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.

Choosing a winter / snow tire

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 by Mark Veldman
Like any significant purchase decision, having the right information is the key to choosing the right winter tire or snow tire.

The first question often asked is "Do I need dedicated winter/snow tires?"  Here are a couple of tire tests that can help you answer that question:

Testing on Ice:  Winter/Snow tires vs. All-season tires vs. Summer tires

All-season Tires vs. Passenger vehicle winter tires

All-season tires vs. SUV/Light Truck winter tires

Another typical question:  "Do I need four winter tires?"

Mixed vs. Matched Tire Test

Any other question about snow tires or winter tire and wheel packages can be found in our Winter Tech Section.

Lastly, once your need has been determined, we have complete tire information including tire reviews, tire survey results, tire specs and tire warranty information to help you make the right choice.  All snow / winter tires are designed for one-season performance, but their designs lead to different characteristics allowing for choice based on the vehicle and the winter driving conditions.

From my personal experience, there is nothing better than driving in the winter with the confidence that the right tire can give you.

Snow Tires (Winter Tires) in August?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 by Mark Veldman
No...don't put them on your car, yet.

Being more involved in the advertising part of our business means I am already deep into the winter tire advertising. 

We are looking forward to a great season.  Our selection of tire brands offering winter tires is bigger than ever, and we have a huge selection of aftermarket wheels priced for winter use in winter tire and wheel packages.

I have found winter driving to be much more enjoyable when you have the confidence that snow tire traction provides.  My current tire of choice for my Mini is the Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3 ROF.  They provide excellent traction and still handle adequately in the dry.  

Bridgestone Blizzak WS-60

On my wife's VW Passat, we use the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60.  They are fantastic in the snow and on ice...the best I've driven on.  They aren't quite as crisp in the dry as I'd like, but that's is a small price for the fantastic snow traction and ice traction.

It may seem odd to talk snow tires in August, but the season will be on us soon...and I am actually looking forward to handling the winter driving with confidence!

Are They Winter Tires or Snow Tires?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 by Mark Veldman
This is a common discussion in our marketing department. We know that most of the public refer to dedicated winter tires as snow tires.  But, we also know that the purpose of these types of tires is to offer improved traction in both snow and cold.  Under 32 degrees Farenheit, tires designed for summer performance become very hard and have little traction because they are designed for warm-weather use.  So, in the end, we settled for Winter/Snow Tires for the category of tires that are dedicated for winter-time use and are also snow traction tires.

Here is a great resource if you are deciding whether or not you need Winter Tires: the Winter Tech section.

KONI Damper Set Improves the Mini

Friday, July 10, 2009 by Mark Veldman
After hitting 60,000 miles on the my Mini Cooper S, I could tell it was time (and maybe a little late) for replacement shock absorbers.  The car wasn't settling as quickly after dips in road and small bumps were becoming much more noticeable.  I considered shocks from a few different manufacturers like KYB, KONI and Bilstein.  But after reading the shock absorber reviews on tirerack.com, I decided to go for the KONI FSD Damper Set.  I have had great experiences in the past with Koni shocks, so I had high hopes for the Damper Set.

The customer reviews were correct...the Koni FSD Damper Set was fantastic.  The handling was improved with quicker response to steering inputs and less bounce after bumps or unsettling maneuvers.  But true to the customer feedback, the ride quality actually improved absorbing bumps in a more subtle fashion than the stock shocks.

The Koni FSD Damper Set is a definite step up from standard shock absorbers, but there are also a huge step up in ride quality and performance.

Pirelli P Zero RFT tires on my Mini Cooper S

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 by Mark Veldman
I put Pirelli P Zero RFT tires on my Mini Cooper S a few weeks ago.  The nePirelli P Zero RFTw P Zero is a Max Performance Summer tire designed for exceptional traction in dry and wet driving conditions.  Because I do quite a bit of long distance driving, having run-flat tires was important to me and there aren't that manry options inthe 205/40-18 size that I need (the tires are mounted on 18" SSR wheels for a Plus One fitment).

So far (I only have about 1,000 miles on them), I am very pleased with their performance.  In the dry the traction is excellent with very high cornering limits.  These Pirelli tires also provide very good hydroplane resistance in the wet.  I've done some highway driving in heavy rain and had no problems at all.  The ride quality is very firm which is typical of run-flat tires, but they are quieter than many tires in the Max Performance category.

Overall, I am happy with this choice of tire for my Mini.