Automakers like low-rolling-resistance tires and the quick jump in fuel economy they can provide.
One carmaker estimates that cutting 125 to 250 pounds from a light truck boosts its fuel efficiency by about 0.3 to 0.5 mpg. In contrast, switching to a tire with low rolling resistance can bring an increase of 1 to 2.5 mpg.
Such tires are standard on at least two 2010 cars. In the aftermarket, ads tout the tires' better fuel economy.
But have those tires' shortcomings been eliminated?
"You can get a tire that will give you better mileage, but you are going to give something up," said Matt Edmonds, vice president of tire discounter Tire Rack Inc. "Typically that would have meant stopping distance, handling in wet conditions."