My Pirelli P4 tires now have 8627 miles on them in just under three months. They have exceeded a few of my expectations and performed poorly in others. This review is for first impressions of these tires and will, no doubt, lead to further reviews as the mileage increases. The tires look good on the car and aesthetically are pleasing. After all, the ride must look good too.
The original tires on my Dodge Magnum were Goodyear Integrity 215/65R17 on all four corners. I found these tires excessively noisy and rough riding, so I began my research with those factors in mind. Gas prices were also going up, so better gas mileage wouldn’t hurt my feelings either.
As I looked at different tires, Pirelli kept showing up as good riding and quiet. That met two of the requirements, but I couldn’t find any discussions on gas mileage for tires. (That’s a website looking for a home)
I did find reference several times to low rolling resistance on the P4s, so I made my decision to go for them.
Reality Sets In
The first thing you notice about Pirelli P4 tires is the price. They are a full $200 more than some of the other tires I was considering, but with all the research to back me up, I plunged forward.
The first problem arose when I went to purchase and install the tires. I have bought my tires at Discount Tires for decades with great satisfaction so I called several of the close locations and they didn’t have them in stock. After more calls, one store said they could order them and have them for installation in a couple of days. Done.
Pirelli P4: The Good
These tires are so quiet I can carry on a conversation with the passenger without raising my voice, which wasn’t the case with the Goodyear tires. With few exceptions, the tires are complete soundless. After the experience of the factory original tires, these are incredible. If you are tired of all the noise coming from your current tires, these should be on you consideration list.
The ride improvement is also better. I don’t know if it is from softer rubber or softer sidewalls or a combination of the two, but it is the second thing I noticed about the tires. I detect no suffering in handling, but a much softer, smoother ride from these tires. It is now a pleasure to take road trips in the car because it handles and rides so much better than before.
Pirelli P4: The Bad
I don’t want you to think everything is perfect with these tires … it’s not. The third item on my list was improved gas mileage. These tires have completely failed in that department. My average gas mileage (per tank) has dropped off by 2 mpg since going to the Pirelli P4s.
This is a big disappointment to me because in the other areas they were so far above the competition.
Gas Mileage Calculations
Since I drive daily for work, I log my mileage every day in my Palm Centro. I use a free program called AutoBase which also calculates gas mileage as well as other bits of information.
Since purchasing my Magnum at the end of March 2008, I have driven 33,000 miles with an average gas mileage of 23.3 mpg. This is exactly 1 mpg lower than the overall average before installing the new tires. However, on a tank by tank basis, the average loss is 2 mpg. That is significant no matter the price of gasoline. Fortunately, the price of gasoline has dropped $2.00/gallon in the last few months.
There is another factor in the gas mileage equation. At the same time I put the new Pirelli tires on, I also installed a new K & N High-Flow replacement air filter. This easily replaced item has provided better “pep” in my opinion. The K & N is also supposed to help with mileage, so without it, the mileage might have suffered even more.
Of course, the test isn’t scientific since I replace both at the same time, but I can’t see the K & N filter causing a reduction in gas mileage, nor have I read any review that would indicate the same.
I will continue monitor all the costs associated with my Dodge Magnum, and will update the tire review after I’ve put more mileage on them.
What has been your experience with your tires. Any brands and models that stand out? Any to avoid? Add your thoughts in the comments.