It only makes sense that tires can help improve fuel economy as they're the only contact point the vehicle has with the road. In 2009, Tire Rack decided to put that theory to the test using a fleet of Toyota Prius. As with all of our testing, great thought went into the variables and how best to control them. Additionally, we employed the use of Linear Logic ScanGauge II computers to measure the fuel consumption in conjunction with Race Technology DL1 to record actual distances traveled. What we discovered was over a 7% variance from the worst to first in fuel economy over the seven tires tested. Extrapolated over 15,000 miles the best rubber gives a savings of almost 21 gallons over the least effective option. For complete results from this test and how it could potentially save you some money at the gas pump, read "When Round and Black Becomes Lean and Green."
After a successful test involving the Toyota Prius, we decided to include fuel economy in most of our tests starting with the 2010 test season - just another example of how we provide the most comprehensive information in the industry.
While there is no industry standard established, many manufacturers have turned their attention to the issue of fuel economy. Typically, you can identify a low rolling resistance tire by its name, for example: Bridgestone Ecopia, Michelin Green X and Goodyear Fuel Max. Tire Rack identifies those options with a low rolling resistance designation by the tire manufacturer with a "LRR" entry in the product summary area of each tire.