I’d really like it to be quieter inside my Prius, and have seen some tires that as being advertise “quieter “. Do they really make a difference? I don’t drive a lot, but my current tires definitely need to be replaced so I might as well kill two birds with one stone.
Yes, tires do vary in their noise/quiet characteristics. See Consumer Reports November issue and their Annual Buying Guide for their test results. trerack.com also tests tires and has well-founded data.
Just know you may lose a few mpgs
Actually, rolling resistance (fuel economy) is not related to noise generation. Noise is caused by the tread pattern, where RR is (mostly) a tradeoff in the tread compound with wear and traction.
Tires !! I love good tires and research them all the time. I usually go for tires that are rated to be quiet and smooth rolling. Just keep in mind EVERY tire is a compromise. Most times when you get a quiet smooth riding tire, you usually give up something else. In this instance good performance in snow. As stated above look at consumer reports and tire rack reviews. There is very good information there. Oh, I have General R43’s on one of my vehicles and I am happy with them and in the latest issue of consumer reports they were top of the list for all season tires. They did well in most categories and are reasonable in price.
I guess I should have said that the quietest tires might not be the low rolling resistance tires that the Prius uses. But from what you say, there might be some that are both.
Tires make a huge difference to inside noise and if you look at Tire Rack you will see that there are reviews written by Prius owners that mention how the tires perform on that specific car.
Tires can make a huge difference. When I changed tires on my Saturn, I found out I had a bad rear wheel bearing but the noise from the OEM tires drowned it out.
I, too, am a big fan of the General Altimax RT43.
I’ve never heard of a trade-off with mpg…but there is a correlation with how they handle in wet and snow. Summer tires are generally quieter then All season and Winter or AT tires. The more aggressive thread, the louder the tire.
CR rates all-season tires on these criteria: dry braking, wet braking, handling, hydroplaning resistance, snow traction, ice braking, ride, noise, rolling resistance, and tested tread life (miles.)
The Michelins I got for my MKZ hybrid aren’t as low rolling resistance as stock, and I’ve lost about 2 mpgs because of it. But worth it to me (better ride, wet weather capability).
Some tires are quiet right away and then get noisier as they wear and some are quiet most of their life. Others are noisy all the time. If you don’t drive much, mpg won’t make much difference. I’d have a chat with your local tire dealer though and see what they recommend, but my Goodyear/weather ready are a lot quieter and better in snow than the Michelins that they replaced. I like my Generals but they were quiet for the first 50% but got progressively noisy until I replaced them with Generals again and got quiet again.
This post came back to my mind as I drove my Subie with its winter tires along last night. They hum pretty loudly.
Yes and no. They will probably be quieter than the tires you have, but another major factor is sound deadening insulation, which the Prius is short on being designed to maximize fuel economy.
I feel your pain, driving a 6th generation Honda Civic, which was also designed with little or no sound deadening insulation. That’s why I wear ear buds when I drive, so I can listen to music or a podcast while blocking out road noise.
I’d get the quieter tires if you’d like to cut down on road noise, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t help as much as you’d like.
You beat me to it, Whitey.
When a vehicle is designed for maximum fuel economy, certain amenities will be deleted in the interest of reducing the weight of the vehicle. Whether one is talking about most Honda vehicles or a Toyota Prius, there is very little sound-deadening material installed at the factory.
Yes, the vehicle is fuel-efficient as it comes from the factory, but the din of road and drivetrain noise will be… significant… and tires play only a relatively minor role in this scenario.
This is illegal in at least some states, for what that’s worth.
I’m not sure the law considers headphones and ear buds the same thing, especially since some ear buds are designed to let you hear ambient sounds.
Also, some states make it illegal to use your smartphone while driving UNLESS you’re using a hands free device.
You do know that’s against the law in most if no all states.