base with suspension mods or touring with 15 inch tires?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by cvincent, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. cvincent

    cvincent Junior Member

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    looking into buying a 06-08 prius, i do want a comfortable ride, but i dont want all this leaning, etc in the corners, almost all of my cars/trucks are modded so i am sure i will have to do some stuff to this one

    but i am buying this mainly for mpg, i cannot take a hit in mpg, so it sounds like a 16in tire is out

    i think overall on a base model i might add a stiffening plate or whatever it is called, bigger-stronger front and rear sway bars and that would probably be it for suspension mods
    from what i am reading some of this comes with a touring model but they come with the bigger tires which i can swap out for 15's?

    so should i buy a touring model and get 15's
    or get a base and just add bigger sway bars and a couple of other suspension mods?

    thanks for any and all input, this is a great site
     
  2. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    Questions about the meaningful differences between the '04-'09 Gen II
    models are posted from time to time so there are a lot of threads on
    it. One of the best is http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-prius-main-forum/41925-touring-suspension-parts-research.html.

    It is generally conceded that the Touring model has some small
    improvement in handling, stopping, and cross-wind tracking. There is
    also some small reduction in MPGs due the larger and wider tires,
    something in the .1-.3 MPG range. These wider tires are somewhat
    problematic because they are in a non-standard size. Most Toyota
    dealers don't stock them. There is also a very small choice of
    replacement tires.

    The easiest and quickest way to get the better handling with a wide
    range of tire choices would be to put 15" wheel/tires on a Touring
    model.

    It is relatively easy to raise the handling of a base model to equal and
    exceed the Touring by moding with after-market parts; various braces
    and sway bars, etc. These folks have the largest selection;
    Sigma Automotive. Practically speaking, all you would be missing
    from a Touring model would be the extended spoiler and the 7-spoke,
    16" wheels.

    Finally, you should do some research here to get a good idea of what's
    gone before using the search function with entry terms like; Touring
    suspension, sway bar, brace, etc.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. cvincent

    cvincent Junior Member

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    thanks

    i read at least a hundred if not more post on the touring set ups vs base last night before i posted

    my questions is money wise/handling wise is it better to buy a touring and do 15 wheels or do a base and upgrade the suspension

    i will not take the mileage hit, so there is no question i am going to use 15 in tires, that is definite

    my question is on the suspension, is it better and cheaper to get touring
    or better and cheaper/same cost to upgrade base suspension?


     
  4. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    There is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer here.

    What is "better" is totally subjective. It all depends on:
    * your prior experiences,
    * what you want to accomplish,
    * how much money you have to spend, and
    * whether any changes/add-ons accomplish your intentions.

    Price-wise, it's probably a wash whether you start with a base model
    or the Touring as what difference there is is quite small. As you
    can probably guess, the perceived "value" of the difference is wholly
    subjective.

    The hard core handling types say:
    * first get new rims and tires
    * then look at shocks, springs, and sway bars,
    * at this point, you'll now how much the new stuff is stressing the
    chassis and you can buy braces and such as appropriate.

    The casual "I just want to tighten things up a little" types usually just
    get a rear body brace and a front tower brace. If they find these bits
    make a "difference,"-- a wholly subjective finding, of course -- they
    are happy and do no more. (That would be me.) If they can't identify
    a difference, they whine and moan, and stamp their feet and make life
    miserable for everyone within earshot and/or here at PC. :p

    Needless to say, the second path is far and away the cheapest.

    Which path is right for you, only you can say.

    PS: On the "I will not take the mileage hit" idea. Be advised, you will
    experience conditions every day that will cause more of a mileage hit
    than the difference between the base and Touring model wheel/tires.
    They are everywhere: terrain, temperature, traffic volume, stop light
    and signs, rain on the roadway, use of the heater or air conditioning,
    "winter gas," tire pressure, driver inattention and inconsistency.

    I don't think that I need to go on. Like it or not, you will in fact take
    many "mileage hits" virtually every time you drive the car. That said,
    every once in a while you will have a near perfect MPG day...
    and that joyful realization will sustain you through the weeks and
    months until it happens again... maybe, if you're lucky.

    Such is life driving a Prius. Get used to it. Move on.
     
  5. cvincent

    cvincent Junior Member

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    great info! thank you

    i think i will fall in the casual range, not looking for a sports car but do not want a boat

    so does the touring package have the rear body brace and front tower brace?

     
  6. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    Nope, they're both after-market items. Together they'll go for ~$450.
    Check out the Sigma site I gave earlier.

    Good luck, and be sure to update this thread to let us know what you did
    and how you like it -- a purely subjective determination, of course. :D
     
  7. cvincent

    cvincent Junior Member

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    i will keep everyone up to date on which one i get, been reading for a couple more hours on the suspension stuff and i think i better drive a touring and non
    i cannot decide what to to, blah

     
  8. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Well Seasoned Member

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    Since you're looking at used it's important to note that you won't pay a huge price penalty for getting a Touring model. Probably in the hundreds of extra dollars. And I agree with Rokeby that the mileage penalty from the larger wheels likely won't be noticeable among all the other factors. More significant might be the cost/selection of tires when it comes time to replace.
    In this thread http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...touring-suspension-real-world-difference.html post #5 Boo says it has "one inch larger stabilizer/sway bars". Plenty of good info in that thread. Not trying to push you towards Touring at all tho, I actually think that if you want to mod it anyway you'd be better off starting as cheap as possible - because modding ain't cheap.

    - D
     
  9. cvincent

    cvincent Junior Member

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    my biggest concern is mpg and i am not going to be happy with 45, i want to see 50-55mpg, i WILL drive for this, i do pay attention and that is definitely going to factor in a lot
    i have 2 trucks and the prius is for 1 thing mpg

    here is a question, people with touring and 15 in tires was there a major downgrade on the handling from 16 to 15?
    what i am reading a lot is that the touring package is a complete deal and all the components need to be in it and i am 90% sure i would remove 16in unless i am getting 50-55mpg, then i wont care, except of course for the lack of brands, that is an issue at replacement

    so i am wondering how great a touring package is going to be with 15in tires

    1000-2000 either way is not a big deal to me and from what i have looked at so far i should be able to get a touring package on a used one for that much more

    by the same token i dont mind spending 1000 or so on sway bars or tightening braces on a base, no more than 1300-1400
    i am not wanting to do a ton of mods, but i dont want a car that leans, i want one that gets awesome mileage and handles decent

    i really appreciate all the input here, please keep it coming

     
  10. rwhoyle

    rwhoyle Member

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    cvincent,

    I would NOT put 15-inch tires on a Touring Model. As pointed out by Rokeby, there are way more areas of MPG killers than 15" vs 16" tires. The OEM Touring tire is a 195/55R16 and, as mentioned above, does not have many choices for replacement. I plan on replacing our Touring tires with 205/55R16 tires which provides numerous possiblities from many manufacturers. Your driving style, type of terrain, air temperature, length of trip, etc., will effect your MPG much more than your tire diameter. You will adversly effect your Touring handling characteristics if you install smaller tires with no real gain in overall mileage improvement.
     
  11. cvincent

    cvincent Junior Member

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    i personaly like a bigger wider tire but am worried about a lot of things i have read here that talk about 1-3mpg hit

    and i thought everything i read said going to the 205 even though there are more choices that the 205 give big mpg hit


    i think i just need to drive a couple of these things and see what i think, but leaning toward a touring, someone else said the touring is rated by epa or whoever does that as the same mpg as base anyway




     
  12. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    For all the neurotic research and worry you appear to be going through, you do realize that tire pressure differences due to changes in the air temperature will make more of a difference than all of that, right? You would be better served investing in a decent tire pressure gauge and a 12v pump that you can run of the car. Having my tire pressures dip from 37 to 32psi dropped my highway mpg from 43-ish (70mph cruise) to 38mpg. The effect is noticeable even if just one tire is low.
     
  13. cvincent

    cvincent Junior Member

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    very true, i notice this big time with my truck

    just went to a dealer with 3-4 prius listed, 1 touring, hoped to drive both and get an idea of where i am going to go with this- got there it is not a touring it was listed wrong, pia


     
  14. xpcman

    xpcman Senior Member

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    In California (and I thought the West coast) the Touring Model only came with ALL the other options. In other regions it was a $550 option. So you might find it costs $4 to 5 thousand more.
     
  15. cvincent

    cvincent Junior Member

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    interesting,so far i have seen a pretty big variable in prices touring and none, seems to depend on where the car is a good bit

    trying to find a dealer with both so i can drive them close together and see if i like the touring better, sure i will have a decesion made pretty quick

     
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