I was under impression that I have adequate knowledge AFA tyre selection is concerned. So I googled a lot, and got confused. Major reason behind confusion is that I or rather we have got habit of reading only online expert & user reviews and take decision. Of late, I realised that these reviews are useful only for the particular size, load index, speed index. If there is a change in any one of these factors the features & benefits associated with the tyres changes by leaps & bounds. My requirements :
Replacement tyres for Skoda Rapid TDI DSG AMT in stock size 185/60R15 84T.
As my driving style is bit aggressive, total running daily is approximately 70 km ( 12 km four lane highway without road divider & 20 km two Lane highway without road lane dividing stripes
so you never know when you have to apply emergency brakes, so braking experience needs to be excellent.
I don't like to follow other vehicles on the road, so keep overtaking the vehicles in quick succession This is aided by the 'kickdown mode' of the acceleration pedal of the Skoda Rapid DSG AMT. You just press the A pedal till metal in the existing gear & you can easily over take 2 to 3 trucks in single go. I also have to pass through a Ghat section daily 3 km up & 3 km down. It's early in the morning I have to go down through it, I need to hard corner at good speeds on turns which have poor banking . Also, they should not give nauseating sensation to the occupants while hard cornering repeatedly.
Few stretches of the road are like no roads (bumps, potholes, puddles), so needed a tyre which is less susceptible to bulging or ballooning & sidewall cut. Also there are 10 indian size speed breakers on the route.
Whenever there are holidays there is holiday for this daily 70 km running & I go with my family on long distance trips often involving 1000 kms. So tyre needs to be less noisy if not super silent.
Tyre life /longevity : They should at least last for 40 k to 45k km. My past experience is that for my driving style the average stock tyres use to last not more than 40 kkm. Experience with various tyre sets with my other previous cars :
I have used many CEAT, MRF, JK in the past before 2010, all I can say about them is they were crap.
Bridgestone B series 250, 290 etc, they were marginally better (comfort & braking) than above mentioned brands.
Bridgestone ER 60 : On Tata Manza, These were excellent tyres but I had upsized the tyres from stock size. And had purchased ER60 for their strong side walls. One fine day while passing through a WIP road, sidewall of one of the tyres got torn badly, I had to shell out 5K approximately for replacement.
Goodyear Eagle NCT5 : OE tyres on Fiat Avventura, stock size : One of the tyre got side wall cut while parking the car due to sharp metal protruding out from the ground. I can't blame the tyre here, it was the fault of the construction engineer (govt).
Michelin Xm2 : I have experience of two sets of xm2 on my father's wagon R. After they were fitted FE improved by 1km.
, Total eight tyres & single puncture. My father's driving style is safe for the occupants & careful for the car, he is not a sedate driver, manages to keep pace with my car whenever road conditions permit Review of stock OE Apollo Alnac (Non 4G) tyres on my Skoda Rapid :
UTQG Rating :
Traction : A
Temperature : B.
E marking : full feels European Wet grip & sound pollution criteria
European label not available.
My experience :
Dry :Average grip. Not inspiring confidence when doing 140 to 20 kmph.
Wet : never tried high speeds, and they are average while doing safe speeds.
Hard cornering : gives a bit worrying feel when done at high speed, Also they give some nausea to the occupants as they started aging. Doing safe speed cornering they are fine.
Steering feedback : Poor, this is coupled with the EPS.
Comfort for occupants was good during initial 25 kkm. It slowly started deteriorating. And now it's pathetic. Everything on the road is passed in the cabin (rattles).
Longevity /Mileage : Now they are 33 kkm run. Their shoulders are completely weared off due to shabby alignment job done by Skoda ASS
. The TWI still indicates that they would have easily done 4to 5 k km if shoulders had not weared off.
Following tyres I have taken in to consideration for the replacement Michelin XM2 :
By virtue of being Asymmetrical tread tyres, they full fill my hard cornering requirements.
UTQG rating: Treadwear 420,
EU label (Please note, EU labels are stickers, compulsory on the tyres while selling the tyres in EU & ECE member countries, they are not compulsory in India, so I have found out them on internet) : Most of the XM2 in other sizes are showing 'C' rating for the fuel efficiency & 'C' ratings for wet grip. It is hard to find EU label for the 185 /60 R 15, 84 T. As they are probably not sold in EU now.
E markings : fulfills Sound pollution & wet grip European criteria
Ply composition : Tread - 2 steel, 2 polyester, 1polyamide
Sidewall :2 polyester. Yokohama earth 1 :
No UTQG rating mentioned on them.
No question of EU label or E markings, as their tag line is 'Designed for India (read Indian laws). And these tyres are not sold in Europe. The fuel efficient & probably European version of the Earth1 is Blu earth 01 which have got C ratings in fuel efficiency & C ratings in wet grip too.
Ply composition :
Tread : 2 steel, 2 polyester, 1 nylon.
Sidewall : 2 polyester.
They use' Orange peel oil ' to soften the natural rubber used in the tyre, so as to make the ride comfortable. Goodyear Assurance Triplmax (GY ATM) :
UTQG rating :
E markings : Fulfills European criteria for Sound pollution & Wet grip.
European label : not available, not sold there.
Warranty : Amazingly, they offer replacement against any type of damage (bulge, burst, cut) & manufacturing defect. They will charge only for the used tread thickness of the damaged tyre.
While researching, I found the Goodyear Efficientgrip
tyres have got A or B ratings for both the fuel efficiency & Wet grip. I would have loved to get that tyre but the Efficientgrip are not sold in India. Continental Conticomfortcontact 5 (CC5) :
By virtue of being asymmetrical tread pattern tyres, they fulfill my hard cornering requirement.
UTQG ratings :
Treadwear : 360
E marking : not available,not sold in Europe. They are sold in Australia but I could not find the label, but other e contact model show that they have B ratings in fuel efficiency & B ratings in wet grip too. Bridgestone
: famous on net forums & general public too. Bridgestone ER 300 :
Asymmetrical, hence good for hard cornering.
UTQG ratings. ( I need to confirm, because I am not sure about these)
Treadwear :400 ,
Most of the European labels of ER 300 show that their fuel efficiency ratings are E or F (meaning worst) and for wet grip it is C.
Ply composition :
Tread :1 polyester, 2 steel, 1 nylon
Sidewall :2 polyester Bridgestone B 290 :
No E markings, No UTQG ratings mentioned on their sidewalls, IIRC, They haven't bothered to mention the ply composition too!
On the top of it, the salesman was telling me that I need not read the sidewall as it is not for the consumer and best tyre for my car is B 290!!!! B250 ;
UTQG ratings (Pathetic) :
Treadwear 200, Traction B, Temperature B.
No E markings found , Most of the European labels show that fuel efficiency ratings is E or F (meaning worst) and Wet traction ratings : C
I didn't bothered to check the ply composition. Bridgestone ECOPIA EP150 :
The dealer was surprised to know that as per the Bridgestone website, this tyre is available in India, so he called up them. The Bridgestone man told us that it's not available in 185/60 R 15 and there is no plan in the future to bring it.
To my surprise, ECOPIAs, in India, in other sizes neither bear the UTQG ratings markings nor the E marking,however EU labels found on Internet show that ECOPIA Ep150 has got B or C rantings for the fuel efficiency and B or C ratings for wet grip.
Guys plz help me finalising my decision.