Michelin Energy Saver A/S Review

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Fuel Economy' started by F8L, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I recently borrowed a set of Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires (195/65/15) for my 2012 Prius Three. I wanted to test the mpg capabilities and differences between my AVID Ascend and Primacy MXM4 tires. The Energy Savers were already broken in by The Critic. Thanks, Mike! :)

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    From TireRack.com

    Michelin Energy Saver A/S




    Tire Specs (195/65/15 89T)
    Michelin Energy Saver A/S (All-Season)
    UTQG=480 A B, 44psi, 9.5/32, 18lbs, 832, $109 ($70 available rebate)

    My initial impression of the Energy Saver A/S tire is first how cushy the ride is and how poorly it handles. Those thoughts vanish once the mpg figures start accumulating! Mpg is OMG! :) For this review I kept tire pressure at 42/40psi.

    Noise: This tire may be quieter than the OE AVID S33D and are a bit quieter than the AVID Ascend. Over smooth surfaces and rough surfaces the tire is pretty quiet although you can definitely tell when road surfaces change.

    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. In fact, it can be a bit scary if you are not used to it. From mild tramlining to a weird "butt jiggle" that occurs on grooved cement highways, I was not impressed with the handling characteristics of this tire. The ride was comfortable and relatively quiet compared to my 17" Primacy MXM4 and the 15" AVID Ascend. I feel these tires are a step down from the OE AVID S33D and the AVID Ascend. Upon installing them I was reminded of the mushy handling of the stock GenII with its undersized tires. It just feels sloppy. Steering input is also pretty vague. This is a smooth riding tire.

    *Update* I'm not sure if I just got used to the handling or what but after 10,000 miles the handling seems fine for an every day tire as long as you're not the racing type. Totally acceptable IMO. It is a very comfortable tire as well.

    Traction: Traction is pretty good despite my negative opinion of its handling characteristics. I have been able test them in anything but dry weather, however. Once set into a sharp curve the tires stick well enough but will start to protest if pushed hard.

    Mileage: These tires are insane when it comes to fuel efficiency! They roll very well which enhances typical hypermiling techniques like gliding and EV Mode take-offs. Independent testing by TireRack.com has shown these tires can improve mpg by 3.8mpg over non-LRR tires and 2.7mpg vs. the OE Integrity tire on the GenII. Many Prius owners have reported a 2-3mpg increase over their OE tires despite the Energy Saver A/S being brand new and not yet broken in! I only have a couple of hundred miles worth of testing on these tires but I have spent all of that time testing the mpg capabilities and handling traits. I was simply astounded by the mpg achieved immediately following installation. It appears my mpg went up by about 3mpg over my 15" AVID Ascends and by approx. 9.5mpg vs. my Michelin Primacy MXM4s when driven conservatively and using basic hypermiling techniques. I drove using no special hypermiling tricks (like pulse and glide) other than driving 5mph below the speed limit of 65mph. My first trip from Pleasanton to Woodland resulted in 64.8mpg over 82 miles or so. My morning commute which usually runs 48-50mpg resulted in a 53.4mpg trip. My evening commute usually runs 70-78mpg resulted in 80.8mpg! Even after running an 80 mile trip at 70+mph and the AC blasting i am still sitting at 62.8mpg. My commute features 99% highway driving and an 1,150ft. elevation change.

    *Update* after purchasing my own set of Energy Saver A/S tires and running them for about 10,000 miles I am thoroughly impressed with them as an every day tire and the fuel economy just kept getting better. I eventually broke all of my previous mpg records. My best morning commute was 58mpg and my best return commute was 90mpg. My best tank was over 70mpg and 700miles and I was able to do pulse & glide sessions that resulted in 95mpg for over 200 miles and one session of 109mpg for 62miles.

    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. look at the pics and you be the judge.

    Price: The price of the Energy Saver A/S is comparable to other premium LRR offerings like the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max and Yokohama AVID Ascend. This assumes you get the ever-present $70 rebate offered by Michelin. It's a Michelin tire and as such they command a premium price so be sure to shop around for a retailer that offers the rebate! Note: Costco alternates the rebate every other month so if they are not on sale then wait a month. Due to their increase in efficiency, longevity and reasonable price, the Energy Saver A/S offer the lowest cost per mile to run of any tire I know of. The AVID Ascend runs a very close second.

    Summary: This tire is designed for mpg. I am easily averaging 63-64mpg. A feat I was only able to achieve just once with my AVID Ascends. What it lacks in handling and steering response it makes up for in spades with fuel efficiency. If you care more about high mpg numbers than you do slinging the car around corners then this tire is for you. It is a very cost effective tire despite the higher up front purchase cost. In the long run, the Energy Saver A/S will save you money over nearly any other tire on the market. Hypermilers and penny pinchers need look no further.

    Tires : Test Results : The Tire Rack
     
  2. alfon

    alfon Senior Member

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    Thanks for your post. I am approaching
    62,000 miles on our Energy Saver Tires.

    I keep all 4 tires at 44 psi, Costco Nitrogen,
    and they are wearing evenly and I expect to
    obtain 70,000 miles on these tires. 195x65x15.

    I can attest to the fact that 2-3 mpg, probably more,
    gain over the Avid Yoko factory tires.
     
    Hangfire likes this.
  3. Codyroo

    Codyroo Senior Member

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    Thank you for the review Justin (and thanks to Mike for making the review possible). I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of damage I can do with these tires when it comes time to replace the AVID S33s (50,000 miles on them currently, and I suspect that I will reach 60,000 miles on them before they need to be replaced. Funnily enough, I'm sitting at the local shop getting my oil changed and a tire rotation, so I'll get to see how much treadwear I have left (I'm guessing 4/32....maybe 3/32 on the front pair)
     
  4. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    Thanks Justin and Mike. This convinces me more than ever to switch to the Energy Savers whenever my MXV4's wear out, assuming they are still available or something better comes along.
     
  5. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    It's funny but when I started seeing these really higher numbers I immediately thought of my hypermiling buddies like Codyroo and Tony who do not run these tires yet still achieve fantastic numbers. Now if we can get them and Hill to make the switch...... Muaha
     
  6. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    I'll stick with my Avid Ascends for another 60,000 miles or so.
     
  7. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    So will I. Well after I burn through my 17" tires so they don't go to waste. :)
     
  8. Codyroo

    Codyroo Senior Member

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    I may be getting them sooner than I thought! When my tire rotation was completed, the tires were down to 3/32 (now on the front) and 2/32 (on the rear). I haven't verified that the rears are at the tabs between the treads, but I suspect they are close. Now the question is do I try and milk another 5,000 miles on these tires or do I take the plunge on the Michelin's.

    50k miles on the OEM tires isn't too shabby.....
     
  9. markabele

    markabele Senior Member

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    Is that what most people are getting on the OEM's?
     
  10. Codyroo

    Codyroo Senior Member

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    I'm not sure what most people are getting on their OEM tires. For many, they may get a few more years out of them. I've only had them for 2.25 years, but I do drive a lot of miles.
     
  11. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Costco has $70 off on Michelin this month so you should probably get them now.


    iPhone ?
     
  12. Codyroo

    Codyroo Senior Member

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    Would this be the tire?


    Costco.com - Shop for Tires


    It looks like the tires will cost $450 to install (after rebate) but not including CA tax.

    At tirerack.com

    Customer Log In

    It will be $386 (after rebate) to have the tires shipped to the shop. Now I just need to find out how much the shop will charge to install the tires.
     
  13. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    The tire you linked to is not the Energy Saver A/S, but the discontinued X-Radial (now replaced by the Defender).


    If you purchase from TireRack, it will cost you $20-$25/tire locally for installation, and this does not include lifetime rotation and balancing. I found that all tires I have ever purchased will require rebalancing after the first 5,000 miles since the tires slip on the rim (due to the lube used during mounting). The improvement in ride quality after rebalancing is significant – mine went from rough to Cadillac smooth. Also, Costco gives you free pro-rated road hazard with their install package – and this is something you will not get with TireRack.

    Another option to consider is America’s Tire. All of their tires come with pro-rated road hazard – so do not fall for their 100% replacement certificates program. They also include lifetime rotations and balances and their service is much faster than Costco. Their pricing is generally competitive with the TireRack + shipping price and they can probably match the Costco $70 off sale.

    Remember, with lifetime rotations you can save the $30-$40 extra you pay your mechanic each time for a tire rotation and brake inspection.
     
  14. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    You may have to ask Costco to order the Energy Saver A/S for you since I didn't see them on the website. They also erroroneously recommend the Primacy MXM4 (W) for our cars as opposed the the (V) rated tire. The W is much more expensive and not needed.
     
  15. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    I called Costco in Codyroo's area and they said that the Energy Saver A/S is listed as inactive in their system (probably due to the supply issues in the recent past) but they could try and order it. Costco's price is $112.99/tire, which is pretty darn good since there's the $70 off coupon right now.
     
  16. Codyroo

    Codyroo Senior Member

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    Thank you for the legwork guys! The sale goes on through July 8th (June 4 - July 8 = $70 rebate on Michelins). I have the good fortune of working across the highway from a Costco, and there is one within 7 miles of my house.
     
  17. GSW

    GSW PRIUS POWER

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    After 2 weeks with the new Michelin Energy Saver A/S I agree with F8L's accessment, but I will add that I had 2 nice surprises, 1 - the tires were a more comfortable ride than the Avid 33's. 2- after driving the same concrete grooved roads for 3 years, I experienced no trameling (like someone was trying to drive my car and I was trying to wrestle it away). This was a very nice surprise.
     
  18. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    There are some places that it includes free balancing, but not always rotation. However, most will do a free rotation if you come back for a re-balance on the tires, since they're removing them anyway.

    Pep-boys has some "club" thing (think what grocery stores offer), that's free, and when you get tires mounted & balanced, it includes free lifetime rotation and balancing. They even used the stick-on weights, per my request, with no additional charge.
     
  19. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    It is the other way around- free rotations but not free balancing.


    iPhone ?
     
  20. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    Should probably clarify, that it does depend upon the shop. If they "partner" with Tire Rack, some offer lifetime balance & rotation, possibly for a slightly higher fee. Although, the norm around here is a higher fee for lifetime balance & rotate vs a one-time. Although, for the small difference, you'd almost be crazy not to opt for the lifetime.
     
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