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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need a little advice on which tires to buy. I'm keeping my stock 15" Wellingtons, but would like a tire that's high performance all-season. Preferably something a little sportier than the stock stuff, and perhaps in a different size. What is the next width up that I can fit on the 15's? Or, lower profile would be nice.

Stock suspension as well, and will not be changed. This is a family hauler, but it does need a tire upgrade.

Your thoughts?

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Rudy,

would you recommend the stock size, or something else? I feel that the stock size is a little "squishy"...and handling is a bit too soft. But, if it's the best choice for the stock wheels, then I'll stick with it.

Thank you
 

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195/65s are tricky. You either get a 205/60 (slightly smaller) or 215/60 (slightly bigger) than stock. Another tire which I have had good luck in the past is ContiExtremeContact. But I am not sure they make it in 15".
 

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Bridgestone Potenza G009 are a good choice.
Rudy is right.

I just got these on my stock Wellingtons in 215/60 R 15. That is the size that comes closest to stock diameter. However, they are heavy, so expect to see a 4-6 mpg drop in fuel efficiency.

They FEEL great however...GREAT wet traction, lots of grip, and solid through turns etc.
 

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Hi Rudy,

would you recommend the stock size, or something else? I feel that the stock size is a little "squishy"...and handling is a bit too soft. But, if it's the best choice for the stock wheels, then I'll stick with it.

Thank you
The handling of this tire will be better right off the bat. I would probably try the 205/60R15 which will help some also. The slightly shorter sidewall will help a little with sidewall flex giving a more responsive tire.
 

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YMMV, of course. I'd hesitate to go to a wider tire because of the relatively narrow width of the stock wheels. On a 6 or 6.5" wheel anything at a 205+ width will tend to roll and wallow a little.

The 195/65R15 tires on this Passat felt as good as the 205/55R16s that I had on my Talon as far as handling and feel goes. They feel a little squishier, but it's a bloody near-luxury sedan! I had the Michelin MXV4 Plus tires, by the way. Anything sportier than that should do you just fine in the stock size. I always liked the Bridgestone RE750 or 900 series tires for best all-around performance. BFG KDWs would be pretty good as well. You're right in thinking they'll be harder to find in 15s though, with this trend towards 18" wheels on sub-compact Kias and all...
 

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I did experience lowered MPG when I used Bridgestone tires before. Not to mention the steering felt heavier (wellingtons, 205/60 tires, stock suspension). They are heavy tires.
 

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How much better is the RE960AS Pole Position (for approx $10 more each) than the Potenza G009, or is it?
 

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I need a little advice on which tires to buy. I'm keeping my stock 15" Wellingtons, but would like a tire that's high performance all-season. Preferably something a little sportier than the stock stuff, and perhaps in a different size. What is the next width up that I can fit on the 15's? Or, lower profile would be nice.

Stock suspension as well, and will not be changed. This is a family hauler, but it does need a tire upgrade.

Your thoughts?

Thank you.
i now have michelin pilot exaltos 205-60x15 a/s on all three of my VW,s,two passats and kids jetta in the last two years or more,thats how good they are in all seasons,not just according to me but tire racks reviews and ratings,they didnt get to the top percent of every category for nothing and as far as mileage,the first ones on my 4-motion now have 25000 miles and have just about the same tread wear as my other set on my passat w/10000 miles on them,cant tell which one is older,thats how well they wear,and still handle,i can see them easily going to the rated 50000 miles or more,.... im sold on them,they are one freakinfantastic A traction A temp 400 treadwear 91H load rated directioal HP A/S tire,btw ask rudy about them too.good luck
 

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Again, the Wellingtons are a narrow wheel, so a 205 width tire will want to roll and wallow and will 'feel' heavy. Saying that Bridgestones are a heavy tire is like saying that Volkswagens get great fuel economy. It doesn't apply to all of them.

My primary concern in a tire is treadwear vs. performance. The G0009 you mention will probably wear really quickly, but will give awesome performance. I find that a tire with a treadwear rating (UTQG) of around 350-500 is the best compromise. Anything lower will disappear within a year or so, and anything higher will USUALLY handle like they were made of concrete. The newer tires, like Michelins, with ratings of 700 are getting really good reviews for performance now, but are pricier usually.
 

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I think you can get both tread wear and performance with the G009s. I just replaced a 215-60-15 set and got 45,000 miles out of them and they did well performance wise. I went with the same size in the RE960 Pole Positions. I won't get the same tread life, but they are a step up performance wise.
 

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Again, the Wellingtons are a narrow wheel, so a 205 width tire will want to roll and wallow and will 'feel' heavy. Saying that Bridgestones are a heavy tire is like saying that Volkswagens get great fuel economy. It doesn't apply to all of them.

My primary concern in a tire is treadwear vs. performance. The G0009 you mention will probably wear really quickly, but will give awesome performance. I find that a tire with a treadwear rating (UTQG) of around 350-500 is the best compromise. Anything lower will disappear within a year or so, and anything higher will USUALLY handle like they were made of concrete. The newer tires, like Michelins, with ratings of 700 are getting really good reviews for performance now, but are pricier usually.
I would not exactly call a 7" wide wheel *narrow*. 205mm is fine, in fact if it was 16" wheel, I would put a 225mm tire on it. You do have to up the pressure to handle that. Bridgestones are definitely heavier than most other tires. Most OEM duty Michelins have compromised traction and handling. Like you mentioned, their sole purpose is tread life :mad:
 

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I'm at about 3000 mi on the Potenza RE960's and they have been excellent in all types of driving, I didn't know one tire could do so much in terms of weather and hard driving. I've had them in hard rain and didn't feel it at all. The only thing that limited my speed was knowing that there had to be a limit somewhere and I didn't want to find it at those speeds if you know what I mean... And 4"-5" of fresh snow was also a breeze. Getting launched would cause wheelspin if you gave too much gas but that would only be way too much, not normal driving. Getting moving was never a problem and the ASU almost never came on. And directional control in snow was really amazing. Driving around town I kept testing to see where the car would start to plow because of too much speed or a too fast steering input, and long story short, I'm still looking. In anything like normal driving you turn the wheel, with or without breaking, and the front tires cut a path in the new direction without any noticable slide.

What I find myself saying about these tires as compared to average all seasons is that driving in the rain is almost like driving in the dry... And normal driving in the snow is almost like driving in just the rain.

I bought them to keep my new (to me) 02 Passat with wide tires a safe, sporty, year round daily driver that would never make me feel like I better take another car or stay home because of the weather, and they delivered beyond what I thought was even possible in one tire.
 

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if you do not have a dedicated set of snow tires & wheels for the long, cold, icy, snow Wisconsin winters.... I suggest sacrifacing some dry traction and spend more money on a set of Nokian WR. They are a All-season tire that also has the mountain/ice flake logo that makes them very capable in the winter.
 

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What's your other car? My Talon came with 205/55R16 on 6.5" (if it wasn't 6") wheels. A fair amount of bulge, but not too much. A few people went to 225/50s, and said there wasn't as big an increase in handling as they thought. That would be because of the bigger bulge. Of course, when most people went for wider wheels, they also went 17" or 18"...

Our Vibe came stock with the same size tires on steelies. Universally, everyone reviled those tires, saying they were even dangerous (if they drove like idiots). I didn't disagree, they felt very 'divey', and made you think the car was going to roll. I remounted them on a set of 16"x7" Konig Holes, and they became a COMPLETELY new tire. Responsive handling, neutral feel, better all around. I see that sort of thing in places like Tire Rack's reviews all the time. People will trash a tire, but it's mostly because they're just not set up right.
 
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