Having the best tires for your car is one of the easiest and most effective ways to ensure that you get optimal performance and fuel efficiency out of your vehicle.
As an award-winning, hybrid electric car, the Toyota Prius prides itself on its incredible fuel economy and natural, highly responsive steering.
However, installing the wrong car tires on your Prius can have a detrimental effect on both of these selling points.
Tires that are either too small or too tall can negatively impact the top speed of your vehicle. Additionally, using tires with the wrong kind of grip will compromise the smooth handling that the Toyota Prius is so famous for.
But out of the 2.5 billion tires produced annually in the U.S., how can you determine which tires will be best for your Prius?
That’s where this article comes in. We’ll be individually reviewing the 5 best tires for the Toyota Prius and providing a tailored buyers guide and FAQ section to help you select the best tires for your Prius.
OUR TOP PICK
Milestar’s MS932 tire is ideal for Prius owners looking to exercise their car’s full potential.
The Toyota Prius, as we’ve mentioned previously, is known for its smooth handling, and the MS932 tire model is sure to enhance this feature.
The optimized tread design of this tire is made to ensure optimal performance and, specifically, traction.
The treads incorporate a specific pattern of wide circumferential ribs and grooves, and an advanced silica tread compound, all of which improve traction in all weather conditions, including wet weather.
The MS932’s treads also have a Tread Wear rating of 50,000 miles, so you don’t need to worry about this tire’s longevity in the slightest.
Now, the advertised size of this tire is 195/65R15, which means that it has a width of 215 mm, an aspect ratio of 65%, and a diameter of 15 inches.
This tire size will fit a great many Prius models, including most of the 2018-2020 models. However, you will need to check the tire size specified for your individual Prius model before purchase.
If you find that a 195/65R15 will not fit your Prius, don’t worry - Milestar’s MS932 can be custom fitted to your vehicle in sizes ranging from 14 to 20-inch diameters.
Similarly, the standard MS932 tire available online comes with an H speed rating, which means it allows for a maximum speed of 130 mph. This is more than sufficient for a Toyota Prius, which has a maximum speed of 111 mph.
However, this tire can also be found in T and V speed ratings, which allow for 118 and 149 mph respectively.
All in all, if you’re looking for a high-performing tire to match the capabilities of your Prius, this tire should definitely be a contender!
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Optimized, all-season traction
- 50,000-mile tread wear rating
- H speed rating (130 mph)
- Some drivers have complained of road noise
Michelin is a well-respected automotive part manufacturer, and its Primacy MXM4 tire model is a perfect fit for Prius drivers seeking all-weather traction to complement the superior handling of their vehicle.
The Primacy MXM4’s increased traction is the result of Michelin’s use of MaxTouch construction, which ensures maximum contact between the tire and the ground.
The tread compound also contains a sunflower additive which helps to improve traction at lower temperatures. This means that these tires will perform and brake well even in adverse conditions such as rain and snow.
Michelin’s tires are also manufactured according to Michelin’s Green X Standard, whereby tires are designed to achieve a low rolling resistance, which reduces unnecessary fuel consumption and makes these tires more fuel-efficient.
The fuel efficiency of these tires will be perfect for the Prius owner looking to enhance the impressive fuel economy of their car.
Michelin’s Comfort Control Technology, meanwhile, helps to reduce external road noise, making for a more audibly pleasant drive.
This tire has an impressive warranty of 60,000 miles, so you shouldn’t have any concerns about the durability of this tire model.
The size of P215/45R17 is a common Prius tire size, although if your model’s measurements fall outside of this, the MXM4 tire is also manufactured in multiple other sizes.
- MaxTouch construction improves traction
- Sunflower additive in tread compound increases traction
- Performs well in snowy conditions
- Low rolling resistance for fuel efficiency
- Comfort Control Technology reduces road noise
- 60,000-mile warranty
- Less affordable than other tire brands
The SUPERMAX TM-1 often doesn’t get as much attention in automotive circles as its durable, high-performing construction warrants.
This tire is an especially good fit for the Toyota Prius because of its superior control-enhancing features, which complement the steering system of the Prius nicely.
The SUPERMAX TM-1 features a reinforced rib pattern with a wide central rib. It also has wide-set grooves. All of these features contribute to this tire’s stability, traction, and handling precision.
Moreover, this tire model incorporates reinforced shoulder blocks, which dampen the noise of the tires on the road, reducing unwanted road noise that can often compromise a driver’s experience.
With a mileage or tread wear rating of 45,000 miles, we can confidently say that this tire will last you a long time.
This tire is widely sold in the popular Prius tire size of 195/65R15, but several other size options have been produced by the manufacturer to fit 13 to 17-inch rim sizes.
- Reinforced rib pattern with wide central rib for stability
- Wide circumferential grooves for superior traction
- Reinforced shoulder blocks dampen road noise
- 45,000-mile tread wear rating
- Fits 15-inch rims
- Some users have found these tires difficult to balance
Yokohama’s Avid Touring All-Season Tire is another tire model that is sure to enhance the smooth steering and handling of the Toyota Prius.
This tire uses Yokohama’s Tri-Plex Tread Compound to provide superior traction in all weather conditions with the exception of heavier snow.
This compound also improves the durability of the tire. Moreover, the tapered rain channels in between the tread blocks help to drain away water for better wet traction.
The symmetrical tread design into which the compound is molded includes a Twin Rail central stability rib and varied tread block sizes. This tread design both contributes to the improved traction of the tire and reduces road noise for a quieter ride.
These tires don’t just eliminate noise, however - they also help to make the ride itself physically smoother. This is because the tire has been designed with rubber sidewall inserts that help to reduce vibrations.
The construction of this tire has been designed for durability, with twin steel belts that are reinforced by nylon belt edge strips.
This tire is sold in the standard Prius wheel size of 195/65R15 but is also manufactured in other sizes to cater to a range of Prius models.
- Tri-Plex Tread Compound improves traction
- Tapered rain channels for handling in wet weather
- Twin rail central stability rib and varied block sizes reduce noise and improve traction
- Rubber sidewall inserts reduce vibrations
- Durable steel belt construction
- Not suitable for use in heavier snow
Hankook’s Optimo H426 tire model is a durable choice of tire that has been designed with driver and passenger comfort in mind.
The durability of this tire is indicated by its warranty of 60,000 miles. The steel belt construction also contributes to this durability.
This tire also has a very good grip and handles well in dry conditions. However, as many customers have reported, they do not fare as well in wet or snowy conditions, although the manufacturer advertises this tire as suitable for use in mild snow.
In terms of comfort, this tire promises a smooth ride owing to its base tread compound, which helps to absorb vibrational shock, and its high stiffness bead filler, which makes for better steering response and easier handling overall.
Sold at a size of 195/65R15 amongst many other size options, this tire will fit the majority of Prius models.
- 60,000-mile warranty
- Good dry traction
- Durable steel belt construction
- Base tread compound absorbs road shock
- High stiffness bead filler improves steering response
- Does not handle well in wet or snowy conditions
Best Tires for Prius Buying Guide
If you’ve never ventured outside of factory-installed tires when it comes to your Prius, you might find the process of discerning which is the best tire model to be a bit overwhelming.
Even if you’re an old hand at tire replacement, with so many high-performing options to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
But don’t worry, our buyers guide is here to help! We’re going to break down some of the key factors for consideration in choosing the best tires for your Prius so you can make a decision you’ll be proud of.
Before anything else, you’ll need to think about tire size. All the specialized compounds or innovative tread patterns won’t help you if your tires are the wrong size for your vehicle.
Before you evaluate any other features, you should first check the tire size required for your Prius.
We’ve touched on this briefly, but it’s worth reiterating that tire sizes specify the width, aspect ratio, construction, and rim diameter of the tire.
Take the common Prius tire size of 195/65R15, for instance. What this tells us is that the tire has a width of 195 mm, an aspect ratio of 65% (the height as a percentage of the width), and a rim diameter of 15 inches.
Prius models take a wide range of tire sizes, so it’s crucial to check which tire size corresponds to your individual Prius.
This is information that you can easily look up online. Alternatively, to avoid miscommunication, you can find the measurements specified on the sidewalls of your current tires (assuming these tires are the correct size), on the inner frame of the driver’s side door, or in your vehicle owner manual.
It is very important that you get the tire size correct. The wrong tire size, even if you physically manage to install it, will have an impact on several functions of your car, including suspension and your speedometer.
A tire can have the most high-performance-oriented design, but if it’s not built for durability, you’re going to find yourself spending a lot of money on premature replacements.
The durability of a tire is dictated both by its internal and external construction.
The use of internal steel belt construction - especially twin steel belts - provides a solid and durable structural basis for the external features that make a tire durable.
Tires from reputable manufactures, such as the ones listed above, will come with a warranty, or a ‘tread wear rating’, which is a good indication of the overall durability of the tire.
The tires on our list have warranties ranging from 45,000 miles to 60,000 miles, meaning that all of these tires are built for longevity and will provide you with significant mileage (as long as appropriate maintenance is adhered to).
If you want your Prius to handle as smoothly and effortlessly as it’s designed to, you’ll need to give some serious thought to the traction of your tires.
When looking for a tire with good traction, you’ll need to consider a few factors, primarily treads, grooves, ribs, and compounds.
First and foremost, to achieve the best possible traction, you’ll need a tire that maintains maximum contact with the ground. Features like Michelin’s MaxTouch Construction technology will ensure that this is the case.
In terms of the tread blocks themselves, varied tread block sizes can help to improve tire traction. This traction can be significantly enhanced by the tire’s compound. The compound can be silica, rubber, or even, as Michelin has demonstrated, sunflower oil-based.
The placement and size of grooves and ribs on the tire can also help to improve the traction. For example, a wide, reinforced central rib will provide stability while wide circumferential grooves will ensure a better grip between the tire and the road.
Finally, if you specifically need a tire that will handle well in wet weather, look for the inclusion of rain channels between tread blocks. These channels help to drain water away from the tire treads to improve grip in wet conditions.
We mentioned previously that the Toyota Prius has a maximum speed of about 111 mph.
Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that the tire model you choose for your Prius allows for this speed (or the speed you anticipate traveling at, which, depending on how you drive and the speed limits in your area, may be less than the maximum).
Tires typically use a letter-based speed rating system. The letters you’ll come across most often are H, V, and T. H-rated tires have a speed rating of 130 mph. Meanwhile, T-rated tires are suited to 118 mph. V-rated tires have the capability to go faster, at 149 mph.
For a Toyota Prius, a T-rated tire will suit the majority of drivers. However, if you want a tire with slightly stronger construction, an H-rated tire is also a good fit.
You could put a V-rated tire on your Prius if you really wanted to enhance that extra smooth steering response, but be aware that higher speed ratings on tires often come with a higher price tag.
One of the biggest selling points of the Toyota Prius is its fuel efficiency. As an electric hybrid car, the Prius already uses significantly less fuel than most traditional petrol or diesel engine vehicles.
Combining the fuel-efficient motor of your Prius with fuel-efficient tires is a great way to maximize the fuel economy of your car.
The most fuel-efficient tires will have low rolling resistance, which means that less fuel is required to move the car. This reduces the emissions from your car and minimizes fuel waste.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to rotate the tires on my Prius?
The Toyota Prius is a car that stands out amongst competitors in several areas of function and performance, but in many ways, it’s still a vehicle like any other and needs the same maintenance procedures that other cars require for optimal performance.
One such procedure is tire rotation. The purpose of rotating your vehicle’s tires every so often is to ensure that they wear evenly.
When tires are not rotated often enough, they tend to get worn down unevenly in the same areas, leading to increased wear and a higher incidence of punctures.
To ensure that the tires on your Prius last as long as possible, they should be rotated, along with the wheels, once every 6-8,000 miles driven, or every six months.