Which trim to buy for winter fuel economy.

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by hoopleheader, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. hoopleheader

    hoopleheader Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    11
    3
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Almost ready to pull the trigger on a XLE trim (wife and I prefer the fake leather so a LE is out).

    I live in MN, so have to deal with cold weather, sometimes very cold. Although I would very rarely bump into the lower operating temp limit of the Li Ion XLE battery of -22f with trips to far northern MN in winter, it would have happened a couple of times last year.

    I am wondering if the the NiCad battery in the XLE AWD would provide better fuel economy during winter overall despite the lower EPA rating.

    I don’t need the AWD , and would appreciate the increased cargo area if I have to live without a spare tire
     
  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    12,086
    6,391
    2
    Location:
    Greenwood MS USA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    No Prius has ever used NiCad. If you want NIMH and don't need AWD, it is also in the base model.

    I would go for AWD my self, traction help on bad days and it starts in colder weather. (I would hate waiting until 3 PM to start my car, because it got warmer I lived where it got down to -40C, nothing is fun at -40F)
     
    jerrymildred, kithmo and hoopleheader like this.
  3. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    11,835
    4,562
    57
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    First, you mean NiMH not NiCad.

    Second, it really won't make much of a difference. I experienced the swap first hand going from a 2010 to 2012 PHV, same generation vehicle but different chemistries. When the 2012 was taken on trips and I couldn't recharge... I also live in Minnesota... it was no big deal. Now, I'm driving a 2017 Prime, that just fires up the engine and delivers remarkable MPG even without plugging in too. So, you can't go wrong.

    Toyota setup the system for rapid warm-up. So even on those days where the car sits outside in the negative temps, it performs really well.

    -9F is the coldest multi-day outside I have experienced recently. That meant committing the ultimate sin, warming up the engine a little (gasp!) before driving away. Otherwise, it has always been push the button and go... which says a lot coming from an owner who's driven Prius in Minnesota daily since late 2000.
     
  4. priusman09

    priusman09 I used to be a TDI

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    52
    63
    0
    Location:
    wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I would say that if you don’t absolutely need the AWD then go with the front wheel drive. Less complicated and less to possible go wrong in the long run. I’m really quite happy with the traction I have in my 17 Prime. So much better than my 09 that I haven’t felt the need for snows so far
     
    #4 priusman09, Feb 1, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  5. hoopleheader

    hoopleheader Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    11
    3
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Thanks to you both on the chemistry correction. Was literally just shopping to replace an old cordless drill so I had power tools on my mind.
     
    MichelleStone likes this.
  6. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    12,086
    6,391
    2
    Location:
    Greenwood MS USA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    The old NiCad had 'memory', new chemistries don't.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    39,348
    27,984
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    upload_2020-2-1_10-33-54.png

    ^ Toyota engineers' less than eloquent solution to the AWD motor location. If you care to have a spare tire, the AWD model is out.

    Whatever you decide, in your clime I would definitely get mounted snow tires and the block heater.

    Some info, just what I went with for snow tires:

    Corolla steel rim, part no: 42611-02471 (2003-2008 corolla or matrix, CE, LS, S)
    steel rim lug nuts, part no: 90942-01007 (plain, open-ended, galvanized)

    And the latest part number I have for block heater, having just replaced ours. It's third gen, may or may not still be compatible, check with parts dept:

    PU140-00905

    Still, with a new car purchase, I would just ask if they can obtain and install the block heater, and for what price. The install is not fun on 3rd gen, suspect it's about the same or worse, on 4th gen, but who knows.

    Also, Toyota USA seems to have never heard of block heaters. I can get one relatively easily here, in California North, but North Central US, where you REALLY need them, not an option??
     
    #7 Mendel Leisk, Feb 1, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
    frodoz737 and Salamander_King like this.
  8. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    3,121
    1,406
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    I think you are OVERTHINKING this.
    It is a common disease among hybrid owners.
    Sounds to me like the extra money you will spend will be wasted.
     
  9. pjksr02

    pjksr02 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    408
    148
    2
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    If you get an XLE, you'll have heated seats, so at least your backside will be warmer. (y)
     
  10. Giant81

    Giant81 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2020
    4
    0
    0
    Location:
    SW Wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius
    Model:
    Two Eco
    I see what you did there.. lol

    oh I need to google this. While it doesn't get down to that level or lower where I'm at in WI often, it has been known to, and I own a 2018 Two Eco with the Li Ion. I'm wondering what I'd need to do if I had to drive in temperatures that low. Is there a battery pack heater? do you just start the engine, and once the cabin warms up, the battery pack will come up to operating temperature?
     
  11. hoopleheader

    hoopleheader Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    11
    3
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    My understanding from reading the owners manual is that it may not start at all until it outside temps warm up. This is assuming the car itself was that cold to begin with (like left outside of a garage all night in the polar vortex).

    Since I left Fargo after college the only times I’ve run into temps that low were trips up north (and of course last winter), and even that is very rare.

    My angle was more around general winter fuel economy between the two battery chemistries. Toyota makes mention of the of better winter performance of the batteries in the AWD. If that claim meant much in the real world is what I was wondering about.
     
    #11 hoopleheader, Feb 4, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  12. hoopleheader

    hoopleheader Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    11
    3
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Interesting, it seems Canadian models with a li ion battery come with a plug in traction battery heater:

    New Prius (2017) enhanced with a hybrid battery heater? | PriusChat

    Also appears all Prime models have a battery heater.

    Again, would be rare for me to hit that low of a temp, but Hibbing, MN (not as far north as you can go and Home town of Bob Dylan) hit -20f just 2 days ago.
     
  13. avongil

    avongil Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2019
    57
    49
    0
    Location:
    Easton, PA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Not sure if you purchased your car yet but I have some numbers on the fuel economy of our PIP and Prime:

    PIP: 10 miles per day. 45mpg. my commute is about 1.6 miles. Very steep hill on the way home.
    30% ev driving. So in reality maybe 40 mpg driving 2 to 5 miles at a clip. Pretty bad, but considering I was getting 15 or so with a camry v6 last year, a large improvement.


    2019 Prime. 50 mile round trip commute.
    We saw 64% EV driving this winter. OD read 96MPG.

    Assuming 50mpg gasoline and 133 equivalent electric, its more than 100mpg. We are on track for $600/year in gasoline while maintaining this fairly long commute and only plugging in at home.


    I don't think you can get much more efficient than a Prius Prime in the winter. Easily 2x more efficient than the regular model @ 50 miles per day. Around 25 miles per day would approach 133 mpge.

    I note that The hybrid heating system does not make the vehicle start up as much as the regular Prius or PIP. If it gets too cold it still fires up.
     
    pjksr02 likes this.
Loading...