Buy/Drive/Burn: Midsize Luxury SUVs From the Year 2000

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
buy drive burn midsize luxury suvs from the year 2000

The year is 2000, and a whole bunch of people have just recovered from an unnecessary panic over how computers worldwide would tackle the date change from ’99 to ’00. Crisis averted, and with Nokia candy bar phone in pocket, they headed to dealerships to buy midsize luxury SUVs with their newfound Dot Com cash.

Which millennium-mobile gets the Buy?

By the way, refresh on the OG rules of the game if you’ve forgotten.

Reasonably close in size and with fairly high levels of equipment, all three of our contenders are four-wheel or all-wheel drive. They’re also very close in price — between $34,635 and $36,100.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

A second generation of the super successful Grand Cherokee bowed for the 1999 model year. The least expensive option today is also the one in the highest trim specification. $34,635 nets a Limited four-wheel drive model in 4.0-liter inline-six specification. 195 horsepower shift through the four-speed automatic, and net careful drivers 16 mpg city and 21 on the highway — the best economy in our trio. Most everything is powered, leather-covered, and heated, and there’s space for five passengers.

Mercedes-Benz ML320

On sale since 1998, the Mercedes ML got its big debut as staff transport in the second Jurassic Park film (not a good movie, if you never saw it). Unlike the high-zoot Grand Cherokee, the ML within budget is at the bottom of the trim hierarchy. That’s why, rather than a 500 badge on the back, we have a 320 signifying the 3.2-liter V6 under the rounded hood. A five-speed automatic manages 215 horsepower, and estimated fuel economy stands at 16/20. Some of the power equipment on the Jeep is not powered in the Mercedes, in order to keep the MSRP down to an affordable $35,300. There is an optional third-row seat, however, which ups passenger capacity to seven.

Land Rover Discovery II 4WD

Our final contender was also new for 1999, as the (same looking) Discovery II replaced the original Discovery, a model in production in England since 1989. Larger in dimensions and more modern than its predecessor, Discovery’s models are differentiated by whether cloth or leather covers its seating surfaces. The $36,100 price is highest of the three contenders today, and provides leather seating for seven. Like the original, the Discovery II maintains two folding jump seats in the way back. All American Discoveries are powered by the traditional 4.0-liter Rover V8. It’s good for 188 horsepower, and the four-speed automatic manages 13 city and 17 highway.

Three different approaches to the midsize luxury SUV for the year 2000. Which gets a Buy, and which a Burn?

[Images: Mercedes-Benz, FCA, Jaguar Land Rover]

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2 of 59 comments
  • Marko Marko on Jul 13, 2018

    Buy Jeep Drive Land Rover Burn Benz (same reasons as everyone else)

  • Instant_Karma Instant_Karma on Jul 13, 2018

    Burn them all, but after I pull the Disco's engine in case I ever want to do the Rover V8 swap to my 71 MGBGT.

  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
  • Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.