Here in Quebec we have a law that forbids using summer or all season tires in winter from December 15 to March 15 or a fine is expected if caught not complying. I totally understand the law since I never found all season tires adequate for Quebec winters therefore imagine summer tires, drivable but dangerous to one self and others.
I haven’t installed my summer tires even if the ides of March has long past and the reason is simple, Quebec is notorious for potholes due to the heavy unthaw and freeze cycles and the patching process is not that fast, indeed because of the numerous potholes to patch. I usually put my summer tires on in mid April where the chance of snow fall is near none and the potholes are repaired in great majority. But I can’t wait to put back the summer tires because last year I installed probably the best sports tire I ever owned, surpassing all previously owned such as Pirelli, Bridgestone, Michelin and Good-Year but the latter isn’t hard to beat since they simply can’t do proper UHP tires.
The tire I am praising is the Hankook Ventus V12 EVO K110, these tires are so smooth and hard at the same time it’s hard to believe the combination. They are smooth because they swallow well the imperfection of the roads more than all tires I owned before. Here in Quebec the roads are closer to 16th century trail than asphalt roads so testing summer tire quietness and imperfection absorption is easy to determine. In wet weather they are not the supreme tires but until now no surprise because they let go gradually so very predictable under wet traction and while under lateral force. And for me that is very important because I am the type to take corners very heavily rain or dry and I need a tire that gradually loses traction and not suddenly. I also have to mention the Ventus V12 EVO K110 are not screamers, they don’t have tendencies to screech especially while cornering and that is a plus, we don’t want people or the police to turn their heads do we. ;)
However while the tire are soft enough amazingly they give out a nice hard feeling because they have a strong sidewall making my ~1636 Kilogram (3606Lbs) SUV act like a go-gart because rolling is near zero. The feeling on the steering wheel is also very intuitive, a plus. We already put over ~7000 kilometers (~4350 miles) and the wear is barely noticeable. And not only that, last summer when we took our vacation we drove from Montreal to Florida and back overloaded and where in many occasions we hit very nasty potholes (especially around Philadelphia region) and where I was sure they would have blown off so solid the bangs were, I mean really hard hits the type you are SURE they would blow, but no, they remained solid along the way.
And it comes to a surprise since last year I blew one of my winter tires in similar pothole while being alone in the vehicle, thus less heavy by far. And it was a day were temperate wasn’t low so extreme low temperature wasn’t a factor. So if my supposedly amazing and expensive winter tire (Bridgestone Blizzak ws70) with bigger sidewall and supposedly more rugged constructed blew under a less stressful condition, I have to ask how on earth my supposedly fragile summer tires (Hankook Ventus V12) took way more brunt yet they made the journey without a problem. I can deduct that some companies over price their tires and claims and proves that Hankook gives you a good product for the price you pay.
I just can’t stop thinking of the vacation, every now and then we hit the fenders so much we were heavy, even a slight up and down wobble made the tire touch the fenders and sometime all at once when hitting a pothole, in other words the tire often were squeezed. My wife and I were nervous all along the travel road and scared to get stranded and unable to find similar tires or even continue with a spare tire, which I am sure we were not going to make it because so heavy we were traveling. That’s how bad it was, yet the tires being punished from above and below, squeezed and all resisted wear and tear and not to mention the extreme heat of the Floridian tarmac where we saw many cars and trucks blew their tires for no apparent reason other than high temperature.
In all, the Hankook Ventus V12 proved to be good enough under the most demanding circumstances and they got a new client that will buy again or do what I am doing now, spread the word. And it’s not only the overall good nature of the tire I praise, it’s the fact they are some of the cheapest tires you will ever find in the Ultra High Performance category. And do I have to mention they look awesome?
The Hankook Ventus V12 are on 20″ CX817MB by CX Wheels.
And a little bragging here, ins’t my Saturn Vue one of the best looking Vue ever? Stealthy looking with no stickers or other stupidities. Just a pair of Euro style back lights and wheels makes it just plain awesome compared to most Vue’s out there where people think more is better. ;)