Worst Luxury SUVs Under $50,000

So you want a luxury SUV. Understandably, when you buy luxury you expect quality, class and sophistication. But, luxury brands spend millions of dollars on marketing trying to convince people why you should pay their inflated prices. When they’re new, it might be easier to see where your money is going, but it’s a whole other story when they’re used. Here are five luxury SUVs we think you should avoid if it’s longevity you’re after.

5. Range Rover Evoque

In fifth place, it’s the Range Rover you buy when you can’t afford a real Ranger Rover, it’s the Evoque.


The smallest SUV in this list still comes with a huge list of potential problems, many of them quite serious.


Reports included a loss of steering control, gearboxes catastrophically failing, fuel leaks, oil leaks, major suspension failures, a vast array of never-ending electronic issues to the point that these things just stop working.


Plus in a recent reliability survey, the Evoque finished dead last in the family SUV category.


4.  Alfa Romeo Stelvio

It’s beautiful, it drives incredibly well and it exudes that fantastic Italian charm, it’s just a shame the quality doesn’t match any of that, in fourth, it’s the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.


What goes wrong with the gorgeous Italian? Well, where do we start… The Stelvio can suffer from major engine and transmission issues, fuel pump and delivery issues and electronic problems that can disable everything from the infotainment to engine management systems.


Then there are the drive shaft, axle and CV joint issues and problems with the all-wheel-drive system.


The biggest issue we’ve read with the Stelvio is inconsistency. We know of owners that love these and have never had an issue, but we also know of reports where the problems are catastrophic.


At least it will look gorgeous while being broken down on the side of the road.


3. Land Rover Disco Sport

In third, it’s the Land Rover Discovery Sport. Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I had one of these as a press car to review a few years ago and even when brand new and on the press fleet, it just died. I was parking it, it just turned off and wouldn’t restart for a few hours.


It has been reported that a shocking 43% of Discovery Sport owners have experienced major problems with their Disco Sport, with faults covering everything from major engine and transmission issues, electrical malfunctions, interior and exterior trim faults and brake and suspension issues.


That means that 57% of Disco Sport owners haven’t experienced any major issues, yet.

2. Range Rover Velar

In second place, it’s the Range Rover Velar. These things are a design masterpiece and the interior is just beautiful, but that doesn’t mean they’re any good.


The Velar is the automotive equivalent to Steve Buschemi wearing a Ryan Gosling mask and Tom Ford suit, underneath, it’s still Steve Buschemi. Only unlike Mr Buscemi, the Velar is lacking in talent and doesn’t seem to last the test of time.


Reportedly, nearly half of all Velars suffer from some issue or another, and as one report puts it, the Velar is a hotbed of frustration and unreliability. So much goes wrong.


The main issue is the immense amount electronic failures which, considering that the Velar is drenched in touch screens, the engine, transmission, suspension, braking and basically all functionality is electronically controlled, just spells disaster for the attractive Brit.


There are even multiple reports that the door handles that come out to greet you, fail to greet you, leaving you stranded outside your expensive waste of money.


1. Range Rover Sport and Range Rover

Now in first place, we actually have a tie. This is the first time this has happened but even though it’s a tie, it kind of isn’t at the same time. In first place, it’s the Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport.


Both of these SUVs can suffer from such incredibly long lists of faults and failures, we just don’t have time to go through them here.


Almost all years of both of these feature at the very bottom of countless reliability and consumer satisfaction reports, some reports even show that more than half of all Range Rover and Range Rover Sports suffer from some sort of major issue


More than half! And as you may have noticed, Land Rover and Range Rover take out all but one spot on this list.


Look, it’s important to know that while Land Rover and Range Rover may promote themselves as classy English brands, Land Rover as a company has been sold and bought and tossed around by everyone from BMW to Ford and now the brand is part owned by Indian manufacturer Tata and Chinese company Chery.


We’re not saying that there’s anything wrong with that of course but if you’re thinking of buying a Land Rover or Range Rover because of its sense of English class and sophistication, you need to be ok that what you’re buying is no longer an English brand and as our experts and countless reports and articles state, it’s probably best to avoid them.


In the market for a used car? Check out all our ReDriven Cheat Sheets.


Find all our video reviews over on YouTube.


NOTE: This article was originally published in June 2021, so some pricing information may have changed.

Worst cars you can buy right now


Now, there are some truly terrible cars out there and these 5 cars are at the top of the list. If you own one of these, we recommend getting rid of it as soon as possible.

5. Jaguar X-Type

The Jaguar X-Type is a prime example of a car company trying to pass off a low-quality product as a luxury vehicle.


Instead of designing a car from scratch to compete with the BMW 3 series, Jaguar took the underpinnings of a Ford Mondeo, put it in a poorly fitting Jaguar body, and added a questionable all-wheel-drive system.


The result was a car with seized engines, exploding transmissions and driveshafts, wheel hub failures, and falling apart interior and exterior trim.


Not to mention, parts and labor are expensive, the safety and infotainment technology is subpar, and it’s not even a pleasure to drive. This car serves as a reminder that luxury brands don’t always equate to quality products.


4. Chrysler PT Cruiser (Convertible)

In fourth place is the Chrysler PT Cruiser, particularly the awful convertible version. It’s understandable that Chrysler tried to combine retro styling with a practical and economical vehicle, but they failed miserably.


The PT Cruiser has terrible driving dynamics and a complete lack of build quality. It’s a retro wagon meets soft roader and it’s just embarrassing for anyone seen in one.


A mechanic even described it as “a horrendous piece of shit” and said they “want to stab [themselves] in the face and neck” every time they have to work on one. Avoid the PT Cruiser at all costs.


3. SsangYong Rodius/Stavic

In third place is the SsangYong Rodius/Stavic, which may be the ugliest car of all time. The goal of the design was to capture the essence of a luxury yacht, but it ended up as an awkwardly proportioned disaster of a vehicle that was even worse mechanically than it was aesthetically.


The SsangYong was heavily criticised for its poor build quality, lack of safety and tech features, poor performance, handling, and refinement, as well as an interior that was just as disappointing as the exterior.


Even when it was brand new, it was a terrible car, and it only gets worse with age. You’d be better off walking than getting in one of these.


2. Dodge Nitro

Second on the list is the Dodge Nitro. The only positive thing about this car is that it’s not unattractive. However, a quick Google search of “Dodge Nitro problems” will yield a long list of issues, problems, and even catastrophic failures.


To make matters worse, the Nitro is no longer in production and Dodge is no longer in business in Australia, making it almost impossible to repair if it has any issues, which it is likely to have due to its poor build quality.


The only reason to buy a Nitro would be to melt it down and sell the metal.


1. Hummer H2

The Hummer H2 is not just a bad car, it’s a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the world.


It’s a gas-guzzling, environmentally irresponsible, and overpriced monstrosity. It’s poorly built, has terrible handling and performance, and is a nightmare to maintain.


It’s also a magnet for people with terrible taste and even worse attitudes. Save yourself the hassle and stay far away from the Hummer H2.


In the market for a used car? Check out all our ReDriven Cheat Sheets.


Find all our video reviews over on YouTube.

Cars under $30,000 for single dads

So obviously a car in this category has to be practical, safe, reliable and under 30 grand. But this is a car for single dads, it has to exude a sophisticated cool, it has to say ‘yes I’m a dad, so I’m doing my best at being a responsible adult but, hey I’m single and I’m ready to mingle’. It might also help if it frustrates the ex a little bit too.

So, what are the best used cars under 30 grand for single dads? Here is our Top 5

5. Subaru WRX

In fifth place, it’s our performance car pick, the Subaru WRX.


For 30 grand, single dads should be on the hunt for the 2014 to 2018 VA WRXs and ideally in the premium trim but if you really want to annoy the ex, get one with the optional wing attached.


The WRX is fast but practical, it’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system will keep you and the kids safe while also firing you out of corners like a ballistic missile and while the WRX becomes more mature and refined with every new generation, there’s still something fun and almost juvenile about the WRX.


And you just know there’s going to be some great satisfaction when the ex says “you bought a WRX?”


4. Lexus IS350 F Sport

In fourth we have our more luxurious choice, but it’s still dipping its toes in the performance car pond, it’s the Lexus IS350 F Sport 


The IS350 is an exceptionally good car, but the F Sport is something special. It blends luxury and performance with genuine reliability and practicality. Also, if you happen to be picking someone up for a date, the F Sport just oozes class and cool.


30 grand should get you into a 2013 to 2016 F Sport, and at that price it will have a few kilometres on the clock, but, it’s a Lexus so that shouldn’t matter too much.


3. BMW E28 5 Series

In third, it’s the E28 5 Series BMW and specifically, the M535i. Like the Lexus, this does its best to dabble in the luxury feels but it does it with some old school charm.


Ok, it might not have anywhere near the safety credentials of modern cars but the E28 is practical, it oozes cool, it’s fun to drive, especially in M535i spec, and you’re kids will love the old school charm.


Understandably you might have some concerns when it comes to reliability but E28s in this 30 thousand dollar area are generally in incredible condition and should have thorough service histories to give you some peace of mind.


Plus, they are pretty simple machines with not all that many electronics so hopefully, that means there is less to go wrong. God they’re cool.


 2. Toyota Prado

In second place, we’re getting into adventure mode and this is probably the most sensible car on the list, it’s the Toyota Prado.


30 grand should get you behind the wheel of 2012 to 2014 Toyota Prado in either standard trim with lower kilometres or modified and heavily accessorised but with higher kilometres.


We’d recommend finding one with some tasty mods and four by four accessories but, make sure it has been cared for and has a full service history.


The Prado has loads of room for the kids, with a few mods it will get you about as far away from your ex as is humanly possible. And, with Toyotas incredible reputation for reliability, it should easily last longer than your marriage did.


1. Ford Ranger XLT/Wildtrack

In first place, it’s not fast, it’s not luxurious but it will take you, your kids and loads of their stuff far off the beaten track, it’s the Ford Ranger.


We had to have a 4×4 dual-cab ute on this list and for 30 grand, our pick is the Ford Ranger, particularly a post-facelift XLT from late 2015 and into 2016.


The XLT is the sweet spot of the Ranger lineup and for good reason. It’s loaded with all the kit you and your kids will need, is arguably the nicest to drive on road and will tackle some very serious terrain off road, meaning your kids won’t shut up about how awesome dad’s new truck is to their mum.


Plus they’re showing pretty good reliability, as long as they haven’t been abused and if you want to know all the graphic details, we’ve made a video on one.


We’ve reviewed versions of the Subaru WRX, Toyota Prado & Ford Ranger.


In the market for a used car? Check out all our ReDriven Cheat Sheets.


Find all our video reviews over on YouTube.

Most overrated used cars


We just don’t get it. These are the cars that everyone raves on about but in reality, they’re actually pretty bloody average at best.

Either they are unreliable or they’re well below average to drive and live with or they’re just not worthy of their hype. Here’s our top 5 most overrated cars on the used car market.

5. Minis

In fifth place, Minis. Ok this one hurts because I kinda love these things, I love the aesthetic and what they’re all about but, once you remove all the image and quirkiness, they’re just, not very good.


But which Mini? Well, all of them.


We get it, they’re funky and cool and there’s not much else on the road like them but that is all novelty and look, novelty wears off.


What you’re left with is a car that really isn’t that well made, is becoming renowned for having some very serious mechanical issues and excluding any of the really rare performance models, will depreciate like crazy.


As far as what goes boom, CVT automatic transmissions fail, timing chains fail resulting in incredibly expensive engine failures, water pumps fail, many of the engine components are plastic and they tend to fail over time, there are radiator support problems, power steering problems and a whole host of electronic and computer issues.


Then there’s the depreciation. A 2020 Countryman Cooper S is going to set you back around 65 grand, you know how much a 2015 version of that car is, a little over 25 grand.


So it’s lost $40,000 in value in just over 5 years which might be ok if it was some groundbreaking incredible car, but they’re just not.


4. BMW X6M

 In fourth it’s a car that is despised by motoring journalists around the world yet people still buy them and people It’s the BMW X6 and in particular the X6M.


The X6M is an SUV that is utterly useless at being an SUV, drinks fuel like it genuinely hates the environment, depreciates like the Titanic floats and if driven enthusiastically, is building quite the reputation for being a mechanical nightmare, which means you should avoid doing the one and only thing the X6M is good at. 


And then there are those looks, which yes, are subjective, but in my opinion, the X6 is genuinely one of the all time ugly cars.


Because it’s based on the X5, which is not a sleek design by nature, the sloped roofline on the X6 makes the whole thing just look bulbous and awkward.


Plus that sloping roofline eats into your cargo space, and creates the mother of all blind spots.


If you really need a fast BMW SUV, buy an X5M, you’ll still have all the mechanical gremlins and plummeting depreciation but at least people won’t laugh at you.


3. Maserati Ghibli

In third place it’s the Maserati Ghibli. Many excuse these things because they are Italian and they have heritage and pedigree, it’s just a shame that nothing else about them matches the romance.


On paper it sounds great, a rear-wheel drive, leather-lined Italian styled sports sedan with a Ferrari-engineered power plant from luxury brand Maserati. But in reality, it was a horrendously thrown together dog of a car from the Fiat Chrysler group.


While it sourced its engine from Ferrari, pretty much everything else was from various Jeeps, Dodges and Chryslers and these are companies not exactly renowned for quality or reliability, hence why the Ghibli is truly horrific when it comes to things that go wrong.


Then there are the ergonomics. Anyone larger than a toddler will struggle for room in the back seat and up front, because the Ghibli is basically a concoction of various bits and pieces from other cars, nothing feels right, or in many cases, works as they should.


Then there’s the fact that even though Ferrari helped with the engine, the Ghibli is not actually all that fast, and it doesn’t drive all that well, especially when compared to its competition.


Finally, because these things are genuinely terrible, the depreciation is horrific. Back in 2015 a new Ghibli with a few options would have cost you over $150,000 here in Australia, these days (back in 202 when this was written) a 2015 Ghibli, will cost around 50 grand. So it’s lost two thirds of its value in just over 5 years or putting it another way, about $415 a week. What a joke.


2. Old School Mustangs

In second place it’s the first-generation, 1964 to 1973 Ford Mustang. We’re talking about the base model, inline 6-cylinder, not the V8s…..which, also aren’t all that great.


There’s no denying the Mustang is cool, it looks incredible and thanks to Steve McQueen and Carol Shelby, the Mustang has become one of the all-time iconic cars.


But, and this comes from experience, unless it’s been modified to a point where it’s hardly a Mustang anymore, in our opinion, they drive like utter crap and just do not live up to all the hype.


Firstly they are slow, a base model Hyundai i20 would leave it for dust, the ride quality is somehow harsh and floaty at the same time, the steering is more a suggestion than a tool to actually turn the car, the build quality is a joke and it will need constant repair.


I’ve driven a bunch of old school Mustangs and after the 15 minutes of romance and novelty wears off, I’ve just always been left disappointed and feeling totally underwhelmed when driving these things.


And it’s not an age thing because every time I drive an old 911 or Alfa Romeo of the same vintage, I’m generally blown away and trying to work out which internal organs I can sell to buy one.


Again, sorry, but old school Mustangs, excluding the fire-breathing ones, are massively overrated.


1. Range Rovers

In first place, it’s Range Rovers.


The sad thing about our top pick is the engineering that goes into these to make them incredibly capable deserves to be applauded, it’s just a shame they have a real habit of falling apart.


And even though you could probably steer it up and over Mount Everest while keeping cozy and safe, the vast majority of these are purchased as a status symbol or fashion accessory.


When we were doing the research for this list, we quizzed mechanics and automotive engineers and went through dozens of consumer satisfaction reports, vehicle reliability reports, and the car that consistently came out worst, Range Rover.


But even though people keep buying them, which Range Rover or Range Rovers should you avoid?


Well, we’d steer clear of the Evoque, the Range Rover Sport, the Discovery Sport, the Velar, the Discovery and the range-topping Land Rover Range Rover. Actually, I think that’s the entire line-up…


Yes, they look stunning, they’ll probably be great for your image and when they work, they’re a joy to drive. But, the looks will fade, serious things will start going wrong, which will be very bad for your bank account, and you won’t get to enjoy driving it because it will spend most of its life up on a hoist in some mechanic’s workshop. Plus the depreciation is insane!


In the market for a used car? Check out all our ReDriven Cheat Sheets.


Find all our video reviews over on YouTube.


Family SUVs under $35,000


We get it, you’ve got a bunch of kids, they have a bunch of friends, they’ve all got a bunch of scooters and you need to haul them all around.


But, you’re not ready to announce to the world that you’ve given up on life and become a glorified taxi driver for your offspring and their accessories.

You’re still cool, you still have some style and you need a car that communicates that, but it still needs to be practical, reliable and dependable and not cost more than $35 grand. Here’s our top 5.


5. Toyota Kluger

In fifth place, it’s the Toyota Kluger or if you’re not in Australia, it’s a Toyota Highlander.


For 35 grand, the variants to go for are 2014 to 2018 models in either all-wheel drive, mid-spec GXLs or front-wheel-drive top-spec Grandes.


Klugers, or Highlanders, have been a sales success due to their ability to swallow 7 humans pretty easily with their practical and efficient use of space, good looks and Toyota’s reputation for reliability and their incredible support network. But it’s last on our list for a reason, a few reasons actually.  


Firstly the infotainment system is rubbish, yes it can be upgraded with an aftermarket system but the lack of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and even any decent navigation system just isn’t good enough.


Then you have the lack of USB ports. If you’ve got a bunch of kids, you’re going to need a bunch of USB ports, all over the car. These things have 1 USB port and it’s towards the front of the car in the centre console.


And finally, yes that V6 engine is smooth, refined and reliable but once you’ve loaded up with a few kids and all their stuff, the big Toyota can feel heavy and cumbersome to drive. Plus, it has quite the appetite for fuel, especially once it’s loaded up.


4. Kia Sorento


In fourth, sort of, it’s the Kia Sorrento. We’ll get to why it’s a ‘sort of’ soon.


The one to hunt for is a post-2017 Sorento Platinum as you’ll get all the lovely mid-life update editions to what is already a superb family hauler. 


A budget of 35 grand may require some serious haggling but it’ll be worth it.


The Sorento is loaded with kit, it’s lovely to drive, it’s spacious, safe, fuel efficient, it’s ageing really well in terms of fit and finish, it’s showing superb reliability and thanks to ex-Audi designer extraordinaire Peter Schreyer, it looks very stylish too.


Add to that Kia’s 7 year warranty and what’s not to love, which brings us to why it sort of came 4th.


3. Hyundai Santa Fe

See, we pretty much had a tie between 3rd and 4th place as these two SUVs are very nearly the same thing. In 3rd, by the tiniest of margins, is the Hyundai Santa Fe.


Hyundai and Kia are two brands owned by the one parent company and under the skin, the Santa Fe and Sorrento are incredibly similar and they share a lot of common underlying engineering.


So what pushed the Santa Fe ahead of the Sorrento in this top 5?


Well with a budget of $35 grand, it’s going to be easier to get behind the wheel of an updated 2016 to 2018 top-spec Santa Fe Highlander than it will be a Sorento Platinum. You might still need to haggle, but it should be much easier to get in the Hyundai.


Like the Sorento Platinum, the Santa Fe Highlander is drenched in equipment, safety tech and an intelligent use of its interior space. 


Its drivetrain is refined and reliable and its locally-tuned suspension makes for a comfy and bloody enjoyable driving experience.


The Hyundai Santa Fe does just about everything right.


2. Mitsubishi Pajero

Now, in second, we felt we needed to include a more adventure ready SUV on the list, something that can easily tow a boat or climb a mountain in the middle of nowhere, something that really embraces the SUV name.  It’s the Mitsubishi Pajero.


If you’re after a civilised, refined urban runabout that can accommodate a bunch of humans and tackle some very light off-roading, maybe the Pajero isn’t for you.


But if you want a truly off-road-capable SUV with serious towing ability, a post-2015 GLS or Exceed Pajero should be at the pointy end of your list.


The Pajero has been around since the Pyramids of Egypt were just some pharos wild property development idea but in that time, Mitsubishi has tweaked, adjusted and honed the Pajero into a bulletproof, yet quite refined off-roading monster.


Plus the Pajero is about 20 grand cheaper than an equivalent Prado so it excels when it comes to value for money too.


1. Mazda CX-9

Taking out first place and let’s be honest, it’s the looker of this group, it’s the Mazda CX-9


The CX-9 provides a more luxurious fit and finish and offers more tech and a more engaging driving experience than the Kluger.


Its very clever turbocharged 2.5-litre four delivers really strong performance while still offering excellent fuel economy without having to turn to diesel like the Kia and Hyundai.


Its interior is more spacious, luxurious and comfortable than the Pajero and the whole car feels about 300 years newer, although the big Mitsubishi will take you much further off-road.


Plus now they’re populating the used car market, they offer incredible value for money.


The CX-9s to look for for under 35 grand are the 2016 CX-9 GT or Touring and preferably with all-wheel drive however, if you’re keeping on the black stuff, the front-wheel-drive variant is still a fantastic thing.


We’ve reviewed versions the Toyota Kluger and the Mitsubishi Pajero.


In the market for a used car? Check out all our ReDriven Cheat Sheets.


Find all our video reviews over on YouTube.

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