I recently had a viewer ask, “Are there any real SUVs available with solid truck frame under them anymore?” That’s a good question, and thank God the answer is yes. So we’re rounding up the full list of 2016 SUV’s that are still the real deal.
2016 Cadillac Escalade / Escalade ESV
2016 Chevrolet Tahoe / Suburban
2016 GMC Yukon / Yukon XL
In the interest of time, I’m gonna lump together the Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, GMC Yukons, and Cadillac Escalades together. Because lets face it, they’re all the damn same except for the window dressing and engines.
They all have a big V8, a ladder truck frame, and a solid rear axle. They can all tow a trailer and some variations are decently equipped for off-road use. The Chevrolet Tahoe starts at $47,000, the GMCs are priced in between, and the Cadillac Escalade is significantly more starting at $72,970.
Moving up to Cadillac does get you a nice 420 horsepower 6.2 liter V8. The Chevrolet and GMC both have a standard 5.3 liter V8 with 355 horsepower, the Yukon optional with 6.2 found in the Cadillac.
Ford Expedition / Expedition EL
2016 Lincoln Navigator / Navigator L
Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator get mentioned in the same place because they’re even more identical than GM’s big Utes. side by side. They too have a truck-based ladder frame underneath, though here you get a better riding and handling independent rear suspension.
The Ford twins however only come with a 3.5 liter twin turbocharged EcoBoost V6. That doesn’t mean less grunt, as they still outperform many V8′s with 365 horsepower in the Ford and 380 horsepower in the Lincoln.
They both boast class topping tow capacities too, they just sound like a weed eater doing it. Pricing starts at $45,435 for the Expedition and $63,195 with the Navigator.
2016 Jeep Wrangler
Starting at $23,895 the Jeep Wrangler is likely the most traditional SUV of anything you can buy today, remaining very close to its roots with not only a ladder frame but solid axles front and rear. I mean, we’re talking Donner Party technology here.
That’s actually not fair, as the Wrangler actually handles quite well for what it is on-road, and exceptionally in the rough. It comes standard with a 3.6 liter V6 and still a six-speed manual transmission, the only vehicle on this list which still does.
A five-speed automatic is optional and four-wheel drive is standard equipment. Available with both two and four doors, you can option the Wrangler well up into the $50,000 range.
2016 Infiniti QX80
With a price of $63,250 the Infiniti QX80 is up in the same wheel house as the Toyota Land Cruiser when it comes to capability and overall form. It’s based on the world-market Nissan Patrol which is a body on frame SUV complete with a powerful 400 horsepower 5.6 liter V8.
It has plenty of off-road credibility and an interior that’s sublimely lined with wood and leather. It’s expensive but value priced compared to the Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX570 as it skips some of the hard core off-road hardware and is standard with two-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional.
2016 G63 AMG2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The last of the super tankers, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV is as traditional as they come much like the Jeep Wrangler. But, the “G-Wagen” is what we’d consider ultra expensive and fully loaded here in North America, starting at $119,000. You can spend even more with the bonkers AMG models.
They all come with a sinful V8, just different levels of fire and brimstone. They’re all off-road capable to a great extent with steel frames, heavy drivetrain gear and all that jazz. This is however a vehicle most buy because they can afford it, not for its rock crawling poise.
2016 Lexus GX 460
You could call it a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado which is what the 2016 Lexus GX 460 is largely sold as in other continents. But here it comes one way, highly outfitted with a 301 horsepower 4.6-liter V8 and priced at $50,140.
While it seems posh, it has a good old-fashioned ladder frame and solid rear axle, a good deal of off-road capability and standard all-wheel drive. It has a fully unique interior which is well done in leather and wood.
2016 Lexus LX 570
2016 Toyota Land Cruiser
The Lexus LX570 and Toyota Land Cruiser are one in the same at birth, but each offer distinctive styling inside and out as well as some different suspension hardware. They both only come only one way, expensive with all the trimmings, the Toyota priced at $83,825 and the Lexus $88,880.
Under hood of the body-on-frame SUV is a 5.7 liter V8 with 383 horsepower. New for this year, an 8-speed automatic does the shifting for better drivability. Each has its own new interior exquisite with leather, wood, and a level of fit and finish hard to find at any price.
2016 Toyota 4Runner
Priced at $33,510, the Toyota 4Runner is no longer an entry-level SUV. It moved up market but still has the strong steel frame and solid rear axle design that makes it popular for off-roading. Its standard 4.0 liter V6 and five-speed automatic are getting long in tooth, but are likely due for and update next year.
It’s available in plain trims like the SR5, a more off-road ready Trail like we tested last winter, and the fully decked out Limited luxury grade for those who might have gone for the Lexus GX460, but thought it perhaps a but too spendy.
2016 Toyota Sequoia
Still around, the Toyota Sequoia started out as a Tundra pickup with an enclosed bed and extra doors just like most SUV’s. But in its most current generation unchanged since 2010 it has a modern independent rear-suspension, lots of luxury goods, and a starting price of $44,965.
That’s less than a Ford Expedition I’d like to point out. The V8 powered Sequoia isn’t a big seller these days, but remains a solid choice in the full size arena. It’s sorely due for an update which we may hear about very soon. There’s no scuttle about it being axed just yet.
Well there you have it for what’s left of the real manly SUV’s you can still tow a boat or seriously go rock crawling with. You’ll note the absence of the Nissan XTerra which saw its last year for 2015, and the Nissan Armada. That one it appears is skipping the 2016 model year, we hope awaiting a new design based on the new Nissan Titan. Time will tell.