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Discussion Starter #1
I always like to have the best possible combination of tyres on the road and, having been less than pleased with the choice made by the dealer who sold the car to me, I have been studying alternatives. I have based my research on the tyres listed by a well known German on-line retailer.
I have considered standard summer tyres that best meet the original specification and 'Extra Load' (XL) tyres because the Ampera is a heavy car and these tyres have stiffer side walls and are better at coping with higher pressures - especially on British roads plagued by unexpected pot-holes. I have also considered the noise rating and have excluded anything rated at more than 70 DB. I have had considerable experience with the Avon and Falken XL tyres on my MGF but always stuck with softer Michelin tyres on my Rover 75 which, in terms of handling and weight distribution, felt very similar to the Ampera.

The current standard tyre offering includes the following:
Avon ZV7 215/55 R17 94W - £79.00 (69 DB) - UK company but often made in China.
Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 215/55 R17 94V - £89.50 (68 DB)
Falken ZIEX ZE310 ECORUN 215/55 R17 94V - £93.70 (67 DB)
Michelin Primacy 4 215/55 R17 94W - £107.50 (69 DB)

The current XL offering includes:
Falken ZIEX ZE310 ECORUN 215/55 R17 98W XL - £77.70 (69 DB)
Avon ZV7 215/55 R17 98W XL - £83.30 (70 DB)
Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 215/55 R17 98W XL - £94.00 (69 DB)
Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2 215/55 R17 98W XL - £99.70 (68 DB)
Michelin Primacy 3 215/55 R17 98W XL - £113.40 (69 DB)

The price range is significant and as I plan to run my tyres at 39 psi for economy, I am thinking about XL tyres but would these work well on the Ampera? They are usually a bit noisier but give a very sure-footed cornering experience. Although the Michelins appear to be more expensive, it is often possible to get a good deal from their sponsored tyre depots. Any thoughts or opinions would be more than welcome.
 

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If you're not intending to rotate summer and winter tyres, I'd go for Michelin CrossClimates or similar. They're a big help to look after the Ampera's torque below 7C compared to straight summer tyres.
 

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Twin Amperas
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Debica Presto UHP 2 98W XL

67dB Noise. A rated Wet Grip. B Rated Fuel Efficiency. Goodyear technology.

Around £50 last time I bought some....search the forum for other satisfied users...

Would never use Michelins ever again after ours were perished less than half worn...
 

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Around £80 at a quick glance. Not heard of the brand, and one site said Summer tyre. I don't know much about them but wouldn't that mean you HAVE to have winter ones too?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Around £80 at a quick glance. Not heard of the brand, and one site said Summer tyre. I don't know much about them but wouldn't that mean you HAVE to have winter ones too?
Most of the tyres sold in the UK are classed as ‘Summer Tyres’, largely because we generally have a milder climate than Countries like Germany and Austria where ‘Winter Tyres’ are a legal requirement during certain months of the year. Having said that, for the last ten years, or so, I have always changed to ‘Winter Tyres’ at the end of October and back to my regular Tyres at the end of March. Apart from the initial outlay and the inconvenience of storing a spare set of wheels and tyres etc., it doesn’t cost any more overall to do this and the benefits are well proven. For those who prefer not to change Tyres to suit the seasons, some tyre companies produce ‘All Season Tyres’ like the Michelin ‘Cross Climate’. These have the EU ‘Snowflake’ marking that is compulsory for winter driving in many countries (not the UK) but these can only ever be a compromise and are bound to be noisier and wear quicker in warm weather.
 

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I would not recommend the XL variants.
Check out the old thread about the Michelin original fitment tyres many of which started perishing.
I think the criteria should be low rolling resistance, low noise, and good wet weather performance.
The eurozone category labelling makes comparing easier. I am still very happy with my Goodyear replacements as detailed in that thread. Grippier and quieter than the original fitted Michelins, and a good price from BlackCircles.com
See:-
Factory fitted Michelins falling apart
Factory fitted Michelins falling apart

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Have the goodyear efficientgrip xl on mine, they have been fine for the last two years. Replaced the factory originals that were starting to crack.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the pointers. I have never fully understood the reasons why tyres are so expensive here in the UK and for the last ten years, I have always imported my winter boots from Germany. I have a theory that the availability of cheaper tyres there may be due to the German seasonal tyre laws. A quick search on the 'bay, found another German supplier offering Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance, 215/55 R17 94W at £89.71 each - delivered to a UK address. Here is the link:
4x Summer Tyre Goodyear EFFICIENTGRIP Performance 215/55 R17 94w for sale online | eBay
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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I don't know why people claim they are expensive when they are such complex piece of engineering.

When you consider the technical features of tyres and what they have to do, I think they are very cheap, TBH.

I recall the typical tyre price was £30~40 in the 1990s so it looks to me like they have come down in price, in real terms, as well as being far superior in technical specification.
 

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Another vote for Cross Climates here. We have them on both our Volts. Quietest tyres I know of, and they seem to be wearing well.

I would also recommend Efficentgrips if you plan to swap to winters in the er... winter. We had these on our previous Leaf.
 

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Debica Presto UHP 2 98W XL

67dB Noise. A rated Wet Grip. B Rated Fuel Efficiency. Goodyear technology.

Around £50 last time I bought some....search the forum for other satisfied users...

Would never use Michelins ever again after ours were perished less than half worn...
I fitted a set of Debica recently, they certainly seem quiet and am pleased so far. I also run mine at 39psi.
GregC..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't know why people claim they are expensive when they are such complex piece of engineering. <snipped>
I intended to make a comparison with prices for similar items when purchased in one of our EU neighbours (and, no this is not a Brex**it debate!) - for example when in Germany back in February, diesel was less than £1.00 a Litre and one could buy a decent bottle of wine together with a bottle of Asbach (Decent German brandy) for less than £10 in a well known German supermarket. It seems that by comparison, our European neighbours can generally buy most things cheaper than we can in the UK.
 

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I don't know why people claim they are expensive when they are such complex piece of engineering.

When you consider the technical features of tyres and what they have to do, I think they are very cheap, TBH.

I recall the typical tyre price was £30~40 in the 1990s so it looks to me like they have come down in price, in real terms, as well as being far superior in technical specification.
I was paying £115 each in the 90s for the tyres for my Audi Coupé Quattro and it’s still that or thereabouts for the Ampera now. Seems ok to me too.


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Pah, amateurs. The tyres on my XKR 6 years ago were £315 a corner, the fronts lasted 2 years and the rears just one year!
 

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Mine has just had a new pair to replace the worn (2mm) fronts at @25,000, the rears put on at the same time are fine so ought to make 50k+ though they won't being on the front now.
Cornering is better, the traction warning has calmed down ;)

(Goodyear Efficientgrip xl )
 

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I'm running the EfficientGrips on the rear and trying to wear out the Michelins on the front to get them replaced. The front nearside one has developed a slight warp in the tread and it is starting the be felt through the steering at low speeds to they may well be replaced long before they are worn out.
 

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Definitely time to get them swapped out then before you get a blow-out...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So I did all my "thinking about tyres", read all the recommendations in these forums (or should it be fora?) and now have GoodYear EfficientGrips all round. The difference is very noticeable especially on smooth road surfaces where the car simply glides along. As a result of all this, I have ditched the original Michelins, which were badly cracked and shedding rubber, but I still have the Chinese 'ditchfinders' that the dealer fitted to the fronts in order to get the car through the MOT. They are badged 'Evergreen' 215/55 R17 98V Extra Load. They have done less than 500 miles and might prove useful to someone else - if anyone wants them, I would be happy to deliver them within a range of, say, 50 miles - free of charge in exchange for any Ampera wisdom or just a chat about our cars.
 
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