Trucks & SUVs

Most Reliable 3-Year-Old Large SUVs According to Consumer Reports

Large SUVs are some of the most expensive types of vehicles available for sale. Therefore, it is no surprise that more buyers are turning to the used market for their next family hauler purchase. With an overwhelming amount of SUVs available, it can be challenging to pick which is the best. Luckily, Consumer Reports published a list that contains some of the most reliable 3-year-old SUVs available. Aside from plain reliability, depreciation has hit these large SUVs significantly, making them affordable as well. 

1. Chevy Tahoe & GMC Yukon: great all-rounders

The Chevrolet Tahoe is one of the most reliable large SUVs.
Chevrolet Tahoe | Chevrolet

General Motors’ most popular large SUVs are almost identical, meaning they share the same platform and powertrain. As a result, both the Chevy Tahoe and the GMC Yukon earned top marks for reliability in Consumer Reports’ list. One of the biggest draws of these SUVs is their available naturally-aspirated V8 engines. Available with a 5.3-liter producing 355 hp or a 6.2-liter with 420 hp, these SUVs both have a towing capacity of over 8,300 pounds. An all-wheel-drive system is an available option; however, rear-wheel drive comes as standard. 

Aside from being sturdy SUVs, the Chevy and GMC offered an available Magent Ride Control system, which significantly improved the ride quality. Other notable options include Apple CarPlay and automatic emergency braking. A quick search for these SUVs on AutoTrader revealed that both the Chevy and the GMC sell for around $38,000. However, be careful not to go for the cheapest deal, make sure that your potential next SUV has all of the options you prefer. 

2. Mercedes-Benz GLS: the luxury large SUV

The Mercedes-Benz GLS is one of the most reliable large SUVs.
Mercedes-Benz GLS | Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

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It is unusual to find large luxury SUVs in a reliability list, given their intricate design and expensive maintenance requirements. Luckily for buyers at the luxury end of the market, the Mercedes-Benz GLS appears to be the exception. Aside from offering solid reliability, the GLS is also the most affected by depreciation. With a near $70,000 starting price without options, it’s striking to see these frequently trading for under $48,000 for the base GLS 450. If the wallet allows, buyers can opt for the V8-powered GLS 550 and its 449-hp output. 

The GLS also came equipped with a smooth nine-speed transmission and air suspension on all four corners, allowing the driver to select ride height and stiffness. Although the overall reliability seems to be very solid, Consumer Reports also noted low owner satisfaction with the GLS. The most common complaint amongst owners appears to be the failure of in-car electronics such as the infotainment screen. Repairs for complex electronics can quickly become costly. Despite this, no significant complaints were filed for the engine, suspension or transmission.

3. Lexus LX: a serious off-roader

The Lexus LX is one of the most reliable large SUVs.
Lexus LX 570 | Lexus

The Lexus LX is the largest, most expensive, and seemingly least depreciation scarred SUV on this list. Based on Toyota’s iconic Land Cruiser, the Lexus LX is a luxurious version of a very serious off-roader. As a result, there is a luxury interior coupled with high-riding adjustable suspension, locking differentials, and a potent V8 engine. With a starting price of around $90,000, the LX is far from being affordable. 

Thankfully for buyers, used LX’s still trade for just under $70,000, signifying decent retention of value. Better yet, as the depreciation effect begins to slow, these large SUVs should stay within that price range for the next couple of years.

Despite its iconic history and luxury offerings, the Lexus LX has scored poorly in terms of owner satisfaction, mainly due to interior build quality and paint issues. All of the significant components, such as the engine, suspension, and transmission, received top marks, making for a great used purchase.