Okay, it'* a lot of words, it may take 2 seconds.
For those that don't already know, I live in the desert southwest, one of the hardest places on tires.
The story usually unfolds like this:
The first 2 years of a tire lifespan are great. Dry traction and wet traction are great, life is grand!
The 3rd year, wet traction is starting to fall off, and venturing out in the nasty snowy/icy weather warrants caution. This is also where the dry cracking starts to develop.
The 4th and 5th year leave you pretty sketchy in the wet weather, and completely hopeless in the snowy slush. This is usually the part where all of the idiots crash at the first hint of snow around here.
The last set of tires on the Park Avenue were Wal-Mart specials, pulled off after around 5 years of service on account of some scary looking sidewall cracking. Not just standard weather cracking, but it looked like the sidewall was trying to crack in half. They literally still had half tread left on them (I don't put but 15-25k miles down in this time frame).
I replaced them about 30 months ago with another round of Wal-Mart Specials, same model, only 1 size up (215/70R15 vs 205/70R15). It seems that the next size up seems to have better weight handling, and bear the load of the pig heavy front end better. Life is still great with these, although admittedly, if I wanted to scrutinize them, I will say that the noise could be a bit less, but it'* not exactly a deal breaker, especially with as much sound insulation the PA drags around.
So, in my book, another success story with cheap tires.
Only, the Regal is now up for tires. The current units are passing their 3rd year of service, but 2 tires were also worn out of round when I got the car. They are Falken Sincera SN-828 tires. They seemed to work just fine in the time I had them, albeit suffering a bit from the narrow tire syndrome (not as bad as the PA though).
Someone put it perfectly on a forum in regards to tires.... You can pick 2 of the 3: Price, Grip, Longevity
My choices are Price and Grip, because I have yet to encounter longevity as a factor in my application.
So, here'* the dilemma, I like to get up on the wheel and drive sometimes, and every now and again overcook that protected left turn for a bit of fun. Admittedly, though, it'* a bit of fun that rarely views the FE1 suspension as restrictive.
So, when I see these tires turn up, I find myself intrigued:
(an example, same brand/model, but not the size I need)
They also are the cheapest of the bunch by $15/tire, even moreso than the openly "Budget Minded" Mastercraft tires.
Soooo.... have I got this all wrong? I am of the mindset that I will be hard pressed to see the difference of a 'good tire' vs a 'cheap tire' in my application. Thoughts, opinions, criticism, and general insults to my intelligence (or lack thereof) welcome.
PS, I just noticed that I made a thread just like this only a few lines down. I am still a firm believer in the P215/70R15 size. That extra bit helps a bunch whether it'* actually from width, or just a higher load rating.