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Prius v Power - Adequate for family?

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by mostholycerebus, Dec 11, 2011.

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  1. mostholycerebus

    mostholycerebus New Member

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    Location:
    Illinois
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    N/A
    Were looking at buying this vehicle early next year, after my second child arrives. This would replace a sedan, and needs good space for a family of four. The Prius v looks better than most midsize SUVs, and my Focus 3-door got me addicted to the utility of hatches. However, I find the listed horsepower numbers worrying.

    We would regularly be moving 400lbs of adults, plus two children, plus all the required kids stuff. I plan on keeping the car 7-10 years, so this means kids up to 13 and 10 years old, so mid-size kids and all their sports+school stuff.

    I know people are going to say you can get by with 20hp and smart driving, but I dont feel that is the case where im at. In the chicago suburbs, people regularly do 80-90 on the expressway, and I need to haul this family from a 25mph ramp to merge into 80mph just about every day. Then maintain that speed, and the ability to quickly slow and speed up without getting rearended or merged into.

    So, does the Prius v have the power to back up the space? I also looked into the Mazda5 and Elantra Touring, and again the low power numbers worried me.
  2. vloveride

    vloveride Junior Member

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    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    The v owners manual lists vehicle load limit as 915 lbs. people /cargo combined. So in your scenario 400 lbs of adults+300 lbs of teenagers=700 with 215 lbs left for cargo. That's about 54 lbs of stuff per person.

    As to the power, I have not had a chance to try it with 915 lbs of whatever on board, but I have merged onto a freeway using the "Power" mode and found it more than adequate.

    I think you should test drive one with you and your spouse and the largest car salesman you can find for a decent simulation of two kids and their stuff. :)
    I think you would be fine with a v for your situation bottom line.
  3. Chazz8

    Chazz8 Gadget Lover

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    Location:
    Central New York
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    To answer your question, yes I think the Prius V has the power to drive like you are in an above average car loaded down by your family. I just had the thought today that as my wife's 2008 Prius Gen II made it fun for me to drive economically (but never pissing off people behind me), and my new Prius v makes it fun to drive more aggressively. I enjoy using Power mode (rather sparingly) to get a more responsive gas pedal (it is like a new car), OR use the last %20 range of the gas pedal in Eco mode to force more power / acceleration (lose Eco mode indicator) out of the engine when I need it. I have not had time to load my Prius v up to near weight limit and test acceleration so I would love to hear from someone that has.
  4. David

    David Member

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    Location:
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    Three
    My guess is you don't have to regularly floor your Focus to get up to speed. If you don't have to do that the Prius V will certainly be adequate. I've had 4 adults in mine going down the highway at 85 with no problem. The only consequence was the MPG dropped to under 40! The acceleration on the ramp was fine but I did push it to accelerate rapidly.
  5. Mike James

    Mike James Camaros and Prii go figure

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    Location:
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    Model:
    Five
    You will be fine. The MPG gain is much more than the power lost due to the smaller engine. My other car has 400 HP, triple MPGs for half the acceleration. The trade off is worth it.
  6. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    "people regularly do 80-90 on the expressway" is insane for my neck of the woods. In the SF Bay Area you'd really stick out and would surely get tickets and even worse in the Seattle area (where people drive slow).

    I've only driven the Prius v briefly in a test drive at Green Drive Expo so I can't comment but will say the 2nd nor 3rd gen regular Priuses are not cars to buy if you want rapid acceleration. Their power is merely adequate on the highway. You can take a look at some times at Consumer Reports - Fuel economy vs. performance, if you want to bench race...

    There are some things that I don't bother doing on the highway (due to insufficient acceleration) that were no issue w/my former 287 hp 04 350Z.

    Maybe you can spring for a '12 HyCam w/200 net hp and similar fuel economy as the Prius v? You'll of course give up hatchback flexibility and fold down rear seats.

    I sometimes drive my mom's 198 hp 07 Altima Hybrid (aka NAH) and it feels almost like a rocket ship compared to my 2nd gen Prius. (FWIW, CR didn't find the 3rd gen Prius to be significantly faster than the 2nd gen in their tests other than in 1/4 mile speed. See http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...on-vs-2nd-generation-one-really-faster-4.html.)

    For reference, the NAH (removed from the fuel economy vs. performance list as it's dead for model year 2012) got these stats:
    0-30: 3.1 sec
    0-60: 7.6 sec
    45-65: 4.4 sec
    1/4 mile: 16.0 sec @ 90.3 mph

    If you want more '12 HyCam bench racing, see http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1110_2012_toyota_camry_hybrid_xle_first_test/ and http://www.insideline.com/toyota/ca...camry-roomier-more-powerful-less-thirsty.html.
  7. mmcdonal

    mmcdonal Active Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    I drove a v the other day, and I would guess it will handle your needs. Here's why: I have overloaded a Prius IV with 900 lbs of adults, which is 75 + lbs over its limit. I have then taken it on the highway in power mode, of course, and had NO problems whatsoever merging and handling. This is on the 95 corridor between Washington and Baltimore, so equivalent to your situation.

    While the v does weigh 200 lbs more than a regular Prius, it has a 3.77 gear ratio, as opposed to the 3.47 ratio of the regular Prius, so it has the extra torque. That is why it gets lower mpg, but has the higher load capacity. It feels like a much more stable and substantial, and Quieter car than the regular Prius. I think it was made just for your purposes.
  8. 2sk21

    2sk21 Member

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    Three
    I have a Prius v 3 and we frequently travel with five people in the car (four adults and one child). Even on steep hills, I find that the car has no problem handling the load.

    Just yesterday, we were traveling on the Palisades Parkway north of NY City. Now, this road has very steep grades but the cruise control had no problem maintaining speed along with the flow of traffic. I would say that the power available is more than adequate.
  9. M8s

    M8s Retired and Lovin' It

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    Five
    We had four adults and four sets of golf clubs in our vee and drove just over 130 miles (in 3 legs: to golf, to dinner, back home) loaded that way. Probably 825 pounds and 95% divided highway driving. No issues of any kind getting up to speed, changing lanes, keeping up with traffic, braking, accelerating etc. Pretty flat driving, though.
  10. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Several posters have referenced using Power mode. Just as a reminder, a Prius has the same amount of power available in all modes. You can merge onto the highway in Eco mode just as well as with Power. Only the feel changes. In other words, you have to press harder to get the same acceleration in Eco, but it is still there.

    Tom
  11. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Show some sensitivity Tom, not everyone is as strong as you.:D
  12. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    Call around to the dealers in the area and see if any offer an extended test drive - one in my area will let you take the car for 24 hours. That way you can load up the car and see if it meets your needs.




  13. mostholycerebus

    mostholycerebus New Member

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    Thanks for the experiences guys. I think a hybrid sedan is off the table because of the loss of trunk space. We also looked at the Hyundai Sonata, which gets 200hp out of a 2.4 giving combined 30mpg, and has a better warranty. I like the larger space of the Prius v/Mazda5 platform though. Too bad Ford cancelled their 180hp c-max, a rebadged Mazda5 with a turbo gdi engine. I may just have to get my fat cousin to come on a test drive with us.
  14. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Despite the Sonata Hybrid having supposedly more power than the '12 HyCam, it's apparently MUCH slower than the '12 HyCam. See 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid vs 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE vs 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE Comparison - Motor Trend, while also returning much worse gas mileage.

    CR also said the Sonata Hybrid scored too low to recommend: Consumer Reports calls 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid disappointing.
  15. Priuswagon

    Priuswagon I love my Prius

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    Model:
    Two


    We have two adults and two children ages 9 and 11 and it does fine. We also loaded it with a Christmas tree. You could always get a Toyota Sienna we use to have one of those and loved it. So far our family loves the V.
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