How far back can you go for a luxury SUV? If you’re willing to use tech from the 1990s, a few interesting models give you the drive you want and the reliability you deserve. Call these used luxury SUVs unkillable, indestructible, or impervious, but you’ll want to drive one just to see what makes it so insanely reliable.
Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen – Military-grade in a luxury SUV
Similar to the Hummer, you can see how the G-Wagen offers military styling and presence. According to Hot Cars, this is one of the most reliable and rugged classic SUVs from the 1990s. The movement from military duty to the civilian world brought us a capable vehicle that traded its uniform for high society. The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen is one of the most luxurious SUVs ever produced.
Models from the ‘90s came with various engines, including a massive V12 model. This luxury SUV features a full-time 4WD, locking differentials, and a boxy body with excellent interior space.
Land Rover Defender – A classic name with insane capabilities
Typically, when you talk about off-road SUVs, the Jeep Wrangler is the first model to come to mind. Add luxury to that search, and you’re looking at the Land Rover Defender. This impressive SUV is historically one of the most capable and versatile vehicles in the market. If you want to head out on the trails in style, you can’t do much better than the Defender luxury SUV.
During the 1990s, the Defender received a new engine which gave it more power and better efficiency thanks to the turbocharging, intercooler, and direct injections features. This SUV is considered a classic, and you can still find several of them from the ‘90s if you want an SUV that never dies.
Mercedes-Benz ML320 – The luxury SUV that makes more sense
Most consumers don’t buy luxury SUVs looking for a way to head into the wilderness. God forbid they should scratch the precious paint or ding the doors; their family would never hear the end of it. The Mercedes-Benz ML320 is a more “civilized” SUV, giving us the build and qualities of a typical daily driver in the 1990s.
These M-Class models were some of the first-ever made for suburban customers, and it brings the qualities desired. Most drivers want a vehicle that works great during a commute. This means offering good fuel efficiency and having the versatility to manage family duties. Toss in the luxury aspects of this Merc, and you’ve got something impressive. When looking for a comfortable classic from the 1990s, the Mercedes-Benz ML320 could have your desired qualities.
Lincoln Navigator – The right SUV for full-size driving needs
The Lincoln Navigator came later in the decade, first appearing as a 1998 model. This big SUV fills the need of a large family with the desire to drive around in style. Since this first model arrived, the Navigator has been one of the most highly-regarded luxury SUVs in the market.
Navigator models from the 1990s have a large V8 engine, a four-speed automatic transmission, and independent suspensions in the front and rear. These qualities give the Lincoln Navigator plenty of power, performance, and a smooth ride. This might be a body-on-frame SUV, but the luxurious nature of the ride was unmistakable, even by ‘90s standards.
Should you drive one of these luxury SUV models?
These four models offer the longevity we don’t often see in the market today. They can give you several years of great driving with any one of them. If you don’t mind the classic technology and 1990s driving dynamics, any of these luxury vehicles can give you the feeling you desire.
Next, take a look at how Lexus is correcting one big mistake, or watch the seven most reliable luxury SUVs in the video below:
This article was updated on 8/2/2022.