1. Attachments are working again! Check out this thread for more details and to report any other bugs.

Needing to add a little off-highway capability

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by Dummy, Mar 25, 2024.

  1. Dummy

    Dummy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    100
    19
    2
    Location:
    Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I bought my Gen 2 to save money on my commute and it’s been a fantastic financial decision. I’ve recently moved to a country home and I have to travel about a mile on a dirt road where I sometimes rub the undercarriage and occasionally encounter mud. I’m considering swapping it for an outback or a hybrid ford escape, but I love the Prius. I’ve seen the lift kit that supposedly doesn’t impact MPG but I think that I would also need some tires that perform in muddy conditions. Are there any other modifications that can make the Prius better in these conditions without significantly impacting MPGs? Any alternative vehicle suggestions?
     
  2. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    6,803
    6,455
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    There is such a thing as a hybrid RAV4.

    Sometimes it is cheaper to pay to improve the road instead- the results work with all cars. I'm not suggesting that should be your next move, but just something to keep in mind when these other ideas go swirling around.
     
    fuzzy1 likes this.
  3. Dummy

    Dummy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    100
    19
    2
    Location:
    Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I’ve considered the hybrid rav4 but the used ones are pricey compared to the escape.
     
  4. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    6,089
    5,806
    0
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    If you're due for new tires, look at getting a size or two larger.
    The OEM size for a 2005 would be 185/65/15 but many people use a 195/65/15, which moves the diameter from ~24.5" to ~25.0", providing an extra 1/4" of clearance. A 185/70/15 gives about 25.1" diameter.
    I think you may even be able do 195/70/15 which bumps it to ~25.75" which would give about 5/8" extra clearance, but you may want to verify no rubbing in the front wheel wells at full lock..

    I seem to remember the 185/65 OEM tire has the car read one or two mph high at a true 65mph. Going to the 195/65 makes the speedo dead on at 65 mph.

    Buy a good all season or off-roadish tire in those sizes and kill two birds with one stone. MPG will likely drop a little, but some of that drop will just be from lower mph indication and some will be from a tire that's less focused on MPG.
     
  5. sylvaing

    sylvaing Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2023
    849
    359
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    And 2 mph increase in regards to 65 mph also means that you'll travel a longer distance than what the odometer will state. Over the 100,000 mile battery warranty, that's an extra 3,000 miles of "free extended warranty" :)
     
    Dummy likes this.
  6. Dummy

    Dummy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    100
    19
    2
    Location:
    Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I haven’t researched tire size yet, just looked at some all terrain tread. Will the larger tires impact MPG significantly?
     
  7. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    17,105
    10,039
    90
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Taller tires will very definitely reduced the 'apparent' or 'displayed' MPG, due to the altered odometer calibration, so you will need to adjust for that. If the accompanying speedometer shift also causes you to drive faster, then note that the higher speed also reduces MPG.

    These are phantom losses, in addition to any real MPG loss from more aggressive tires.

    +1 separately each for the RAV4 Hybrid or Prime (I recently traded in my Prius for the later), and for 'improving the road'.

    After widower-ed dad traded my late mother's old sedan for a used Jeep, then my car (first an old Accord, later a 2010 Prius) became the only remaining low-clearance car frequently using his road, so I became the one regularly knocking down the grass and scraping some of the gravel building up as a center hump. All the other extended family's vehicles were F250s or SUVs, so after visiting only in a Subaru during winter, my first Spring visit in my regular-clearance car would be worse.

    This ended after I discovered that he had acquired an antique box grader, salvaged by a friend years earlier, but never used it. This is a road maintenance tool dragged behind a tractor, older and more primitive than this modern sample, but still reasonably effective. So I began using it and maintaining his road, annually knocking down the growing center hump and filling in the tire ruts, greatly reducing erosion, mud, and gravel loss during the spring thaw runoff. This was something dad never meaningfully attempted to control, instead just lazily ignoring it until the road was terrible, then having the local gravel pit bring out and spread $everal truckload$ of fre$h gravel, half of which would disappear the next spring.

    This tractor-powered scraping and grading process does have a learning curve, but eliminated the car center dragging, and greatly reduced the need for replacement gravel. The last contractor to re-gravel and re-build the road gave excellent road maintenance advice, and fortunately I was present to hear it. It just went in one of dad's ears and out the other, but I payed attention and learned a lot from him.
     
    #7 fuzzy1, Mar 25, 2024
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2024
  8. Dummy

    Dummy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    100
    19
    2
    Location:
    Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    What did you mean by “no such thing as a hybrid RAV4”? I’ve looked at several of them.

    Also, improving the road is only an option for my driveway. There are lots of places around here where more clearance and traction are needed. I can’t fix them all.
     
  9. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    7,488
    3,763
    0
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    What do you mean? He said there is such a thing here:
    ... and you even replied to that earlier here:
     
  10. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    6,803
    6,455
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    It's pretty early in Colorado, so I'll guess somebody found the keyboard before the coffeemaker.


    Understood. I only mentioned it because some people don't realize it is even a possibility, and I can't see your road from here.

    There's a rough four mile dirt road leading to someplace I care about. The community pays to get a real grader up and down the road twice a year, but they also bought a small box grader. Certain members of the community drag it from one end to the other behind their pickups, and we've arranged storage for it at each end. Makes a big difference in the months between the pro sweeps.
     
    fuzzy1 likes this.
  11. Dummy

    Dummy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    100
    19
    2
    Location:
    Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    For some reason my mind inserted a “no” into your sentence…..