Used SUV and Minivan Reviews
Toyota RAV4 is very agile and rides like a car. It is one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs on the used car market. Early models came with the 148-hp 2.0L motor. The 2004 and 2005 models have a stronger 161-hp 2.4L engine. The RAV4 is available as front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and comes with a manual or automatic transmission. The interior is tight, but comfortable. The 2005 AWD Toyota RAV4 is rated at 20/24 mpg (11.8/9.8 L/100 km). The RAV4 is easy to maintain and for the most part reliable; common problems are minor. Read more »
2010-2013 Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai Tucson is smaller than Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V. It handles well and has a very small turning radius. The EPA-estimated combined fuel economy is best in class, although many owners report that the real-world mileage is not as good as advertised. Reliability is only average. The most common complain is very firm ride and road noise. Rear visibility is also a concern. The 2010 4-cylinder FWD Tucson is rated at 23/31 mpg or 10.2/7.6 L/100 km city/highway.
Subaru Forester comes with a standard all-wheel drive and a 'boxer' 4-cylinder engine. This design gives the Forester a low center of gravity and stability in turns. The Forester is very maneuverable; it handles well and rides comfortably. The all-wheel drive system is excellent. The interior is simple but practical. Visibility is great all around. Subaru Forester scored well in crash tests. The EPA rates the 2008 AWD non-turbo Forester with an automatic transmission at 20/26 mpg (11.8/9.0 L/100 km). Reliability is not bad, but there are a few issues to watch out for. Read more »
Toyota RAV4 is a small practical car-based SUV. It drives like a car and is very agile. The interior is simple, but very comfortable. The RAV4 is available in a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive configuration, with a 4-cylinder or V6 engine and only an automatic transmission. The V6 Toyota RAV4 is very fast; the 0 to 60 time is 6.3 seconds. 4-cylinder models offer very good fuel economy: the 2009-2012 2.5L 4-cylinder AWD automatic RAV4 is rated at 21/27 mpg (11.2/8.7 L/100 km). Toyota RAV4 is reliable and easy to maintain. Read full review »
The best-selling Honda CR-V comes only with a 4-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. The CR-V offers a versatile roomy interior and agile handling. The ride is on the firm side and you will hear some road noise. Honda CR-V is very reliable and won't cost you an arm and leg to maintain. The 2010 Honda CR-V AWD automatic is rated at 21/27 mpg (11.2/8.7 L/100 km) city/highway. Read more »
The boxy-looking Honda CR-V is available with front or all-wheel drive. The 160-hp 4-cylinder engine is adequately powered and good on gas. As in the previous generation, the CR-V offers a flip-up tray between the front seats and a foldable picnic table that is stored under the cargo area carpet. Honda CR-V handles decently, although the ride is pretty firm and noisy. The 2006 Honda CR-V gets 20/25 mpg city highway (11.8/9.4 L/100 km). The CR-V is reliable, although some problems are costly. Read full review »
The Rogue is the smallest SUV in the Nissan lineup. It comes as a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive with a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). One issue with this vehicle is the rear visibility: the rear D-pillars are thick and rear head restraints are not removable. Other than that, it's a simple functional reliable city SUV with decent handling and good fuel economy. The 2012 AWD Nissan Rogue is rated at 22/26 mpg (10.7/9.0 L/100 km). Earlier models had some CVT issues, but the CVT warranty has been extended. Read full review »
2005-2009 Chevrolet Equinox
Chevrolet Equinox is a mid-size 5-passenger car-based SUV. Available as a front- or all-wheel-drive, the Equinox comes with an old-style 3.4-liter 'pushrod' V6 and a 5-speed automatic transmission. The Equinox Sport trim added for 2008, received a newer 3.6L V6. The interior is roomy, with plenty of cargo space. The rear seat is adjustable and can move forward and aft. The Equinox has good crash-test ratings, but the reliability is not better than average. It's probably a good idea to skip 2005 and 2006 models as they had more complaints. The 2009 3.4L AWD Equinox gets an EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg (13.8/9.8 L/100 km) city/highway.
2010-2013 Chevrolet Equinox
The second generation Equinox is very roomy for a compact SUV and has probably the most upscale interior in the segment. It handles well and has a smooth and quiet ride. The Equinox is available with a 4-cylinder or V6 power; in a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configuration. The 4-cylinder front-wheel drive Equinox has the best highway fuel economy in its class. The 2012 2.4-liter FWD Equinox is rated at 22/32 mpg (10.7/7.4 L/100 km). The drawbacks include limited 4-cylinder power and wide turning radius. Long-term reliability is yet to be proven.
2010-2013 GMC Terrain
GMC Terrain is a mechanical twin of the Chevrolet Equinox. It combines a muscular look with a refined comfortable interior and class-leading highway fuel economy. The Terrain is available with a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and either a 2.4L 4-cylinder or 3.0L (3.6L from 2013) V6. The Terrain rides nicely and handles well, although it also has a wide turning radius. Reliability is about average. The 2010 AWD 4-cylinder model gets 20/29 mpg (11.8/8.1 L/100 km) city/highway. The FWD 2010 4-cylinder Terrain automatic is rated at 22/32 mpg.
2009-2013 Subaru Forester
The Forester is one of the best compact SUVs. It has tall windows and is easy to see out of. The seats are comfortable and the interior is practical and nicely done. The Forester has standard all-wheel drive and comes with a peppy 2.5L 'boxer' engine, that is also available in a turbocharged version. Transmission choices include a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. It's very maneuverable and agile around town and is fun to drive on the highway and on winding roads. The Forester is reliable and good on gas. The 2012 2.5L Forester automatic with AWD is rated at 21/27 mpg (11.2/8.7 L/100 km).
2006-2013 Subaru Tribeca
The Tribeca is the only Subaru with available third-row seating. It has a nicely done interior and a standard Subaru all-wheel drive system. The Tribeca handles well and has one of the best crash test ratings in its class. The 2006, 2007 Tribeca came with a 3.0L "boxer" engine that was a bit underpowered. For 2008, it was replaced by a 3.6L engine. The fuel economy is not great. The 2007 Tribeca is rated at 16/21 mpg (14.7/11.2 L/100 km). A cramped second row is another drawback. The reliability is better than average.
Perfectly-sized, Ford Escape offers a roomy comfortable interior and car-like handling. The traditional up-right styling provides great visibility. The Escape comes as front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, with a 4-cylinder engine or a V6. A used Ford Escape is not very expensive, but reliability is a concern. The 2007 4-cylinder automatic Escape has an EPA-estimated gas mileage rating of 20/24 mpg city/highway (21 mpg combined) with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive versions are rated 18/23 mpg (13.1/10.2 L/100 km). Read full review »
The sister vehicle of the Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute comes with a 4-cylinder or a V6 engine and front- or all-wheel drive. The interior is plain, but roomy and functional. The Tribute is easy to drive and comfortable inside. The 2009 4-cylinder FWD is rated at 20/28 mpg or 11.8/8.4 L/100 km city/highway, which is pretty good for an SUV of that size. Read full review »
The Murano is a 5-seater crossover SUV, based on the front-wheel drive Nissan Altima platform. Nissan calls it the "Urban SUV." It was available as a front- or all-wheel drive. The only powertrain choice was the 245-hp 3.5L V6 mated to the rare in class continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Murano is fun to drive thanks to large wide tires and firm suspension. The fuel economy is not bad for a V6 with AWD, but well behind 4-cylinder SUVs. The 2006 AWD Murano gets 17/23 mpg (13.8/10.2 L/100 km). The reliability is not great and many problems are costly. Read more »
The 2001-2007 Highlander is a Camry-based mid-size SUV. It has a comfortable interior and a very smooth ride. The Highlander is available as a front- or all-wheel drive, with a 4-cylinder or V6 engine. The Highlander's 4WD system is not designed for off-roading, but is helpful in a bad weather. Optional third-row seating is available from 2004. A hybrid version became available for 2005. Toyota Highlander is fairly reliable. The 2007 AWD V6 Highlander is rated at 16/22 mpg. Read full review »
The Pilot is a mid-size car-based 8-seater. It offers a strong V6 engine, good crash-test ratings and a spacious interior with best in class cargo space. The Pilot handles secure and rides nicely. It's available with front- or all-wheel drive. Reliability is above average, but an automatic transmission was a weak spot in early models. Fuel economy is average for the class. The 2007 AWD Pilot gets up to 15/20 mpg (15.7/11.8 L/100 km) city/highway. Read full review »
Nissan Murano 2009-2013
The second-generation Murano is an upscale car-based crossover SUV with excellent handling and comfortable ride. This is the only vehicle of this type that is available as a two-door convertible. Powered by the popular 3.5L VQ engine, the Murano comes in a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configuration. The only transmission choice is a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). This is a very comfortable vehicle you will enjoy driving, although the fuel economy is average at best. The 2012 AWD Murano gets 18/23 mpg city/highway (13.1/10.2 L/100 km). Reliability is above average.
The 7-seater Mazda CX-9 is one of the most sporty crossovers. It handles crisply and is stable on twisty roads. The interior is roomy and nicely finished. The ride is firm but very refined. Mazda CX-9 is available as front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive; front-wheel drive models are more reliable. The fuel economy is average for the class: the 2009 FWD CX-9 is rated at 16/22 mpg or 14.7/10.7 L/100 km. The AWD model gets 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway (15.7/11.2 L/100 km). Read full review »
The 2006-2010 Explorer is a solid, mid-size truck-based SUV with a smooth and quiet ride. It is available in 5, 6, or 7-passenger configuration, with a V6 or V8 engine. The V8 Explorer is a good choice for towing. Fuel economy for both the V6 and V8 Explorer is what you'd expect from this type of vehicle. The EPA rates both the V6 and V8 4WD 2007 Explorer at 13/18 mpg (18.1/13.1 L/100 km) city/highway. The reliability is not better than average. Read full review »
Nissan Xterra 2000-2004
The rugged Xterra with its great ground clearance and sporty look begs to take it on a camping trip or off-road. The 2000-2004 Xterra is a truck-based body-on-frame SUV with a very basic interior. It offers good off-road capability and ample cargo space. Reliability is average. Fuel economy is a major drawback: the 2004 3.3L V6 automatic Xterra gets only 14/19 mpg (16.8/12.4 L/100 km) city/highway, 14.7 mpg combined.
Styled after the original Land Cruiser FJ 40 from the 60's and 70's, this is a very unique-looking truck. Toyota FJ Cruiser comes with a very strong 4.0L V6 and is available as 2WD or 4WD. With great off-road capability, washable interior and 5000-lb towing capacity, this is one of the best trucks for outdoor activities. Toyota FJ Cruiser holds value very well and is very reliable. Of course, the fuel economy is not great. The 2014 4WD FJ Cruiser auto is rated at 17/20 mpg or 13.8/11.8 L/100 km. Read full review »
Mazda 5 is the most fuel efficient minivan on the used car market and you can get it with a stick shift. This 'urban minivan' handles well and is reasonably powered. Mazda 5 is a six-seater with rear sliding doors. The 5 is peppy and fun to drive, however it's not as comfortable and not as roomy as conventional minivans. Tall drivers may find front legroom tight. The 2010 Mazda 5 automatic is rated at 21/27 mpg city/highway. Read full review »
Dodge Caravan 2001-2007
The best selling minivan, Dodge Caravan offers a spacious comfortable interior, decent engine and good handling. Fuel economy is on par with other minivans. Inside, the Caravan offers high seating position for good visibility. The Stow 'n Go seats are available in the Grand Caravan from 2005. The 2007 Caravan with a 3.3L V6 get up to 17/24 mpg (13.8/9.8 L/100 km) city/highway. Unfortunately, the reliability is below average.
Honda Odyssey 2005-2010
The best minivan on the used car market, Honda Odyssey offers a powerful V6 engine, comfortable upscale interior and excellent handling. The Odyssey is well equipped and scored well in crash tests. The 2005-2010 Honda Odyssey is available in seven- or eight-passenger configurations. Fuel economy is in line with other minivans. The 2010 Odyssey is rated at 16/23 mpg (14.7/10.2 L/100 km) city/highway.
Toyota Sienna 2004-2010
The 2004-2010 Sienna has a smooth soft ride and very comfortable roomy interior. It comes with a V6 engine and is the only minivan available with all-wheel drive. It's probably a good idea to avoid models with run-flat tires, as they are expensive to replace. Overall reliability is above average. The 2010 front-wheel drive Sienna is rated at 17/23 mpg or 13.8/10.2 L/100 km.