by Joshua Thomas
The Toyota Prius hits the spot when it comes to fuel economy and this has made it one of the most popular cars because, in addition to being economical to run, it also bears very impressive eco-friendly credentials.
However, one more feature that can improve the car's fuel economy further is fitting it with the right set of tires. That said, these are the best tires for Prius to consider if you own this vehicle.
All tires have some markings on the sidewall and these (letters and numbers) contain a lot of information. The good thing is that these markings are standardized and they show the tire's:
For example, with a tire marked P205/65R15 92T, this means the following.
P stands for passenger, which means this tire is for a passenger car. If you get, LT this indicates it is a light truck tire while ST is for special trailers. T is for a temporary or spare tire, which is usually found in the trunk.
This tire's width is indicated as 205, which means it measures 205mm from sidewall to sidewall.
The next number is 65 and this indicates the ratio of the tire's height to its width (aspect ratio). In this case, the tire's height is 65% of 205mm, giving you 133.25mm.
Type of construction
R means the tire has a Radial construction. Radial tires are built with fabric cords placed at a 90˚ angle to the centerline. This type is generally the best as compared to the rest because of its strength, ride comfort, better fuel economy, durability, and better traction.
D stands for Diagonal, and this means the tire has a bias-ply construction where the cord layers inside run diagonally at 30-45˚ angles from the tread's centerline.
B means Belted Bias, and this construction combines the diagonal ply construction with fiberglass belts placed under the treads for better traction.
The tire's internal diameter is 15, which means a 15-inch rim diameter (where the rim sits on the tire).
The last section consists of the load index and speed rating, which in this case is 92T. 92 is the load index and this means the tire can carry up to 1389 pounds in weight.
Lastly, the speed rating shows the tire's ability to withstand performance stress at particular speeds. With a T speed rating, the tire can handle speeds of up to 118 mph and you should not exceed this limit.
1. Michelin 34184 (Best Overall)
2. Goodyear 738285571
3. Bridgestone 131674
4. Bridgestone 13023
5. Pirelli 2510700
6. Bridgestone 006240
7. Hankook 1021915
Road noise is usually associated with all-terrain tires, which means almost all, if not all, Prius tires run smoothly on the tarmac.
However, Michelin's 34184 takes this up a notch by being built using Comfort Control Technology, which computer-optimizes the design of the tire to reduce noise and vibrations on the road.
Additionally, it has a shallow tread depth of 8.3 thirty_seconds_inches, which also contributes significantly to reducing the overall road noise.
The tire features Michelin's EnergySaver Construction, which combines with a unique silica-based tread rubber that helps improve your Prius's fuel economy by keeping the tires cooler.
Other features include exceptionally low rolling resistance and reinforced twin steel belts with a spiral wrapped polyamide on a polyester cord casing, which enhances the strength, comfort, and efficiency of the tires.
On the downside, you only get a single tire per set and it has a relatively low 91 load index rating, which means it cannot carry more than 1356 pounds.
It is important to maintain a firm grip on the road and this Prius tire from Goodyear features dual aqua channels that push water off the treads and away from the tire. This ensures there is maximum tread to tarmac contact for good grip.
Additionally, the unit is fitted with a center wet zone that enhances traction in wet and light snow conditions, while the outer part features a dry zone for enhancing grip, maneuverability and confident handling.
This design makes the 738285571 an all-season tire that has reliable traction in all driving conditions all year round.
Other features include a fuel-efficient tire compound construction that provides low rolling resistance, resulting in savings of up to 2600 miles worth of gas for the lifespan of the tires and a cavity tread-shape design that maintains optimal contact with the road at various loads.
However, no rim in included with the tire and you only get a single piece.
Though very costly, Bridgestone's 131674 has a V speed rating, which is quite high, and this limits you to a maximum of 149 mph. The main benefit of having such a high rating is that the tire gives better handling since it is designed to endure a lot of performance stress.
Other than this, the unit also features noise cancellation technology, which results in a quieter and more comfortable ride.
Along with its luxury appearance, this tire has all the necessary performance features such as a confident wet and dry control design for all-weather use while even tread wear enhances its durability.
More features include a sturdy radial construction, a treadwear indicator to show when its time to do a replacement and a non-directional tread pattern that can be rotated to all corners of the Prius.
Bridgestone's 13023 is the top-rated tire for Prius in this review, and this can be attributed to its reliable handling in cold winter conditions, while also providing sufficient stopping power on ice and snow.
This is made possible by a hydrophilic coating on the treads, while an Advanced Multicellular Compound with Nano Pro-Tech works at the tire's molecular level so as to make the rubber pliable in cold weather.
The treads are also designed with bite particles, which act like microscopic studs that dig into the ice, and these are supported by 3D zigzag sipes to provide biting edges without interfering with the block's stiffness.
Other features include an optimized cavity shape that distributes contact pressure evenly at various load levels for even wear and a treadwear indicator to show you when its time to do a replacement. However, you only get a single tire with no rim attached.
These high-performance all-season tires from Pirelli feature an asymmetric tread design with variable angle grooves and apart from providing good performance in all weather conditions, these contribute to superior comfort in your car.
The 2510700 also has an optimized profile design with reinforced shoulders, and this helps to give even treadwear for long-lasting tread performance. This is assured using a 90,000-mile limited treadwear warranty, which covers every unit you buy.
Other features include a high silica compound construction that enhances the quietness for a smoother ride while also improving the car's fuel economy and central longitudinal grooves that help in getting water away from the treads for maximum grip.
On the downside, the set only contains a single tire with no rim included. However, the tire is fitted with a treadwear indicator to show when it is worn out.
With radial construction, Bridgestone's 006240 is engineered for durability, having a spirally-wrapped twin steel belt design that is very sturdy.
The tire is also built for fuel efficiency, giving you up to 20 miles extra per full tank of fuel, and has Nano-Pro tech rubber that ensures it remains pliable for comfort, longevity, and flexibility.
Other features include a T speed rating, a tread depth of 10 thirty_seconds_inches, the ability to run flat and a 70,000-mile treadwear limited warranty. However, no rim is included as part of the set.
Hankook's 1021915 is particularly unique due to its dual-filler system, which ensures a low rolling resistance that in turn, gives a longer tread life, as well as a well-balanced handling performance in wet and dry conditions.
In addition, the unit has stiff, optimized tread blocks that enhance tread uniformity for even wear, durability, improved handling and better fuel economy.
Other features include a rigid center rib for good braking performance and exceptional dry handling, 4-channel wide grooves for evacuating water away from the treads to maximize grip, an optimized sipe design for comfort and noise reduction, and a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty.
However, you only get a single tire per set and it has a relatively low load index rating of 91.
The first and most important factor to consider before buying tires for your Prius is the size. Specifically, this refers to the rim or internal diameter of the tire, and you should ensure that the one you buy has the same size as the rim you have on your Prius.
This is usually indicated on the tire's sidewall as part of the marking as described above in inches.
A tire's rolling resistance can be defined as the energy required by your car to send to the tires so as to maintain movement at a consistent speed on a surface.
This resistance cannot be avoided entirely, but it can be reduced. It is mostly caused by heat generation, which makes the tires to deflect and, in the process, raises fuel consumption.
The effect of this is usually seen over the long term, where mileage reduces significantly for the same amount of fuel.
To reduce rolling resistance, some tires are engineered with special tread compounds that are highly resistant to heat generation and therefore, will minimize the deflection. Therefore, it is important to consider low rolling resistance tires for your Prius for better fuel economy.
Handling, grip, and traction are very important for all-season drivability, and these factors are enhanced using a compounded construction, either using silica, oil additives, etc. These enhance the rubber's capabilities in different conditions for the best performance.
Usually given in miles, a tire's treadwear warranty is basically like an assurance given by the manufacturer that the tire will remain intact and usable up to a certain covered distance.
The higher the mileage in this warranty, the better the tire's construction quality because this means that the manufacturer assures you the tires will cover that distance or else, you will be given a new tire or a refund.
As we all know, manufacturers don't like making losses so they cannot give such assurance if they are not sure about the product's quality and ability to meet that warranty.
Of course, you need tires that are useable throughout the year and therefore, consider tires that have features suited for dry, wet, cold and hot conditions.
Different tires bear different construction technologies, such as varied tread patterns, different sipe designs, etc., and whichever the case, the tire should be optimized for use in any of the above conditions.
Even though Prius tires are generally not noisy, some feature noise cancellation technologies with computer-optimized designs. These are good features to have since they help in making the ride quieter and more comfortable.
Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Touring Radial Tire - 215/65R16 98T - Walmart Link
Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max Radial Tire - 225/65R17 102T - Walmart Link
Hankook Kinergy ST H735 all_ Season Radial Tire-195/65R15 91T - Walmart Link
Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 Winter/Snow Passenger Tire 215/60R16 95 H - Walmart Link
Yokohama Avid Touring S All-Season Tire - 195/65R15 89S - Walmart Link
Kumho Solus TA11 All-Season Tire - 195/70R14 91T - Walmart Link
Michelin Primacy MXM4 All Season Radial Car Tire for Luxury Performance Touring, - Walmart Link
Falken Sincera SN250 AS AS all_ Season Radial Tire-185/55R15 82V - Walmart Link
205/55R16 Sumic Gt-A Tire - Walmart Link
Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Touring Radial Tire - 215/65R16 98T - eBay Link
Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max Radial Tire - 225/65R17 102T - eBay Link
Hankook Kinergy ST H735 all_ Season Radial Tire-195/65R15 91T - eBay Link
Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 Winter/Snow Passenger Tire 215/60R16 95 H - eBay Link
Yokohama Avid Touring S All-Season Tire - 195/65R15 89S - eBay Link
Kumho Solus TA11 All-Season Tire - 195/70R14 91T - eBay Link
Michelin Primacy MXM4 All Season Radial Car Tire for Luxury Performance Touring, - eBay Link
Falken Sincera SN250 AS AS all_ Season Radial Tire-185/55R15 82V - eBay Link
205/55R16 Sumic Gt-A Tire - eBay Link
Selecting tires for your Prius can be a difficult task if you don't know what to look for because there is a wide variety of options to choose from.
However, this article lays out the best tires for Prius with their features so that you can have an easier time picking the best one that suits your driving conditions.
About Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.
He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.
His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.
Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.