So I was in Las Vegas this past week with a Mazda 3 . . .
The problem was the twitchie accelerator and gearing. There were at
least three distinct shift points below 30 mph and it was almost
impossible to pull out smoothly. At speeds under 35 mph, speed control
seemed to be bipolar. But over the week, I found Prius techniques
could smooth it out.
Cruise control would hold it steady but the most successful technique
was to shift into "N" when possible. Once back in gear, the
accelerator was skiterish again but you could accelerate up to speed
and then slip back into "N."
Fortunately, I only had to drive downtown Las Vegas and back. Mostly
freeway and access road, there was nothing memorable. Las Vegas radio
was less bad than Tennessee Valley but the car sound quality was at
best ordinary. I've heard better from portables.
In contrast, when I got back to the Prius, life returned to normal.
Speed control was 'rounder' without the bipolar nature of the Mazda 3.
It is nice to have Prius predictable driving.
I didn't measure the MPG but who would? It reminded me of a Corolla
want-to-be and folks are welcome to it.