I have Dunlop SP40s, 175/70-13. It is difficult to find 165/70-13 stock size tires, so this is the size I have gone with for quite some time now. I have the stock VX alloy wheels. Frankly the SP40s are lousy tires; one of them has developed a bulge in the sidewall, and they are vulnerable to punctures. They also show quite a bit of wear for the number of miles on them. Looks like I made a bad choice with these...
I generally keep my tires at the recommended pressure: 35psi front, 32psi rear.
I'll probably buy a set of Kumho KR21s before long. Tire Rack does have the Sumitomo HTR T4 in 165/70-13, but I'm concerned about tread wear and the fact that there are no TR survey results for this tire. On the other hand, the Kumho KR21s have great results across the board on TR's survey (#1 in category).
Simplicity is the glory of expression.-Walt Whitman
Tire Rack does have the Sumitomo HTR T4 in 165/70-13
Right, I was going to mention that. I think using the right size is a good idea (and the KR21 does not come in the right size). I currently have 175s, the Sumi HTR200. I like them, but when they wear out I think I will get the tire you mentioned (T4).
I've read a bunch about tires here and elsewhere, and I don't remember reading anything to raise any concerns (like tread life) about the T4.
In most cases Tire Rack has sizable review numbers on a given tire model. However, in the HTR T4's case, the number of reviews is very small - less than 10. For me, this is just not enough data to base a purchase on. Usually it is true that people don't send review opinions in unless they have problems with a particular item; if things go well, they just don't bother. TR also has separate survey data for most of the tire models they sell. For whatever reason there is no survey at all on the T4.
Traction, tread life, and tire noise levels are all very important issues for me - and tires are a very important part of any car, as they are the only part of the car that contacts the road 24/7 (tire noise is a big issue in the VX, which has minimal sound insulation). The small sampling of HTR T4 reviews on TR does contain some complaints about rapid wear, and one about tire failure after about 20,000 miles:
In most cases Tire Rack has sizable review numbers on a given tire model. However, in the HTR T4's case, the number of reviews is very small - less than 10.
Right, good point. But I think there are all sorts of benign reasons why there might not be a lot of reviews for a particular tire. I think it basically means TR hasn't sold a lot of this model/brand. But that might just mean that TR has a sweeter deal with some other maker. IOW, marketing and business issues could influence the number of reviews, and it could have no connection with quality.
Traction, tread life, and tire noise levels are all very important issues for me
I agree. But I also care about mpg, and I think I will do better when I have the right size. The extra weight is not good.
The small sampling of HTR T4 reviews on TR does contain some complaints about rapid wear, and one about tire failure after about 20,000 miles:
Two of the six reviews have complaints. But like you said, that's a small sample, so I don't put much weight on it, one way or another. The main thing for me is that I like the Sumis I have, so I'm inclined to trust the brand. I also think I've seen various posts from people who are happy with the T4.
I've also read positive things about the Kumho, so I bet you'll do fine. But I really want the right size.