Join the Car Talk Community!

Which small SUV would you recommend for someone who won't be going off-road?

SUVs, buying, Honda, CR-V, Kia, Sportage
Dear Tom and Ray:

I'm finally going to buy my first new vehicle. I'd like it to last for many
years. Since I don't know anything about car repair either, I'd like a vehicle
that's reliable and won't be in the shop a lot. I've narrowed down my choice to
the Honda CRV or the Kia Sportage. I don't intend to take either vehicle off-
road. Which SUV would you buy? -- John

RAY: That's an easy choice for me, John. Mostly because I wouldn't have any idea
where to find a Kia.

TOM: Actually, Kia has dealerships in some parts of the country now. But the
real issue is that the Kia is relatively new, and untested. Whereas Honda has a
well-earned reputation for making some of the most reliable cars on the planet.

RAY: The Honda CRV is a very practical vehicle. It's considered a small sport
utility wagon. It's a nice size, it's got all-wheel drive, and it makes very
good use of its interior space. The only down side we cite in our review (at the
Car Talk section of is that it's a tad on the boring side. We
described it as "the minivan of sport utility vehicles."

TOM: But that doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it, John. For most people, the
boredom of having a car start reliably day in and day out is a type of boredom
they're very happy to live with. Enjoy your car.

* * *

What don't Detroit and Tokyo want you to know about the glut of great used cars
on the market? Order Tom and Ray's pamphlet, "How to Buy a Great Used Car," and
find out. Send $3 and a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed, No. 10 envelope to
Used Car, PO Box 5541, Riverton, NJ 08077-5541.
Tags (Browse All)
SUVs, buying, Honda, CR-V, Kia, Sportage

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login / Signup
Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic

Promo tile


Rocket Fuel