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Buying a new SUV is exciting. Buying a new-to-you SUV is just as exciting, and it offers benefits that buying a new one doesn’t. One of these is having an idea of an SUV’s reliability. When you buy a used SUV, you have an idea of what kind of problems are common in that particular model. This can give you peace of mind that you’re buying a good SUV. Yet if you buy one of these least reliable SUVs, you might find yourself in a world of trouble. Avoid these seven SUV models, at risk of finding yourself in a very expensive situation. 

A dark gray and silver 2020 Acura MDX parked in the desert.
2020 Acura MDX | Acura

2020 Acura MDX is one of the least reliable SUVs

The 2020 Acura MDX may be enticing, but it isn’t reliable. The most common trouble spots include the drive system and paint/trim.

Both the 2012-2013 Audi Q5 models are unreliable

The 2012 and 2013 Audi Q5 both get poor reliability ratings. 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 systems. The 2013 Audi Q5 has a poor drive system, suspension, brakes, body integrity, and in-car electronics. You should avoid both models but could find some good points provided by Kelley Blue Book.

The 2015-2017 Buick Encores have engine problems

You should avoid all three of the Buick Encore models from 2015 to 2017. All three models have problems with their engines, both major and minor. 

The 2011-2012 and 2015-2016 Chevy Suburbans are some of the least reliable SUVs

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 2011 and 2016. Climate system problems plague 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016. Brakes are also a problem in 2011, 2015, and 2016. However, electric system problems are unique to 2011. 

Major transmission problems are found in 2012, 2015, and 2016, while minor transmission problems are also in 2016. Suspension problems are also found in 2012, 2-15, and 2016. Basically, you should avoid all four of these Chevrolet Suburban models.

You should avoid both the 2016 and 2018 Dodge Durango

The 2016 and 2018 Dodge Durangos get poor reliability ratings. The 2016 Dodge Durango sees both minor and major engine problems and engine cooling problems, as well as electric system problems. The 2018 Dodge Durango has a faulty fuel system, climate system, suspension, and brakes.

The 2011, 2016-2017, and 2020 Ford Explorer are some of the least reliable SUVs

There are a whole bunch of Ford Explorer models you should avoid if you don’t want to end up with huge repair bills. Both the 2011 and 2020 Ford Explorers have minor transmission and drive system problems, though the 2020 Ford Explorer also has major transmission problems. The 2016 Ford Explorer has issues with its suspension and brakes. The exhaust system is problematic in 2011, while the body integrity is far from perfect in 2011, 2016, and 2017. These are just some of the reasons you should avoid these four Ford Explorer models. 

2014-2017 GMC Yukons are unreliable

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The 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 GMC Yukons are unreliable. The most common trouble areas include major engine problems in 2015, minor engine problems in 2017, major transmission problems in 2016 and 2017, and minor transmission problems in 2016. Don’t forget the faulty drive system in 2016. These trouble spots, which are just the surface of all that’s wrong with these four GMC Yukon models, should concern you.

Of course just because one model year for an SUV gets poor reliability ratings, that doesn’t mean that all years of that particular model are problematic. If you love an SUV and do a little research, you should be able to find a reliable model. Just make sure you avoid these least reliable SUVs, or you could end up paying thousands of dollars in repairs.