Review:Pirelli P4 Tires

Pirelli P4 215/65R17 tiresMy 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.

Decisions

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.2007 Dodge Magnum in light blue

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.

Additional Factors

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.

12 thoughts on “Review:Pirelli P4 Tires

  1. dave

    How are the Pirelli’s working out for you after a year?

    How long are you planning on keeping your Magnum? Just a word of advice about the K&N filters. Yes, they flow more air, but they also let more dirt pass through to your engine. No matter what their ads say there’s no free lunch. I used to use them until I got curious and did the research.

    regards,
    Dave

    Reply
    1. Larry Hendrick Post author

      Dave, thanks for asking, and at 60,000 miles, the Perelli tires are still working great. They are wearing very good and I am extremely happy I spent the extra money. I do have them rotated and balanced regularly and recently had a fresh 4-wheel alignment done. I thinking another 30.000 should be within reach.

      It is time to refresh my K&N filter. Since almost all my driving in on the highway and fairly “clean” in nature, I considered that before installing it. So far it seems to work fine, but I don’t know if I can say definitively if it helps as much as I would like.

      Reply
  2. ken

    Hi,

    I put Pirelli P4s on my olds alero in dec 2008. i have 42,000 miles on them now. I have never rotated or balanced them and the fronts have a little mor than 1/2 their tread left, and the rears are almost brand new, except a slight sawtooth wear pattern on the inside of the tires. most likely caused by misalignment. i am going to rotate the tires and go another 40k miles. I routinely get 30mpg with these tires and changing my tires from my old BF Goodrich to these did not hurt my mileage. I think the K&N can hurt your fuel economy based on how you drive. The K&N will allow more air into your system, which will require more fuel. If you pump more air in the system, your car detects it and adds more fuel to the fire for more performance. Of course, just because this extra fuel/air is available, you don’t have to use it. I you drive conservatively, you will get good gas mileage. Also, the sidewall of my P4s say i can run 44psi. My car calls for 30, so i run 40psi. It makes for a stiffer ride, buy my mpg is a little bit higher at 40.

    ken

    Reply
    1. Larry Hendrick Post author

      Thanks for writing, Ken. I have been very pleased with my P4s, but tomorrow they will be retired (lol) and replaced with the new Michelin HydroEdge, which is rated extremely high for gas mileage. I’ll be interested in seeing if any difference appears.

      Reply
  3. Randy Smith

    I have an ’07 Magnum like yours, but the base model. It’s even the same color, medium blue. I’ve only seen 2 other Magnums that same color in the 2 plus years I’ve had this car, the other one was in Georgia. I researched a lot of tires and was already considering Pirelli P4’s to replace the Good Year Integrity’s that came on the car when I bought it. At 42,000 miles they were pretty much shot. Your website sold me on the Pirelli’s. I’ve got about 4,000 miles on them now. I can’t say enough good things about these tires. I’m more impressed with them everytime I drive the car. The Integrity’s were good, but the P4’s surpass them in every way. We’ll see how they do in snow this winter. I love my Magnum. It’s the best car I ever owned. My 2nd best is my ’89 Crown Victoria, white with a blue interior, just like yours was! Could we be brothers?
    bigsmitty, northeast penn.

    Reply
    1. Larry Hendrick Post author

      Hey, Bigsmitty … brothers? no, but long lost cousins on my mother’s side … quite possible.

      I’m glad you’re liking the P4s. I just pulled mine off at 81,700 miles. They could have stretched another 10,000 probably, but since I spend so much time on the road, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on the SIDE of the road, waiting for help.

      I did change to another tire this time to check out and to review. More on that in my next video I’ll shoot this next week. Stay in touch.

      Reply
    2. Larry Hendrick Post author

      So far, no problems at all, Randy. The car is rock solid and if you’ve watched my Magnum review videos, you see I even plan to keep this after I retire it from the road. It will make a great project car … twin turbos … or one of the new superchargers. Of course, I need to start saving now.

      Reply
  4. Ray

    I find this review very interesting, for the following reason: I got Pirellis P4 two weeks ago and they seem both noisier and more rough-riding than my previous, rather shoddy, Dunlops.
    At 60-65 mph they begin to make a quite distinctive sound of a quite detectable pitch, almost like a musical tone. (I would have bet it’s an unbalanced tyre if I hadn’t seen the brand new balancing weights myself.) The other thing is that with them one can feel every single bump on the road, as they “pump up” from the friction from 29 psi (the suggested) to 35-36 psi in minutes. Finally, what freaks me out completely is that their sound on wet surfaces is completely different, as if I’ve put a different tyre set. I’ve been driving since 1996 and never seen anything like that… Have you noticed anything similar?!

    Reply
    1. Larry Hendrick Post author

      That’s not the experience I had with the Pirelli tires, Ray. They were fairly quiet compared to the Goodyear Integritys they replaced. The ride was firm, but never unpleasant until I installed the Michelin HydroEdge tires. That difference was considerable.
      My Dodge Magnum recommends 30psi, so that may be the difference you are experiencing. That would cause the ride to be much harsher and could even account for the noise.
      Also, remember, just because there are new weights on doesn’t mean it was done correctly. I have had to get mine rebalanced a couple of times and when I bought the new Michelins, two were out of round and had to be replaced.
      The Pirellis were great tires for me, so I hope you can get your issues figured out. If one hadn’t been damaged in a side collision, I think they would have easily made 90,000-95,000 miles before needing to be replaced.

      Reply
  5. Steve de Lange

    Replaced two P3000’s with P4’s yesterday. The new tyres are much quieter than the old ones ever were; even when they were new the P3000’s were noisy enough to bother me. Before that I had Dunlops, and they were not exactly quiet either. At this stage I am impressed, just hope they stay so quiet.
    My car (Corolla) is pulling to the left, noticable from 100Km/h up. I had hoped the tires and wheel alingment would sort that out, but no luck. I took it back today. They re-checked the alignment and said it’s spot-on. The chappie took it for a test-drive, and agrees that it pulls left. They can’t explain, suggested I take it to a specialist. Any ideas? (had a look at the engine mountings, they seem OK)

    Reply
    1. Larry Hendrick Post author

      Steve, thanks for the information. I think you will be very pleased with the P4s. They were good for me for many miles.

      I did have a problem like this once. To fix it, they switched the two front tires to the opposite side and the problem ended. It seems that every now and then, radials get a bit off in the mold and they work better on one side. Normal rotation moves front to back and vis-versa, never moving to the opposite side, but it can’t hurt to try it. Worked for me.

      Reply
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