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All-season tire performance?

6207 Views 29 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Normand
I just bought a new set of all-weather Federals, after finally getting around to replacing the originals at 59K. My 2001 Insight seems to be working harder & mileage doesn't seem as good. I'm happy with my 61 LMPG & want to keep that or improve. Is this performance typical of all-weather tires? What's the best bet on new tires? I've seen a number of posts recommending Sumitomos. NOTE: Just had a 60K maintenance check-up & wonder if there might be issues related to what service techs might have done or not done.
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tubesguy said:
Sadly, you can't judge ride comfort, noise levels, and grip/stability in bad conditions from anything on any tire dealer's site. So I'm still hoping for that info from any users of replacement all-season tires. Mpg info, while a secondary concern, would also be helpful. - Pat
Best mileage: use 165/65R14 OEM Bridgestone RE92 tire (this is an all season tire but that category is a joke, more on this later)

Best summer grip in dry and wet roads: 195/55R14 Toyo T1R or 185/60R14 Yokahama ES100

Best grip in snow and ice: Winter tires such as the 165/65R14 OEM sized Bridgestone Blizzak MZ-03

Best all season tire? These tires are a huge compromise in all conditions. They do not excel in any road condition. Some of the premium quality all season are the best at being quite, comfortable and last a long time, but they do this by sacrificing grip and mileage. IF you want the best mileage by all means buy the OEM RE92 but If you want another all season tire I cannot help you. My experience instructing advanced driving courses has turned me away from ever wanting to buy all season tires again.

Normad mentioned some interesting options from Nokian but i don't have experience with those specific tires.
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Normand said:
Guillermo, i agree with you the T1-R and ES-100, can you suggest something that will provide more comfort also, just out of the blues, what price can you get on T1-R's, thanks.
More comfort? Just use 30 psi that should give you comfort without sacrificing braking distance :badgrin:

Ok for great price on Toyo T1R tires contact
Carl at TRAC Racing Depot in Quebec
450-472-0676 ext303
Tell him I sent you
Insight rims are 14"x5.5" and that is the typical rim width of all cars that come with 14" rims. Look at the specs of the tire you want and the manufacturer always lists a range of rim widths aproved for each tire size.
195/55R14 is approved by Toyo for 5.5" wide rims
195/45R14 requires 6" wide rims (I use aftermarket 6" wide rims)
I have used both of the above sizes and there is plenty of clearance all around.
185/60R14 is a more ideal size for summer tires on an Insight because the car is so light and the speedometer will be more accurate.
The Toyo T1R and Yokahama ES100 tires are the only excellent ultra high performance summer tires available in 14" sizes and in diameters that keep the speedomer within 2%.
There are a number of ultra high performance tires that are slightly better then those two in dry and/or wet grip but that would require moving to a larger diameter tire (195/60R14 Falken Azenis) or moving up to 15" rims like you suggested.

Upgrading to 15" rims and top of the line ultra high performance summer tires:

Better tires are available in 15" sizes because it's a more common size used for civics etc...
Lots more rims are available in 15" some of then are lightweight
With better tires and lower profile shape the handling and grip with improve and provide a more responsive ride

The 15" rims will have a larger moment of enertia compared to the 14"rims even if they weigh the same, reducing the Insight's acceleration slightly. Added cost of buying more rims.
The comfort will decrease because the sidewalls of the 15" tires are shorter.
14" Race-compound tires will always be better then any street tire for the ultimate grip in dry or wet conditions.

Be careful with the offset of the rims test fit before buying. I recommend 15"x6.5" rims instead of 15"x7" rims because the tires and rims are less likely to rub and the rims are typically lighter.
The Insight is very light weight 1880lb so it will not benefit as much compared to upgrading a 2500 lb civic from 14" rims to 15" rims.

Another option is to use 185/60R14 Yokohama A032R Race Compound tires on the street in the summer if you want better grip without buying 15" rims :badgrin:

There is no significant reason not to upgrade to 15" rims and get even better 195/50R15 tires. Let us know what you decide and how it goes.

The Eagle F1 is a better tire in the rain and the Hankook R-S2 is better in dry conditions. The Eagle F1 would be quiter then the very noisy Hankook R-S2. I drove a WRX with R-S2 tires today at a Car Control School and those tire do NOT squeel at the limit, they make a scrapping sound before slidding like an R-compound tire. They don't give a audioble warning before skidding, but that limit is so high i should never be experienced on public roads unless it's an emergency avoidance situation.
The owner of the WRX noticed almost a 10% drop in fuel economy when we swithed from his OEM Bridgestone RE92 to the Hankook R-S2 a few weeks ago :shock:

If you going for it, buy the lightest 15" rims you can afford.
The OEM insight rims are only 11lbs each.
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Dougie said:
I have A032Rs on my regular Miata wheels. Are you telling me I should put them on the Insight? :evil:
I'm just saying i've done it, but those tires were so noisy on the highway I thought I had an exhaust leak :badgrin:
Normand said:
Almost decided on T1-R's but want an opinion on Falken ZE-512 in size
185-60-14. The price on those is really low, but are they good ???
Also my tire vendor suggested some Nokian NRHi 185-60-14 said that it is an overall good balance tire comfort-grip and longevity.
Your toughts please.
I talked to Carl and he told me you contacted him on a quote for T1R tires. Unfortunately the price of those tires has increase a lot since I bought them early last year.

To answer your question
Falken ZE-512 is a performance all season tire so it's not even in the same catagory as the ultra high performance summer only Toyo T1R or Yokohama ES100.

The web site lists the Nokian NRHi as a summer only tire so yes it would be better then the all season Falken ZE-512 in the summer if you use winter tires in winter.
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