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Discussion Starter #1
I was really set to buy the Toyota Prius until I discovered there is a 6-8 month wait. So I started looking into the Mazda3 & here I am!

There are of course advantages & disadvantages to each, and I do realize they are in two different classes. But I was wondering if anyone on this board had looked into the Prius before choosing the Mazda 3.

The Mazda3 does not get the gas mileage obviously that the Prius gets, but I'm more curious about the ride. The Prius gets good reviews about how quiet & smooth the ride is. With the Mazda3 being more of a sporty type vehicle, what is the ride like?

Also, I would definitely get the Navigation system. But I can't find any pdf's or online user guides to compare it to the Prius's system. Anyone know if it's available online somewhere?

Thanks for any info you can offer me...
 

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Initially I was interested in the Prius because of price/hybrid/neat looking car/Toyota reliability. It was a great test drive but like you said the long wait cools the purchase. I did not like the back of the Prius as there is the back window, trim, then a little 1-2inch glass going across. Made it difficult to see how back window plus did not like the looks. With battery replacement in approx. 8 years, the pay back on gas savings is very minimal. But you would be helping out the environment/natural resources.

On the other hand, the Mazda 3 is cheaper, more stylish, more power for the size, and you can get neat things like NAV, leather, and get the car NOW. Not sure where to find the NAV specs but users of this forum are very informative.

Kevin
 

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Well, the Mazda3 is probably (I haven't driven the Prius) a harder ride than the Prius... and certainly performs (both straight line and steering) better. The only reason you'd ever get a Prius is if you're obsessive about mileage - so ya have to decide about that.
 

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MZ6ZoomZoom said:
The only reason you'd ever get a Prius is if you're obsessive about mileage - so ya have to decide about that.
That's a rather reckless generalization. The Prius is a nifty car in its own right, and it can be equipped with NAV, HIDs, Bluetooth, etc. Certainly more luxurious than the 3.

But it's not a performance car by any stretch of the imagination. Then again, no one really expects it to be. It does what it does very well. It's the ultimate commuter car.
 

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Actually, you can get NAV, HID and lots of other fun stuff on the new Prius. Also, the electric motor has lots of torque, so there's at least some pick-up no matter what your speed. However, you cannot get a moonroof, which kind of sucks, and because there's a waiting list, odds are that you'll pay MSRP or more, which is untrue of the Mazda3. Finally, I don't know how it would handle with bigger, grippier tires, but the tires of the Prius were chosen with fuel economy foremost in mind, while the Mazda3 has some sporty tires.
 

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You may need to look at the long time maintainance cost. Hybrid technology is still new and the maintainance cost may go very deep after the factory warranty is over...
 

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Why not both? 3 now and Prius later. You have a year...

Couldn't pass up on this thread.

I was in exactly this situation and chose the 3 because the Prius with nav wait is over 1 year, and Toyota has told its dealers to stop taking orders. The 2005 allotment is rumored to sell out soon as well. I couldn't wait. My VW was rapidly deteriorating and about to really lose its trade-in value. So I got the 3s HB and have been pleasantly surprised.

My 3 has nav, gets better mileage than my old car, and is quite refined inside. But comparing the two point-for-point is apples and oranges. They're aiming for different market niches.

From my test drive experiences, the Prius rides more smoothly with much less pickup and is even quieter inside than the 3. Not a lot of "zoom zoom" passion there--it's an appliance. Mileage is phenomenal. The 3 corners better, has better pickup, and is a technology that ANY mechanic can fix today. And you can get it today.

But you can't have the Prius today. You probably can't have it this year.

My plan was to keep the 3 until a black #9 Prius is available. I'm on a waiting list and don't expect "the call" for at least a year. In the meantime I'm really enjoying this "replacement" car very much, and it just might end up being my long-term vehicle. This thing grows on you...

Just thought you'd like to hear from someone who looked at both and pulled the trigger on one of them...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all...

I really appreciate all the responses to my original post regarding the Prius vs. the 3.

I do realize they are two very different cars, but my main concern I guess was the "sporty" drive of the 3 vs. the more quiet & smooth ride of the Prius (and I really liked the bluetooth option in the Prius!!!).

I currently drive a Ford Explorer, hence the need for a quieter, smoother ride...I suppose any car would give that to me over the Explorer!

I did test drive a 3 yesterday & it seemed to perform very well. Good breaks, acceleration, etc. It was hard to gauge the quietness, smoothness of it as I just drove it around the block, but it was obviously better than my Explorer. I've looked into the Camery too, and love the ride, but then again the options I would want with it make it cost thousands more.

The dealer only had 2 hatchbacks, no sedans on the lot & said it would be at least 2 weeks before they got more in...said there was a big interest in the 3's. But that's better than a 6-10 month wait for the Prius!

I'll keep reading these boards...and any more responses to my post. Thanks for all your opinions!
 

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Where are you located? You did not put in your location during your subscribing info to this forum. I would think most dealers by now should have the sedans on the lots. My problem with the "bluetooth" is it only works on some cell phones manufacturers. I have a Kyrocera which is NOT one of the bluetooth compatible phones.

Unless you are going to always have 3-4 people in your car and want to be on the leading edge of technology, I would go with the Mazda 3 for all the reasons stated in previous posts. Save the extra money and put in an IRA for retirement.....

Kevin
 

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Silver said:
I have been hearing less than positive reviews about the Prius.
...thats not true. ive read pretty much nothing but positive things, its an amazing car with some crazy technology.
 

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Didn't Motor Trend gives the Prius it's 2004 Car of the Year award?
 

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Mazda3 - Sport class

Prius - Econo/MPG King

Take your pick.
 

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Prius or 3?

I was obsessed with the idea of getting a "new Prius" until a friend mentioned that because of the technology to get high gas mileage, you're "divorced" from the driving experience. So I went down to look at a Mz3 and now I own one.

The Prius doesn't come in manual or manu-matic, so you can't "wind it up" even if you wanted to. On the other hand, the electric motor is supposed to have a good bit of torque from take off. But what about passing on the freeway? I don't think it would be too thrilling based on the horsepower numbers.

I know I would have spent more on a Prius. And then in 7+ years, if I kept that car and the battery died, how much would it cost me to replace? I think Toyota is guaranteeing them for that long.

It seems to me that in the reviews I've read nobody's getting 60 mpg (actual mileage in high 40's or low 50's). Why spend all that dough on a car that doesn't produce the mileage claimed, unless you're really in love with tech. I'm sure I'd find it entertaining, but not when I was late for work.

And then the other day, there was an article about a hybrid Eclipse for 2006...
 

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I am in all honestly surprised we are having this conversation but irregardless like anything as others have said it comes down to priorities. I think we are still a little ways (though not far) from being able to have our cake and eat it too with the hybrid cars and a sporting/fun feel.

That said I can honestly say I haven't driven or looked at a Prius at all. I've read a few articles and reviews on it and it sounds like an intriguing technology but not one I'm willing to invest in just yet.

As for environmental the 3 is a LEV (or SLEV now?) so I'm happy there and gas is pretty cheap here in Calgary so overall milage isn't that much of a concern for me, I rarely spend more than $50-60 a month Canadian for gas in my car commuting in rush hour 15-20 minutes each way 5 days a week. Personally I buy a car to DRIVE it, not let it drive me and I don't think they hybrids are drivers cars (yet).
 

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dinu01 said:
How cheap is the gas in AB?

We've been at $0.70-0.78/L for 87 for weeks here.
So, since the mazda3 has a 55L tank, to fill it up at the most expensive your gasoline has been would be $42.90(CAD)?! That's $2.24 USD a gallon :shock: ! And I thought our gas was expensive! We're just over $1.55(USD)/gallon which converts to $0.53(CAD)/L.
 

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We've got it easy here dja, compared to the rest of the world. European countries pay ~$4-7/gallon of gas.

I've got no opinion on the Prius. Nice car, great technology, but another Toyota appliance. People who buy a Prius will smile on the way home for completely different reasons than those who smile on their way home in their Mz3s.
 
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