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ZE1, E34, W140, RN38, Ford P400
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Disclaimer #1: I've never driven on fresh OE (RE92) tires. The ones I had were down to 5-10% tread on the outside and inside (but ~40% in the middle) and were about 4 years old.

Disclaimer #2: my car is gas-only, no hybrid battery assist. I'm still lugging around the deadweight battery, as well as BMW power seats (perhaps +40lb over stock).

Having put ~800 miles on them, most recently in a 600-mile roadtrip, they're broken in and I've got enough data to report my findings. I ran them at 30psi until the trip, which was at 40psi cold.

Mostly subjective evaluation, compared to what they replaced...
  • Road noise -50%. The difference is huge, to the point that soundproofing now feels optional.
  • Ride comfort +15%. Not huge, but noticable.
  • Steering reponse -3%. They feel slightly mushier during turn-in. Doesn't bother me.
  • Dry grip +30% (haven't tested in rain or snow yet)
  • Acceleration -5%, which is about the only meaningful drawback to these tires.
  • Cost -37%, $235 vs. $376, which is the cheapest I could find new OE tires. These are made in Indonesia.
  • Treadwear rating +162%, 680 vs. 260. Treadlife warranty is 70k in 6 years.
  • Fuel economy... if there's any loss at all, it's less than the variation between tanks. Calculated mileage before (8-10 gallon fillups) - 50.2, 52.4, 48.2, 52.6. Calculated mileage after, with 3% correction for the larger overall diameter - 52.5, 48.8. These are low numbers by Insight standards, for which I blame my driving (fast), the terrain (hilly), the car (underpowered), and the cargo (typically lots of it); flooring it in third gear on long uphill climbs with the AC on... yeah, that'll do it.
Overall, I'm very happy with them.
 

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Nice review. I'm actually thinking of ordering the same tires from 4wheelonline, although I'm still a bit leery about their wet performance.
 

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Do you have an MT or CVT? Your ~50 MPG before and after, plus low pressure, raises an interesting scenario: If one weren't all that into getting great fuel economy (by Insight standards), maybe it'd be worth getting more comfortable tires - if for some reason, once you get that low, the differences the tires make stop making much difference... Like, if you want to be closer to 70 MPG than 50 MPG, better get the RE92s; if 50 MPG is fine, maybe it doesn't matter what tires you use...

Have any picts?
 

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2002 Monte Carlo Blue CVT
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Reference to 3rd gear makes me suspect 5 speed, plus original poster says he's running ICE only, no IMA.
 

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I'm glad you are happy. For anybody else reading this, big,heavy, oversized tires will kill your mileage and performance. Especially with no power to begin with by bypassing the IMA. You have been warned!

Sam
 

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ZE1, E34, W140, RN38, Ford P400
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Discussion Starter #7
It's a manual trans. I lost my O2 sensor sometime in the last couple of months, just replaced it (Walker 250-54005), will report mileage on the next tank or two.

In theory, and other variables held constant...
  • Increasing tire weight (more precisely, its rotational moment of inertia) decreases acceleration, and does not increase rolling resistance. Steady-throttle fuel consumption is unaffected, while city consumption increases.
  • Increasing tire outer diameter decreases acceleration, increases top speed, decreases engine RPM for a given vehicle speed, and increases ride height. Highway and city fuel consumption can either increase or decrease, depending on the proportional effects of the latter two changes.
  • Increasing tire sidewall height increases sidewall compliance (but tire construction is also an important variable; some tires at 50psi are softer than others at 30psi), which increases rolling resistance and therefore consumption, and improves comfort.

Some of the chages are linear, some non-linear, and others (BSFC in particular) follow no straightforward pattern. It's possible for the reduction in engine RPM to significantly mitigate or even overcome the rest, in overall effect on fuel economy.

Conclusions will have to wait for further data, but based on what I've seen, my hunch is this: yes, RE92 will probably squeeze out another 1-5% economy in typical use, compared to these tires. The car is also faster less miserably slow with those. In all other respects, including net running costs if tire cost and longevity are taken into account, these Hankooks are equal or better. RE92 is probably still the choice for fanatical economy above all else; the Hankooks are a reasonable alternative, that IMHO is superior for overall use.

Then again, the context for that opinion includes finding it unacceptable to have to wear earplugs in a car. Reasonable people can disagree.
 
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