There are many vehicles to choose from if you are looking for a reliable used small minivan or SUV; the following vehicles are our top 5 choices for your best options.
Close But No Cigar: Toyota Matrix,
Toyota Sienna, Chrysler PT Cruiser,
Ford Escape Hybrid, Honda Odyssey,
The Toyota RAV4 can be credited as the first ever crossover vehicle in the market. The RAV4 was introduced in the American market in 1996, and remains to be one of the best small SUVs to buy. In 2004, the RAV4 received a more powerful 2.0-liter engine that develops 161hp and is mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission. The 2004 version was also the first RAV4 to include an antiskid traction-control system and antilock braking system (ABS) as standard equipment.
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When it comes to a reliable small SUV, it is hard to fault the Subaru Forester. Part station wagon and part SUV, the Forester comes with Subaru’s renowned Boxer engine and symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. Loosely based on the Subaru Impreza platform, the Forester delivers car-like handling and comfort, with the increased ride height and practicality of an SUV. Car and Driver magazine thinks highly of the Forester, awarding it its Best Small SUV award for 2004, 2005 and 2006.
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Would you believe that Honda was hesitant to sell the CR-V in Japan in 1995? Now, the CR-V is regarded as the default choice when looking for a reliable small SUV. The CR-V uses the same platform as the Civic, thus offering the ride and handling dynamics of a car with the interior space of a wagon. The 2002 redesign of the Honda CR-V also came with added improvements to power with reduced emissions, with the engine getting a bump from 146hp to 160hp and more importantly, 162 lb-ft of torque.
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The Equinox is the first crossover vehicle from GM. It was not designed for serious off-road duty compared to the bigger Chevrolet Tahoe, but it delivers the ride comfort of a small sedan and the versatility of a bigger vehicle. The first generation Chevrolet Equinox came with a 3.4-liter V6, while the 2008 model was made available with a larger 3.6-liter V6.
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The Mazda Tribute and the Ford Escape were introduced in the American market in 2001. Both small SUVs were based on the Mazda 626 platform, with the Mazda Tribute getting a revised suspension set-up to promote a sportier and firmer ride. Both the Tribute and the Escape are powered by either the 2.0-liter Ford Zetec 4-cylinder engine or the 3.0-liter Duratec Ford V6. The 2008 models receive the larger 2.4-liter Mazda MZR engine as standard.
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