MX-5 tire choices

dnewton3

Staff member
Messages
8,640
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Interested in opinions for tires for my 2019 MX-5 ...

Here's the criteria I'm using as important in the decision:
- the car is a Club model with the Brembo/BBS brake and wheel package
- going to be summer only (we park it in winter; snow/ice are a non-issue)
- the tires need to have decent wet weather performance, because we take this on long distance trips and rain happens!
- I don't want to break the bank (I understand that toys cost money, but perhaps $150/tire would be my max price)
- I want to retain (at a minimum) the performance we have now (OEM tires are Bstone Potenza S001)
- we probably will drive it about 7-10k miles a year, treadlife is perhaps secondary to handling/braking/wet-weather priorities. I don't need 90k tread life.

Here's the brands I prefer, but I'm not locked into them: General, Continental, Michelin, Bridgestone

I'd like to hear about tires you've had experience with that would meet the above criteria.
 
Last edited:
Messages
345
Location
Michigan
I'm running Continental Extreme Contact DWS06 on my 2016. I'm very happy with the wet weather performance. The sidewall is perhaps a bit softer than the oem tires, but, I feel they perform well in my limited hard cornering/spirited driving. They are in your price range, or at least they were when I bought mine last year.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
8,640
Location
Indianapolis, IN
I'm running Continental Extreme Contact DWS06 on my 2016. I'm very happy with the wet weather performance. The sidewall is perhaps a bit softer than the oem tires, but, I feel they perform well in my limited hard cornering/spirited driving. They are in your price range, or at least they were when I bought mine last year.
Did you consider the Extreme Contact Sports? (summer only). Or were you specifically interested in an all season tire? I'm a bit concerned about the Sports not having the wet weather abilities, but I'm attracted to their more focused performance characteristics.

I'm considering the General AS-05s (very price effective for what you get, but perhaps not the better in overall abilities)

Also considering the BStone Potenza P-S04, or perhaps the Potenza Sports.
 
Last edited:
Messages
724
Location
MA, USA
I think OE size is 205/45R17. Are you considering 215/45R17 too?

205/45R17

CONTINENTAL EXTREMECONTACT SPORT (I see only this one on tirerack in OE size)
GENERAL G-MAX RS
FIRESTONE FIREHAWK INDY 500 (more expensive than General, supposedly better in dry and more sporty)

215/45R17
MICHELIN PILOT SPORT 4S (over your budget but supposedly one of the best tires on the market)
GENERAL G-MAX RS
FIRESTONE FIREHAWK INDY 500 (more expensive than General, supposedly better in dry and more sporty)
CONTINENTAL EXTREMECONTACT SPORT

These would be my contenders. My 2019 MX RF has 5500 miles, too early to change tires (and I have winter set too).

Krzyś
 
Messages
724
Location
MA, USA
Did you consider the Extreme Contact Sports? (summer only). Or were you specifically interested in an all season tire? I'm a bit concerned about the Sports not having the wet weather abilities, but I'm attracted to their more focused performance characteristics.

I'm considering the General AS-05s (very price effective for what you get, but perhaps not the better in overall abilities)

Also considering the BStone Potenza P-S04.

"I'm a bit concerned about the Sports not having the wet weather abilities"

Why? What makes you think that ECS is not good in the wet?

Potenza S-04 was always behind Pilot SS and 4S in the tests and ECS seems to be better too.

Krzyś
 
Messages
271
Location
open range
I don't own a MX-5 but a Mini Cooper which runs the same 205/45 R17 size.
I'd go Michelin PSS, PS4S oder the nw Bridgestone Potenza Sport. I currently
have BMW spec (star mark) PSS on the Cooper and would have gone with the
PS4S if it was available where I live. Great review even though not all tyres are
available in the US:

 
Messages
243
Location
Conway, sc
Indy 500s are supposed to be significantly louder and have worse wet performance compared to PS4S. I don't think most people would appreciate this doing long trips on a MX-5.
a quiet ride is definitely no friend of a ultra high performance tire. especially with a miata wheelbase i owned a 2010.
 
Messages
9,830
Location
Ontario, Canada
Atleast a few years ago, the extreme contact sports were among the very best street tires in the wet for autocross and track events around Vancouver Canada. Don't know about road noise or ride though. They are probably pretty decent as they aren't a great dry autocross tire with their more flexible sidewalls.
 
Messages
303
Location
STL, MO
I have lots of autocross experience on the Extreme Contact Sports. They have a very progressive breakaway when pushed over their limit. Also one of the best tires for wet weather performance. This is the tire that Andy Hollis chose for his daughters vehicle. If you know anything about what Andy does for a living, this says a lot.
 
Messages
411
Location
Los Angeles
Before I sold my 2019 I was looking at Cont DWS06 Extreme contact, hankook ventus v12 or similar (I've had those on my 08 infiniti g37s, pretty good for $), and PS4s. If i kept the car I wouldve gotten the hankooks or Continental. PS4s are overkill for that car, you dont need that kind of grip with a low hp light car like that. Dont over think it. I sorely miss that car. Get full sway bars, #1 best upgrade for that car especially if you have the club, but a bitch to install. I had Flyin Miata. Club + sways made it as comfy as a daily as possible.
 

Attachments

  • 20200719_140301.jpg
    20200719_140301.jpg
    227.6 KB · Views: 5

dnewton3

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
8,640
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Thanks all - great input.

Sounds like the ECS Conti's are potentially a good place to start. Not that the other brands aren't also good. I've just had good luck with Conti's over the years and feel comfortable with a brand I've had great service from. My concern was that the DWS vs ECS might have favored the DWS in the wet (being "all season" over "summer"), but it seems that may have been an unfounded concern. My presumption was that the all season tires would have a better water dispersion pattern and better wet grip, but from what I'm hearing, the ECS are really good in the wet. Am I understanding this correctly? My greatest concern for wet weather is hydroplaning. With such a light car, it doesn't take much to lift it.

Or perhaps the General G-Max RS? not heard much from anyone with experience on these. I've had great luck with Generals over the years (RT43s on several sedans and been happy with those).

I generally am looking for great dry weather handling, and safe wet weather braking/stability. I'm willing to trade off tread life and noise for the two aforementioned points. Tire noise? Is that really a thing when the top is down and the wind noise is overtly present? The ONLY time the top goes up is either rain, or it's so flippin' hot/humid that the a/c is a must. Otherwise, I just tolerate the noise for the joy of the open experience.

I guess it helps to know that we (wife and I) got this car as a concession for giving up our Victory Cross Country Tour bike. We have toured all 48 lower states on several different bikes (mostly Goldwings) over the decades. So, noise, ride and luggage room are all "better" in this car than what we lived with on bikes. This isn't our daily commuter; it's a toy for taking on vacations and long weekend drives. Everything is relative, ya know.

I had not considered a different size (215's), but that's on the table I suppose, as well.

Between the Conti EC Sports and the General Gmax RS, anyone ran both and found a preference?
 
Last edited:
Messages
3,977
Location
Somewhere in the US
Thanks all - great input.

Sounds like the ECS Conti's are potentially a good place to start. Not that the other brands aren't also good. I've just had good luck with Conti's over the years and feel comfortable with a brand I've had great service from. My concern was that the DWS vs ECS might have favored the DWS in the wet (being "all season" over "summer"), but it seems that may have been an unfounded concern. My presumption was that the all season tires would have a better water dispersion pattern and better wet grip, but from what I'm hearing, the ECS are really good in the wet. Am I understanding this correctly? My greatest concern for wet weather is hydroplaning. With such a light car, it doesn't take much to lift it.

Or perhaps the General G-Max RS? not heard much from anyone with experience on these. I've had great luck with Generals over the years (RT43s on several sedans and been happy with those).

I generally am looking for great dry weather handling, and safe wet weather braking/stability. I'm willing to trade off tread life and noise for the two aforementioned points. Tire noise? Is that really a thing when the top is down and the wind noise is overtly present? The ONLY time the top goes up is either rain, or it's so flippin' hot/humid that the a/c is a must. Otherwise, I just tolerate the noise for the joy of the open experience.

I guess it helps to know that we (wife and I) got this car as a concession for giving up our Victory Cross Country Tour bike. We have toured all 48 lower states on several different bikes (mostly Goldwings) over the decades. So, noise, ride and luggage room are all "better" in this car than what we lived with on bikes. This isn't our daily commuter; it's a toy for taking on vacations and long weekend drives. Everything is relative, ya know.

I had not considered a different size (215's), but that's on the table I suppose, as well.

Between the Conti EC Sports and the General Gmax RS, anyone ran both and found a preference?

The thing that jumped out at me was that Continental owns General - so it is possible these are nearly identical tires.

Looking at Tire Rack, they appear in different categories - Max Performance vs High Performance - and their UTQG ratings were slightly different - 340 AA A vs 360 AA A - but it is still possible they are otherwise identical.
 
Messages
2,209
Location
Ontario, Canada
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S are the gold standard, anything else is a compromise. Nothing else even comes close to the combination of grip (both dry and wet) ride quality and longevity. The ride quality is the surprising part, and that is why I continue to use them on our 1er that is a weekend getaway car.
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,040
Location
.
If you haven’t been there already you may want to wander around the Miata.net forums for more model-specific opinions.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
8,640
Location
Indianapolis, IN
The Generals G-max RS have quite an attractive price; $109. Way cheaper than the other choices. Given the way I blast thru tires on this ride, these might be the cost effective choice. Anyone with specific experience with these RS tires? If so, how'd they do in the wet for hydroplaning and braking?
 
Messages
724
Location
MA, USA
Why do you think that summer tire is equal to poor in the wet?
Not all summer tires are track focused tread wear 200 or less.

Krzyś
 

dnewton3

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
8,640
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Why do you think that summer tire is equal to poor in the wet?
Not all summer tires are track focused tread wear 200 or less.

Krzyś
Not that they are "poor" per sey ... Just that summer tires often have a fairly broad tread profile with not a lot of siping for water to escape. I'm not as concerned about wet "grip" as I am trying to avoid hydroplaning.

We may be 1500 miles from home and having to trek on a highway or interstate to make it back, and may get caught in sudden storms that we can't avoid. I simply don't want to end up with the car lifting off the pavement when I transition over some pooling of water as I hit it at 60 or 70 mph.

As I said before, dry weather handling and wet weather safety are my top priorities. I'm wiling to accept some noise, higher wear rates, etc, to gain the characteristics I seek.

I'm pretty hard on tires when the roads are right. I've got 13k miles on the car, and I'm already looking for tires before summer ends. I'll drive aggressively (cornering and braking, not so much "speed") to enjoy the abilities of the car. If I go through tires every 15k-17k miles, it makes sense to find reasonably priced, high grip tires. It's a toy; I understand there's no logical sense of buring up tires that quick - it's a passion and not a necessity. But if a tire costing $109 will get the job done, why'd I want to spend $200 on a tire that really doesn't gain me much in terms of ROI?

If the General Gmax RS will meet my needs, it's by far the most cost effective choice. If not, then I'm leaning towards the Conti EC Sports.



Related question ... Why in the world are the OEM tires (Potenza S001) so freakin' expensive? $200 seems like a lot for a tire that really doesn't seem to offer more than other choices, which cost far less. That's crazy money for such a small tire (205-45/17). Are the Potenza S001s somehow supposed to be superior in some manner? They've been decent tires, but I don't sense anything special that makes them worthy of 50%-90% increased cost over many other good alternatives.
 
Last edited:
Top