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bobo333 05-19-2020 01:05 PM

Eco off-road on a budget? Or destroying a Prius, you decide.
2 Attachment(s)
Hey guys and gal's and those in between,

I recently purchased a 2009 Prius ex-taxi with 415,000km on the clock and now I'm doing my best to piss off the entire Prius owning community by turning it into a Jeep.

Fortunately it uses a lot less fuel than a Jeep, and also a lot less than the Subaru Liberty that it's replacing, about half as much to be precise. Unfortunately the Subaru has a much better reputation for off-roading than the Prius so I have my work cut out for me.

Heres the Subaru in all its glory half way across the Oodnadatta track in the Australian desert for a bit of an idea of what I want the Prius to do.
Attachment 28223
Attachment 28224

I need to get on a computer to continue, this website doesn't play well with my phone... Stay tuned!

bobo333 05-19-2020 01:56 PM

Ok so after what seemed like an eternity searching for the right car i found this horrible yellow and green beast interstate, and promptly drove the Subaru there to buy it.

Unfortunately the week before someone had t-boned the Subaru and on the day I arrived interstate the registration expired so it was doomed for the scrap yard, but first I pulled off every piece of useful goodness I could unscrew, including the front light bar and lights:

I also fitted the DRLs, dashcam, various switches and wiring harnesses, and a bunch of other bits to the Prius before driving it back home.

The first tank netted me 5.52L/100km (42.6mpg) which was a massive improvement over the lifetime average of 11.5L/100km in the Subaru!

After arriving home i went through the process of getting the car inspected and new registration applied in my home state, which required the removal of my lights as they sat up past the arbitrary "front edge of the bonnet" measurement required and the bar which had edges that were deemed too sharp (and yet landrovers can run tyres, shovels and axes on top of their bonnet no worries?)

The next step was getting rid of that horrible colour scheme, i chose the Taubmans range of exterior house paint in low sheen "Sealord Grey"

2 days and around $100 later it was looking much less garish

Stay tuned for more adventures soon <3

freebeard 05-19-2020 03:11 PM

Good improvement so far. Consider this: This Lifted Prius Trolls Jeeps


“I knew that the original Prius was Corolla-based but the dealership refused to confirm a cross reference for suspension parts,” Kempton said. “Finally, I discovered the Euro-market Toyota Auris was cross-referenced as having the same struts as a Prius. I found a Russian 4x4 supply company on eBay selling a [lift] kit for the Auris. They asked for the VIN and actually sent me a different kit that did the trick.”

Daox 05-19-2020 03:34 PM

Looks like a fun project. I'd much rather own a Prius made into a Jeep than a Jeep (sorry Jeep owners). :) Looking forward to updates!

California98Civic 05-19-2020 04:25 PM

Just two days ago I ordered a clear coat heat rejecting paint. Gonna clear paint my car roof. Maybe also paint the pillars and window sills and rear decklid.

43 MPG is some nice fuel economy for an Ultralight Offroader. A Suby Forester from 2009 gets 20/27 and '09 Jeep Liberty was 16/22 and an '09 Jeep Wrangler 15/20. You just about halved the fuel cost and the carbon footprint of your trips.

oil pan 4 05-19-2020 07:37 PM

If making an off road prius pisses off the Prius purists then by all means do your worst.

Fat Charlie 05-19-2020 10:13 PM

It's even more fun to piss off the offroad purists.

I've gone offroading in a 77 Cadillac and an 84 K Car. The Caddy, oddly enough, wasn't all that nimble and took some damage.

bobo333 05-19-2020 11:15 PM


Originally Posted by freebeard (Post 624628)
Good improvement so far. Consider this: This Lifted Prius Trolls Jeeps

That car was a big inspiration for this build, there are surprisingly few people in the wild doing this despite the popularity of Prii around the world.

The Russian lift kit has been in the mail for a month or so now but is taking forever thanks to the virus.


By this point another interstate trip was looming, and i had bought a new set of lights i was excited to fit, a night and day quality difference from the old ones (excuse the pun)

This time i scrapped the old bar from the Subaru and trimmed the grille before bolting the new lights directly to the factory aluminium bumper support, this brings the lights down a couple of inches and gets rid of most sharp edges, bringing it more inline with local laws, and probably markedly improving aerodynamics.

The stock headlights have definitely seen better days but they will be replaced in due time, the following photos are with my camera set to manual, with the exposure as close as possible to what my eyes actually see and locked for all shots

Stock low beam:

Stock high beam:

Livid Hyperdrive Mk2:

Theyve already saved me from multiple animals strikes on the first trip.

Stay tuned for more!

bobo333 05-19-2020 11:24 PM

Oh yeah I forgot to add, after getting home (in between the car registration and the paint job) I worked for a week, 10 minutes away from home in city traffic, while at work I left the car running all day every day to keep the radio on and returned a mind boggling 6.87L/100km, the idle efficiency of the Prius platform is amazing!

On the next road trip (after fitting the lights) I'd had a bit of time to get used to the car and improve my driving so beat the first road trip with a 5.04L/100km tank, I was extremely surprised at the difference drafting a truck or driving by myself made, i could quite easily get down to the low 4s at this point if i stuck to a truck the whole way (at 100kmh)

Hersbird 05-19-2020 11:55 PM


Originally Posted by freebeard (Post 624628)
Good improvement so far. Consider this: This Lifted Prius Trolls Jeeps

Maybe a fwd Jeep Patriot. Still I bet the stock 2wd Patriot beats tiny lift Prius. The Renegade is currently the least Jeep Jeep and it would certainly be better than that Prius.

Now combining the Prius with a Subaru drivetrain, you might get something. Now I have seen a Dodge Neon go places that would troll a Jeep, of course that was a rental and alcohol and momentum was involved. Getting it in yes, getting it back out, not so much.

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