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The Falken Ziex ZE914 that we are reviewing today is being tested on a Holden VE Series II Commodore Sportswagon.
Falken claims that the ZE914 is a next generation, high performance tyre designed to give even tread wear, improved fuel efficiency, comfort and traction according to the Falken website - especially designed for Australian roads. The asymmetric tread pattern features four straight and wide grooves which apparently help with resisting hydroplaning in the wet:
This is one of Falken's Ecorun tyres which claims low rolling resistance and improved wet braking as well as improved shoulder rib rigidity and large shoulder blocks for improved handling whilst cornering.
The reviewed tyres were made in the previous month and felt very "sticky" to the touch. See this page to find out your tyre age.
Our 245/45R18 had 8mm of tread measured next to the treadwear indicators when new.
In a nutshell - without driving in an extremely aggressive fashion I can't get them to break traction on a dry surface. Suddenly planting the throttle at a roundabout to pull out in front of traffic doesn't result in spinning wheels. While this will be assisted by the torque limiting in 1st gear of the Commodore the old tyres would spin in the same situation with ~50% tread left so these seem to have a lot more grip.
Wet braking is also greatly improved over the no-name-brand tyres; the week we bought them it was pouring down rain locally so there was plenty of time to test that and we came away feeling quite confident in their performance.
If you are into driving your car on the street like it's a race track you may have a different experience but in our amateur simulated emergency maneouvers, cornering, accelerating and braking tests the tyres exceeded expectations.
As a side point which may have some impact, the VE SV6 that the tyres were on has SS brakes which gives it improved braking performance.
So is the Falken Ziex ZE914 a quiet tyre? While it is supposed to be very difficult to design a tyre that is quiet on every road surface, the designers of the ZE914 seem to have done a pretty good job of making it reasonably quiet on the variety of road surfaces one finds around Newcastle. I don't think it is the quietest tyre we have ever used but it would be in the top few. One of the things that surprised me most coming to the VE Commodore from a 5-series BMW was the amount of road and tyre noise that entered the cabin; now I think that some of that was the tyre selection that was on it when we purchased the car, as these Falken ZE914 tyres are a good deal quieter than the no-name-brand tyres that were on it previously.
We paid $585 for all four, fitted and balanced from a local Goodyear Autocare tyre shop.
How long should the ZE914 tyres last? As of early 2017 Falken offer a 60,000km warranty on them (before they get to 1.6mm tread depth) if you register online within 30 days of purchase and get the tyres serviced according to their schedule. Some of the fine print there seems to be that you must purchase at least 4 tyres and it's a pro-rated agreement - an adjustment credit is provided based on the percentage of life not achieved, if any. There's a bunch more in the terms and conditions so for rest/the current terms and conditions best check with Falken - the link as of the time of writing is here.
We will update with how the tyre tread is fairing over time. As mentioned above, when new the tread was 8mm deep next to the treadwear indicators, so that's our starting point.
According to the Falken website(s), these are the available sizes:
Falken Ziex ZE914 Ecorun available 15 inch sizes:
Falken Ziex ZE914 Ecorun available 16 inch sizes:
Falken Ziex ZE914 Ecorun available 17 inch sizes:
Falken Ziex ZE914 Ecorun available 18 inch sizes:
"XL" indicates extra load rating.
Overall we are extremely pleased with their performance at the given price point and can't fault them. The reduction in noise from the old tyres is a nice added bonus and the wet braking performance is encouraging - we spend most of the time driving the Commodore with two kids in the back so safety is always in the back of our minds.
Give your local tyre shop a ring or if online shopping is your thing take a look at eBay AU.
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