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Bought 4 Falken ZE914 215/55 R16 97W tyres for a VW Sharan 1.9 TDI. Existing tyres were Dunlop SP Sport 2020E and had around 2-3mm tread on the back tyres and 2mm left on the front tyres. I've driven on Firestones and Dunlop SP Sport 9000 on previous cars. Dunlop advised changing to SP Sport 01 as they had stiffer shoulders so better road holding, because the VW Sharan has higher center of gravity. However I took a risk and went for an untried brand Falken Ziex 914 due to £20 price difference per tyre. I definitely made the CORRECT choice. Tyre pressures were kept the same as on the old tyres according to VW recommendations on the fuel cap. I ran in the tyres for 250 miles on local trips and on a motorway journey at 55 mph as advised. I''ve driven over 800 miles on motorway and local roads now and in comparison to the Dunlop SP Sport 2020e I got the following results in order of benefit. 1. Lighter steering, makes driving and parking much much easier, the tyres are somehow very light, even after running in. 2. Fuel MPG improved considerably by 4 + mpg as shown on the vw dash meter average. The MPG has gone up by at least 6 mpg on the motorway speeds of 55 to 75 mph 3. Comfort has improved, car is smoother over minor bumps, and slightly better over bigger bumps than the Dunlops. I've kept tyre pressures the same as the Dunlops. 4. Dry grip has improved slightly. I've noticed that the car no longer understeers or oversteers at 30mph - 40 mph on dual carriageway and motorway slip road bends. 5. Wet grip has considerably improved and I can feel control of the car at speed in the rain and can change lanes on a motorway feeling in control when I need to quickly move the car left or right when lane changing. 6. Noise is not noticeable locally but has slightly improved on the motorway. 7. Tyre Wear - Still too early even after 800 miles, will try to leave another review after 10K miles
Overall Verdict. After lots of research and nearly buying the SP Sport 01 or the SP Sport Blueresponse after reading reviews, I'm happy I made the right choice and saved money by choosing the Falken Ziex ZE914. I feel performance and comfort has increased. Previously only bought the bigger brands but now MUST consider mid price brands like Falken.
I didn't do a great distance on Falken FK 452 to assess them eventually but this can be treated as a pre-assessment. The tyres did about 2400 miles to Italy and back - on the motorway they are doing great - less rolling resistance than on my previous Michelin Pilots and Uniroyal RainSports. In the city Falken FK 452 also are not bad - especially on bumpy roads - I am "lucky" to drive on such roads very often :) - well, advantages of 18" wheels and condition of the paths... because they can't be called roads. Great grip in fast bends, but, of course, it's possible to overdo, the rear at some point starts to swerve strongly, on Michelins I could sense their limits better (and the price limit, too ;) - for the benefit of Falken, of course). Anyway, they're great in dry, they also do well on wet. I heard they wear off quickly (that's why I gave a 5) - as for now, I don't see that because of a small distance driven but somehow I don't see any chance for replacing them after 20 thousand miles ;). What really surprised me is the fact they are quiet - it's their great advantage. They may be a little noisy during the last phase of braking, but it's bearable noise. it's not that important, but they look nice. I hope I'll be able to write the same thing afterr 20 thousand miles. Of course, I'll try to post an update.
The purchase of Falken HS 439s was purely accidental - if it wasn't for the promotion in the shop, my review would be even more negative. They are OK for light winter conditions (clear roads and a bit of slush). I drove for two seasons on them and to be honest, vehicle behavior in the snow was similar to that on summer Goodyears. The tyre is completely unsuitable for fast routes with a snow layer. While starting can be omitted in my assessment, because it depends on the car's power and drive type, the grip in the corners and brking on these tyres can be surprising (either you manage to stop or you fail to do so). It is totally unpredictable, especially in snow-covered corners and in emergency situations on the road (quick avoiding). ESP had to assist the driving almost all the time. The fact is that the Audi A4 B7 diesel without quattro drive has a lot much understeer but on Fulda Kristall Monteros I never experienced such problems like on Falkens. With a price similar to Goodyear Ultragrip's, its purchase would be "suicide". When it comes to abrasion, I can confirm it's really durable. After two years and more than 45 thousand miles there's almost no wear off, however the tyre has practically no winter tread since its release from the factory. This is a typical tyre for water and rain, but it's completely unsuitable for real winter conditions.
Driveability of Falken HS 439s is fine, a little bit too weak when starting in snow. On ice it behaves like every other tyre - there's no tyre that can go on ice without spikes. You have to be careful in snowy corners, but on wet it's good. I didn't test it at speeds higher than 75 MPH - as for now I am driving in the city only. The biggest problem turned out to be fitting these tyres to wheels - the tyre is very hard and has a low profile, normally it's not strange but the service worker had a hard time putting them onto the wheels (it got fitted only after lubricating it with a large amount of grease and pumping up the pressure to 5) As for me, it shouldn't be like that - and that's the reason why I won't buy them again. When it comes to driving in winter conditions - this is OK and that was the plan. Also, maybe the wheels - (alloy Dotz) weren't perfect, but in the workshop they said that they have fitted lots of tyres to such wheels and had no problems, I can believe it as I had Goodyear tyres fitted to the same wheels and had no problems. If I were to buy tyres now, I'd do it in the workshop where they are fitted at once - if there are problems, I can take different ones, as it's easier to make a complaint on the spot than send the tyres back with the use of a courier.
After covering more than 2,000 km in December and January, I think the tyres are very good. I haven't had the opportunity to check them on deep snow. This season, in my city, the snow has fallen only once and melted quite quickly. But in these conditions they performed very well.
A specific whistle is heard on slightly wet surfaces. It is not very loud and does not interfere with driving. The more that I can hear in the range of 50-70 km / h. Wet braking is definitely better than on Continental Winter Contact TS810 tyres.
The tyres roll quietly on dry roads. But for this car I compare to Continental Winter Contact TS810. It's quieter than on Conti.
Braking on dry asphalt in winter is also better than in the case of Continental. It is possible that this is a matter of comparing a new tyre with a slightly worn one.
Very nicely suppress small irregularities - so springy and quiet. Although now there seems to be more asphalt cracks than when driving on continents. But it is definitely quieter.
It is very stable at highway speeds.
These are not my first all-season tyres. In another car I already had Barum Quartaris and Goodyear Eagle Vector EV2 +. Goodyears are good but loud. Barum's quiet, but on wet surfaces you have to be careful - the car gets understeer.
Falken AS200 now seem to have great properties - good on dry, wet and light snow. We will see how it will be in other conditions.
I am very pleased with all-season Falken tyres. I use city / route in a mixed cycle. On wet surfaces, they are doing better than my previous winter tyres, maybe a little worse in big snow, but still positive (I drove in the mountains and without problems even when you had to drive up a snowy hill). In summer conditions also ok, but they are definitely not tyres for sports driving. They do not show clearly increased wear at higher temperatures. The only minus is that you can hear them a bit - on a straight level road without a problem but when driving on hard bumps they squeak a little (do not mind). In general, from now only multi-season, you don't need anything better for a quiet ride around the city (and the problem of changing tyres twice a year). Purchase costs in relation to the quality of these tyres are also a plus, slightly more expensive than summer tyres, but the costs are quickly compensated by the lack of having to pay for changes to seasonal tyres and the need to purchase an additional set of tyres.
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