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

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Oct 01, 1998

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 www.cars.com) 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.

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