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:
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.
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.