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Cross climate tyres for Prius Gen4

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  • I am looking to replace my Toyo Nano tyres on my Gen 4 Prius for Cross Climate Tyres for the winter.  There is a lot of choice for the 195/65 R15 but Michelin Cross Climate+ seem to be the market leader and recommended by Honest John.  Has  anyone tries cross climates of any make?  After 4 Hybrids on the trot I am aware that size and choice of tyres can have a dramatic 8 mpg affect on fuel consumption but I have always had the original OEM on them.  The TOYO are  adequate in the dry but can loose grip on greasy roads under uphill acceleration.  I am not sure they could cope with snow..  The Toyo's are also noisy (not as bad as the stupid 17" Dunlops on my old AURIS Ts) but give good average fuel consumption (65 summer 61 winter)..   Any advice on best choice. I know the ideal is Summer and Winter tyres but I don't have room to store two sets. 

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I had Crossclimate+ on my previous vehicle. I found them superb, in all weather conditions, dry, wet, snow, frost, mud. If didn't have a hybrid, and didn't care about fuel economy back then, so can't tell you how they effect mpg. They were quieter than the previous tyres, but I forget what those were.

Unless something better comes out in the meantime, I will definitely be replacing my Prius tyres with Crossclimate+ when the time comes.

Tyres aren't going to make a huge difference to your mpg, and even if they are worse, you have to balance that with the potential cost/environmental damage caused by crashing and writing of a car or its repair, needing towed, lost time at work or with friends and family, stress, etc, all of which are statistically more likely with inferior tyres.

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20 minutes ago, TheProfessor said:

Tyres aren't going to make a huge difference to your mpg, and even if they are worse, you have to balance that with the potential cost/environmental damage caused by crashing and writing of a car or its repair, needing towed, lost time at work or with friends and family, stress, etc, all of which are statistically more likely with inferior tyres.
 

Whilst I agree with your overall point about priorities, tyres can and do actually make a massive difference to mpg. Whether that would be the case with the CrossClimates vs Toyos, I don't know. I'd certainly be interested to hear about anyone's experiences with them on a Prius, in this respect. 

 

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I meant it's not going to make a massive difference going from the ones that come with the car to Crossclimate+. They get the same energy rating as most of the premuum "Energy Efficient" tyres, and were developed from the Michelin Energy Saver Plus. They could even be more efficient?

 

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I had cross climate on my previous 1st gen Aura hybrid, can’t say I noticed any appreciable difference in mpg from the previous tyres that were originally on the car from new.
I will be fitting the cross climate plus to my recently bought 2015 Auris TS.



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So glad this issue has been raised because I was about to start a new topic on this very subject! I recently took my Prius Gen4 into my Toyota garage because of the recall regarding the cable engine harness problem. I was informed that 3 of my tyres were illegal though a recent service said they had 3mm of tread. I told them that before the end of that day all my tyres would be replaced pronto!! After discussing with them regarding local prices I agreed to have them fit me 4 new Crossclimate tyres & check the tracking which seemed to be part of the wear problem. My original tyres were the Toyo tyres that came with the car when new. Not a great tyre because as I found they were literally useless in snow & as they wore I felt they weren't a decent wet tyre. Hence my choice of replacing them with more expensive but well reported Michelin Crossclimate+ tyres. The first thing I noticed was that these new tyres werent quite as low profile as the Toyo tyres. I felt there was more grip with a softer ride especially over the many bumps in the road. However, although pleased with the new tyres, today I drove to my sister in North Wales, a journey of 120miles I do frequently so I know the mileage I expect to get. During the Summer I generally expect between 68 to 70MPG. During cooler times as it is now I'd certainly expect at least 64MPG. I drove to my sister's today & only achieved 57MPG! Great tyres but be warned you WILL lose MPG & if I had known that perhaps I wouldn't have bothered with the Crossclimates. I put the loss of MPG mainly down to the increased circumference of the tyres compared to the low profile Toyos, based on the fact that the 15inch wheels achieve a greater MPH than the 17inch wheels on my Prius. Needless to say the next Prius I purchase will certainly have 15inch wheels especially as there is a spare wheel with that particular spec!

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13 minutes ago, BhxTrev said:

The first thing I noticed was that these new tyres werent quite as low profile as the Toyo tyres. I felt there was more grip with a softer ride especially over the many bumps in the road. However, although pleased with the new tyres, today I drove to my sister in North Wales, a journey of 120miles I do frequently so I know the mileage I expect to get. During the Summer I generally expect between 68 to 70MPG. During cooler times as it is now I'd certainly expect at least 64MPG. I drove to my sister's today & only achieved 57MPG! Great tyres but be warned you WILL lose MPG & if I had known that perhaps I wouldn't have bothered with the Crossclimates. I put the loss of MPG mainly down to the increased circumference of the tyres compared to the low profile Toyos, based on the fact that the 15inch wheels achieve a greater MPH than the 17inch wheels on my Prius. Needless to say the next Prius I purchase will certainly have 15inch wheels especially as there is a spare wheel with that particular spec!

afaik the CrossClimate should be available in exactly the same profile as your Toyos were. The reason that the Prius does better mpg on 15" tyres than 17" is because they are also narrower so less frontal drag (there probably is also a difference in weight).

If your tyre circumference has changed noticeably then your speedo error will aso have changed.

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Hi Scott,

I hadn't realised that the difference in circumference would have an effect of my speedo. This is quite worrying & quite frankly needs sorting. Are you saying that the Toyo tyres have the same circumference & profile as the Crossclimate or are you saying that they haven't got the same circumferences? Please let me know because if that is so I'm going to ask Michelin for a full refund so that I can fit tyres that ensure my speedo is accurate. What a dilemma!

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Hi Scott again!

Forgot to mention that something I particularly noticed today that you might be able to explain is that whenever I do the journey to North Wales to visit my sister, as the journey involves going over quite a large 'mountain' pass, I've always noticed that the traction Battery really gets charged to absolute capacity on the way down. This didn't happen today & although it was charging it never achieved the absolute level I normally expect. I suspect this could have also had its effect on the MPG. Could this have been caused by these Crossclimate tyres  or is there another reason for this? Please let me know if you have any ideas on this one. Maybe Frosty might have some ideas also?

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3 hours ago, BhxTrev said:

 Are you saying that the Toyo tyres have the same circumference & profile as the Crossclimate or are you saying that they haven't got the same circumferences? Please let me know because if that is so I'm going to ask Michelin for a full refund so that I can fit tyres that ensure my speedo is accurate. What a dilemma!

I don't know what you had & what you now have. You are the one that said "The first thing I noticed was that these new tyres werent quite as low profile as the Toyo tyres" & "I put the loss of MPG mainly down to the increased circumference of the tyres compared to the low profile Toyos,".

If the circumference has changed due to a different aspect ratio being fitted then it will affect the speedo reading. There are many online calculators e.g. http://www.autopartuk.com/tyre-calculator/ ( n.b. it probably overread by ~6% ex factory)

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Hi Scott,

All I know is that there were Toyo tyres on the car from new & they were replaced by Michelin Crossclimate+ tyres by my Toyota dealer hence I would have thought they would have fitted the correct tyres with the correct aspect ratio. 

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When I was at the Toyota dealer last Monday for the wiring recall, they did a written report on state of tyres which they showed me. All were legal (over 3.1mm) but I know winter coming I already in my mind to change tyres. Personally I don't see the need to change to any cross climate tyre, where I live you get a couple days per winter when snow could be a real problem. I currently have 15" Toyo Nano Energy tyres, they gave me a written quote of £50 per tyre fully inclusive fitting, balancing, tyre disposal etc and VAT. When I got the car in July I thought the Toyo were a bit noisy, but it does depend on what the road material is, and either they no nosier then other tyres ro I just got used to them. So I may go with 2 new front Toyo tyres.

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Hi Joe,

I had my tyres on my Prius for over 2years when I was told after the service in August this year that the front tyres were down to 3mm. I had done about 19,000+ miles but when I took my car in recently I'd clocked about 21,000 miles. So the 3 of my tyres had become illegal within 2,000 miles. The tracking was checked & was spot on. There was some outer edge of tyre wear that made the tyres illegal & I was told it was probably due to incorrect tyre pressures. However, I do check my  tyres regularly & ensure that they are inflated to the correct bar pressure using a digital tyre inflator. I also check my tyres with another pressure gauge & it seems I get the same reading. I guess next time my tyres reach 3mm tread depth I'll change them straight away! 

 

 

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What size are the new tyres Trevor ?

They should be 215/45 R17. 

FWIW I always change tyres at 3mm, below that they are less efficient at removing water from under the tyre and more prone to aquaplaning.

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Hi kithmo,

Just checked my tyre size & yes they are Michelin Crossclimate + , 215/45 R17. Like you I’ll always change them when they reach 3mm though I did read on the net somewhere that Michelin recommended you do continue to use tyres when they get to 3mm! I think I will ignore their advice in future.

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I changed today to the Cross Climates.  They do seem quieter and the steering feels sharper. Too soon to say if mpg will be adversely affected.  Both the Toyo and the Michelin  are 195/65 R15 91H.  I feel we may be getting into the 17 vs 15 discussion again.  The circumference of the tyres is the same it is just the depth/ width  of the tyre that changes. From experience over 12 years and 4 hybrids  I can assure you that tyres and tyre pressures make a huge difference to mpg. Even the brochure for the Gen 4 says Urban mpg 97.4 for 15 vs 85.6 for 17.  My averages have never got near either of these  but I regularly see 80+ on 20 mile trips.  Summer was 62.7 winter maybe 61 but often trips are less than 5 miles and the long trips fast motorway, neither of which are ideal. 

I have never known what the correct pressure should be as the handbook is ambiguous It says 32  psi with a full spare and 36psi front 35 rear without.  I have a spacesaver but thats not quoted..  I know that after a service my pressures were always down. and I put up to the label inside the door pressures again. 2.5 /2.4.  maybe that is why I was not happy on the Toyo .

In the past when I changed from the OEM tyre type I always consulted the manufacturer of the tyre for pressures and invariably found they were not the same as the manufacturer of the vehicle.  Michelin say go by the label in the door.  By the same token in the past I always went 4 psi over or the fast setting for better mpg and less wear  (Pre Toyota).

A friend just swapped his Rav diesel for a Rav Hybrid and was moaning about the fuel consumption. When I went out to look at it he had huge Black wheels with very low profile tyres. He was   completely unaware of the affect wheel size had on mpg..  Style over substance. 

    

 

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5 hours ago, BhxTrev said:

Hi kithmo,

Just checked my tyre size & yes they are Michelin Crossclimate + , 215/45 R17. Like you I’ll always change them when they reach 3mm though I did read on the net somewhere that Michelin recommended you do continue to use tyres when they get to 3mm! I think I will ignore their advice in future.

As they're the correct size, check the pressures, I usually run about 3 psi over to even the wear out.

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Keith, thanks for your reply. I think I'll try what you do & instead of using bars I'll use psi & increase the tyre pressures by 3psi. Hopefully this will even out the wear which was greater on the outer edges of the tyres than in the centre. 

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Quick update on the Cross Climates. Tyre pressures are critical to fuel consumption.  Michelin have confirmed the only information they have is 36/35 psi.  When I got home after about 20 miles my fuel consumption was about 63 mpg (similar to the TOYO) I checked the pressures and my digital gauge read 37.5 /38.5 I dropped the pressure down to an indicated  35/36. Over the next journey fuel consumption increased to 57.  Yesterday I checked with a an old analogue gauge and found all about 3psi down.  I increased the pressure up to 38/37.. Today consumption is back to 64 mpg over 25 miles.  Noticeably they are much quieter, ride is better, and steering is sharper than the TOYO.  Next weekend I will be doing about 600 miles round, trip mostly motorway so will share the experience.

I am not sure what Toyota mean by a "Full Spare" but 32 psi all around does not seem correct to me, although I have always dropped 4psi if heavy snow is forecast, for better grip.  

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The PHV manual says 36/35psi with no mention of 32, probably because a spare isn't an option on the PHV. I would agree that 32psi is way too low for 15" tyres with their big sidewalls - they'll be squidging around all over the place.

Please keep us posted on your mpg findings. I'd trade a very small drop in economy for a substantial reduction in road noise.

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Funnily enough..test of All Season tyres in this weeks AutoExpress...

1st.  Continental AllSeasonContact

2nd.  Michelin CrossClimate+

3rd.  Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2

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Hi Ian,

Thanks for your info about tyre pressures. I will increase mine to 38/37psi & hopefully my mpg will increase from the 57mpg I'm getting now. I had already mentioned to Kithmo that I was going to do that anyway. Please let us have an update after your 600 mile journey. 

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3 hours ago, Graham47 said:

Funnily enough..test of All Season tyres in this weeks AutoExpress...

1st.  Continental AllSeasonContact

2nd.  Michelin CrossClimate+

3rd.  Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2

If you have a link for this, please could you share it 😀

I am curious to see if they comment about the longevity of the tyres, like tyrereviews.com

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Just had my CrossClimate fitted and noticed the difference

The car had three Continental premium contact 2 and toyo blue...
The old tyres were all over 3mm, just didn’t seem to match from left to right in wear. No complaints about economy, just felt like they would slide when cornering on a large roundabout in 40 zone.

Now the ride is much quieter and feels a lot safer in the corners.



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