Video: 2016 Prius vs 2015 Prius - Dynamic Driving Autocross

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Danny, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder
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    Perhaps the #1 focus for Toyota with the 2016 Prius was improving driving dynamics. While out in California last month, Toyota set up a little autocross course for us to put their new Prius through the paces. But wait, there's more. They also had a 2015 Prius available for us to compare our driving experience. And boy, oh boy, do they contrast one another.

    Hopefully it is illustrated in the video below just how vastly different the 2016 Prius handles compares to the 2015 model. Because the difference is astounding. You'll notice in the video of the 2015 Prius the amount of body roll as it goes through the curves, or how it couldn't handle these cones at all.

    Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 12.16.23 PM.png

    This is what I was talking about in my video review about the new 4G Prius being so much more fun to drive.

     
  2. E46Prius

    E46Prius Active Member

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    Notice that for this comparison, the 2015 Gen 3 Toyota provided has the stock grandma wheel and tire 15" combination while they equip the 2016 Gen 4 with sporty low profile tires and large wheels. That makes a difference in response and feedback. My Prius handles WAY WAY better with FR-S wheels and low profile all season tires. I'm sure the Gen 4 handles better than Gen 3, but I don't think it's a difference worth noting. Even other preliminary reviews on Youtube have said the same thing. That they really couldn't tell a difference in real world driving between Gen 3 and 4. This isn't a track or autocross car anyway. The Prius will serve as taxi cab duty and errand running in San Francisco. When I want to drive spiritedly, I drive my other car:

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. RhettP

    RhettP Junior Member

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    So should we expect Prius to be on the next racing circuit? The last time I checked, people bought the cars for the gas mileage, not how fast the car can corner.
     
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  4. chinna

    chinna Member

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    Danny,

    How is this useful without actually showing at what speed you are driving in each vehicle, and what speed you are taking each curvue?
    Also, does both have same 17 inch wheels and similar tires? Otherwise, this would be useless exercise.
     
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  5. giora

    giora Senior Member

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    The fact Gen 4 finished it about 4 seconds earlier says something about the speeds, doesn't it?
     
  6. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    Was Toyota running the recommended TP on both cars? Were both cars running on OEM tires?
     
  7. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    Only if you spend a couple thousand dollars for a body kit. :whistle: :ROFLMAO:
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    I do not know, I've got zero complaints with the current setup, but guess I'm not their target audience.
     
  9. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder
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    1. If you're referring to the photos within the video showing the two cars next to each other, that was just the only photo I had of the two cars next to each other. For the actual driving, I was in the Prius Three with the standard 15" wheels.
    2. I've been driving a Prius as a daily driver for 9 years now. There's a distinct difference in everyday driving handling between the 3G and the 4G. Most other reviewers bounce between so many cars that there is no way for them to adequately compare everyday handling between the 3rd Gen and the 4th Gen.
    Both had the 15" wheels and Ecopia tires. I doubt they were the same model of tire, but they were the same size, nonetheless. I'm not sure what speed has to do with the demo. I drove the cars as fast as I was able through the course. You can see that when I nail the cones in the 3G Prius slalom.

    Running the OEM tires, yes. No idea about the tire pressure.
     
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  10. chinna

    chinna Member

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    Danny,

    If your video does not show the speed, how the viewers would know that you are able to go faster in curves/transitions better in 2016?
    You just said as fast as, what does it mean?

    It could be very well that you are driving 2016 at 15 MPH, and 25MPH on 2015?
    You could have put some accelerometer, or at least one those iPhone app which shows "G" s and speed.
     
  11. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder
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    I see your concern, but the purpose of this exercise was to compare the "feel" and performance of the cars. If I had known we were going to have a chance to drive them on a track, I probably would've thought more about it and tracked my speed and whatnot.

    I did find a quote from my co-driver (Jeff Cobb, who drove before me) where he said while driving the 2015 Prius, "I was doing 49, 50, up to 52 in that. The last one (the 2016 Prius) I was doing over 56, 57 MPH. It's a lot easier. This is just more effort, and it's not as much fun."
     
  12. chinna

    chinna Member

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    I guess we could expect close to 5MPH gain in slalom. That is considerable gain, but not sure how it felt with additional 5 MPH.
     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    9 years? you're just a newbie.:p
     
  14. KrPtNk

    KrPtNk Active Member

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    Danny,

    Thanks for the video. I wished that you had been connected to monitors for your blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration and some kind of galvanic skin measurements. I could then compare your results in both drives and see if you are truly more excited by the gen 4.
     
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  15. SAronian

    SAronian Active Member

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    The difference was easy to see and you had much better control on the Gen4
     
  16. Godzuki

    Godzuki Active Member

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    It seems like the driver took a smoother line through the cones when driving the G4 than when driving the G3... I'm not convinced! :cautious:
     
  17. giora

    giora Senior Member

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    With 60% more rigid body, improved rear wheels suspension, lower center of gravity and more.
    With all reviews I read indicating improved (to much improved) handling and ride.
    And now the dynamic test Danny did for us.
    Those who do not want to be confused by facts are not convinced.
     
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  18. E46Prius

    E46Prius Active Member

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    Yeah I'm sure to us, there would be a difference. But forum enthusiasts represent a small small SMALL portion of the people who buy any cars, even sports cars. I'm sure it rings even more true for the Prius. Which brings me back to my original point: the increased handling is nice but your average Prius owner won't notice nor need it. =) Fun differences to point out though for us! Appreciate it.

    And for the record, I actually like the handling of the Gen 3 for what it is. And this is coming from someone with extensive track and canyon experience in a modified BMW 3 Series =) So that tells you the Gen 4 must be great!
     
  19. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Some criticism of the video.
    When creating the video from a through the windshield limited drivers perspective, can't really see that much difference between the two drives.
    The Gen 3 seems to be squealing a little more, and on some of the turns the cones appear "dead pedestrian" close, and of course the commentary from the drivers suggest the handling and drive isn't going great.
    The Gen 4 seems to be squealing less, and in those same turns is able to keep the cones at a "wave as you go by" distance.

    I would of liked some simultaneous view from the outside, so I could see cones being hit. On a course like that I actually think an outside view looking in, is more valuable.

    Ultimately it is what it is. Toyota has upgraded the suspension. A knock, that I've never cared too much about with The Prius is that it wasn't "Fun To Drive", if Toyota has changed that dynamic, Good for Them, Good For Prius.

    I didn't buy my Prius with the idea of looking for zero gravity corners, or expecting a "sports car" driving dynamic. But I have nothing against Toyota evolving the Prius to embrace those dynamics.

    My Honda Fit was great in corners and gave a fantastic feel back from the road. The Prius? Not so much. But I've rarely cared. If the next Generation of The Prius can offer Hybrid efficiency and a degree of "Fun" as far as driving characteristics, I think that's great.

    Not great enough for me to run out and buy a Gen 4 it's first year out, but great enough for me to start thinking 2-3 years ahead.
     
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  20. giora

    giora Senior Member

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    I disagree.
    I think the improved dynamic response may appeal to wider circles of non enthusiasts potential buyers that care less the efficiency and cleanliness.
     
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