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Choosing Performance Tyres

tyres_lauraLaura Keane looks at some of the choices involved when selecting performance tyres!

There are two things I feel you should never skimp on with your car – brakes and tyres. Never forget that your tyres are the only thing between the car and the road. It frightens me how many cars I see with bald or mismatched tyres on a daily basis, and given that we are a predominantly wet country, you are on a kamikaze mission each time you get behind the wheel of that car if you have budget or worn tyres. I also find it quite comical that people will fork out nearly 40K on a new car but complain when it needs a set of new tyres.

My Suzuki Ignis (affectionately  known as Iggy)  needed a set of new tyres recently so I set about doing a bit of research as to what I was going to buy. As Iggy has 15” wheels I actually found it quite difficult to find a decent set of performance tyres. In the end I whittled it down to three brands – Continental Premium Contact 2, Dunlop Blue Response Sport and Kumho Ecsta SPT KU31. For me, the most important thing was how they performed in the wet. From reading buyer reviews, the Kumhos came last for me as they didn’t perform well enough in the wet and wear very easily. They were the cheapest for a reason.

Secondly came the Contis, while they weren’t bad in the wet, they too wore easily and also their fuel efficiency wasn’t great. That left the Dunlops, while a fairly new model, they got an A rating in the wet and C rating for fuel efficiency and people were commending their handling ability and reduced road noise, so my decision was made.

So I ordered them, had them fitted and balanced by a friend who was impressed and was raving about them when he saw them, so I knew I had made the right choice. After also having them laser tracked (to prevent uneven wear) I was good to go! Two months in and I am delighted I purchased them. The grip is just phenomenal. It improves the handling of the car so well and turn in is a lot tighter, with no understeer. Bumps are absorbed a lot better in these tyres and the noise reduction is quite noticible, which is saying a lot because the Ignis has little or no soundproofing.

Most importantly these tyres slice through standing water with very little feedback to the wheel, even when hit unavoidably at speed. There are no aquaplaning issues whatsoever. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these tyres

 

Laura Keane

9th May, 2014

 

Author: Laura Keane

Equine science graduate, loves all animals, has two siamese cats, fish, a lizard and a snake. Loves music, fashion, driving, cars and track days. If there is a dancefloor – she'll be on it!. You can follow Laura on Twitter at @optical_laura

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