Some SUV buyers feel that without a separate truck frame, it isn’t an SUV. What used to be a given is no more. All crossovers are essentially built around a car unibody platform. Some of the larger SUVs are too. However, for 2022 there are 18 SUVs that still use a separate truck frame from the body.
Most of these truck frames get tweaked for use under an SUV. This is due to shorter wheelbases, weight requirements, and other modifications to perform better, and ride smoother than their truck counterparts. And that part too is different from unibody SUVs. The ride tends to be more firm, and, well, more truck-like. This isn’t bad, since pickup trucks have come a long way in the ride and comfort category.
With a list this long, we can’t get too far in the weeds on specs and other info. But knowing you want a body-on-frame SUV means you need to know what is out there. So this list is for you.
New for 2023, the Sequoia will offer a ton of options and features starting at $50,500. If you prefer the 2022 model, it is the last version of the fifth generation of the 4Runner, which debuted in 2009.
For Toyota 4Runner enthusiasts, you should see an all-new 4Runner soon. The current one has been around too long; since 2009.
Infiniti QX80/Nissan Armada
The Armada comes in S, SV, SL, and Platinum trims. With 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway, it has more of a thirst for gas than some others on this list.
Mercedes G-Class/AMG G63
The luxury “G-Wagen” has a towing capacity of 7,000 lbs, and retails for $133,250, making it the most expensive SUV on this list.
The LX600 is based on a Toyota Land Cruiser. But the Land Cruiser is no longer available so this is as close as you can get in the US. Prices start at $87,000.
A step down from the Lexus LX600 is the GX460. It is showing its age but still offers SUV luxury at a more affordable price, which starts at $56,500. The Black Line is its highest trim.
Jeep Wrangler/Wrangler Unlimited
Available as both a two- and four-door, the Wrangler is a throwback, and legendary in off-road circles. The Unlimited is the Jeep Wrangler’s top model. Prices start at $30,000 for the four-door.
Ford Expedition/Lincoln Navigator
Ford’s Expedition and Lincoln Navigator are essentially the same vehicles, based on Ford’s F-150 frame. Of course, the Nav is the luxury counterpart, but the Expedition is no slouch in that department, either.
The much-heralded Ford Bronco is a body-on-frame SUV, available as either a two- or four-door. Both have taken a chunk out of Jeep sales, so Ford must have hit its sweet spot.
Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon/Yukon XL, Chevy Tahoe/Suburban
The Escalade, Yukon, Tahoe, and Suburban are all based on the same body and frame. Both the Tahoe and Yukon are on shorter wheelbases than their siblings but are essentially the same platform. The base-price breakdown is Escalade: $76,295; Yukon: $51,000; Yukon XL: $54,800; Tahoe: $50,200; Suburban: $52,900.
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