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CMAX OEM tires are VERY efficient!


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#1 OFFLINE   F8L

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 11:27 PM

I decided to start this thread in the hope of keeping members from swapping their tires in an effort to find better fuel efficiency and/or to warn those looking for better grip or handling without being aware of the possible negative consequences.

The Energy Saver A/S is one of if not THE most fuel efficient tire we know of that is available in North America. Tests from TireRack.com has priced this as has my own physical testing and research. Compared to the OEM tire for the Prius, the Energy Saver A/S is approximately 5%-6% more efficient. TireRack testing showed a 3.8mpg increase over a fairly efficient Michelin Hydroedge and almost 3mpg more efficient than the OE Goodyear Integrity. My own testing averaged a 2.5-3mpg gain vs. the OE Yokohama AVID S33D.

There has been tons of posts on the Prius forum regarding the newest crop of LRR tires and thus far nothing really beats the Energy Saver A/S in terms of efficiency and lowest cost per mile while maintaining adequate grip, braking, longevity and comfort. The Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 was nearly as efficient but it has been discontinued and the Ecopia EP422 doesn't handle as well.

My point here is to make you think carefully about your next tire. As many Prius owners have found out too late, the OE tires are pretty efficient and going to a conventional non-LRR for added performance can really ding your fuel economy. For us it can be as much as a 3-5mpg drop (50 to 46 avg.). Because the CMAX already starts off with the most fuel efficient tire, the loss could be quite high for you.

I'm not a tire expert but I spend quite a bit of time researching fuel efficient tires and testing them when I have the money. If I can help you guys like I've helped my brothers and sisters on the Prius forums feel free to ask. I have created threads comparing tires and links to tests done by TireRack. If there is interest I would be happy to create one her for CMAX owners. :)

Edited by F8l, 13 April 2013 - 11:28 PM.

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#2 OFFLINE   ScubaDadMiami

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 11:51 PM

How much do the stock tires cost for street prices?



#3 OFFLINE   F8L

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:00 AM

How much do the stock tires cost for street prices?

$174/ea. before the $70 rebate if up you buy 4 tires. The $70 rebate usually puts the Michelin tires into competitive level with other quality manufacturers like Continental, Goodyear, Bridgestone etc.. Unless those manufacturers are running their discounts at the same time. :)

It could be possible to find a lower cost per mile tire in the 225/50/17 size (maybe the Goodyear FuelMax) but you would likely make some sacrifices to do so and you'll still show a lower mpg number which for some of us is almost more important than to total cost to run the tire. LOL
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#4 OFFLINE   F8L

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:02 AM

Unless you mean used take-off prices when you say "street prices". I'm not sure what you mean by that. I generally use TireRack.com as a baseline for pricing although I usually shop at Costco and America's Tire (Discount Tire).

#5 OFFLINE   Riddley

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 07:19 AM

Thanks for posting this F8I!

 

With any other car I've owned, I have usually looked for a good tire at a reasonable price.

 

While I always consider performance characteristics (durability, all-season tread, road noise), the kind of calculations you've done would not have entered into my thinking about a replacement tire for the C-MAX. I appreciate the advice you've provided.


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#6 OFFLINE   F8L

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 08:41 AM

My pleasure, Riddley.

Here is one way to try and calculate the cost per mile for a tire so that you can make a comparison. The only hitch is not knowing exactly how much more efficient one tire is than another. To help provide confidence in that number you can use TireRack's tests.

In this example we will use TireRack's test "When Round and Black Becomes Lean and Green".
http://www.tirerack....ay.jsp?ttid=121

We will compare the Michelin Energy Saver A/S and the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tires. In this test the Energy Saver A/S was approx. 4.26% more efficient. I'm going to use the Prius average numbers because I am confident in them. A CMAX owner can simply deduct 4.26% from their current average mpg to come up with the Fuel Max number. The math looks like this:

Tread wear warranty (miles) / mpg = # of gallons * $3.60 (ga of gas) = cost of fuel for the life of the tire + price of tires / tread wear warranty = total cost per mile to drive on that tire.

Example:

Energy Saver A/S
65,000 / 53.8mpg = 1,208ga * $3.60/ga = $4,349 + $626 (4 tires) = $4,975 / 65,000 = $.0765 cents per mile

Assurance Fuel Max
65,000 / 51.6mpg = 1,259ga * $3.60/ga = $4,538 + $496 (4 tires) = $5,030 / 65,000 = $.0773 cents per mile

So in this example, the Fuel Max tires were much cheaper to purchase but in the long run, the Energy Saver A/S was cheap to own. Now price is not and should never be your only consideration when buying a new tire. Safety should come first so you wouldn't want to sacrifice braking grip for mpg but you may decide you care more about fuel economy than handling. You may decide you need better wet weather grip or snow traction. Comfort may be your highest priority. That is where spider charts come in. These charts plot tire characteristics in such a way that you can choose the traits that interest you most and see how a tire you are considering stacks up in those traits. Unfortunately the cannot make a tire that does everything extremely well. I say choose a few traits to excel in and live with worse performance in the rest. :)

Example of a spider chart in a tire test. These tires are relevant to CMAX owners because these are quality tires that come in the 205/50/17 size. Hint, the Turanza Sernity Plus is a pretty nice tire but notice it sacrifices a big of fuel economy over the PureContact.
http://www.tirerack....rt.jsp?ttid=166
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#7 OFFLINE   wab

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 09:49 AM

My pleasure, Riddley.

Here is one way to try and calculate the cost per mile for a tire so that you can make a comparison. The only hitch is not knowing exactly how much more efficient one tire is than another. To help provide confidence in that number you can use TireRack's tests.

In this example we will use TireRack's test "When Round and Black Becomes Lean and Green".
http://www.tirerack....ay.jsp?ttid=121

We will compare the Michelin Energy Saver A/S and the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tires. In this test the Energy Saver A/S was approx. 4.26% more efficient. I'm going to use the Prius average numbers because I am confident in them. A CMAX owner can simply deduct 4.26% from their current average mpg to come up with the Fuel Max number. The math looks like this:

Tread wear warranty (miles) / mpg = # of gallons * $3.60 (ga of gas) = cost of fuel for the life of the tire + price of tires / tread wear warranty = total cost per mile to drive on that tire.

Example:

Energy Saver A/S
65,000 / 53.8mpg = 1,208ga * $3.60/ga = $4,349 + $626 (4 tires) = $4,975 / 65,000 = $.0765 cents per mile

Assurance Fuel Max
65,000 / 51.6mpg = 1,259ga * $3.60/ga = $4,538 + $496 (4 tires) = $5,030 / 65,000 = $.0773 cents per mile

So in this example, the Fuel Max tires were much cheaper to purchase but in the long run, the Energy Saver A/S was cheap to own. Now price is not and should never be your only consideration when buying a new tire. Safety should come first so you wouldn't want to sacrifice braking grip for mpg but you may decide you care more about fuel economy than handling. You may decide you need better wet weather grip or snow traction. Comfort may be your highest priority. That is where spider charts come in. These charts plot tire characteristics in such a way that you can choose the traits that interest you most and see how a tire you are considering stacks up in those traits. Unfortunately the cannot make a tire that does everything extremely well. I say choose a few traits to excel in and live with worse performance in the rest. :)

Example of a spider chart in a tire test. These tires are relevant to CMAX owners because these are quality tires that come in the 205/50/17 size. Hint, the Turanza Sernity Plus is a pretty nice tire but notice it sacrifices a big of fuel economy over the PureContact.
http://www.tirerack....rt.jsp?ttid=166

 

"The only hitch is not knowing exactly how much more efficient one tire is than another."

 

You can use the UTQS (Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards).

The Michelin OEM gets a 480, the Michelin Defender gets a 820 which means it will go almost twice as far for $92.00 less per tire.

 

Sounds like the Defender would be the tire to go with, cheaper per miles traveled.

 

Thanks

wab


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#8 OFFLINE   F8L

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 10:12 AM

"The only hitch is not knowing exactly how much more efficient one tire is than another."

You can use the UTQS (Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards).
The Michelin OEM gets a 480, the Michelin Defender gets a 820 which means it will go almost twice as far for $92.00 less per tire.

Sounds like the Defender would be the tire to go with, cheaper per miles traveled.

Thanks
wab

Good eye! there are a lot of specs to consider.

However, the UTQG doesn't tell you how efficient a tire is. It simply tells you the traction grades and the manufacturer's rating for tread wear. One must also note that tread wear numbers are subjective and may not translate between manufacturers because they determine this number privately and it is not verified independently. So a 600 UTQG from Michelin may be the same as an 800 UTQG from Continental.

In the case of the Defender, it is a pretty darn good tire but it is MUCH less efficient than the Energy Saver A/S. so while you have a longer lasting tire, you also get worse fuel economy with it. So much so that the tire would need to be quite a bit less expensive to pencil out in the long run. In the case of Prius-sized tires the a defender does not pencil out and only makes sense for those driving 20k or more a year. Otherwise, a person driving 10k a year would end up with a dry rotted unsafe tire long before they wore the tire out thus it cost them more than a more efficient tire that wears out faster but still over 65,000 miles. One must also consider the fact that manufacturers often rate their tire's traits against other tires in their class from that same manufacturer. For example, the Energy Saver A/S is rated as a 10 in fuel efficiency as is the Primacy MXV4. We know the MXV4 is nowhere near as fuel efficient as the Energy Saver A/S though. So what gives? The answer is the Energy Saver A/S is within the passenger car all-season tire category and the Primacy MXV4 is in the luxury car all-season category. Two different classes of tire and thus different comparison ratings. The MXV4 is very efficient compared to other tires in that class of Michelin tire but compared to the Energy Saver A/S it should be rated at an 8 or lower.

As for the price difference between the Defender and the Energy Saver A/S (ESAS), I show the a defender at $151/ea and the ESAS at $174/ ea at TireRack.com. I've done the math for the Prius tire size and it comes out somewhat close as the tires are very similar in price. For the CMAX size the price difference is larger so it may be a tighter competition. I need to know more about how the CMAX responds to less efficient tires before I could say anything worth typing. :)

Edited by F8l, 14 April 2013 - 10:14 AM.


#9 OFFLINE   F8L

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 10:22 AM

I forgot to add that rather than use the UTQG number for tread wear, I look at the warranty for each tire because that is what will affect your ability to get money back on a tire that didn't last as long as the manufacturer said it would.

*Edit*
So the Energy Saver A/S is listed at 55,000 mile warranty and the a Defender is 90,000. That makes a larger difference than I expected so you may be on to something. The Defender is a T rated tire vs. the V rated Energy Saver. I would expect performance to go down but fuel economy to go up. This is an interesting change from the Prius sizes.

Anyone feel like doing some testing on their own dime? LOL

#10 OFFLINE   darrelld

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 11:38 AM

Thanks for doing the research on this. Tire selection is an important decision that unfortunately doesn't get the amount of in depth research it deserves. The process should also factor in the most common types of weather hazards faced by the region you reside.

 

I plan to go with these tires if anything happens to the current set.

 

http://www.tirerack....ay.jsp?ttid=138

 

Fuel economy is a factor but not my primary consideration in shopping for new tires. I have installed the Primacy MXM4 on my previous Jetta TDI and my current Passat TDI and they have performed well in various driving conditions. About 2 years ago we had a foot of snow in the DFW area and I was able to navigate the roads in my Jetta without too much drama. Although not equipped with LRR from the factory there has been no notable degradation of FE and big gains in wet/dry stopping and handling.

 

Primary I look for a balance of the best performing tire with the lowest rolling resistance. The money saved on fuel could quickly be offset by an avoidable accident if your tires had a little extra stopping power or handling capability. My region also tends to get sudden downpours leaving hydroplaning causing water on the roads so you need to properly prepare to avoid those situations.


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#11 OFFLINE   F8L

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:24 PM

I really like the Primacy MXM4. I've had them twice on my Prius in the form of a 215/45/17 tire and they are fantastic. Not the most efficient but like you stated, they are safe in wet conditions. Fortunately most of the new LRR tires are very good in wet weather conditions. The Continental PureContact and ProContact are good examples of this. The Turanza Serenity Plus is another tire I would consider along side the Primacy MXM4 (not to be confused with the older Pilot MXM4).

You are 100% right in your method of determining your primary needs then seeking out the most fuel efficient from the top tires that excel in those needs. :)

#12 OFFLINE   darrelld

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 12:47 PM

I really like the Primacy MXM4. I've had them twice on my Prius in the form of a 215/45/17 tire and they are fantastic. Not the most efficient but like you stated, they are safe in wet conditions. Fortunately most of the new LRR tires are very good in wet weather conditions. The Continental PureContact and ProContact are good examples of this. The Turanza Serenity Plus is another tire I would consider along side the Primacy MXM4 (not to be confused with the older Pilot MXM4).

You are 100% right in your method of determining your primary needs then seeking out the most fuel efficient from the top tires that excel in those needs. :)

 

How much of a hit did you take in FE with the Primacy MXM4 on your Prius?

 

Our Golf TDI has the Continental PureContact and they are excellent tires, not quite the turn in response of the Primacy. There was a temporary shortage of Primacy's when we were shopping tires for the Golf a few months ago after a screw driver went through the sidewall of the OEMs.


Edited by darrelld, 14 April 2013 - 12:51 PM.


#13 OFFLINE   F8L

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 03:01 PM

How much of a hit did you take in FE with the Primacy MXM4 on your Prius?
 
Our Golf TDI has the Continental PureContact and they are excellent tires, not quite the turn in response of the Primacy. There was a temporary shortage of Primacy's when we were shopping tires for the Golf a few months ago after a screw driver went through the sidewall of the OEMs.


Are you sure your Golf TDi doesn't have the ProContact? The PureContact actually has better initial steering response than the Primacy MXM4 but the ride is worse. The ProContact is a different tire. My friend just bought a Golf TDi and hers has the ProContact. :)

I up sized from a 15" tire to a 17" tire when I first went with the Primacy MXM4 so the loss in mpg was mostly due to the upsize. Prius drivers whose car came equipped with 17" Toyo Proxes A20 tires seem to loss about 2-3mpg when swapping to the MXM4. On the other hand, the MXM4 is OE equipment on the Prius Performance Plus package and the Lexus CT200h. My significant other's 2013 Acura RDX also has the MXM4 as OE equipment.

When a Prius upsides to a 17"-18" tire from the OE 15" tire they tend to lose 3mpg-8mpg depending on the combo they choose. Hypermilers suffer even more of a loss.

In the 17" sizes I tried I found the Ecopia EP422 and Continental PureContact to be the most efficient but they didn't offer the Energy Saver A/S in a Prius 17" tire size (215/45/17 or 205/50/17).

#14 OFFLINE   darrelld

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 09:49 AM

Are you sure your Golf TDi doesn't have the ProContact? The PureContact actually has better initial steering response than the Primacy MXM4 but the ride is worse. The ProContact is a different tire. My friend just bought a Golf TDi and hers has the ProContact. :)

I up sized from a 15" tire to a 17" tire when I first went with the Primacy MXM4 so the loss in mpg was mostly due to the upsize. Prius drivers whose car came equipped with 17" Toyo Proxes A20 tires seem to loss about 2-3mpg when swapping to the MXM4. On the other hand, the MXM4 is OE equipment on the Prius Performance Plus package and the Lexus CT200h. My significant other's 2013 Acura RDX also has the MXM4 as OE equipment.

When a Prius upsides to a 17"-18" tire from the OE 15" tire they tend to lose 3mpg-8mpg depending on the combo they choose. Hypermilers suffer even more of a loss.

In the 17" sizes I tried I found the Ecopia EP422 and Continental PureContact to be the most efficient but they didn't offer the Energy Saver A/S in a Prius 17" tire size (215/45/17 or 205/50/17).

 

 

Interesting factoid about the Primacy, I meant to say ProContact in my original post. I will do further research into the PureContact.

 

My only Primacy complaint is how easily my Passat seems to spin on start without much effort. I have already worn down a set at 20k so I will be in the market for new tires soon. You have any recommendation for LRR performance oriented tires in 18"?


Edited by darrelld, 15 April 2013 - 09:54 AM.


#15 OFFLINE   F8L

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 10:38 AM

What size 18" or what year Passat? I'll see what I can find. Most 18" tires are not really LRR despite manufacturer claims. :(

#16 OFFLINE   darrelld

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 12:19 PM

What size 18" or what year Passat? I'll see what I can find. Most 18" tires are not really LRR despite manufacturer claims. :(

 

Same as in my Sig, 2012 Passat TDI SEL.



#17 OFFLINE   F8L

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 12:37 PM

Same as in my Sig, 2012 Passat TDI SEL.

Given your need for a tire with excellent wet traction, good fuel economy and good steering feel I would say check out the PureContact. I had them for awhile but I didn't like how rough they felt. It turns out most of the rough ride was due to them being an XL tire in my size (205/50/17). I switched them out for the Primacy MXM4 again in a smaller non-XL size and the ride was a little better but steering response was more vague. It also seemed like mpg went down slightly with the MXM4. Both tires had less than 1,000 miles on them during the testing.

If the PureContact lasts the full 70,000 miles or close to it then you'll be doing well economically speaking. As will any high tread wear LRR tire I would not expect a ton of launch traction so expect a bit of spin with all of that TDi torque. :)

http://www.tirerack....ay.jsp?ttid=166
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#18 OFFLINE   darrelld

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:08 PM

Given your need for a tire with excellent wet traction, good fuel economy and good steering feel I would say check out the PureContact. I had them for awhile but I didn't like how rough they felt. It turns out most of the rough ride was due to them being an XL tire in my size (205/50/17). I switched them out for the Primacy MXM4 again in a smaller non-XL size and the ride was a little better but steering response was more vague. It also seemed like mpg went down slightly with the MXM4. Both tires had less than 1,000 miles on them during the testing.

If the PureContact lasts the full 70,000 miles or close to it then you'll be doing well economically speaking. As will any high tread wear LRR tire I would not expect a ton of launch traction so expect a bit of spin with all of that TDi torque. :)

http://www.tirerack....ay.jsp?ttid=166

 

Thanks for the reference. I was also considering the Continental ExtremeContact DWS, have you evaluated the driving dynamics of this tire.

 



#19 OFFLINE   F8L

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 09:02 PM

Thanks for the reference. I was also considering the Continental ExtremeContact DWS, have you evaluated the driving dynamics of this tire.

 

A lot of Prius folk use the DWS because it is one of the only affordable long lasting 18" tires available in the size we need. I'm not sure how they compare to the PureContact but I would expect the PureContact to be more fuel efficient and better in the wet due to it being a much newer design and utilizes new compounds not found in the DWS. This is purely speculation on my part.

I would contact Continental for clarification. Their tech people are very reachable. :)

#20 OFFLINE   homestead

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:15 PM

Anyone know why the ford.com site specifies p225/55r17 for the c-max tires but c-max have p225/50r17 installed?

Did they change to a different tire at some point?








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