The Only 15 ‘Real’ SUVs Left on the Market

Body-on-frame SUVs are becoming a rare sight on today’s dealer lots. 

Believe it or not, there are only 15 “real” body-on-frame SUVs available new, as more and more automakers turn to unibody construction for a more refined driving experience. With the rise of crossovers in recent years, the definition of an SUV has become muddled, with automakers attaching it to models that aren’t body-on-frame.

And while it can get confusing trying to determine what’s rightfully a crossover or SUV, we’re here to talk about which body-on-frame SUVs are left – which technically, is what defines an SUV.

SEE ALSO: What is a Crossover? The Confusion is Real


Cadillac Escalade / Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban / GMC Yukon and Yukon XL

All four of these models share the same platform and their sheer size means they’ll likely stay body-on-frame for the foreseeable future. This is also because General Motors has the competitive Chevrolet Silverado in the pickup truck category, which means the automaker won’t stop development on the platform anytime soon.

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Ford Expedition / Lincoln Navigator

Like Chevrolet and its Silverado, Ford has the best-selling vehicle with the F-150 pickup truck, so it’s only natural that it has a couple of body-on-frame SUVs in its lineup as well, based on the truck’s platform. The Expedition is the largest SUV Ford offers, and the American automaker has filled its lineup with plenty of crossovers. Much like the Cadillac Escalade, the Lincoln Navigator serves as the automaker’s full-size luxury SUV.

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Ford Bronco

Ford revived the iconic Bronco nameplate for a new vehicle based on the Ranger pick-up truck platform that is aimed squarely at the Jeep Wrangler. We heartedly welcome another vehicle where the doors and roof can be removed before blasting off deep into the woods.

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Infiniti QX80 / Nissan Armada

The Nissan Armada and Infiniti QX80 ride on the same platform as the Nissan Patrol, an SUV that isn’t sold in North America. The Armada, however, started its life riding on the same platform as the Titan before the Patrol-based Infiniti QX56 arrived. When it came time to introduce a new Nissan Armada, the Japanese automaker decided to save costs and use the same Patrol platform underpinning the QX80.

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Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer

Jeep, and Mopar for that matter, have been lacking a full-size body-on-frame SUV to compete against the General Motors and Ford offerings. That all changed this year with the introduction of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer that share their platform with the Ram pickup truck. 

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Jeep Wrangler

The brand known for its SUVs has probably most recognizable body-on-frame SUV in the world – the Wrangler. Recently overhauled, this Jeep continues to soldier on with more and more modern technology, including a hybrid model.  

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Lexus LX

Stepping up from the GX is the Lexus LX. It is a full-size SUV that used to share its platform with the now defunct Toyota Land Cruiser. The Lexus LX remains the largest SUV in the Japanese automaker’s lineup that also features the NX and RX crossovers.

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Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Mercedes-Benz is known to have a huge lineup of crossovers and SUVs, but the only true body-on-frame model is the G-Class. And that shouldn’t be a surprise, considering the G-Class has barely changed since its introduction.

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Toyota 4Runner / Lexus GX

Toyota has quite a few body-on-frame platforms, with the 4Runner sharing a platform with its luxury counterpart, the Lexus GX. The now defunct FJ Cruiser also rode on the same platform as a body-on-frame SUV before receiving the ax. 

SEE ALSO: Toyota FT-4X Concept is Closer to Production Than You Think

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Toyota Sequoia

Based on the Toyota Tundra pickup, the Sequoia is the Japanese automaker’s most outdated model, having entered its second and current generation in 2008. It did, however, just receive a refresh for the 2018 model year although the changes aren’t major.

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Recent Updates:

November 19, 2021 – Removed Toyota Land Cruiser. Updated Chevrolet Suburban image and title for accuracy. Updated Ford Expedition image and text for accuracy. Added Ford Bronco. Updated Nissan Armada image. Updated Jeep Wrangle image and text for accuracy. Added Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Updated Mercedes-Benz G-Class image. Updated Toyota 4Runner image. Updated Lexus LX image and information. Updated Toyota Sequoia image.