Prius response on mountains
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.
I have driven my 2008 Prius
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.
Buffalo, NY. Yes we do get
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.
Can't speak to -40 temps,
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.
The key to any good traction
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
I live in Eastern NY - not
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.