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40 Cars That Break Drivers’ Budgets Just to Maintain

Cameron EittreimMay 2, 2022

Range Rover
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9: Land Rover Range Rover

There was a time when Land Rover was the be-all and end-all of off-road capability. But in recent years, the brand has become more of a status symbol. That doesn’t change the fact that the Range Rover is still one of the most problematic SUVs on the road (via Motor 1).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The reliability of the model is questionable at best, and if you get a used model, it will be even worse. The head gasket failures are rampant on these vehicles, and the price to perform that repair will set you back thousands of dollars.

Photo Credit: BMW Life

8: BMW X-Series

When BMW introduced its first SUV model in the early 2000s, it was one of the innovators. There weren’t many luxury SUVs on the market at this time, much less a German offering. However, as is the case with most German luxury vehicles, the repair costs are obscenely high (via Motor 1).

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You won’t get away cheap when you take your BMW X-Series in for servicing. Most of the repairs that these vehicles tend to need center around transmission and electrical issues, none of which are cheap to fix.

Foto Credit: GM

7: Chevrolet Impala

The Impala is a noteworthy sedan and one of the longest-running GM nameplates of all time. But there have been many issues with this car in recent years. GM build quality isn’t what it once was, and this is the case with the Impala (via Motor 1).

Impala
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The overheating issues that plague these cars are just one of the most common issues you’ll encounter. There are also issues with the transmission, and more recently a faulty brake system was covered under a recall.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

6: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The Sprinter was a surprise for Mercedes-Benz in the United States, completely changing the delivery van segment as we know it. These big diesel vans aren’t cheap to maintain, and when it comes time to repair, you will spend a large amount of cash (via Motor 1).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The most recent incarnations of the Sprinter have suffered from many transmission issues, as well as a fair share of overheating problems. Because this is a Mercedes-Benz product, you will feel that when the repair bill comes.

Photo Credit: Ford

5: Ford Focus

Ford tried for years to stake a claim in the compact car segment, and in 2000 the company finally made some headway with the Focus. The car was incredibly popular, and there was even a rare sport model called the Focus SVT (via Motor 1).

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But all that success wasn’t enough to deter the fact that the car still has many reliability problems. The head gaskets would routinely fail in the first-generation models and the timing chain has also been a problem.

Photo Credit: Acura

4: Acura MDX

The MDX was the first official Acura SUV to hit the market since the previous SLX was just a badge-engineered Isuzu Trooper. The MDX brought a lot of great features to the table and the styling was a lot better than you’d expect (via Motor 1).

Photo Credit: Acura

As the SUV ages, however, there have been many reliability issues. The timing chain tends to go out early, and the engine has also suffered from head gasket issues. The transmission is also problematic and repairing it is not cheap, as the MDX is a luxury vehicle. It’s one that also breaks drivers’ budgets to maintain.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

3: Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Grand Cherokee has been marketed as a luxury SUV since the day it hit the market. With that type of recognition comes a luxury SUV price tag and also expensive repairs (via Motor 1).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The Grand Cherokee had an especially tough time during the Daimer years, as these vehicles shared many components with Mercedes-Benz. Transmission failure was all too common, and head gasket failure was equally frustrating to owners of these SUVs.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

2: Chevrolet Cobalt

When the Cobalt hit the market, it was the replacement for the long-running Cavalier compact car. The Cavalier had been a great seller for GM and one of the most well-known cars on the road at the time. The Cobalt had some big shoes to fill and for the most part, the car was a decent offering (via Motor 1).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

But there were reliability issues with the Cobalt, which makes it an expensive car to own. The coolant system has a lot of faults and it tends to be an expensive repair. The AC system is yet another expensive repair on the Cobalt, making this Chevy model one that wrecks drivers’ budgets to keep on the road.

Photo Credit: Ford

1: Ford Explorer

There is no denying that the Explorer is one of the most influential SUV models that has hit the market. There are millions of them on the road right now and it continues to be a sales success as time goes on (via Motor 1).

Photo Credit: Motor Authority

However, numerous issues happen to the Explorer models as time goes on, and many of these are very expensive to repair. The main issues that happen to the older Explorer models are the suspension going out and the transmission starting to slip. These repairs are crucial to the driving quality of the vehicle.

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