The OEM timres that came from the factory are crap.
I'll preface this with that statement. They are VERY noisy, harsh, howl around any kind of curve, have poor grip in the wet, and virtually zero grip in snow. With the OEM tires new, I was barely able to make it up my snow-covered driveway - the wheels would be spinning, and the car sliding sideways. This is not some steep country drive, it's a very gentle slope leading from the street to my house.
I should also mention that I grew up driving in Canada - I know what I'm doing when it comes to driving in snow. I dreaded the snow when driving with the OEM tires. I tried all kinds of different air pressure, front/rear, nothing changed. The only thing going for them is that they give you good mileage. Other than that, they are crap.
With 44,000 miles on my 2013 Energi, the first snowfall came this year and my car was immobilized. The tires were done, and I couldn't get my car to move on a FLAT surface. TERRIBLE tires. Time for new tires.
After quite a bit of research, I decided on a set of Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology. I paid $166 each from a local, trustworthy, family-run tire shop (not a chain), which included mounting, balancing, TPMS reset, lifetime rotation and lifetime repairs. OEM tires were $210 each, as a point of comparison.
I have had these tires on the car now for just over a month, and have had the opportunity to drive on them through heavy snow, light snow, city, highway, rain, dry. They're everything the OEM tires should have been. I've been through several heavy snowstorms, these tires just carve right through almost like snow tires. On the highway they are quiet and comfortable. In rain they are solid and surefooted. No squirm, no howl around corners.
Reported life of these tires from other owners is around 70,000 miles, much better than the dismal 44,000 I got out of the expensive OEM Michelins. The only downside is that I lost on average 2 mpg. On a recent long-distance trip, I got 38 mpg where I would usually get 40 mpg. Of course, the higher the mileage number, the smaller the difference - the difference between 6 and 8 mpg is huge, the difference between 38 and 40 mpg is fairly small. Assuming a fuel cost of $3/gallon, travelling 500 miles at 40 mpg would use 12.5 gallons, at a cost of $37.50. At 38 mpg, it would use 13.2 gallons, at a cost of $39.60. The cost of the tires over the extra 30,000 miles I get over the OEM tires will pay more than twice the difference in fuel costs, so I'm already ahead.
I'm running the tires at 41 psi, I may try them a bit higher to see what changes I get.