6 Historically Bad SUVs – Really, Did We Need These Things

Today, SUVs come in all shapes and sizes. Some focus on the sports side of the name, others the utility part, and still others only are vehicles that don’t fit in any other class. From overgrown hatchbacks to massive haulers, SUVs run the gambit of the automotive world.

Since crossovers came into the equation, we’ve had more SUVs than ever before. You shouldn’t be surprised that we can find some historically bad SUVs, but you might be surprised by the names. We certainly didn’t deserve the awfulness that is these SUVs.

The Pontiac Aztek makes every list of bad SUVs

Silver Pontiac Aztek at a car show
Silver Pontiac Aztek | Getty Images

Similar to how the Toyota Prius is the first car to come to mind when hybrids are discussed, the Pontiac Aztek springs to mind when bad SUVs are the topic. Other than being the vehicle driven by Walter White in Breaking Bad, this vehicle belongs in the junkyard, where it belongs. GM tried to tell us this SUV was trendy and cool when it debuted at the 2000 Detroit Auto Show, but we know better. According to Auto Influence, words that best describe the Aztek are ugly and unremarkable. During its time in the market, several recalls caused Aztek owners to become seriously frustrated. Overall, the Pontiac Aztek is the worst SUV in automotive history.

Is the Suzuki Samurai going to fall over?

Red Suzuki Samurai in a desert setting
Suzuki Samurai | Suzuki

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The Suzuki Samurai stands on such a short wheelbase and is so tall that it looks like it will topple over if a light breeze reaches it. The Clever tells us this is one of the worst SUVs of all time, even though it was supposed to be an alternative to the Jeep Wrangler. Found on American roadways in the 1980s, the Samurai was issued a death blow when Consumer Reports stated it was unsafe at any speed.  The Samurai was prone to fatal rollovers is the cause of this remark.

You get what you pay for with the Dodge Journey

Red Dodge Journey Posed Outdoors
Red Dodge Journey | Dodge

For years, the Dodge Journey has boasted a low base price, seating for seven, and enough power to go where you desire. Unfortunately, this SUV is the worst vehicle Dodge has ever made. The lack of fuel economy, which lists the Journey at 19 city/25 hwy mpg, an underpowered engine, and a tow rating of 1,000 pounds, cause many owners to ditch this Dodge in favor of something better. Although the Journey limped through many years of production, we aren’t sad to see it gone from the market for good.

Someone forgot to tell the Fiat 500X it’s not an SUV

Dark blue Fiat 500X posed by a bay
Fiat 500X | Fiat

The Fiat models are subcompact cars that fall on the smallest end of that class. The Fiat 500X is supposed to be a subcompact crossover SUV, but it barely reaches into this category. The only aspect of this vehicle that supports it being an SUV is the slightly higher ride than other Fiat 500 models. Anyone looking at the 500X should back away slowly and look to another crossover. The 500 X doesn’t cut the mustard as an SUV.

The Studebaker Wagonaire was a failed attempt

Blue Studebaker Wagonaire in a field
Studebaker Wagonaire | Bring a Trailer Auctions

The 1960s was a time when station wagons were loved instead of being hated as they are now. Instead of truly creating an SUV, Studebaker gave the Wagonaire a taller cabin and higher ride, but nothing else. This led to the failure of the SUV, which never gained any traction in the market. This vehicle was awkward at best but did have a semi-retractable roof for carrying large objects. While an interesting trait, this job was better left to the pickup trucks of the time.

Even Range Rover has a swing and a miss with the Evoque

White Range Rover Evoque with the top down
Range Rover Evoque | Jaguar Land Rover

The Range Rover name stands up tall in the world of luxury off-road SUVs. That is until the Evoque tried to bring it to its knees. Maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but the Evoque is simply awful. Toss this luxury SUV in the same bin as the Pontiac Aztek; that’s where it belongs. The only cool thing about this Ranger Rover is the convertible roof; otherwise, it’s completely useless as an SUV.

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