Tires can have a major impact on road noise. My car is quiet and we have Firestone Affinity Touring that came on it. It could be even more quiet with different tires, but still very quiet to me and defiantly a lot more quiet then my 08 Mazda 3 was with Goodyear Eagle's or the stock Toyo's that came on it originally.
I have the Continental's and I do find them noisy, however, they are rated AA traction and A temperature (I might have that reversed). The mileage life is also very good, 60k I believe. I guess that is why they are noisy because they are harder rubber, hense they last longer.
I have never owned a tire with AA and A ratings. I feel that is impressive for OEM tires which have a reputation for wearing out quickly. I'll stick.
My 2008 4dr Si came with the Michelins. I kept them 24,000 long, noisy, rough riding miles. I generally like Michelins, but not these. I searched tire rack.com for low rolling resistance, quiet, very long lasting tires, at least V rated and came up with Cont DWS tires. Got them and absolutely love them. Noise way down, soft ride, 540 tread wear rating, AA,A. 11,000 miles later they look like new. I changed to these tires and went to 0-30 Mobil 1 at the same time. Mileage went up appx 3 mpg. I've tracked mpg since new.
Our 2008 CRV came with dreadful Bridgestone tires! Went 28,000 noisy, rough riding miles. Searched tirerack.com again and went from 103 to 100 and got Michelin Latitudes with 720 tread rating, cost less than original equipment, very quiet, soft ride and 22,000 miles later, they look like new. Before getting them, my wife was considering getting rid of the CRV due to ride and noise. Now, you couldn't pry it out of her hands.
I just replaced the Continental ProContact tires on my new 2012 EX-L (441 miles) with Michelin Primacy MXV4 because of the road noise on the stock tires. I immediately noticed a difference with the Michelin tires. The road noise to me is substantially less and after reading about issues with the Conti tires I feel more comfortable with my wife driving the car.
I found this thread looking to see which Michelin was the summer tire after riding home a couple days ago.
We had freezing rain after a good rain then freezing temps. All the bridges were iced over the night before. A normally 30 minute commute took 5.5 hours (I did 0-5 MPH the entire commute). The next day work let out early due to more freezing rain. As I was crossing a bridge I noticed the Si lose traction a few times, then saw Ford F-150 had hit the wall so I slowed to a crawl. Later in the commute as temps continued to drop, I hit another bridge and I could feel the tires lose traction a few more times.
I thought maybe I had summer tires on my car, nope. All seasons.
I have always had great luck with front wheel drive vehicles on snow and ice and although I do enjoy these tires in the warmer weather, they are definitely not something I would want my wife and kids riding/ driving with during the winter.
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