Well, I finally got the new tires mounted/balanced and aligned. They are the 155/80/13 Kumho Touring 795 A/S I was talking about earlier. The steelies that were on the car had 175 tires on them and as soon as I started driving with the new tires it felt like I had power steering I coasted a bit in neutral and they definately seem to roll with less resistance than the old tires (there were 4 different brands tires on the car!).
Since they are only 155 wide the tires look wonderfully skinny from the rear as you can see in the pic. And since I now for the first time, also have the alloys on the VX I couldn't resist posting a pic of that as well.
I sort of have a base line mpg of around 50 mpg before putting these tires and alloys on, so I am curious what the effect will be on the gas mileage. I'll report back of course.
You should be happy with them. I changed my Michelin X radials on my wife's 97 Mercury Villager minivan for the Kumho 795s, and saw about a 2MPG improvement in fuel economy just on the tires. Also had a very large reduction in cabin noise. The Michelins had been bought a couple of months before the Kumhos went on, and we hated the noise they made. They magnified every road noise, especially brake noise from the rears. Sounded like we were grinding on the backing plates with those tires on, but the brakes had plenty of meat left. I put the Michelins on my truck (so much noise on it that a little tire noise won't matter) and put the Kumhos on hers, and road noise went way into the background where it belonged. They also as well as the Michelin Xs did in the rain and snow. They just did so with less noise and better mileage.
The car handles very nicely. The word 'nimble' comes to mind. They were just put on today so I can't tell you yet how they feel on a wet road, but I am not really expecting any bad behavior. I know 155 sounds really small in the US, but having grown up in the Netherlands it doesn't sound so bad. My first car was a Seat Fura and I believe that car had 135 or 145 wide tires (and a whopping 900 cc displacement ).
The 165/65R14 Bridgestone RE92 LRR tire was specially designed for the most fuel efficient car in North America the Honda Insight. This tire has the lowest rolling resistance. Nobody on the Insight forums has found another tire that can come close to matching it for getting the lowest fuel consumption.
Using any other tire (even narrower 155 wide 13" tires) results in Insights using 5 to 10% more fuel. With normal cars the difference will be less severe. I would only recommend this tire if your cars weighs less then 2300 lbs or so because the Insight weighs 1900 lbs.
AFter debating on whether to get the Sumitomo HTR 200 from Tirerack or Michelin X Radial from costco. I think it's cheaper in the long run to get the michelin's from costco.
Let me explain why.
Michelin X radial cost $65 per tire this includes installation, lifetime balancing, rotion, and free road hazard warranty. It is rated up to 80,000 miles.
$65 plus 6% sales tax = $260 + 15.60 (sales tax) = $275.60
The Sumitomo HRT is $37 each from tirerack plus $27 shipping a total of $175 plus installation of $15 each tire ($60) = $235.00
I am going to buy the Michelin X at costco this week. I think it's the best bang for your buck and will last a long time. I mean, is it really worth saving $40 to get the Sumitomo? I will let you guys know if the Michelin X radial really saves gas.
My Gas Saver:
1994 Honda Civic DX Automatic
2003 Toyota Camry SE