My chief problem with my Prius (2004) is that it has no low gear. I drive in the Berkshires every summer. It is very hilly, and with my former cars (1966 Ford Mustang with automatic transmission, 1974 Toyota Corona with stick shift, and 1989 Honda Civic with stick shift), I could shift into low gear. The B gear on the Prius does nothing. This can get scary on a long downhill ride, using the brakes only. What has been your experience? Any suggestions?
I don’t know what “B” gear means as I don’t own a Prius. Don’t worry about the long downhill rides and getting on the brakes. In the Prius your braking is not the pads rubbing on the rotors which could eventually result in brake fade. Your downhill braking is running the electric motor which becomes a generator and that slows the car as it recharges the batteries.
There is no need for engine braking to reduce the load on your traditional brakes. In the Prius the electric motor is doing the “engine braking” but you need to press on the brake petal to initiate the regenerative braking.
Going downhill put car in “B” and adjust speed by brake (can accelerate too if needed) and mine holds the speed with hardly any variation as well as charges the battery pack. I find it really works great. Shift to “D” when no longer needed.
Your brakes won’t be needed much at all going downhill.