Welcome to PriusChat

We'd love to have you join our community and participate in the conversation! Sign up for FREE today.

Sign Up
  1. Today, 9/1, is the final day for full, personalized All Access Registration to TGB4 2014, the Prius Convention in Westford, MA. Click for more information. The All Access pass includes a personalized badge, event t-shirt, access to all events on Friday & Saturday, goodie bag, & more!

Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Review - 17" Tire

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Fuel Economy' started by F8L, Nov 18, 2012.

Social Buttons

  1. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,680
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    After trying a couple other 17" tires for my GenIII I decided to give the EP422 a try. I've always been disappointed with the fuel economy drop that comes with upsizing to 17" wheels and I hoped that using a very fuel efficient tire would reduce this hit. In all the tests I have read, the EP422 is always on top in terms of fuel economy as long as the Energy Saver A/S was not in the competition. ;) Since the Energy Saver A/S is not available in a 17" size usable by the Prius I figured the Ecopia was the next best thing.

    I decided to try out a set of 205/50/17 tires because I like the taller sidewall and extra ground clearance they provide vs. the 215/45/17. They are just a tad taller than the OE 15s but the 215/45/17 is smaller than the OE 15s. The smaller tires will further increase the speedometer error and decrease ground clearance while increasing wheel well gap. All bad things IMO. The only drawback to the 205/50/17 is most of the tires are only available in an XL (Extra Load) rating so they ride worse than an SL (Standard Load) tire. The XL rating means they are stronger and more resistant to blowouts and punctures. Here is my review of them. Please keep in mind that even same model tires behave differently in different sizes. The 15" version may be different than what I experience with the 17" version!

    image.jpg

    From TireRack.com

    Bridgestone Ecopia EP422






    Tire Specs (205/50/17 93V XL)
    Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 (Grand Touring All-Season)
    UTQG=480 A A, 10/32nds, 22lbs, 829, $149 ($70 available rebate)

    My initial impression of the Ecopia EP422 is first how cushy the ride is and how poorly it handles compared to the Continental PureContact and the Michelin Primacy MXM4. The tire feels fairly mushy at first and steering response is slow. When pushed really hard in a fast corner the tires feel like they are folding over but traction is ok. After they broke in, straight line driving and normal turns feel fine. The car just feels somewhat cushy yet I'm not afraid to take corners faster than most people would ever want to. Don't get me wrong. I would NEVER suggest this tire to a sports car enthusiast or any of my SoCal buddies who like slinging their dropped Prii through the curves. For the majority of drivers I feel the tire is more than adequate for everyday driving needs.

    Noise: This tire is quieter than the Primacy MXM4 but only marginally so. Over smooth surfaces and rough surfaces the tire is pretty quiet although you can definitely tell when road surfaces change. Noise was also lower than the PureContact. Being a 17" tire the road noise is definitely higher than with my old 15" Energy Saver A/S.

    Handling: let's start off by saying if handling is a big priority for you then you may want to look at another tire. This tire doesn't really handle well at all. I was not impressed with the handling characteristics of this tire. The ride was comfortable and relatively quiet for a 17" XL rated tire. Compared to my 17" Primacy MXM4 (215/45/17) I feel these tires are a step down in terms of handling and general steering feel. Steering input is really subdued compared to the PureContact but those tires made even the MXM4 feel sloppy. Like i stated above, don't buy this tire if you enjoy slinging the car through fast curves. However, the tire feels safe and performs well for the average Prius driver who wants a little more out of their car but doesn't want to sacrifice too much fuel economy. This is a smooth riding tire.

    Traction: Traction is pretty decent despite my negative opinion of its handling characteristics. I have been able test them in everything but snow. They provide decent traction in dry and wet conditions but the soft sidewall doesn't inspire much confidence when going into a corner fast. Once set into a sharp curve the tires stick well enough. I performed a dry and wet braking test from 30mph and in both conditions the car stopped hard and fast. They are much better than any of the 15" tires I've ran! They are not the stickiest tire compared to my other 17" tires but they do well enough in most conditions.

    This tire rated very well for snow and ice traction compared to some other all-season tires. I know that is not saying much but the tire does not rate very higher in dry traction so I would have never guessed it had better snow traction than the ProContact with EcoPlus of even the AVID TRZ! I believe the snow traction is also better than the Energy Saver A/S so for those who need a tire with a little more snow traction yet want the fuel economy of the Energy Saver this may be a good alternative.

    TireRack's snow test: Tire Test Results : Eco-Focused All-Season Tires: Do They Deliver on the Promise?
    Eco-Focused All-Season Tires: Do They Deliver on the Promise?

    Mileage: this is where my review becomes worthless. I have not been able to really make any solid observations on fuel economy because of drastic weather change, change in fuel formulation, change in driving patterns, etc.. The tires roll well and judging by a few tanks where I could control a couple variables I am confident these tires will be good enough for high 50mpg tanks once summer comes. I'll update once I am presented with conditions I am familiar with. I have not had a GenIII in the winter yet.

    To further compound the fuel efficiency comparison is the fact that the speedometer now reads almost 100% accurate. With the OE 15" tires, the speedo reads 1mph to 1.5mph too fast. With a 215/45/17 the speedo reads almost 2mph too fast. I checked the odometer via GPS and it consistently reads about 1.69% too slow. So if the GPS says I traveled 48miles the odometer says I traveled 47.2 miles (approximate because I don't have the numbers in front of me). This really screws with FE comparisons between the three different sized tires! With my 15" tires the error between displayed and calculated mpg was between 4.8% and 5.8% on average. The two tanks I tried to calculate on these taller tires brought the error up to almost 9%! So while I may be getting better FE in real life, trying to calculate it with the odometer being off and the speedo reading correctly makes it difficult to see it. Grrr

    We know from TireRack.com testing that this tire is usually more fuel efficient than any other tires included in their tests. Compared to other LRR 17" tires, I estimate the EP422 to be 1-2mpg more efficient. The PureContact is likely the next most fuel efficient. See the TireRack test here: Tire Test Results : Eco-Focused All-Season Tires: Do They Deliver on the Promise?

    Appearance: It's a pretty average looking tire. It's not ugly nor does it look sexy and stylish like some of the Nitto or other race-inspired tires. I think it looks nicer than the Primacy MXM4 but not as nice as the PureContact.

    Price: The price of the EP422 is competitive and the $70 rebate offered at Costco and other retailers makes this tire very competitive with the Energy Saver A/S. while the Energy Saver offers a bit better fuel economy, the lower price of the EP422 plus the rebate tends to make the higher fuel economy of the Energy Saver a wash. I would still opt for the Energy Saver A/S if given a choice but that is only because I like big mpg numbers. The 65,000 mile warranty, low price, and great fuel economy make this a truly thrifty tire.

    Summary: This tire is designed for mpg and comfort. If you care more about high mpg numbers, comfort and low noise than you do slinging the car around corners then you will be happy with this tire. It is a very cost effective tire. In the 17" size I am very happy with the overall performance of the tire. I drive fast and aggressive at times. Despite my repeated negative comments on its handling, the tire performs well during those aggressive times that I only frown a little. Then I remember that 98% of the time the tire makes me smile. For the low cost/mile and overal fuel efficiency I don't mind frowning 2% of the time. When it comes to tires, we can't have everything! ;)
    Codyroo, Chazz8 and Aleckin like this.
  2. Aleckin

    Aleckin Maximizing utility from a depreciating asset.

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    26
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    An excellent review of the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 V-rated tires by F8L :D

    On the Consumer Reports website, the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 is not recommended. I can summarize CR's findings:

    Consumer Reports found the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 to be an affordable and high-MPG alternative to the CR-Recommended Michelin Primacy MXV4 and the Continental PureContact V-rated tires, despite the Ecopia EP422's mediocre performance in dry braking, handling, hydroplaning, tread life, wet braking, and tread life tests compared to the top performers from Continental and Michelin.

    V-rated Performance All-Season.png
    F8L likes this.
  3. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,680
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    I have some issues with Consumer Reports and their ratings. I've read them quite thoroughly as well as the tests by TireRack and the anecdotal information posted by forum members. Consumer Reports is not quite wrong but they do not take into consideration the top characteristics valued by a specific person. In this case, the MXV4 drops fuel economy quite drastically, therefore, it is not well liked by the hybrid community. The PureContact is pretty good for fuel economy but it rides poorly. I still like that tire though. :)

    I simply test the tires myself and post my honest opinions. Members can decide what best fits their needs. :)
    Aleckin likes this.
  4. friendly_jacek

    friendly_jacek Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,071
    Likes Received:
    392
    Location:
    southeast US
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    The problem with CR comparo is EP422 should be compared to LRR tires and not "performance tires" (whatever them means). I'm probably crazy, but find the stock EP20 tires satisfactory in tight corners in dry weather and 44PSI. Wet is not great though.
  5. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,680
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    To be fair they ranked the Energy Saver A/S quite well at 5th or 6th place in the passenger all-season class. The handling of the Ecopia is what killed it in their report. IMO the Energy Saver A/S handles poorly too although it got much better on a 7" wide wheel than a 6" wide wheel in my testing. :) The EP422 just needs a lot of air pressure in the 15". In the 17" I am happy with around 38psi. This may change in summer when tires don't feel as hard with higher pressure.
  6. Aleckin

    Aleckin Maximizing utility from a depreciating asset.

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    26
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Here's the CR comparison for the "All Season" class of tires. The Michelin Energy Saver A/S is rated as the 5th best in the class, though it is not recommended by CR.

    It's perplexing that CR does not recommend the Energy Saver A/S at 64 points despite the Yokohama Avid Ascend at 64 points is recommended. I am starting to see a pattern that CR does not like low rolling resistance tires from the low ratings and the lack of recommendations for the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 and the Michelin Energy Saver A/S.

    [​IMG]
  7. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,680
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    Aleckin likes this.
  8. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,680
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    I'm not trying to be a downer on CR. I value their rankings but I make sure to look at other sources for details that may help me decide what's right for me.
    Aleckin likes this.
  9. friendly_jacek

    friendly_jacek Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,071
    Likes Received:
    392
    Location:
    southeast US
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II


    Looks like they put premium on handling. Here we have different priorities. Thanks for posting, BTW.
    Aleckin and F8L like this.
  10. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,163
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I advise a re-review once the car is aligned. :D
    F8L likes this.
  11. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,680
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    *Fuel Economy update*

    I am seeing a pattern emerge with winter weather. If I am careful and keep my speeds at 65mph and below I see 52-53mpg tanks (indicated). This is without any real hypermiling other than long glides when coming to a stop. I keep it in Power mode and drive like a good citizen. If, instead, I drive fast at 75mph+ and accelerate quickly I see 46mpg or so which includes driving in rain. I am stuck with winter blend fuel now and ambient temps while driving are 40F-45F in the morning and 55F-65F in the evening. While this is not really cold it is cold enough to hurt fuel economy quite a bit compared to what I see at temps in the 95F+ range. I completed a trip north to Arcata, CA with a full car up and over the mountains in cold temps and rain. I averaged 44mpg there and 42mpg back (different route). Average speed indicated 59mph over 289 miles.

    This morning I aired the tires back up to 45/44psi and drove using my conservative techniques and was rewarded with a 47.5mpg trip to work in 40F-45F temps. This is what I achieved with the PureContact tire (same size) before winter blend fuel and in warmer temps. I have a feeling these Ecopias will keep me well over 50mpg once temps warm back up and we switch to summer blend fuel.

    No, I still have not had it aligned since I installed the lowering springs and new wheels. :p

    Keep in mind that the 47.5mpg today was on the uphill portion of my commute. The return portion would be 70+mpg.
    [​IMG]
    Mendel Leisk and Jrnine31 like this.
  12. dilutedq

    dilutedq New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    Persona
    How do these compare to the stock Persona tires do you think? Though I am at least a year away from needing tires I am trying to prepare for it when it comes to that point. I'm mostly concerned with noise and mpg vs the stock.
  13. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,680
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A


    The EP422 will be smoother, more comfortable and quieter. MPG may drop slightly but no other tire is going to better it besides the OE Toyo ProxesA20. The actual cost per mile will be cheaper with the EP422 because it is MUCH less expensive than the OE tire so what little you lose in FE you make up for with lower initial price and longer tire life.

    Keep in mind that the handling is not great with these tires but I found them more than adequate for daily driving.
  14. dilutedq

    dilutedq New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    Persona


    Thanks for the reply. Since it appears you have used both, would you have a preference between the ep422 and the mxm4? I know the EP422 have good FE rating compared to the MXM4 but I'd be curious as to real world difference and I've heard really good things about the MXM4. Also would you advise moving to the 205/50/17 tires... will that really make any difference?
  15. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,680
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A


    I prefer the 205/50/17 because it is narrower and taller which is better for FE. I think it looks nicer too but some think the tires look too large.

    The EP422 has an advantage of at least 1mpg more than the Primacy MXM4 and a longer treadlife but the MXM4 is better in every other way. The Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus is another tire worth looking at. It is closer to the MXM4 except it is cheaper and may last longer.
  16. ryano7700

    ryano7700 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    KY
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Five
    F8L, do you think that by using the 215/45 that the ride would be less "cushy"? My reasoning was less sidewall may help this and that these would handle better than the 205/50's.

    I have about 35k on my Turanza's and I am shopping so I will be ready when the time comes. I like these tires okay. I am averaging 47.9 mpg.
Similar Threads: Bridgestone Ecopia
Forum Title Date
Gen III 2010+ Prius Accessories and Modifications Bridgestone Ecopia EP420 vs Michelin Energy Saver A/S vs Nokian WR G2 Jun 24, 2014
Gen III 2010+ Prius Technical Discussion Funky tire wear and cross rotation on Bridgestone Ecopia 422 Jun 23, 2014
Gen II Prius Fuel Economy Continental pro contact vs Bridgestone Ecopia ep422 treadlife May 30, 2014
Private Sales (1) Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 195/65/15 (Used 3K mi)- $80 shipped Apr 15, 2014
Gen III 2010+ Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubles Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 Tires Longevity Mar 8, 2014