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Tires get overlooked in the headlines about fuel economy and CAFE standards, which is a little odd. After all, a car's tires are the only contact it has with the road, so more efficient rubber means more efficient use of fuel, and even tiny gains spread over the huge number of road-going vehicles can translate into remarkable overall gains.

Of all the tips and tricks that are known to save fuel on modern-day cars and trucks, one that often gets overlooked is getting the right set of tires mounted up. Of course, nobody wants to use an inferior set of tires in the hopes of saving just a wee bit of gas, so Consumer Reports decided it was high time to line two of the biggest players in the rubber industry, Cooper and Michelin, against one another to see who came out on top in the low rolling resistance category.

Michelin has created a new tire as part of the development of the Peugeot 308. The Energy Saver uses a specially-developed rubber composite, and Michelin claims the tire reduces rolling resistance by 20% in both 15- and 16-inch sizes. Tire testing was carried out by TÜV SÜD Automotive, which measured the Michelin's performance to that of the top six competitor tires. The Energy Saver is also said to have the same durability as Michelin's other tires.

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