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Old 04-09-2011, 01:40 PM   #1
SkippyThorson
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Default Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

I've been searching for weeks, and tire shopping has to be the hardest thing in the automotive world. A well rated and proven tire can get horrid reviews, and an overall poorly rated tire will have a good amount of praise.

I was looking at some Michelin Harmonys and Goodyear GTs, but I just don't know. I don't want to get a tire that I'll have to replace in 2 years. My 2 main qualities in a tire (like most) are price and tread life. I'm looking to not break $100 a tire, or at least stay as close to it as possible. One guy told me about some Hancook tires that have a 100,000 mile treadlife at $108 apiece, but they were 195/60, and I'm set on 195/55.

The reason I'm looking for 195/55-R15s is because they're the closest thing to the stock steel wheels, which are 185/65-R14. I had a few people tell me to throw in the towel and go for 195/60, but I'm looking to decrease my sidewall height - I can really feel the 'lean' in the car when cornering with the tires I have now.

Added to the mix, I have some factory 15" alloy Saturn rims that have the darker grey painted insets, which is the reason I want to upgrade to 15" tires in the first place.So to end my typically long post, does anyone have an opinion on the best 195/55-R15s for my 2002 SL1?

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Old 04-09-2011, 05:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

Have you looked at the reviews and tests at tirerack.com?

...
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:55 PM   #3
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by emsvitil View Post
Have you looked at the reviews and tests at tirerack.com?
Yes. After the 2 week thorough search I mentioned, the tire review sites aren't of much help. A ton of reviews are from people that have barely driven on the tire for more than 1,000 miles. I'm hoping for some real world Saturn-specific experience.

Tire Rack was the first place I looked, and the place I revisited most often. Not much help just browsing stock and reading lame reviews, really.

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Old 04-09-2011, 08:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

if you are really bent on getting 55 series tires, i recommend then going up to a 205/55. thats what i use on both of my cars. the added width looks so much nicer (in my opinion). a 195/55 will hurt your economy slightly as well.

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Old 04-09-2011, 08:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

I don't care for TireRack. Unfortunately, they're one of the few that sell (or used to sell) decent springs.
If your using the suggested 30/26 tire PSI then that's most of your sidewall flex problem. Feels like crap at 30/26 but pretty nice at 35/30 or 35/35.

I liked the General Exclaim UHP's but they only lasted ~1.5 summers and 12-14k miles. I wasn't nice to them, but I wasn't quite Auto-X hard either. Well, maybe I was...corner's marked for 30-40 I'd generally average at 70 on...

http://www.onlinetires.com <-- Super cheap tires but I've never ordered from them so I can't vouch for anything.
http://www.discounttiredirect.com <- Cheap tires, on par with TireRack overall though. Has a rating/review system kinda like TireRack.

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Old 04-09-2011, 09:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

I actually have 205s on the rear now, with stock fronts. I use 32psi all the way around, and I like it a lot better than all 4 stock wheels at stock air pressure, but I'm desperately wanting to get away from steel rims. Out of the 8 total in my stash, 4 (maybe 6) have bending issues thanks to a few typical winter skidding moments.

The reason I'm stuck on 195/55R15s is because they are the closest tire size to the 185/65/R14s that came on the car, and I don't want to throw off my speedometer / odometer any more than absolutely necessary. I know the difference may be negligible, but the satisfaction of knowing I'm as close as I can be is well worth it.

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Old 04-09-2011, 11:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

If you don't already have the 15" rims, what about 16 or 17?

That would be a 195/50 16
or

205 / 40 17

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Old 04-10-2011, 12:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by emsvitil View Post
If you don't already have the 15" rims, what about 16 or 17?

That would be a 195/50 16
or

205 / 40 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkippyThorson View Post
Added to the mix, I have some factory 15" alloy Saturn rims that have the darker grey painted insets, which is the reason I want to upgrade to 15" tires in the first place. So to end my typically long post, does anyone have an opinion on the best 195/55-R15s for my 2002 SL1?


Just looking for recommendations on 195/55-R15 tires, thanks.

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Old 04-10-2011, 12:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

I run 195/55R15 on my 01 SC1 to replace the stock 14" steel wheels. the speedo is right on the dot. I have been running Nokian tires, one set for winter and one for summer. My summer tires are the H model, and are fairly high performance so I doubt the tread life is super long. Michelin does Not make tires in the size. You could also try 185/60R15 they are the same height and a little narrower than the 195's if you are looking for ultimate fuel economy.

I would look at Continental, upper end Goodyear, or Yokohama tires that have a high UTOG rating. The less aggressive the tread design the longer they [I]should[I] last. Good luck.

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Old 04-10-2011, 07:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

i used to run the falken ze912 on my 97. i got them real cheap a few years ago and was more than pleased with them. they lasted about 35K when they started to get loud (tread was at the wear bars). i just replaced them with the new falken ze512 and have been more than pleased so far. they are extremely quite and if they last as long as the other ones i had, id be happy.

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Old 04-14-2011, 12:51 PM   #11
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Default Instead of making a new thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by snoops454 View Post
...Michelin does Not make tires in the size...
(Actually, the Michelin Pilato Exalto PE2 and A/S are both made in this size, along with a winter tire.)

I wanted to make up a list and see if anyone had opinions, good or bad, about a certain tire. I'm looking at four specific ones, and can't decide. On three of the four, I can get a buy 3 get 1 free deal.
  1. Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 - comes to about $382 total start to finish
  2. Michelin Pilato Exalto PE2 - comes to $390 total
  3. Michelin Pilato Exalto A/S - not sure on price, close to the PE2
  4. Goodyear Eagle GT V - the only one with out the buy 3 get 1 free

Last edited by SkippyThorson; 04-14-2011 at 12:56 PM..

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Old 04-15-2011, 06:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

I know the new Firestone 500 wide oval is very poular with the C5 and C6 Vette owners so I would assume it would be plenty good for a S-series.
Of the tires you listed it is probably the longest wearing tire.

Last time I searched for Michelin tires in that size they didn't offer any, that was over a year ago.

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Old 04-15-2011, 07:07 PM   #13
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

That's my issue, that they're great on Corvettes, but those are cars that rarely get abused, let alone driven. That's the one I wanted at firat, but thinking about it, those ultra high performance tires are only great on hot dry days. Not great in heavy rain, grippy and tacky, so they aren't great on gas, and road noise isn't spectacular. Worst, they have no treadlife, and no warranty whatsoever.

I do really like the look of the tire though. I think I'm going to be getting the Pilot Exalto A/S All-Seasons... Unless I get a compelling reason to get the Indy 500s.

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Old 04-15-2011, 08:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

I got a set of General Altimax HP 195/60R15 mostly for the longetivity of them. I am very very glad I did, they perfectly suit my tastes (for the particular vehicle). Good quality tire.

I usually recommend General, sometimes Yokohama over Goodyear and Michelin.

Idk what the sizing options are, but I recommend General Altimax HP for long lasting tires on Saturn. But my recommendation is no more valuable than anyone elses.


Nokians are hands down the best performing in snow (they win all the ice rallycross races too). Blizzaks are quite swell for the price too.

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Old 04-15-2011, 09:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

Wait for Costco to give a deal on the Michelin HydroEdge tire. Right now they are $110/tire but at times the store gives $60 off a set coupons. (90k warranty)

Looks like the best tire Michelin makes.

http://www.michelinman.com/tire-sele...FRs5gwodImeKIA

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Old 04-16-2011, 06:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

You can put in the 195/60 setting with a Tech II. I'm not sure what that'll cost though, probably something stupid. So glad I have free access!

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Old 04-17-2011, 01:24 PM   #17
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaturnFix View Post
I got a set of General Altimax HP 195/60R15 mostly for the longetivity of them. I am very very glad I did, they perfectly suit my tastes (for the particular vehicle). Good quality tire.

I usually recommend General, sometimes Yokohama over Goodyear and Michelin.

Idk what the sizing options are, but I recommend General Altimax HP for long lasting tires on Saturn. But my recommendation is no more valuable than anyone elses.

Nokians are hands down the best performing in snow (they win all the ice rallycross races too). Blizzaks are quite swell for the price too.
Thank you for your opinions, but I'm not necessarily looking at those tires, and I've done a lot of research about the 4 I've offered, and I don't want to up the size either. Also, I'm not looking for snow tires, neither do I need to win Rallycross races in the snow. (Goodyear wins in Nascar, if that helps my argument.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehunter View Post
Wait for Costco to give a deal on the Michelin HydroEdge tire. Right now they are $110/tire but at times the store gives $60 off a set coupons. (90k warranty)

Looks like the best tire Michelin makes.

http://www.michelinman.com/tire-sele...FRs5gwodImeKIA
I do not have a Costco in my area, and the Michelin HydroEdge tire does not come in the size I'm looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaturnFix View Post
You can put in the 195/60 setting with a Tech II. I'm not sure what that'll cost though, probably something stupid. So glad I have free access!
Though that seems like a very handy tool to use, I don't have access to one, nor would I want to buy it. Although I was looking at the BF Goodrich Radial T/As, They come in 195/60, and not the 195/55 I've settled on.

-------------------------

I know the 3 of you wanted to help, and I appreciate your opinions, but honestly, none of them necessarily related to or answered my question. In fact, all 3 of you mentioned tires that were 195/60, and not the 195/55s I'm looking for.

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Old 04-17-2011, 01:33 PM   #18
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

I'm just saying, I did a lot of research for Saturn tires (I know what you mean, the effort takes a week minumum), and the Altimax HP was best for treadlife (and price and pretty much great at everyhting else too). It is great to use even if you deliver pizzas or something.

And also, there are some good Yokohama models for Saturns. But I'll bet your sizing option is too limited to getting the best tire. That's why (if I were in your shoes) I would try to get someone to switch to 195/60 with a Tech II (it takes 5 minutes) if you want your speedometer accurate. So many 195/60R15's to choose from...

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Old 04-17-2011, 02:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

Michelin Harmony is what I have from NTB. Free tire rotation for life and the tread is lasting as designed. I believe I have 30K miles so far and tires still look and handle great. I believe the warranty is 85K.

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Old 04-25-2011, 04:19 PM   #20
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Default Re: Best 195/55-R15 Tire With Good Tread Life

To follow this up, I wanted to confirm something. If a tire is larger, and thusly, the diameter is larger, the tire will make less rotations on the same trip compared to a smaller tire which would make a greater amount of rotations.

So, if I want my Odometer to not add more miles than I'm actually driving, I would want a larger tire, with a larger diameter, making fewer rotations, correct? I know I'm over-thinking this one.

The 195/60 tire that I was set on was the BF Goodrich Radial T/A, RWL. I know it's a bit of a soft tire, but as long as it's not horrible, I absolutely love the look of it. Anyone have opinions on that one?

I just may go the 195/60 route after all... On the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, I'd be paying $116 a tire for the 195/55, compared to $100 a tire for the 195/60.

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