These SUVs Are Guaranteed To Break Down If You Take Them Off-Roading

2022-09-17 08:26:48 By : Mr. Duncan Zhang

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If you want to go exploring in an off-road rig, it's best to avoid these offerings.

When it comes down to it, we are all after a good deal. If you are in the market for a cheap SUV as an off-road project, there is a pretty big selection to choose from.

Some really are capable off-road bargains, but there are also a fair few deals out there that really are too good to be true. A lot of those supposedly great off-road vehicles will just let you down pretty much all the time, and choosing a vehicle that could potentially leave you stranded out on a trail is something that can quickly turn into a nightmare.

If you want to go exploring in an off-road rig, rather avoid these offerings.

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These Range Rovers were and still are brilliant off-roaders, just let down by some fairly average engineering in terms of powertrain, cooling, and above all else, wiring.

Looking at getting one even in reasonable condition is pretty affordable, but you simply need to then recalculate the budget to factor in some sort of engine swap if you plan on actually using the thing.

The XJ is one of the most popular off-roaders among enthusiasts. Unfortunately, they have a fatal flaw that is terribly hard to rectify.

Most of these Jeeps came with infamously weak 3-speed Chrysler automatic transmissions. There are some that got the Aisin 4-speed auto and even fewer that got a manual, but the vast majority got that hopeless 3-speed, and those sell cheap for a reason.

Related: Why The Jeep Cherokee XJ Is A Favorite For Tackling Off-Road Trails

Once again, Land Rover are guilty of selling an otherwise capable off-roader short with a pretty average powertrain.

This time, it was under the watchful eye of BMW, and their inline-5 turbo diesel which was ahead of its time in many ways, but like so many of their engines from this period, were also needlessly complicated. They failed in the most peculiar, challenging to diagnose ways, making them anything but optimal for a shade tree mechanic out on the trail.

Once again their automatic transmissions failed them, and once more we have Chrysler to thank for inserting an outdated, unreliable transmission that didn’t belong in an otherwise modern SUV.

Once again you can try to find one with an Aisin 4-speed, but the fact that the Chrysler automatic was now “updated” to be 4-speed too means you will need to check under the vehicle. Finding a manual is nigh impossible with only around 1,000 units made between 1993 and 1995, all paired to their reliable 4.0-liter inline-6 (which dates back to AMC days). Sadly, the vast majority now look like the one pictured above purely because of that transmission.

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Off-road capabilities are limited, but their impressive selection of engines and price fall have seen several punters take a chance on these opulent machines.

The biggest (but by no means only) issue with these and their sister, the Porsche Cayenne, was the wiring that would always go haywire. That could be tolerable if the majority of the harness wasn’t hidden inside the frame of the vehicle.

After seeing so many original H1 Hummers driving literally anywhere, public demand for a more refined version was at an all-time high in the early 2000s.

Sadly, the more refined version was a complete dumpster fire of a vehicle, with too many issues to even mention here, coupled with the fact that it lost most of its once coveted off-road ability.

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As much as the original Disco wasn’t anything to write home about, they are comparatively scarce. The second generation sold in huge numbers and is still pretty accessible.

Once again, Land Rover got the rugged off-road part right even though they added luxury, but they once again failed to get the engine selection right. Rover V8s were thirsty for fuel, oil, and water. Initial diesels were underpowered and then once BMW took over, it got the aforementioned inline-5 which added complexity and did nothing to aid reliability.

Ironically, it isn’t exactly advisable to actually go exploring in the Explorer. Firstly, they aren’t even all that good off-road, thanks to long overhangs and their girth. However, thanks to the huge aftermarket, they can be made into an off-roader.

That is deceptive though, as these had several recalls over their production life and not all of them were related to the infamous tire saga. Some of them pertained to leaky fuel systems and others to an engine that liked to spit out spark plugs, a deadly combination if those two join forces.

Luke Zietsman is an all out automotive enthusiast based in The Philippines. If it has two or four wheels he has either owned it, researched about it or dreamed about it.