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Least Practical SUVs

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/20/2015 Kelly Pleskot

Most consumers in the market for an SUV look for something practical that will hold plenty of gear, ride well, and deliver decent fuel economy. But not all SUVS live up to their intended function. Although they might suit other purposes, the SUVs on this list are some of the least practical options out there.

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BMW X1

As the baby of the BMW lineup, this subcompact crossover can be forgiven for not providing as much cargo space as most SUVs. But there are a few things we can't quite wrap our head around. This luxury SUV's noisy engine and hard plastics on the interior, not to mention its lack of headroom for taller rear passengers, make it a bit impractical.

BMW X6

This rakish SUV is as fast as it looks, packing a 450-hp, 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8 engine under the hood in its most powerful form. But its sloping roofline significantly limits headroom for rear passengers. It is also thousands of dollars more expensive than the X5 it's based on.

Fiat 500L

Consumers who want a little more space than the small Fiat 500 affords may be tempted by the larger 500L wagon. But unsupportive seats, an awkward driving position, and delayed throttle response make it a little less practical choice for those looking for a plush ride.

Ford Explorer

This classic midsize SUV may be a long-time favorite among SUV fans, but it is far from the most practical. Along with a cramped third row, the Explorer can be hard to enter thanks to its high step and large center hump. A refreshed 2016 model, which debuts sometime this year, should be more ergonomically friendly overall with more legroom for the driver and knee room for second-row passengers.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

Although the Grand Cherokee provides plenty of space, decent fuel economy, and a stable ride, the SRT8 version packs a punch with a 470-hp, 6.4-liter V-8 engine and five-speed auto. It can hit 60 in the mid 4-second range, but it isn't the most practical choice in the Grand Cherokee lineup in terms of fuel economy. It returns just 13/19 mpg according to EPA ratings.

Jeep Patriot

In the automotive circle of life, the Patriot's time had come to an end when it failed to provide the same refinement as other SUVs in its class. Its mediocre crash test ratings, limited cargo capabilities, and rough ride destined the Patriot for the chopping block recently.

Jeep Wrangler 2-door

No one questions the Wrangler's storied off-road capabilities, but when it comes to everyday driving, this SUV falls short. Two-door models with soft-tops are particularly prone to road noise, making it difficult to carry on a conversation with the person in the next seat while driving on the highway. An abundance of hard plastics, difficult entry and exit, and a lack of storage space also mar the Wrangler's practicality.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

Of the entire G-Class series, the G63 AMG is the most extreme version to roll off the line. With its 5.5-liter V-8 producing 536 hp, this fortress on wheels can hit 60 mph in about 5 seconds. It may be lined with beautiful diamond-quilted leather, but its price tag and fuel economy numbers will make consumers squirm. Get ready: The G63 starts at $137,000 and returns fuel economy numbers of 12/14 mpg city/hwy.

Mini Paceman

With its raked roofline, crossover body, and classic Mini good looks, the Paceman brings customers a little more versatility than the standard Cooper Hardtop without sacrificing that sporty vibe. But its two-door layout and lack of space limit its overall practicality. For a little more wiggle room, drivers may want to consider the four-door Countryman.

Nissan Armada

Although the Armada provides plenty of space for passengers and cargo, it disappoints in terms of fuel economy. We know it's crazy to expect excellent fuel economy from an SUV this size, but even among its closest competitors such as the Chevy Suburban and Honda Pilot, the Armada guzzles fuel more readily. It is rated at 12/19 mpg city/hwy when paired with two-wheel drive.

Nissan Juke

The Juke's unique shape makes it stand out among other SUVs, but so does its lack of passenger space. The back seat is a very tight squeeze, with little headroom even for shorter passengers, and its design doesn't help make things any easier in the rear compartment. Perhaps some of these flaws would be more forgivable if it delivered excellent fuel economy, but topping out at 30 mpg, the fun-minded Juke trails a lot of the competition in this efficiency-minded segment.

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

For a time, it seemed like fun and practicality found the perfect meeting point in the Murano CrossCabriolet. Its $40,000 sticker price could have been forgiven, but its large rear doors make entering the vehicle difficult in tight parking spots. And the soft-top roof can be a bit finicky to operate. Due to low sales, Nissan discontinued this model for the 2015 model year.

Toyota FJ Cruiser

Toyota broke our hearts when it discontinued the FJ Cruiser for the 2015 model year, but perhaps it wasn't such of a surprise. Although a capable off-roader, the FJ Cruiser is marred by gargantuan blind spots thanks to its large roof pillars and spare tire. And although its ride is surprisingly comfortable, the cabin can get loud with excessive engine and wind noise.

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