2012 Toyota Prius - Replacement Low Rolling Resistance Tires

best low rolling resistance tires for snow, ice, rain traction. . .? So many choices and they all seem a bit lame, as in don’t last all that long. .I live in MI.

Low rolling resistance tires are not going to be all that good in every condition . Your best bet is to pick what means the most to you . Tire stores in your area should be able to give you choices .

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Which one do you want ?
Low rolling resistance or traction ?

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I would go to Tirerack.com to look at their ratings for tires. It is a good resource even if you don’t buy from them.


First, there is a technological triangle involving Rolling Resistance, Traction (especially wet traction), and Treadwear. To get better results in one category, one or both of the others have to be sacrificed. So you need to pick which is most important to you.

Second, the term “LRR” is a relative term. It means "gets better fuel economy compared to other tires with similar traction and wear characteristics. (Kind of the exception to the rule I posted in the above paragraph. ) That means that the actual RR values might be WORSE for tires labeled LRR (or some similar designation) than those not so labeled.

The good news is that wear and wet traction ratings are published for each tire in the form of UTQG ratings. (Read up about them here: Tire Rack: UTQG Ratings Unfortunately, not only are the RR ratings not available (yet!), it is likely that all the tires currently available won’t be as good for fuel economy as the original tires (the ones that came on the new car from the factory). Long story as to why, but the short version is that the vehicle manufacturers specify low RR values and the tire manufacturers get those low RR values by sacrificing treadwear and/or traction.

So, yes, spend some time on Tire Rack’s website. That ought to help. Don’t forget to set your priorities. You can’t get everything.


tirerack is a great source of info and tires. Each November’s Consumer Reports also has reports on tires. Rolling resistance, snow traction, wet braking, dry braking, ice braking, noise, etc., etc. are among the criteria they evaluate.


Personally, I’d prioritize traction (safety) over rolling resistance.

I agree with the others that Tire Rack’s survey results are very useful in comparing tires.


The 2010 Prius in the family has the Michelin Defender XT from Costco. Haven’t really tried them out in snow since there’s a Honda CRV to brave the elements on the other side of the garage.

The current version of that tire is the Defender T+H which you can find @ Tire Rack and other sites. Not as good in the winter as others and a little noisy it but there are trade offs with every tire.

I never thought “good snow tires” and “low resistant tires” could be used in the same sentence.

add “long thread life”, “good traction”, etc… and you will gt a definition of everybody would want…
if you happen to find one, let us know :slight_smile:

If you plan to keep this car for several more years, buy a second set of wheels(rims) and get a set of tires for winter and a set for summer driving.