We started our car shopping with about 30 cars of various van, sedan, hatchback, and SUVs on our list.
We tracked everything in spreadsheet from safety, mileage, price, everything.
After several test drives and reviews the 2013 Rav4 was the winner with the most features, cargo capacity, mileage, safety, and driving performance.
The Honda CRV 2013 was our 2nd choice but it wasn't fun to drive, felt sluggish with no "go" feeling.
The Rav4 has the acceleration, handling, and styling that the Honda does not.
The in-dash computer showing performance information, audio, and bluetooth phone built-in standard.
The Eco and Sport modes are great to have and are what sold us on the Rav4 vs the CRV.
We've driven our first 2,000 miles in Eco mode; we're getting about 26 mpg on road and highway.
In Sport-Mode you can really feel the car become more responsive and it feels faster.
Backup-camera is actually usable.
I was able to back-into a tight space using it easily.
The large cargo-volume is good.
With both backseats up and the child-seat installed we can get the stroller, shopping goods, cargo all in the back with plenty of room up front.
Its not a Sienna in volume but its close enough for most.
Larger rear-view window.
The back-up camera helps compensate for it and its not such a big-deal when your on the road driving forwards.
When backing out of the garage or a tight parking space you are effectively blind out the rear-view due to the small rear-windows.
Again the backup-camera is top-notch and cancels this out.
We did not test-drive the Mazda but I?ll share with you our experience calculating gas-cost and warranty.
When we were shopping for car types we compared the gas-cost of a 2013 Toyota Sienna LE (18/20) vs the Rav4.
We drive about 10,000 miles a year (mostly highway) and calculated the cost difference between fueling up the Rav4 vs the Sienna.
The result was around $500 +-
a year over-all .
The 2014 CX-5 gets on-paper about 26/35 VS the 2013 Rav4 at 24/31; Based on the previous comparison you can expect about $400 +-- (~$33mo) difference between the two.
$400 a year isn?t much in this market and this size vehicle.
Onto the warranty we did observe a difference in how the warranties are handled across brands.
For example we spoke to a Subaru dealer about what happens if were on a road-trip and Joe Bob works on our broken axel.
The Subaru guy said that if Joe Bob touched/fixed our axel then Subaru would void the warranty on the axel. We asked the same question at the Toyota and Honda dealers and both said no-problem, warranty is still ok so Joe Bob?s repair shop can work on the car.
Which is important if you drive on road trips allot.
Sorry for the long reply/post; hope it adds some perspective.
I am having a hard time deciding between the Rav4 and the mazda cx-5.
The Rav4 seems like it has a nicer interior, but the mazda gets better gas milage and also has a blind spot monitoring wywtmen that beeps, which I think is great.
The Rav4 just seems like a better bult car.
Has anyone driven both and if so what are your thoughts?