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Thread: Prius in Snow

  1. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    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.

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  3. #12

    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.

  4. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    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.

  5. #14

    I really want to buy a

    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?

  6. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    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.

  7. #16

    TOWSHAR! you say "if you

    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.

  8. #17

    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

  9. #18

    SNOW tires make all the

    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.

  10. #19

    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.

  11. #20

    Probably due to other

    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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