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The OEM Nexen CP671 still had tread left, but showed dry rot and last autumn became rather undriveable and very noisy. So, a lot of time to ponder during the winter months, what to replace them with. I researched a lot and went back and forth in my mind, the list was
  • Kumho Ecsta PA51
  • Hankook ventus s1 noble 2
  • Michelin Pilot Sport AS 3+
  • Pirelli PZero AS+
  • Continental Extreme Contact DWS06
At last, I went with what in my opinion is a bit of an overkill, Pirelli PZero AS+. I got them mounted on the first day, we are allowed to use tires other than dedicated (mountain symbol) winter tires, 16th March, and found them very hard and almost crashy at first. I think, I got used to that a bit, but also, they need a bit of running-in and feel a lot more comfortable now. Because of this Covid-19 lockdown, I am not driving a lot, and am still learning the handling of the car. It's not at all the same, feels like a true performance upgrade. And sooo much quieter.

Frankly, I would have loved to go with either Kumho or Hankook, as I think, they are 2 brands to look out for. Hankook was in the same price range as the Pirellis (or Continentals for that matter), because they did not offer a mail-in rebate, and their mileage rating was not great, not even compared to the Pirellis.. Kumho, the verdicts from different reviewers were that they are relatively noisy, but what concerned me most, that they get bouncy, when hitting very uneven pavement. We have that a lot in Québec province, and also, the suspension setup of the Forte is such, that I don't think it's a good idea to have a tire amplify, what in my opinion is a bit of a weak spot. Finally, Michelin AS3+, the reference and probably a bit better overall. However, everyone all reviewers and customers will attest it's very stiff, so comfort is compromised. As for the Continentals, I had them quite high on my shortlist - they seem a bit noisier as the Pirellis and not as sharp on the steering. Hence my choice. Perhaps the only 'downside' , if that is even one, the tread pattern looks rather conservative. Not a point for me, I don't see that while driving.

As a side info, I decided to upsize a bit, I mounted them on the (OEM) optional 7X17 rims 225/45-17 i/o 215/45-17. I think, it fills-out the wheel well better.
 
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