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Discussion Starter #1
OK. I bought my '00 1.8T Variant last fall. I promptly slapped Nokian winter tires on it, but the threat of snow should about be over form me by Easter.

Time for summer shoes! I have 16x7 Swings for the car and have a couple of questions:

Aside from the 10% wider (and commensurately shorter) contact patch, heavier tire, what, besides better looks and likely lower fuel economy, what can I expect by going to 225/50 vs 205/55?

Second, I am not going to race or autox this vehicle. Still, I'd like some decent summer rubber. I value responsiveness, dry grip, wet grip, quiet, comfortable ride, longevity, in that order.

I've run things like Bridgestone RE71 (my favorite), Pirelli P700-Z (very hard when the weather is cold), Yokohama AVSi (noisy, hard when it gets cold, and loses something in the wet when it wears). I know they are all previous-generation tires, but I liked them all. And at the end of their runs, they were very inexpensive!

I'm leaning toward the Yokohama AVS ES100 as a good value-priced tire. It is wonderful in the dry, and reasonably quietm but, like the AVSi it seems to give up in the wet as it ages.

As you can imagine, I don't want to spend a fortune on these, say $100 or so a corner, max. Any thoughts/suggestions would be welcome.
 

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For the price of $100 per corner max, I think the Kumho MX (better than the 712 Supras), should fit your budget. I got them for around $79 per 205/50/15 tire. They have also pretty favourable reviews across tirerack and the miata.net forums. They're also pretty decent weight wise.

The Toyo TS-1's are also really nice, and one of the lightest tires around, but they may be slightly over your budget.
 

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I agree on the T1-S, I've got a set (225/45-17) on my Variant, and I've been pleased. A little noisier than my stock Michelins (which were pretty quiet), but seems to grip really well in wet and dry. But they're not exactly a "budget" performance tire. My 17s ran $155 each at EdgeRacing. Looks like in 205/55-16, they're $119 at ER. Not sure about elsewhere, might be able to go even cheaper. Also, the Toyo Proxes 4 has been raved about and is $78 in that size, though it's an all-season (UHPAS), not a MP, but from the reviews, it's pretty sticky in its own right. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Performance tires to buy

OK, thanks for the feedback. I'm getting advice to go with the

Yoko ES 100
Toyo TS-1
Kuhmo MX

And Clay thinks the Goodyear F1 GS-D3 is a winner.

Anyone with direct experience with more than one of them?

Aside from the appearance, is there reason to go to 225/50 vs 205/55 in the 16" size I'll be buying? (Like, will it fit properly in the spare tire well?)

Thanks.
 

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Lol, funny you mentioned 'direct experience'. I will be trying out the Kumho MX next weekend in a track event. However, they are 15's and will be going on my '92 Miata. I'm def no expert, but I will try to post impressions.
 

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Yokohama ES100 and Kumho MX, both are good performance at a great price. Goodyear Eagle F1GS-D3 is the best all around performance, but they do cost more.
Well, your own tests seem to disagree: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/gy_f1_gs_d3_charts.html

Michelins getting better dry lap times, bridgestones getting better "overall road & track" score. It looks like the only area where the Goodyears really shine is wet traction. Maybe a big concern for some, though.

I like the Kumho MXs a lot, but they're not the quietest tires. ES100s are not in the same class and since you rated treadwear dead last in your priorities, they shouldn't be considered.

Tirerack hasn't tested the MXs against many other tires, but there is a test that's worth the read here: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testResultsModel.jsp?tireModel=Ecsta+MX&tireMake=Kumho

It came very close in those tests to the uberexpensive BFGs.
 

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I was also interested in the Eagle's. However (perhaps b/c it's a fairly new tire), there's still not as much reviews from it as other tires like the MX, Azenis, S-03, T1-S, etc. Speaking only for myself, I'd only get a tire that has good reviews, AND has proven itself in the long run through numerous reviews. I'm also a little skepticle since Eagle did not have anything impressive prior to this tire. The tread design also looks really similar to the T1-S.

That being said, the Eagles do seem pretty competitively priced. 195/50/15 for $82 is still reasonable imo. I will def keep an eye on them, when I eventually replace the Azenis on my DD civic hatch.
 

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You will be very happy with the Goodyears, but I understand the hesitation based on little feedback. That is why we test tires, so we can speak from first hand experience.
 

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What else can you expect?
More likely to hydroplane.
Wider footprint more likely to tramline.
More expensive.
I had the choice and went with 205's and don't regret it.
I just got the Yok AVS db2's and really like them.
They have the rim-protector sidewall and it gives the impression of a wider tire and you get the benefits of a 205.
Quiet, smooth, grippy.
We'll see how they wear.
I wanted a 4-season tire and am happy with what I got and the price was right (IIRC @$110)
I have had great luck with Bridgestone/Firestone and Yoks. Bad juju with Goodyear and Michelin.
But that's just me.
Also the GY Eagle seem to have a very flat footprint....not what I would want on a FWD car.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the observations....

dkosto99 said:
What else can you expect?
More likely to hydroplane.
Wider footprint more likely to tramline.
More expensive.
I had the choice and went with 205's and don't regret it.
...Also the GY Eagle seem to have a very flat footprint....not what I would want on a FWD car.
I know that wider isn't always better. Didn't even think about the tramlining. The 205s just look so....narrow.

I am leaning toward the ES100s today. They are in the low $80s from the Tire Rack in both 205/55-16 and 225/50-16. With mounting + balancing, they can be on the car for $100 a corner.

But I won't be getting rubber until after Easter, so, if anybody else has input, I am still open....
 

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Re: Thanks for the observations....

2KT said:
dkosto99 said:
What else can you expect?
More likely to hydroplane.
Wider footprint more likely to tramline.
More expensive.
I had the choice and went with 205's and don't regret it.
...Also the GY Eagle seem to have a very flat footprint....not what I would want on a FWD car.
I know that wider isn't always better. Didn't even think about the tramlining. The 205s just look so....narrow.

I am leaning toward the ES100s today. They are in the low $80s from the Tire Rack in both 205/55-16 and 225/50-16. With mounting + balancing, they can be on the car for $100 a corner.

But I won't be getting rubber until after Easter, so, if anybody else has input, I am still open....
Check my entry regarding Yok ES100's. I don't know about anybody else but they didn't last 10K on my '03 GLX Variant. Wore out WAY too soon.

Going to look for something else now...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm a bit suprized at the folks who are getting less than 10K on the ES100s. I managed more than that on the AVSi rubber that I used. Did you guys rotate with every oil change? Are you particularly "enthusiastic" drivers? :D

These shoes will have to last more than one season....
 
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