As I am currently reviewing tyres for a friend & I come across a tyre I used previously but never gave a review-> Neuton NT5000.
If you after a budget tyre that is as good as the premium brand, then this is a worthy consideration.
For 235 45 R17, they cost approx. $AUD 100 (fit & balance) & only $15 more than an UNknown Chinese brand. Is it worth the risk considering how many BAD reviews on the net (Chinese brand) covering dangerous wet grip, poor quality & short-life ? BTW in 10 years time, many of us will be driving on Chinese made tyres-> they WILL catch-up :-)
At time, I did drove hard on my 2006 Mazda3 & these tyres delivered both in the wet & dry. Yes, they were fitted to the FRONT-wheels & doing all the hard work. I love the torque low gears & throwing the car (just a tiny bit) through the Adelaide Hills. We have mild weather & these tyres rarely driven on less than 10 degree celsius air temp.
I did pump these tyres 45+ psi & found NO issues with BOTH ride-harness or soft side-walls: I love the tyres' feedback :-)
At 110km/hr, the car is stable, both wet & dry. No issues with changing lane on wet highway roads.
Loudess: As rubber ages, they ALL harden & the noise rises. After 3 years they were louder...but don't they all do ? Those who know 2006 Mazda3, it WILL show up ANY loud tyres. The loudness was due to HARDEN-rubber & thread pattern: look @ all the horizontal & diagonal groves on the thread surface, where do you think traction/friction come from when the road is wet ?
Wear: after 15,000km there was approx. 5mm thread height & 8mm brand new.
Buy again: may be.... I am leaning towards Achilles ATR Sport TWO (& NOT the 1 model). I think the Achilles will be quieter with age. Both tyres are similar in regard to other aspects: being price, wet grip, mileage, feedback, performance etc.
Both make & model have proven themselves......& so have Nexen N9000.
FYI, I have used SEMI-slick & yes they are better in the DRY-only. But for 99% of drivers, are they worth 3+ times the price. Many SEMI are UNlikely to last 3,000 km, Highway driving & wet roads-> dead wish.
Good luck with your purchase.