Let’s imagine for a moment that you have a family and you need a vehicle to transport them.
However, you’re also looking to get a good mix of functionality and gas mileage, as gas prices don’t make those long vacation trips easy.
Your attention may have been caught by the 2012 Toyota Prius V wagon – you know the name Prius is synonymous with low emissions and high economy, but now there’s a little more room. But what could that spare you compared to a typical station wagon rival like the 2012 Mazda5?
We compare the Prius V and the Mazda5, the latter equipped with the automatic transmission. It’s no less economical than the manual option, and easier to drive when the kids are kicking the back of your seat and screaming, “Are we there already?” …
Economy and performance
No guessing on the most economical here. With its full gasoline-electric hybrid system, the Prius V sets new standards in the fuel economy class.
The EPA cites a city mileage of 44 mpg – more than double that of Mazda’s 21 mpg city. Highway mileage is 40 mpg versus 28, and all of that translates into the Prius V’s combined handling of 42 mpg, compared to the Mazda’s 24 combined.
If we use the EPA figures of 15,000 miles per year, 45% on the freeways and 55% in the city, the Prius will cost you $ 1,243 in fuel, at an average of just under $ 3.50. the gallon. In comparison, the Mazda would gobble up gasoline for $ 2,175, or $ 932 more.
As a result, the Prius V would also require less frequent stops. Even though its 11.9 gallon gas tank is smaller than the Mazda’s 15.9 gallons, you’ll get an estimated range of 450 miles, instead of 343. So much the better for progressing to your destination.
The 5 replicates with better performance thanks to its 2.5-liter engine developing 157 horsepower. The 5-speed auto allows drivers to have some control over when they change gears as well, so it may be suitable for those looking for a sportier ride.
Equipment and practicality
The two cars are fairly balanced in terms of passenger volume and cargo. The Toyota and Mazda offer the same 97 cubic feet of passenger space in their first and second rows.
The Mazda actually has one more seat than the Prius V, because it uses three rows of two seats, instead of the three-seat bench of the Prius. With those rear seats stowed, the Mazda has a cargo volume of 44 cubic feet, compared to 34 cubic feet for the Prius.
This means that the Mazda’s cargo volume is compromised when the rear seats are used – this is not a problem in the Toyota.
Both cars have a lot of equipment, and the levels of safety and security are also good – these are two cars that you should be sure to transport your family in.
2012 Mazda Mazda5
Prices and costs
A base Mazda5 in the lowest Sport trim level, with the automatic transmission, has an MSRP of $ 20,625. This compares favorably to the base Prius V “Two”, which starts at $ 26,400.
For that price, you can buy a top-of-the-line Mazda5 Grand Touring with xenon headlights, glass sunroof, SIRIUS satellite radio and more, and still have around $ 2,400 in change.
The Prius gets Toyota’s Smart Key system and a rear view camera for it, but otherwise they’re equipped the same way.
Considering the annual fuel savings above, you would only need to own the Prius for about two and a half years before it pays off the difference in fuel savings on its own – or about six years, comparing the basic model with the basic model.
Neither figure is too unrealistic, and 2.5 years in particular is a perfectly reasonable payoff – every next month would be to your advantage, let alone the environment.
Although the lack of six or seven seats in the Prius might put some off – but if you really need seven seats, you’re in a larger crossover and wagon class, and the only hybrid with seven seats this year is the 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Considering that, the 2012 Toyota Prius V is clearly capable of recouping the initial investment in fuel savings compared to the Mazda.
You might have to sacrifice a bit of gear, but if you plan on keeping the car for a while, you can always spend a bit more to get an even better specified Prius. In terms of cargo volume and passengers, you don’t lose much to the Mazda either.
While the Mazda5 is definitely a good car, it’s interesting how much money you could save by choosing the hybrid option.
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