while driving a
(235/45 R19) on
If your car comes equipped with touring summer tyres, the V701 is a great upgrade.
If you're lucky enough that your car comes with the usual premium UHP tyres equipped (CSC5/6, PS4/4S, S007A, etc), the V701 might not be for you.
Do note - I live in Singapore, where it never snows. The weather is usually around 30+ degrees Celsius all year round, and we have 180 rainy days per year, give or take.
I've always loved symmetrical unidirectional tyres. My purchase history includes tyres such as the Yokohama ES100, Dunlop SP Sport Maxx, Hankook V12 (yuck), Hankook RS2, Yokohama AD08 and Toyo R1R. These aforementioned tyres were not purchased for the Mazda 6, of course.
My Mazda 6 was a mid-life purchase as I graduated from fun cars into something a little more comfy.
When i took delivery of my Mazda 6 in 2017, the stock tyres were Bridgestone's T001 in 225/45/19. Tyre reviews are always subjective, so please bear these stock tyres in mind. Suffice to say - I used the T001 for 10k km before I decided they were shite and didn't do justice to the 6. Even threw on camber bolts to tweak the 6's neutral front camber to 1.5 degrees to eke out more cornering grip from the T001. Didn't help much. I really wish Mazda had found a better OEM tyre.
Some time in early 2018, when I finally had enough of the stock T001, I found Yokohama's V701 and realised that they were priced very reasonably (in Singapore at least), especially for made-in-Japan 19-inch tyres. Being a fan of symmetrical tyres, I slapped them on (in a slightly-upsized 235/45/19) and drove them for a good 4 years in our blistering weather.
First up - the V701 isn't especially noisy when new. They did get loud towards the end (but never uncomfortably so), and were reasonably quiet for the first 20k km. The sidewalls aren't especially stiff either, so they do offer you a decent amount of comfort. FWIW, I usually ran 240Pa (34PSI) for the front tyres and 230Pa (33PSI) on the rear.
On initial turn-in, the tyre does give you a slightly vague feeling, but once the weight has loaded up, the tyre provides a very high level of grip and confidence throughout corners. At the limit, the tyres won't break traction suddenly. Understeer sets in progressively, allowing you to make corrections way in advance.
Wet weather grip is also surprisingly good. Braking and cornering in the wet is definitely confidence inspiring. My wife (who also drove my car occasionally) remarked that the car braked way better with the V701 vs the stock tyres. I've never driven these tyres to the limit in the wet, but they gripped very well through the usual expressway puddles (ponds?) created by Singapore's typical thunderstorms.
Wear was surprisingly decent for this tyre. After 4 years and 40k km on a heavy (1500kg+) FWD car with camber bolts installed, the tyres were *almost* down to the tread wear indicators. To be fair, I religiously rotated the tyres front and rear every 6 months, and at the 2-year/20k km mark, I had them cross rotated (cost a bit more) so that I could evenly wear out the inside/outside of the tyres - a lovely perk of symmetrical tyres.
I would definitely buy these tyres again. The V701 definitely matched the Mazda 6 very well, and provided a very good balance of comfort and grip. For the time being, I've swapped them out to try Bridgestone's new Potenza Sport since they were also priced very attractively. These are my first asymmetrical tyres I've purchased in decades and if they disappoint, I will be re-purchasing the V701 again for sure.