BEST LOW ROLLING RESISTANCE TIRES - Feature Image-min

Best Low Rolling Resistance Tires for Fuel Economy: 2019 Buyer’s Guide

Extracting the most possible miles with the least amount of fuel has become sort of the new “enthusiast” thing these days. Instead of making their vehicles more powerful and fun to drive, owners tune them for hypermiling and extremely low fuel consumption. This often includes body enhancements for better aerodynamics, stripping the vehicle of any excess weight, driving like a grandmother, and choosing a set of the best tires for fuel economy.

While making changes to the aerodynamics is not easy – it requires pretty deep know-how into the subject, and stripping the vehicle of weight may be counterintuitive for those long trips, replacing your tires with low rolling resistance ones can be the best thing for hypermiling, other than driving like a grandmother of course.

Luckily, there are a lot of best low rolling resistance tires on the market right now, all claiming to significantly increase fuel economy. Of course, there are some that are better than others, so that’s why here I’ll make a list of the Top 10 best low rolling resistance tires for gas mileage, fuel economy, where I’ll include premium and budget options, as always. In the end, I will answer a few FAQs about these tires as well. So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about best high mileage tires:

Top 10 Best Low Rolling Resistance Tires

1. Michelin Energy Saver A/S All Season

Best overall low rolling resistance tires

Michelin Energy Saver A/S All Season

By now, I hope you know what the next set of tires on your vehicle will be, as the Top 10 list contains the best tires on the market right now. Whatever tires you choose, be sure that you keep them in good shape by rotating them every year (or on every service interval), and you should have safe driving experience in the years to come.

Michelin was one of the first companies that produced a low rolling resistance tire and their technology is still in front of its competitors. Unlike other competitors, Michelin’s low rolling resistance tires give excellent fuel economy improvements, while also offering great performance across the spectrum. This is very important, as some tires may offer competitive fuel economy advantages, but don’t offer good traction, grip and handling, and as a result, are not as safe as those from Michelin.

The Energy Saver A/S tire is their most popular model thanks to its fuel economy savings, excellent performance across a variety of different conditions, and long-lasting treadlife. In other words, despite the low rolling resistance moniker and lowered fuel consumption, this tire offers unparalleled traction and braking performance in dry and wet conditions, and even admirable performance in the snow.  All of this is achieved with the help of the proprietary Green X technology from Michelin, which consists of highly durable treads and energy-optimized design. 

Apart from that, the Energy Saver A/S is also one of the quietest tires I’ve tested, and one of the most comfortable too. Given the fact that this tire is meant to be installed on family sedans, hybrids and crossovers, this is a very important treat as well. 

The price of the Michelin Energy Saver A/S might seem a bit high, but trust me, you get what you pay for here.



2. Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology

Best low rolling resistance tire for SUV’s 

As is the case with Michelin, Continental is also one of the pioneers in the best fuel economy tires category. Their CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus model is primarily aimed at drivers of SUVs, light trucks and crossovers, giving the much-needed fuel economy boost. As you probably already know, SUVs and crossovers are not the best choices if you want good gas mileage, but if you still want one, a set of CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus tires will give you higher mpg numbers on the board computer, while also giving you excellent traction across the board.

One of the best things about the CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus is the performance part, which is not something you can often say about the best tires for fuel economy. Thanks to the continuous center ribs, this tire provides very good steering response and straight-line stability, while the four circumferential grooves improve wet traction. This shows in real-life scenarios, where the traction in both dry and wet conditions is on a very high level. Continental even promotes three-dimensional snow traction with the Traction Grooves, but in my testing, this tire is not very good in the snow. Marginal at best.

That said, this is one of the best tires in its category when it comes to comfort and quietness. Add to that the legendary Continental durability, and you have an excellent all-round performer for the years to come!


3. Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus

Best low rolling resistance tires for wet driving

Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus

Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus is one of the most popular low rolling resistance tires due to excellent performance across the board and budget price that makes it a great choice for owners of compact vehicles, hybrids and family sedans. For the price this Pirelli tire is offered, you will not get a better performing product, and also one that will save you money at the pump.

Equipped with silica-rich tread compound and innovative materials, the P4 Four Seasons Plus reduces rolling resistance, while also improving four-weather traction. The symmetric pattern with continuous center rib and independent tread and shoulder blocks made possible by a computer-optimized design, further improve handling in dry, wet and snowy conditions. I can confirm this – the P4 Four Seasons Plus is one of the few tires that really provide excellent traction in both dry and wet conditions, and also admirable traction in snow.

When compared to the closest competitors, this tire comes on top in wet and very wet conditions. Thanks to the two central circumferential grooves and numerous variable-angle lateral grooves, this Pirelli tire fights hydroplaning like the best out there.

Apart from being very good in the handling department, the P4 Four Seasons Plus is quiet and comfortable, up there with the best touring tires. When you add to that a treadwear warranty of 90,000-miles and a lower price than most competitors, the Pirelli seems like a real winner!


4. Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus

Best quiet fuel efficient tire

Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus

Most of the time, economy vehicles lack the sound insulation of more premium models, and that’s especially true for road noise. Luckily, a good set of quiet touring tires can help to reduce the road noise greatly and make travelling with your compact or hybrid vehicle more pleasant. If that tire is also one of the best tires for gas mileage, then it seems like we have another winner for owners of those specific vehicles.

The Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus is a very popular tire in this category, and for a reason. It comes with an environmentally-friendly design with Bridgestone’s proprietary NanoPro Tech tread compound that enhances fuel economy, while also giving the driver a lot of control behind the steering wheel. The Japanese even added Fuel Saver compound into the sidewalls, which further enhances the mileage of your vehicle.

Apart from increasing the mpg numbers on your board computer, the Ecopia EP422 Plus is a very good performer in the corners too. This is especially true in dry conditions, where it really shines, but it is also very good in the rain too. Sadly, snow performance leaves a lot to be desired and I would suggest going for a proper winter tire in those conditions.

You will certainly not be disappointed by the comfort levels of this tire – it is both extremely quiet and supremely comfortable. I wouldn’t mind spending hours in a vehicle equipped with a set of the Ecopia EP422 Plus.


5. Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Best low rolling resistance tire for winter driving

Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Most people will tell you that winter tires don’t go hand-in-hand with fuel economy, but they will be wrong. Advancements in compound materials and technology made from manufacturers such as Michelin in the last decade have shown that winter tires can be good in freezing temperatures and in the snow, while still offering improvements in fuel economy. The X-Ice Xi3 is proof of this technology.

Another thing I really like about the X-Ice Xi3, which is also not expected in a winter tire, is quietness. Sure, it is not as quiet as the all-season touring offers on this list, but for a winter tire, it is a real champion. Ride quality is also very smooth, up there with the best tires on the market. 

But this is a winter tire first, and that shows in snowy conditions. Thanks to the FleX-Ice silica-based rubber compound that remains flexible and pliable at freezing temperatures, it offers excellent traction in both light and deep snow. The directional tread design further helps with snow evacuation, while the Cross Z Sipes offer excellent traction on ice. The whole tire is also very stiff and provides the driver with precise handling and stability at higher speeds.

The biggest drawback of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 is probably the high price point, but remember that you will still get better mpg numbers on your vehicle and that this tire is pretty durable for a winter one. So, in the long run, it might even turn to be cheaper than other competitors.


6. Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max

Best low rolling resistance tire for high-speed stability

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max

Low-rolling-resistance tires are not the first choice when you think of high-speed stability, but there are models that shine in that aspect as well. The Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max is a great tire if you own a vehicle that can achieve higher velocities, or if you drive mostly on the highway due to excellent stability and straight-line performance. Oh, and it will save you a few cents at the fuel pump.

The Assurance Fuel Max is made of low rolling resistance all-season tread compound, divided into a tread with four distinctive zones. The inboard and outboard tread zones with strong shoulder blocks help with the stability I started talking previously, giving the driver a lot of confidence even at higher speeds. The Wet Tread Zone, on the other hand, features Dual Aquachannel grooves, that help with traction and stability in wet and very wet conditions. In real-life scenarios, I found that this tire resists hydroplaning very well.

A continuous notched center rib, on the other hand, should help with traction in snow, but sadly that’s not the case in reality. While the Assurance Fuel Max can tackle light snow, it is nowhere near the best in its class in deep snow or slush. Noise can also be a concern at higher speeds – unlike the Bridgestone Ecopia EP 422 Plus, this Goodyear is only good for the driver, and not for the passengers. Still, for the performance it offers, I think that’s a small trade-off.


7. Toyo Versado Eco

Best budget low-rolling resistance tire

Toyo Versado Eco

Toyo’s offering in the low rolling resistance category is specifically designed for economy and hybrid vehicles. It offers sizable improvements in fuel economy, while also offering very good handling in both dry and wet conditions. Its biggest treat is the price though, which is lower than most premium competitors in the segment.

The tread compound used in the Versado Eco is a low rolling resistance one, but Toyo didn’t stop there. It gave the compound other properties such as long-lasting treadlife and good road holding. While I can’t be sure for the first one, because I haven’t driven a set of these tires for long enough, I can confirm that it provides the driver with excellent traction in dry conditions and that it resists hydroplaning in wet conditions due to the four wide circumferential grooves. 

That said, snow performance is not the best, even though Toyo built Multi-wave sipes into the tread pattern. While you can still drive safely in light snow, if it snows often in your area, I recommend going for a proper winter tire.

On the other hand, the Silent Wall technology built into this tire is taking care of the passenger’s ears – the Versado Eco is one seriously quiet tire and a very comfortable one at that. 


8. Firestone Champion Fuel Fighter

Best high mileage tire for enhanced ride comfort

Firestone Champion Fuel Fighter

Firestone is also one of the frontrunners in the low rolling resistance category with their Fuel Fighter lineup. The Champion model is very popular with buyers of sedans, minivans and crossovers due to its combination of all-season capability, excellent comfort, and very good results in the fuel economy department.

The Champion Fuel Fighter is made of silica-enhanced, Long-Link Carbon all-season tread compound, that is one of the most exotic on this list. It helps with low-rolling resistance, especially when paired with the symmetric tread design that’s focused on even wear and easy rotation. All of these technologies help in the comfort department as well – the Champion Fuel Fighter is not only quiet on the highway, but it is one of the best tires if you want plush ride comfort. 

Despite its comfortable nature, this tire provides the driver with very good traction in dry conditions, and admirable traction in wet conditions due to the four circumferential grooves. Firestone even promises light-snow capability thanks to the full tread depth with biting edges, but this is still not the best choice for snowy conditions.

One of the biggest drawbacks of the Champion Fuel Fighter is probably durability – this is not a tire that lasts very long, especially for a touring tire. It is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but most of the competitors are better in this regard.


9. Dunlop EnaSave 01 A/S

Best high mileage tires for electric vehicles

Dunlop EnaSave 01 A/S

The rise of the electric vehicles has accelerated in the past few years, and that’s all thanks to Tesla. However, even though their vehicles are the most popular electric ones, for people seeking for high mileage driving, there are cheaper options on the market. If you own an electric vehicle that’s primarily made for cheap driving, then the Dunlop EnaSave 01 A/S is the best tire available. And how wouldn’t it be – it is used as Original Equipment in the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which is one of the first popular electric vehicles.

This Dunlop tire is extremely eco-focused and should give your electric vehicle a boost in the autonomy of 5-10 miles. That may not sound like much, but savings will be much greater on a year-to-year basis. Despite being focused on low rolling resistance the EnaSave 01 provides the driver with good handling and stability in both dry and wet conditions thanks to the independent tread and shoulder blocks bordered by circumferential and lateral grooves. Winter driving is also covered with strategically placed sipes that add extra biting edges.

One of the best things about the Dunlop EnaSave 01 is that it is extremely quiet, which is very important in an electric vehicle because you don’t have an engine that can cover the noise of the tires here. 

With all that said, this tire is available in only a handful of size options. If you own a vehicle that has a different size than what Dunlop offers, it is best to have a look at other tires in the EnaSave line.


10. Hankook K425 Kinergy Eco

Best high-performance tire for fuel economy 

Hankook K425 Kinergy Eco

High-performance tires are not often associated with fuel economy, as most drivers of performance vehicles don’t care about mpg numbers. However, there are still some who do, and for them, the Kinergy Eco line of Hankook tires may be a great choice. A set of these tires will not only improve the fuel economy of your vehicle, but it will also maintain the drivability of your sports coupe or sports sedan.

If you don’t believe that Kinergy Eco tires are good enough for performance driving, let me tell you that some companies use them as original equipment tires in their vehicles. In my testing, they offer agile and precise handling and a lot of feedback through the steering wheel. I wouldn’t call them the best high-performance summer tires out there, but they are close enough that most drivers wouldn’t notice the difference. 

That said, Hankook K425 Kinergy Eco is a summer tire and shouldn’t be used in the winter at all, snow or not. At lower temperatures, this tire loses most of its handling prowess, and it can even become dangerous if you use it in snowy conditions. Quietness and comfort are also not its forte, but that’s to be expected for a high-performance tire, that also helps with fuel economy.

However, the low price of the Kinergy Eco makes us forget about some of its shortcomings, and they are not very big in the first place, to be honest.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much should I inflate low rolling resistance tires? 

It is always best to go with the pressure provided by the tire or vehicle manufacturer. However, on most high mileage tires you can safely go over the provided pressure for even better fuel economy. For example, an increase in pressure from 35 psi to 40 psi may result in 5% better fuel economy. Not a small improvement to be honest. However, I must note that you will lose a bit of traction if you go with higher pressures, and the ride quality will also suffer.

How much will the fuel economy on my vehicle improve? 

Depending on the tires you install, the improvements will range from 2-4%. This may not sound like much, but over the lifespan of the tires (usually four to five years), you can save up to $200 in fuel only. Lower emissions are just an added benefit for our environment, and that’s priceless in my opinion. 

Are low rolling resistance tires safe? 

Most tires from premium manufacturers are completely safe, and the same can be said for those intended for fuel economy. However, I must note here that tires that don’t have the low rolling resistance moniker will steer better, grip better, and brake better. For the average driver though, I think that the difference is negligible.

Conclusion

By now, I hope you know what the next set of tires on your vehicle will be, as the Top 10 list contains the best tires on the market right now. Whatever tires you choose, be sure that you keep them in good shape by rotating them every year (or on every service interval), and you should have safe driving experience in the years to come.

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