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    HOW DOES A PRIUS DRIVE IN THE SNOW

    0  Views: 2045 Answers: 1 Posted: 12 years ago

    1 Answer

    tomdett


    Junior Member


    4 years ago


    I have been using my 2002 Prius to drive from Boulder to Winter Park, CO. The original tires were the worst all seasons for snow I have ever seen on a car. I put Bridgestone Blizzak's on every winter, inflate them to 42 f, 40 r and I have as good of snow vehicle as any 2 wheel drive around. The Blizzaks are in their 4th winter and the tires are do just fine. I have not been bothered by the traction control reducing power.


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    roadiespinner


    Junior Member


    4 years ago


    I live in Reno on a steep hill, about a mile long. During one of our earlier snows with lots of ice on the road I made it home in my 2007 Touring. The next morning we counted 18 cars, as we left our house, which had not made it up the climb and had been left along the hill, including several SUVs.
    The TRAC and VSC seem to do the trick. [Stock M/S tires]


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    doogie500


    Junior Member


    4 years ago


    Had our Prius on a little incline, snow/ice underneath, it simply would not move. Got several neighbors and we pushed, bu that is a very delicate operation with the very thin plastic bodywork on the car. Called the dealer and he said call a tow truck next time! No help at all.


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    Towshar


    Member


    4 years ago


    No problems here. While I don't expect great results from dealer OEM tires, I was more than impressed with it's performance in the snow. I've been through 2 snow storms and an ice storm. I haven't gotten stuck yet. During one of the more vicious snow storms, I was one of 3 people who made it to work. The two others had 4-wheel drive SUVs. If you drive this car right, it's snow and ice performance is awesome.


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    clamphere


    Junior Member


    4 years ago


    My brother has been driving in Vermont snow for 20 years. He has a Prius and here is what he says.


    Quote:
    Mileage is down with the cold and snow tires. It gets around 35mpg when
    temp hovers at 0 F. If temp is around 15-20 F it gets 42. Normal summer
    driving with factory tires I get 48-52.


    Goes great in the snow, far better than I would have ever expected. Only
    time I drive the truck is when I need to plow. Matter of fact I went to
    start the Truck a week ago and the battery was dead!


    Real information from a Real Vermonter.


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    clifforddouglas


    Junior Member


    4 years ago


    Not sure why other drivers say it (Prius) is good in the snow. We (2004) have severe problems in the snow, more appropriately the snowy/icy conditions here in Michigan. To the point we drive other vehicles when the weather is rough!


    One thing no one has mentioned (as they all claim great in the snow), is there is virtually no ground clearance under this vehicle (not un-common in small cars for sure), and it becomes a snow plow. I repeat that ours got "stuck" on a very small snowy/icy incline to where it had to be manually pushed to get it onto level ground. Also be assured!! THERE IS NO PLACE TO PUT A TOW ROPE ON THIS VEHICLE!


    On icy/snowy roads, this car is all over the road, almost un-controllable! (much worse than the wondering on dry pavement!)


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    NewPrius


    Junior Member


    4 years ago


    Hi all. First post here. I'm buying a new Prius and will have it by the end of the month. This will be my first hybrid and I'm pretty excited about. BTW, got it under dealer invoice even with the 0/2.9 financing offer they are currently running and the tax credit about to drop in half again.


    The question of how it handles in the snow is important to me as I live in western NY and we get our fair share of it here. In fact, this weekend looks to be pretty white again after a big thaw. I have driven a VW Jetta for the past 10 years and although it never handled great in the ice/snow, I always managed to do OK (whereas many locals swear by 4WD's, but I think they're delusional for the most part). I wonder since the vehicle weight of the Jetta is slightly less than the Prius if it's the distribution of weight that's part of the problem (i.e., the Prius has a lighter gas engine in the front and more weight in the rear with the hybrid components). Just a thought.


    Also I understand that the factory installed tires are not great for snow. Are folks in snowy areas able to manage with them until replacements are needed or are people buying snow tires instead? I'm sure there are some of each, but I'm just trying to get a feel for what an experienced small car winter driver might be able to expect. I was always able to get by with all-weather tires on my Jetta. In any event, it should be interesting, but hopefully not until next year for real winter driving conditions.


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    CollegeKid


    Junior Member


    4 years ago


    I live in western NY too, and from what I hear snow tires may cost a bit more, but it's worth the safety. The question is, what kind of snow tires would you recommend? Also, how does the car handle? (I'm not sure if someone has addressed this directly yet...) Thanks.


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    Towshar


    Member


    4 years ago


    My one and only place that I buy tires at is Tirerack.com. All my tires (except the first set, of course) came from tirerack. I've been shopping with them for 12 years now. It's a pretty simple to navigate site with tire reviews from the public.


    As for performance in snow, I think this car is amazing. I quickly learned that you cannot drive it like a regular car when it comes to snow. Once I figured that out, I became very satisfied with it's winter performance. Clearance is great, the traction control program is awesome, snow tires are a smart purchase. If you're coming from a truck or suv background however, you'll probably find the clearance tight and the traction at or little above average.


    Snow performance is a hotly posted topic. Not just here, but all over the internet. You should see a variety of opinions from everyone. Some love it, some hate it. I would surf the web and see what you find.


    Good luck!!


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    okiebug


    Junior Member


    4 years ago


    I am hoping to buy a Prius within the next few months. I noticed a few responses from people who live in mountaineous regions like Colorado and Nevada, who seem to make it up hills okay. I also live in the 'wild, wild west' and am wondering how the Prius responds in mountain driving... REGARDLESS of snow... and in passing... and at high altitudes. I currently drive a New Beetle turbo and have always been very happy with its 'zip.' My dad used to drive a diesel Mercedes and its slow response drove me crazy... besides being risky in city traffic! Will appreciate any experience with this type of driving.


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    Ben


    3 years ago


    I have driven my 2008 Prius in a few snow storms now and it is the best front wheel drive system I've ever driven. No need for snow tires on the newer Prius.


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    gschaut


    Senior Member


    3 years ago


    Buffalo, NY. Yes we do get snow in the winter.


    Very happy with basic handling in ice and plowed streets.


    One short coming- After driving SUV's for 20+ years with high ground clearance, the Prius takes a little getting used to.


    It only has FIVE INCHES of ground clearance under the body. the car does not bull it's way thru heavy snow drifts like an SUV.


    Alot of snow under the body can "hang" the car up by taking the car's weight off the tires, causing loss of traction.


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    Jeannette


    3 years ago


    I really want to buy a Prius, but will be moving to Alaska in a few months. In addition to snow handling, I'm worried about heat... anybody have experience in the -20 to -40 range with how well the heater works?


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    gschaut


    Senior Member


    3 years ago


    Can't speak to -40 temps, but in single negative numbers, the heater/defrosters are very enthusiastic.


    IMPORTANT NOTE: Prius (and other hybrids) do not get good gas mileage at low temperatures.


    The engine has to run as long as needed to warm up the engine block, oil and catylitic converter. That means lower mileage at lower temperatures.


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    lauree


    3 years ago


    TOWSHAR!
    you say "if you drive this car right, it's snow and ice performance is awesome."


    when I hit the littlest bit of ice the yellow skid light flashes on the dash and the car cuts out. No power to the wheels, at all.


    Please tell me how to drive my prius in the ice and snow. I am longing for a low gear.
    I have an old tercel, that in first gear, goes anywhere.


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    David M


    3 years ago


    The key to any good traction is...tires tires and Better tires
    The second thing is knowing when NOT to the brake. that is right no braking. It is tricky but going to a parking lot (empty) night and getting use to losing control in a control environment is a little hair raising but if taken seriously can help control YOU in the time when things go hairy. Accelerating in turns and going down hill will dropping the car D,3,2,1 can help more the situation than the applying the brakes
    As far temperature goes you can put a card broad in front of the radiator to help cold air to flow and cool the engine


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    al kinman


    3 years ago


    SNOW tires make all the difference. I put Bridgstone Blizzax -60 tires on my wifes' car and it handles great. I bought tires and rims from the Tire Rack.com. We have had over 90 inches of snow with 13 major snow storms this season with temps to 10 below. The traction control does a great job. We are sick of shoveling snow but the car moves right along.


    Do not expect all season tires to do the job in a snow environment.
    Alan


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    Tuba Player


    3 years ago


    I live in Eastern NY - not far from Bennington, VT. We have long hills, and lots of snow and ice.


    The computerized traction control is a problem - when the wheels start to spin, power is cut off and you stop moving. You cannot "spin" your way out of an icy area, the way you can with conventional front wheel drive vehicles like a Sable. I have a set of cable "chains" (NAPA) that are fairly easy to install when needed. Otherwise, the Prius handles well in snow (ground clearance is a problem) most of the time.


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    Ron from Houston, PA


    3 years ago


    Probably due to other factors than the "mythical" global warming verified by the Shrub administration, we have had mild winters in the Pittsburgh, PA area the past several years. But 2008 has been a different story, and just yesterday (3-8) I had my first experience with driving my 2005 Prius in snow.


    I would like to confirm that while driving up a road with about a 5% grade and 2-3 inches of fresh snow, the skid lights went on and the gasoline engine was not available for power. I had the gas pedal FLOORED and there was very little power available, if any.


    Definitely did not have the whirring sound that you hear when you are stuck in snow and try to escape. In order to make it up the hill I had to be pushed by my daughter Robyn and her husband Bob. Thanks guys! They also confirmed that the wheels were not spinning fast, if at all. I cannot absolutely confirm that I lost ALL power, as some have stated here, because I have to feel that I had to have some in order for them be be able to push me up about 300 feet of hill.


    In any event, I am glad to know that nothing appears to be broken or was broken by this experience, and that this is a "normal" event with a Prius, albeit a little disconcerting. That does little to diminish my enthusiasm for what I feel is the best engineered car to drive I have ever owned. I just will not drive it in any snowy conditions that I can avoid.


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    Annie


    3 years ago


    does anyone have experience with roof racks on a prius? i am looking to buy one but need to carry an alden rowing shell. is there a place in the front and back to tie the shell down once loaded on the rack?


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    Anonymous


    3 years ago


    I live in the snowy Montana mountains and I really want a prius for the wonderful gas mileage but I do not want to have to worry about getting up the mountains. My husband and I are very apprehensive about purchasing one for two reasons not being able to climb the hills around town and the low clearance. We are looking at buying a new Prius and want to know if the problems explained by the pervious people have been fixed in the new models? Is it worth buying a prius for the good gas mileage with winter driving?


    Please Help!!! Tell me anything/everything you think might be helpful!!!


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    Erica


    3 years ago


    I'm moving back to Montana in September and was wondering what you learned about having a Prius there? I will be selling my car and buying something when we get up there because my current car is a VW Diesel Beetle which doesn't even like the cold-ish Texas winters. I'm trying to decide if I need to go with a Subaru for the AWD, or if I can get away with a Prius, which would be fantastic. Can you let me know what you learn? I'm envious that you are up there now - I can't wait to move home!


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    Babunyanya


    3 years ago


    Google up "Prius Roof-Rack" and you'll get a lot of results and photos. Yakima seems to get very positive reviews.


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    Jere Joiner


    3 years ago


    I live in Colorado and I've installed an after-market block heater on every car I've owned for the last 30 years. My '90 Accord ran 334,000 miles before I sold it and I believe keeping the engine oil warm at night was the secret. Question: has anyone put a block heater on a Prius?


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    Hudson


    3 years ago


    I have a steep driveway, and the Prius is often unable to climb it if there is even a little snowfall. The driveway has to be almost perfectly plowed to make it up. I park the Prius at the bottom most times during the winter, and use a pickup truck to get up.


    I also find that snow tires are essential on the Prius in wintertime for country/highway driving in Upstate New York. Moreover, if parked in the city on an icy patch, it can require a push from a friend to get off the ice. The car has very little power/traction if the car is on ice, especially on even a slight incline.


    I like my Prius enormously, and recommend the car constantl. But I must say that the posts on this thread which say that the Prius drives fabulously in snowy/icy climates are not accurate.


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    Jerry


    3 years ago



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