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Can Anyone Make a Case For A Honda CRV Or Toyota RAV 4 Over A Prius V?

My Beloved “Car Decision Therapists,”

You have been TOLERATING me for the past 8 months while I indecisively and obesessively vascilate back and forth!!! God bless you all!!! I GREATLY appreciate you!!!

As a reminder…I have a 2003 Toyota Corolla with just shy of 240,000 miles on it. The check engine and air bag lights are on. Apparently, 10 codes are behind the lights. A conservative estimate for repairs is $3700. The current tags will expires on March 31. The car will not pass inspection. I definitely will be buying a new car.

I am a Realtor. I drive TONS around the Washington, DC beltway showing property - often 150 miles per day. I need the cargo space of something like a small crossover or wagon to haul around real estate signs, home staging supplies/small furniture, my 93 year old father’s wheel chair and things from his house that I need to take to the dump/thrift stores/etc. after him living in the house for 50 years.

I have narrowed my selection down to a Honda CRV (and may go ahead and test drive a Toyota RAV 4) or a Prius V. All things seem to be about equal. They cost about the same ($25,000). They have approximately the same cargo space (except the CRV has a “lower floor” which is good for carrying taller items). Their are about the same number of pros and cons for each. The Prius V gets approximately DOUBLE the gas mileage in city driving than the CRV (and most of my driving is through small neighborhoods). I tend to keep my cars until they drop dead but everyone says the Prius lasts for 200,000 miles without problems.

With the above being said, the obvious choice should be the Prius V. However, I’m about to say something TOTALLY STUPID AND SUPERFICIAL!!! The Prius V is just soooooooo UGLY!!! Therefore, I’m checking with YOU to ask if anyone can make an intelligent case for a CRV over a Prius V? If not, Prius V it will be!!!

Thank you for putting me out of my misery!!! After receiving your thoughtful feedback, the negotiating process will begin (on one or the other)!!!

VERY gratefully,


I’m not a big hybrid fan, but your type of driving is tailor-made for a hybrid. I would be surprised if a CRV could break 20 mpg in this type of driving. The Prius should get still get ~50 mpg.

At 150 miles a day

CRV - 150 miles/20 mpg = 7.5 gal. 7.5 * $3.75 = $28.25/day or 141.25 for a 5 day week.

Prius - 150 miles/50 mpg = 3.0 gal. 3.0 * $3.75 = $11.25/day or 56.25 for a 5 day week.

Assuming a 50 week work year, the gas savings would be $4250.

On the other hand, buy the vehicle that is most comfortable since you are going to be spending a lot of time stuck in traffic.

Ed B.

You’re not being superficial - I won’t buy a car if I don’t like the looks, there are plenty of other options. Here are two: instead of the CRV, how about a Mazda CX-5? Better mpgs. And instead of the Prius V, how about a Ford C-Max. It’s a hybrid, about same mpgs as the Prius V, and you may like the looks better. My Ford hybrid has worked well for the last 2 years, I get 38 mpg average, just about all in-town. Actually better in town, I get 36 mpg on the highway.

Kind of hard to say which would be better since you are comparing completely different vehicles.

Each car is for different types of uses. A mid-size hybrid to a small SUV is not what I’d consider a close comparison.

Of course looks are important. What’s the point of having a reliable, economical, dependable car if you can’t stand driving it?

Now if you look at just numbers, the Prius family has been one of the most reliable cars Toyota has ever made–hybrid OR conventional. If the size and function meets your needs for transport and occasional hauling, AND your driving style fits the hybrid (which I think it does), then that would be a good choice.

In real estate looks count, and comfort counts if you take clients to look at property in your car. Therefore you need to test drive all the contenders, and get into and out of the back seats a few times as part of that evaluation.

Next, are the miles you drive going at a steady 50-70 mph or mostly in town stop and go driving? Beltway driving in DC can involve a lot of stop and go driving in peak travel times. If stop and go is the norm the Prius will have a huge advantage in mpg. With gas prices rising, and gas being a big expense item in your business that can make the difference. To list and sell houses you have to go without worry about can you afford the gas today. The CRV and Rav4 really don’t get very good gas mileage in stop and go driving. I would pay more attention to the “city” EPA mpg estimates when evaluating the cars.

Space and comfort likely go to the CRV and/or Rav4. MPG goes to the Prius V. I don’t think any of these cars is very good looking, so ugly is yours to judge. If I was a realtor I’d really look at a VW TDI (turbo diesel) car. I think the Jetta, and Passat, both have TDI motors and might be available in a wagon body style. These cars are comfortable, look good, have plenty of space inside and I think would be more suitable to taking clients to look at property.

Haha. And u take ur clients to show houses in ur corolla now? Are ur clients ornery after sitting in backseat?

As a compromise vehicle…Look at the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Bigger then the Rav-4 or Prius. A hybrid that gets 28 city and 28 highway. While not as good as the Prius in gas mileage…it’s better then the Rav-4 and can fit more people more comfortably.

As mentioned, your type of driving is ideal for a Prius from a fuel economy point of view.

However, make sure your signs can fit in the car; the Prius trunk is not large and the backseat would have to go down to accommodate them. Also, NEVER have a car that’s hard to get into the backseat. Many of your clients will be overweight, out of shape, and if it’s hard to get into the backseat and there is not enough legroom, you’ll blow the sale.

The new RAV4, CRV, and the Mazda CX-5 are very nice vehicles. You don’t need the complexity and fuel consumption of a 4 wheel drive for what you do. Good winter tires is all you need.

So, only go for the Prius if some of you larger friends find it easy to get into the backseat.

Having just bought a house, I can note that not all realtors take you around to houses in their cars. In our case, we met the realtor at the houses we looked at.

Prius sits higher than sedans. Trunk sit higher too. Toyota probably will not change Prius basic styling -now too recognizable. We like the higher seats and trunk because of the ease of loading and unloading our seniors and wheelchairs.

Camry hybrid could be better for you but it will cost you a bit more. Camry hybrid gets better milage than our 2008 Prius. I’m not sure, but the Camry may share Prius drive-electronics.

May look into the Chevy Impala with electric assist. Very impressive. GM mistake is that it doesn’t put a bigger nameplate on the vehicle.

First , you probably don’t need awd. So
Any small SUV in fwd would give you plenty of utility. They are much easier to load and unload.

I’ll 2nd the suggestion for the new Ford C-Maxx. It’s about as close to a hybrid minivan as you can get today. Taking clients around means you need room on top of your supplies/ A minivan is perfect for that, but their MPGs aren’t that great.

Stop by a Ford Dealer and take a Fusion Hybrid out for a spin…

Another option - the Camry hybrid and the Avalon hybrid.

Another option - the Camry hybrid and the Avalon hybrid.

I didn’t know Avalon came out with a hybrid. I just was looking at it on line after I saw your entry,…

Back in 07 when my wife bought her ES350 - we looked at the Camry Hybrid. My wife has almost a perfect commute for a hybrid. The MAIN reason we didn’t choose the Camry was trunk space. I looked at on-line pics of the new Avalon and Lexus ES hybrid…and the trunk space is drastically improved. At least 50% more space then the 07 Camry we looked at.

We’ll see what’s available in 5 years when she’s ready to buy a new vehicle. But if we were looking today…it would be one of our top choices.

On may hybrids (including recent Camrys) the rear seats do n ot fold down, and you won.'t be able to carry those long stakes with your real estate signs.

Best case of all: buy the CR-V because you like it.

Supporting data: Hondas last a long time. I recently spent $800 on my 2005 Accord V6: the timing belt needed replacement. Other than that, I’ve just done fluids, filters, brake pads, and tires. The CR-V is easy to get into. We have 2 friends with knee or back problems, and the CR-V was the answer to their pains getting into and out of the car. I’m sure that we can rationalize this all day. But the bottom line is that you prefer the Honda. Why spend 10 years with a car that you don’t like?

Honda automatics used to have a bad reputation in the last decade. And I have a thing against Toyota for using merely adequate 4 speeds with low power vehicles while others have moved on.

You won’t notice how a car looks on the outside once you’re sitting inside.

All of you are sooooo AWESOME!!! Thank you so much for taking your time to help me!!!