Nostalgia sells. Just look at various car names and styles at your local dealer. Now, Volkswagen is bringing back the 1960s International Scout SUV as an all-electric sports utility vehicle. Ford brought back the Bronco. Bring back the Ram Power Wagon, and Jeep capitalizes on ’80s nostalgia with the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Retro SUV names, even if the SUV itself is modern, seem to be selling well.
Here are five vintage UV cars that left a mark on their day. But like Scouting, these things are quickly forgotten. Maybe it’s time for someone to return these paintings?
Any Toyota FJ would be an old SUV
We think it’s time to revive the FJ title. The FJ Cruiser was sold in the United States from 2007 to 2014. It was a spiritual successor to the original FJ40 but was completely modern. If you own an FJ today, you are in luck. They sell for big money used because they have gained a cult following for being off-road animals that are reliable and fun to drive.
Toyota teased us with an all-electric concept version of the FJ that can make waves. In 2021, the Compact Cruiser concept debuted as an 80%-sized FJ Cruiser that was all-electric.
We would love to see a new Xterra built on the 2022 frontier
It’s hard to say that the car that was discontinued in 2015 is an old SUV. Nissan took the Frontier truck and made it an SUV for the Xtera. The original Xterra was a five-passenger SUV, two-wheeler or four-wheeler, with all the charm of the old Nissan Frontier but with the practicality of an SUV. It came in a budget model that had two-wheel drive and a small four-cylinder engine. But even today, the Pro4X models enjoy a premium. They came raised and had solid all-wheel drive with a locking differential, plus leather seats and more. The Xterra was discontinued in 2015, but it still enjoys a premium on the used market.
Nissan released an updated Frontier for 2022, so maybe it’s time to make an SUV out of it?
The AMC Eagle was ugly but way ahead of its time
Well, the AMC Eagle was terrible. It was ugly. It was slow. But it was probably the closest thing to a modern crossover built in the ’80s that now has a hipster. Was AMC ahead of its time? probably. If AMC can continue as a car company, nothing can happen to an AMC Eagle or Eagle Wagon all-wheel drive. AMC, which was absorbed by Chrysler, didn’t need the go-anywhere wagon at the time, even though it had a four-wheel drive system borrowed from a Jeep and could go anywhere. By 1990, SUVs were circulating as the hottest thing in the auto world, but Eagle was out of production after 1988, and he says that was the best.
However, there are some that say the modern eagle does exist, it’s just a modern Mercedes-Benz GLE.
The Jeep Cherokee Sport was a two-door Cherokee
Take a Jeep Cherokee and remove half the jobs by taking out the rear doors, then add an acre of glass in the back that served as a giant sunglass and you’ve got a Cherokee Sport. It may have been the “lower” sport of the ’80s XJ Cherokee models, but it was great. While the four-door seemed like something you took the kids to school in, the two-door was the sporty SUV for the off-roader. You’ve told the world that you have a personality that goes anywhere but lack bold responsibilities.
The original Isuzu Trooper looked like a G-Class
Any of us who were alive in the ’80s and ’90s remember seeing these things everywhere. The Trooper and Trooper II looked like a basement version of the Mercedes G-Class. The SUV was tall, compact and capable. Trooper ran until 1991 and was replaced by Trooper 2, which ran for another decade. But retro SUV fans know the original was solid, even though it only had 120 horsepower from its big V6 engine. It wasn’t known to be a flagship, but it was one of the first off-road vehicles to feature automatic locking axles, meaning you could switch to all-wheel drive from inside the cabin.
Related: Retro Ford Bronco First Edition Is Brand New And It Will Cost You $87K