Snow car

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by Joe Fisher, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Is it just me or are all the v owners (this is the v forum) saying it works fine, and all the non v owners saying it sucks?

    Or, if you say it is poor, are you discussing the Prius v station wagon? Or some other car?
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    maybe that's why the v got the traction control off switch, something in the drive train is different?
     
  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I think weight might have something to do with his case ;)
     
  4. chocsox

    chocsox New Member

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    That's awesome! Were you riding on winter tires?

    I have a place in Big Bear Lakes (approx 7200ft). Considering getting some winter tires when I need to go without the family in the winter. My commute to Big Bear from LA is about 70% fwy road and 30% snow/ice, so not sure if snow tires or chains would work best.
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Does the Prius v have a bit more ground clearance, comparing to regular Prius?

    Our's finally encountered its first snow for this winter, up Seymour, a local ski hill. Going up the road was pretty much clear/bare, but the coming back down side was compacted snow. No issues with X-Ice2 snow tires, and everyone was taking it real easy.

    image.jpeg

    One more, purty:

    image.jpeg
     
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  6. chocsox

    chocsox New Member

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    Holy cow, that is pretty!! My guess is the Prius V has the same ground clearance. That's amazing that with snow tires you can tackle that much snow. Thanks for the reply.
     
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Wasn't deep snow by any means, compacted, a few inches at most. Our winters, back at sea level, are mostly just wet. :)
     
  8. Matt73

    Matt73 Junior Member

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    Yes, it does, but only a little, tiny bit.

    The 2015 Prius is listed as having a minimum ground clearance of 5.3"
    The 2015/2016 Prius v are listed as having a minimum ground clearance of 5.7"

    That's a total of 0.4" or about 1 cm more clearance, which is pretty insignificant.

    Not sure what the 2016 Prius (gen 4) has for ground clearance...

    Note: I got my numbers from the eBrocure's on Toyota's website.. they contain a lot of basic spec info..
    http://www.toyota.com/prius/ebrochure/
    http://www.toyota.com/priusv/ebrochure/
     
    #28 Matt73, Dec 27, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015
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  9. Offline

    Offline Active Member

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    I think it depends on a number of factors. Chains are cheap compared to winter tires and extra wheels to put them on. How much are you willing to spend? Are chains required regardless of whether or not you have winter tires? Are you willing to deal with the repeated cycle of chaining up when there is snow, removing the chains whenever you encounter dry pavement and driving at slow speeds when chains are installed?

    If chains are not required and I could get by without them, I would do almost anything to avoid the hassle and discomfort that goes with installing, removing and driving with them. And you really have to remove them when you hit dry pavement and you have to keep your speed down when using them. I've trashed both chains and tires by trying to push the limits. I think my least favorite memories are of kneeling in the snow and installing and removing tire chains with hands numbed by extreme cold and wind.

    I have Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 winter tires on 16" steel wheels on our 2012 Prius v Five. Based on the forecast, tomorrow will be the first day of this winter that they will be useful. Knowing what I know after driving in extreme snow conditions, blizzards and over Colorado mountain passes, I'm going to have winter tires on all our vehicles even if they are needed only one day (or one minute) per year.
     
  10. chocsox

    chocsox New Member

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    Awesome, thanks for your input. If I go the winter tires route I was planning on going taller tires, 205/65/16. Do you think the slightly size increase would be an issue?

    Thank you! Cost is always a factor but I'm willing to pay more for simplicity and convenient. Did you go taller tires on you Blizzak?
     
  11. sdtundra

    sdtundra Senior Member

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    I would check with chp and caltrans first. One of my customers gave me his snow tires that were on his old impreza and chp turned me around because snow tires are only accepted on 4wd/awd vehicles. Went back with the CRV on all seasons with m/s stamping and got through no issues. Still have to carry chains but it's nice person backwards

    Fone ?
     
  12. Offline

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    No, I bought the Blizzaks in 205/55-16 which is the standard size on the Prius v except the Five. Our Five came with 17" wheels and 215/50-17 tires.

    I don't see a benefit with going with taller tires except for a slight increase in ground clearance.

    I bought 16" steel wheels from Tire Rack to mount the Blizzaks on. I would have rather bought OEM 16" Prius v wheels but I did not want to pay the high price for new ones and used/refurbished OEM 16" wheels were not yet available.

    The last time I checked, wheelsandcaps.com had refurbished 16" Prius v wheels at a decent price. I bought refurbished OEM wheels from them to use with winter tires on our Sienna and they were like new and still look perfect going into their second winter. Like our Prius v Five, I also downsized one wheel size for the Sienna's winter tires - from 18" to 17" - and bumped up the tire aspect ratio to keep the winter tire diameter the same as the summer tire.

    .
     
  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    There's a Camry steel rim that works on the v I think.

    Similarly with our reg Prius that came with the 17" rims, I went back to the stock 15" size for our snows, and used a Corolla steel rim. Also, I chose to forgo the tpms sensors.

    The one downside to aftermarket steelies is the hub opening will be oversized, you should use an adapter rim. Not the end of the world though.
     
  14. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    My speculation is this reality is what makes the OP's Prius a "snow car".

    I own a "Standard Gen 3 Prius" and I simply do NOT think it's naturally a very good snow/ice vehicle.

    But I've owned other vehicles in my lifetime that weren't necessarily good in snow or ice. The overriding factor is usually snow tires, chains and the skill/patience of the person behind the steering wheel.

    When I was young I owned small Nissan Pick-ups. 2 Wheel, rear wheel drive. They weren't "naturally" good snow vehicles. BUT...

    If I threw weight in the back, and drove using common sense, they did fine. If I chained up? I could drive almost anywhere.

    I'd go out in snow storms however and watch "idiots" driving basically the same vehicle as myself, swerving around and heading into snowbanks . The only difference was maybe the tires...but mostly they were driving like idiots.

    I avoid driving my Prius in snow and ice, because where I live it doesn't happen much. And I think the traction control IS very aggressive, which makes it tricky in snow and ice. I don't think my Prius is a very good "Snow Car". But like with many vehicles, with the proper tires for the conditions, and some common sense and experience, you can probably drive it in very hostile conditions.
     
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  15. Joe Fisher

    Joe Fisher Junior Member

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    Yes, I have studded winter tires. However, my commute is mostly hwy, but it can be a nasty *&^k, often snow covered and /or icy. Not having snow tires really isn't an option.

    My drive was also compacted, although at times it was not *very* compacted. There was 2 feet of snow in the ditches. I was concerned about the car getting sideways going uphill and burying itself in the ditch, but the TC and drivetrain and my driving kept it on the straight and narrow.
     
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  16. chocsox

    chocsox New Member

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    Thanks everyone for all your input.

    I'm currently shopping for OEM 16" Prius wheels, steelies if OEM is not available. Once I purchase them I'll most likely go with 205/65/16 getting slight increase in height.
     
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Again, check out Camry steel rims, there's apparently one that works, and will fit the hub correctly, no adaptor rims needed.
     
  18. k9gmj

    k9gmj Junior Member

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    No snow in SW Florida!
     
  19. Lexcyn

    Lexcyn Junior Member

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    It's better in the snow than the 2010 Civic I owned. That thing was so low that even a few CM of snow caused it to slip around like it was on a skating rink.

    So far the v (lowercase v for the Prius v wagon) has been great - I do have top of the line snow tires on it, but between TRAC and ABS I haven't been able to slip that much. TRAC seems to work great coming from a complete stop at a slippery intersection - however people behind me usually get upset at how slow I am going ( peoople here generally do not know how to drive in the best of times, worse so in the winter with snow/ice ).

    Right now we currently have approx. 1.5 meters of snow on the ground and a good icy snow pack on all of the main roads.
     
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