Are there ways to improve handling?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Edison, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Edison

    Edison Junior Member

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    I am considering purchase of a Prius Prime and wonder if there are fairly straight-forward ways to improve the car's handling, like wider, grippier tires or stiffer sway bars. I realize that the tires are going to cut into mpg somewhat. As for the sway bars, it's a question of whether any company would even bother to make an upgrade for a car like this. Any thoughts on ways to improve handling would be appreciated.

    Thanks --
     
  2. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

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    There is a thread mentioning aftermarket stiffening plates being available (not cheap) that I read recently.

    I don't really understand the "better handling" thing, I've never had a problem (other than the POS OEM Goodyear Integrity tires that came on my '04) with handling on roads at the posted speeds. But then I don't understand the "fun to drive" thing that is pushed by everyone from Consumer Reports to Road and Track. It is a machine meant to get you from here to there in the real world, not on a Le Mans track. Turning from one road onto another 2 MPH faster isn't a big necessity. Getting to the next red light faster in your "fun to drive" with fast 0-60 acceleration has no place on our roads. In fact some time ago I timed how long it took to get from 0 to 35 on traffic light controlled roads. Unless you are the lead dog, it is much longer than the Prius' 0-60 in something over 10 seconds. And if you are the lead dog, you get to wear your brakes out stopping fast (because that is "fun") and sit at the next light longer.
     
  3. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    What is it about the way the Prime handles that you don't like?

    What kind of driving do you do?

    Going with larger diameter low profile tires would be the first things I would suggest.
     
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  4. Edison

    Edison Junior Member

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    Cornering flatter with less body lean would be the obvious way to improve handling. The Prime's actual suspension setup is not bad, and the weight distribution at 55/45 is actually good for a FWD car.

    I have been driving a 2012 Honda Civic that I bought new. It really wallowed side-to-side with any steering input because Honda had gone cheap and put dinky sway bars on it. I upgraded to extra large ones and have been happily driving a flat-cornering, responsive car ever since.

    My test drive of the Prime -- while not as bad as the Civic had been -- suggested it could use some of the same, and I wondered whether anyone had done a suspension upgrade. I also understand that's not a priority for most people on this forum, as was so eloquently expressed by bruceha 2000.

    In terms of my driving -- I live in semi-rural central Maine, and most of my driving is on country roads.
     
    #4 Edison, Apr 14, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  5. jaqueh

    jaqueh Active Member

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    This car handles exceptionally well. Beyond tires I really don’t think there’s much improvement needed. I think if anything it could be a bit lower.
     
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  6. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    I'd suggest you skip the Prime altogether and get a Gen 4 Touring model...
     
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  7. Edison

    Edison Junior Member

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    What would be the advantage of going with a Gen 4 Touring over a Prime?
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    There's a bit of info in the brochures (you can download pdf from Toyota site). In the 2016 US brochure I have, they use the expression "Touring-specific suspension". Also, it comes with 215/45R17 tires.
     
  9. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    I have experience with a car I still own that came from the factory with a sway bar in front that was so stiff
    I knew about the tires but wasn't sure what the difference was in suspension, my guess it is stiffer.
     
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  10. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Upgrade to the 215/45R17 tires. OEM 17" alloys are available in Japan (same ones on the regular 2019 Prius Limited or 2016-2018 Touring models).

    MEG sells a stabilizer bar that replaces the OEM ones and improves handling according to two members here. (@TonyPSchaefer and @will the engineer )
     
  11. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

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    The MEG stabilizer bars are what I saw, maybe a forum search will bring up the thread.

    LOWER?? It is already quite low, there are places where I'm sure I'm putting scratches in the plastic under the car.
     
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  12. eskudo12791

    eskudo12791 Junior Member

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    Are you trying to TimeAttack or AutoX your Prime? What are you doing that handling is bothering you so much.
     
  13. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    The quest for better handling and better ride dynamics is a great thing...

    The easiest & most straight forward way to go about this is to do what Tideland told you in post #10.

    Read through my Stickied thread on wheel upgrades:
    Aftermarket Wheel Fitment Guidelines | PriusChat


    Good luck,
    Rob43
     
  14. smyles

    smyles Active Member

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    Drive any car with good handling - like a BMW sedan or even any Focus, - and you'll realize how bad Prius is in that department.

    Biggest bang for the buck is bigger wheels/low profile tires.
     
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