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Sometimes Simplicity is Key: The Best Basic Tires for the Prius

Buying tires for your Prius can turn out to be quite a bit more difficult than anyone could have imagined. Tire selection for this car has to be very specific in order to not wreck the delicate balance of fuel economy and road holding that Toyota has achieved.

Though the Prius is no sports car, installing ultra low-grip tires which give up traction in exchange for low rolling resistance and maximum fuel efficiency can become dangerous in critical situations. On the flip side, it makes absolutely no sense to install maximum performance summer tires on the Prius.

If the tires on your Prius are worn out, consider the options listed here for the best tires for Prius in 2021. We've selected tires that offer good basic traction and handling in most conditions, while having a smooth, quiet, and comfortable ride. We've also included tires to fit a variety of budgets.

Comparing the Best Tires for Prius for 2021

best Michelin Energy Saver A/S Tires for Prius

Michelin Energy Saver A/S Tires for Prius - Best Tire For Prius Overall

With a name like “Energy Saver”, how could a Prius driver overlook these tires? Michelin touts the Energy Saver A/S as one of the most fuel efficient choices in the passenger all-season category, and there is little reason to doubt that claim. This tire proves what Michelin can do with their Green X technology, considering its ultra low rolling resistance and energy-optimized tread design. Don't expect summer tire performance out of the Energy Saver A/S. Rather, enjoy the smooth, quiet ride and long tread life.

best Bridgestone EP20 Tire for Prius

Bridgestone EP20 Tire for Prius - Runner Up

If you have the latest Prius, go and check what tires are currently mounted on the wheels. Chances are, you have the Bridgestone Ecopia EP20. That's right, this tire is original equipment for the Prius, and also happens to be one of the better choices for the car.

This tire was developed specifically for the Prius, and it shows through the ultra low rolling resistance design. Traction levels are not very high, but will get the job done for most tasks that the Prius will be put up to. Unfortunately, this tire is not without its drawbacks.

The rate of tread wear is disappointing if you expect tires to last a while. Also, if you happen to own an older Prius, you'll have to purchase a new set of wheels to use these tires as they are only offered in one size: 195/65R15. On the flip side, these tires are downright affordable at around $86 each. If the tires on your Prius are worn out or need replacement, this is one case where it helps to stay with original equipment tires and select the Bridgestone Ecopia EP20.

Continental TKC70 Dual-Sport 150/70R-17 Rear Tires for Camry - Honorable Mention

The Continental ProContact EcoPlus all-season tires are designed to provide all-around performance while improving fuel economy due to their low rolling resistance and lighter weight. Although users report mixed results, these tires are nonetheless excellent tires overall.

The ProContact EcoPlus tires offer a quiet and comfortable ride, with confidence-inspiring handling in most weather conditions. Like any all-season tire, these are not nearly as capable of handling winter conditions as a dedicated winter tire, but in both wet and dry conditions they offer good steering response and traction. Tread life is also excellent, resulting in an overall solid tire that is good for general-purpose use.

Bridgestone Turanza EL400 Tire for Prius - Consider

The Bridgestone Turanza EL400-02 all-season tires offer low rolling resistance to allow for optimum fuel economy, while providing solid traction in both wet and dry conditions. These tires were designed for responsive handling and long tread life, while being relatively affordable to purchase.

Although the Turanza EL400-02 tires do tend to get quite noisy at higher speeds and as they age, these tires offer solid basic performance for those who don't prioritize sporty handling. The Turanza EL400-02 tires aren’t suited for ice and snow, like most all-season tires but overall these tires are a solid choice if your priorities are tread life, fuel economy, and affordability.

Yokohama Avid Touring S All-Season Tire - Best Tires for Prius

These basic all-season tires offer good value for money, with decent performance and a long tread life. The Yokohama AVID Touring-S might not win any performance awards, but these tires complement the Prius' primary mission of good fuel economy.

They offer solid traction and handling in both wet and dry conditions, although like most all-season tires they are not well-suited to winter conditions. The AVID Touring-S tires offer a smooth ride, good handling, and durability for a reasonable price. The long tread life does come somewhat at the expense of outright traction, but for normal driving these tires are adequate.

Buyer's Guide

Why is it Important to Have the Best Tires for Prius?

Your Toyota Prius is a prime vehicle that delivers superb performance, and its tires play a major role in this aspect. Not only do they balance the weight of the car and the passengers inside it, but the right tires for your car will help keep it stable and balanced, which will result in a smooth and safe driving experience.

Another reason why you should only opt for the best tires for Prius is that the car is a hybrid vehicle that helps you save hundreds of dollars in fuel costs every year. However, just as poor tires and a poor road grip deteriorate the fuel economy for fuel-powered vehicles, the same pressure is placed on electric-powered vehicles as well.

Therefore, if your Prius went up to 100 kilometers without running out of battery, the efficiency would be reduced to 80 or 90 km, and this means that you would have to rely on petrol to get you through. As a result, you will have spent more fuel than you expected. So, by getting the right tires for your Prius, you will be able to enjoy a smooth drive and enhanced fuel efficiency.

Last but not least, getting high-quality tires for Prius will allow you to experience better traction on different road conditions, including wet and snowy roads. Therefore, if you experience a lot of rainfall or snow for the most part of the year, you will be able to travel safely without worrying about the car slipping on the road and causing an accident.

Things to Consider Before Buying Tires for Prius

Before you choose a set of tires for your Toyota Prius, there are some factors that you should keep in mind. These factors are very important in choosing the right tires, and they will ensure that you keep enjoying the premium drive that the Prius is known for.

Price

It is very important to consider the price of the tires that you are buying for your Prius, because you would generally have a set budget that you wouldn’t want to exceed, and your focus should be on buying the best tires for Prius in the range that suits your pocket as well. Most car owners are faced with a dilemma: buying expensive tires once and getting them rotated, or buying cheap tires and replacing them more frequently.

Naturally, the wise option would be to buy good-quality, slightly expensive tires and rotate them whenever they are wearing out, because this would actually save you money in the long run. If your Prius is used a lot, then you need heavy-duty tires that can withstand the wear and tear, but these can also be costly.

Tire Size

The tire size is one of the major factors that influence your decision of buying the right tires for Prius. Thankfully, finding out the tire size isn’t difficult anymore, and it can be done with the help of the car manual or the tire size selector tools on the web that show you options based on the size you have selected.

The tire size is mentioned on the tires, and it is always something along the lines of P205/55 R16 91S. The P stands for passenger vehicle, whereas the ‘205’ is the width in millimeters. Following that, you have the aspect ratio of the tire, its construction, rim diameter, load index, and speed rating.

The tire size of the Toyota Prius also depends on the year in which the vehicle was manufactured. Generally, the rim sizes vary between 15” to 17”, and the oldest models have a rim size of 14”. You can easily find the tire size according to your model year on the internet, and it would help you shortlist the different options you are examining for the best tires for Prius.

Weather

Almost every car tire is an all-season tire, summer tire or a winter tire. As their names imply, these different types of tires are either designed to work in all weather conditions, or just one of the two main seasons. Summer tires are more suited towards clear and smooth roads, whereas winter tires are used for roads with less traction due to moisture and snow. You can take this into consideration according to the environment you live in.

Treads

Whichever tires you are considering buying, you need to take a closer look at their tread patterns. If you have rougher tread patterns, your car will perform better in off-road conditions, but they aren’t really needed for vehicles like the Toyota Prius. It is recommended to choose all-season tires for your Prius, since they handle all kinds of road conditions fairly well and keep your car from slipping or sliding during snow or rainfall.

Noise Level

Although it may seem quite unusual, tires for Prius are also rated according to the level of noise they create when they come in contact with the road. The noise level is directly dependent on the treads of the tire you choose. Naturally, tires that have a harder tread will create more noise, but some all-season tires are also known to generate quite a lot of noise. Although noise isn’t a major factor to consider, it is better to see what other buyers say about the noise level of a tire you are considering buying.

When Should I Replace Tires for Prius?

The tires on your Toyota Prius are expected to last anywhere between 25000 to 100000 miles, depending on a wide range of factors and the driving conditions that the tires are exposed to. A safe estimate would be between 40000 and 60000 miles, because after this the treads start to wear out and the traction also decreases.

FAQs

Q: Do I need to rotate the tires on my Prius frequently?
A: The frequency of tire rotation on your Toyota Prius is meant to keep the tires from wearing out too soon. It is recommended to rotate the tires every 5000 to 7000 miles.

Q: How do I find out the correct tire pressure for the Prius?
A: The recommended tire pressure is mentioned on a yellow and white sticker that is placed inside the driver’s side door. It tells you the maximum pressure that you can keep, and the pressure also varies due to the load on the car.

Q: Are there any special tires for Prius?
A: Just because it is a hybrid car, this doesn’t mean that the Toyota Prius also needs special tires. There are numerous tires out there that can fit your Prius easily.

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