Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2

Note: 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.
Vehicle: 2004 Mazda MAZDA3 s 5-Door
Miles Driven on Tires: 50
Location: PONCA CITY, OK
Driving Condition: Mostly City
Driving Style: Spirited
Hankook Ventus S1 noble2
Initial Review: 50 miles on tires
March 12, 2014

Replacing Yokohama S.drive summer tires that were old on my lowered Mazda3 5-door. I tend to accelerate and brake rather hard and take my turns quickly.

The Yokohama's were like driving on railroad tracks: direct and instantaneous response to all input. From what I've gather reading the comments, this is due to very stiff sidewalls. I liked this quality because it gave me supreme confidence at speed and in traffic conditions.

Moving to the Hankooks I was first impressed with the complete and utter lack of noise and the vastly smoother ride. This is a trade-off, and overall a positive one. I liked the directness of the feel of the S.Drives, but I also find the slightly muted road feel doesn't isolate me too much on the Hankooks, and the quiet in the cabin makes it easier to hold conversations on dates (other car is a van and my wife and I like pretending we're still young on dates, hence my car's the one to take) and allows me to run the radio a few clicks lower.

Quick slalom moves at speed are perhaps the biggest change, and the one I like least. While the Yokohamas would quickly and surely change the car's direction, the Hankooks see to lag rather substantially, and with repeated left-right-left-right swings, they average out the trajectory rather than making each directed turn.

As others have noted though, normal turning is still OK, and the lag is minimal in normal turning. Right now, as I'm still trying to get a feel for the Hankook's handling, I haven't been as brave taking some of the smaller-radius turns on my commute at previous speeds. However, I have not felt any lateral slip, none whatsoever, so once I get the feel down, I anticipate being able to take these curves at effectively the same speeds as the S.Drives.

In short: They're softer than Yokohama S.Drives, mostly in a good way if that's what you need. If you value absolute handling precision above all else, these are not for you. But the Hankooks are quite nice if you value the tradeoff.

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