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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright friends, I replaced the stock P Zeros with Eagle Exhilarate performance all seasons early last week and have put about 400 pretty varied miles on them since. I figure now I have a pretty good idea of how they perform on the Kona N. Here are some pros and cons when compared to the stock tires:

Pros

1). They are significantly more quiet.

2). They ride much softer. Don’t get me wrong-the Kona N remains a stiff car, but I’ve found that in city driving on rough roads they’re noticeably less punishing than the P Zeros.

3). They offer superior wet grip. I had issues with the P Zeros in this application.

4). They still perform very well. The car still feels about 90% as good as it does with the summer tires.

5). They don’t turn into bricks as soon as it’s brisk out. Don’t get me wrong, I know the P Zeros aren’t designed for brisk weather, but I figured I could use them until temperatures got into the 30s or so. Your results may vary, but my set of P Zeros was pretty useless once the temperature got to around 60 or less.


Cons:

1). There’s no denying that you sacrifice a bit of performance. You won’t notice in daily driving or even spirited driving, but when you’re going all out they’re not quite as grippy. Fortunately the LSD makes up for some of it-the car is still a menace when cornering.

2). Braking distances are very slightly longer. It’s not so dramatic that it causes problems or anything, but I’ve found that I need to lay into the brakes a little bit harder with the Exhilarates.

3). You sacrifice a little bit of steering feel and weight. I don’t really notice in normal or eco mode, but in my custom mode where I have the steering in Sport+, it’s just a tad less lively.

All in all, I’m very satisfied. I think they’re a better fit for this car than the P Zeros are. If you’re going to the track a lot or live in a warm, sunny climate like Southern California or Arizona I could see sticking with the Pirellis. But if you live in a place with 4 seasons and interact with less than ideal roads frequently (like I do in the DC area) they’re a noticeable improvement.

They’re a little more forgiving for the daily grind and still offer excellent performance. To me, that and the better capability in the cold are worth sacrificing the last 10% or so that the P Zeros offer performance wise. I’d definitely recommend them as an option for the Kona N.
 

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good to know. Thanks for the review. It's funny I only have a bout 300 miles on my N and already taking notes on replacement tires. The 'good value' tire for my GTI was a Firestone Indy 500. Not sure they're still available but I'm hoping for something comparable for the N.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
good to know. Thanks for the review. It's funny I only have a bout 300 miles on my N and already taking notes on replacement tires. The 'good value' tire for my GTI was a Firestone Indy 500. Not sure they're still available but I'm hoping for something comparable for the N.
P Zeros are just such a weird choice for the Kona N, especially since Hyundai wants to position it as the easiest N to daily and the one that could offer a reasonable first step into the enthusiast world for normal crossover shoppers. They’re good tires, but they’re hardcore tires that are compromised when it comes to daily driving…and I’m not sure that every Kona N buyer is going to understand that they’ll have to take them off for winter.

I think the car should come with performance all seasons…but most OEM’s don’t offer them as stock tires because they’re expensive. Which brings me to my second point…as much as I’m liking the Exhilarates, they’re no cheap thrill. A set runs about $1,000.
 

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P Zeros are just such a weird choice for the Kona N, especially since Hyundai wants to position it as the easiest N to daily and the one that could offer a reasonable first step into the enthusiast world for normal crossover shoppers. They’re good tires, but they’re hardcore tires that are compromised when it comes to daily driving…and I’m not sure that every Kona N buyer is going to understand that they’ll have to take them off for winter.

I think the car should come with performance all seasons…but most OEM’s don’t offer them as stock tires because they’re expensive. Which brings me to my second point…as much as I’m liking the Exhilarates, they’re no cheap thrill. A set runs about $1,000.
I disagree about the tire performing horribly at temps below 60. I've seen some temps in the high 20's and had my Kona N out with the P Zero and the ride is a bit harsher but it still ride fine on the road. No snow yet but my winter tires are going on tomorrow morning.

All N models are true enthusiast cars, they are not designed for the average driver. If you are not into performance cars don't buy a N. Go buy a N-Line, Kia or Genesis if you want a Korean made vehicle. N models are designed for the track. It is apparent once you get behind the wheel and feel how stiff the suspension are across the three models, all come with summer tires, and the cars can be customized.

If a consumer buys a N and drives them in the winter with the summer tires on and something happen that is simply the consumer not doing their research on the product they decided to purchase.

When dropping my daughter off a school I saw another Red Kona N that was recently purchased. Hopefully they swap over to winter tires, if not their fun experience with the car will be shorted lived.
 

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I disagree about the tire performing horribly at temps below 60.
I disagree with your disagreement! lol
Anything below about 40F and the Pirellis turn to wood and become unsafe in my opinion.
Simply pulling out of my driveway at low speed, not even on the go pedal, and I'm slipping sideways into oncoming traffic. This is with an ambient around 38F, dry roads, concrete drive onto decent asphalt.

Anyway, what does everyone think about the Continental DWS06+? Those have been my go-to all seasons for my Focus ST, and I was thinking about getting a set for my Kona N. Thoughts?
 

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Just a quick update...
I got a set of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06+ in OEM size installed on my Kona N about a week ago. So far, they are amazing. The ride is quieter, smoother, no discernible loss of grip, and they don't turn to garbage when the temperature drops below 45F. I haven't put many miles on them yet, but so far I'm very pleased. I'll try to update as times goes by.
 

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Just a quick update...
I got a set of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06+ in OEM size installed on my Kona N about a week ago. So far, they are amazing. The ride is quieter, smoother, no discernible loss of grip, and they don't turn to garbage when the temperature drops below 45F. I haven't put many miles on them yet, but so far I'm very pleased. I'll try to update as times goes by.
Let us know if they are still flat spotting? I went through 2 sets and switch to a different model Continental's within a month, that actually handled better then the DWS06 plus and did not flat spot. Of course they don't make those anymore. Those have been my winter tires on factory Kona AWD 1.6T rims. As I pull my Michelin PS 3+ and summer rims for winter. I am planning on switching to these for my summer tires/rims mid next year when my PS 3+ wear out at that time. 3 years as winter tires and then I can scrub the rest of the tread off in the summer dry for the next 2 years.
 

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Let us know if they are still flat spotting? I went through 2 sets and switch to a different Continental that actually handled better then the DWS06 plus and did not flat spot.
What do you mean by flat spotting? The only time I've heard that term is in relation to a tire that's been sitting a long time in one place, and making a thumping noise when first driven until it rounds back out.
I suspect that's not what you mean... lol
I had 2 sets of these Conti's on my Focus ST, and they were great. No issues. They rode great and stuck like glue. I never got the full life out of them, but that was because Focuses eat tires, not the fault of the tire itself.
 

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What do you mean by flat spotting? The only time I've heard that term is in relation to a tire that's been sitting a long time in one place, and making a thumping noise when first driven until it rounds back out.
I suspect that's not what you mean... lol
I had 2 sets of these Conti's on my Focus ST, and they were great. No issues. They rode great and stuck like glue. I never got the full life out of them, but that was because Focuses eat tires, not the fault of the tire itself.
That is what I mean, after one night sitting I would get very annoying vibration. So every morning going to work and some times going home it would do it. The DWS06 was my go tire for years, but with my other cars I never had that issue but a couple of times. I was in the tire business for 3-4 years, when I was younger, so I delt with all these issues before. They Road Force out just under ok, as they are not the roundest tire I found out. Both sets were completely different batch runs. He said they had superb luck with the Continental Control Contact Sport A/S and they had a stiffer sidewall. This tire gave me no flat spotting and they handled better with the stiffer sidewall and a more "darty" turn in. It will be interesting to see how they perform next summer after I get to 2/32nds on my Pilot Sport 3+ A/S, which should be mid summer.

I have an idea as I drive on them, but mainly in winter on thinner width/heavy OEM rims. I have never driven these with a outside temp above 45 degrees.
 

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That is what I mean, after one night sitting I would get very annoying vibration. So every morning going to work and some times going home it would do it.
Huh. No, I don't recall ever having that problem on my Focus. I'll keep an eye out for it on my Kona. So far it hasn't done it. I park in a garage on concrete. I can't imagine how that could make a difference, but I figured I'd mention it.
 

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I was surprised too as I must of had 3-4 sets on different cars without an issue. The Discount Tire manager I dealt with was a VERY knowledgeable guy that has been in the tire industry for decades. I loved the guy....he would always pick their best guy at the time to do my cars, as he knew I was in the biz for a couple years and did not want my car to get a rookie. Too bad he moved on to another store for all I know. He has seen a couple cars/people have the issue. He said they have asked people to drop their cars over night and that let them drive it early to see the issue and they had legitimate times it was the tires. I did not have to do that with him. I am just glad I got rid of those tires and found a fix as flat spotting sucks if it happens to you.
 

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Dunno what to tell you man, never happened to me.
If it does, I'll be sure to report back here so we can commiserate together. lol
Some tires do it, others don't. I've typically on;y seen it on overloaded vehicles, or those with really old tires whose rubber compound has begun to break down from age.
My father used to work in a garage, and most of the time we saw issues with tires was with modified vehicles. I notice that your sig says your Kona is lowered. That could easily be causing part of your troubles. Lowering generally screws up the suspension geometry and does all sorts of bad things to the dynamics of a car. I can't see how it would cause flat spotting, though.
 

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Dunno what to tell you man, never happened to me.
If it does, I'll be sure to report back here so we can commiserate together. lol
Some tires do it, others don't. I've typically on;y seen it on overloaded vehicles, or those with really old tires whose rubber compound has begun to break down from age.
My father used to work in a garage, and most of the time we saw issues with tires was with modified vehicles. I notice that your sig says your Kona is lowered. That could easily be causing part of your troubles. Lowering generally screws up the suspension geometry and does all sorts of bad things to the dynamics of a car. I can't see how it would cause flat spotting, though.
Well my lowering only helped the dynamics of the car. My car was only inch lowered at the time, and that did nothing but improve the dynamics of the car. It has been lowered another inch and improved handling dynamics even more. My car is not a negative 6 degree camber stance car, yes those can be dangerous cars. All it took was a different tire that was not prown for what ever reason to flat spotting to fix the issue. Michelin Pilot Sport 3+ A/S and Continental Contact Sport A/S, and General G-Max-05 A/S all have zero flat spotting issues. So "at the time" a manufacturing issue seems to be the logical issue with that flat spotting problem. Hit the signature link below and you can see the mods to my car.
 

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I think we may be talking about different things in terms of vehicle dynamics. I work in chassis development, so when I say dynamics, I mean the way the various parts of the cars work together to achieve the goals set by the manufacturer, not the way a car feels when driven exactly. It's a common misnomer.
I'm glad you're happy with the way yours is driving, though. :)
 
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