Would you want a Prius AWD?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Tideland Prius, Aug 7, 2009.

?
  1. Yes, it would be awesome! Make it Toyota!

    27.8%
  2. Sure, I'd consider one

    14.8%
  3. Nah. I'd rather see a RAV4/Matrix AWD Hybrid

    16.7%
  4. No. It'll add unnecessary complexity and expense to the product

    37.0%
  5. Undecided

    3.7%
  1. Supermonkey32

    Supermonkey32 New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    31
    0
    0
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I would consider it if it came in something comparable to the 2012 Toyota Seinna. Do you know if that would be something coming out in the future? Just a thought.
     
  2. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    1,877
    20
    27
    Location:
    PNW
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    You mean fishing, skiing boating kind of people like me who spend most of their time...outdoors?

    The comparable to the Highlander/RX350 hybrids Outback Ltd goes for $37,900 and gets 20 mpg vs. Highlander/RX450's 28 mpg.

    The comparable Impreza at $26,500 is more in the Prius range.

    Subaru had to improve its mileage, its AWD market demanded it. It's pretty much peaked out at 30 mpg for the Impreza. Subaru will have to come out with a hybrid Outback to compete with the Highlander and Toyota will have to come out with an AWD Prius or redesigned RAV to compete with Impreza.

    Some have noted that Subaru might license the hybrid tech from Toyota and Toyota is satisfied making $2K licensing fee on each AWD hybrid Subaru vs. competing via a vehicle.
     
  3. davidtoo

    davidtoo Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    13
    0
    0
    Location:
    Sacramento, California
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    A Prius AWD would be practical if I lived in a city in an eastern or northern city or the flat lands. However, as much as I loved my old 2006 Prius and my new 2012 PIP, I can't see Toyota making the modifications necessary for it to be a practical car for skiing and white-out snow conditions. Yes, I've seen a Prius or two with chains, but that's why I bought my 97 AWD RAV4 - so I wouldn't have to put on chains any more. A hybrid RAV4 would be far more efficient in Alaska (with a heater block and winter package), California and the West where I cross country ski across the Sierra Nevada and in Yosemite National Park. Ground clearance is essential for mountain winter driving, especially on the unimproved roads and through piled up drifts. It would be really frosting on the cake if Toyota covered the vital exposed portions of the engine and undercarriage with some sort of screen to deter varmints such as squirrels and marmots from dining on the very expensive hoses and wiring.

    Dave
     
  4. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    3,247
    524
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    An AWD Swagger would be awesome ;) Been driving a rental Sienna for a couple weeks now and it is super cool :) Make it a Hybrid and it would be more perfect.

    Mike
     
  5. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    1,877
    20
    27
    Location:
    PNW
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Exactly though we don't have to use chains if we have winter rated tires. Its the security of not getting stuck.

    That's why I brought up the Subaru example as they have carved out a niche of small AWD vehicles. It's proved to be a lucrative and nice sized market, one that is AWD and mileage conscious and Toyota could own with a 40 mpg AWD vehicle.
     
  6. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    19,011
    4,053
    50
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA.
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    No, I mean the people who like to rock climb, hike, kayak, mountain bike and generally need a car with more ground clearance and snow/mud traction and don't have more than $30k to spend on a car. For whatever reason they don't want a small SUV as evidenced by the large number of Outbacks and now Impreza Wagons in this area (Auburn to Lake Tahoe). I work in the land protection and enhancement business so I'm pretty familiar with the market segment I am talking about.

    You really have to stop cherry picking your numbers. We are talking about ground clearance and good mpg. You are jacking up the prices to fit your argument. I used base prices to avoid unwanted upgrades. :D
     
  7. Maine Pilot

    Maine Pilot Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    165
    504
    0
    Location:
    Saco, Maine
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    III
    There's sort of a military mind-set here. They'll take a perfectly good jet fighter, then load it down with all sorts of other missions such as being a bomber, ground-support aircraft, intercepter, ad nauseum. What you end up with is an airplane that is so compromised it's mediocre at everything, plus the cost has risen obscenly..

    Load up a perfectly good Prius with other tasks and, as pointed out previously in this thread, the mileage will go down and its low ground clearance will make it ill-suited for conditions that require AWD.
     
  8. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    1,877
    20
    27
    Location:
    PNW
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Ah...the people parked next to me at lots in the state parks near the rivers and mountains and bike/xcc-sking trails.

    The off-road four wheel drive market is very, very small. Not really the Subaru, Audi, Ford Escape, Explorer, Tahoe etc....the 95% of the AWD drive market in the US.

    A significant portion of the AWD market is very mileage conscious which is why you see Subaru out with the CVT Impreza at 30 mpg.

    This large AWD market is where Toyota would selling into.
     
  9. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    1,877
    20
    27
    Location:
    PNW
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Audi and Subaru AWD have similar ground clearance. It's OK for 99% of what people want AWD drive for, loose gravel roads in summer, snow covered roads in winter. No one is going off-road.

    As to the mileage, a 40mpg AWD Prius would totally eat up the 30 mpg Subaru Impreza market, a market Subaru is betting its future on.
     
  10. Maine Pilot

    Maine Pilot Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    165
    504
    0
    Location:
    Saco, Maine
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    III
    My '09 Subaru Outback has approximatley Twice the ground clearance as my Prius and gets a respectable 30 mpg.

    Face it, the Prius is not a good winter car, just based on ground clearance alone. Factor in winter temps that drive down the mpg's, plus the mileage hit AWD would make, and the differences between my Outback and the Prius aren't that much.
     
  11. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    3,177
    1,226
    1
    Location:
    Trumbull, CT
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Hey. I just want to be able to get up my driveway when it is iced up. My 2004 Prius requires me to sand&salt then wait 10-15 minutes even with good tires (Nokian WRg2). An iAWD Prius would fix this as well as mitigating the acceleration hesitation when a wheel slips.

    Our Subaru Outback ( 1997, 240k miles) provides more reliable transportation in the winter than either our Prius or our Jetta. All of our vehicles are getting long in the tooth as we wait for some manufacturer to realize that there IS a market for a high MPG AWD vehicle. If you look at the poll, about 40% of current Prius owners (droup readers) are interested. Are you listening Toyota?

    My family WILL buy one when it is available. We don't tow, we don't go off-road, we only want it to go reliably in slippery conditions like our Subaru Outback. The snow plows handle extreme conditions where ground clearance would be an issue.

    JeffD
     
  12. Insight-I Owner

    Insight-I Owner 2006 Insight-I MT + 2011 Prius

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    505
    98
    0
    Location:
    Essex, CT
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Which is why I sold my Outback. In my hands it was good for 30mpg (34mpg on long trips), so I sold it and got the Prius, which is giving me tanks in the high 50's (winter) to 65mpg (summer). About half the gas usage. And, surprisingly, carries just as much stuff. I realized having AWD all the time for the few occasions it was handy just was too much of a penalty.

    I suspect Toyota realizes that the mpg penalty of AWD will be too much for them to compensate for. They probably don't want to produce a Prius rated at <40mpg for brand identity reasons.

    If AWD is important, I'd suggest hanging onto that aging AWD vehicle (if one owns one) and use it only when AWD is needed.

    P.S. A friend of mine way up in Craftsbury, VT gets around just fine in her Prius in the winter. I'll have to ask her what tires she uses.
     
  13. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    3,177
    1,226
    1
    Location:
    Trumbull, CT
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    The "AWD penalty" is due to two causes:

    • Increased weight: Adding a motor, differential and a second low capacity HV battery would add 200-300 lbs (about the same as two passengers. I have seen little loss of highway MPG with passengers with my Prius.
    • Increased mechanical losses for the complex AWD drive train which is not significant in an iAWD system (as in the THH).
    You are confusing the situation in classic AWD vehicles with the simpler and more efficient iAWD Toyota system. Besides an iAWD Prius would have better acceleration that the FWD version if a second battery is included (higher peak electrical power availability).


    JeffD
     
  14. Insight-I Owner

    Insight-I Owner 2006 Insight-I MT + 2011 Prius

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    505
    98
    0
    Location:
    Essex, CT
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Nice idea, but where would all this stuff fit? And the present rear suspension is torsion beam, so it would have to be completely redesigned with a diff and motor. Which would mean a redesign of the floor pan ($$) and even more interior space lost.

    I tried to figure out how the Highlander Hybrid works. The website says "two motors (front and back}" so I'm guessing they mean two motors in the typical HSD setup up front and two motors, one for each wheel, in the rear, no driveshaft or diff. It seems to say the ICE drives only the front wheels and the rear wheels are electrically driven only? Sort of a "virtual AWD".

    Amusingly, the Toyota website says that the HiHy is "not suitable for offroad use", no explanation of what that means or why!!

    Maybe for the "AWD" Prius Toyota should take a look at wheel motors for the rear wheels? Wouldn't need to redesign the rear suspension.
    Thanks, I was, but I still think there would still be mpg losses, if nothing else due to increased inertia in the motors/drive system. As for acceleration, least of my concerns.

    Other very significant aspects would be increased cost. It would have to compete with the current Subaru offerings price wise (which the Prius as is only just manages right now) and stay far enough under the HiHy price.

    And the tiresome all-wheels-the-same-size AWD issue. Maybe Toyota could figure out a way around this, but if you have dissimilarly worn tires on a current AWD you lose mpg because the wheels are fighting each other and also you get increased tread wear and wear on the AWD system). Basically, if you have a half worn set of tires and one gets unrepairable damage, you have to replace the other three as well ($$$). Been there.

    And there is still the ground clearance/air drag issue. Jacking the car up for more clearance adds air drag, lowers mpg. A variable height system adds more weight and cost.
     
  15. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    3,177
    1,226
    1
    Location:
    Trumbull, CT
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    The rear assembly of the THH with shortened axels would work
    The THH only has one motor in the rear with Independent suspension and a differential.
    The suspension is not robust enough
    A reasonable thought, but increased unsuspended weight hurts performance and wheel motors are currently expensive.
    high 40's MPG (vs low 30's) trumps a couple of thousand dollars.
    So have I. My wife burned out the friction plates in our Subaru transfer case using the doughnut (usually $1200, I had it rebuilt for $700). Different size tires on an iAWD is not a problem (unless it triggers ABS or traction control).[/QUOTE]And there is still the ground clearance/air drag issue. Jacking the car up for more clearance adds air drag, lowers mpg. A variable height system adds more weight and cost.[/QUOTE]Again It is rare that ground clearance is a serious problem as long as you are willing to wait for the snow plows.

    JeffD
     
  16. JamesBurke

    JamesBurke Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    1,217
    487
    27
    Location:
    Morgantown, WV
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Subaru is a small company marketing to an equally small markets. 250K/yr sales total. Might be the top selling car brand here locally but go to the DC/Balt. area and their share is almost zero. Sold mostly to people who already have a $X$ or who don't want something that big but are convinced they need AWD just for those 5 or 6 days a year.

    The 450h/THH awd system isn't all that complex. Motor, wire, and some electrical relay interface components. Mostly it's software and mostly 2wd. I've only had the rear wheels power up at slow speeds in the mall parking lot. The 450h comes with the worst tires for snow and ice. You absolutely need to use the snow/ice setting. I haven't been in the drivers seat for this yet just watching and shoveling.

    Not sure the current Prius chassis have the space or the extra weight carrying capacity.
     
  17. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    1,877
    20
    27
    Location:
    PNW
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Younger crowd on the most popular low end Subaru Impreza line. And its more like 5-6 months for people in those markets. My snows go on in December and come off in April when Spring skiing, and Spring snowstorms, are over.
     
  18. mainerinexile

    mainerinexile No longer in exile!

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    403
    72
    0
    Location:
    Maine
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    "No" to an AWD Prius, but take note Corporate Toyota: PLEASE give us a hybrid Tacoma that gets 35 mpg (like the former Ford Escape Hybrid).

    "No" to the ridiculous A-Bat fake pickup, by the way.
     
  19. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    3,247
    524
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    How 'bought a Hybrid Sienna? Make it have lots of Mad Powa, ~300hp with 350 ft pds TQ then soccer mom would have a big-ol-grin on her face when she steps on the Go Pedal :) That'd be an awesome ride ;)

    Mike


    iPhone :)
     
Loading...