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Pirelli P7 Cinturato All-Season Plus Tire Review

Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:10 pm

After having traveled over 6,000 miles on these tires, I figured it was time for me to put up my 2 cents worth about them so that others could benefit from my experience in case they were considering purchasing a set. A quick note before we begin: I bought these tires as a LRR option with a bit more of a "performance" slant. As always, I ran these tires just under max-listed sidewall pressure (42psi in this case).

First and foremost, let's talk about the impact on range: when I first purchased these tires on Black Friday of 2015, I was appalled by the impact the swap had on my efficiency. Just before the swap, I was getting 4.4miles/kWh on my OEM Bridgestone Ecopies @ 40k miles (I do a lot of freeway driving @ 65mph). Just after the swap, I was getting 3.6miles/kWh on the Pirellis on the exact same commute. Now, to be fair, at right about this same time we transitioned from a nice, mild fall to a full-blown wet and cold winter (i.e.- lots of defroster use and lots of water on the roadways). I was hoping that the situation would improve once I hit the more mild weather of spring and that has indeed been the case. Between the milder temps and the dry roads and the breaking-in of the tires, I'm now at 4.2miles/kWh. OVERALL A 4.5% DROP IN EFFICIENCY. Not too bad, provided the tire performs well in other ways...

Next up on my priority list was traction. As much as I was enjoying doing wanton spin-outs on the Bridgestones, I was really looking forward to getting a tire that actually gripped the road instead of skimming over it. The initial results were very promising, especially in crappy winter conditions. As the tire has broken-in, the traction has loosened back up a little bit, but it's still a pretty good grippy tire. If the worn-down Bridgestone's warranted a 4/10 on traction, the Pirellis are more like a 7/10; I can still get some decent wheel spin if I floor it while taking a corner, but the automatic traction control is not clicking on nearly as much as it used to. Grip in the wet is particularly impressive. I wish I could comment on snow & ice traction, but we didn't get any weather like that this winter in Seattle.

Closely related to traction is the matter of braking. I normally don't have much occasion to put my panic braking to the test, but the other day I had a car cross right in front of me on the freeway on its way to colliding with an SUV alongside me and, let me tell you, the braking of these tires was phenomenal. Luckily I didn't have anyone behind me because these tires helped me stop QUICK!

Finally we get to the odds & ends bits: noise & ride comfort & handling. In terms of noise, I'd say these tires are right about even with the Bridgestones. They're not a "silent" tire by any means, but they're not too bad at all. Ride comfort, on the other hand, seems a bit improved. This isn't something I notice in most of my driving, but every now and then I hit a pothole or a railroad crossing and I am amazed at how well the Pirellis seem to soak them up. General handling is likewise very good on the tires, but there is one big exception: rain grooves and bridge decking. Compared to the Bridgestones, the Pirellis like to track quite a bit on rain grooves and bridge decking owing to their prominent rain "gouge" running the circumference of the tire. I'm sure this groove is part of the reason why these tires do so well in the rain, but they have the downside of causing the tires to become quite squirrely when you're driving along a road with prominent rain groves running the direction of traffic and/or bridge decking with a similar orientation.

So there you have it. I'm overall happy with my tire purchase, though it's taken me a while to get back to a point where I feel my efficiency is acceptable. As it is, I'm willing to give up the ~5% in efficiency for a tire that performs better in most all ways than the Ecopias.

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Re: Pirelli P7 Cinturato All-Season Plus Tire Review

Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:52 pm

Nice review. :)

After my first three years (and 36,000) miles the original Bridgestone tires were thinner and the miles per kW had improved from about 4.3 to 4.6 with carefull driving; however, the noise on the freeway at the end of a long work day was getting to me. Also, wife was a little sensitive to the bumpiness.

I went with Michelin Premier A/S tires and have been happy with them for smoother ride and grip similar to your Pirellis. Probably similar loss in efficiency too, but good to know about the Pirelli for future consideration.
2011 Leaf SL purchased 6-22-2011, sold 1-18-2017 with new battery.
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Re: Pirelli P7 Cinturato All-Season Plus Tire Review

Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:54 pm

Wish I had seen this review before doing so, but I bought the same Pirelli's in August 2016 and have been happy with everything about the tires except the notable efficiency impact, just as you mentioned: I'm down roughly 10% from where I was in previous years at the same time (I live on Long Island so there's plenty of seasonal temperature effect: was getting ~5.5 mi/kWh mid-summer and ~3.7 mi/kWh mid-winter with the Ecopias; 4.9 mi/kWh annual average).

And while I over-inflate a little, I haven't inflated all the way up to 40+ psi. Maybe I should try that.


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Re: Pirelli P7 Cinturato All-Season Plus Tire Review

Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:42 pm

And while I over-inflate a little, I haven't inflated all the way up to 40+ psi. Maybe I should try that.

If you're running say, 38psi, that's still too low. 40-42psi isn't over-inflation with a Leaf, it's optimum for economy, handling and ride.
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium and no QC, a 2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, and 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
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Re: Pirelli P7 Cinturato All-Season Plus Tire Review

Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:02 pm

With all tires, rolling resistance will decrease as the tire ages. So if you replace 4 year old tires with new tires and see worse efficiency, some of the difference will be due to tire age. This makes efficiency comparisons really difficult.

I've read that this is because rubber gets harder as it gets older. That also means less grip, so old tires have worse braking than new tires. In the extreme, very old tires are considered dangerous.

My Ecopias are 3.5 years old and I'm getting better mileage than ever.


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Re: Pirelli P7 Cinturato All-Season Plus Tire Review

Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:06 am

LeftieBiker, correct. On good roads running higher pressure is fine. Especially if tires are filled during daytime after
warming tires up. During the night it might actually fall below sticker value :)

Bob, actually tire gets stiffer with much longer period, it takes 4-5 years to notice difference.
But what changes rapidly is tread. The less tread you have the less it bends.
New tires have much higher blocks (especially winter tires).
Also temperature change a lot. In chillier weather tires get stiffer (all-season tires are also very prone to this).
So all-season tire in sub-freezing temperature might get better economy than in the heat.
But in summer those most likely get much worse economy than pure summer tire that is designed for hot asphalt.

This is why having two separate sets might help with range. But don't have very new tires :)
Short range EVs <30kWh -- Medium range: 30-60kWh -- Long range: >60kWh
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Re: Pirelli P7 Cinturato All-Season Plus Tire Review

Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:12 pm

A few things:

1) It's difficult to compare tires because we are often comparing a set of worn out tires (the ones being replaced) to a set of brand new ones with fresh compound and thicker thread.

2) I previously had a set of Pirelli Scorpion Verde on my wife's Lexus Rx400h. They are very similar to the P7 Cinturato but are design for SUV/CUV. They were great when new; nice comfortable and quiet ride with plenty of grip and stability. After 2 years and 30K miles, the tires became very noisy at speeds between 50-65mph (I thought a wheel bearing was bad). I replaced them after 42K miles; they were just about to hit the wear bars.

3) I replaced them with Pirelli P7 Cinturato Plus tires and the new tires feel just like the Scorpion Verde when they were new. I'm just hoping that they won't get noisy after 30K miles.

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