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Car reviews - Toyota - RAV4 - 5-dr wagon

Used Rivals

23 Jul 2003

THE popular Forester is tops, offering rugged good looks, car- like refinement, good luggage space, a lovely interior, excellent all-weather grip, sure-footed handling and a comfortable ride. Space for rear passengers is a little tight for adults and the long overhangs limit off-road use.

HONDA CRV (4x4) 4D WAGON (1997-2001)
THIS large Honda has plenty of space for people and luggage. Refinement is class-leading although the extra weight dulls performance from the smooth 2.0-litre engine. Ride and handling are good and the steering is car-like. The well-equipped interior is basic but well made.

THE smooth V6 provides good performance although fuel economy will suffer. The cabin is a little snug and the layout is dated. Refinement and on-road ability fall behind the other Japanese rivals here but the ladder-frame chassis and low range transmission are good for off-road driving.

Launched here in December 1996, Kia's Sportage lacks the on-road refinement of the RAV4 and CR-V, and the off-road ability of Suzuki's Vitara. And its 2.0-litre four-cylinder is not nearly as refined as that of the CR-V's. But the oddly-styled Sportage compensates for this - at least partly - with perky 94kW/175Nm performance, a utilitarian interior and a lower pricetag.

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