Before getting to the list of the best tires for Toyota Prius, let's take a brief look at its formation.
Once the most popular vehicle in the entire world thanks to its Eco credentials, the Toyota Prius still continues strong to this day. Its advanced Hybrid Synergy Drive is one of the most fuel-efficient powertrains in the world if the most fuel-efficient. It’s no coincidence then that most of its owners flood the forums with high mpg numbers instead of 0-60 mph times or maximum speed attempts.
To achieve the best possible mpg figure with your own Toyota Prius, you’ll need a really light foot on the accelerator and a good set of low-rolling-resistance tires. These tires reduce the resistance when compared to normal tires, which means the hybrid engine will have an easier time turning them around and consequently require less fuel to operate. That’s why even Toyota equips the Prius with low rolling resistance tires from the factory – they keep the mpg numbers down, which is very important for a new vehicle these days.
For some, it sounds too good to be true, but trust us, a set of low-rolling-resistance tires can reduce fuel consumption. The reduction will be only marginal though – you may not even notice it once you change your tires. But if we look at it from a different perspective, if everybody drove on eco tires, there would be much less CO2 in the atmosphere. Eco tires may save only 1-2 grams of CO2 in your Prius, but imagine if they were installed on tens of millions of vehicles!
What to look for when choosing the best tires for Toyota Prius
If you have that kind of tires on your mind, first let’s clear some things out. A lot of low rolling resistance tires are worse than normal tires in almost every other area, like braking distance, grip, and traction in almost every condition. With these mpg tires, your vehicle will lose traction more easily and the vehicle will be less safe on the road.
The best low rolling resistance tires for Prius will not only help fuel efficiency, but they’ll retain the performance characteristics you expect from a modern tire.
Sure, they may not be comparable to a good summer, all-weather or all-season tire, but you should always try to find the best possible tire for your Prius, performance, and price wise.
And even if you find the best tires for Toyota Prius, that doesn’t mean that they’ll work in every scenario, like in the winter for example. There are some low rolling resistance tires that work in the cold months, but most of them are very bad in the winter. It’s safe to say then that you will also need snow tires for your Prius, especially if you live in an area where it’s snowing more than several days per year.
With all that said, you may not be the type that wants to squeeze maximum mpg from your vehicle and you may be fine having 1 mpg less while driving with superior tires in almost every other area. If you fall in the category of a bit more aggressive drivers (not sure how much Prius owners are aggressive, but there are certainly some), you may need higher-quality summer tires. The best summer tires offer amazing traction and grip on dry and wet surfaces, and they even offer a better feeling behind the wheel. In other words, the handling will be more precise and the Prius will be much more fun to toss through the corners.
It’s the same for people who live in areas with heavy rain, cold winter or heavy snow. A good all-weather tire will help the Prius tremendously in coping with changeable weather, even though it might worsen the mileage. Still, the difference won’t be as big as you’d expect and certainly something you’ll not notice on a day to day basis. All-season tires may also be a good choice if there is no heavy snow in the winter in your area, as they work great in the summer and on rainy days.
And if you think that winter tires cost a lot of money, think again – your summer tires will last you twice as long if you purchase winter tires and vice versa. In other words, initially it may cost more money to have two sets of tires, but this can be nullified in the long run – you’ll only pay for the tire change twice every year.
Now, let’s choose the best Toyota Prius tires, specifically for your needs and the weather in your area. We’ve compiled a Top 10 list of the best tires for Toyota Prius, five of them premium and five of them budget ones. So let’s start!
Top 5 Premium Tires for Toyota Prius
Best low-rolling resistance tire for Toyota Prius
Best mpg tire for Toyota Prius
Best Prius tires for a quiet and comfortable ride
Best sporty tire for Toyota Prius
Best winter tire for Toyota Prius
1. Michelin Energy Saver A/S All Season
Best low-rolling resistance tire for Toyota Prius
On almost every list of the best tires for passenger cars, it’s expected that the first place will be taken by Michelin. They continue to offer great performance and longevity, which makes them a dependable choice for every casual driver. The same can be said for their low-rolling-resistance model, which they call the Energy Saver A/S. This tire will not only save fuel at the pumps, but it also offers great performance in almost every weather and legendary durability.
What sets this tire apart from its competition are the Green X technology, and highly-durable treads with the energy-optimized design. Thanks to these design decisions, the Michelin Energy Saver A/S All Season offers less resistance to the rotation but still keeps good contact with the road and brakes like a proper all-season tire. It will also work in light and heavy rain and will be moderately useful in the winter. That said, for the snowy days, you’ll still need a proper winter or snow tire.
Like almost any other Michelin, you can expect the Energy Saver A/S to be very quiet down the road and also very smooth over bumps. It’s a real all-rounder that is a great choice for almost any Toyota Prius driver out there.
2. Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus
Best mpg tire for Toyota Prius
The Italian company known for its high-quality tires shows its supremacy with the Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus – a great tire for those who seek high mpg numbers in their Prius. The great thing about the P4 Four Seasons Plus is that it offers great performance in almost every condition possible, be it dry and hot pavement, rain or snow.
One of the things that help it achieve that is the tread design – it has variable angle grooves and continuous center rib for excellent performance in the rain. Trust us, while this tire is eco-friendly, it is still very safe to drive in the wet. In the center of the tire, there are even longitudinal grooves that help with grip and traction in the snow. It’s like a small cutout of a winter tire installed in an all-season tire. Genius!
You can also expect very good touring performance from the Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus – it’s quiet and comfortable, up there with the best touring tires for Toyota Prius.
We are not done with the superlatives – the Pirelli P4 Four Season Plus is also very durable – the manufacturer gives 90,000-mile tread life warranty! And perhaps most importantly, it’s not very expensive either.
3. Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus
If the Michelin’s that seat at the first place on our list is a little pricey for you, the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus might be a great choice. The Japanese tire manufacturer is known for offering high-quality products at reasonable prices and the Ecopia is certainly no exception here – it’s consistently one of the best tires for Toyota Prius.
The biggest advantage the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus has over its rivals is the touring capability. This tire is not only whisper-quiet, but it’s also very smooth on almost every road out there. If you quiet tires to team up with the already quiet Prius, the Ecopia EP422 Plus tires are the best choice.
Other than great driving comfort, you can expect reduced rolling resistance and energy loss thanks to the proprietary NanoPro-Tech technology, while retaining a good grip on the road in dry, wet and snowy conditions. At least that’s what the manufacturer says – we say that it offers a little bit less grip in wet conditions and it’s certainly not the tire to choose for snowy conditions.
On the upside, the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus offers long 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, so you won’t need to change it in several seasons.
4. Michelin Premier A/S
If you are not in the high-mpg frenzy like almost every other Prius owner and just want the best possible handling, grip, and braking performance, then the Michelin Premier A/S is the right tire for you. We know, it’s the second Michelin on the list, but trust us, if safe driving is high on your list, this is the tire for you.
The Michelin Premier A/S has great performance on dry roads, providing the driver with excellent feedback and lots of grip. Thanks to the EverGrip technology included in the Premier A/S (the rain grooves expand as the time goes on), this tire is great when things get wet, even after several years of use.
The best thing about the Michelin Premier A/S is that it offers all-season performance. This tire is constructed of silica compound and sunflower oil, both of which help it be pliable even in the cold days. Of course, you can’t expect snow performance as on a real winter tire, but for casual winter drive, the Michelin Premier A/S is a winner.
You shouldn’t worry about durability too – this is a tire that will last a pretty long time before you need to change it.
5. Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
Even though it has always been seen as a green alternative, the Prius is still a full-fledged family vehicle. In other words, there are a lot of Prius owners that live in cold areas with heavy snow and in those situations, you must install winter tires on the Prius. With winter tires you’ll be sure that your vehicle will have much shorter braking distances, will handle better in the corners and will not get stuck as easily.
We think that the best winter tire for the Toyota Prius is the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80. This is a serious winter tire with Hydrophilic Coating that helps when braking in the snow, and Advanced Multicellular Compound with Nano Pro-Tech that helps the tire remain pliable in the colder months. For greater traction, Bridgestone designed the tread with bite particles and 3D Zigzag Sipes, both of which help the Blizzak WS80 remain controllable on snow and slush, as well as on icy roads.
The Blizzak is also very durable for a winter tire and it’s not very expensive either. Of course, being a specialized winter tire it loses performance in the summer or in warmer climates, but that’s to be expected. All in all, if your area has heavy snowfall in the winter, this is the tire your Prius should rely on.
Top 5 Budget Tires for Toyota Prius
1. Yokohama Avid Touring S
If you want good performance in most conditions, great treadwear performance, and comfortable ride, the Yokohama Avid Touring S are the cheapest tire that offers all of those qualities in one product. This tire consistently costs around $30-$40 less than its competitors, per tire, which makes it a great option for those who want to lower the running costs of their Prius even further.
The Avid Touring S offers excellent performance on a dry surface and is certainly up there with the best. It also offers very good traction in the wet – even heavy rain will not be a big obstacle to the Avid Touring S, while comfort and quietness are very good too. They’re even of the fuel-efficient kind, but don’t expect gains like in premium low-rolling-resistance tires. The difference will be negligible at best though. Uncharacteristically for a cheaper tire, the Avid Touring S offers durability and will last for a while.
There is one area where the Avid Touring S is outshone by premium tires and that’s winter performance. Traction and grip on the cold pavement are only average, while the performance on snow leaves a lot to be desired.
2. Toyo Versado Eco
The Versado Eco is specifically designed for eco-friendly vehicles like the Toyota Prius, which is one of the reasons why it’s one of the best tires for Prius.
Hell, Toyo’s name is even a close relative to the Toyota’s name. Let’s get serious though – the Toyo Versado Eco is a great choice for the Prius as it not only offers low-rolling resistance and good performance, but it’s doing that at a budget price.
This Japanese is made of a low rolling resistance tread compound that helps the Prius achieve even better fuel efficiency and lower emissions. Despite being an Eco tire, you can expect the Toyo to last a really long time before it loses its properties. And while we’re at the properties, the Toyo Versado Eco offers very good grip and traction on dry pavement, excellent traction in the wet thanks to the four wide circumferential grooves, and a comfortable and quiet ride courtesy of the Silent Wall technology.
Toyo even designed the Versado Eco with winter in mind – the Multi-wave sipes can help with traction in light snow. However, don’t expect great performance – while it’s certainly good, the Versado Eco isn’t a winter tire and shouldn’t be driven in the winter months.
3. Falken Sincera SN250 AS
Another all-season touring tire for the Prius, but this time at the lowest price possible. Seriously, you’ll not find tire as great as this one, for the same price. The Falken Sincera SN250 costs half the price when compared to premium touring tires – great news for owners of older Prii. Oh yes, that’s the plural form of the Prius according to Toyota. Go figure.
Anyway, let’s get back to those Falken tires. Thanks to the symmetrical rib tread design, the Falken is pretty quiet for an inexpensive tire – not something we associate with other tires in this price range. The Sincera SN250 AS is also equipped with multiple sipes. Falken calls that 3D Canyon Sipe Technology. It not only sounds good, but it really offers benefits in wet conditions. The same design should also help in the winter and in snowy conditions, but the Falken Sincera SN250 AS is only average in that segment. Dry performance is very good though.
Being very cheap for a touring tire, you’d expect the Falken Sincera SN250 AS to be less durable than premium tires and you’d be wrong. A set of these tires will not only last you for several seasons, but you also get a 75,000-mile warranty from the manufacturer!
4. Kumho Solus TA11
The Kumho Solus TA11 may not be the cheapest budget tire out there, but it offers a lot of premium qualities at a lower price point. When you compare it to the Michelin’s, Bridgestone’s, Pirelli’s and Goodyear’s tires in the same class, you save around $30-$40 per tire. The only downside to the Kumho is that it’s not designed to offer the best gas mileage (no Eco credentials here), but we think it’s a great buy for a good portion of Prius owners thanks to a quiet and smooth ride, durable tread design, and adequate performance in the winter months.
Did we just say in the winter months? Unlike many other low-rolling-resistance tires, the Kumho Solus TA11 provides the driver with reasonable traction, grip and braking performance in light snow. Of course, it’s not a substitute for a proper winter tire, but if you only rely on this one, it can do the job admirably. Other than the fine winter performance, this tire has above average performance on dry roads and very good performance on wet roads. You can also expect it to be pretty durable – the manufacturer gives a 75,000-mile warranty.
5. Hankook Winter iPike W419
We are finishing this list with a set of budget winter tires, the Hankook Winter iPike W419. We like this tire for its versatility and durability, low price and very good winter performance. Yes, it doesn’t offer the same traction or grip in the wet as the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80, but the Hankook is almost half the price. For the laid-down Prius driver, we think that this tire is a great budget winter choice.
Hankook’s are known for their durability and the iPike is not an exception here – it can easily last several winters. It comes with Equilibrium Carcass Line that minimizes tire deformation and increases stiffness for better control in the corners, while the Wide Steel Belt Layer helps with optimal tread stiffness. The Aqua Slant technology, on the other hand, means that you’ll have control over the Prius in the winter and in wet conditions.
Surprisingly, despite being a winter tire, the Hankook Winter iPike W419 is equipped with low-rolling High Grip Silica Tread Compound, so you can expect better mileage than with other winter tires available on the market.
We sincerely hope that we’ve made choosing the best tires for Toyota Prius easier with the Top 10 list. All of the tires included in the list are of a high-quality, even the cheaper ones. There are other important aspects when changing your tires. Always change them in a reputable shop and be sure you get wheel alignment (if necessary) and balancing at every tire change. Only then you can be sure that you’ll get the best possible performance from your tires for long periods of time.