These Are the Discontinued SUVs We Want to See Again (Some are Even Likely to Return)
When Ford announced that Bronco is coming back, it caused many other companies to bring back old nameplates. On most occasions, old-school models have nothing to do with their new editions. For example, Honda Passport is a mini-Pilot. On the other hand, the new Land Rover Defender is as tough as its predecessor. Chevrolet brought back Blazer, and in 2021 they will launch the smaller version of the midsize SUV – Trailblazer. Also, the FCA announced the comeback of its old nameplates – Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.
There are many other SUVs we would like to see back in the market. We can find some rumors about some of them, while some are in the books for good. Still, their fans will expect them in the future. Let’s see which the most probable comebacks are in the next couple of seasons. Have in mind that everything is possible, especially with a growing SUV market creating more versions and subclasses.
Hummer (Electric SUV for 2022)
General Motors is preparing an all-electric SUV for 2022. However, before the company announced that their “electric future is now”, we could hear these plans from trusted sources. In a matter of fact, this was expected. But, what drew more attention is the name the company is going to use. It seems like the popular Hummer is on the way back to the market.
Forget about the HX concept. GM is developing an all-new platform for its electric cars. The comeback of the Hummer nameplate is a logical move. This vehicle was very popular back in its prime and the new edition will cause a lot of attention. Well, not as much as the Ford Bronco, but with the electric motor, it can be one of the big players.
Toyota Venza (Concept is Already There)
The Toyota Venza used to be a midsize model. Now, the SUV is going to be downsized and converted to the compact crossover. The Japanese company presented an all-new platform that will make the vehicle more efficient. Some say the fuel economy could get a 50% boost. Enough to lure our attention. Here is what we found out as well.
The Toyota Venza concept is a product of cooperation between the Japanese manufacturer and Lotus Engineering. Most stories are paying a lot of attention to efficiency and price. The new Venza will return 30 percent more miles per gallon. Well, it will be a smaller unit, so it is not such a big deal, especially without final numbers. The good thing is that price is not going up. Again, smaller crossover costs less than a big one. The release date is not set yet, but the architecture is in the final phases of development.
Ford Excursion (The F-250 Truck-Based SUV)
The biggest SUV we’ve ever seen is Excursion. With the expansion of classes, it is not unlikely to see it back. Soon, we hope. Ford already has all the segments filled with versatile models. The largest vehicle in the lineup is Expedition Max, an extended version of the base SUV with a slightly increased wheelbase (131 inches). Excursion was stretched to 137 in.
So, this will be something new for the US market. Another reason why we believe in the Ford Excursion comeback is the new engine. The F-250 heavy-duty truck, the vehicle SUV was based on, is now getting power from a 7.3-liter V8 drivetrain. This is the perfect choice for the new Excursion. The SUV would have all – power, towing capacity, efficiency, low gas emissions. We could see it next year already, at least as a concept.
Nissan Xterra (The Company Launched SUV Called TERRA)
Nissan made the first step and somehow woke up the hope in the Xterra’s comeback. In China, this carmaker launched midsize Terra. Many fans take this as the concept that will underpin the old nameplate in new times. Still, the Nissan Xterra is not confirmed, but this kind of off-road SUV is missing in the company’s US squad.
The vehicle should use the same platform as the Frontier truck. The tough architecture will make the Nissan Xterra more capable for off-road duties than Pathfinder and Armada. The Japanese carmaker discontinued it in 2015 and it returns sooner than we expect if we can say that after Terra’s arrival.
Jeep Patriot (Coming After Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer)
Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are not the only old names Jeep could bring back. Well, another model is in this wishlist. But, the market researches show fans are keener on the Jeep Patriot than any other SUV. But, it is still questionable, although the electrification could revive the concept we saw in 2009. Back then, the company presented the Jeep Patriot EV platform. Nowadays, more and more vehicles are getting an all-electric motor, and this is the main reason why we rank Patriot as one of the SUVs that could come back sooner than others.
On the other hand, we have no clues about the development progress. Chiefs are not announcing details, and leaking sources are not delivering any updates. Plus, FCA is not unveiling things about the electric future, like their archrivals in the US market did. But, fans saw the same story with diesel trucks, and Ram 1500 stole the show with the minimum marketing efforts.
GMC Envoy (Electric SUV Behind GMC Badge)
There are a few stories about the GMC Envoy comeback. The first one is the nameplate will replace the Terrain crossover in the compact segment. The second version of rumors is pointing to the subcompact class. Still, the Envoy was midsize SUV and it could take the same position, between a three-row Acadia and Terrain.
However, most speculations are mentioning the electrification. GMC and Chevrolet are owned by the same company. So, everything we said about the Hummer, could be used for the GMC Envoy. GM twins, as they call GMC and Chevy models, always share a lot of things in common, including platforms, and for example, the new IRS system for full-size SUVs. So, the same is expected for the electric drivetrain.
Mazda CX-7 (Comeback After Ten Years)
The main source of information about the Mazda CX-7 comeback is coming from the company’s homeland. There, Mazda is producing CX-8. This vehicle could be rebranded and brought to the rest of the world, by using the old nameplate. The SUV debuted recently, and the first update is going to include expansion to other markets.
The SkyActiv technology is evolving and we could see something new under the hood. Meanwhile, a certain powerplant is a 2.5-liter turbo-four. Another option is a diesel 2.2 displacement with high torque output. The Mazda CX-7 is going to slot between compact CX-5 and midsize three-row CX-9. The bad thing is Mazda’s silence on these rumors.
Mitsubishi Pajero (Or Montero, Or Shogun)
The SUV with so many names. Mitsubishi is delivering its product behind different badges for different markets. Well, the nameplate is still alive. However, the US comeback was not so certain. But now, the Japanese company is working on more efficient drivetrains. Outlander PHEV put them on the map again. The comeback of the legend, Mitsubishi Pajero, could cause an earthquake in the full-size SUV world.
The things we loved and expect from the future Mitsubishi Pajero is its toughness, rigid look, and superb off-road performance. As said, efficiency and emissions are the biggest obstacles. If Mitsubishi solves these problems, Pajero will have a clear path for the US to comeback.
Honda Crosstour (Full-Size Segment Has a Vacant Spot)
Honda is one of the companies that already made one comeback. Passport was launched without a previous announcement and it immediately caused a lot of impressions. Now, another badge could be re-launched soon. One model is missing in the company’s portfolio – a big rig. The Honda Crosstour could take the position above Pilot as the new largest SUV by the Japanese carmaker.
Still, there are a lot of questions. For example – what will power the full-size SUV? Honda is not offering a V8 engine. Also, the Honda Crosstour was more of a hatchback/wagon, than the SUV. Still, these types of vehicles are not as popular as sport utility vehicles. So, beware of a new Honda’s surprise.
We analyzed another option: Crosstour is Going to Challenge Subaru Forester
Dodge Ramcharger (Ram 1500 SUV)
Dodge and Jeep are brands owned by the same company. However, this is not a model we were talking about earlier. Another SUV with a seven-slot grille is on the list. The Dodge Ramcharger was succeeded by Durango and ever since we heard no word about its comeback. Now, some fans are mentioning a truck-based SUV capable of work and tow.
Ram 1500 is the second best-selling truck in the US now. The FCA wants to use the momentum and build more vehicles which will be based on this pickup. The Dodge Ramcharger is a perfect choice. Its name suggests the mean vehicle. Still, the interest in such a vehicle is not high. FCA has big plans for the existing models, and it is unknown if the carmaker is going to test the US market with the new vehicle, even with an old nameplate.
Toyota FJ Cruiser (2-Door Wrangler’s Rival)
Tough SUVs were pretty popular before. However, strict laws killed most of them. For example, Toyota FJ Cruiser. The vehicle is still in production but in very limited areas. The US comeback is not so likely to happen. Toyota’s squad is stuffed with all kinds of SUVs. The carmaker has best-sellers in mid-size and compact segments. Its luxury Lexus RX is way ahead of the competition. Even when it comes to the off-road capability, one of the best wheels you can find is Toyota 4Runner. So, it seems like there is no room for the Toyota FJ Cruiser in this lineup. Still, we must admit the market needs such a classic SUV.
Ford Freestyle (Flex Successor)
Ford Freestyle was the SUV that appeared only between 2005-2007. After that, the company renamed it to Taurus X. Now, Flex is discontinued from the same class. We were a little surprised since this model was not so popular. But, the end of one causes the start of another model. Some sources claim that Ford Freestyle will be the name of the Flex’ successor. Besides that, we don’t know too much about this model. With the comeback of Bronco, the question is – which spot the Freestyle could take.
Honda Element (The Most Pet-Friendly Crossover)
Unlike the Freestyle, which was not so popular, Honda Element has an army of fans. Its boxy look and interior features bought previous owners for life. However, it will be ten years soon since the vehicle is not in production. For a few years, we are listening about its comeback. Instead, Honda keeps the focus on developing proven HR-V and CR-V in the compact crossover segment.
Honda Element was not a cute model. It will draw your attention with a strange look. Pretty heavy and not too powerful. So, why would anyone buy it? The crossover was one of the most reliable vehicles in the market. Maintenance was never a problem. The interior was so versatile, that Honda was offering additional packages for your pets, dogs precisely. Element even won some rewards for these gadgets.
Buick Rainier (New Seven-Seater SUV?)
Buick is back in the market again. The new lineup made a great job for another mild-luxury GM brand. Currently, the lineup offers three models: midsize Enclave, compact Envision, and subcompact Encore. Enspire is the latest concept. The all-electric platform was presented in China. However, some rumors are spinning the story, telling the Enspire is replacing Envision.
So, what is has to do with the Buick Rainier? The evolution of the brand is not in a doubt. The company is expanding the lineup. Rainier was never too popular. During six years in the market, the company sold only 60,000 units. Nowadays, this is a poor record for a single season. However, SUVs are more popular now. Buick is going to continue to grow. There is the space for the Rainier, but the carmaker will probably continue to use the nomenclature starting with EN-.
Jeep Commander (No Room For Comeback)
The Jeep Commander never fulfilled expectations. When its concept debuted in 1999, the goal was to deliver a vehicle with a fuel cell. Instead, the company made another conventional SUV after six years. Well, buyers were interested in this nameplate, and in the first two seasons Jeep sold four times more Commanders than for the rest of its life.
We cannot say it was not interesting. V6 and V8 engines were providing a lot of power. Even a diesel unit was an option for export. The company still had to discontinue it in 2011. Dodge Durango and Grand Cherokee had an advantage and the move paid off. Mid-size SUV with a seven-slot grille is the best-selling model, although it doesn’t offer the third row of seats.
Acura ZDX (Not Likely to Return With This Nameplate)
Honda’s luxury department offers a couple of premium models. Its rivals are covering most segments. Still, the MDX and RDX are very popular and the Japanese giant plans to expand the lineup. Well, one of the upgrades is the Type S package for certain vehicles. We are also thinking about another crossover SUV.
The Acura ZDX was an interesting project that never reached expectations. Engineers and designers delivered an attractive coupe-SUV, but before the time this specie became popular. Well, even nowadays vehicles that offer such cabin configuration cannot compete in sales with conventional-look SUVs. So, Acura ZDX is not likely to come back. The company will probably bring the new nameplate if they decide to add vehicles to the crossover SUV class.
Isuzu Ascender (D-Max based MU-X)
The Isuzu Ascender was produced by GM. In 2008, General Motors replaced it with GMC Acadia. The only other Isuzu SUV was MU-X. Whatsoever, the Ascender left a positive impression and prepared a great pitch for its successors. Now, more than ten years after, we could see it back.
The Japanese company is making huge changes. Its best-selling model, D-Max truck, is entering the new generation with fresh powertrains. A 3.0-liter diesel is not an option that could arrive in the US. On the other hand, the company announced a way cleaner 1.9-liter turbocharged petrol mill for the European market. Standards over there are pretty tough to meet and the next step for Isuzu could be the US. The Ascender will wake up memories and help carmaker establish a connection with buyers, rather than the new name.
GMC Jimmy (Chevy Blazer’s Twin)
The GMC Jimmy was a versatile crossover SUV which could be used both for commuting and working. On the other hand, the gas mileage was a killer, and transmission problems definitely finished it off. GMC will definitely expand its lineup. The reason why we started believing the nameplate could return, is the comeback of the Chevy Blazer. These two used to be twins twenty years ago. However, any kind of proof is missing, so the speculations are without a foundation.
The Mercedes-Benz M-Class made this carmaker a serious player in the crossover and SUV class. When the company renamed it to the GL- nomenclature, many fans were disappointed. But, it seems MB did not make a mistake. In a matter of fact, the current lineup is even more popular. So, it leads to the conclusion the Mercedes-Benz M-Class is not coming back any time soon, no matter how many buyers would like to see it again.
It didn’t last for too long, but the Dodge Nitro left a lot of fans behind it. Yes, the company offers a replacement in Durango, but for some, it is not enough. Nitro had 200k sales before the economic crisis broke it and lead to the discontinuation. Unique and muscular design is eye-catching. On the other hand, the interior is not so cool, having in mind there is a lot of space. Poor quality of materials is one of the main reason why buyers were finding other solutions.
Remember when GMC tried to copy Jeep and Ford. The Typhoon is a copy of Bronco that was not able to gain enough popularity. The try was cool and we are looking forward to seeing the reincarnation of a similar vehicle. Boxy look and sharp edges are not so cool anymore. That is why Bronco is taking a new shape. Will GMC Typhoon even come back? Just in dreams.