As with any other commodity, there is a wide variety of tyres available in the market. Which one should you get for your vehicle, though? Does a more expensive tyre mean better performance? Most importantly, what is the point at which an expensive tyre becomes an overkill for your vehicle?
As a rule of thumb, manufacturers will fit your car with tyres that are economically feasible for them. This means that they will have the lowest cost, with minimal requirements when it comes to grip – but they will ensure that the tyres have long life, because that is what the general public wants. This rule doesn’t apply to premium cars, which have more specific requirements and whose target customers are more willing to shell out money for more benefits.
The low grip helps with better fuel economy figures. The regular driver isn’t bothered with how much grip his car generates, because he isn’t going to see how fast he can go around a corner with his car. Therefore, he can live with low grip because nine times out of ten, he’s not going to explore the limits of grip with his car. Since most of you reading this will have a budget car (relatively speaking) you can explore options that will help increase fuel economy while still bringing down braking distances.
Of course, everything comes at a price, so be prepared to shell out a premium for tyres that do all these things, or are imported. If you own an MUV and especially if that MUV is used for commercial applications, you will certainly want the car’s tyres to last a long time without compromising on fuel efficiency, but grip levels will not be high on your list of priorities. In this case, the factory-fitted tyres will probably serve you best, because those are the requirements for the overwhelming majority of MUV owners.
If you have a premium car, you will want to pay careful attention to the tyres you have on your car, because if they are inferior, you will have a safety problem; one that will rear its head only at high speed. Take careful note of the speed and load ratings on the tyres that were original fitment, and fit tyres that meet or exceed those ratings. If you find it exceedingly difficult to wrap your head around this, a good way of making sure you get the right tyres is to look at what is fitted on the new model, or the competition. If you’re still not sure, look at what is fitted on cars a class higher – though that might be overkill for your car.
A good rule of thumb to have is to follow the policy of going “one step up”. See what the logical upgrade is for your vehicle, and opt for those tyres. This will ensure that you don’t lose out on acceleration and fuel efficiency while increasing safety via shorter braking distance and increased cornering grip. Of course, whether you upsize the tyre is up to you, since that will void the manufacturer’s warranty, but the compound is what matters more.
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