The Most Complained About Used SUVs of 2019, What to Buy Instead
For those who prefer a used SUV to something brand-new, 2019 has some great options. However, the last few years have been tough, and some of these sport utility vehicles have proven to be a choice worth skipping over. The options below are some of the most complained about used SUVs from 2019 from brands like Kia, Toyota, and Jeep. All hope is not lost, though, as some better alternatives are listed below that might offer a less stressful experience.
What is the least reliable used SUV on the market?
For whatever reason, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 has racked up enough complaints to make it one of the least reliable SUVs of 2019. This is quite unusual for the Toyota brand and the usually reliable RAV4, but everyone has an off year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the RAV4 is one of the most complained about used SUVs of 2019 for a few reasons. Owners left more comments on the NHTSA website about the transmission than anything else. More than 200 complaints from drivers noted that the SUV jerks and lurches ahead while accelerating and slowing down.
Drivers note this issue is mostly when driving slowly, accelerating from a stop, or taking off from a light. Others report problems while driving in traffic and that the Toyota SUV would lurch ahead. Toyota issued a Techincal Service Bulletin for this issue with reference number T-SB-0107-19. This TSB confirms that the transmission has problems at six mph or below and immediately following a downshift from third to first gear. It can also occur while using less than 40% accelerator pedal application. Toyota should have updated the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) to fix the problem, but it could still be present in some vehicles.
If you want to skip all that, the 2019 Mazda CX-5 is in the same segment but has fewer complaints. Folks say that the CX-5 is fun to drive and sits within the same price segment but has a better history of reliability.
This Jeep Wrangler is one of the most complained about used SUVs
Most people picking up the 2019 Jeep Wrangler probably have big plans. Unfortunately, steering is one of the biggest problems noted by drivers. Some folks pointed out that the steering is too loose, making it hard to navigate the roads. Others commented that the power steering goes out without warning, and the Wrangler pulls to the right or left instead of driving straight.
Almost 400 steering complaints note these issues and some reference the “death wobble.” Jeep’s death wobble was a common issue with Jeep SUVs from this time frame. It resulted from misaligned or damaged parts in the suspension and steering systems. A few technical service bulletins were issued for this Jeep problem, with NHTSA Action Number PE19012. Jeep and the NHTSA are still investigating this issue, calling it “Weld Quality Deficiencies.”
Overall, this Wrangler is one of the used SUVs of 2019 to leave behind. Unfortunately, it is also one of the more capable and customizable SUVs on the market. With that said, a 2019 Subaru Forester is less exciting but more reliable. It has more safety systems and higher safety scores but still has some off-road capability.
Kia’s Sorento had an off year in 2019
Even though Kia has come a long way in the last few years, the 2019 Kia Sorento has racked up a lot of complaints. Most of those seem to stem from the engine or powertrain. There are various issues listed by owners, from a lack of engine oil to a slight rattle while accelerating.
A few complaints note a loss of engine power, which did not throw a check engine light or offer any other information. The NHTSA issued an open investigation into the Loss of Motive Power at the end of 2022 with NHTSA Action Number DP22003. This looked into an oil drain pan assembly issue that could cause an oil leak failure.
The NHTSA noted that this loss of engine power could be at highway speeds, without any other malfunctions, and would not always throw an indicator light before or after the incident. This alleged defect could cause the engine to seize and lose power. Unfortunately, this cemented the Kia’s place on this list of the most complained about used SUVs. The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe has fewer complaints and better reliability scores for a better option in the same range.
While these are some of the most complained about used SUVs, plenty of reliable options are available. Even just selecting a model year newer can often remedy the problem. For now, skipping these complained-about models for something with fewer issues might be a good idea.