while driving a
(215/45 R17 W) on
a combination of roads
after a year and a half of a love-hate relationship with these tires it was time to end it.
I have to admit - the grip was always phenomenal. sometimes on the wet even better than on dry. breaking really strong, you just new the car would stop really quick if needed. the steering response was great, handling confident, the greatly understeered Prius became a joy to ride even through the curvy country rooads. so, on that part, it is a genuine, pure 10. A+. best of what I drove, ever. easily.
but - there's always a but - at the cost of the comfort. I did cca. 27.000 km with these tires. and had to balance, rebalance and refit and whatnot, 5 different times! 5! TIMES! usually I did it only when switching from winter to summer tires, but here, I had to do it basically after every 5000 km. yes, I did rotate the wheels - front to back, back to front, last time we even took the tires of and switched the alloy rims, just to make sure the rims are not problematic. nothing. we even did inspection of the suspension, as there were also some strange noises coming from underneath the car. and vibrations were present still.
the party would mainly start on the highways, with speeds above 110km/h. small, but annoying vibrations. at 130 vibrations would go away in straight line but would appear during faster long highway turns. a strange noise would appear, somewhere from the front part of the car - first I thought it was my wheel bearing, but since there was no noise during country road and city driving, I assumed it was not the bearing. we even did a check on all four, but the bearings were fine. then we turned the wheels front to back, and the noise would start to come from the back of the car so - tires.
also, these tires are quite a bit "thirsty". they need cca. 0.2 to 0.5 l/100 km more than Michelins I had prior to them and Goodyears I have now. Actually, I can feel less rolling resistance when I am cruising around the city.
so, after a year and a half of love-hate relationship, it was enough. with some 5 mm of thread still left, so plenty of live and grip in them still, I threw them off the car and fitted GoodYear EfficientGrip Performance. completely different car. runs smoothly, much more comfortable and much more quiet in the city and finally with no vibrations on the highway.