1996-1999 - Which is better - RAV4 or CRV?

I am looking for something my elderly parents can get in and out of easier than our 2008 Honda Fit (which I love by the way). They range in height between 5’6" and 5’11".

I look for cars that are low maintenance, not terribly expensive to maintain and repair. Aesthetics, while pleasing, are not a primary consideration for me - it’s all about form following function and being frugal. That all said, which of these two small SUV’s might be the best investment to purchase used? How many miles are too many if the SUV seems to drive and ride well?

I’d look for something with about 100,000 miles if you can find it. Either is fine. Base your purchase decision on condition and not on brand. Buy the best of the bunch after taking your parent for a test ride to make sure they are comfortable. Since your Fit is so new and you are looking at older SUVs, I assume that this is a second vehicle.

jtsanders, thank you for your reply.

Yes, I am replacing a 1993 Ford Escort. As you correctly figured, the Fit should be around for many years. :slight_smile:

The challenge I have is that none of the 3 folks in question live in the city where I will make the purchase, so I can’t have them “test ride” in it.

Do you, or anyone else on here, know which of these two vehicles is likely to be cheaper to maintain or repair? Considering I am looking at a car over 10 years old, I know any repair might be needed - it’s kind of a crapshoot when they get that much use.

When you’re dealing cars that old, how well the car has been taken care of is more important that the actual make or model. Since you’ve narrowed your choices down two models, you’ll probably be better off getting whichever one you come across that’s in the best condition and preferably has the longest service history records.

Even though you are buying it, they could ride in one in their town. They can go to a dealer and take a ride. The dealer does not have to know that they are not buying one.

FoDaddy’s plan gets my vote.

I vote for the CRV. It’s built on the same platform as my 1998 Civic, and it’s been completely trouble free. The only weak spot on that model might be the automatic transmission, so make sure you get the transmission thoroughly checked out if you go that route.