Topic:At a crossroad to pick the right tire
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T O P I C     R E V I E W
gmrjI've decided to get new wheels for my '99 Audi A6 Quattro. I'm leaning towards the Moda Sport in 16x7.5 size. The real question is what tire to match with it. I have past experience with Michelin Energy MXV4's; they've been mostly dependable and predictable. The car now has Continental CH95's; not impressed with their cornering abilities but they're very quiet. Thought I might consider the Bridgestone Potenza RE940. I value road holding in rain but like a tire with low resistance to roll. I also value quiet over the life of the tire. I believe the correct tire size is 205-55-16. Any knowledgeable opinions?
MarcI would suggest that you have a look at the
Nokian NRV, great rain performer with his
directional asymetrical tread pattern, also
very comfortable and quiet. You can see the
tread pattern at
gmrjMarc, thanks for the reply. I've read some comments here about the Nokian, some I'm intrigued. The challenge I guess will be to find a Nokian dealer in the area. Do you happen to know if the web dealers (i.e. carry Nokian? No need to answer since I'll be checking around in the next couple of weeks myself. Thanks again.

[This message has been edited by gmrj (edited December 29, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by gmrj (edited December 29, 1999).]

bill conroyHi!

My future brother-in-law has a '99 A6 Quattro too, so I know you have a real nice car. My question is why you want to get new wheels? If you do get new wheels, I'd recommend going with a plus 1 sizing. If you go to a 17" rim, you could then go with 225/45-17 tires. The overall diameter would only be 0.4% larger than stock; well within the 3% limit recommended. With this size wheel/tire, you would have markedly better handling with little giveaway in comfort. Your car's computers and speedometer wouldn't know the difference.

I am not sure if you live in snow/ice country, but if so, you could keep the original wheels for use with a true, dedicated snow/ice tire. Believe me-there is a big difference over all season tires!

For the 17" rims, you could go with a Michelin Sport (brand new, very nice), a Bridgstone Potenza S-02 Pole Position or a Dunlop SP Sports 9000. Any one of these tires would be quiet and very good in the rain. In fact, both the Michelin and Bridgstone's are UTQG rain brake rated AA, the newest, and highest, category. The Tire Rack prices these at $229, $203 and $181 each, respectively. Not cheap, but outstanding tires! You won't regret getting any of them.

A less expense option would be Bridgstone Potenza RE 71. I have a set of these on an older Quattro I own. It's old technology, but at $122, it ain't bad.

If you must/want to stay with the original size wheel and also want to stick with an all weather tire, I have two recommendations. One is the Michelin XGT Z4 and the other is the Dunlop SP Sport 5000 (new tire). Both are ultra high performance, all season tires, and both are very quiet and good in the rain. The Michelin costs $154 and the Dunlop is only $91. (Hmmm, that Dunlop sounds pretty good.) The Michelin would get the slight nod in dry handling and the Dunlop would be slighly better in the wet. Either of these two tires will outshine what the car came with.

I, of course, was just happy to sit in my future brother-in-law's car, let alone drive it! (He's getting a 2000 A6 4.2 in February!) Good luck in your wheel/tire search!

Your ideas are pretty sound. Having driven Toyota Camrys over the last bunch of years, you really don't get the chance to break loose and try something new. Still driving the '95 wagon on safe but unexiting Michelin Energy MXV4's.

I'm going to play with's site. I like the look of the larger wheel, but have a sense that with the lack of added rubber, you get a harder ride. I read an article in one of the car magazines about doing to lower profile tires, and they said that ride does not have to suffer.

I live in central New Jersey, so the summers are in the 90's as a high, and in the winter down to 30's as a norm. The last few winters have been pretty mild, but some mornings can be difficult, with freezing rain or black ice. I picked the Audi line for the Quattro feature, since I was looking for enhanced handling characteristics. Just image how much nicer is would handle not using the Continental's that are on the car now. Not that they're bad, but taken curve even just a little fast causes you to ride up high on the sidewall. The sound's enough to scare anyone. Seems to me the manufacturer's are always using subsistence tires to cut costs.

If you can tell me more about the size tolerance, I'd appreciate it. You mentioned 3%. Are you referring to the clearance of the tire in the wheel well?

bill conroyThe 3% variance I was referring to was the overall diameter of the tire. Whatever wheel/tire combo you go with, it must be within 3% of the original diameter that the car was made with. If not, then the car's computer won't know accurately how fast your car is going, etc. A proper plus 1 sizing will allow you to go with a larger diameter wheel, but the overall tire diameter will remain the same. The 225/45-17 is the perfect plus 1 sizing for a 205/55-16 tire. A plus 1 size should not present any wheel/fender clearence problems in your Audi A6.

I'm not sure how sensitive you are to a harder ride, but I don't believe the 225/45-17 combo will that much harsher than the 205/55-16. It's all up to your personal perference. The new tires I mentioned above, although very high perforance oriented, are also surprisingly quiet.

If you want to keep the same size tire, why not save a few bucks and keep the original wheels and just get the new tires mentioned above? The high perforance all season tires metioned above will probably fit your needs quite well. Good luck!

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