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Tyre Recommendations 18" Late Model 430


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Can anyone recommend or comment on alternative tyres for a late model LS430 (tyres are 18" low profile). Are different brands likely to offer different ride qualities or is that utterly constrained by the fact that they are low profile? The car is currently running on original Bridgestones so all four will need replacing soon, two are on the cusp of illegal. Is there any reason not to go for an economy tyre or, equally, any good reasons for stepping up to a premium brand? I expect I'll still have these tyres in th3 winter, so something that's not too awful in the snow would be good too. There's lots of alternatives out there - how do you choose. Any thoughts gratefully received. Thanks in advance.....

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Can anyone recommend or comment on alternative tyres for a late model LS430 (tyres are 18" low profile). Are different brands likely to offer different ride qualities or is that utterly constrained by the fact that they are low profile? The car is currently running on original Bridgestones so all four will need replacing soon, two are on the cusp of illegal. Is there any reason not to go for an economy tyre or, equally, any good reasons for stepping up to a premium brand? I expect I'll still have these tyres in th3 winter, so something that's not too awful in the snow would be good too. There's lots of alternatives out there - how do you choose. Any thoughts gratefully received. Thanks in advance.....

hi for me its michelin every time, they wear well give good grip ( not bad in the snow either) falken seem to do a good budget tyre aswell around £90 a corner. Dont go for pirellis they are awfull bad in the wet & wear out real fast. thats my opinion im sure you will get some more soon.

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Can anyone recommend or comment on alternative tyres for a late model LS430 (tyres are 18" low profile). Are different brands likely to offer different ride qualities or is that utterly constrained by the fact that they are low profile? The car is currently running on original Bridgestones so all four will need replacing soon, two are on the cusp of illegal. Is there any reason not to go for an economy tyre or, equally, any good reasons for stepping up to a premium brand? I expect I'll still have these tyres in th3 winter, so something that's not too awful in the snow would be good too. There's lots of alternatives out there - how do you choose. Any thoughts gratefully received. Thanks in advance.....

hi for me its michelin every time, they wear well give good grip ( not bad in the snow either) falken seem to do a good budget tyre aswell around £90 a corner. Dont go for pirellis they are awfull bad in the wet & wear out real fast. thats my opinion im sure you will get some more soon.

I always thought that rubber was rubber and wouldn't make a noticeable difference to handling. I have Pirelli's on at the moment and agree that they are pretty awful in the wet, although they were new when I got the car so haven't any other brand to use as a point of reference on my Lexus. That said, I will certainly be changing to Michelin when I renew.

I recently had the good fortune to be invited to the Mira testing track for work with the purpose of finding out in extreme conditions how different top brands perform against each other.

For the first part of the test I was allowed a few laps around a circuit with a mixture of straights, long sweeping bends, tight hairpins and then a slalom of cones leading into the next lap. The circuit was designed to test the tyres in all type of fast driving conditions, I guess I should add it was a dry sunny day.

Firstly I took an 09 Audi TT out shod with Continentals and was pretty impressed with the tyres, although the car was crap. Tyres were a little twitchy in the tighter bends, and you could feel understeer in the longer bends. I then took out another Audi TT, same spec and age as the first but with Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres on. The difference was remarkable! Much more controlled in the tighter bends, and almost no understeer in the longer ones. Much more confident feeling from the Michelins.

Next I was let loose in a new VW Scirroco wearing top of the range Pirelli's. What a car the Scirroco is, I was amazed at how much more fun it was than the Audi TT. Much more sporty than the TT which felt boring and 'robotic' in comparison. The Pirellis were good and I was able to chuck the car into bends and floor it out of them with confidence, although it did feel light at the back end. Next the same spec Scirrocco with Michelin Pilot Sport 3. Much more controllable and you could get your foot down out of corners much more quickly without the light back end feeling of the Pirelli's.

The second part of the day was spent brake testing and driving in the wet in some M-spec BMW 330d's with firstly Goodyear Eagles on and then Michelin Pilot Sports on. The result was that the Michelins stopped half a car length sooner every time on the brake test, and were much more controllable around a track which was being soaked with water.

The finale was to be flung around a wet track with a racing driver in a 6.3 litre AMG Merc who was more on the limit than I would ever have the guts to be and the performance of the Michelins was nothing short of amazing compared to all of the other top brands tested (Pirelli, Goodyear, Continental, Bridgestone and some other premium brands).

An unforgettable day, and I doubt I will ever get the chance to let loose in the way you can only do when the car is not yours and you are on a race track!! The common theme was that the Michelins are worth every penny, and you really can see why the technology is worth spending the extra money on. My only gripe would be that the tread pattern on Michelins is not particularly attractive compared to some others, but that is a compromise I would gladly make for the extra performance and safety they give.

Hope this helps, although I know I have given no feedback about road noise or comfort because that was the last thing on my mind when faced with various great cars and a race track to throw them around on!

I must add that I have no affiliation to Michelin, and was invited to the day because I run a tyre centre and the owners thought it wise for me to know exactly what the advantages and disadvanteges are of the different brands of tyres we sell. My opinion is buy Michelin always...

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What I would say is keep away from Dunlops. I had them on mine which have the 18 inch wheels. Best are Michelin Pilot Sports but these are around £220 to £250 per tyre depending on where you go. They have good grip but are quite noisey. Bridgestone Turanza'a seem to be the best all round in terms of noise and grip and they were £160 each.

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Thanks for the comments guys - very helpful. Looks like Michelin if I can afford it, or stick to Bridgestone (which presumably Lexus fitted for a reason).

The reason is Bridgestone are jap tyres ( i use them on my bikes always ) if you are going to keep the car buy michelins they work out cheaper in the long run as they last longer.

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Can anyone recommend or comment on alternative tyres for a late model LS430 (tyres are 18" low profile). Are different brands likely to offer different ride qualities or is that utterly constrained by the fact that they are low profile? The car is currently running on original Bridgestones so all four will need replacing soon, two are on the cusp of illegal. Is there any reason not to go for an economy tyre or, equally, any good reasons for stepping up to a premium brand? I expect I'll still have these tyres in th3 winter, so something that's not too awful in the snow would be good too. There's lots of alternatives out there - how do you choose. Any thoughts gratefully received. Thanks in advance.....

I've got the 17" wheels that came on the 2001 LS430. The car was originally on a mixture of tyre makes, Bridgestone, Continental etc. and I got a lot of tyre noise.

Did an internet search for tyre test reports and a name that kept getting good scores for noise, grip and comfort was KUMHO. They are a premium tyre but are relatively cheap as they are trying to enter the UK market. For the past 9 years I've stuck with Michelin, but the Michelins were nearly £200 each and the KUMHO were £100 !

I've now done 8,000 mile on the KUMHOs. They are quieter than the Michelins and just as comfortable, they appear to be wearing just as well and I've had no problems with grip in the wet, dry or snow. I’d recommend them to anyone.

A lot of road testers say low-profile tyres make the ride comfort worse, but the fashion is for low-profile because they look good. If you want to improve the ride try and pick up a set of 17" wheels, the tyres will be cheaper too.

John Nixon

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Thanks for the comments guys - very helpful. Looks like Michelin if I can afford it, or stick to Bridgestone (which presumably Lexus fitted for a reason).

The reason is Bridgestone are jap tyres ( i use them on my bikes always ) if you are going to keep the car buy michelins they work out cheaper in the long run as they last longer.

I got 10,000 out of the Pilot Sports on the back of mine though.

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Thanks for the comments guys - very helpful. Looks like Michelin if I can afford it, or stick to Bridgestone (which presumably Lexus fitted for a reason).

The reason is Bridgestone are jap tyres ( i use them on my bikes always ) if you are going to keep the car buy michelins they work out cheaper in the long run as they last longer.

I got 10,000 out of the Pilot Sports on the back of mine though.

You must be enjoying the power pulling away from the lights I would dread to think how long a pair of pirellis would last you.

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Bit the bullet and went for the Michelin Primacy. Had the guys at Wheels in Motion check the tracking etc as well. Between the adjustments and the new tyres it's altogether much better. Thanks for the advice.

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I've got the 17" wheels that came on the 2001 LS430. The car was originally on a mixture of tyre makes, Bridgestone, Continental etc. and I got a lot of tyre noise.

Did an internet search for tyre test reports and a name that kept getting good scores for noise, grip and comfort was KUMHO. They are a premium tyre but are relatively cheap as they are trying to enter the UK market. For the past 9 years I've stuck with Michelin, but the Michelins were nearly £200 each and the KUMHO were £100 !

I've now done 8,000 mile on the KUMHOs. They are quieter than the Michelins and just as comfortable, they appear to be wearing just as well and I've had no problems with grip in the wet, dry or snow. I’d recommend them to anyone.

John Nixon

I think people spend far too much on tyres. I have found my Falkens every bit as good as the Dunlops, and quieter. My wife's Golf was running Nexens and, coincidentally, the E-Class estate she now drives arrived shod with Nexens as well. But the Falkens and the Nexens are about half the price of the most expensive brands, who have to pay for their costly advertising campaigns.

Incidentally, the E-class has a 3-litre V6 diesel engine and is every bit as rapid as my 1996 LS. It also uses noticeably less fuel than her 2.3-litre Golf. I have hated diseasels for years, but now I am not so sure...

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