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When the Rubber meets the Road

When looking for a new car, we tend to concentrate on things like the interior and exterior color, and the engine that sits under the hood. We also dwell on things such as how many miles it has or condition of the tires. Things that sometimes slip by are when the last oil change was performed or if it recently passed emissions.

Now when you add in questions such as “has it been wrecked?”, “is the windshield the original?”, “does it have the navigation disk?”, or “where are the other keys?”, we’re starting to get more thorough. That being said, I believe we have missed one very important detail here: tire quality.

The single most important part of how a car rides is between the road and the car itself. What sits between the suspension and the road is rubber! Now, you might be thinking that all tires are made alike, but you would be very misled if that was the case. Tires come in all different varieties and serve all sorts of different purposes. Take the Nissan GTR for example – this car sits on extremely sticky tires. When you look from the side, they almost look like they have no tread left on them at all. That is because the less tread on these tires, the more surface area those tires have to stick to the road. A large portion of what makes the GTR such an agile and quick car is its grip. If you throw $100 on those rims, you would be amazed at just how quickly the GTR goes from being a Corvette Killer to being just some other rough riding sports car.

There is a similar story for an S-Class Mercedes. A large part of why that car rides so smoothly, yet is able to deliver a pleasing driving experience, is due to the quality of rubber on which it is riding. Take a BMW X5, as well- the thicker tires with the larger sidewall means there is more room to absorb bumps and drive smoothly on the highway. You can even go another direction entirely, and look for off road tires with the ability to conquer the gravel roads you’ve always dreamed of exploring.

Cheap tires often cause a rougher ride, significantly more road noise, and wear out quicker than their more expensive counterparts. If you want your car to perform at its best, you have to keep giving it the parts with which it was designed. There is a reason BMW doesn’t put $50 dollar tires on their 3 series. It is because it really does matter. However, it’s not just about the money when it comes to tires. It’s about a mindset. If you spend $60,000 on an S-Class or $40,000 on a BMW X5, why would you skimp on the tires? These are expensive cars designed to deliver a superb driving experience with little road noise, smooth handling, and easy going highway driving. By putting cheap tires on them, and you take away that cusp- that edge that makes those cars worth $40k-60k. You take away what makes them drive better, feel better, and last longer than some other boring car like a Kia or a Honda. I’m not saying that Kia and Honda’s are bad cars. They are just geared for a different audience. Someone looking for an X5 should not be considering a Kia as well – they are in a different league. The Kia is able to be cheaper by not worrying so much about road noise or how smooth they can make the ride for the people sitting in the back. They also don’t equip their cars with expensive tires out of the factory. This is the other side of the coin from such Luxury Cars we were discussing earlier.

So in conclusion, if you buy a BMW or a Mercedes or even the Nissan (I know the GTR is a rule breaker) you should be prepared to spend more money maintaining its integrity. From Synthetic Oil Changes (yes, it will cost more than $20 to change the oil) to tires, naturally it will cost more to keep these well designed cars delivering the driving experience that you deemed was worth the extra money. So treat it well, give it good tires, a fresh oil change, and, frankly, just the respect the treatment it deserves. In return, it will keep performing the way it was designed to: better than the rest.


Lincoln Fantaski

Select Luxury Cars, located in Marietta, Ga. on Highway 41, hand “Selects” every vehicle. We specialize in the highest quality automobiles available in the market. Whether you live here in the Atlanta area or anywhere around the world, we will find the exact car you are dreaming of. If you are looking for a Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari or other high end model, begin your search here and we won’t disappoint.

Categories: Car Tech, Used Car Tips
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