Better Handling On A Budget !

Discussion in 'Prime Accessories and Modifications' started by Rob43, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    Soon enough many of you will need new tires, your next tire choice could absolutely transform your Prius Prime !

    There are of course many many considerations when choosing your next stock size 15" tire, this thread is about giving your Prime a performance tire option while using your Toyota OE 15" wheels for increased handling & sportiness. Currently your Prime uses a very low performance 195/65-15 tire with a "S" speed rating, most of us have the Toyo Nanoenergy A29 installed as the OE tire. For those of you driving around on the Toyo A29, you probably know that it's a very soft riding tire with mediocre dry grip and poor rain performance.

    Better Handling On A Budget = The 205/60-15 tire with a "H" speed rating. My go to tire in this size is the Yokohama Avid Ascend GT, when compared to the OE tire, you will think you're driving a much sportier car for pennies on the dollar. I say pennies on the dollar because the 205/60-15 Yokohama Avid Ascend GT is about ~$5 dollars less per tire when compared to the 195/65-15 Toyo A29 & you don't need to invest in new wheels.

    The way we achieve this better handling is 4 main factors:

    1) Aspect Ratio, the 205/60-15 uses 5% Less sidewall height (60 vs 65) which aids in how quickly the tire reacts & turns.

    2) Tread Width, the 205/60-15 has 10 more mm's of overall width, this translates into almost a ~1/2" more tire rubber hitting the ground.

    3) Speed Rating, all in all a "S" speed rated tire has a softer sidewall when compared to a "H" speed rated tire with its firmer sidewall.

    4) Rubber Compound, "Yokohama's TriBLEND Compound Technology all-season compound utilizes a low-Tg polymer and high silica content"; Meaning it's Yokohama's Proprietary rubber compound for an excellent tire which translates into a long lasting high grip All Season that works great in both Wet & Dry conditions.

    When doing a side to side comparison of the 195/65-15 & the 205/60-15 you'll notice that the 195/65-15 is 25.0" inches in overall diameter and the 205/60-15 is 24.8" inches, this tiny 0.08% difference is perfectly acceptable. Besides this there are really no other concerns, a 205/60-15 perfectly fits on your Toyota OE 15x6.5" inch wheel.

    CONCLUSION: If you want a safer* / better handling Prius Prime with a slightly sportier ride, this is a great way to do it.

    www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Yokohama&tireModel=AVID+Ascend+GT&partnum=06HR5ASCGT&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes


    Rob43

    * Safer = Great Rain Grip
     
    #1 Rob43, Aug 16, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I believe mine has the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus from the factory.
     
  3. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    I believe that your Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus is a slightly better tire than the Toyo Nanoenergy A29, having said that I would not tell anyone to ever buy them. They're ranked on the low side according to Tire Rack, plus they're a bit more expensive to buy. Certainly for the same or less money, much better tires like Yokohama Avid Ascend GT can be had when someone is shopping for their next set of tires.


    Rob43
     
    #3 Rob43, Aug 17, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
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  4. Usle

    Usle Member

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    Well, the 205/60-15 is 24.7" in Diameter, just .3" smaller than stock, not a deal killer, but what is a deal killer, Michelin makes nothing in a 205/60-15.

    I will stick with the 195/65-15 Michelin Defender, the Speedometer-Odometer is 100% precise, 90,000 tread wear.

    At 25,000 miles I just put a set on, love 'em (put my first set of Michelin's on an '06, it came with 185/65-15" tires, the 195/65-15" tires corrected the incorrect speedometer and odometer readings on the '06), the Bridgestone's on thew 2017 started leaking, they held up well, on the 2016 the Toyo's got replaced the third day, a round stone punctured the middle of the tread of one.

    The cheapest performance enhancement possible....pump your tires up to 40-42lbs.
     
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  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Thanks!
     
  6. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    Giving extra inflation like 40-42 lbs to a mediocre/poor OE tire does not fix things like wet & dry grip.



    Rob43
     
    #6 Rob43, Aug 17, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  7. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    I took my Prime in for a rotate & balance because I was feeling an unwelcome out of balance feeling around 65 to 75 mph.

    What a difference a fresh balance job does for your wheels n tires, now my Prime is perfectly smooth at highway speeds !


    Rob43

    PS, Try not to exceed 5K miles for your rotation.
     
  8. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Safety, yes I want. But Sportier and Performance on Prius? No, I don't need them. What would be your recommendation for safe (better grip on dry and wet) and comfort and quietness, setting aside usual treadwear and milage and cost? I will be due to changing my OEM Dunlop Enasave soon. It is great on mileage, but not very safe on wet or snow and noisy. Plus it has a very short tread life. The problem for tire selection for most casual drivers are that there are so many choices yet, most of us have very few chances to test different sets of tires. Unlike test driving new cars, you can't test drive a new set of tires. Although some companies do offer no-question asked return policy, it's still not easy to test many different tires on your car before you make a final decision.
     
  9. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    I'd certainly consider them as a top three choice in the OE 195/65-15 tire size.

    Absolutely do your due diligence when narrowing tire choices down, maybe ask Jerrymildred for his long term review when you're closer to purchase, he has definitely said positive things about this exact tire.


    Rob43
     
    #9 Rob43, Aug 31, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
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  10. yiujai86

    yiujai86 Member

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    Any good summer tire recommendations in Florida or just stick to All season?
     
  11. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    #11 jb in NE, Sep 8, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  12. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    Tires are an interesting subject with a lot of gray area, I will suggest a few good choices, but in the end you need to do your homework to make sure you are buying the correct tire for YOU.

    Miami Florida Weather Averages: Roughly 60 degrees to mid 90's, so a summer tire would work just fine; but I still wouldn't recommend a summer tire for a Prius Prime because they will KILL MPG's.

    I'd recommend a great A/S tire, then decide what's the most important attribute to you and your driving needs.

    1) The Yokohama Avid Ascend GT is a LLR Grand Touring A/S, a G. T. A/S is typically a slightly friendlier/softer tire to drive on, but make no mistake, compared to an OE tire it's a Lion. The Yokohama Avid Ascend GT's strongest attribute is its great wet weather grip. Another great thing about this tire is that it's made in virtually every possible size for a Prime: 195/65-15, 205/60-15, 205/55-16, 205/50-17, 215/45-17, 225/45-17, & 225/40-18.

    2) I run the General AS-05* (made by Continental) Ultra High Performance A/S in a 205/50-17, it's a very well rounded tire that works very well in the wet, but it's strongest attribute is its dry grip capability. This tire unfortunately is not made in a 15" size, so a 16", 17", or 18" tire and wheel would be needed. If you do spend the $$ to upgrade to a 17" or 18" wheel and tire with either of these two great tire choices, you will think you're driving a completely new and exciting sports car.


    Rob43

    * On both of our Prius's, but NOT available in a 15" size.
     
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  13. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    Here are a few cherry picked Tire Rack reviews of each of these great working tires.

    1) Yokohama Avid Ascend GT:

    2014 BMW 328d Wagon Sport Line
    INDIANAPOLIS, IN. Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City, Driving Style: Spirited.

    5,500 Miles on Tires
    June 25, 2019

    "These tires replaced OEM Continental run flats on my BMW 3-Series wagon. The old tires were loud, and the ride was punishing, especially on pothole-ridden Midwest roads. After reading many reviews, I decided to ditch the run flats and go with something that was well reviewed here for improving the ride specifically on 3-Series. The traction of the Yokohamas is excellent, including on wet roads; I've never hydroplaned on the interstate like I did on the old tires. We haven't experienced winter in these tires yet, but another reason I bought them was based on good ratings in the snow, so added with AWD should be great. The car truly has been transformed with these tires, and they seem to be wearing well so far after 5,500+ miles. I know BMWs tend to eat through tires faster than other cars, but I will buy these tires again next time no matter how many miles they last."


    2) General G-Max AS-05:

    2012 Suzuki Kizashi AWD,
    GIBSONIA, PA. Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City, Driving Style: Average.

    40,000 Miles on Tires
    September 01, 2019

    "I just bought my 3rd set of these tires which should speak volumes. I rated the mileage at 40K because that is what I got out of my old tires before I bought this most recent set that maybe has 100 miles on them. I love these tires. My rating is very honest in the fact that this tire, as is true for any tire doesn't do everything perfectly. The handling and traction is supherb. The treadlife is very good. The ride is very tight to the road and therefore not always the smoothest ride but you don't buy an "ultra high performance" tire if you just want to float down the highway. I highly recommend this tire. All that being said the price is really great too. I would buy this tire for any vehicle I own but it does have some limitations in sizes so it's not always available for every car unfortunately."


    Rob43
     
  14. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    I'll second the Defenders...we have them on our liftback and our v (wagon) and they are holding up extremely well.
     
  15. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    This thread isn't about bashing on any aftermarket tires including the the defenders, so enjoy your tires and buy 2 more sets when they're done.

    This thread is absolutely about putting people into a higher performing tire with no obvious downside, many of us want better wet grip for safety and slightly better handling when it's dry outside.

    All for no extra cost...



    Rob43
     
    #15 Rob43, Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  16. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Totally agree. I took a look at the TireRack results and charts and they really do look good! These certainly will be on the short list when any of our vehicles need new tires. Are these new? I wasn't aware of them back when I was shopping for tires last time..and ended up with the Defenders.

    Edit...they do look on par with the Defenders :

    https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Yokohama&tireModel=AVID+Ascend+GT
    • Warranty = 65K
    https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Defender+T%2BH
    • Warranty = 80K

    The TireRack survey charts look similar ( page down on the pages above ).

    However, according to the charts, the AVIDs have far fewer miles driven. In the past, I've seen survey numbers come down a bit as the miles driven number goes up. Overall though..the AVIDs look great. (y)
     
    #16 farmecologist, Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  17. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    ^ I think if this thread were about the longest possible tire mileage, the michelin would have been a top pick.

    But this thread is about upgrading handling & Prime overall driving feel, thus the jump to a more performance oriented 205/60-15 tire size.

    Tires are one of those things in life where there's A LOT of great choices all aimed at different needs, as an LRR tire, the 205/60-15 Yokohama Avid Ascend GT shines in virtually all categories with a severe emphasis on incredible rain grip.


    Rob43
     
    #17 Rob43, Sep 10, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  18. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    I agree. Talking about tires is like talking about Politics & Religion.....and oil. :whistle:

    Thanks for the heads up on the AVIDs. I'm seriously thinking about putting them on our 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT. The OEMs they have on there are quite possible the worst tires I've ever dealt with ( absolutely terrible on anything but dry pavement )!
     
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  19. TheRedRocker

    TheRedRocker Member

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    Thanks for the advice, Rob43
    I pulled the trigger on the General G-max AS-05 225/45R17 (21 lb) and Konig Ampliform 17x8 40mm offset (17.85 lb)
    Put them on yesterday, happy so far with handling improvement and sound; they are quieter than my OEM Toyos with 44K miles IMG_20191012_130759746_HDR.jpg IMG_20191012_130648120_HDR.jpg
     
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  20. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    I really look forward to your mixed dry/wet 250 to 500 mile review. I've got A LOT of friends into this tire, everyone has really liked it.


    Rob43 (y)
     
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