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40 Useless SUVs To Avoid Off-Road

Vukasin HerbezNovember 23, 2018

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23. Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk

Remember the Grand Cherokee SRT with 475 HP? Well, Jeep recently introduced an even crazier version with a 707 HP supercharged Hemi from the Dodge Challenger Hellcat. The new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the SUV version of the Challenger Hellcat.

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And it comes with all the important features like the engine and transmission in an SUV body. Although it looks like a capable off-roader, it is nothing more than a muscle car with all-wheel drive.

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22. Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Until Ferrari makes an SUV, the new Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is the closest thing you’ve got. With a 2.9-liter turbocharged V6 engine from Ferrari’s turbo V8, this is a prime example of Italian charm with brutal power in the SUV class.

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Anybody who knows something about cars will immediately recognize this car as nothing more than a hot hatch with all-wheel drive. Alfa Romeo doesn’t even try to hide its nature, so there are no press photos of the Stelvio in the dirt.

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21. Lamborghini Urus

Remember the Lamborghini LM002? Now, 35 years later there is another crazy fast and sublimely expensive SUV in the new Urus. The Urus comes with a 4.0-liter V8 pumping out 641 HP. Also, it is somewhat lower and lighter than the Bentayga.

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This means the Urus is capable of reaching 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and topping 190 mph. However, it is expensive at $230,000. As for off-road capabilities, it has none.

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20. Lada Niva

Entering the car market in the early ‘70s, the Niva was the most common SUV in the ex-Soviet Union. They sold it in significant numbers abroad, so you would often see it on the dusty roads in many Third World counties. And you might think it is a dependable, rugged vehicle, considering its use.

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Although the Niva is simple, affordable, and rugged, and it can go off-road, it has a big problem with quality. To be honest, the Niva is too problematic to say it is dependable. In fact, it is often riddled with mechanical issues of all kinds.

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19. Land Rover Discovery

The Discovery is an interesting model since it features an intelligent all-wheel drive. Also, it has enough space for up to seven passengers as well as various electronic aids to help you tackle different road conditions.

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Unfortunately, this is not enough to transform this luxury SUV into a proper off-road beast despite the efforts of the marketing team. Apparently, Land Rover as a brand has shifted more towards cars and abandoned its off-road roots.

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18. Audi SQ7

The SQ7 packs all the possible luxury items along with the mighty 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. This is the same engine as in the Bentayga or Urus, but they detuned it to 435 HP. And as you would expect, they loaded the SQ7 with creature comforts and electronic aids to help drivers.

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Yet even though the first generation Q7 had some off-road credentials, this current version should stay far from any off-road courses and muddy roads.

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17. Mercedes AMG GLC 63 S

The 4.0-liter bi-turbo engine from AMG GTR delivers 510 HP to all four wheels over an intelligent AWD system and 9-speed automatic transmission. The 0 to 60 mph time is 3.7 seconds and the top speed is an electronically controlled 155 mph.

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Is this an SUV? No, it is a full-blown sports car that just looks like something that could be driven off-road. It recently set a Nürburgring record, making it the fastest four-seat vehicle in 2018.

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16. Cadillac Escalade

In the world of luxury SUVs, the Cadillac Escalade is a well-known, respected name. The big, opulent, flashy, heavy, and powerful full-size SUV is the king of the streets as well as one of the coolest vehicles General Motors makes today.

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But even though it comes with a powerful V8 engine, all-wheel drive, and a tough chassis, you can’t take it off-road.

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15. Hummer H3

After the sales success of the H2, General Motors decided to introduce the H3, a smaller, but equally tough-looking SUV.

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Unfortunately, the H3 wasn’t accepted the same as its predecessor, so it failed to sell in significant numbers. Also, the H3 wasn’t any good off-road despite its looks and big wheels.

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14. Dodge Durango

The Dodge Durango is a well-known full-size family SUV quite popular on the North American market. Dodge presented it to the public in 1999, and it is still in production in the third generation.

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Although they based it on a truck chassis and with powerful engines, the Durango is not capable off road. While it has an intelligent all-wheel drive and electronic aids, it lacks the real off-road components and heavy-duty axles necessary.

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13. Lincoln Navigator

When the first Navigator rolled off the assembly line in 1998, nobody expected it would be such a successful, influential model. It wasn’t the first full-size luxury SUV or the biggest, but its luxury, style, power, and performance influenced the industry.

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Unfortunately, Ford concentrated on luxury instead of off-road characteristics. So, despite the fact the Navigator had a capable chassis and engines, it was too heavy to use off-road.

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12. Chevrolet Tahoe

The current Tahoe has electronic safety systems, third-row seating, and a tough chassis. Also, it comes with four-wheel drive, a heavy-duty suspension, and much more. However, it is not the off-road beast like those Tahoe models before it.

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It is suitable for paved roads with an accent on comfort and usability rather than for crossing rivers or climbing mountains.

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11. Volvo V80 Cross Country

The Volvo V6 is basically a Swedish copy of the Audi Allroad. This means the V80 is a big, comfortable and expensive wagon with all-wheel drive and higher ground clearance.

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Is this enough for the V80 to be a proper off-road vehicle? Unfortunately, no, not by a long shot.

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10. Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

If you think the industry has invented all the car classes it possibly could, you’re wrong. There’s always room for more concepts. One of those was Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. If you’re not familiar with this car, that’s because Nissan only offered it for sale from 2011 to 2014. Also, they limited production to small numbers.

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Nissan realized SUVs were getting more luxurious and people were seeking a more personalized product. The company decided to go a step further and present a convertible SUV. It would have the advantages of an SUV in terms of ride height, comfort, and usability with the luxury and open-air feel of a convertible. Despite the almost bespoke nature of this car and dependable Nissan technology, the CrossCabriolet flopped.

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9. Chrysler Aspen

The Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango were practically identical models with only exterior differences. However, while the Durango was quite popular, the Aspen was discontinued after just three years on the market. The problem was that Chrysler pushed the Aspen towards higher segments of the market.

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That meant it had to compete with Cadillac and Lincoln. Unfortunately, Chrysler wasn’t able to lure those customers away, so it sold poorly. Today, those big SUVs with eight seats are perfect secondhand luxury models.

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8. Suzuki XL7

Suzuki is another company that left the American market due to poor sales. One of the reasons was that it failed to position itself in the SUV market. Suzuki had much success in the ’90s with the Sidekick/Vitara models, but the follow-up versions weren’t so successful.

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When Suzuki presented it in 2007, the XL7 was a bigger, more spacious model, yet it failed to attract enough car buyers. Due to its strange design and lack of interesting features, the XL7 wasn’t popular, so they discontinued it a few years later.

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7. Kia Borrego

Kia presented the Borrego in 2009, but the timing proved to be the reason for the poor reception. The Borrego was a full-size luxury SUV with V6 and V8 power they introduced just as the recession began.

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Despite being less expensive than similar models from its competitors, the Borrego wasn’t that good or even economical. The market and motoring journalists were harsh when evaluating this car. So in just one year, the Borrego was history.

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6. Pontiac Torrent

Introduced in 2006, the Torrent was one of the last attempts to make Pontiac profitable and save it from its demise. The car was the twin brother to the Chevrolet Equinox and wasn’t that bad. However, with little money for styling improvements and a dull interior, the Torrent didn’t appeal to customers.

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Pontiac needed a game-changing model, but unfortunately, the Torrent wasn’t exciting or fresh either. Sadly, Pontiac discontinued it along with the rest of the Pontiac lineup in 2010.

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5. Acura ZDX

Honda’s luxury division, Acura, is famous for its elegant cars, powerful engines, and quality. But did you know the company is also famous for the strange and ugly model they called the ZDX? Acura offered it for just three years as its attempt to present the combinations of a sedan, a crossover, and an SUV. It ended up being neither of the three.

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Despite the smart technical layout, decent power, and interior features, car buyers simply didn’t like the ZDX. By the time they discontinued it, Acura had managed to sell just 7,200 of them.

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4. Dodge Nitro

There was a time, not too long ago, when consumers considered most Dodge products to be of poor quality. Consumers criticized the interior and materials as well as the lack of space. One of the best examples is the 2007 to 2012 Dodge Nitro. When Dodge presented it, the Nitro looked like the right car for the moment.

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But sadly, it wasn’t. The interior was cramped, small, and uncomfortable. The interior materials consisted of plastic and cloth which were below the standards of the class. The power and the performance were also bad compared to the other models in its class. Unfortunately, despite looking fast and tough, the Nitro was none of those things.

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3. Fiat 500X

The Fiat 500 is a cute little car, especially if you have the Abarth version. The 500L is bigger and a bit more practical, but it’s not particularly nice or dynamic to drive. Sadly, the 500X is even worse. It looks like a compact SUV, but it doesn’t have anything going on. Although it is a two-wheel-drive vehicle, it’s sluggish and odd-looking.

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For those reasons, it isn’t a surprise that the 500X is a flop. It’s a terrible value for the money and doesn’t offer any real advantages over other cars. Also, it is no surprise that Fiat has withdrawn the 500X from the U.S. market, as well.

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2. Mercedes EQC

If you don’t know about this car, it is because you haven’t seen it on the road yet. The chances are high that you probably never will. This is the latest electric SUV from Mercedes and an immediate sales flop.

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Although it is well-designed and equipped as well as quite a capable car, this Mercedes is nothing like the rest of the SUV lineup. It’s also expensive, which is why they only sold it in the single digits. You can expect the company to discontinue this car soon.

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1. Lincoln Aviator

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.

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However, it turned out that they were wrong, so the Aviator sold poorly. Soon, they withdrew it from the market. These are the 40 useless SUVs that you should never use off-road. So if you plan to cross any deserts or climb any mountains, avoid any of these vehicles. But if you want an attractive, comfortable SUV to drive on the highway, one of these should suit you well.

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