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Consumer Reports ranks Honda CR-V as top small SUV

Mazda MX-5 and Toyota RAV4 round out top three picks

Published: April 25, 2013, 3:00 AM
Updated: June 7, 2015, 10:40 AM

2013 Toyota RAV4 - front 3/4 view

Consumer Reports has sifted through the numerous offerings in the Small SUV category and named its top three picks for 2013: in order, the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, and Toyota RAV4. The publication says the Toyota achieved a "very good" score overall, but it wasn't enough to reclaim the top spot it held last year. Close race though - just one point separates the Honda from the Mazda and the Mazda from the Toyota.

“The good news for consumers is that the Small SUV category is a very tight and competitive race with a number of solid vehicles to choose from,” said Jake Fisher, director, Consumer Reports Auto Test Center. Complete tests and ratings are online now at ConsumerReports.org and will appear in the June issue of the magazine on sale in early May.

The magazine said the Toyota benefitted from a recent redesign that included an more easily used rear hatch that lifts up instead of to the side, and stretches fuel budgets better than most competitors. "Its agile handling and spirited powertrain make the RAV4 enjoyable to drive. A roomy interior, super easy access and mostly intuitive controls add to its appeal." Toyota dropped the optional third-row seat for 2013 too, and the optional V6. On the downside, they said the ride bordered on "overfirm."

The publication called the Mazda CX-5 a "surprising sleeper" and praised it for its muscular new four-banger and the same impressive fuel economy as the RAV4. It also said the CX-5 was one of the more fun to drive options, thanks to agile handling.

Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization and, along with 50 labs, boasts its own auto test centre. Founded in 1936, CR has more than eight million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications.