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Kia Niro for Hills?

I currently have a Toyota Prius, which I love. But I drive on a lot of winding, hilly gravel roads. The Prius spins out on some of the roads. Does the Kia Niro have more power and/or can you shift down? I had a Passat before that was an automatic but could still shift down and it made the hills just fine.

What exactly do you mean by this? My interpretation is that you lose control on a curve. Which mean you are taking the curve too fast.

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More than likely, OP means that the front wheels starts spining in or after a curve going uphill on a gravel road.

Try less throttle, if so.

I believe the OE tires on the Prius are optimized for low rolling resistance at the cost of traction. Two Prius owners I knew replaced the them with tires with better traction for a slight loss in mpg. Cheaper than replacing the car.

Ed B


I assume that spins out really means lose of traction . ( First look at the current tires as someone else said ) The Prius and the Niro are basically the same type of vehicle and I would not tow a trailer with either one of them. That is what the OP said in another of their threads that they wanted to do.

More power will make things worse, so that’s not the answer.

As others have said, start with your tires. What tires do you have now? What’s the current tread depth? If you look for better tires, I’m not sure that you’ll find many reviews of the performance in loose gravel (unless you go to off-road tires), so perhaps looking at snow performance would be better than nothing.

I would have thought that a Prius would be decent on loose surfaces. If you can’t fix this with better tires, then perhaps you’re one of the people who actually needs an AWD car, perhaps a small Subaru in your case. You won’t get the same fuel economy, of course.

An FWD car naturally loses traction going uphill, in the same way a RWD car gains traction. Not many affordable rear wheel drive cars out here any more, but all wheel drive are pretty common. But in any case involving traction, tires are the first place to look, before deciding whether a different car is the solution.

Cars are tools to get you places. Tools are sometimes quite specialized. A Prius is a tool to get you around urban and suburban areas with great efficiency in its use of gasoline, and it does that well. It was never intended to be a hauler of trailers or a great dirt and gravel road vehicle, and its performance under those conditions is fair at best.

Just like you don’t use a hammer to open a can of tuna, a Prius is a poor choice on hilly gravel roads.

That may be why I had Tuna all over the kitchen .

Less mess if you use the claw ends :wink:

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Amateurs. Next time try thermite. That way you get that nice maillard reaction on the fish. :wink:


You guys are too funny! :grin:

Okay, it sounds like the best investment I can make is four really good tires. That works for me! Thanks!

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Yep, the gravel roads are extreme, steep, slanted switchbacks. I don’t drive on them very often, though, so gas mileage is more of a priority.
I have driven myself out of some really bad situations, so I’ll take the advice of getting some really good tires!

Years ago I had a summer job at a Colorado cattle ranch, and had to drive on dirt and gravel steep roads all the time. The rancher let me use his VW Beetle for that work, which with its rear engine rear wheel drive configuration did the job just fine. I don’t think that configuration is available in cars these days, so for your situation some version of all wheel drive or four wheel drive would probably get you the best result if you decide to switch to a different make/model. As posted above, more engine power isn’t what you want. The VW Beetle I drove and which performed superbly for the task was probably only 40 to 50 hp.