I bought my latest Focus back in mid October 09. It came shod with four [url="http://ssl.delti.com/cgi-bin/rshop.pl?details=Ordern&cart_id=31827713.110.4966&typ=R-147298&ranzahl=4&Breite=205&Herst=Marangoni&Quer=55&Felge=16&Speed=V&weiter=0&kategorie=6&Ang_pro_Seite=15&Transport=P&F_F=1&dsco=110&sowigan=So"]Marangoni Verso's[/url] 3.75 mm tread on the fronts and 6mm tread on the rear tyres. Obviously a four tyre replacement at some time. Now with my mileage I reckon I will be looking to replace the fronts mid May @ 2mm and possibly March the following year for the rears.
Now in my cash strapped youth [I've owned various vehicles over a period of 45 years] I have been known to buy "remoulds" But in them days an Austin A35 Van was hardly a powerful machine. But if there is one thing everybody should learn sooner rather than later. It is your life and the ones you love could depend on the four bits of rubber making contact with the road at any given time and in any given weather conditions.
Obviously, while I want a good tyre for the job, I don't want to pay through the nose. And buying expensive does not always mean buying a better tyre. And buying cheap is not always the cost effective option some believe it to be. And lets be fair most people will purchase summer tyres for all year use. So my aim was to source a summer tyre that was also good in winter conditions. As these Marangoni Verso's are crap in snow.
Now the consensus of professional opinion is, if your replacing tyres in pairs, the new tyres should go on the back axle. As the fronts wear more than the rears, this will mean getting the garage to swap them around. The thought behind that advice is, your more likely to have a blow out on old tyres than new tyres. And though you may well sh@t yourself at the time, authoritative organisations including the police state that your more likely to stay in control of the car with a rear axle blow out, than a front axle blow out.
Anyway anybody wanting to argue the point about which axle new tyres should go on. Please open another thread for that discussion. As I have already been down that road on the Volvo forum, pages and pages of heated debate, I made my decision [I'm going with the pro advice]
Back to the tyres
I based my research on pro tyre reviews like [url="http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/products/total_tyre_guide/213177/tyre_test.html"]Auto Express yearly tyre review[/url]
And the user scoring on [url="http://www.tyretest.com/index.html"]Tyre Test. com[/url]
I found [url="http://ssl.delti.com/cgi-bin/rshop.pl?dsco=110&cart_id=31827713.110.4966&F_F=1&s_p=Tyres"]Mytyres[/url] was a good data base for tyres, and it links to the TyreTest website.
I looked at the scoring on loads of tyres, premiums, mid range and some budget with good followings. All in there like, Falken and Toyo's even Nokian the Nordic engineered tyre having a small but loyal following, but now being manufactured in China.
My main priorities, were grip in dry, wet, and snow. Along with grip when braking under dry, and wet conditions. Comfort, noise and tyre wear were also taken into consideration, but to a lesser degree.
Anyway my short list came down to the following. The short list is not in a best is first type listing, its just the list I came up with from which I would make my choice. However the first four listed are the Auto Express 1st , 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed tyres in their 2009 test.
Remember in the Tyretest reviews, the lower the score the better the tyre is considered to be in the area under consideration.
[url="http://www.tyretest.com/pkw_sommerreifen/goodyear/hydragrip/index.html"]Goodyear HydraGrip [/url] £81 reviews 458
[url="http://www.reifentest.com/cgi-bin/autotest.pl?103z119z116&&&EN"]Verdestien Sportrac 3 [/url] £77 reviews 529
[url="http://www.reifentest.com/cgi-bin/autotest.pl?103z104z124&&&EN"]Continental Premium Contact 2 [/url] £80 reviews 1124
[url="http://www.reifentest.com/cgi-bin/autotest.pl?103z112z157&&&EN"]Michelin Primacy HP [/url] £93 reviews 374
[url="http://www.reifentest.com/cgi-bin/autotest.pl?103z112z164&&&EN"]Michelin Energy Saver [/url] £90 reviews 653
[url="http://www.reifentest.com/cgi-bin/autotest.pl?103z105z175&&&EN"]Dunlop SP Sport Fast Response [/url] £78 reviews 1246
[b]And the one I settled on for my next purchase [/b]
[url="http://www.reifentest.com/cgi-bin/autotest.pl?103z108z152&&&EN"]Goodyear OptiGrip [/url] £79 reviews 290. The Michelin Energy Saver would be my second choice
As you can see when compared to a [url="http://www.reifentest.com/cgi-bin/autotest.pl?104z108z111&&&EN"]Good Winter Tyre [/url] £102 reviews 208 it scores well for grip in snow. Leaving aside the winter tyre which was not under consideration. All the other tyres came in a tight price band.
Some what I consider to be "second string" but non the less popular tyre brands like Falkens fall short in my eyes where it matters. For instance take the[url="http://www.reifentest.com/cgi-bin/autotest.pl?103z122z120&&&EN"]Falken FK-452[/url] £72 with 1907 user reviews scored.
Again the Toyo's seem to be another tyre name with a "following" when discussing new tyres. In so far as you see posts like " I've heard Toyo's are good, I might give them a try"
Well again like the Falkens, I did look at the reviews on Toyo's [url="http://www.reifentest.com/cgi-bin/autotest.pl?103z117z117&&&EN"]Toyo Proxes CF 1[/url] £75 with 330 user reviews. Again it scored well below the short list offerings, especially in grip and braking grip in the wet, and grip in snow.
Conclusion: For an extra £4 to £7 a corner, I'm opting for a Premium Brand product with far superior scoring where it matters, over wannabe pretenders why? ............Because I reckon my family and I are worth it.
I hope my research may be of some use to those contemplating purchasing new tyres
Edit: Coincidently my present crappy Verso's cost out at £70 a corner on the Mytyres website.