Performance in steep hill?

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by nelligan, May 25, 2012.

  1. nelligan

    nelligan New Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm currently looking to get a Prius V for my family, but from what I have read at many places (blogs, reviews, etc), the Prius V may lack some power when riding on steep hill, especially when it is loaded with 2 adults, 2 kids, and luggages.

    I know there is a PWR mode, but the 134HP seems a little bit low for the total weight of the car (added with people weight and cargo stuff).

    I'm really not the kind of guy who need to have a big vroom-vroom engine, but I would hate to drive a car which give the feeling that riding a steep hill is laborious (as reported by some reviewers), or even worse, which slow down while other cars behind me start to line up.

    What did you experiment (positive or negative)? I would really appreciate to get some real-life feedbacks from you.

    Thanks.
     
  2. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    A Prius engine is so detuned it doesn't make enough power to hurt itself. Down worry about using all the power it has frequently, you won't hurt it.
     
  3. vlady

    vlady Junior Member

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    I live around foothills of Cascades and on weekly bases I drive steep hills. Car has adequate power to get you up. Like other cars you need to push the pedal and ignore mpg.
    I went over Snoqualmie pass (3,000)a few times and made over just fine (family of 4 + some picnic/camping gear in the back. I was able to keep up with speed limit/traffic.Engine will be revving, but nothing wrong with it. While climbing mpg is is fluctuating between 10-22 mpg, but it recovers going down the hill.
     
  4. nelligan

    nelligan New Member

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    Thank you all for your fast replies.

    Just for my peace of mind, I would like to ask you about two scenarios.

    1) Riding up a medium, but long (let say 2-3 miles), hill. Let suppose that all the energy from the battery is used in half way, the second half will have to be done only on the gazoline engine. Of course, it will require lot of fuel (like any other car), but what about the driving experience? Will the car slow down, or will it be able to keep its speed (let say, 60 mph)?

    2) I have no doubt that the Prius will protect itself from overheat or anything which could break it, and I just read another thread on this site where the guy tried to ride up a very steep hill, and the car just stopped. This story make me think about where my mother-in-law lives. Her house is on a hillside, and the road is not too bad, except for one place where there is a very steep hill. Fortunately not too long, but maybe with an incline of 25% (or more, I don't know the exact measure, but let say it is an unusual road incline). For sure, it takes a lot of energy to climb it. I have read somewhere that the Prius may decide to shut off the electric motor if too much power is required (a kind of burn-protection, I presume), leaving only the 98hp gazoline engine to do all the work. My mother-in-law has a "regular" car (ie, not hybrid) and never had any problem to get up this hill, but her car has lower weight and more horsepower than the Prius V. So, is it correct to compare them? Do I have to worry about that? Anyone in a similar scenario?
     
  5. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    1) I have a gen 2 Prius, most frequently I have more charge by the time I reach the top of the hill, than I had at the bottom. The Gen 1 (2001 to 2003) lost power going up hills, but since then the computers do well. The one time I ran out of gas in my Prius (never do this) I limped to the gas station on battery. When refueled the first 2 miles were really sluggish. Try not to run out of gas, if you do, do not run on battery only.

    2) One of the scenarios I do not recommend a Prius is when you NEED to spin the tires, if it is gravel or snow on a steep uphill, the Prius is the wrong car. On dry pavement, it can be very steep and the Prius will go right up. I am told the Gen 3 Prius is not as rigid about not allowing wheelspin as my Gen2.

    http://priuschat.com/forums/newbie-forum/94450-considering-prius.html#post1334003
     
  6. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Normal maximum freeway grade is 6%, there are few exceptions but not many.

    If your loaded car weighs 4000 lb, it will take 240 lbs to push your car up a 6% grade. At 70 mph that takes 45 rear wheel horsepower. It probably takes about 35 horsepower to propel your car 70 mph on level ground, so about 45+35=80 rwhp to climb a 6% grade at 70 mph. You are in the ballpark of being able to maintain 70 mph on a 6% grade using the ICE alone, 60 mph would be a piece of cake.
     
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  7. mattheikkila

    mattheikkila New Member

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    I walk dogs, and some are large (rotties, german shepherds, bernese mountain dog, great dane), and sometimes have 6 or more in the car (so me plus 6 80 lb dogs)= around 650 lbs. I work in the Oakland hills, and most of the trails are at the top. They're probably 1000 to 2000 foot climb, and you do it in 5 to 10 minutes. It gets really steep at places. I've never had issues. Also didn't have any issues in San Francisco with some of the really steep hills (hill assist is my friend), as well as driving up the grape vine in southern California (nearly a mile high) with an emptier car. I really don't think it's anything to worry about.
     
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