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My 2015 S model still has the factory Continentals on it and has tons of gravel road miles on it, although winter months are spent with a separate set of Firestone Winterforce snow tires.

I'm not a premium tire buyer. I've never gotten the supposed benefit out of the higher cost of them. To me, premium is Cooper or Mastercraft.
 

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I'm currently running Kumho Solus TA11's on my '16 Versa. They've been on a little over 5K miles and no noticeable tread wear. They're supposed to have a 75K mile tread life and can be purchased on eBay for less than $250. a set meaning after paying someone to install/balance them you'd probably be looking at approximately $300. I don't drive gravel roads much but I've never noticed a difference in handling from one tire type to the other on gravel. Like PoMan I've never seen the benefit of higher priced tires unless you're getting a better traction rated tire such as AA instead of A rating.
 

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It really doesn't pay to run longer warranty mileage tires on lightweight FWD vehicles. The added mileage comes from thicker tread and that tread wears wonky for whatever length of time the tires are on the back of the car. Because there is no rear end weight back there any longer, at higher speeds the tires go into an oscillation that gradually wears them out of round (I've seen up to 3/4") and no balance will touch that problem. Every FWD car I've ever had does it. Most people rotate tires and that covers up finding the out of round issue, you find it easily though by not rotating. It then shows up later when the rears get on the front later on to make the car handle weird as sh-t, and then the owner springs for a new set with the old one not being totally worn out yet.

I for one only buy 55K-60K tires, they get suncracked here in Texas before they wear out and I only buy in pairs too to greatly lower tire cost. The new go on the front and the fronts go to the rear to let them get out of round, you get more total tire life that way and I do not rotate at all.

I too drive on a back alley that is gravel, you figure out that you do not need to balance tires at all, as they get out of balance in varying amounts with all the gravel that gets stuck in the tread. The cars all run up to 70 mph just fine and I don't notice any balance issues until past that, I consider it a ticket prevention thing.

Changing tires in pairs allows you to run them another 15-20% longer than changing all 4 as a set. It doubles your perfect tire handling time as well, the front tires provide about 80% of your total car handling unless you are up north where rears being worn will skate around on ice easier. Here that is not a problem. And not balancing does nothing to stop getting pretty much full mileage out of the tires.

Cooper here as well.
 

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I have Yokohama Avid Ascend on mine. Love them. Far better than the Contis that came with it.

I can see you with a Yokohama Avid Touring or a Kumho Solus.
 
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Keith Wagner
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