unique Scout is that a lot of fabricators have figured out how to fit a GM 350 into it. This means that a good portion of the customized Scouts you are looking at is powered by a modern motor. Nevertheless, the Scout is a surefire way to get respect off-road or just about anywhere you take this behemoth classic.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

20. Jeep Cherokee XJ

The Cherokee was a revolution in the automotive industry because it was the first SUV that was gas efficient and comfortable. AMC knew that there was a market for a compact-sized SUV, and the Cherokee sold like wildfire. So much so that Chrysler purchased the entire company during the late 80s. Enthusiasts regard the Cherokee as one of the most reliable SUVs to ever hit the market, especially with straight-six engines. The XJ was also in production up until the 2001 model year, making it one of the few platforms to last that long.

Photo Credit: Jeep Fan

Look at auto classifieds and you’re bound to see an XJ going for a high price tag. These Jeeps have held their value well, and it’s not uncommon to see well over 300k on the odometer. As the years went on, the model was refined with a quieter interior and comfortable seating. But the basic Jeep ruggedness and reliability are still underneath. The XJ was also the platform that graced us with the Comanche pickup truck. If you want to experience a piece of automotive history in the SUV segment, you won’t have to look any further then the Cherokee XJ model.

Photo Credit: Net Car Show

19. Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon

The G-Series is famous for being driven by some of the highest-paid celebrities in Hollywood. Even the Kardashians famously have a fleet of G-Series SUVs. But the G-Wagon is one of the oldest production vehicles on the planet. There was a time when the G-Series wasn’t a sign of opulence but a serious contender to the Land Rover brand. Today’s G-Series SUV features the same body that it had almost three decades ago with a modern and luxurious interior.

Photo Credit: Net Car Show

When you think of a cool SUV, the G-Wagon is just about as good as it gets. Step into the AMG trim and you have a V-12 powered monster that you can take off-road. When you think of a cool SUV that stands out from the crowd better than a Wrangler, the G-Wagon certainly comes to mind. Any generation of the G-Wagon is going to look great no matter what you do to it. There is a huge aftermarket community that has gained notoriety for perfecting the exterior styling of the G-Wagon. From lift kits to a supercharger, you can do just about anything to a G-Wagon within reason.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

18. Suzuki Samurai

During the 80s, the appetite for cheap and affordable sport utilities and pickup trucks was starting to grow. The Samurai was at the forefront of the affordable new segment. Suzuki was a relatively unknown entity in the automotive market. With that kind of clientele, it would only seem natural to market an off-road SUV. The Samurai was lightweight, good on gas, and featured a removable top. Many attributes were the same as the Wrangler. But the Samurai was better on gas and had a much higher ground clearance.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Although the Samurai was at the center of the roll-over controversy of the 80s, the overall design was one that you could take just about anywhere. More outdoor enthusiasts were becoming interested in the Samurai. From lightbars to different removable tops, you can customize a Samurai just like a Wrangler. Consumer interest in the Samurai has grown exponentially due to the SUVs inexpensive price. The Samurai is also one of the easiest SUVs to repair, which intrigues many do-it-yourself mechanics.

Photo Credit: Classic Vehicles List

17. Dodge Raider

The Mitsubishi partnership with Chrysler during the 80s was fruitful for the domestic automaker. The company got to bring inexpensive imports to its dealership network without having to do the research and development. The appetite for lightweight SUVs was growing and the Samurai was more popular than ever. Chrysler decided to jump on this bandwagon with the Dodge Raider. The Raider was based on the Mitsubishi Montero, which was a great SUV. Take one look at the Raider and it pretty much looks the same except for the Dodge badges.

Photo Credit: Classic Vehicles List

But the Raider did have some unique features such as a removable top. The interior featured some enhancements to give it that Dodge flare. Power and refinement were much improved over the barebones Samurai, which lead a lot of drivers into Dodge showrooms. The Raider had an optional V6 engine, which is a lightweight SUV that makes the difference. Ground clearance was also on par with the Samurai, meaning you could take your Raider just about anywhere. These little Dodge SUVs are rare as the model never really sold great and reliability was questionable. But if you can find a well-maintained Raider, you’ll be in for a treat.

Photo Credit: Richmonds

16. Toyota Land Cruiser J40

There are quite a few variations of the Land Cruiser that make for a cool SUV, but the J40 is the pinnacle. You might have seen the J40 at one point or another as a mail truck. But there was a time when the J40 was the go-to off-road SUV. The notoriety of the Land Cruiser brand has been around for a long time, and the J40 is well known for its high ground clearance and superb durability. There were features of the J40 that made it a lot like a Wrangler model. First and foremost was the removable top, a feature that has become synonymous with this type of SUV.

Photo Credit: Richmonds

The J40 was lightweight and the engine was one of the most reliable to come out of Toyota. In terms of features, the J40 was bare, but that’s what you’d expect out of an SUV in this category. Back then, it wasn’t about having a Bluetooth radio or an air conditioner. Instead, the J40 was a serious off-road vehicle that could trek just about anywhere. Toyota built these J40 models to last a long time, and the durability shows in the overall design. The Land Cruiser is a special vehicle line. You can expect to pay a pretty penny for the J40 as these have exploded in value in recent years.

Photo Credit: Hemmings

15. GMC Typhoon

When it comes to iconic SUVs, there’s one that has been a legend since its debut – the GMC Typhoon. Just the name sounds a bit ominous. The Typhoon was a supercharged compact SUV based on the Blazer platform. Interesting features included a limited edition teal paint job and a leather interior that made the SUV stand out from the crowd. To this day, the Typhoon is one of the fastest production SUVs in the world, and getting your hands on one can be a bit tough.

Photo Credit: NY Daily News

The Typhoon was developed at a time when GM was trying to reinvent the companies performance car image. The Silverado 454 SS had just hit the market in addition to the GMC Syclone, which was another supercharged pickup truck. While the Typhoon didn’t have the off-road capabilities of a Wrangler, there’s no doubt that the Typhoon is still one of the most iconic SUVs to have hit the road in recent years. If you’re looking for one of the most unique SUV models around, the Typhoon is it.

Photo Credit: Carsot

14. Land Rover Defender

Long before the Land Rover was associated with celebrities, it was a hardcore outdoor enthusiast’s vehicle. Take one look at the Defender and you know that this isn’t your neighbor’s Range Rover. The Defender is one of the most well-known SUV models in the world, selling millions since 1983.

Photo Credit: Better Magazine

During its entire run, the Defender was seldom changed from its original design. The Defender made its way across every part of the world, and along the way became a more modern SUV. There’s nothing simplistic about the Defender, even though the basic design is over 40 years old. Later versions of the vehicle had features such as heated seats and a removable top, all of which make for an exceptional vehicle. Getting your hands on an earlier model Defender is not as easy as you’d think. But if you want an off-road legend sitting in your driveway, the Defender is the way to go.

Photo Credit: Bring A Trailer

13. Land Rover Range Rover

The original Range Rover that came to the US from overseas was universally panned for its lack of reliability. But when they were running right, it was one of the most capable SUVs you could get. The Range Rover was also one of the first luxury SUVs to hit the market before it was a popular thing. The factory V8 engine was a powerhouse when it was running right, and the Range Rover had plenty of low-end torque if you wanted to tow a boat for the weekend. The Range Rover became a popular addition to movies during the late 90s and is one of the more affordable Land Rover body styles.

Photo Credit: Car Specs

Electric problems plagued the first generation of these SUVs, as well as overheating. Still, if you can find an original Range Rover that was maintained properly, you’re in for a treat. The overall design of the Range Rover has survived the test of time. It’s a durable SUV that you can take just about anywhere. Range Rover owners are extremely loyal to the brand and there is a huge aftermarket list of accessories. There are also Range Rover clubs all around the country that have made the SUV an iconic part of off-roading.

Photo Credit: Auto Evolution

12. Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-80

During the 90s, the SUV was becoming the norm for most car buyers. The high sitting position coupled with cheap fuel prices made the popularity explode. Toyota already had a variation of the Land Cruiser on the market, but it wasn’t up to par for most modern buyers. Thus, the Land Cruiser was redesigned from the ground up into a more modern SUV that featured a quiet ride and leather-appointed interior. SUV buyers have also greeted the legendary off-road capability that made the Land Cruiser one of the most well-known brand names in the world.

Photo Credit: Auto Evolution

The FJ-80 also brought to America the first Toyota-powered V8 SUV. What made the FJ-80 great was the refined interior that made the SUV a pleasure to own. Drivers were greeted by heated front bucket seats, a six-disc changer, and even dual-zone climate control. There were a lot of features that made this generation of the Land Cruiser stand out the most. The best thing about the FJ-80 is that it’s one of the most affordable body styles of the Land Cruiser to date.

Photo Credit: Mecum

11. Hummer H1

During the early 2000s, the SUV boom was in full swing and the Hummer brand was on top. Although the H1 was made famous in the 90s during the Iraq War, the civilian incarnation of the SUV was universally panned for its high price tag and lousy fuel economy. But if you want a go-anywhere SUV that can take you just about anywhere, the H1 is it. The H1 featured a powerful V8 diesel engine and a whopping 16 inches of ground clearance. Want to go out into the forest for the weekend? Well, the H1 was able to tackle the elements with ease.

Photo Credit: Mecum

When it comes to accessories, there’s an endless array that you can get for the H1. From brush guards to bigger wheels, the H1 was a popular aftermarket SUV. Even in today’s world of high fuel prices and increasing smog regulations, the H1 remains an instant classic. This is the go-anywhere and does anything SUV that will take you just about anywhere that you want to go. The Hummer H1 has permanently cemented itself in the world of off-roading with the same level of prestige and respect as the Wrangler.

Toyota 4Runner
Photo Credit: Car Domain

10. Toyota 4Runner

It should be without question that we include the Toyota 4Runner on our list of iconic SUVs. The 4Runner has been around in one form or another since the 80es. It was originally based on the Toyota pickup truck, which was renowned for its reliability and durability. Buyers have always enjoyed the off-road characteristics that make the 4Runner such a special vehicle. The third generation 4Runners were the first to offer a V8 engine, which the Wrangler never has. Ground clearance on the 4Runner is higher than most mid-size SUVs out of the factory. This means buyers can take the 4Runner pretty much anywhere right from the gate.

Photo Credit: Rnr Auto Blog

Step into the TRD-Pro version of the 4Runner and you’re in for something special. The TRD-Pro is like Toyota’s version of the Raptor. For the foreseeable future, the 4Runner will remain a staple of the Toyota lineup and the SUV world in general. The go-anywhere do-anything design of the ute has made it a hit with buyers for decades. The 4Runner manages to hold its value pretty well so you can expect to pay quite a bit to get one on the used market. But for that price, you get one of the most capable and reliable SUVs that has ever been built.

Photo Credit: Ideal Classic Cars

9. Ford Bronco

No iconic SUV list would be complete without the Ford Bronco. When you think about a big, burly, do-everything SUV that became a cultural phenomenon, it is the Bronco. What makes the Bronco cool is that it combines a powerful V8 engine with a removable top. The SUV takes command of any road that its on, and to this day a Bronco still garners attention. Broncos came in a variety of packages, one of which included the Eddie Bauer edition. The great thing about a Bronco besides its off-road capability is the price tag.

Photo Credit: Ideal Classic Cars

You can still get a Bronco for a reasonable amount of money. The Jeep Wrangler, on the other hand, has continued to increase in resale prices, and you can expect to pay a bit. The Bronco is a stellar SUV when coupled with the capable V8 engine. You get a firm amount of power and all of the positives that come with driving an F-Series truck from this era. The modern Broncos that came out toward the end of the brand’s lifespan featured electronic four-wheel-drive. Aftermarket accessories are abundant for the Bronco, which makes owning one even better.

Photo Credit: Gear Patrol

8. Ford Centurion

Long before Ford had an entire lineup of SUVs, there was the Explorer and the Bronco. If you wanted a full-size four-door SUV, you had to go to a GM dealership. But luckily for Bronco shoppers, there was an aftermarket coach company that designed Ford’s version of the Suburban. The Centurion is a very limited production version of the Bronco that you could order directly at a Ford dealership. The SUV is based on the F-350 design and the company incorporated Bronco body panels to give the SUV that signature Bronco look. The Centurion is a very expensive collector’s item and is a capable SUV.

Photo Credit: Driving Line

The eight-passenger seating was perfect for families who wanted more passenger room without having to opt for a GM product. Nowadays, the Centurion is a collector’s item. You don’t see these big SUVs very often on the road so they stand out from the crowd. A pristine Centurion will set you back quite a bit of money but enthusiasts say that the SUV is worth every penny. The Centurion will forever be one of the most interesting additions to the Ford Bronco lineup to date.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

7. Isuzu VehiCROSS

By the late 90s, the Isuzu brand was one of the dominant forces in the SUV marketplace. But the company was vastly becoming outdated. The product line was stale compared to other SUVs on the market, and Isuzu relied on a partnership with GM for R&D. Take one look at the VehiCROSS and you’ll know it’s something different. There’s nothing about this SUV that looks like anything else on the road. In fact, the VehiCROSS is still one of the most interesting looking vehicles on the road to this day. In terms of actual features, the VehiCROSS wasn’t very unique and was based on the Rodeo SUV.

Isuzu VehiCROSS
Photo Credit: The Truth Behind Cars

The only thing unique about the VehiCROSS is the exterior paneling; everything else is the same as the Rodeo. But for sheer off-road capability and unique looks, you cannot beat the little Isuzu concept SUV. It looks like something out of a movie, and that’s what the company intended. Sadly, there weren’t many of the VehiCROSS models that hit the market. It was more of a halo SUV for the Isuzu brand to raise awareness. However, if you want an SUV that stands out from anything else on the road, this is it. From the sheer versatility and durability of the Isuzu brand to the stylish sheet metal, the VehiCROSS has it going on.

Photo Credit: The Sun

6. Lamborghini LM002

There is nothing practical about this entry. The LM002 was an SUV that looked like a ‘Rambo Lambo,’ as it is often called. Powered by the same engine as a Lamborghini Countach, the LM002 was fast and authoritative off-road and on the pavement. Interior-wise, the vehicle was just as roomy and luxurious as you’d expect. Given its huge presence on the road, the LM002 is a big and bold statement on the off-road circuit. Take the time to drive the LM002 and you’ll realize that the vehicle can go just about anywhere with ease. The vehicle looks more like a Hummer H1 then anything.

Photo Credit: Motor Authority

Resale values on the LM002 have been going up because the SUV has been experiencing a resurgence in interest. We like the unique styling that makes the LM002 look different than anything else on the road. The high ground clearance of the LM002 makes it an ample performer in anything from a mud hole to the outback. The powerful engine is nice and smooth considering the sheer amount of horsepower it has under the hood. If you want the one SUV that’s going to get stares for years to come, the LM002 is it.

Dodge Durango 5.9RT
Photo Credit: Canal Blog

5. Dodge Durango 5.9RT

One SUV model that never gets enough credit is the Dodge Durango 5.9RT. The Durango, in general, revolutionized the automotive industry as the first midsize seven-passenger SUV. Then the brand went a step further and created the first midsize SUV model to feature a full V8 engine. Toward the end of the first-generation Durango’s lifecycle, the brand introduced the 5.9RT. This powerful sports edition came in dark blue or cherry red and featured a powerful 5.9L V8 engine. The sheer exhaust note was something awesome, and the lowered body with the premium alloys gave the SUV a mean look.

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To this day, you can still find 5.9RT models that are in good shape. For a reasonable price, you can get your hands on one that has been well taken care of. The 5.9RT is a cool SUV that combines the Dodge racing spirit with the practicality of a family SUV. The overall design was subtle, but when it came time to take the 5.9RT onto the racetrack, the SUV will handle its own. While it might not be an off-road machine like the other models, the 5.9RT is still hands-down one of the coolest SUVs in our book.

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4. Chevrolet Blazer/Tahoe Two-Door

The modern Tahoe two-door that was produced until 1999 was a leap forward in terms of drivability and refinement. While the SUV didn’t have a removable top like the Bronco, it made up for it in terms of driving dynamics. A common modification for this body style of Tahoe is to transplant a Corvette-derived LS1 motor into it. We love how this generation of Tahoe has managed to age so well, and you can still find these models with low mileage. Ex-government versions of this SUV came with a bench seat, which gives a cool retro feeling to the vehicle.

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A good portion of these two-door Tahoes were used as Government vehicles. At this point, the demand for two-door SUVs had decreased dramatically, which is why the vehicle was finally discontinued. However, the demand for the two-door Tahoe has remained high and you can expect to pay a pretty penny for one. The ’96 and up models featured the new Vortec V8 motor. The Vortec models are the ones that everyone seems to want. The two-door Tahoe will forever remain one cool SUV.

Photo Credit: Net Car Show

3. Nissan Xterra

When the Xterra hit the market it was a bit of an odd duck because Nissan already had the Pathfinder. However, in terms of size and functionality, the Xterra is almost on par with the Pathfinder. There was a certain type of buyer that Nissan was targeting with the Xterra, which is why the vehicle had such an extreme looking design. The first thing that you’ll notice about the Xterra was the bold-looking roof-rack. You can utilize the roof rack without having to buy any accessories.

Photo Credit: Net Car Show

The Xterra was powered by a solid V6 engine for its entire life. Reliability was a strong suit for the Xterra, and to this day you still see many of them on the roads. When you drive an Xterra, people know that you’re into the outdoors, which is why the vehicles have managed to sell so well over the past few decades. Unfortunately, the Xterra was canceled by Nissan so you’ll have to find one on the used market. You can find reasonably-priced Xterras on the market all the time and many of them come with a plethora of features.

Photo Credit: Car and Driver

2. Honda Element

Where do we start with the Element? Maybe it’s the boxy shape or the rubberized floors. The Element was a cool SUV that incorporated most of what outdoorsy types wanted in a vehicle. Honda designed the vehicle to be easy to clean, which is why the floors were rubber. While the Element wasn’t very big in terms of design, the vehicle made up for it in terms of practicality. The Element was a solid blend of the functionality and stellar build quality which Honda is known for. The standard engine was super reliable and the Element owners have nothing but good things to say about the vehicle.

Photo Credit: Car and Driver

There was also the special Element SC edition which was lowered and featured a custom paint scheme. The SC is more or less a sports version that is geared toward the urban consumer. Nevertheless, if you want an SUV that stands out from the crowd in terms of design and sheer uniqueness, the Element is it. Values on these things have remained steady and you can get one for a pretty affordable price. Plus you have the Honda reliability which makes the Element a superb choice for anyone who wants to live an outdoor lifestyle in fashionable comfort.

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1. Chevrolet Trailblazer SS

GM loves to slap a supercharger on a vehicle and call it a special edition. A few years back, the company did just that with their aging Trailblazer line. The Trailblazer SS was a screamingly fast SUV that came in black or silver and offered a fire-breathing Corvette engine under the hood. If you want an SUV that will burn rubber, the Trailblazer SS is the one for you. The vehicle looked intimidating when it was new and the style has held to this day. The Trailblazer SS has kept its value relatively high.

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In terms of design and performance, you can’t go wrong with the bulletproof Corvette engine. GM engineers worked tirelessly to get it up to par. The SS model is nothing like the ordinary Trailblazer that you see. You can expect something special when you take this thing out for a Saturday drive. The values of the Trailblazer SS have managed to increase as time has gone on, so you’ll pay a good amount for one of these. But you’ll also be able to drive a true piece of GM history.

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