Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus Review
Built to maximize fuel economy, the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus has some obvious benefits but also some significant drawbacks.
- Improves vehicle fuel efficiency (roughly 20 miles more per tank)
- Quiet and comfortable
- Particularly poor winter grip
- Questionable tread life
This tire has been on the market for quite some time but continues to deliver on its primacy focus. An evolution of the standard EP422, this “Plus” model is designed with a newer tread that uses Bridgestone’s NanoPro-Tech compound. What it is designed to do is deliver reduced rolling resistance (and therefore better fuel economy) without damaging handling or tread life.
As we’ll see soon. Only part of that is true.
The fuel economy advantages are impressive for this tire. Bridgestone claims they improved rolling resistance by 23 percent compared to the old EP422. This is done not just with the specific tread compound on the surface of the tire, but also by using the brand’s Fuel Saver compound on the sidewall, making it even slipperier when cutting through the air.
In terms of what all this means to you, expect to get about an extra 20 miles on a tank of fuel. That’s significant!
Not only will you be saving every time you fill up, but you’ll be reducing emissions too.
It’s obvious why Toyota chose this tire as a factory fitment on the fuel-sipping Prius. In addition to maximizing fuel, it’s also quiet and comfortable, soaking up bumps with ease both around town and on the freeway.
But now it’s important to look at the drawbacks, because there are some. And they’re not insignificant.
First comes tread life. While it’s designed with a 70,000 mile tread life warranty, it’s a common complaint amongst owners that they don’t get anywhere near that number of miles on a set. One particular issue appears to be on the Mazda 3, which also used the EP422 Plus as a factory tire. These owners routinely claim tread life doesn’t meet their expectations.
Performance characteristics definitely take a back seat to fuel economy. With so much focus on maximizing milage, handling is sub-par. This is classified as a touring tire, a class of tire that generally favors ride quality and mileage over driving dynamics. And even among its competitive set, the EP422 Plus still has limited cornering grip.
Wet traction is similarly passable, with no major stand-out characteristics or drawbacks. Due to the shallow tread depth of the tire, it is more prone to hydroplaning than conventional touring tires, despite all the usual water-evacuation channels.
Winter traction is not great, with no real siping to speak of. Plus the tread compound freezes up in colder temperatures reducing overall grip, even on clear roads. This isn’t a real deal-breaker, however, as we generally recommend dedicated tires for winter anyway.
Overall, the Ecopia EP422 Plus definitely delivers on its promise of maximizing fuel economy and is an ideal option for anyone wanting to save at the pump and reduce their emissions. Particularly, it’s a solid choice for drivers of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and many electric vehicles.
Performance isn’t great, although we suspect that’s not a huge concern for those drivers and so this isn’t a major drawback. We would like to see better wet weather traction though.
Above anything we caution that tread life is likely to disappoint and you’re only likely to see a real cost benefit to these tires if you can purchase them during a major sale,
Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus Price
Pricing for the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus starts at just over $150 per tire and goes up to slightly more than $200 per tire.
Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus Warranty
Bridgestone backs the Ecopia EP422 Plus with a 70,000 mile tread life warranty. As well, the tire comes with a 90 day Try & Buy guarantee.
Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus Sizes