Tyre of the Year 2023: the best eco tyres to fit to your car now

Tyre of the Year 2023: the best eco tyres to fit to your car now

Motorsport series, such as Hankook-supported Formula E, are increasingly being used to develop eco technologies in tyres (Photo: Xavi Bonilla / DPPI)

Eco tyres and EV tyres have a very close relationship in that both focus on delivering high energy efficiency and high longevity. As we mention in our recommendations for electric car tyres, the lines are blurred considerably by the broad range of “EV-Ready” (to borrow Bridgestone’s term) products now on the market. While the specialist EV tyres generally start with performance principles tuned specifically towards enhancing range, reducing noise and providing greater longevity, the tyres on our eco tyre list have evolved from generations of touring tyres for cars. This means that they are generally well-rounded products, with features that promote enjoyable, comfortable driving as well as improving efficiency.

Thanks to a range of legislative changes, demand from consumers, and the desire to boost sustainability in all aspects of the business, tyres have never been as eco-friendly. While tyre manufacturers are continuing to push the limits of what they can achieve, tyre buyers can be assured that the products making WhatTyre’s list of the best eco tyres in 2023 offer the best in sustainable motoring. These tyres are all made by manufacturers that have proven the sustainability of their operations via independent accreditation of their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) responsibility. In service, they offer low running costs and are designed to last.

Sustainability in tyres comes from both the performance of the products and every aspect of how the tyre is made – WhatTyre takes manufacturers’ environmental, social and governance ratings into account when recommending tyres. The photo shows smallholders cultivating rubber in Indonesia (Photo: GIZ/Canopy Indonesia)

As with every tyre on the UK market, WhatTyre ranks these products according to our dynamic Tyrescore algorithm. The latest iteration of our dynamic tyre rating accounts for safety, fuel economy and noise tyre labelling grades and around 8,000 independent tyre test results. The latest 2.2 version of the algorithm considers the provenance of the tyre, offering additional credit to tyre makers who could demonstrate their ESG responsibility.

To pick the best eco tyres, we searched three popular tyre sizes in WhatTyre, noting those achieving top Tyrescores in one or more sizes. After this we looked at the average Tyrescore across the size range, meaning that tyres that only scored well in certain sizes could not be considered for our recommendations. We then filtered these tyres to those achieving high standards of fuel efficiency, indicating low rolling resistance performance. Because we do not believe in sacrificing excellent safety for fuel economy, we also required these tyres to score B or above for wet grip.

Next, we considered recent independent tyre tests (since 2019), which removed older products still in the market from the running, since their technologies have been improved since they achieved excellent results. Finally we removed tyres that are not specifically designated eco tyres within their manufacturers’ ranges. There is an obvious overlap with the Electric Car segment in 2023, though specialist EV tyres have also been removed. Many summer, performance, SUV, and even all-season products have excellent eco credentials, as is noted in those segment guides.

WhatTyre Eco Tyre of the Year 2022

The best eco tyre of 2023 is the Bridgestone Turanza Eco. The first tyre to include the manufacturer’s low rolling resistance, reduced materials technology, Enliten, the tyre requires 2kg fewer raw materials than a conventional tyre. The tyre’s lower weight also helps reduce rolling resistance – it is up to 20% lighter than standard summer tyres. The tyre has won several contracts for Bridgestone to supply original equipment tyres to global car manufacturers’ latest models, supporting automotive industry efforts to increase sustainability.

Highly Recommended eco tyres

For a product that has been in the market for a few years already, the Falken Ziex ZE310 Ecorun had a terrific year in tyre tests in 2023. The tyre achieved the highest marks in the AutoBild Allrad summer tyre test, showing off the tyre range’s versatility with good safety and fuel economy performance in its larger dimensions, while ADAC and Tyre Reviews also applauded the tyre for its wet and dry safety alongside its high mileage and low abrasion.

The Continental EcoContact 6 delivers substantial improvements in terms of rolling resistance, mileage, steering precision and braking distances. Another favourite of car-makers looking for low rolling resistance products, the tyre has approvals from more than a dozen European vehicle manufacturers for subcompact to mid-range cars. The tyre offers up to 20% better mileage and 15% lower rolling resistance compared with the predecessor tyre. While primarily impressing in fuel economy, independent testers have been impressed with the potential longevity and grippiness of the tyre.

Commended eco tyres

The Hankook Kinergy Eco 2 also offers low rolling resistance and increased mileage. The Korean tyre-maker also reduced tyre noise from the product while retaining the durability of its predecessor. A test by Auto Bild Klassik called the tyre faultless, with harmoniously precise performance on wet and dry roads, and short braking distances. While averaging a slightly lower Tyrescore than the others, the tyre can regularly be found at a lower price point than the Bridgestone and Continental products, boosting the value of its running cost savings further.

The Kumho Ecowing ES31 has been in the market for a few years but achieves excellent eco-focused motoring rankings from WhatTyre thanks to very good EU label ratings across a wide range of its sizes. ADAC testing noted that the tyre’s strengths lie particularly on dry roads, achieving low wear. The tyre reduces rolling resistance thanks to the stiff centre rib in the tyre’s tread pattern. Its shoulder areas are optimised for improved wind resistance and heat dissipation.


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