Replaced the OE 235/45R18 Yokohama dB Decibels after 60,500km on my XLS yesterday.
They were rotated front to back every 15000km, and were just reaching the wear markers... I honestly hated them. Poor wet grip when cornering, broke traction easily on take off in the dry, and just generally felt like they didn't do justice to the Kizashi's chassis.
Replaced them with Bridgestone MY-02 Sporty Style in a 245/45R18 - Slight size increase, but a much, much wider variety of tyres available (this is the standard 18" fitment for the VE Commodore) and the size difference is negligible over the OE tyres.
Also got a 4 wheel alignment as well. This caused the tyre shop a bit of consternation as the Kizashi wasn't in their Corghi alignment machine's database. The manager phoned the rep and had an update emailed immediately though, so there wasn't much of a holdup.
Have done about 400km already, and these are my observations so far.
- Excellent value for money at $195 each fitted and balanced.
- The slight increase in sidewall thickness and carcass width fills out the Kizashi's flared arches nicely.
- Much, much better dry grip than the Yokohama tyres. No more squealing under hard cornering and chirping on acceleration.
- Improved handling. The sidewalls appear to be stiffer, and it feels like the car is more planted through corners - The dB Decibels on the other hand felt sort of squirmy in the front whenever the car's weight shifted through corners, and especially through anything tight when the car leaned on the inside front wheel and the suspension loaded up.
- No vibration at any speed I've found.
- Noise levels are excellent. Bridgestone claim their chamfered shoulder reduces noise over a normal rounded shoulder, and I'm inclined to agree. These are as quiet on WA's coarse chip tarmac as the Yokohamas, if not slightly quieter.
- The directional lightning-shaped tread pattern looks sporty, and suits the Kizashi's character. While not as aggressive looking as say, a Goodyear Eagle F1, or as slick as a Hankook Ventus R-S3, they look purposeful at least. (Of course, this is entirely subjective.)
- The sidewalls are very flashy-looking and overly decorated, and they actually have the text "Sporty Style" moulded into them, which looks a bit wanky to me.
- There is white printing from the manufacturing process inside the centre line of the tread pattern. I'm sure this will wear off over time, but it's quite obvious once you've noticed it.
- The ride is just slightly firmer, which is to be expected with larger, thicker sidewalls. This doesn't bother me too much, but if you're all about comfort, it might bother you.
- The size change will change your speedo reading. Mine has gone from showing 9km/h over the car's GPS reported speed at 100km/h, to around 3km/h over. I have to keep reminding myself of this so I don't get a speeding fine.
- These tyres are made in Indonesia. This doesn't worry me given they are a name brand and well reviewed, but I do know some people who will only have Japanese, Australian, or US made tyres because of a belief that Asian tyres are all of poor quality.
- No wheel rash protection lip like you'd find on more expensive tyres.
I haven't yet tested these in the wet, nor have I had them long enough to get any meaningful measurements on wear rates, but so far, these are a great tyre overall, and an excellent mid-range choice for the Kizashi owner who can't or doesn't want to spend a ridiculous amount on top-end tyres.
I'll report back in a few months on how they're going.