Hello and thank you for using Just answer! I'm Billy and i will assist you with this. Feel free to ask if you need any further info.
When referring to small SUVs, these are not rugged....these are city vehicles, although some can handle pretty abusive driving and terrains.
I would first thing of the nissan x-terra...then, the toyota rav4, then the mitsubishi outlander
Xterra: the most rugged.....best 4wd drive aboard...although a bit long...
Rav4: most confortable ride....good equipment and best finishing on the inside....have a bit of squarish geometry (wheels)....the bad point would be that this one is a bit bulky so you need more engine power for abusive driving
outlander: good engine....good 4wd.....good inside equipment...however the front clearance is not very helpful when tackling steep obstacles......other bad side, the front transversal axle is known to break in heavy conditions.
I would go with the Nissan.
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