Reviews & Features

15 Used SUVs and Crossovers You Should Avoid Buying at All Costs


After we recently brought you the list of used trucks you might want to avoid, we’re now moving onto SUVs. Although the mentioned trucks list did ruffle a few feathers, this doesn’t mean all of them are bad. Only a few rotten model years. And we simply had to list every manufacturer in order to give you the best possible scope of the situation. Again; this doesn’t mean every pickup truck out there is bad. You should just be extra vigilant if you’re shopping for the ones (model years) listed there.

Now that that’s settled, here’s what we’ll do with this one. Since there are much more SUVs in general, we won’t be able to list all the makes currently out there, let alone those that have been discontinued. This is why we’ll only list really dodgy SUV model years that have suffered from well documented defects. Moreover, we’re only taking the last 15 years or so into account. Buying a used car is always a risk, but buying a nineties or older used car is even more so, and there’s no universal warning that can prepare you for what’s coming if you decide to tread that path.

Buick Enclave

Years: 2008-2009

Buick Enclave was all new back then, and it replaced both the Rendezvous and Rainier SUVs. It was a step in the right direction for Buick who desperately needed something modern in their lineup. However, GM-Ford 6T75 automatic transmission didn’t really match Enclave’s enthusiasm. 2008 and 2009 model years are probably the ones you’d like to avoid, even though most of them are supposed to be fixed by now. Still, you never know, so ask for relevant recall paperwork or licensed mechanic’s receipt if you really must shop for ’08 or ’09 Enclave.

For starters, transmission was misprogrammed from the beginning leading to strange behavior like improper shifts and high rpm count at cruising speeds which, in turn lead to lousy mpg rates. Then, there was the issue with the shift cable adjustment clip which wasn’t fully engaged. In other words, the lever and the actual position of the gear sometimes didn’t match. This means a driver could have put the shifter in park, but the vehicle would have stayed in drive. I’m not saying it’s the GM’s fault, but the industry’s fault in general. We have lost a prominent young actor Anton Yelchin due to the similar issue this year. How many more lives need to be forfeited before this transmission issue is finally addressed properly?!


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