As I mentioned earlier, my wife is looking for a new car. Her main complaint about the Prius is that there is only seating for 5. Even though we have 4 in our family, she wants more seats to accommodate the kids friends and the in laws when they visit.
My thoughts were for a Camry CE or Accord DX. I love the look of the new Camry but we are not considering the TCH because the cost is too high. When Toyota says that HSD is a $2000 adder, that is looking at it with rose colored glasses. The TCH lists for over 26k while the Camry CE can be had for less than 21k. I'm not interested in all of the fancy options that come standard with the TCH so for me, the HSD premium is over 5k. Since my wife would be driving it only 30 miles per day, it would take a long time for the payback, if ever.
But the Camry doesn't solve the 5 seat issue. She had looked at Highlanders awhile back but they are way out of our price range and the FE sucks, even on the 2WD. But then I noticed that the RAV4 had optional 3rd row seating, 7 seats in all. So I headed over to the Toyota dealership in Raliegh for a test drive.
The RAV 4 is very nice! I drove the base model 2wd 4 cylinder, 17" alloy wheels and 3rd row seating and was very impressed. Weighing in at 3300 lbs, I didn't feel that I was driving a pig. The 24/30 EPA estimate was also a pleasant surprise. With it's 0.33Cd, I wouldn't be surprised to see 35MPG on the highway at 60 MPH or so. The salesman quoted me $500 over dealer invoice, $22,700. Out the door with tax and other fees was $23,865, only $100 more than what I paid for the Prius 3 years ago. I can live with that.
So perhaps a compromise is in the works. I'm headed back to Pittsburgh tomorrow morning. Maybe over the weekend we will go for a test drive.
On another note, I wasn't able to test drive a TCH because they didn't have one. They are flying off the lot. The Prius was a different story. They had 15 or so in every color. If someone is looking for a Prius, I know where you can get one.
Yes, we have already had that discussion. It didn't work.... Evidently I just don't understand and there is no use in trying to explain further. The fact that I have moved her away from the Highlander and toward the RAV 4 is quite an accomplishment. If it were up to me we would get an HCH II or another Prius.
Don't fault the TCH when it comes close to the base Camry XLE package in standard equipment. When compaired to the same equipped Camry, their estimates are in-line. You're compairing apples, to oranges, so fault yourself.
AFA the rav4 VS the Highlander. The highlander/Lexus RX get's it's redesign shortly as it's Camry platform based which just entered it's 6th generation in March. The Highlander is a bigger, better vehicle. You'll never be happy with a 2az-fe powered rav4. I don't care of this is the slow *** driving forum. Buy the 2gr-fe v6. It gets the same economy out of the box, and yet it has more than 3 times the powerband at one point.
Personally... Wait 6 months, when the new base Highlander with the 3.5L 2gr-fe v6 option when it comes out. You need room, and the rav4 will never deliver like the Highlander will, being based off the much larger modified Camry platform.
At 24/30, the RAV 4 has 15% better FE than the 21/26 Mazda 5. That is too much of a penalty for me. But thanks for the heads up. I didn't even think of looking at the M5 until you mentioned it.
Interesting, a SUV with a better MPG than a minivan (and the Five is amon the best), and they both (4cyl, 2WD) weigh the same at around 3400 pounds, making the Rav 4 more efficient on top of better MPG.
The only catch with the Rav 4 is it appears you are stuck with an automatic, you can get a manual on the Mazda5.