Best MPG Tires for 2009 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by Patka, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. Patka

    Patka New Member

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    I just bought a used 2009 Prius and it needs new tires. I did some research and saw that the Michelin Energy Saver tires were recommended, however, I could not find them in the correct size which I believe is 195/65R15. I also noticed this type of tire is a bit expensive. Which would be the best tires for mileage and also durability? I live in Georgia so there is rarely snow. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Jmack111

    Jmack111 Member

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    What is your current mpg? Any Low drag tires Think it's personal preference I read the reviews on the tires find what features you're intrested in most Mpg on the low drag are about the same the side walls (ride) and the stopping are different and grip

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  3. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Obtuse Angler

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    IIRC it's 185/65R15? (n)

    You can browse here:

    Tire Search Results
    (For some reason it won't let me filter out all but LRR right now, not sure what's up with that. Maybe they're calling it "eco focus" now??)

    For a decent, long lasting tire with pretty low rolling resistance, you can't go far wrong with Michelin Defender, my 2 cents.
     
    #4 Mendel Leisk, Jun 4, 2017
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  5. Kevin_Denver

    Kevin_Denver Active Member

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    The Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires are hard to find and expensive at the moment in the 185/65R15 size (stock Prius size). However if you're comfortable going up a size I see them here for just over $100/tire: Michelin Tires Energy Saver AS 195/65R15 91T

    They're reported to have good durability, 55k warranty. Run a little bit higher tire pressure and they'll last longer too (eg. 40 front, 38 rear).

    The stock tire size for the 2nd gen Prius is 185/65R15, however the car will fit 195/65R15 tires so long as you don't need to use snow chains (the larger tire "uses up" the space left for the chains). The 195 tire also corrects the speedometer to be accurate (instead of over-rating by ~2%, something to watch if you regularly cruise at 9mph over the limit...).

    Michelin Defenders are a good choice as Mendel pointed out. 90k treadlife warranty (in right tire rating) , but will take a few percent hit for sure in fuel economy versus the Energy Saver A/S. Michelin Defenders had 1% lower fuel economy versus Continental True Contacts in the test at Tire Rack. They also have a 90k warranty (in right tire rating), but probably won't last quite as long as the Defenders. Look at Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus for a tire with outstanding tread life.

    The Continental True Contacts are one of the best all around all-season tire on the market right now. That includes handling, braking, wet, and snow performance.
     
    #5 Kevin_Denver, Jun 4, 2017
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  6. Data Daedalus

    Data Daedalus Senior Member

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    I can confirm that the Michelin Energy Saver A/S tyres are truly outstanding, as I use these in an R16 configuration on my 2008 Prius T-Spirit.

    They seem to be as over engineered as the Prius Gen 2. True, I chose tyres rated for 150mph max (I'll never go that fast anyway), but their performance in the dry and wet is entirely dependable. The ride is relatively soft - even at 40F/38R and I'm getting high mpg readings for every trip, even in winter. Well worth the price I paid for them in the UK.

    SM-G900F ?
     
  7. R-P

    R-P Active Member

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    I used the Energy Saver (not sure what A/S means (Edit: I had the normal/summer version, not the All Season, they are not available in Europe last time I checked, makes my post mute if A/S is what you are looking for)). But I found them lacking in the wet department. I switched to the Michelin Primacy's and they have (imho) clearly better in-the-wet-performance. While being rated the same in noise, longevity, dry-grip, etc. (This is just going by a European symbol-picture that lists these specs by A,B,C,... so not sure if the ES last for 50k and the Primacy's just 35k which might still be an "A").

    I have the 16" rims though and changed from 195 to 205 some years back due to the immense price difference (iirc something in the range of 130$ vs 80$ a tire!!!)
     
    #7 R-P, Jun 4, 2017
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  8. Patka

    Patka New Member

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  9. Patka

    Patka New Member

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    Thank you, I currently have the 195 size installed by the previous owner, so it must be ok to drive and I don't need snow chains since I am in the South. Does increasing the tire size reduce the fuel economy? Also, just for curiosity, could you explain to me the speedometer accuracy correction? If you have the stock size in what way is it incorrect? Sorry for the question, I don't know much about cars (yet).
     
  10. Patka

    Patka New Member

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    Thank you, still trying to figure out the mpg. It seems to be around 42 based on actual mileage and how much I fill up.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Obtuse Angler

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    @Patka There should be a decal in the driver's door jamb, with the correct tire size.

    I get the sense the Michelin Defenders may be on the cusp of replacement, not sure. There's a new itteration Defender T+H, and TireRack lists the regular Defenders as "selling out" or something like that. There's also Defender XT, which is Costco's (and other big box tire retailers?) version, more-or-less the same but with slightly different tread?

    @Kevin_Denver Thanks for the tips. I've added Continental True Contact to my burgeoning list. It's always a moving target, new tire prospects.

    What about "PureContact with EcoPlus Tech"? I sometimes think they are just trying to stun consumers with terminology, so we buy in desperate confusion, lol.
     
    #11 Mendel Leisk, Jun 4, 2017
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  12. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

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    42 mpg isn't too far off from where most of the 2nd generation Prii are. Fuelly.com has the 2009s at a 43.9 average; there's no way to filter out the cars no longer being reported in order to get what the 2009s are averaging in 2017. Of the two 2009 Prii still being reported at fueleconomy.gov one is averaging 44.9 and the other is averaging 37.1. Another thing to consider is that if your 12v battery hasn't been changed it's about 8 years old. An old 12v can affect the gas mileage negatively. You might be due for a new one.
     
    #12 srellim234, Jun 4, 2017
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  13. Kevin_Denver

    Kevin_Denver Active Member

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    Increasing the amount of tread on the road does affect fuel economy. The first number in the tire rating (eg. 195) is how wide the tires are. If you have more tread on the road, you have more friction, which results in lower fuel economy. A 195 tire is about 5% wider than a 185 tire, however the rolling resistance won't increase by a whole 5%. The physics get really complicated, but generally wider tires = better grip (in dry conditions, especially cornering) = lower fuel economy.

    Speedometers in virtually all cars made today will show a higher speed by a few percent than you are traveling. I have only heard about it, but from what I understand, someone sued a major car manufacturer over their speeding tickets. So to prevent themselves from being liable, and account for the worst case differences in tire sizes between different manufacturers (185/65R15 tires are not all the same size, but within a percent or two of each other!), cars display a higher speed than you are actually traveling with stock size tires. Obviously, the only way a car "knows" how fast you are traveling is by how many rotations the tires are making. So if you install bigger tires, it will under-rate the speed, and over-rate for smaller tires. In the case of the Prius, going from 185 to 195 tires, just corrects for the few percent over-rating of speed the car does in its stock form. Also important to note that the odometer will roll over more slowly in this case, so it will seem your fuel economy has gotten worse, even if it hasn't changed.
     
    #13 Kevin_Denver, Jun 4, 2017
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  14. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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  15. Kevin_Denver

    Kevin_Denver Active Member

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    Definitely feels like it! If you look at the tread pattern of the PureContact compared with the TrueContact, the PureContact looks like it's more geared toward dry road performance versus the TrueContact (you can see that it has more contact patch on the outside of the tire, where the weight shifts in extreme cornering, especially when dry). However according to the ratings on TireRack.com, the TrueContact outperforms it in almost every way, so I'm not sure why I would ever choose the PureContact over the TrueContact.
     
  16. Jmack111

    Jmack111 Member

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    Other things I done to boost mpg. spark plug (nkg), fuel injectors (rebuilt on ebay), bottom engine mount, PCV, cleaning the Traction battery fan, up grade 12v battery in air filter, 0-30 full synthetic oil change every other light. Tire. Just got the jig to hook my car to my pc to check my battery at full charge and full drain to find a weak one.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  17. Patka

    Patka New Member

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    Thank you for your valuable feedback. I did find that Costco carries the Energy Saver A/S tire in the 195/65/15 size, so that may be a good news for anyone who is looking for this size. They are about $102 per tire since Costco has a good discount for buying 4 Michelin tires right now. But they also have a really good price on the Michelin Premier A/S, just $2 more per tire and they are the right size 185/65/15. If going a little wider with the Energy Saver would slightly reduce the fuel efficiency on the Energy Savers, would that cancel the advantage the Energy savers would normally have over the Premiers? The Premiers seem to get a better performance in wet conditions as well.
     
  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Obtuse Angler

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    Michelin wants everyone to like the premiers, touting all it's benefits, but I don't know: I'm wary of that tire. There's a lot of priuschatters reporting mpg drop, and this is a tire that STARTS at 8.5/32" tread depth: there's reports in various forums that that tread depth drops faster than expected.
     
    #18 Mendel Leisk, Jun 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
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  19. Data Daedalus

    Data Daedalus Senior Member

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    The A/S designation on my Energy Saver tyres likely denotes a better capability tread compared to the standard ES.

    I have never found these wanting in the wet, considering I use them in the rather perpetually damp United Kingdom.

    They're also not wearing - which I find somewhat astounding. I must have done around 30,000 miles on them at least, and wear is somewhat barely perceptible. I'd expect to get at least 55,000 miles out of them - maybe even much more.

    I'd be happy to have another set of these particular tyres when the time comes.

    SM-G900F ?
     
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  20. Kevin_Denver

    Kevin_Denver Active Member

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    I don't think so. I think you're looking at ~1% difference in fuel economy to go from a 185 to 195, but more like a ~4-5% difference to go to the Premiers from the Energy Savers.

    Some data on the topic (though they mostly saw the effects of wheel weight): Effects of Upsized Wheels and Tires Tested - Tech Dept. - Car and Driver
     
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