Skip to main content

It’s not an easy time to buy a new car, and because of that many people are turning to used SUVs, sedans, and pickup trucks. In turn, that’s causing demand for used vehicles to be higher than ever. While you may find yourself in a situation of scarcity, that doesn’t mean that you should buy the first available SUV. In fact, there are a few SUVs you should really consider skipping. Here’s why these three used SUVs aren’t worth your time – or your money. 

A white 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe driving in the mountains.
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai

Four Chevy Suburban models are on the worst used SUVs list

If there’s one (or four) used SUV to avoid, it’s the Chevrolet Suburban. Specifically, you’ll want to skip the 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016 models. Why? The 2011 Chevy Suburban has major engine problems. These may be anything from a rebuild or replacement to a timing belt. The drive system is also a problem in the 2011 model and the 2016 model. Climate system problems plague the 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016 models as well. Brakes are also a problem in the 2011, 2015, and 2016. However, electric system problems are unique to the 2011.

The 2012 and 2013 Audi Q5 have poor drive systems

The 2012 and 2013 Audi Q5 both get poor reliability ratings from Consumer Reports. Major problem areas include the engine major and minor, as well as the engine cooling. The 2012 Audi Q5 also has problems with the electric system, and climate system. The 2013 Audi Q5 has a poor drive system, suspension, brakes, body integrity, and in-car electronics. You should avoid both models.

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the worst used SUVs

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe finds itself on this list thanks to its poor reliability rating – a 2/5. It’s exterior durability is it’s biggest problem. For example, the paint/trim gets a 2/5 for reliability and the body hardware gets a 3/5. In addition, the power equipment and in-car electronics also get a 3/5. The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe also has minor transmission ratings, causing it to get a 3/5 for the transmission minor’s reliability rating.

These reliability ratings are in contrast to the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe. Each of these Santa Fe models has an overall reliability rating of 4/5. Of those, the 2018 has the worst scores for brakes (2/5) and power equpment (1/5).

The 2020 Acura MDX is one SUV Consumer Reports says no way to

The 2020 Acura MDX may be enticing, but it isn’t reliable. Consumer Reports gives it a 1/5 reliability rating. The most common trouble spots include the drive system and paint/trim. So is it worth it to buy one if you really love it? Probably not, at least if you don’t want to have to spend a lot of money to fix it. 

If you’re buying a used SUV it makes sense that you’d want something super reliable. After all, once an SUV has a few thousand miles on it, the likelihood that it will need some repairs increases. If you buy an SUV that’s known to have problems, there’s a better chance that you’ll be shelling out to fix things you didn’t expect. 


The 2022 Chevy Suburban Is a Family Car of the Year Finalist