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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I ditched the Yoko's for a set of Kuhmo Ecsta 4X's a couple of weeks ago, but wanted to save any reviews of the new tires until I'd had a chance to drive on the new ones enough long enough to form an opinion.

I ordered a set from Tirerack and had them mounted by the independant mechanic we use, so my out the door total price was around $580. I had the tires two days after I ordered them using the standard shipping rate. From my location in Western Illinois, the standard shipping was faster and cheaper than the more expensive options since the tires were coming out of South Bend.

Now for the important part; how they perform. For me the differences were noticable immediately.
- These tires are quiet. Road noise is at least half of what it was with the Yoko's. I can now tell how little sound deadening Mazda really uses because I can hear much more drive train and wind-noise now.

- The car seems much lighter on it's feet. Despite the weights of the tires being the same, the responsiveness is much better and feels like there is less unsprung weight. This isn't the case, but probably can be attributed to better grip in cornering and breaking, and a smoother ride (they don't crash over seams/pot holes). Turn in doesn't seem any less responsive than the Yoko's which were pretty responsive.

- Traction on wet surfaces is night-and-day better. Even at slow speeds the car always felt as if was barely clinging to the road, and spins/slips of the tires were far too easy. Now the car feels planted at all times and speeds.

- Rain/Snow performance is unknown. We are in one of the warmest winters on record, and I had them mounted the day after our only snow this year melted away. Our heavy rains seem to happen while I'm at work or at home for the night, so it is untested there as well, but I don't see why it wouldn't do well based on reviews I've read and what I've seen on wet roads with some standing water.

The overall ride has gone from a feeling of being skittish and jittery to smooth, planted, and controlled. I couldn't be happier.
 

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Which size did you get? Stock 205/50/17 or like many have done 225/45/17?

I need to get a set soon for next spring...
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Which size did you get? Stock 205/50/17 or like many have done 225/45/17?

I need to get a set soon for next spring...
I went with 205/50/17 since I am still running on the stock wheels. Since the tire was available in the stock size I didn't see any real point in going with the 225's.

I'll also mention that when I aired them up to the recomended 32 PSI, they felt a touch soft. Airing them up to 35~37 PSI feels just right and they are still at a safe PSI.
 

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Congratulations on the new tires! I also just recently ordered new tires. I got the Hankook Ventus V12's though also 205/50/17. I was hesitant whether to get that size or the 225/45/17 like most other people but I decided to stick with original sizing. Hopefully I'll have them either tomorrow or Friday and I'll post a review here as well :)
 

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Congratulations on the new tires! I also just recently ordered new tires. I got the Hankook Ventus V12's though also 205/50/17. I was hesitant whether to get that size or the 225/45/17 like most other people but I decided to stick with original sizing. Hopefully I'll have them either tomorrow or Friday and I'll post a review here as well :)
Great, that's probably what I'll get, same dilemma 205 vs 225.
 

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I just got a set of 4 Michelin tires installed (Primancy MXM4)...way better than the stock Turanza EL400. Supposely they are the best for grand touring according to my research. Anyone has any experience with this particular tire model?
 

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I just got a set of 4 Michelin tires installed (Primancy MXM4)...way better than the stock Turanza EL400. Supposely they are the best for grand touring according to my research. Anyone has any experience with this particular tire model?
Great tires, some of the nicest you can buy to be sure.
 

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These Michelin MXM4s provide much better ride than OEM stock tires...they are so much quieter too! I am very impressed thus far. I just hope that they remain that way as the mileage accumulated.

I will get some noise deadening mats to install soon....should improve the ride another notch or two.
 

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Stay with the stock 205 size if you are on stock wheels. I went 225 with the Continental DWS on stock wheels. While it is awesome in the wet and offers much improved driving comfort, it is a bit squishy on the dry especially when I push it on on/off ramps. Now if you have wider wheels, going 225 won't be a problem even with the soft Conti DWS.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Winter finally flt like showing up here in the Mid-West and I had a chance to test out my new Kumho 4X's in the snow on my drive home from work.

I drove through everything from an inch of slush to 3 inches of fresh fallen, wet, spring snow and I had to try and get them to slip and slide. The Yoko's were at their worst in this type of snow and I only had to look at it for them to start sliding.

It was a really nice change to be able to drive home secure and stable on the road as long as I didn't do anything stupid.

Now all that is left is pouring rain. I'll update if/when I get the opportunity.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Final Update:

Drove in pouring rain today on the way to work and there was a Lot of standing water across the roads as well. The tires performed flawlessly. At no time did I ever feel that eerie hydroplaning, floaty feel that occured anytime the Yoko's hit wet pavement.

After about 1K miles and all weather conditions, I still would highly reccomend these as an option when looking for new tires on our 3's.
 

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Final Update:

Drove in pouring rain today on the way to work and there was a Lot of standing water across the roads as well. The tires performed flawlessly. At no time did I ever feel that eerie hydroplaning, floaty feel that occured anytime the Yoko's hit wet pavement.

After about 1K miles and all weather conditions, I still would highly reccomend these as an option when looking for new tires on our 3's.
I am looking to get new tires asap... I am liking your review of the tires and impressed however as it is close to summer is it still worth it to get these tires? Will you change them out for a summer tire?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No, I'm not going to swap them out for a summer tire, I'm going to run them all year round. For the type of driving I do in the area I live I couldn't really justify spending money on a set of summers. Honestly I think these tires are more than enough tire for this car in stock form.
 

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hankook v12's 255 in the front and 235 falcons in the rear on my evo 8 wheels :]
 

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After putting a few hundred miles on the stock Yokohamas that came on the used 2011 3 I recently bought I am having a set of the DWS all season tires put on this afternoon. The Yokohamas are loud on anything but smooth pavement. Old pavement that is not so smooth, any concrete, and especially at highway speeds they are loud. I was surprised to see at Tirerack.com that the stock Yokohamas list for $193 each. In my opinion it's an $85 tire. The survey results there reflect my brief experience with them.

It's not like I can afford to buy tires anytime I want, but I figured why drive for two years just waiting to wear out these crappy tires? Get some good tires and enjoy the investment in the car.
 

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I will vouch for Kumho 4X, as well. I'm running 215/45/17 on stock 3S wheels. Stock tires were mostly to blame for sliding off the road the first week I got the car :( By 20K miles stock tires were bold (mostly because of my driving style), that's when I got the Kumhos. I'm at 36K now, and there is about 40% thread left. They are about 2lbs lighter per tire, have loads of grip compared to Yokohama stocks, last longer and are quieter on the road. I paid $450 at discount tire and got a $50 MIR. $60 to install and balance at a local shop. Great alternative to DWS for $150 cheaper.
 

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After putting a few hundred miles on the stock Yokohamas that came on the used 2011 3 I recently bought I am having a set of the DWS all season tires put on this afternoon. The Yokohamas are loud on anything but smooth pavement. Old pavement that is not so smooth, any concrete, and especially at highway speeds they are loud. I was surprised to see at Tirerack.com that the stock Yokohamas list for $193 each. In my opinion it's an $85 tire. The survey results there reflect my brief experience with them.

It's not like I can afford to buy tires anytime I want, but I figured why drive for two years just waiting to wear out these crappy tires? Get some good tires and enjoy the investment in the car.
Good motto. If I did what you did, I wouldn't have $4500 worth of damage to front suspension :argh 1:
Stock Yokos are hardly worth $60/piece to me.
 
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