Home / Product Reviews / Falken FK453 Review

 

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In my past I’ve owned a lot of tires – and these are among my least favorite.

I typically buy used so that I can try out a bunch of different brands and also to save some money; however, I deviated from usual strategy and bought a set of brand new Falken FK453s in 2012 after getting a nice discount on them and hearing a pretty convincing pitch from my tire shop. The FK453s were sold as “fixing every problem of the FK452s and then some” and I was told I’d be quite pleased with these tires – boy, were they wrong…after 1.5 years and around 15,000 miles, I’m finally retiring these from use soon – both due to low treadwear and picking up a new set of wheels/tires to replace them with, and boy am I happy this day has finally come.

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The Falken FK453 is a jack of all trades, master of none. The tires are “just fine” and adequate for most uses, but failed to ever impress me. They’re mostly quiet, but not the quietest. They are somewhat grippy, but not very grippy. They ride okay, but that not the smoothest. They last a while, but not that long. They are truly forgettable tires in every dimension.

In hindsight, I wish I had purchased a cheap Chinese brand tire over these – I think the cheapo brands like Nexen would perform similarly, but cost about half and last a little longer. If I’m going to be unimpressed with a tire, it might as well be one that was cheap and at least I won’t have any regret over spending too much, as I did with the 235/35/19 that ring in at about $200/tire as opposed to Nexens and other cheaper Chinese brands at the $100-125/tire range in that size.

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To be fair – my past tires have all been higher performance tires. My favorite to-date has been the Michelin PS2s which are quite expensive (about $330/tire in my size) but absolutely incredible tires. I also really enjoyed the Michelin Pilot Super Sports which replaced the PS2s and they’re both cheaper, longer lasting, and so far handle & ride just as well as the prior PS2s. I’ve also owned Nitto Invos, Bridgestone Potenza, and Contentinental Sport Contacts, and while they all had their pros and cons, I’d say they’re all superior to the Falken FK453s.

I won’t completely bash Falken though; they do make some decent tires, and we ran the Azenis line on our 24 Hours of LeMons car and were quite pleased. The FK453 however continues to be a mostly lower performance tire dressed up (and priced) as a high performance tire. Save yourself the money and buy something cheaper, or spend a little more and get something far better – the FK453 is average in every way, and far too much money to spend for something so average.

 Pic  Title  Details
2 NEW 235/35-19 NANKANG NOBLE SPORT NS-20 35R R19 TIRES Current Price: $150.0
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 24 days 2 hrs 1 min
2 New 235 35 19 BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW Tires Current Price: $259.0
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 25 days 23 hrs 54 mins
4 New 235 35 19 Pirelli Cinturato P1 Tires P235/35R19 - 91Y 2353519 Current Price: $558.96
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 21 days 8 hrs 46 mins
4 X New Nankang NS-20 "Noble Sport" 235/35ZR19 91Y XL AS High Performance Tires Current Price: $318.15
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 20 days 12 hrs 18 mins
2 New 235/35ZR19 Inch Nankang NS-20 Tires 235 35 19 2353519 R19 Current Price: $184.0
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 10 days 8 hrs 7 mins
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About the author: Nick Roshon

 

Nick Roshon is a blogger who is passionate about Audis and European cars in general. He owns a 2006 S4 and before that had a 2006 A4. His driving experience includes numerous track days throughout California, Nevada and Arizona. In his day job, Nick is a digital marketer and lives in San Diego, CA, USA.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Why I’m sticking with Michies. Had the stock Pirelli P6’s on my A4 and it would fishtail going down an exit ramp if it ever rained. This review and your preference only solidifies my commitment to Michelin.

  2. What Mike said… I liked your point about being unimpressed with a cheap tire if you’re going to be unimpressed.

  3. This review needs really updating. I have to strongly disagree with most of Nicks comments. Firstly since the review had been written there has been so many changes into the manufacturing processes. For a start Falken are now made by Continental, they have been producing them for the last 3 years. Using exact same machinery used to construct conti’s but with a slightly harder grade of rubber composite.

    I have FK453 on my M3 and my father has Bridgestone Potenza on his M6 F13. There is a difference lets not deny that, but no way as bad as Nick mentioned that Chines brand tyres are on similar quality. That is just straight up nonsense, Nankang is as far away from Falken level, there is no comparison.

    Yes the Bridgestones grip a bit better and Yes they give you better handling. This is only marginal, within 5min of switching tyres you will completely forget about that little bit extra grip. The reality in the real world of driving on the roads and highway the change is not even noticeable. If you drive your car hard and take your car on a track then you will notice the difference, but as I mentioned it is very marginal.

    Now a 453 will cost around £120 per tyre, the Protenza around £160. This is not taking into account the options of runflats! On a M3 the 453 can absolutely deal with the BHP, I actually had taken my factory Bridgestones off for a more comfortable ride and longevity on my tyres for close to equal performance.

    In a nutshell do a bit of research yourself and you will find out what are missing. A great tyre that is designed and performs well.

  4. Hi Ismail – I welcome a differing opinion, and you could be right that they’ve made improvements to the 453 since it first came out…I did get them when the 453 was first introduced, and I stand by my words that it was an absolutely terrible tire for the money and unimpressive in pretty much every way. I’m not sure what tire size those prices are that you’re quoting, but in my tire size in the United States those tires are very similarly priced, and I have trouble believing those prices are accurate for a new M3 or M6 which runs much wider rubber, but regardless, if you like them then great – things like noise, feel, and performance are subjective unless you’re measuring via a skidpad or decibal meter I suppose, and what you like might be different than me. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone based on my experience with them though.

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