These 10 SUVs turned into a nightmare for their owners

SUVs are very popular. These top-of-the-line vehicles are adored for their attractive designs, imposing size, functionality, comfort, plush interiors, off-road capabilities and ruggedness. With the category growing exponentially, there have been so many high-quality SUV options for buyers over the years from top brands like Ford, Chevrolet, BMW, Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen, among others. Even though these automakers put a lot of time and resources into making sure their SUV offerings are reliable, have great features, and get more functions every year, it’s not all going well.

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Even for some of the most reliable SUV models, certain bad years brought a long list of problems that frustrated owners, requiring expensive repairs instead of basic maintenance. While some SUVs started having problems after thousands of miles, others seemed cursed from the start, forcing owners to file class action lawsuits. Here are 10 SUVs that have become a nightmare for owners.

ten 2009-2010 VW Tiguan

For the Tiguan’s launch year, VW made an SUV that proved inconvenient for owners. It was plagued with major cooling systems, motors and electrical issues. According to many owners, the most common early failure was a broken plastic intake manifold; luckily it was covered under warranty.

However, more serious, expensive and more complicated issues to fix such as water pump and timing chain tensioner failures would start to show up outside of the extended warranty period. The timing chain tensioner issue would cause the Tiguan to stall while driving, prompting many owners to join a class action lawsuit against VW. Unfortunately, most of them were not able to benefit from the settlement terms having already accumulated more than 100,000 miles.

9 Land Rover Discovery Sport 2019

While the Land Rover brand represents adventure, off-road ruggedness and luxury, it is never known for its reliability. The 2019 Discovery is one of the newer models which added to the idea that Land Rover is one of the most unreliable luxury brands.

The SUV’s reputation was somewhat tarnished by customer complaints about infotainment issues, transmission issues, and interior water leaks. According to, only 28% of owners would recommend the SUV to a friend.

8 BMW X5 2011 and 2013

Avoid the 2011 X5 if you want to buy a top-of-the-line used model from the German automaker – it’s the most criticized BMW SUV on CarComplaints for its notorious engine stalling (motorbiscuit) problem. Sometimes the engine would even die on the owners when they were on the road.

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Another year of the sporty, expensive SUV with far too many problems for most owners is the 2013 X5. Reports mention how its fuel pump fails frequently, leading to stalling and loss of power. Sometimes it breaks down in the fuel system, leading to costly replacements and repairs. Beyond that, it also has excessive oil consumption, oil leak issues, or both. Consumer Reports gave it a dismal reliability rating of 1/5.

seven 2011-2013 Dodge Durangos

2011-2013 models had a Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) issue. The TIPM is essentially the brain of the vehicle – any action or electrical input must pass through it. As a result, 2011-2013 Dodge Durangos are said to have a host of TIPM-related issues, from power window failures to engine failures. All units manufactured between the period had to be recalled worldwide.

Carusnews lists its biggest drawbacks as low security scores for its class and bottom-barrel reliability. Ouch! According to Consumer Reports, the 2013 model alone had 11 NHTSA recalls. It earned the lowest possible reliability score from Consumer Reports and 2/5 from JD Power, also the lowest rating given by the organization.

6 2011 Jeep Cherokee

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 1st model of the 4th generation, is the second worst car on CarComplaints, according to owners. Also, a victim of Fiat-Chrysler’s faulty TIPM, the most reported problems are electrical and engine failures, as well as fuel system problems – all expensive things to fix in an SUV.

Its excessive interior fittings issues were another major source of frustration for owners. This is the Cherokee model year to avoid above all else.

5 2007 Dodge Nitro

The 2007 Dodge Nitros gave their owners little reason to enjoy them; model year features among used Dodge cars that you should avoid like the plague. No wonder it was removed after just one generation (2007-2012). A big design flaw was its poorly designed door openings that owners had difficulty getting in and out of.

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TIPM related power issues would also lead to a wide range of electrical nightmares (dodge issues), fuel pump failure, random horn sounding and random airbag deployment as well as head restraints that would distribute free concussions to owners. No wonder there were eight recalls and three investigations.

4 2014 Nissan Qashqai

Sold as the Nissan Rogue Sport in the United States, the Qashqai is one of the best-selling cars in the UK. 2014 models sold with Renault’s 1.2-litre DIG-T turbo engine had a whole catalog of mechanical and oil issues. Despite several recalls, engine problems never stopped for owners.

TheGuardian reports one owner whose SUV engine had to be rebuilt three times in 18 months and another having its blowout below 7,500 miles. In most Qashqai owner forums, the whole debate is about how drivers spent heavily on the engine that would burn oil excessively, forcing most to opt for a trade-in or trade-in of their SUVs. with huge losses.

3 2004 Chevy Tahoe

In its 2nd generation (2000-2006), this model is the closest modern Chevy SUV to Eastern European cars in terms of unreliability. The 2004 model takes the cake. It gained notoriety for its faulty interior accessories, its problems with air conditioning, power steering and, even worse, its lack of coolant.

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The coolant problem was mentioned as the most likely cause of his electrical system problems as well as internal engine damage. Many 2004 Tahoes with cracked cylinder heads, faulty head gaskets and oil burning engines have been reported on CarComplaints. Several class action lawsuits were filed against GM, which never acknowledged the issues, but settled and paid the owners.

2 2002 Ford Explorer

To call the 2002 Ford Explorer a nightmare is an understatement; pilots on CarComplaints say it’s the most problematic SUV they’ve owned. Its most common and costly problem was transmission failure. While some transmissions only needed a $2,840 repair, others had to be overhauled. According to NHTSA, its transmission and powertrain problems have been the cause of several accidents and fires.

Other mechanical issues included a noisy rear differential and a non-engaging four-wheel-drive system. Body issues were also part of a recall affecting nearly one million 2002 Explorers. In particular, the tailgate hinges and panels covering the interior and exterior of the Explorer were faulty, while the tailgate glass was breaking and injuring the owners.

1 2002-2005 Saturn Vue CVT VTi

Many past owners of the Saturn Vue CVT VTi remember it for all the wrong reasons. Discontinued after the 2005 model year, the Saturn Vue CVT VTi had one of the most dangerously unreliable transmissions ever installed in an SUV: GM’s VTi continuously variable transmission.

It had a great risk of causing serious injury or even death, as drivers reported that it would slip in and out of gear, causing them to lose control while driving. Worse still, its unusually high failure rate meant owners had to shell out $4,000 to $5,000 on average for a replacement.

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