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35 Iconic SUVs Drivers Love More Than The Jeep Wrangler

Cameron EittreimOctober 28, 2019

Dodge Durango 5.9RT
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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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