After using the Michelin Energy Saver all-season passenger tires for a year, we have some good news to report. Compared to the stock tires and Bridgestone replacement tires we were running on our 3rd-gen Prius before the extended test, the Energy Saver tires held up quite well through four seasons of driving and performed consistently for more than 13,000 miles.
Last February, Michelin provided us with a set of their eco-focused tires for a long-term test. Our test mule for this exercise is a 2011 Toyota Prius since it runs a 60-mile commute on Northern California’s freeways and surface streets five days a week. Typically, the Prius will cover 5,000 miles every quarter.
While snow testing goes to our team in Colorado, Northern California has had an above average rainy season, and it can get pretty toasty during the summer months in Pleasanton. The little red hybrid parks in the garage at night and sits in a hot parking lot during the day. Rain or shine, cold or hot temps, the Energy Savers show limited signs of wear and have lots miles left in them before we even think about replacements.
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You won’t win any auto-crosses on them, but then again, that’s the furthest thought that comes to mind when talking about tires designed for low-resistance and high fuel efficiency. Notably, wet traction on slick roads doesn’t diminish our confidence, and dry traction continues to live up to expectations.
Since the point of the Prius is to be ecologically friendly and burn less fossil fuel, the Michelin Energy Saver tires match up with Toyota’s fuel-efficient hatchback to a T. On the days when not flogging the poor Prius on our morning drive to the office, we can squeeze 50 mpg and log over 400 miles before thinking about refilling the tank.
Even after close to 14,000 miles of use, the road noise measured matches up to what we saw at the beginning of our test period. Namely, the Energy Saver’s don’t generate excessive road noise and the numbers back up our assessment.
What we learned on the road
Overall, Michelin’s eco-focused tires served us well — and we’re not saying this because we got a free set of tires out of the deal. The Energy Savers scored better fuel economy than any tire previously used on the Prius, treadwear turned out better than expected, and the ride is comfortable. Not to mention, performance in wet and dry conditions deliver good predictability, and road noise is more from the carmaker’s minimal use of insulation and less from the tires.