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Thinking of getting a prius

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Posted by Alan on October 18, 2007, 9:15 am

I live in north Scotland and am seriously thinking of getting a Prius, I had
a test drive and was very impressed. However the weather can be a bit
extreme up here with a lot of rain and some snow in the winter. How does the
Prius stand up to these more extreme conditions? I have checked out the
internet and users comments and have seen one which reported a problem with
snow, where the traction control locked because of slippery conditions and
the car would not move, has anyone else experienced this in snow?

Posted by dayoff53@gmail.com on October 18, 2007, 2:01 pm

I live in Idaho - inland northwest US - and we get snow and ice here.
I found the traction control to be superb and my wife felt safer
driving her Prius on ice and snow than with any other car we have
owned - and we have had a number of 4-wheel-drive SUVs.  The only
negative is that fuel economy - particularly in city driving - goes
way down in the winter months.  I believe that is primarily because
the ICE (internal combustion engine) has to run a lot more to keep
warm and to keep the catalytic converter up to working temperature.
Where I average mid-50s mpg in the summer, I dropped as low as high
30s in the middle of winter.


Posted by Bream Rockmetteller on October 19, 2007, 3:45 am

The tyres that come with the Prius are not very good (at least in the
US). Here, in eastern Washington state, we have several months of
sub-freezing temperatures, typically little snow, but normally a layer
of ice on the roads. I replaced the stock tyres with Goodyear
TripleTred and have been very happy. Sadly, they weigh almost 5.5 kilos
each more than the stock tyres, reducing the fuel efficiency a bit.
They are wonderful on wet pavement.

I, too, have read of those having trouble with the traction control
mechanism preventing them from moving on slick surfaces, but I've never
experienced it myself, nor has my wife, who still has the stock tyres
(although, the roads she drives are better maintained than the one I

Also, snow tyres are a possibility, or some sort of seasonal traction
tyre. I've also seen a sort of tyre sock from Norway or Sweden that
seems to be an easy alternative.

I couldn't recommend a better vehicle, but, it's not for everyone. In
cold weather or on short commutes, the engine may not get warm enough
to realize the full mileage potential. Please let us know how you

Bream Rockmetteller
Donaldson's Dog Joy

Posted by Bob & Holly Wilson on October 20, 2007, 12:55 am

A lot of us have found block heaters and front vent block improve cold
weather performance. In North America, we have 120 VAC block heaters
designed for the block heater plug. They run about 450 W.

Bob Wilson

Posted by Richard Warren on October 20, 2007, 6:08 am

Bob, can you please elucideate on this?  How?  Where?

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