Bring These 5 SUVs Back!
The return of the Ford Bronco is making us pine for these other departed SUVsby Kirby Garlitos, on
Admit it. How many of you went into when Ford confirmed that it was bringing back the Bronco? I’ll be the first to stand up and raise my hands because I got really pumped up for it. The Bronco remains one of the most famous SUVs to wear a Blue Oval badge, but its legacy was tarnished in some ways by having been associated with a certain high-profile crime that occurred in 1994. I’ve always thought that Ford needed to bring the model back so it could wipe that stain off of its legacy and now that the automaker has essentially confirmed it, I’m excited to see a new chapter unfold in the Bronco’s life.
The return of the Bronco also prompted to think wistfully of other departed SUVs that I wouldn’t mind seeing once again. Some of these SUVs are hard to remember, but they did make an impact however long they lived. Others remain popular today, albeit because of their descendants. And then there are those SUVs that I think never got the shine they deserved. Well, the crossover and SUV markets are booming as we speak, so there’s no better time than today for these automakers to start considering bringing these models back into the fold. Well, except the Hummer. That monstrosity did nothing for me. Good riddance on that one.
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I'll sign a petition to have these SUVs back
I may be on an island on this one, but I don’t care. The Suzuki Samurai never got a fair shake when it was sold in the US for almost a decade. Consumer Reports hated it so much that it demanded that they were taken off roads. Alas, the Samurai never became the popular SUV that Suzuki hoped it’d be. Part of it was the automaker’s fault because I’m willing concede that it wasn’t the best-made car in the world. Actually it wasn’t that good at all. But like most things that flamed out before they could even get a chance to ignite, the Samurai somehow parlayed its legacy into a strong cult following. It may not have been the safest SUV, but it was light, nimble, and a ball to drive. If Suzuki brings it back and pays more attention to improving its build quality without disrupting the elements that made it fun to drive in the first place, it can parlay its status now into something special.
I’m actually surprised that Dodge hasn’t brought this old workhorse back, especially with how popular SUVs have become in the US. It would be cool if the Ramcharger did return at some point and brought back its rivalry with the Ford Bronco in the process. In any case, I’m all for bringing the Ramcharger back because at the time of its existence - 1974 to 1994 - it was arguably one of the most popular full-sized SUVs in the market. It also had one of the coolest pre-production nicknames - “The Rhino” - and it was so popular in Central and South America that it actually lived on in that region until 2001. Now that Dodge has an SRT package to play with, raise your hands if you’re at least mildly intrigued about the thought of seeing a new Ramcharger packing an SRT Trackhawk package? Heck, give it a Hellcat engine!
The LM002 was somewhere in the middle of a military truck and a Countach supercar
Ok, so this is another weird choice given that Lamborghini is releasing an SUV of its own in the form of the Urus. But I am interested to see how Lambo would build a direct successor to the LM002 if it somehow lost its mind and decided to do one. Remember, the OG LM002 was somewhere in the middle of a military truck and a Countach supercar. It didn’t make sense back then, but like most misses of that time, the LM002 has developed its own cult following. Now picture what a modern-day LM002 could look like, complete with a militarized utilitarian feel to it. If you can’t imagine it, then you’re on the same boat as I am, which is why it would be very interesting for Lambo to go down this route.
International Harvester Scout
Speaking of SUVs that have aged well in the nostalgia department, the International Harvester Scout is arguably one of the most sought-after classic SUVs today. Unfortunately, most of the models that still exist are beyond repair and that has only driven its stock even more. I don’t know how this model can be brought back to life but the old International Harvester company still exists under the name Navistar International Corporation. If there was ever a firm that could bring the Scout back, it’s Navistar. Guess what Navistar’s business is all about too? Yep. Commercial trucks. There’s a way, people. All’s left is to convince Navistar to do it.
Fiat Ghia Jolly
The Jolly didn’t have any doors, but that was part of its enduring appeal.
There’s actually a way for Fiat to bring back one of its most fascinating models. Back when it was produced in limited quantities, the Jolly was a hot ticket item, especially among the wealthy elite in the U.S. and Europe. The Jolly didn’t have any doors, but that was part of its enduring appeal. It also featured wicker seats and a fringed top as an option. Most importantly, it was sold at such a high rate during its initial run that very few were actually produced and today, there are suggestions that less than 100 remain in existence. it’s no wonder that when one of these models went for auction in 2015, it sold for a staggering price of $170,500. Guess what then. If the Fiat 500X still doesn’t know its destiny, might I suggest to Fiat to simply remove its doors, put in all-weather tires, and rename it the Jolly. Problem solved!