Classic alternatives to today’s high-end SUVs and performance cars


A couple of months ago, my friend Dana Mecum of Mecum Auctions stopped by. Noticing my 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer in the garage, he asked, “Why does anybody need a brand-new $100,000 SUV when you could have one of these for a fraction of that?” He cracked the door to peek inside. “It’s four-wheel drive, comfortable, and has power everything. We should all be driving trucks like this.”

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/07/30/alternatives-to-high-end-suvs-and-performance-cars


My wife bought a 2005 Grand Cherokee new in 2004 and we still own it today. She calls it her “Horse”. She waxes it a few times a month and cried the last time I suggested it might be time to get something else. She loves it, and the longer we own it, the more we want to keep it. They are super durable, easy to work on, parts are cheap, very capable in the winter (we live in Michigan), very safe and comfortable. She opted for the Hemi and QuadraDrive 2. The Quadradrive 2 saved us a few times.
1 time I drove into a deep ditch and only had 2 wheels on the ground. I was shocked that it walked out of there without even spinning a wheel. The other time we were at a campsite with our camper in tow and the camper slipped off the road into a ditch at a very busy, very muddy, campground and sank up to axle. We drew a crowd and after getting a bunch of advise from bystanders, and walking around it determine the best route out, again it easily pulled our camper right out. The paparazzi was disappointed.


My son bought a low mileage 2004 Grand Cherokee, the last with a Jeep inline 6, back in 2005. It was the SUV from hell. The electricals were constantly failing. Windows that wouldn’t work or tail lights/brake lights that would only work intermittently, ECMs that were always in failure mode. I got on a Jeep forum to help him out with his problems and found that they were all common to the species. BTW, against advice, his wife bought a Jeep Liberty and it turned out to be the same kind of garbage the Grand Cherokee was. Thank God they’re both gone from their lives now. I would never buy a Jeep anything.


Had an 1984 Grand Jeep Wagoneer. That about a horrible vehicle. That car was in the shop every other month. The motor mounts broke 5 time and the rear seal always leaked so you could never park it on a nice driveway. The reason people buy newer and better cars is they have a nice ride with low maintenance. A new top end Kia Sorento or Toyota Highlander fully loaded leather and 4 wheel drive or even an Audi Q5 is going to cost about 50,000 to 60,000 not 100,000. Consumer Reports always rates the Jeeps way down the list. They have reliability issues.


I followed this principle a few years ago with a gorgeous BMW M6 Convertible. I bought an ‘08 around ‘12 after it was going for about 50% of new list. Great car and it had taken most of the depreciation hit — yeah it went down in value while I owned it for a couple of years, but not too bad. Shame is that with some items on somecars, repairs can get very pricey…