I'm using straight synthetic 0W-20 oil. Engine coolant still warms up fairly quickly. I read the TCH has some type of insulated thermos container for the coolant so it stays warmer longer when stopped.
Seat heaters are pretty nice...
Nope. Toyota used that in the Gen 2 Prius but by the time the Gen 1 TCH came out, they've figured it wasn't worth the hassle or extra cost. Fortunately, they figured out a better option that's used on the 2nd/3rd generation hybrids (3G Prius, 2G TCH, 2.5G HiHy etc) - exhaust heat recirculation system.
That is exactly the issue. It is too bad Toyota would not design their vehicles better for cold weather climates. I suspect all their design is driven by the EPA tests which do not reflect the real world, especially where it is colder. They could make two significant improvements for us guys in the real cold:
1. Use a warm air intake. Cold air intake is worthless and what is really needed is a modulated warm air intake so the throttle valve would stay further open, and the engine would warm up faster.
2. Automatic shutters in front of the rad. Some Ford vehicles have this and claim it reduces drag on the highway. That may be, but I suspect it is next to insignificant. However, it would help the engine warm up faster and stay warm in cold city weather. Automatic shutters eliminate the risk of forgetting you have manually blocked the front causing the engine to overheat.
Grille shutters would be great. I've seen people use anything from aftermarket "blankets" to simply just cardboard tied over the front of the car to keep the car warm (and it's not limited to diesel cars or trucks. I've seen them on minivans and regular cars). For me, I use foam pipe insulation in grey so it's not as obvious or ugly as cardboard.
Toyota has improved cold weather performance, at least from the Gen 2 Prius to the Gen 3. I'm getting similar mpg in the Gen 3 despite driving in a much colder climate than the Gen 2. I would be curious once I move back to my hometown how much better the Gen 3 is in the same weather.
My current tank is at 5.8l/100km vs 5.0 in the summer (in car display). So that's 40mpg vs 47mpg and is it ins't even the "real" winter yet...
I might have to step up the use of the block heater (or park it in the garage overnight).
@Pipemajor: I don't think the TCH has a "thermos" to keep the coolant warm. That was on previous versions of the Prius (don't think the current Prius has it either).
I'm anywhere between 5.5-6.0L/100km. Ugh. It's -21°C today. That includes using the EBH and 100% lower blocked grille. I park in the heated parkade at home. The issue I think is my super short commute (<10km).