Don't let frustration take the air out of your tire search.

Hello,

    My name is Neal and hopefully my feedback will help make your tire buying experience easier. I've been with Tire Rack since 2002 and have participated in numerous tire testing events, toured suspension/tire plants, owned and used numerous items we carry on a variety of my own vehicles, and participated in track events on products we carry. I've also attended races at 24 Le Mans in France, Petit Le Mans Road America, and the Long Beach Grand Prix where brands such as Michelin, Yokohama, and Bridgestone ran.    

Over the years I've owned such cars as Infiniti G35, Lexus IS350, Audi A4 Quattro, and Mazda CX-9. I've also been around the vintage car scene for quite some time and own a 1973 Charger which I restored myself.

    If you are online you can also view my vehicle specific recommendations on G35 Driver, EvolutionM, MYG37, and MY350Z automotive forums.

   Tire buying can be overwhelming for sure. Hopefully my experience and guidence will take some of the speed bumps out of your search.
  
  

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

Friday, February 24, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Continental ExtremeContact DWReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.75

2007 Nissan 350Z Base
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 3,500
Location: Concord, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,500 Miles on Tires
February 23, 2012

I posted a review on the second day I owned the tires. This is an update.. The O/E tires, Bridgestone RE050a were replaced by the DW's. The tires (MFG size) have been on for about 3 months and I've become even more impressed! Couple of points....originally, at lower pressures, the tires were not as responsive as the 050's. However, as a person who believes in higher tire pressures, (47,000 miles out of the 050's on the rear, 63,000 on the 050 Pole Positions on the front) I increased to just below sidewall max... 50 front, 48 rear. Handling sharpened immediately, however, the tire was riding too much on center of the tread. Apparently, the DW's are not as "flat" as the 050's. I decreased the front to 48, and 44 in the rear. Based upon the dust markings of the tire, it's riding just where it should...with a just a portion of the shoulder in contact. This is more evident on the rears due to the independent suspension.

Cornering on the new DW's is almost as sharp as the 050's when new! Moreover, on mountain road sweeping turns, the tire has virtually no sharp turn in and set, the entire process is VERY smooth throughout the turn. The tires hold extremely well..and provide a better feel than the 050's without the 050's sharpness. The more confidence I felt, the harder I pushed.... the tire never let me down!

In the rain? What water?!?! The tire, with it's wide grooves, seems unaffected by the wet... and it just seems to hold!

Tread wear is negligible for the first 3,500, so time will tell..

Even without considering the price point, it's a great tire!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Eagle GT (W)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Goodyear Eagle GT (W)Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.25

2003 Nissan 350Z Touring 6-Speed
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 7000
Location: Columbus, OH
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 7000 Miles on Tires
December 13, 2011

Great tire, great upgrade. My complaints are more about my car at not so much the tire. I drove a 350z and the car is simply terrible in the snow and not really great in the rain. I didn't get to drive on the tires for an extended period as I sold my Z, but I was much happier with them over the OEM tires. My only legit complaint is that they were noisier than the OEM tires. I'd be willing to try a cheaper tire, but I was very happy with the GTs.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone RE970AS Pole Position

Monday, January 16, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole PositionReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.5

2003 Nissan 350Z Performance
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 10000
Location: CORVALLIS, OR
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 10000 Miles on Tires
January 13, 2012

I use these tires in a staggered set up on my Nissan 350Z that I use as my daily driver. Even though it's my daily driver I still drive rather 'spirited'. I overtake regularly and drive back-roads on the weekends as if they're my personal track.

I basically have nothing but praise for these tires. In my neck of the woods it rains. A lot. Summer tires are almost worthless here because it only dries out for a a couple of months per year. That being said, these tires handle in water comparably to how my last set of tires handled on dry pavement. It is incredible the amount of traction these tires have in water. I honestly did not think this level of traction was physically possible. If you're looking for tires that handle well in the wet, I'd recommend these.

On the dry pavement they are quite good. The tires are not quite as responsive as my last set of tires, but they are still good. I have to be driving quite 'spirited' to notice though. The kind of corner I notice it on is in the mountains on winding roads, taking 25mph recommended corners at 60mph. Anything much less than that level of driving and I don't even notice it at all.

I haven't driven too much in ice and snow, but the little I have it has done pretty darn well.

In Summary: At the time of this review these are by far the best all-season tires that I have ever used.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110

Thursday, January 12, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9

2003 Nissan 350Z Touring 6-Speed
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 100
Location: Newark, DE
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 100 Miles on Tires
July 26, 2011

I just purchased these tires and had them mounted in a monsoon! It honestly didn't matter; these tires handled better in pouring rain then any tire I have ever owned in any car. I have not past the break in period yet, and I am already pleased. Once I get some wear, tear and some mileage built up on them I will give another review. As it stands, they grip better then my stock Bridgestone Potenza RE040 and Dunlop Direzza DZ101's. They are less noisy then the Potenza's (which makes sense due to the hard rubber the Bridgestone's use) and better in every aspect then the Dunlop's minus noise. For the price this seems like a solid buy, so far....

Nissan 350Z Tires to Handle Snow

Friday, September 2, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel

The 350Z is an awesome car for precise street driving and on the track, but not very good in the snow. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of snow tire options to greatly improve the vehicle's winter driving performance.

Visit the winter section of our Upgrade Garage and easily switch between product categories to see a complete fitment guide for your vehicle. You can also create Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages that come with all necessary hardware such as lugs, center caps ,centering rings, etc. that will allow you to switch between your different Tire & Wheel Packages (race, snow, street). To gain a better understanding of which snow tire will work best for your vehicle, read "Which Snow Tire: Studless Ice and Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow or Performance Winter / Snow?

Given the vehicle's light weight and rear-wheel drive dynamics, I would recommend a Studless Ice and Snow tire. One of the best Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages for a 2005 Nissan 350Z would be the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 in 225/50-17 front tires and 225/55-17 for the rear on 17x8" Sport Edition KV5 wheels. 
 

Michelin X-Ice Xi2
Michelin X-Ice Xi2
Sport Edition KV5
Sport Edition KV5


225/55-17 rear sizing allows the driver to maintain a larger diameter in the rear so the traction control works properly. I like the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tire because it is designed to tackle some of the coldest winter driving conditions and the 225/55-17 is a low rolling resistance tire that confirms the tire's contribution to reducing vehicle fuel consumption and emissions of CO2 gases. The look of the tire with the Sport Edition KV5's painted silver finish sealed with a clear coat makes for a great winter combination. Sport Edition rims combine quality, style and price to offer an exceptional value. For more information on this environmentally friendly tire, read "Michelin Green X."

When installing wheels on the 350Z you may notice a steel pin protruding from the front hub mounting surface. This pin is designed to prevent erroneous rotation of the tires. You must remove it with a 12mm wrench so your new wheels will fit flush against the hub.

Firestone Wins the 100th Indy 500!

Thursday, May 26, 2011 by Hunter Leffel
ItFirestone Racing Team's Indy 500 time! The pole and bump days were perhaps the most exciting in years. And then the drama really started. If you haven't been following the Foyt, Andretti, Hunter-Reay, Junqueira events, do a Google search for the latest. Regardless of who is in or out, bubbled, or booted, one thing is certain...just like the first Indy 500, the 2011 winner will be on Firestone tires.

This is the centennial running of the greatest spectacle in racing. My wife and I had the good fortune of being invited to join the Firestone Racing team for pole and bump day in an all-access experience beyond imagination. The image at left is the team hard at work in the speedway's garage area. We also had a personal meeting with Mario Andretti and brief interactions with Danica Patrick, Paul Tracy, Alex Tagliani and many others. A huge thank you to Dana, Al, Susie, Marty, Mark, Suzanne and the rest of the team for the royal treatment. We truly were not worthy!

In the two decades since Firestone returned to Indy, there has not been a tire-related failure in the race. That is one impressive track record. Taking this experience to the street, Firestone has released the Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500. This Ultra High Performance Summer tire has a great look with the performance to back it up. Feedback from customers has been fantastic, placing it as the number one overall tire in our Tire SurveFirestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500y Results.

Take a look at what some of our customers have to say about the Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500:

"...just got a set on my 350z and all I can say is grip, grip and more grip." - Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2004 Nissan 350Z Enthusiast Coupe

"...tires ride great, low road noise and look awesome." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2008 Dodge Charger SE Plus

How Low Do They Go? Eibach Pro-Kit Springs.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Eibach Pro-Kit
Want to get rid of the extra room between your fender and your tire? Eibach Pro-Kit Springs can help give your car a more aggressive street look. Lowering springs will also help to reduce body roll under cornering and heavy braking/acceleration, offering the driver the best handling and aggressive, good looks without sacrificing ride quality.

Popular Applications for the Eibach Pro-Kit Springs*

Model
YearApproximate Lowering Front/Rear
Audi A3'06-'091.2" Front1.0" Rear
BMW 135i Coupe'08-'091.2" Front1.2" Rear
Chrysler 300C'06-'091.6" Front1.6" Rear
Ford Mustang GT'05-'091.3" Front1.4" Rear
Mazda6 V6'091.2" Front1.4" Rear
MINI Cooper S'07-'091.2" Front1.2" Rear
Nissan 350Z'03-'081.0" Front1.0" Rear

See pricing and options for your vehicle.

*Lowering and availability may differ based on your exact fitment.

BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW-2

Friday, August 20, 2010 by Neal O'Neal
The BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW-2 continues to be one of the top Ultra High Performance Summer tires on the market. It is designed for serious sports car and sports coupe enthusiasts looking for race tire-like traction on the street or for use in autocross, aggressive street driving and track events. This tire is a favorite amongst the drivers of cars like the Nissan 350Z, Mitsubishi EVO, Lexus IS350 and various other applications. Read more about this great tire!

The g-Force T/A KDW-2 features large tread blocks to increase dry stability, handling, and wear under high torque loads. A silica tread compound with wide circumferential and lateral grooves speeds water evacuation to improve wet traction and reduce the risk of hydroplaning. The g-Force T/A KDW-2 tires also feature g-Control sidewall inserts to resist deflection and generate more cornering force. It also has a rim protector rib to help protect alloy wheels from curb damage.

Get yours today!

Enkei Racing Series RPF1 Wheels

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Looking for a lightweight wheel or everyday use wheel? Odds are the Enkei Racing Series RPF1 wheel will fit your vehicle. These track wheels are available in over 70 different configurations in Black, Bright Silver, and Gold Painted finishes. The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 comes in sizes ranging from 14-inch for the Mazda Miata to 19-inch for a VW Jetta. The RPF1 is typically a very lightweight wheel. For example, the 16X7 for the Honda Civic only weighs 13.7 lbs. The 18X8.5 for the Nissan 350Z only weighs 18.3 lbs. 

The RPF1 Enkei wheels are manufactured in Japan where Enkei was founded in 1950. The Enkei Racing RPF1 wheels exceed the JWL and VIA strength test standards that have much higher requirements than the US DOT testing. Additionally, Enkei's MAT process allows them to reduce the overall weight 10-15%.
Enkie PRF1 in Action

Check out the different color options available and see if these Wheels will fit your car. Like the way they look? We can make it a tire and wheel package by mounting and balancing them at no charge prior to shipping out. Pick out your peformance tires and wheel at Tire Rack today!

Enkei Racing Series RFP1 Rims at Tire Rack

Friday, May 21, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Enkei Racing SeriesLooking for a combination of the perfect look and lightweight rim for track or every day use. Chances are the Enke Racing Series RPF1 will fit your car. These track rims are available in over 70 different variations in Bright Silver, Gold, and Black Painted finishes. The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 comes in sizes ranging from 14 inch-for the Mazda Miata to 19-inch rims for a VW Jetta. The RPF1 is also typically very lightweight. For example, the 16X7 for the Honda Civic only weighs 13.7 lbs. The 18X8.5 for the Nissan 350Z only weighs 18.3 lbs. 

The RPF1 rims are manufactured in Japan where Enkei was founded in 1950. The Enkei Racing RPF1 rims exceed the JWL and VIA strength test standards that have much higher requirements than the US DOT testing. Additionally, Enkei's MAT process allows them to reduce the overall weight 10-15%.

Check out the different color options available and see if these Rims will fit your car.
Enkei Racing RPF1 Bright Silver
Enkei Racing RPF1 BlackEnkei Racing RPF1

 


The Devil is in the Details

Thursday, May 13, 2010 by Luke Pavlick
Did you decide to get a new set of wheels for your toy? You know to dress her up a little. Well, it doesn't matter if you went with a big name like BBS or OZ Racing or went with something more budget friendly like an ASA or Verde style I know you want to get the most 'pop' out of your  purchase. So, here's a couple of easy tips to help you get the most impact.

If your new wheels have an open design, think about the surrounding parts. Here's a couple of examples I found roaming our parking lot earlier today.

A good looking Kazera KZ-H wheel with some Sumitomo tires recently installed on a Subaru Legacy but those brake calipers detract from the car's appearance even with the upgraded wheel.

How hard would it have been to grab some G2 caliper paint, which is available in 11 different colors, to clean things up a little and add a little flash?

Something like these OZ Racing Superleggera III wheels with Pirellis on a Ford Transit.


 
If the flashy red caliper is not your thing, here are some SSR wheels on a 350Z with the calipers painted black and some slotted performance brake rotors.
There are many little details which are often overlooked like valve stems and center caps. Many wheels even have optional center caps for a more personalized look. Metal valve stems are another option to improve the overall appearance of your new wheels.

 
To take things another step further you can also run high-end lugs from KICS or Ray's Engineering.


 
As they say 'the devil is in the details.'

My name is Luke Pavlick and I am a car guy.
 

General Exclaim UHP Ultra High Performance Summer tire

Thursday, May 6, 2010 by Austin Martin

General Exclaim UHP is the tire you want if you are looking for an Ultra High General tUHPPerformance Summer tire at a great price.

I am using this tire now on my Nissan 350Z and I have been very happy with the performance. The two benefits that caught my attention are its wet traction performance and price. The General Exclaim UHP is designed to provide high levels of traction, response and control in dry conditions, along with superior hydroplaning resistance in wet conditions.

This tire won't take the place of a Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 (shown at left) or a Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 (shown at right). If you just need a great daily driver that will help you terrorize the off ramps, the General Exclaim UHP will be a great choice. 

Compare Ultra High Performance Summer tires.

My experience with the Bridgestone Potenza RE050A

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 by Doc Horvath
I recently bought a new Pontiac G8 GT that was fitted with the Bridgestone Potenza RE050A summer tires. The car is a decently sized four-door sedan with the 19" wheels and tire option, but I must admit that the Bridgestones make the car handle like it weighs half as much! Road noise is acceptable (at least so far), and wet traction is very good. I have a set of winter tires for the car in case I need it, as I've already found out that the tires are very slick in temperatures below 40 degrees (F). 

This Bridgestone is used as Original Equipment for high perfomance cars like the Nissan 350z and 370z, as well as BMW sedans (in a run flat version).

Like most high performance summer compound tires, I'm expecting around 20,000 miles of life (assuming I can keep them rotated often). After these are used up, I'm planning on going to the Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport in an effort to get a little better life span out of the tire. The 760 is not quite as "sticky" as my current tire, but still should give me more than enough grip to handle well. 

If you're considering a high performance summer only tire for your Pontiac (or any other hight performance sedan), the Bridgestone is worth a look!



An Informative Way to Start Your Tire Search

Thursday, March 4, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
As you know, Tire Rack keeps a large number of consumer surveys on hand. This is strictly for your benefit during the purchasing process. You'll find tire reviews for a number of popular manufacturers, which means you can read Hankook tire reviews, Sumitomo tire reviews, Uniroyal tire reviews...of course the list doesn't stop there.

To make it even easier for you to sift through our database, we also keep them organized by specific vehicle. You might be looking for Chrysler tires, or maybe you need Chevrolet tires. Perhaps you need 350Z tires. Regardless of your search criteria, we'll produce a list of reviews that represents appropriate tires for your vehicle.

It's just another way we attempt to streamline your purchase. An informed purchase is a better purchase, but the best kind of purchase is the one that has you driving away with a smile. And that's what we aim for every time.

Start your search.

HAWK HPS Brake pads

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 by Mac McNabb
Brake LogoAre you looking for more initial bite and grab with your brake pads? Do you always buy the best in tires like Michelin, Bridgestone, or Continental? The Hawk HPS pad is the pad for you! 

From a heavier vehicle to a sporty compact, the Hawk HPS pads are some of the best pads money can buy. Best-in-class stopping power, initial bite, and livable road manners! Low dust, quiet and long lasting. Perfect pairing for your BMW, Miata, 350Z, Mustang or even the family sedan or mini van!

Hawk HP Plus Race brake pads"I wanted something that would perform better than stock and this combo fit the bill." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review

"Stopping distance in my VW Golf has been reduced from 164ft@60mph to 133ft@60mph (G-Tech readings)" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review

Highest Rated 350Z tires

Thursday, September 17, 2009 by Mark Veldman
Now that there are some real options in the right sizes for the 350Z, it is interesting to see which 350Z tires get the highest ratings from our consumer Tire Reviews.

In the 225/45-18 and 245/45-18 size combination, the top non-winter tires (a couple winter tires actually achieve the highest ratings) are the Bridgestone RE960AS Pole Position and the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus





















In the 245/40-18 and 265/35-19 tire sizes, the tires with the highest reviewer's rankings are the Continental ContiSportContact2 and the Pirelli PZero.




















And, of course, you can also use our Tire Test Results, Consumer Survey Data and Consumer Tire Reviews to get all the information you need to choose the right tire for you.

350Z Tire Options

Thursday, September 17, 2009 by Mark Veldman
The Nissan 350Z came in quite a few configurations:  Base, Enthusiast, Gran Touring, NISMO, Touring and Track (not to mention Coupe or Convertible in several of these configurations. 

The Base, Enthusiast, and Touring models came with a 225/45-18 Front tire and 245/45-18 rear tire.  In 2003, these were quite unique sizes and there weren't many tire options available.  Tire Rack now has 35 different tire models from brands like BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, General, Goodyear, Hankook, Kumho, Michelin, Pirelli, Sumitomo and Yokohama.

Click here to view the best selling 350Z tires in the above tire sizes.

The Gran Touring Coupe, NISMO and Track versions came with a 245/40-18 front tire and 265/35-19 rear tire.  There are currently 9 tire models available from 5 different tire brands with matching tires in these sizes.

You can see the best selling 350Z tires in these sizes here.

The options for 350Z tires have really opened up over time allowing for a selection with varying price points and tires with different performance characteristics.