Car&Driver Tire Test:Nine Affordable Summer Tires

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Take on the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 BY DAVE VANDERWERP, PHOTOGRAPHY BY RICH CHENET July 2009 Summer tires are one of the easiest and most effective ways to increase a car’s performance. When shopping for them, we usually consider those in the top three performance categories, so that’s what we did for this test, with one catch—we set a price limit of $140 each in a 225/45R-17 size. Naturally, the goal was to see which of the nine tire models gathered here is best at chomping the pavement and generating quick lap times. At the time of this test, Michelin, Goodyear, and Toyo didn’t have any tires that qualified for our criteria, so we turned to their subsidiaries—BFGoodrich, Dunlop, and Nitto, respectively—as well as low-price specialists such as Hankook, Kumho, and Falken. This also marks the debut of a Chinese brand in a C/D tire test. While more than 10 percent of tires sold in the U.S. are now manufactured in China by well-known companies, Chinese brands themselves are just starting to have a presence. Steady growth seems likely, however, considering the cut-rate prices: The Ling Long L688s cost just $57 each. Some makers offer more than one tire model below our price cap, and in that case, we chose the one in the higher-performing category. And to see how this popular, lower-priced contingent performs compared with more expensive tires, we brought along one of our blue-chip favorites: the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2, which sells for $192 apiece. ----------------------------------------------------------------- 9th Ling Long L688 8th Nitto Invo 7th Falken Azenis RT-615 6th Yokohama S.Drive 5th BF Goodrich g-Force T/A KDW 4th Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport 3rd Kumho Ecsta XS 2nd Hankook Ventus V12 Evo 1st Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec The Michelin did not fare all that well. My General Exclaim UHPs were not in the test for lack of time,some tires had to be excluded. \:\( Much more in link http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/comp...comparison_test
 
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Hankook should have offered the RS-3 instead of the V12 Evo...the RS-3 is aimed squarely at the XS and Z1, whereas the V12 Evo is more of just a "sporty" tire. Hmmm. Sorry, I used to be a contract racing driver for Hankook.
 

DeeAgeaux

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 Originally Posted By: Solo2driver
Hankook should have offered the RS-3 instead of the V12 Evo...the RS-3 is aimed squarely at the XS and Z1, whereas the V12 Evo is more of just a "sporty" tire. Hmmm. Sorry, I used to be a contract racing driver for Hankook.
If you read the article the RS-3 was not available from tirerack at the time. They did not get the tires from the Manufacturers. They did not want one-off ringers.
 
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Right, read that after a few pages. They should have also tested the Nitto NT-05, which is also right up there with the Dunlop and XS, but much better in the rain and a very quiet performance street tire.
 
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 Quote:
Sorry, I used to be a contract racing driver for Hankook.
I know your just the messenger, but...(off topic rant) WHY DID THEY GET RID OF THE WINTER 909!? I loved that tire (/off topic rant) To answer your question;
 Quote:
Some makers offer more than one tire model below our price cap, and in that case, we chose the one in the higher-performing category.
Looks like CD made the final choice of tire, not the manufacturers suggesting the optimum for what they where seeking. Alex.
 
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It would've been very nice to see the Nitto NT-05 in there since I have a set on the way. Still excited to try them out soon. The Star Specs seem to be their closest competition of anything on the list so I'm glad they took first place.
 
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I drive what many would consider an economy car, and I have "summer" tires on it. Truth is, all seasons are pointless as tires. You end up sacrificing dry grip (where most of us spend our time), for mediocre snow/ice traction. They should be called "no seasons", as only really good all seasons are worth anything. I use (no longer made) Goodyear Eagle F1 GSD3's, and they have been excellent tires. More dry grip than an all season would know what to do with, and they are fantastic in the wet too. No chance of snow in sunny socal, and I would run a dedicated snow tire if there was any white stuff on the road. Most summer tires have short lives, typically only lasting around 15-20k miles. That said, I'll gladly replace my tires more often if it means more grip when I need it...like say trying to avoid an accident.
 
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My TL is not a sports car but I want it to stop as quickly as possible for everyday life and be fun on the back roads too. Where I live, there's rarely rain, no chance of snow, so there's no point in running anything less than a great summer tire.
 
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Based on your location, sure. But up here, LRR tires (i.e. "anti-summer tires") should be used where possible. Even with snow tires on snow/ice/slush, they still stop ridiculously faster...
 
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 Originally Posted By: BuickGN
My TL is not a sports car but I want it to stop as quickly as possible for everyday life and be fun on the back roads too. Where I live, there's rarely rain, no chance of snow, so there's no point in running anything less than a great summer tire.
Now, all you have to do is get rid of that syrupy thick SAE-30 oil and replace it with a good xw-20, and your car will accelerate as well as the tires grip! ;\) Sorry, I just had to say that. . . ;\) ;\)
 
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I live in FL, and plan on getting General Exclaim UHP's for my Mazda6. There is no point in getting all seasons on my car, cause i'll never see any kind of snow or ice, and i might as well reap the performance benefits of summer tires.
 
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Word to the wise for those running summer tires, be careful when driving other people's cars lol. Whenever I drive someone else's car, the first couple stops or turns are rather hairy...until I realise I am lacking some grip.
 
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 Originally Posted By: ekpolk
 Originally Posted By: BuickGN
My TL is not a sports car but I want it to stop as quickly as possible for everyday life and be fun on the back roads too. Where I live, there's rarely rain, no chance of snow, so there's no point in running anything less than a great summer tire.
Now, all you have to do is get rid of that syrupy thick SAE-30 oil and replace it with a good xw-20, and your car will accelerate as well as the tires grip! ;\) Sorry, I just had to say that. . . ;\) ;\)
Just ordered something slightly thicker but I'll let the cat out of the bag once it's in the car. My car is already so slow, can't get much worse and right now it's averaging 13mpg.... Not going to wash it again until it shapes up lol. Can't wait to get my Nittos in but I was just informed they're on back order and won't be shipped until the second of next month.
 

DeeAgeaux

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 Originally Posted By: crinkles
all totally useless for folks with non-sports cars. (the 99% of all cars)
I own a 03 Accord Lx 4 banger sedan. I recently tossed the OEM Michilin 205/65 R15 all-seasons. I replaced with General Exclaim UHP 225/50/ R17. It has made a massive improvent in handling and braking. Most people in this type car with these tires see 40K miles. I am ok not getting 80K mile all-seasons. I live in socal as well.NO need to sacrifice dry traction for mild snow traction I will NEVER see. Taking corners is fun now.
 
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 Originally Posted By: pzev
Truth is, all seasons are pointless as tires.
I disagree with the truth. With summer tires, I'd have to run my winter tires for an extra month at both the start and end of winter for the occasional day that it snows and for the layer of gravel on the roads in the spring and after the first snowfall, I'd risk getting stuck if I have to go off pavement for any reason, and I'd have less traction than with all-seasons if the road isn't perfectly clean. I actually wanted to spend $800 on BFG G-Force summer tires instead of $1000 on the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S, but the BFGs were back-ordered for at least a couple of months. I'm sort of glad, as I think the Pilots are a better tire for me.
 
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 Originally Posted By: rpn453
 Originally Posted By: pzev
Truth is, all seasons are pointless as tires.
I disagree with the truth. With summer tires, I'd have to run my winter tires for an extra month at both the start and end of winter for the occasional day that it snows and for the layer of gravel on the roads in the spring and after the first snowfall, I'd risk getting stuck if I have to go off pavement for any reason, and I'd have less traction than with all-seasons if the road isn't perfectly clean.
Maybe chains and/or a bag of kitty litter in the trunk? I realize it wouldn't help much with off-pavement driving like a dirt parking lot. Everything is a compromise. Decent all-season tires are reasonable compromises when you're in between the times where you really need a winter tire and a summer tire is ideal.
 
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If this board didn't have the time restriction on edits, I would have ammended that statement to include "depending on your location".
 
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