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Nissan LEAF Ecopia Tires: Pros and Cons from LEAF Drivers

Which tires are good for Nissan LEAF in terms of cost efficiency and range. There is an interesting discussion at SF Bay Area Nissan LEAF Owners public group on Facebook where LEAF owners are discussing the pros and cons of Ecopia tires.

Steve Lemke from Sunnyvale, CA
Many of us complained about how bad the LEAF's Ecopia tires were, and how the sidewalls were so easily damaged by curbs or potholes. I got 24,000 miles out of my Ecopias and then got a set of Michelin Energy Savers, which handled way better but at a slight cost in efficiency and therefore reduced range. Then this week one of them started losing air and it turns out there's a tiny hole in the sidewall, probably from a pothole or some other road hazard.

Fortunately the replacement will be free, and the awesome folks at America's Tire even gave me a loaner tire while we wait for the exact replacement to arrive from SoCal (after they realized they could not just "put the spare on" and send me home). But I'm still somewhat amazed that (for us) this happened to the Michelin tire and not the Ecopias.

Kim Kinoshita responds.
The MIchelin Energy Savers are stock on the 2016 Volt, and the jury is still out on their quality. I am approaching 30K miles on my 2011 Nissan LEAF with Ecopias, and should get 40K miles before replacing.

Steve Lemke
The energy savers also come on the 17" wheels on the LEAF SL. Tire guy said efficiency could be different in the different sizes.

Jeremy Whaling
The ones on my Honda Fit EV seem to protest loudly at spirited driving more than the Ecopa tires.

Steve Lemke
Definitely the opposite for me. The Michelins are a lot more fun to drive on than the Ecopias on my Nissan LEAF, but the Tesla drivetrain in the RAV is more fun than the LEAF. Just need better tires (and could use some more weight in the front) in the RAV.

Ivan Jue The
Ecopia tires weren't great when I had my 2011 Nissan Leaf, but I think the outcome would have been different if I had them inflated at Max PSI from the beginning. The Goodyear Assurance tires on my '14 Volt also had a poor reputation for treadwear with nearly the same complaints of blowouts (like the Ecopias). But I had the GY tires with 42 PSI from the beginning, and at 34k miles, I still have plenty of treadwear left. I believe that the Leaf and Volt are just too heavy for these LRR tires.

Tim Jacobsen
I've got 27k on my original Ecopia tires made by Bridgestone (top-tier in tire quality). I must say I've been impressed with them from the start. I still have a quiet smooth ride, no cupping, and I believe the handling is excellent. I read lots of reviews and it seems that the Ecopia model is hard to beat with efficiency. When I finally replace them I'm leaving well enough alone.

Robert Olson
I put some Nokian Entyre 2.0's on my SoulEV and they've been great. Negligible range loss ~2-5% (lower RR than the stock's but a wider tire due to changing to a +1 size and 17" rim) way better handling characteristics all around. Had I kept the original tire size and rim, it probably would be better than stock in terms of range.

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mike w (not verified)    December 9, 2015 - 6:56PM

The Ecopias on my 2011 Leaf are smooth and quiet. The front tires started to "Feather" so they were done at 10,500 miles. The tires are ok but have poor traction in the wet. We had to turn off the traction control as I was nearly hit several times when I pushed the accelerator pedal too hard when the roads were wet. We plan to get rid of the Leaf soon so I bought another set of Ecopias. Would have rather got a set of Kumhos and lived with the few miles lost range.

Scott (not verified)    December 19, 2016 - 12:22PM

I received my 2013 LEAF with Ecopia tires, and always thought they rode and handled great. However, after about 12K miles the fronts were down to the canvas (literally). I probably drive with more vigor than most EV owners, though.

I replaced them with GY Assurances, which are the most DANGEROUS tires I've ever driven on. Can't say enough bad things about those tires. The ride is harsher, efficiency is worse (by a very small margin, granted), and most importantly there's basically no grip on wet pavement. The torque from the LEAF's motor is way too high for the meager Assurances. Taking a turn in the rain at even reasonable speeds gives ridiculous understeer (the VDC does help), and only the most gradual of acceleration is possible when making a turn from a stop.

That gets real scary real fast when making a left through a gap that looks plenty big, only to find that the car moves just enough to get into the oncoming lanes and the VDC light blinks unhelpfully. Again, this is all in the rain. In dry conditions they'll spin a little, but to a manageable degree.

Never had a similar problem with the Ecopias. By contrast I was quite impressed by their grip, which is why the GY Assurances came as such a shock; I knew what the car itself could do.

Oh, and it's baffling, but the Assurances worked quite well in the snow. So if you live in AZ or ND, they'll probably be fine. Anywhere else and you should stay far away. Just my 2c.