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Why it’s worth investing in premium tyres

Mazda MX-5 - Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 tyres tested

I’ve been the proud owner of a 2005 Mazda MX-5 for more than four years. It’s served me well, though my wife seems to beat me to the keys more often of than not – especially when the sun is shining.

When I bought the car, I treated it to a set of mid-range branded tyres, which were OK, but the handling has always been a tad skittish at times for my liking.

Just before lockdown, my MX-5 passed its MOT, but there were advisories on the rear tyres, so it seemed like a good time to invest in a new set of rubber at some stage this year.

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5

Not long after, Goodyear offered me the chance to test their new Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 tyres, so I thought this could be an ideal opportunity to try out that old idiom, “you get what you pay for”.

For years I’ve advised drivers not to skimp when it comes to buying tyres because a good set can affect everything from handling to economy, and stopping distance to comfort and refinement.

However, for most, tyres are a “stress purchase” – usually driven by necessity rather than desire.

What I wanted to find out was whether fitting a premium product (around £100 each for my car) would make any difference to my MX-5 owning experience.

Goodyear sent them to H&B Tyres in nearby Frome (Jenson Button’s home town, no less) and in no time I was driving off the forecourt with my new set of Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 tyres.

According to the blurb, the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 was conceived as the “ultimate all-round summer tyre” and Goodyear has made significant improvements in wet braking and dry handling without compromising ride comfort or road noise.

The tyre’s compound combines wet weather capabilities “without sacrificing endurance or dry handling performance”, and thanks to a contact patch designed to extend when braking, the tyre’s contact with the road increases to a level more usually associated with a track tyre, resulting in wet stopping distances which are claimed to be 4% percent shorter compared to its predecessor, the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3.

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 - profile

Within a few yards of leaving the tyre fitters, it was clear that there was an immediate difference. The ride was softer and more refined.

Half a mile on and it was time to try it on some twisty bits out in the sun-bathed Somerset countryside. Gone was the nervousness that has so often blighted my enjoyment and the car seemed more responsive.

I had to wait until a few days later before I got to test it out in the wet. As any MX-5 owner will tell you, these lightweight rear-wheel drive cars should be treated with caution when the heavens open. Boot it out of a corner and it’s all too easy to lose the back end. My car’s previous owner told me he’d even spun a Mk2 on a roundabout during a downpour.

Again, the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5s impressed. There’s definitely more grip and traction out of corners, but you certainly can’t drop your guard entirely.

I’ve also noticed that at lower speeds in the wet, the Traction Control System warning light doesn’t flash as much, which again is an indicator of extra grip.

Mazda-MX-5-Goodyear-Eagle-F1-Asymmetric-5

I’ll admit, I haven’t conducted a fuel economy test, but judging by the positive results so far, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the reduced rolling resistance has resulted in a smidgen more MPG.

As for braking performance, well that’s harder to determine without a more scientific stopping distance test. I tried a few emergency braking manoeuvres in the wet and dry and I certainly have no complaints, but then I had none before.

To summarise, not only would I recommend the new Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5, but I’d say that you definitely DO get what you pay for.

If possible, the next time you change your tyres, go for a premium brand and take the challenge yourself… because your car’s worth it.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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One comment

  1. Premium tyres are probably the most important but yet the most overlooked area of a car. These are the only thing connecting you to the road but unfortunately so many people buy cheap.

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