I have a Prius since September 2007 and I live in Toulouse (France, south-west).
The climate is not so rough than in Ontario, but with get sometimes under 0°c during December/January.
I agree with you, the Prius consumes more fuel when it gets cold, about 0.5 L/100 more each time it get down of 15°c.
Currently the temperature is around 5 to 10°c now and I have 5.6 L/100.
At Chrismas we got -5°c in average and it was 6.1 L/100.
It's less true with thermic cars but for Hybrids the thermic engine has to keep a minimum T° because it can start at any time and wouldn't have time to get hot. You can not sollicite power before the engine is not hot enough. And when it's cold outside, the engines cools quickly, so it needs to run more often to heat... So you understand why cold is the enemy of hybrids
"The A/C automatically come on when i push the AUTO button for the climate", it's normal. "Automatic A/C" doesn't mean to produce cold anytime.
When it's cold outside and you set for instance 22°c as consign, it will heat not cool the car !
I have no experience of rough start by cold but if it's the first season you have such problem over 3 years, the reason is maybe elsewhere. Ask to your support/garage. For sure synthetic oil 5w50 may help when it's cold.
I hope it helped,
It seems like the prius was designed for living in California.
I was wondering if any cold weather prius owners have had any difficulty with their prius in cold weather and what they did to resolve the problem.
Here are some of my concerns/problems/questions (and solutions when i have found them) I've run across with my prius in cold weather (BTW I live in Thunder Bay, Ontario):
- Heater is sub-standard for sub-sub-zero temps
- why does the A/C automatically come on when i push the AUTO button for the climate? In the winter I want auto HEAT not auto A/C!
- Tires are fuel efficient, but have NO TRACTION -- got studded tire. Excellent traction, poor fuel efficiency
- Fuel efficiency plummets in cooler temps -- 4.8L/100km in hot summer, 6.7 in winter when below -15celcius. (I know this is a function of the studded tire, but even at -8celcius i can get 5.8L/100km. Why does fuel efficiency drop SO much when it gets cold, or are ALL cars like that?
- For all of the other winters we've had our prius, it has started in any weather, even when it's -35celcius. But just this winter our prius seems to have a rougher start in cold temps (<-10celcius), anything i can do to have it start smoother? go to synthetic oil? oil additive? fuel additive?
any comments, suggestions, other observations from cold-weather prius owners would be appreciated.