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post #1 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-19-2018, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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New Tire writeup

(This is more of an argument for new tires than encouraging any specific model.)

After way too much delay, I bought four new Continental Contact Sport tires to replace my horrible OEM Dunlops. 225/45R19 tires on OEM wheels for my 2016 Mazda6 Touring stick-shift. The car is stock with 26,000 miles.

I've been a vocal critic of the overwhelming noise and complete lack of grip of the OEM garbage, and had high hopes for whatever tire I chose.

I only drive about 6,000 miles annually, mostly local suburbia. I'm in Colorado and have dedicated 18" Yokohama snow tires on Craigslist Mazdaspeed wheels, so maybe 4,000 annually on the summer tires.

I prefer local tire shops, but didn't know any, so chose Discount Tire. Talked with them: good options included Yokohama Advan Sports A/S for $164 each, Pirelli Cinturato Strada Sport for $190 each, and the Continental Control Contact Sport A/S for $185 each. The last two are exclusive to Discount Tire, whether it's a re-label or a unique tire.

There's a supposed $70 rebate on the Contis, and Discount generously gave me $25 trade-in on each of my used tires, so final cost out the door, with tax, balancing, etc., was $780. Considering my original estimates were nearly $1,000, this is great. And, since all are 40-50K mile tires, they were all pretty good value.

Just about 150 local miles on the tires, but so far I love them. Even in some pretty heavy rain. First off, they are so much quieter than the OEM tires that the engine sound is completely different. Engine is still quiet, but it's now audible. Thrilled. On the highway, accelerating, I can hear the engine and not just road noise from the rear wheels. At cruising speed, I can reduce radio volume 3-4 bars.

Grip seems great. These aren't super highperformance tires, but neither is the Mazda6. Haven't done any zoomy on or off ramps, but suburban corners that used to squeal and get tire spin from the Dunlops are now smoothly accelerating non-events. Much more confidence and grip, so less understeer.

If you're got the OEM Dumlumps, replace them now with any quality tire and you'll be much, much happier every time you drive. Best of all, I love walking into the garage and getting that new tire bouquet!

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post #2 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-19-2018, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MazdaRex View Post
(This is more of an argument for new tires than encouraging any specific model.)

After way too much delay, I bought four new Continental Contact Sport tires to replace my horrible OEM Dunlops. 225/45R19 tires on OEM wheels for my 2016 Mazda6 Touring stick-shift. The car is stock with 26,000 miles.

I've been a vocal critic of the overwhelming noise and complete lack of grip of the OEM garbage, and had high hopes for whatever tire I chose.

I only drive about 6,000 miles annually, mostly local suburbia. I'm in Colorado and have dedicated 18" Yokohama snow tires on Craigslist Mazdaspeed wheels, so maybe 4,000 annually on the summer tires.

I prefer local tire shops, but didn't know any, so chose Discount Tire. Talked with them: good options included Yokohama Advan Sports A/S for $164 each, Pirelli Cinturato Strada Sport for $190 each, and the Continental Control Contact Sport A/S for $185 each. The last two are exclusive to Discount Tire, whether it's a re-label or a unique tire.

There's a supposed $70 rebate on the Contis, and Discount generously gave me $25 trade-in on each of my used tires, so final cost out the door, with tax, balancing, etc., was $780. Considering my original estimates were nearly $1,000, this is great. And, since all are 40-50K mile tires, they were all pretty good value.

Just about 150 local miles on the tires, but so far I love them. Even in some pretty heavy rain. First off, they are so much quieter than the OEM tires that the engine sound is completely different. Engine is still quiet, but it's now audible. Thrilled. On the highway, accelerating, I can hear the engine and not just road noise from the rear wheels. At cruising speed, I can reduce radio volume 3-4 bars.

Grip seems great. These aren't super highperformance tires, but neither is the Mazda6. Haven't done any zoomy on or off ramps, but suburban corners that used to squeal and get tire spin from the Dunlops are now smoothly accelerating non-events. Much more confidence and grip, so less understeer.

If you're got the OEM Dumlumps, replace them now with any quality tire and you'll be much, much happier every time you drive. Best of all, I love walking into the garage and getting that new tire bouquet!
I agree, the dunlops that came OEM on the 19" wheels are truly shit. All of the 17" wheels came equipped with Yokohama Advan A83A tires, which is a truly very impressive and high performance tire especially for OEM equipment. They are not cheap either. They are noisy tires probably due to the compound these use (Silica, same as Pirelli) But the overall performance is nothing short of excellent. They feel incredibly well tuned to the Mazda 6's chassis with very precise and direct steering feel, excellent grip which is very forgiving right up to the limit, fantastic grip and feedback in the rain, overall the tire just feels really good working with the car and the steering/chassis feel is excellent. The car feels like an extension of your arms and feet on a complicated, twisty road. They are quite noisy, but treadwear has been very reasonable and they are smooth and comfortable. To anyone looking into new tires, I'd definitely give Yokohama a look. They can be a little pricey and are downright noisy, but I'd really not an issue for me because the way it feels on my Mazda is fantastic.

The Continentals seem like a popular and totally reasonable choice around here, but it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to buy A/S tires if you already have a dedicated set of winters. You should have bought something higher performance.

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post #3 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-19-2018, 10:07 PM
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I had the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 on my car for about 35,000. Vastly superior to the Dunlops. My only real disappointment was that they were down to 4/32 by the time I changed them. Now on my 3rd set, some Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+. Good tire as well, but if I end up with a 4th pair I'll likely return to the Contis.
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post #4 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-19-2018, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Get Inline,
Thanks for the information you shared - definitely worthwhile and helpful.

I chose not to get a higher-performance tire because it didn't meet my needs. This is my eleventh Mazda, two of which saw track duty and three of which were track-only wheel-to-wheel racing cars. (Tracked and raced plenty of other cars, too.)

The Mazda6 won't go near a track, except for spectator parking. It's a pleasant four-door, but as a performance car, it's laughably incapable in most every area. Let's start with a 2.5liter, 13-1 compression engine that makes fewer than 185hp! And a 3,200 pound car with single-piston calipers?

I enjoy driving the Mazda6 locally, on trips, going to dinner with friends, etc. If I wanted a performance car, I'd modify (another) Miata, or go with another brand. So, I got the tires that made sense for my mission.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm a big Yokohama fan, and glad to know Mazda is not putting crappy shoes on all their cars.

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post #5 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-19-2018, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MazdaRex View Post
Hi Get Inline,
Thanks for the information you shared - definitely worthwhile and helpful.

I chose not to get a higher-performance tire because it didn't meet my needs. This is my eleventh Mazda, two of which saw track duty and three of which were track-only wheel-to-wheel racing cars. (Tracked and raced plenty of other cars, too.)

The Mazda6 won't go near a track, except for spectator parking. It's a pleasant four-door, but as a performance car, it's laughably incapable in most every area. Let's start with a 2.5liter, 13-1 compression engine that makes fewer than 185hp! And a 3,200 pound car with single-piston calipers?

I enjoy driving the Mazda6 locally, on trips, going to dinner with friends, etc. If I wanted a performance car, I'd modify (another) Miata, or go with another brand. So, I got the tires that made sense for my mission.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm a big Yokohama fan, and glad to know Mazda is not putting crappy shoes on all their cars.
Fair enough, can't really argue with that. IMO the stock differential and soft suspension would need improvement first to make use of summer tires. I would say that the Mazda 6 is truly an over-achiever for being a regular family sedan, but anyone who assumes it is a high performance sports car/sedan would be mistaken no doubt about that. I think that this chassis has some serious potential as a FWD car with suspension upgrades and an ECU tune, but in stock form everything is designed to work well together with just the 185HP rating.

This isn't one of those cars that is impressive on paper. It's not. But getting behind the wheel, experiencing the natural tactile feel of the steering, the way the chassis interacts with the power delivery of the 2.5L engine and the overall sense of passionate tuning and engineering makes me extremely passionate about my Mazda. It's not fast, it's not the best handling, but it really teaches you to make the most out of what you are given and gives a good lesson on how a well-tuned chassis is always more effective than sheer power. At the end of the day it is just a regular family sedan, but getting behind the wheel and experiencing the way this car maneuvers around corners gives you the sense that you are driving something built with pure passion.
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post #6 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-19-2018, 10:38 PM
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The Advan's that come on the 17" '15 Sports are crap. Yes, they have decent performance but they're screaming LOUD.

I tossed 'em LONG before they wore out -- I just couldn't take the noise any more.
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post #7 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-19-2018, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by tickerguy View Post
The Advan's that come on the 17" '15 Sports are crap. Yes, they have decent performance but they're screaming LOUD.

I tossed 'em LONG before they wore out -- I just couldn't take the noise any more.
If you drive a lot on the highway I can see why you would want to throw them away. They are a great tire in every other regard except for road noise though - A product of the silica compound which offers great feedback and also good grip in cold conditions.

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post #8 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-20-2018, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Get Inline -

Right on! Well said.

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post #9 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-20-2018, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MazdaRex View Post
I've been a vocal critic of the overwhelming noise and complete lack of grip of the OEM garbage, and had high hopes for whatever tire I chose.



Just about 150 local miles on the tires, but so far I love them. Even in some pretty heavy rain. First off, they are so much quieter than the OEM tires that the engine sound is completely different. Engine is still quiet, but it's now audible. Thrilled. On the highway, accelerating, I can hear the engine and not just road noise from the rear wheels. At cruising speed, I can reduce radio volume 3-4 bars.

Grip seems great. These aren't super highperformance tires, but neither is the Mazda6. Haven't done any zoomy on or off ramps, but suburban corners that used to squeal and get tire spin from the Dunlops are now smoothly accelerating non-events. Much more confidence and grip, so less understeer.

If you're got the OEM Dumlumps, replace them now with any quality tire and you'll be much, much happier every time you drive.

Thanks for posting your experience with your new tires. I'm going to be needing tires soon too...so, I was interested in what you had to say. I will probably go with a set of all-season tires, due to the fact that I seem to travel all over the country at all times of the year and my needs are such that it doesn't make sense for me to invest in two sets of wheels/tires for the same vehicle.



The two tires on my short list are: the Michelin Pilot A/S3+ or the Conti ExtremeContact A/S DWS 06.



Right now, I'm leaning towards the Continentals. They are about $25 cheaper a piece and I've had pretty good luck with Conti's over the years. I do hear they are biased more towards the "touring" side of the Sport-Touring performance spectrum. I like a good responsive tire, so that has me wondering. Continentals also seem to get noisier as they wear. The Pilot A/S3+ might have the edge - performance-wise - but I don't know if that is enough to matter to me? Honestly, I've not been overwhelmed with the Michelin products I've bought in the last few years. I guess for the premium price, I'm expecting to be completely "wowed" and am not. Or, maybe its impossible for them to live up to all the hype? I don't know, but I have found them to be harsh-riding over sharp impacts and not nearly as nice as everyone says. I mean they were decent tires. However, at the price premium you pay, I was expecting to be blown away and instead found them to have some niggling little flaws that seemed inexcusable in a tire costing so much more than it's competition.


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post #10 of 72 (permalink) Old 08-20-2018, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MazdaRex View Post
It's a pleasant four-door, but as a performance car, it's laughably incapable in most every area. Let's start with a 2.5liter, 13-1 compression engine that makes fewer than 185hp! And a 3,200 pound car with single-piston calipers?
The Skyactiv 2.5L was tuned for mid-range torque at the expense of outright power. The torque peak occurs much sooner than the NA 2.4L and 2.5L engines from Nissan, Honda and Toyota.

I agree, the stock 19" Dunlops really aren't that great in the rain. I'm very happy with their performance on dry pavement though. 19k miles on the original tires.

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