2002 BMW M3: New Tire Review
February 23, 2009
A month ago we mounted new shoes on our German Mustang. We ordered a set of Sumitomo HTR ZIII tires from www.tirerack.com to replace our worn Yokohama Advans. Why Sumitomos? Simply, they were cheap. Then we track tested them, which proved that if ultimate dry grip is your first five priorities then you should buy the Yoks.
Well, my tire needs are a bit more complex then that. And after nearly 2,000 miles of driving, I'm sold on these Sumitomos.
First, I'm not going to track days or spending enough time carving canyons to spend twice as much on tires to eeeeeeeeek out that last big of dry grip. It's just not worth it to me. And the M3 is still way too fast for the street on the Sumitomos. Around town they provide more than enough grip. Wet or dry. Yes, I've driven this car in the rain recently, and was very impressed with the grip the new tires provided.
I also like the ride and sound of these new tires. They feel good, without proritizing stick too much over comfort. And they look good. Not only the tread pattern, but I like the simple sidewall design and the way it wraps up over the rim.
If I had a complaint it would be aimed at the tire's effect on the M3's steering. It seems to be a bit less tight on center than it felt on the Yoks. But the change is minor, and may be caused by the car's accumulation of miles more than the new rubber.
Regardless, these tires are a steal for the price. For less then half the cost of a set of the Advans or Michelin PS2, they're a great choice. Honestly, unless I had money to burn I have yet to figure out why I would spend more for the Advans or the PS2s. Not for basic performance street driving anyway.
Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief @ 68,132 miles