What Used SUV Should I Avoid


Many people want to purchase an SUV, but don’t want to purchase a new one. Instead, they want to purchase a used one because they are much cheaper. But with so many choices, what used SUVs should you avoid purchasing, and why?

The 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a used SUV that should be avoided at all costs. It has transmission problems, irregular shifts, jerks while in lower gears, and sometimes rolls away when it is parked. At least one person has died from their 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolling over them.

Now that you know about one used SUV you should avoid purchasing, you are likely wondering about what other used SUVs you should avoid. Keep reading to find out because this is an important issue.

2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Jeep Grand Cherokees that were released in 2014 and 2015 are the worst used SUVs that you can purchase. When it is in 1st or 2nd gear they start jerking, which is never comforting when you are driving in those gears. It also has been reported that these experience other transmission issues that make this one of the worst used SUVs on the market.

The 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees should be avoided because they sometimes have trouble shifting from gear to gear in both automatic and manual transmissions, and the last thing you want is to get stuck in reverse when you are about to start driving.

The most irritating, and somewhat worrying, issue that owners have with their 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees is that the fuel tank is hard to fill. In some cases, the fuel pump stops pumping the fuel before the tank is full. This is troubling because you will have to refill more often and won’t be able to get a full tank for long trips. (Source)

The most worrying issue that the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee has is that it sometimes rolls away when it is parked. It was recalled because of this issue. Unfortunately, the issue that caused it to roll away while parked was not resolved in the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee model, and this issue resulted in the death of Anton Yelchin, a 27-year-old actor who appeared in Star Trek films. This Jeep Cherokee unexpectedly rolled over him and crushed him. (Source). Others may have met similar fates that were less widely published.

Now that you know about one of the worst used SUVs to purchase, you are likely wondering about other used SUVs that you should avoid purchasing. There are other SUVs that are bad options, so keep reading to find out which ones those are.

Dodge Durango 1999-2000 and 2011-2013

The Dodge Durangos that were manufactured from 1999-200 and 2011-2013 should be avoided when you are looking for a used SUV. These vehicles have unreliable engines that shut down or stall when you are driving, which can be very dangerous.

The engines of the 2011-2013 Dodge Durangos often have a massive amount of oil sludge buildup that makes the engine stall. While this is sometimes to be expected, it is sometimes difficult to clear out the buildup and there isn’t anything you can do to these SUVs to prevent the oil sludge from building up.

These Dodge Durangos also have faulty TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module) systems which cause a variety of electrical issues. These problems will necessitate frequent trips to the mechanic and will cost you a lot of money over time. (Source)

The 1999-2000 Dodge Durangos get up to 14 miles per gallon in the city and 19 miles per gallon on the highway. They can also tow up to 4,100 pounds. The 2011-2013 Dodge Durangos get up to 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon on the highway. They can tow up to 7,400 pounds.

2010 Mercedes Benz M-Class ML 350

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML 350 has caused many issues for owners because of how much repairs cost and because of internal components breaking. The inner components of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML 350 can cause it to shift roughly, which is never fun to experience when you are driving.

The steering rack of this Mercedes model tends to leak, and it is nearly impossible to find the source of the leak once it starts. The brake lights also turn on when they shouldn’t, which shows that there is something very wrong with the alert system of this SUV. (Source)

The 2010 Mercedes Benz M-Class ML 350 gets up to 16 miles per gallon in the city and 21 miles per gallon on the highway. It can tow up to 4,600 pounds.

Ford Explorer 2000, 2002-2004

The 2000 and 2002-2004 Ford Explorer is an SUV that you should avoid purchasing used because it has many transmission issues.

Owners of the 2000 Ford Explorer have found that they started having issues with slipping gears, flashing O/D lights, and hard shifting when they reach 50,000-100,000 miles. Those issues don’t typically show up that soon in most other cars. When these issues persist, most components have to be replaced although they haven’t been used long enough to warrant being replaced.

The owners of 2002-2004 Ford Explorers also have issues with the transmission, although it typically takes slightly longer for them to notice the issues.

The 2000 Ford Explorer gets up to 18 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon in the city. It can tow up to 6,820 pounds.

The 2002 Ford Explorer gets up to 17 miles per gallon in the city and 21 miles per gallon on the highway. It can tow up to 7,300 pounds at a time.

The 2004 Ford Explorer gets up to 16 miles per gallon in the city and 21 miles per gallon on the highway. It can tow up to 7,160 pounds at a time.

2007-2008 GMC Acadia

You should also avoid purchasing a used 2007-2008 GMC Acadia if you can. This is an unreliable SUV to purchase used because it has a faulty transmission which will cost you thousands of dollars to repair. The transmission of this car tends to break after it has been driven for only 35,000 miles, which is a ridiculously small number of miles. (Source)

The 3-5-R plate is typically what breaks, and you have to replace the entire transmission system once that part goes down. And, since it has been many years since these cars were released, the warranty no longer covers the part and you will have to pay for it out-of-pocket. If you do want to purchase this SUV, ask the dealer if this part has recently been replaced before you decide to purchase it.

The 2007 GMC Acadia gets up to 18 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway. It can tow up to 2,000 pounds.

The 2008 GMC Acadia gets up to 16 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway. It can also tow 2,000 pounds at a time. Overall, the 2007-2008 GMC Acadia cost too much money to repair, and you should not purchase them used because you will constantly be repairing them.

2005-2008 Nissan Pathfinder

Although many people enjoy driving the Nissan Pathfinder, the ones that were manufactured between 2005-2008 should be avoided because of the issues that owners have had.

Owners of Nissan Pathfinders made between 2005-2008, especially 2005 models, have found that a coolant leak that is nearly impossible to find and fix ruins the transmission over time. The radiator tank also has a faulty design. When coolant leaks and mixes with transmission fluid, they corrode the transmission and it becomes ruined over time.

2005 Nissan Pathfinder owners have also had issues with a faulty fuel level sensor that tells them that they need fuel when they don’t. They have also had many issues with the engine not cranking because of a failure in the starter relay. Another worrisome issue that these Nissan Pathfinder owners have noticed includes a troubling noise that comes from the engine. (Source)

The 2005-2007 Nissan Pathfinder models get up to 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon on the highway. They can tow up to 6,000 pounds at a time.

The 2008 Nissan Pathfinder gets up to 15 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway. It can tow up to 7,000 pounds, although some models only can tow up to 6,000 pounds at a time.

2005-2008 Nissan Xterra

The Nissan Xterra models made in 2005-2008 are SUVs that you should avoid purchasing when you are looking for a used SUV for your family. 2005-2008 were bad years for Nissan vehicles because these models have also had issues with coolant leaks and corroded transmissions. These problems were so bad that they needed to completely replace the transmission.

2005-2006 Nissan Xterra models get up to 17 miles per hour in the city and 22 miles per hour on the highway. They can also tow up to 5,000 pounds at a time.

Nissan Xterra models that were made in 2007 get up to 18 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway. They can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

The 2008 Nissan Xterra gets up to 16 miles per gallon in the city and 20 miles per gallon on the highway, which is quite a bit less than earlier models. However, it can also tow up to 5,000 pounds. Although you should avoid purchasing Nissan Xterra vehicles made from 2005-2008, many repairs have been done to them and once those repairs have been properly done, they can be used for a long time afterward.

2016 Jeep Patriot

The 2016 Jeep Patriot is one of the worst compact SUVs to purchase used. It can seat up to 5 people at a time and has a reliability score of 2.5 out of 5, which is below average. It has a 4-star overall safety rating. You should avoid purchasing one for your family.

The 2016 Jeep Patriot is low quality from the inside to the outside. This vehicle’s engine strains when going at fast speeds and trying to get up to speed, and the ride is bumpy and unsettling. Transmission issues have also popped up after a short time with this car, so most people have to spend a hefty amount to fix their car so they can use it safely again. The 2016 Jeep Patriot has so many issues that Jeep discontinued the Patriot model after 2017 and has not made another similar model since. (Source)

Even when owners have had their 2016 Jeep Patriot serviced regularly, transmission failures happen quickly. The engine also starts whining and the engine starts to overheat, even when there was plenty of coolant in the tank. Many people also have had issues accelerating in this car, which can be very dangerous when you’re out and about on a busy high-speed road like the highway.

Many owners of this car have had difficulty with the manual transmission models of this car. As time passes, they have had issues with shifting as it has become difficult to get into gear.

Many 2016 Jeep Patriot owners have also seen issues with the wireless control module that causes the engine to not start. If the engine doesn’t start, you can’t use the car and it is just a large hunk of metal and leather that sits in your driveway and gathers dust. No one wants that, especially if it hasn’t been a long time since you purchased the car. (Source)

Another issue that owners of this compact SUV have encountered is that water leaks from the front and back roof. This shows how faulty the build of this vehicle is as this issue shows that nothing is sealed properly.

The 2016 Jeep Patriot gets 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway. It can tow up to 1,000 pounds. Now that you know which used SUVs you should avoid, you can narrow down your search a bit and have a few options to remove from your list of choices.

Will Turner

Will has an absolute passion for 4x4s and loves discovering all of the small details about each model. Will joined the Four Wheel Trends team in early 2021 and has been a valuable contributor ever since!

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