Would you recommend the Chevy Tracker or the Suzuki Sidekick...or neither?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Feb 01, 1998

Dear Tom and Ray:

I'm looking for a new car. I don't want a car that I'm going to be making
repairs to in three years. I want your opinion on the Chevy Tracker and
Suzuki Sidekick. Which is your preference (if you like either of them), or
would you recommend something else? -- Angela

TOM: Well, if you don't want to be making repairs in three years, Angela,
you should consider a 35-month lease, or a car with a four-year warranty.
Unfortunately, repairs and maintenance are eventually part of the bargain,
no matter what kind of car you own.

RAY: But of course, some are better than others. We haven't driven a Chevy
(formerly Geo) Tracker in years (since Chevrolet doesn't speak to us
anymore). But the last time we did drive one it was quite junky and was in
need of repairs as soon as it arrived for the test drive. And since the
Suzuki Sidekick is exactly the same vehicle, we can't endorse that either.

TOM: Oh, great. Now Suzuki won't be speaking to us anymore either!

RAY: Whoops. Anyway, if you're looking for a small sport utility vehicle,
we can recommend the Toyota RAV4, which we've been testing for several
months now. It's performed absolutely flawlessly. It's fun to drive, it's
got a little bit of room in the back for dogs and stuff, and it's been
great in the snow. Plus, it's a Toyota, which means it'll probably be
extremely reliable.

TOM: We also like the Honda CRV, but found it a little bit boring; sort of
the "minivan of sport utilities" -- even though it made better use of space
than the RAV4 and felt a lot roomier inside.

RAY: Since you're particularly concerned about reliability, I'd recommend
the Toyota or the Honda, Angela. Both should have lower-than-average
frequency of repairs. In fact, I would confidently predict that you won't
have to make any serious repairs on either of those for at least 36 and a
half months!

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