The Most Reliable Small SUVs in 2010

by Jason Dybas

    One of the most important things to consider when shopping for a used car is reliability. Without the proper research and information, you might end up with a lemon in your driveway and thousands of dollars in headaches and repairs. There are plenty of 2010 compact SUVs on the used-car market, and according to J.D. Power and Associates, a handful of them exist in the economy, family and luxury miniature SUV markets.

    Above Average and Affordable

    The 2010 Subaru Forester and 2010 Honda Element both received four out of five "Power Circles," or stars, in overall dependability from J.D. Power and Associates, according to the "U.S. News & World Report" website. As of September 2013, the average price for a 2010 Subaru Forester was between $15,000 and $20,000 on the used retail market. A 2010 Honda Element was priced between $15,000 and $18,000.
    The Subaru Forester rated a score of five out of five Power Circles in powertrain dependability. Feature and accessory dependability is better than most, and body and interior dependability rated about average, according the J.D. Power website. The Forester earned "Consumer Reports" magazine's top rating in reliability and scored above-average in all categories but one -- the Forester's body integrity was given an average rating.
    The 2010 Honda Element scored four out of five stars with regards to powertrain, and feature and accessory dependability. The Element rated average in the body and interior dependability category, according to J.D. Power, with a score of three out of five.

    The Best for the Least

    Currently priced under $20,000, the 2010 Honda CR-V and 2010 Toyota RAV4 have the best reliability ratings among affordable compact SUVs, according to usnews.com.
    The 2010 Honda CR-V earned five out of five Power Circles for body, interior, powertrain and overall dependability. The CR-V's feature and accessory dependability scored four out of five. In a "Consumer Reports" test, the 2010 Honda CR-V scored above average or best in all reliability categories, including the highest mark in overall reliability. Also scoring five out of five in J.D. Power ratings was the 2010 Toyota RAV4. The RAV4 rated among the best in all categories, scoring five Power Circles across the board. "Consumer Reports" gave the RAV4 top and above-average marks in all categories, garnering a top rating in overall reliability.

    Upscale and Better Than Most

    The 2010 Audi Q5 carried a price tag between $26,000 and $30,000, used retail, in late 2013, and ranked as one of the most reliable luxury compact SUVs from 2010. In overall dependability, the 2010 Audi Q5 was given four out of five stars by J.D. Power and Associates. The Q5's powertrain dependability rated average, with a score of three out of five. Body, interior, feature and accessory dependability ratings, however, rate better than most with four out of five stars.

    Luxury and Reliability

    Cheaper and more reliable than the Audi Q5, the 2010 Acura RDX had an average price between $20,000 and $24,000, as of 2013, as well as a five out of five dependability rating, according to the "U.S. News" website. This luxury compact SUV scored J.D. Power's highest dependability rating in all four categories and was given a Dependability Award by J.D. Power and Associates.

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