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Tire Talk: Nokian WRG2, Goodyear Fortera are best all-weathers

Tire Guy John Mahler answers questions from readers.

Published June 22, 2012

Q. I have a 2003 BMW X5, tire size P235/65 R17. I would like an all-weather tire, or excellent all-season, mostly for city driving.

A. In all-weather tires, there is but one, the Nokian WRG2. The only downside is that it’s a little noisy. Goodyear’s Fortera CS TripleTred tire is also amazing, but it’s pricey.

In regular all-season, the choices are: Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology (smooth and quiet despite its long name), Pirelli Scorpion Verde (it features amazing wet grip), Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring (plush, smooth and quiet).

Q. I need tires for my ’08 Porsche 997 GT3. Any comments/observations on the Michelin Pilot Super Sports for 50 per cent track/street use? How do they compare to the Michelin PS2s for track use? I only use the car for leisure weekend street or track driving. It’s almost never driven during the week.

A. The Pilot Super Sports are superior to the PS2s in every way, wet and dry. More grip, better feedback, quieter running. (Good feedback from a tire is more important than ultimate grip. It allows the driver to make the best of whatever grip is available).

The new Super Sport does everything better. Plus, it lasts longer. It’s is an excellent choice for your GT3.

Q. I’m looking to replace the Dunlop tires on my Subaru STi. as they are getting pretty close to the wear bars and are extremely noisy. I stopped by a tire shop near my office and got pricing on Hercules Raptis. (P245/40R18). They come to $690 installed. He also has Ironman tires for $552. I have never heard of either. If you don’t recommend them, do you have a tire in mind for my car that isn’t really expensive? Michelins come in at $2,000.

A. I have not driven or reviewed those brands. When it comes to mainstream tires that retail for a better cost than the Michelins, I would consider: Hankook Ventus V12 EVO K110, Sumitomo HTRZ III (get the III, there is also a II), Fusion ZRi or General G-Max AS-03. I like them in that order.

There is a Chinese brand that I have just tested and it did quite well. It is the Sailun Atrezzo Z4+AS. It would be even less expensive than the first ones you mentioned. It would be fine for normal and spirited driving, but not for track use.

Got a tire question? Contact John Mahler at thetireguy_1@hotmail.com. Because of the volume of mail, no personal replies are possible.

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