Nokian Tyres of Finland is well-known for their mastery of snow tires. However, they also are leaders in the field of low rolling resistance, and their newest offering is a summer-biased all-season Grand Touring tire called the eNTYRE. I was able to check these tires out on my Prius Nerdmobile for a long-term test of their handling capabilities and fuel-efficiency.
- Excellent dry and wet grip.
- Excellent handling and responsiveness.
- Pretty good fuel-efficiency.
- A bit of a hard ride.
- Somewhat outdated by newer tires.
Nokian brings the Cooling Edge technology over from its snow tire lineup, which helps keep the shoulder, usually the hottest part of the tire, cooled.
Nokian is one of the pioneers of 3D Siping technology, in which the internal shape of the sipe prevents the siped tread blocks from flexing too much, which increases wear.
Nokian's unique treadwear indicator cuts a series of numbers into the tread surface at different depths, so that as the tread wears, the numbers disappear. A water droplet icon is also present to show when the tires are in danger of hydroplaning.
Nokian polishes the grooves and channels in the tread to make it easier for water to slide through the channels for faster evacuation.
Nokian pioneered the use of non-volatile, non-toxic oils in their tires. Canola oil is the most common of these oils.
Nokian's eNTYRE certainly handles beautifully enough, with excellent grip on both dry and wet roads. The sidewalls are rather stiff, which makes the tires extremely responsive to steering inputs. The tires are quiet at all speeds, but the stiffer sidewalls and a hard, low rolling resistant compound makes for something of a harder ride. The eNTYREs transmit bumps and inconsistencies in the road far too well for driving on Boston's notorious streets.
ENTYRE's fuel-efficiency, while better than conventional tires, does not stack up well against other LRR tires like the Bridgestone Ecopia, coming in at about 2 mpg less than the Ecopias.
The Bottom Line:
While still an excellent tire, Nokian's eNTYRE suffers mainly in comparison to newer offerings by Bridgestone, Michelin and Yokohama. Fuel-efficiency is good but not great. Handling is great, but ride quality is only good. In the end, much comes down to subjective feeling. I like the responsiveness and fun factor of the harder-riding Nokians, but others may prefer a smoother, softer tire without the “coiled spring” steering response that the eNTYREs give.
Average MPG: 37.5