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Awesome SUVs That Never Should Have Died

Car Culture / 29 Comments

Like the Blazer, we'd like to see these SUVs make a comeback.

All companies like to cash in on nostalgia, which may explain why so many automakers are reviving nameplates from their past. Chevy just reintroduced the Blazer, Ford is about to bring back the Bronco, and Lincoln is resurrecting the Aviator name. With all of these SUVs set to make their returns, we wondered what other models deserved to come back from the dead. We've chosen seven discontinued SUV models that we'd like to see make a comeback in 2018, and outlined how they should be changed to suit the current market.

Nissan Xterra

Nissan's current SUV lineup is filled with great value family cars that can haul people with great ease. Aside from the Armada though, all of the company's SUVs aren't what we'd call rugged and off-road ready. Nissan discontinued the Xterra back in 2015, and in doing so eliminated the last true off-roader in its lineup. The Xterra's return has been rumored for years, but we'd like to see it return as a Wrangler alternative powered by Infiniti's VR30DTT engine producing around 300 horsepower.

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Toyota FJ Cruiser

The Toyota FJ Cruiser was meant to pay homage to the original FJ40 of the 1960s. While it wasn't the most practical SUV on the market, it was extremely capable off-road and intimidating on the road. Toyota killed off the FJ Cruiser back in 2014, and we'd like to see it make a comeback. We'd keep certain details, such as the iconic looks, but we'd shrink down the size to make it a bit more manageable to drive on the road. We'd also update the powertrain with Toyota's new 3.5-liter V6 producing 301 hp going out to an eight-speed automatic or optional six-speed manual.

Mitsubishi Montero

Mitsubishi has become a bit of an afterthought in the automotive community. Ask most people who aren't familiar with cars, and they'll probably think the company went out of business years ago. The Japanese automaker has been kept alive with SUV models like the Outlander and Outlander Sport, and the recently introduced Eclipse Cross. We think Mitsubishi should bring back the Montero, known elsewhere in the world as the Pajero or Shogun. Though the Pajero is still sold today, it hasn't been available in the US since 2006. The Montero was known for its ruggedness, and we'd love to see it make a comeback in the US.

Jeep Wagoneer

Rumors of a revived Jeep Wagoneer have been circulating for a while, but we have yet to see a production version of the three-row SUV. It's rumored to be called the Grand Wagoneer, and it would slot above the Grand Cherokee in the lineup. We'd love to see SRT-8 and SRT-8 Trackhawk versions of the three-row SUV, thus cementing FCA's lunacy.

GMC Typhoon

With the current demand for "sporty" SUVs, we are amazed that GMC hasn't brought back its sportiest model ever: the Typhoon. The Typhoon was based on the GMC Jimmy, and shared its 4.3-liter turbocharged V6 with the Syclone pickup truck. Output was 280 hp, and this SUV could hit 60 mph in just 5.3. seconds. That was faster than some Ferrari models back when it was new. We'd like to see Cadillac's new 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 make its way into a newer GMC model to revive the Typhoon name.

Kia Borrego

Back in 2008, Kia introduced the Borrego SUV (also called the Mohave in other markets). The Borrego was a significant car, because it introduced the idea of a V8 flagship from a Korean car company. Unfortunately, the large Borrego and its thirsty 4.6-liter V8 came out just in time for the recession. We think Kia should bring back this large SUV as a luxury flagship above the Sorento. We'd love to see an SUV based on the K900 platform, using the company's 5.0-liter V8, or borrow the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Stinger.


The Mazda5, also known in Japan as the Mazda Premacy, technically doesn't belong on this list because it is not an SUV. The Mazda5 was marketed as an MPV (or minivan), but it was a genuinely great car, so rules had to be broken. While it didn't impress in terms of power with just 157 hp from a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, the Mazda5 was a lot of fun to drive, much like other Mazda products. It could even be had with a manual transmission. We'd love to see Mazda bring back the 5 with an updated 185 hp SkyActive engine and the option for a manual transmission.