Prius V handling in the rain? And best replacement tires for the V.

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by jse75, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. jse75

    jse75 New Member

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    Hi

    I've been trying to decide between a IV and V. I've read extensively here on the handling differences (or not) between the IV and V given the different steering and wheels. My inclination is towards a V with nav, to get the leather, LEDs, fog lights, and 17" wheels, but it's a pretty hefty price to pay over a IV for what extra is added.

    Here's a question I could not answer today, since it is sunny here:

    How is the handling of the V (with the stock Toyo's) in the rain?

    Second, has anyone replaced the tires on a V yet, and if so, what with? I could not find many suggestions on the forum. My past experience is that stock tires are usually pretty crappy, so I was trying to learn about the best replacement tire for a V, and rain performance is essential for me. Don't care about snow.

    When I drove the IV and V today at the local dealer, for the purposes of the short test drive, I found them to be similar. The V rode somewhat stiffer,but who knows what the tire pressure was in either car, and I thought the 2.5 turns lock to lock was better than 3.5.

    Group insight is much appreciated!

    Jason
     
  2. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    Welcome. There hasn't been much rain here and I can't make a comparison to a IV. However, IMO the tires are woefully underinflated. Max. sidewall pressure is 51psi. At that pressure I have experienced zero handling problems and can take turns at 25mph.
     
  3. Blind Guy

    Blind Guy New Member

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    Our V has approximately 4100 miles, and several of those have been in the rain. Our V is equipped with Mishlin's, which do a decent job in the rain. Remember that the V's tires are 215s vs. the IV's 195s, the larger size alone will provide better performance.

    Keep in mind factory tires are general purpose tires, and are required to do multiple jobs, and do a decent job of compromising all of them. They must offer good dry, wet, cornering, stopping and some degree of performance, and do at least average, and preferably good to excellent in all of those catagories.

    I would suggest to you NOT to inflate your tires to the maximum sidewall pressure if you do a medium to heavy amount of driving in the rain. Over inflating your tires will significantly reduce the contact patch area and dramatically lower your frictional coefficient, thus drastically impairing your ability to accelerate, stop and corner.

    Road racing cars do NOT increase tire pressures when it comes time to run any perticular stint in the rain, this is just counter productive.

    David (aka Blind Guy)
     
  4. LeeB

    LeeB Junior Member

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    I have about 2800 miles on my V with Toyos. Rain performance is fine. I think the overall handling is very good, not substaintially different from my prior car, a Lincoln LS. I didn't drive a IV since I was only interested in a V, but my friend has a 2007 Prius. I'd say the ride is slightly better and noise level is a little less in his car. However, the ride is perfectly fine in my car, and it's only at highway speeds that my V is a little noiser than I'd like. I test drove a V with Michelins that I thought was a little quieter than the Toyos. I'll look for quieter tires (if possible) when it comes time to replace the Toyos. My tires are inflated to factory specs. As David notes above, don't overfill them. I'm really happy with my V and would buy it again in a second.
     
  5. Fuel Miser

    Fuel Miser Junior Member

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    If you are going with the 17" I would recommend you take a good look at the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position. A very good tire all around.
    For the 15" my two choices are Micheling HydroEdges, as they last forever and have fantastic levels of grip dry and wet. Then the Michelin Energy saver A/S, (what I'm buying to replace the factory Ecopia EP20's) simply for their outstanding fuel economy ratings.
     
  6. fergus

    fergus New Member

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    We have a II and a V so perhaps I can offer an observation or two. The V with Toyo's handles well enough in rain, the overall feel is noticeably tighter and more responsive to steering input on the road than is our II. The V with Toyos is noisier on the road than our II, you really hear the pavement surfaces... I've driven them both at higher speeds and the V is no sports car... in spite of the road feel, at high speeds both cars feel a bit vague at 90+ mph... But for more modest driving, the V does deliver a markedly crisp driving experience that makes it refreshing to drive briskly at more moderate speeds. Useful for "rollercoasting" curves to retain speed/energy when hypermiling. BTW, those 17" wheels look great on the Prius! It turns heads more than our II, I notice numerous double takes...
     
  7. jse75

    jse75 New Member

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    Thanks for these observations (and to everyone else too - this is a great forum).

    I did notice when taking the IV and V for a test drive yesterday that the V with Toyos was noticeably louder on the highway at 65-70mph, and I agree it seemed (in my short time) to have more responsive, tighter steering, more like what I am used to in my current RX300, probably because of the 2.5 vs 3.5 turns difference. Hard to know if that, plus LED headlamps and fog lights, is worth $1500 over a comparably equipped IV with nav - in terms of safety and performance (looks aside). I would need the fog lights certainly and would have to add them to the IV, so the difference is smaller. LED headlamps I am fine with or without, don't have HID lights in my current car.

    One other thing I've noticed is there is limited selection of LRR tires for the 17", most of the tires of the V's size are sports car tires. So no Michelin HydroEdges, Yokohama dB's, etc.

    Jason
     
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