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Thread: Prius in Snow

  1. #101

    We have a 2007 Prius and

    We have a 2007 Prius and love it. AND we are now thinking of trading it in for a Subaru Outback. Here in Eastern Washington we get a lot of snow/ice on very hilly terrain. Even with snow tires, you HAVE to get up a head of steam to make it up a hill. If for any reason you are forced to slow down, forget it. The anti-slip control, as many have noted, prohibits acceleration going uphill... any kind of slip and it shuts down. For those who suggest breaking, that doesn't really work if you need to maintain speed up hill.

    If there is snow and ice, I immediately put on the cables and that generally works... though even with cables on ice slipping problems cause the drive train to flicker on steep hills. The problem we have is that often we need the cables for the side roads (e.g. our house) but the main roads are cleared and dry. The first winter with the Prius I spent days trying to find some way to turn off the anti-slip control to no avail.

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  3. #102

    I my own experience of

    I my own experience of driving a Toyota prius, is that some times the car drives ok in the snow, however if you drive up a steep incline or the car gets stuck in snow, as soon as the car detects the wheel spinning through lack of grip or traction power is reduced significantly. I have also noticed that in cold weather the prius is not very efficient and I am averaging around 38 - 45 mpg, 330 -390 miles, well short of the 70 mpg and around 700 miles.
    Very disappointing!

  4. #103



    I have a 2007 touring model and there is a place on front bumper to screw in an accompanying tow bit.

  5. #104

    As an owner of a 2005 Prius,

    As an owner of a 2005 Prius, I can honestly tell you that this car is a SLED in snow. We live in Philadelphia, PA and it is the worst car ever in snow. Useless in any type of snow from a light dusting to a few inches. During the winters, we park the thing with a car cover and it gets rarely used and instead we rely on our Nissan Sentra which never has a problem in bad weather. However, my wife got caught in a light dusting of snow and just smashed the whole front of the vehicle. Luckily, nobody was hurt. So we're done with it and we are going back to a conventional engine-powered car. Not worth getting into a worse accident.

  6. #105

    I've had a Prius since the

    I've had a Prius since the Spring 2007. It is the worst car in winter weather. I've had it. I'm going to look for another car like a Subaru. The gas mileage doesn't make up for safety.

    In full disclosure, I'm starting to think it could be my specific car. My in-laws have a 2007 and don't have problems.

    At least I stopped sliding through stop signs, after getting gripper tires. Even with minor snow yesterday, I had to go under 20 mph not to slide.

    I think it's the traction control that causes the problem. When it engages when slick or on rough pavement, all of the power stops, no steering, no braking, no acceleration. Crazy. I have driven rear wheel drive cars, front wheel drive cars with and without anti-lock brakes, all wheel drive cars with traction control and never had this kind of trouble. You can't drive it like a car with anti-lock brakes. It's like the traction control cancels out the anti-lock brakes. Pumping them like a car without anti-lock brakes doesn't work either.

    Subaru Outback here I come.

  7. #106

    If you have the tires for

    If you have the tires for gas mileage, forget driving in the snow.

  8. #107

    I have a 2008 prius in

    I have a 2008 prius in chicago (newer hybrid all weather tires, sorry i dont know which model- but they feel just like the orig oem tires it came with), and i just wanted to confirm that the traction control seems to be the main problem for winter or mountain driving.

    I've had problems getting up mountain roads in the summer due to the TC not allowing me to get enough momentum and stopping dead - the lack of spinning and forward momentum was a huge issue and super annoying. It also kicks in when hitting pot holes or random shifts in the road - my TC light comes on, momentum dies, and i slide for a moment until it turns off.

    Then snow hits and welcome to the hockey rink - i refer to it as my little "hockey puck". I am born and raised in the midwest with plenty of winter driving in both car and suvs and i can tell you that this is the worst winter driver i've ever had. Even though i absolutely love this car, the TC has to be fixed, regardless of what kind of tires are on the car. The fact that the TC kicks in on absolutely dry roads should be some indication.

    And the fact that some people claim "it must be your driving, not the car" must either be very lucky, a "pro" winter driver, or just too in love with the prius to be able to admit it does have issues. I constantly am sliding during snow storms when trying to stop - while driving slow and conservatively... and sometimes you just don't have time to let off the brake when someone slams on theirs in front of you or cuts you off.

    I plan on buying snow tires and hope that it helps during the winter season. I feel that it is a risk, but knowing how to handle your own "hocky puck" usually is enough.

    good luck!

  9. #108
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Heidi: Hello from Buffalo,

    Heidi: Hello from Buffalo, NY. And yes, we do get "a bit" of snow here.

    I've also got a 2008 Prius.

    Factory original tires are worthless in the winter. You should be very pleased with the improvement in handling with snow tires.

    You DO have to make a choice. Either "all season" tires that are "ok" in winter, but do not cost you any mileage if left on in the summer.

    Or "aggressive" snow tires that have excellent winter performance, but have to be removed and swapped in the summer for the factory original tires in order to keep good mileage numbers.

    You may also need to "modify" your driving style a bit. I too was used to using power to "drift" the car thru the curves and out of snowdrifts. But when you get used to the Prius, you can drive it without letting the tires slip.

  10. #109

    You are able to turn

    You are able to turn traction control off. Like other tricks witht he prius, it requires a sequence of button pushing and so forth.

    It's rather easy:

    Ign On... not Ready. press Gas 3x. Shift to N. Gas 3x. Park, Gas 3x. You should know have a hazard prius in your top left corner. This is because this is driveline maintenance mode. The lexus 400h calls it 4x4 service mode. I have not tested any other new toyota as of yet.

    Like people pointed out, it can cause serious harm to the electric motors and possibly drive line. eg, differential. don't cook your electric motors boys and girls.

    Credit: marjam from priuschat

  11. #110

    Prius with ATC is the

    Prius with ATC is the equivalent of a 1.5 wheel drive when you have a moderately steep climb and snow. Recommend a set of chains/cables to get you over the tough spots.

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