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Protege5 vs. Matrix XRS vs. 2.5TS Impreza vs. PT Cruiser (hatch/wagon)



  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    most people find Impreza TS (and P5) too small for any utility.

    Who's most people? I took a 6 cu. ft. contractor wheel barrow, Scotts rotary fertilizer spreader, hedge trimmers, extension cords, 2-15 pound containers of Preen, a backpack blower, 5 gallon tank of gas, two rakes and a bunch of old sheets to my grandmothers home last weekend in the P5. (All fit nicely behind the front seats.)
  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 245
    "Think again, forrester out acclerates P5.

    Yea...get to 60 then what? When we get into the twisties, I'll leave the Forester looking for an off-road short cut to catch up. "

    I mentioned forester's accleration because previous poster complained forester has no Zoom Zoom. Thanks for clarifying that P5's Zoom Zoom is strictly limted to twisties only.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Utility can be hard to define. My wife and I can get everything we used to carry in our Jeep Cherokee in our P5 without too much effort. (At least when we still had the spare tire inside the Cherokee.) The fact is that the P5 has just as much useful space as the Cherokee did, even though it is a smaller total cargo space. If you pack well, then the P5 should have plenty of cargo room.
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    I mentioned forester's accleration because previous poster complained forester has no Zoom Zoom.

    I was that poster.

    Thanks for clarifying that P5's Zoom Zoom is limted only to twisties.

    Guess you still think 0-60 is "driving fun". Just about every review I've ever read gushes over the P5's fun-to-drive factor. Then again, I wouldn't expect a guy recommending a Forester on a sport wagon thread to get it.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586

    Even though the trunk looks to be smaller than the sedan's, once the seats are folded one can fit A LOT of stuff in the P5. A HB/wagon body style is more functional than a sedan, but since we're talking HB/wagons here, I'll keep the $ spent on AWD and still have a good-looking reliable car in the P5. Oh and I'll have fun doing it too :)

  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 245
    "Then again, I wouldn't expect a guy recommending a Forester on a sport wagon thread to get it."

    IMO, Forester if far more sporty than PT which happens to be in the title of this thread.
    Did you know Forester XT humiliates Porsche Boxster in 0-60. I guess that is plenty to catch up for few seconds lost at the twisties.

    PS: 0-30 XT is faster than Ferrari Enzo; now that is real Zoom Zoom.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Hypothetically-speaking, even IF an Escalade on 20" chrome rims would be supped-up and would do 0-60 in 4.9secs it would still not be sporty any way you slice it.

    0-60 is just ONE measure of performance. Braking, cornering (g-forces), steering feel, road-holding are others.

    Yes the Forester goes faster than a Boxster, but it's still a TALL wagon with a not too friendly centre of gravity.

  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    I did have to take the wheel off the barrow though. I probably could have made it fit but, I like the headliner clean.

    I've fit so many things in my hatches over the years. Their utility is generally much greater than most would expect. (Me included.)

    I'm not going to argue the merit of AWD. It would be nice in the snow. Though, I've never had it and seem to still be doing just fine.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    "I'm not going to argue the merit of AWD. It would be nice in the snow. Though, I've never had it and seem to still be doing just fine."

    I once got stuck in snow and that was b/c I attempted to park an 89 Tercel HB in a parking lot with over 1' of snow :) Stupid me, who knew it wasn't a Land Cruiser?

    But I had no probs with a 93 Civic HB and the 01 Protege.

  • how much would that go for $$$-wise?
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    About $25,500.
  • not too bad, just a bit out of our price range...
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    Insurance will probably be a killer too.
  • especially for a 22 year old male...ouch! my insurance on my spec-v isnt all that fantastic either...but i had a speeding ticket on record at the time...whoops!
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    Your fiance seems to be thinking like me. I am also considering the mazda6 in addition to the XRS and p5.

    I would really like to get the mazda6 wagon, but it won't be available until February or March.
  • seems like it! at least this topic will help both of us, and hopefully many others looking into the compact sportwagon catergory. we probably wont be seriously looking until this fall, but we figured we might as well get a head start! if we could, we'd both want to just say poo to practicallity and get a 350z, but that wont be til a little further down the road it seems!
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    I wish I could just say poo to practicality. The 350z would be so nice, but I shudder to think about the insurance for it.
  • insurance is probably killer, but you only live once! (well, depends on your beliefs i suppose!)
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    The G3-vs-Rx-8 thread then...

    I'd take the RX-8 (as a Mazda enthusiast and as someone intrigued to say the least by the rotary engine)

  • yup, i subscribed to that board a while back...still cant get past the guppy face of the rx-8, i think the g35 is super sexy and sleek! that would be my choice in the matter there ;-)
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    I asked my insurance company for estimates of how much my insurance would be for the 3 vehicles I am looking at and I was surprised to learn that the p5 would cost me more than a mazda6i or the matrix XRS. The only thing the agent could see that would skew the cost was the crash test results. This was before the lackluster side impact scores for the 6 were known though.

    Even with higher insurance costs, the p5 would still be more affordable than the other two.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    We've been over this many times on other boards. The P5 is considered a "premium" economy car, meaning replacement costs are above the average for all economy cars (including Kia Rio, etc.). The relatively high cost of insurance on the P5 has nothing to do with crash test scores (where it scored above average) or even medical and collision loss statistics (where it is just about average). It has everything to do with how much it will cost to buy a new one if yours gets stolen. Another good example of this phenomenon is the Jetta which has excellent crash test scores, but has high insurance rates. Agents just say crash test scores are the reason because they don't want to do the research to find out the real reason.
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    Not buying that theory at all.

    The replacement cost for the P5 has to be lower than for the 6 and the Matrix XRS. Both cars cost more and yet both cars will be cheaper for me to insure.

    The NHTSA test for the Protege (P5 not tested)were:

    5 stars front for driver and 4 for passenger.
    4 stars side for rear seat and 3 stars for front seat.

    The matrix got 5 stars front (both seats) and 4 stars side (again both).

    Not too much of a difference. But insurance companies don't go by NHTSA. They use IIHS. Those results tell a different story.

    IIHS didn't test the Matrix, but they did test the corolla and they are probably basing rates off of the corolla tests until the matrix is tested, if ever. IIHS gives the corolla "good" across all areas. IIHS didn't test the p5 either. But they do have an entry for the protege. It is rated overall "acceptable." It gets "acceptable" for structure/safety cage and restraints/dummy kinesmatics. It gets "good" for head/neck and chest. It gets "marginal" for leg/foot left and "poor" for leg/foot right.

    To me that kind of disparity easily explains why the P5 will cost me more to insure than the other two cars.

    IIHS has not tested the 6. If they are using the 626 to determine rates, then the pattern still fits for the rates I was quoted. The 626 doesn't score as well as the Corolla, but does do better than the protege.

    Would I not buy the P5 based on crash test results? Probably not, but I think an informed buyer should consider all areas of a car's cost before making a decision.
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    If you want to make the crash test results of a particular model a major decision making point, the Forester would have to figure back into the equation somewhere. The Forester recieved 5 stars all around from the NHTSA tests and a Best Pick rating from the IIHS testing . . . tall wagon and all.
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    That's not where I was going. I would rule out the Forester because it completely the wrong car...for me.

    Crash tests can be a criterion, but should not be the decisive one IMO. Or should we all be driving Volvos?

    Anyway, my point was not about the crash test result themselves, but that the insurance companies use those tests to gauge risk and how much they charge you for coverage. My company, USAA, would charge me more for the P5 then the mazda6 and more for the mazda6 than the matrix XRS. The difference between the 6 and the XRS was less than that between the P5 and the 6.

    Some cars cost more to insure because they are stolen frequently, some cost more because they do poorly in crash tests and yet others cost more because they are more likely to injure someone in another vehicle.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    "Not buying that theory at all"

    Sorry, but it is the reason. After doing extensive research with my insurance company (Erie) and my sister-in-law, who works for State Farm, as to why my Protege insurance went up $100 a year, it was determined that the symbol assigned to the vehicle had been changed from "economy" to "premium economy" in 2002.

    The IIHS crash tests were performed on a 1999 model (which did not include the structural changes that my 2001 ES and all Protege5s have in the front end which should have improved the test result), so any changes in rates due to these results would have been reflected in 2000 or 2001 at the latest.

    One other potential reason rates go up is an above average incidence of injury, collision, or theft loss. The averages for all small cars are 140, 113, and 120 respectively. The Mazda Protege scored 138, 113, and 108, so that was not a contributing factor.

    The word from Erie (and confirmed by State Farm) after a week of phone calls and e-mails was that they did not raise rates due to crash tests, but replacement costs. Being a "premium economy" car, it costs more to replace in the event of theft or collision.

    As for the 6, it is in a different category of vehicles: Mid-Size, so you can not make a direct comparison. I expect the same is true of the Matrix XRS. The insurance companies probably lump that in with SUVs, compared to which the Matrix costs less to replace than average.

    The point is, I have done my homework on this topic, and when someone post that the insurance rates are high for the Protege[5] due to crash test scores according to their insurance agent, I can assure you that is not the case. Do you really think the agents have a clue? All they do is quote prices, and, when you ask "why so much?" they offer the explanation that there must be something lacking in safety -- in effect, blaming the car so they don't look bad by quoting a high number. They have nothing in their computerized quoting system that shows which cars are more costly to insure due to safety issues.
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    Erie must have a different system.

    USAA was telling me that one of the parts of the premium that was higher for the P5 was injury to the occupants. The premiums are broken down by categories. The part for medical payments was higher for the P5. I imagine different underwriters evaluate things a little differently.

    The bottom line is that the P5 is more costly to insure than the 6 and the XRS. I'd be interested to know how it stacks up against the other cars thene is looking at, the PT cruiser and the 2.5TS.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    I think the insurance companies think that P5 owner are most likely a young macho male.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Recently MSN published an article on the ten least expensive vehicles to insure, with help from Edmunds. The list was primarily minivans, with PT Cruiser leading the whole pack. The reason given, all the vehicles were primarily family vehicles and were most likely driven more gently and carefully as a result.

    I could see the entry level sporty cars to be much more expensive to insure as they would be purchased by someone with sporty pretension and more limited resources as though they were just starting out in life. As Bluong1 so aptly said.. young macho males.
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    Our 03 CR-V costs less to insure than our 03 P5.

    Not too happy about that.
This discussion has been closed.