205/60-16
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Thread: 205/60-16

  1. #1
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    Default 205/60-16

    Having just lent advice to someone, I thought I'd share my thoughts.

    205/60-16 is the size for some Renault Scenic models. Come tyre replacement time most folk would fit the same size again. But that's not all one could sensibly do & is, in my view, the inferior option. I'm assuming that sensible rotation has occurred and all 4 are up for replacement on wear or time-expiry grounds.

    So, what are the options?

    First, replacing all 4 in 205/60-16.
    Second, replacing all 4 in 205/55-16 (3.2% smaller in circumference and slightly lower load rating - 91, not 92).

    As will emerge, I favour the second option but let's work through them. I have had four criteria in mind: wet braking, lateral wet grip, transition behaviour in the wet at the limit, & to a lesser extent, comfort (that is, no mega-stiff sidewalled "sporties"). Another consideration overlays this - cost. The promotions I mention are all for 4 tyres. Prices are drawn from Jax's useful online nominal prices - haggling would change matters.

    205/60
    There are 4 tyres that I would short-list.

    Hankook Ventus S1 Evo2 (92W):
    This is the sportiest of the options (think Michelin SuperSport or Conti SportContact 5 as rivals) & would arguably be a mismatch to the Scenic. Mixed test results on wet grip but very crisp. $145 each & a promo $100 gift card thrown in (until end April).

    Hankook Kinergy Eco K425 (92W):
    A seemingly good wet tyre from its test results (especially later ones - a mid-life re-compounding for the European labelling?). It would be much less crisp than the Evo2 but ride better. A good match for the Scenic in my view. $124 & $50 gift card.

    Continental PremiumContact2 (92H or 96H):
    A favourite of mine (Djet all round and R8 & 4CVG fronts). An old type now (nominally replaced by the PremiumContact5 but preferred in Australia for greater sidewall strength). Much the same remarks as for the K425 above. The 96 H is an "extra load" type with two sidewall plies, not one. A bit harsher, a bit crisper in turn in & more robust in the face of road hazards. I'd choose this option. Each variant costs $169. No promotion right now but, starting 1 May, I predict there will be a "4 for the price of 3" deal (until 30 June).

    Pirelli Cinturato P7 (92W):
    Probably better tyres than the K425 or PC2 (think Pilot Sport3 class) but a lesser tyre than the Evo2. Cost is $189 though & no promo available to reduce that.

    Pirelli Cinturato P1 (92V):
    A class down from the P7 & of lesser lateral grip & lesser crispness of response but a good wet braker. Same class as the K425 &PC2 and, being dearer, no great reason to favour them. Only reason for choosing them over the P7 would be price ($149).

    If price were no object, I'd get the P7 in this size. It's the crispest here (apart from the Evo2) & the equal of any of them in wet grip. Price for 4 is: $756

    Bringing price into it, the price of 4 K425 Hankooks would be $496 (minus the $50 gift card to buy stuff with). Assuming that you wait for May for the Conti promo, the price of 4 PC2 tyres would be $507. I'd get the PC2 (in "extra load" 96H form for greater handling crispness) but it's a toss-up really.

    205/55
    As will be explained, I favour changing size from 205/60 to 205/55. Main reason is availability of better & less costly tyres (a much more common modern OE size).

    Three concerns could be raised:
    First, won't it be a speedo pain & a touring over-revving pain having the car undergeared by smaller tyres? I suggest not.
    The undergearing from 205/60 is about 3.2%. I suggest that mental adjustment to mild speedo understatement is easy (my Djet & my Moke are each 10% undergeared; mind you, 10% is very easy arithmetic). And 3.2% touring over-revving is trifling.
    Second, the max permitted load drops one category from 92 to 91. I think that any insurance company that tried to deny cover for an incident on these grounds (variation from standard) would lose, as even a mammothly overloaded Scenic doing a gold bar run for the Perth mint would not exceed the high 91 rating. Third, what about a 205/60 spare mismatched in size if one had a flat? A rear tyre wouldn't matter & a front tyre wouldn't matter for short distances. If it happened on a trip & diff stress was thus a concern, then, irksome though that would be, one would shift a rear to the front & put the spare on the rear.

    So, it's feasible. If changing all 4 tyres, I can't think why one wouldn't make the shift.

    What's available that attracts me so much? A suite of 4 tyres (quickly reduced to two, then one). All are crisp handling without harshness & very good indeed in wet grip. Each is better than the P7 & only the harsher Evo2 is a class above in crispness. The other, lesser than P7, 205/60 options, while all good tyres, are below any of the 4.

    The 4 short-listed tyres are:

    Bridgestone Potenza RE003 (91W):
    A very nice tyre indeed. Crisp without excess harshness & with excellent wet grip. No tests as yet but, upon its release at the start of 2015, a bunch of bloggers were given a run at Calder on it through a number of disciplines against chosen rivals. Notable was that it was deemed to score a draw with the class leading SportContact5 Continental in the wet & was crisper in the dry than the PilotSport3 (not hard really, though it's hardly sloppy). I was going to fit Conti PC2 to my wife's Forester (215/60-16) but, after reading the bloggers' remarks, I switched to the RE003. They are faster wearing than other tyres in this shortlist but very good wet tyres. $140 but, until the end of April, there's a "4 for the price of 3 "deal on.

    Continental PremiumContact5 (91V):
    Not a type that Continental is rushing to roll out in a wide range of sizes owing to fear for the weaker sidewalls of the PC5 compared to the PC2 in Australian conditions. No doubt this size is OE on something. It is, however a class-leading tyre, especially in the wet. I shall be fitting it (195/65-15) to a daughter's car in a couple of months. Compared to the RE003, it would be less crisp in response, equal in the wet & last longer. It is dearer, at $185 but, as mentioned earlier, Conti has a "4 for the price of 3" deal looming.

    Goodyear's EfficientGrip Performance (not the regular Efficient Grip) & Michelin's PilotSport3 (each 91W) are good tyres on our criteria but no better than the above & have no price deal available so, unless you have a special reason to choose either, I'd drop them.

    Within this category, I'd choose the RE003 over the PC5 on crispness grounds. Its cheaper price offsets any concern about it wearing out comparatively quickly. Using the current promo deal, the price for 4 would be $420 ( promo PC5 would be $555).

    Concluding summary remarks:

    My own view is that the shift to 205/55 tyres is warranted & I'd take advantage of Bridgestone's current promo to pay $420 (or less) for 4 RE003s.

    The reasons for avoiding that shift strike me as minor & one would get a remarkably good tyre for less money than the lesser 205/60 tyres available for similar money. Its only rivals as a tyre (Evo 2 Hankook and P7 Pirelli have faults - less wet grip and greater price, respectively). If insistent upon the original size, I'd get the Conti PC2 in 96H variant. It's good but not as good as the RE003.

    cheers! Peter

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    Last edited by 4cvg; 15th March 2016 at 02:20 AM.

  2. #2
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    I will check what my Scenic has, as the speedo is out about 4% according to the GPS. However my criteria for the Scenic, which is mainly used around town, is, comfort first, closely followed by braking ability. As we don't seem to get rain often, wet weather road holding is less important I just drive to the conditions. It isn't a sporting type vehicle after all.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunroof View Post
    I will check what my Scenic has, as the speedo is out about 4% according to the GPS. However my criteria for the Scenic, which is mainly used around town, is, comfort first, closely followed by braking ability. As we don't seem to get rain often, wet weather road holding is less important I just drive to the conditions. It isn't a sporting type vehicle after all.
    I spoke to the criteria mentioned by the person who asked & YMMV.

    However, driving to the conditions is more a necessary condition for avoiding an untoward event than a sufficient condition. Two events should cause a pause for thought: the emergency braking situation & the emergency avoidance "jink". I also note that a newly wet road after a dry period is at its most treacherously slippery. None of the mentioned tyres is harsh in ride although none is plush limousine like either. The Conti PC5 might, however, suit you better.

    cheers! Peter

  4. #4
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    a useful link on the Conti PC5 - note that a lot of the tests are (helpfully) in 205/55-16

    Continental Premium Contact 5 | the Continental Premium Contact 5 reviewed and rated - TyreReviews

    when you get to the page, click the 'all tests' tab

    cheers! Peter

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