I’ve owned a number of high end tires in the past including Michelin Pilot Sport PS2, Michelin Super Sports, Hankook RS-3s, Bridgestone Potenza, and some others I’m probably forgetting, so I was skeptical to try my first “cheap” tire. At about half the cost of Falken, these Nankang Noble Sport NS-20s were only about $110 per tire shipped in 235/35/19 sizing on Amazon, and sometimes even cheaper on eBay through wholesalers, which was pretty much the cheapest tire I could find in this size by a substantial margin, with the name brand tires like Falken and Continental starting around $180/tire for the same size. There weren’t a ton of reviews out there, but I figured how bad could it be? Turns out they’re not bad at all, dare I say even impressive at points…
Daily Driving Impressions:
The Nankang NS-20 carries a 240 UTQG treadwear rating, and while these numbers aren’t super scientific, that seemed about right – it’s a summer tire that does well in performance driving, but it’s not super aggressive either. The road noise is minimal, the ride is comfortable, and for daily driver purposes, the tire does a VERY good job, much better than my previous Falken FK452s as well as my Hankook RS-3s in terms of comfort. They come new with plenty of tread on them and the tread seemed to last long, so there would be no concerns on that regard too.
Performance Driving Impressions:
Generally, a tire that is good at daily driving sucks at performance driving, and vice versa, so after several weeks of great experiences around town, I took my car for a spirited 200 mile drive to the Palomar Observatory carving up some canyon roads with my friend expecting to be disappointed. It was a hot day and a long, windy road, and the tires impressed me again. They squealed here and there, but for the most part held their grip, experienced little fade, and my understeer was minimal and predictable. Even with traction control off and my LSD engaged, I rarely had my back tires break out, even if I tried. They did really well, and I was shocked…the tires carry a Z speed rating and 91 load index rating, so in theory it’s capable of speeds of 150mph without cause for concern, although I didn’t test that claim myself.
Pros & Cons:
While I only kept these tires for a short time before selling them with my BBS CHs, I’ll definitely buy another pair when my Hankooks wear out on my other set of wheels. The only downside I found from them was that they weren’t name brand, so those who are trying to win shows or impress their buddies aren’t likely to succeed at that – but if you’re looking for a an all-purpose performance-oriented tire that is great for daily driving, then this is a value that will be hard to beat.
- Low Price – cheapest tire in my size
- Quiet, Smooth Ride
- Performs well, even when pushed
- Good treadwear & lifespan
- Z speed rating
- Directional tread, better for performance
- Off-brand tire
- Load rating of 91, ideally should be higher for this car (most tires in this size have the same problem however)
- Directional tread, so can’t be rotated
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