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  1. #1

    Prius in Canadian winter

    I have recently purchased a 2005 Prius and it will live it's life here in Saskatchewan Canada where we have extremely cold winters.

    I have been told that extreme cold is not a problem for the car.

    How does the car react to cold weather starts, and what can I expect for general usage.

    Any comments are appreciated.

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  3. #2

    Prius in Canadian winter

    As a future Prius buyer I'm interested myself. But there's a good idea what it might look like:
    Basicly the lowest is of 34mpg (6.5l/100km) in winter due to the cold. This is based on the this particular user in Ohio.

  4. #3

    Prius in Canadian winter

    I purchased a 2004 Prius April 1, 2004. It spent the winter in Saskatoon, Sk.....housed in an unheated, detached garage; with a timed block heater and interior car heater, which were on for approx. 2 hours, 3 times in a 24 hr. period....during the colder months.
    My former vehicle was a 1998 Lexus ES 300...which got this same cozy treatment!!! I found that the Prius warmed up faster than the Lexus. I am not one to let a vehicle idle to warm up...hence the interior warmer for steering wheel and butt comfort!!
    I don't have any "mileage" info to contribute here.
    All engine oils & lubricants are synthetic. I use only premium grade fuel.

  5. #4

    Prius in Canadian winter

    There's no reason a Prius would have any more difficulty in winter than any other gasoline-powered automobile.

    I would expect however that similarly, you should expect a reduction in fuel efficiency in the winter.

    Even today's diesels start OK in deep cold. My two TDIs have seen as low as -35C (I live in Quebec). I do not use any engine pre-heat. They start fine, albeit noisily. Fuel economy can take a 10% hit depending on circumstances.

    I should think you would have nothing to worry about.


  6. #5

    Prius in Canadian winter

    The Prius is fine in the winter just like any other car. The link on the posting above to John 1701a's site will show you. He lives in Minnesota and gets the same cold winters as Saskatchewan does. The economy isn't as good for ANY car in the winter, but that's normal. Even still, he's still getting about 35mpg and an overall average of about 50mpg.

  7. #6

    Prius in Canadian winter

    Another point that nobody has touched on is the catalyst. All cars require that the catalytic converter get up to a temperature range in order to properly handle emissions. In the winter, this takes longer and the engine has to (1) run longer to bring the temperature up from cold start, and (2) run more often during normal driving to maintain the catalyst temperature for emissions control.

  8. #7

    Prius in Canadian winter

    I live in Vermont and drive a 2004 Prius. This will be my first winter with the Prius, after driving an AWD Subaru for years. I drive over 400 miles a week. I'm keeping a blog about how the Prius performs in the winter at http:/www.winterprius.blogspot.com/

    So far, the Prius has been great, even better than expected. But if it really does a poor job in the winter, I will report that.

    As a note, I have the highly recomended Hakkapeliitta Nordman 1 snowtires on my Prius, and am still averaging 48 - 49 MPG. Not bad!

  9. #8

    Prius in Canadian winter

    The thing I do not like about my 2002 Prius is that when I try to drive in the mountains in Alaska, I sometimes need to accelerate all the way up the hill, even if the tires may spin a bit. When the tires spin, the engine falls off to idle. I wish there was some sort of overide I could control this.

  10. #9

    Prius in Canadian winter

    Can someone explain why vehicles (hybrids like the Prius or HCH, in particular) have poorer fuel efficiency in the winter than in the summer? I have noticed a 10% increase in efficiency during the past week as the temperature increased. My mileage increased from 42 mpg over 250 miles to 47 mpg over 150 miles.

  11. #10

    Prius in Canadian winter


    All vehicles perform worse in cold conditions than at 70 degrees. Its just that hybrid owners care.

    A lot is caused by the warmup of the car, therefore, if you do a lot of short trips, it will be more noticeable than if you do long trips.

    Battery efficiency is lower in cold temperatures than warm so that may contribute as well but I don't know how much.

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