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Thread: Prius in Snow

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2006
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    Prius in Snow

    I am wondering how well the Prius does in snow, with and without chains and/or snow tires.

    Seems like when the car has some slippery surface the traction control cuts the power. I wonder if the Prius is not good in snow?

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
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    Prius in Snow

    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.

  4. #3

    Answer to to Prius in snow

    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]

  5. #4
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    Prius traction in snow/ice

    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.

  6. #5
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    Prius in Snow

    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.

  7. #6
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    Prius in the Snow passes the test

    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.

  8. #7

    Re: Snow!

    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!)

  9. #8
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    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.

  10. #9
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    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.

  11. #10
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    Feb 2007
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    Prius in Snow

    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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