I have never owned a Kia so I can't comment directly on that. And I have not owned a Rav4, though I have owned a Toyota (many years ago). Toyota is a reliable brand. And they do better on the resale value. The little Toyota I had was a great vehicle for me (high school/college) until it was totaled in an accident.
What I am currently driving is a Nissan Xterra. I LOVE my vehicle for many reasons, but it doesn't sound like exactly what you are looking for so I won't go into it. But Nissan is a pretty reliable brand also and they have smaller crossover type vehicles you might check into. My Xterra is a 2005, manual 6 speed transmission (LOVE THAT) and I have over 230,000 miles on it. Yes TWO hundred thousand plus. And it still runs like a dream. Not looking forward to car shopping anytime soon, b/c I'll probably want another of the same thing and I can't make myself pay that kinda money (new car prices! eek!) for something I already have. lol
Anyway, what I would suggest you do, is go to some USED car lots and specifically look around for used older models of the vehicles you are considering. Test drive a few if you want. It will give you some idea of how they "wear" over time. If you are planning to buy new (2012) then I'd look for a 2007-2009, since that is the length of time for a standard car loan these days (5 years). With a standard 5 year car loan, YOUR new vehicle will be 5 years old when it is paid for... so see what sort of quality you are looking at owning 5 years out.
Personally, I have driven some of the older models of Kia or Hyundai and Ford, too. When I take my car in for any sort of lengthy service that will take all day (yes, sometimes routine stuff can take all day,especially when you hit one of those 100k milestone service appts). Anyway, when they need to keep it all day, my service guy arranges for me to drive a local rental vehicle. It is a private rental company, so no brand new cars. These are the "sold at auction" type vehicles... and I can tell you... there are a lot of vehicles out there that do NOT hold up well at all. You don't want to end up with one of them. So, check out what your "new" vehicle will be like 5 years down the road by browsing at some used lots.