Mar. 20th, 2012

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Test drove a few cars at the weekend. Our choice is now between Prius v and Mazda5.

more car notes

(ruled out RAV4 and Mazda CX-5)

Prius v vs. Mazda5

Price/cost -
Pv ~ $27k, M5 ~ $20k
but fuel savings catch up in ~ 8-9 years (assumes 12k miles per year, current fuel price) (…that's quite a long time…)

Edmunds TCO is about the same for both (5 year cost of ownership) but mainly due to higher fuel costs for M5 - we don't think we will do as much as 15k miles per year so that would be less

Driving -
M5 felt a little more responsive. Noticed wind noise on highway.

I prefer the digital speedo in Pv but maybe just because that's what I'm used to now.

M5 auto also has the pseudo-manual gear change, but didn't try it out. Pv has a couple of buttons for choosing Power/Eco/EV modes but also didn't try those - they seemed to be in a pretty bad place to reach while driving though.

theora mentioned the speedo being cut off by steering wheel but I forgot in which car.

Seating/space -
For normal 'around town' use, not a lot of difference. (4 passengers, good cargo space)

For trips to Maine, where do cats go? theora thinks 2 car seats + cat carrier in 2nd row in Pv but I don't think they would fit. I think there is room in the back in either car.

For trips with visitors, M5 can clearly fit 2 extra people (as long as we adjust all seats up a bit). Pv _might_ be able to fit 1 extra person alongside car seats in 2nd row but I am skeptical. (OTOH we could just take two cars). Are we going to need this often?

M5 with 6 people in will not fit much luggage. Roof rack and box would be ~ $800

Pv may be slightly wider inside trunk. Having trouble finding helpful measurements.

Other features -
M5 sliding doors can be helpful.

Audio etc. -
(These are not really a priority)
Pv has standard iPod USB connectivity
M5 just has an aux audio jack (like our current vehicle)
Pv has bluetooth phone connectivity as standard, but we still don't think we should be talking on phone while driving… and other similar distractions.


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