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Hi, I joined this forum to get some input on tires for my '05 6 wagon though I realize that this is a more performance oriented group. Still, it never hurts to ask. In a nutshell, I don't drive like I need a V-rated tire -usually - though I always drive like I've got someplace to get to and plus 10 mph whatever speed zone I'm in. I am determined that the next set of tires will be much quieter and last at least 10K longer than the OEM Michelin's, which barely made it to 40K (and would cost over $200 apiece to replace!!!!!!). I'd also like to get some better wet traction and considering that my Northern VA location has just set a record for snowfall this winter, would like it to be at least decent in the white stuff.

I've spent way too much time trying to sort out the tires online. And forum comments, while helpful, don't tell the whole story about individual driving style.
So I've got a few questions about using a different tire size and different rating: like would a 215/55/17 fit rather than the stock 215/50/17? (And yes, I've read the sticky on what fits but that seems only oriented to wider and lower profile tires.) I ask this question becasuse it would seem a higher aspect ratio would help quiet road noise. The other thought I'd like an opinion on would be using an "H" rated tire rather than "V" rated. After all, I have never needed to drive at 149 mph for an hour at a stretch. I'm certain that 130 mph would be just fine for me. :^) Also, does a higher speed rating tend to make for a noisier/stiffer riding tire?

Like everyone else I like getting the most bang for my buck and even though the less I need to spend the better I decided against going for cheaper tires because they don't seem to last very long and many are only rated as summer tires. Other than these questions, here's a few tires I've felt would fit both my budget and criteria: comments will be appreciated.

Continental Extreme Contact DWS 95XLW

Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum

General Altimax HP {rated 91H but reviewed as excellent with low noise}

DUNLOP DUN SP SPT SIGNATURE 95V

YOKOHAMA AVID H4S-V4S 93V

Yokohama Avid W4S 93W (higher speed rating, will it be noisier?)

Fierce Instinct VR 91V

Kelly Navigator Gold 95V

B F Goodrich G-force Supersport 95V

--
-Mark-
"There's no limit to how complicated things can get, on account of one thing always leading to another."
E. B. White
 

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The Fierce Instinct ZRs are noisy. I can't say for certain that the VRs will be as well but the ZRs are definitely noisy. The ZRs were very good in the snow.

There are a lot of good reviews on the Kumho LX platinum and Nexen N5000 if you don't mind a Korean tire.
 

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QUOTE (MotoMark @ Feb 18 2010, 07:47 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1638052
like would a 215/55/17 fit rather than the stock 215/50/17? (And yes, I've read the sticky on what fits but that seems only oriented to wider and lower profile tires.) I ask this question becasuse it would seem a higher aspect ratio would help quiet road noise.[/b]
A higher aspect ratio CAN lower road noise, but I wouldn't buy a taller tire just for a quieter ride. A taller tire usually allows a softer, more compliant ride.
QUOTE (MotoMark @ Feb 18 2010, 07:47 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1638052
The other thought I'd like an opinion on would be using an "H" rated tire rather than "V" rated. After all, I have never needed to drive at 149 mph for an hour at a stretch. I'm certain that 130 mph would be just fine for me. :^) Also, does a higher speed rating tend to make for a noisier/stiffer riding tire?[/b]
Going to an "H" rated tire from a "V" is allowable, and again, it CAN lower road noise. The speed ratings are a better indication of not only higher speeds, but they can also benefit overall handling/control. That being said, going to an "H" won't adversely affect overall handling, especially if you don't plan to auto-cross.

A bigger determiner of tire noise is the tread pattern, which not only varies from tire to tire, but can also sound different/louder with different vehicles. As a whole, the 6 is generally less insulated than other midsize sedans.

Based on your list of choices, getting 40K miles is virtually impossible with a few of them. Of the ones you listed, I'd consider the General Altimax HP, since it's more of a grand touring tire (smoother ride, longer treadlife) compared to the other, more performance-oriented tires. Also check out the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity and Michelin Primacy MXV4. Although more expensive, they both tested well in Tireracks tests, with decent survey ratings as well (although I'd definitely give the tests a LOT more consideration than the survey ratings).

I hope this helps. Good luck with your decision, whatever you choose.
 
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Motomark,

From my personal experience
- if you want something for snow, stay away from the Yokohama AVIDs and go with the Extreme DWS. The AVID W4 left me stranded in the snow storm that happened a week before Christmas. It was a costly swtich since the AVID W4 were only on the car for a year, but it was worth it when I switched over to the Extreme DWS. Also Tirerack confirms the suckiness of the AVID W4

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=124

- I have no problems with the Extreme DWS when it comes to comfort and quietness. But if you're looking for quiet, generally you want to look at the "grand touring" tire segment, like the Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum.
 

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I would stick with the stock size. I am running the Yoko AVID W4S's on my car right now. They are ok, but not very good in the rain after about half worn. They don't really hydroplane, but slip around ALOT! And they are pretty horrible in the snow (to be fair, they are pretty worn!). Plus they are getting a little noisy, too. Those Conti DWS's look promising, but they are awfully new and don't really have any track record yet.

So, you could be a guinea pig with the Conti DWS's or look at known good performers. I'd recommend one of the following (click links):

Michelin Pilot Exalto

Bridgestone RE960AS
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the input so far. I concur with most all comments and have had a chance to take a second look at some of the initial choices. The Conti DSW's are still at the top of the list and most of the others have retained their ranking. The included links have been very helpful too and I HAVE been checking all of them out, esp the testing on tirerack that likes the Conti's in snow. Yeah, the season is almost over, though there's call for more snow in the next few days, but I want these tires to last for another three years at least!
So I can now cross off all W and above rated tires and stick to V and H. I'm rather inclined to try an H just to experience the difference as I came to my 6 Wagon after the transmission expired in my minivan and I'd long been thinking that I had more tool than I needed with the big box. As I like to carry all my bicycle stuff, along with companion's, in the minivan, it took me a while to get used to the quicker, snappier capabilities of the 6 wagon. While it is more than capable, I can't vouch that I am! But it sure is fun!

Here's another tire that prolly doesn't show up on many radar screens but I've gotten a good vibe from what I hear about the Cooper CS4 Touring, which comes in several speed ratings, both V and H included. Anyone driving these?

Bon route,

-MM
 

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QUOTE (MotoMark @ Feb 19 2010, 10:54 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1638334
Here's another tire that prolly doesn't show up on many radar screens but I've gotten a good vibe from what I hear about the Cooper CS4 Touring, which comes in several speed ratings, both V and H included. Anyone driving these?[/b]
I have not tried the Coopers, but did run a set of Avon all-season tires prior to the Yokos. Cooper now owns Avon Tyre. I was not overly impressed with the Avons. It became EXTREMELY noisy after about 10000 miles into their 28000 mile life span.
 

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I used to sell Coopers.

Noise was a common complaint.

They seem to be well constructed tires. They were no more likely to delaminate or suddenly fail than any other brand I ever sold. But they only seem to be really popular among Dodge Ram owners with factory 20"s.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
QUOTE (Spazdog @ Feb 18 2010, 08:52 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1638074
The Fierce Instinct ZRs are noisy. I can't say for certain that the VRs will be as well but the ZRs are definitely noisy. The ZRs were very good in the snow.

There are a lot of good reviews on the Kumho LX platinum and Nexen N5000 if you don't mind a Korean tire.[/b]
The tread pattern on the Instinct VR's kind of looks like the Conti DWS except maybe with a bit more spacing between blocks . Spacing on the ZR seems wider still, perhaps contributing to their noisiness.

The Nexen N5000 had not come up at any of the online sources I looked at, perhaps because the 215/50-17 is rated 90H. The 215/55-17 is rated 93V. So I'm going to a one centimeter larger diameter tire with the 215/55. Seems like it would be minimal.
Any thoughts on fit and driving performance?
thanks
 

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I really wouldn't put a 215/55 on your wheels. They will make the speedo read ~2mph slow and they have a sidewall that is .5" taller than OEM. If your primary requirement is a quiet tire I would probably look almost exclusively at the "touring/grand touring" tire group as they will typically be quieter than performance labeled tires. Also tire noise is subjective, everyone's tolerance is different.
 

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QUOTE (MotoMark @ Feb 18 2010, 05:47 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1638052
General Altimax HP {rated 91H but reviewed as excellent with low noise}[/b]
bought them with the car...looked like these had good 20k on them already. I thought it's some generic walmart, POS subbrand just to find out afterwards they rank 2nd in their category on tirerack. I got suspecious because these behave so well.

Dry-amazing grip even for an old tire
Wet grip -very good
Take off on dry-very good, take off on wet - sucks and that would be the only part of driving where these fail but again might be due to thread wear.

Very quiet but then again I haven't driven m6 with any other tires than my winter blizzaks :)

If you consider price it's the best deal on the market period
 
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