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2017 KIA Optima
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Recently I decided to lower my hybrid after driving a Stinger GT and my buddy's car with coilovers. I wasn't looking for a much of a drop but wanted to get rid of some of the lean while cornering. While the lowering springs helped, another issue that was minor became larger. The Kumho TA31 tires while comfortable riding and decent handling, were not the best for fast cornering, now being able to enter corners faster meant that the car would push wide in turns. After a bit of research on tirerack.com I was thinking of getting another set of Grand Touring tires which offered a quiet ride quality and decent handling. During the search the General G-MAX AS-05 had a price of under $100 each for 225/50 17 tires (figured I would go a little wider and lower to improve the handling) while tires in the GT class that I wanted to get was priced higher. After watching the videos and reading owner experiences, I ordered up a set.

The experience so far has been mixed and this is mainly due to me getting used to the tires and finding a tire pressure that balances out ride comfort and damping with the lowering springs. The colder weather also played a factor as well. Let's start with the not so good stuff. The tires are a bit stiffer in the colder temperature and can make the ride choppy at factory pressure, for weeks I had this issue and when I lowered it to 32 psi, it rode a bit better but felt sloppy and the fuel economy tanked. We had a couple of days when it got up to the 70s and 80s and even at 40 psi, they felt sporty but a bit firm. Now the good. On those warm days with the car feeling great on the road and the handling improved, I got off an exit that had a big look and decided to push it, car was leaning a lot and the tires were squealing a bit but it held the road. A quick glance of the speed showed the speed at 70, I didn't think I was traveling that quickly on the turn while trying to keep closer to the inside. That was a great experience with those tires and using sport mode and manual shifting to keep the speed growing without it shifting up. Next was rain performance, that experience was also pretty good, they didn't slip much in the wet unless I was turning while starting and going close full throttle. The thing that was surprising is how quiet they got after the initial 100 mile of driving. They were noisy at first and I figured that was going to be the norm for those tires but I think they are quieter than the TA31s that came with the car (on some surfaces).

I give these a high rating for those that prefer to have a sporty riding and relatively quiet tire on your car. These would be quite good for the turbo Optima as well as any other sporty riding car. I'm certain the price will go up over time but they were competitively priced based on other tires in the class and I am very happy I gave them a try. My first time on Generals and these things are great!
 

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2017 KIA Optima
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3,205 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I wanted to give an update on the tires since I’ve had them for about 5k miles now. I recently did a road trip with 4 people and luggage on days when the temps were around 100 with the heat index between 110-115. A cold setting of 35 at 76 degrees in the morning shot up to between 40 and 41 psi depending on where we were and the temps in the area. The tires didn’t feel hard as I was expecting but the car overall felt sportier while providing a comfortable ride and sharp steering feel. The G-Max AS-05 are quite responsive to steering inputs and this in turn makes this hybrid feels a lot more nimble than with the stock tires and spring setup. The one thing that was more pronounced was the fact that the springs have now brought out the fact that the shocks are not up to the task of managing their performance.

On larger bumps and dips, the shocks inability to keep up with the springs became quite noticeable. With me alone in the car, I could tell something was off but with 4 people and luggage it was obvious it was the shocks. Guess it till be a new set of shocks or coil overs in the future. Back to the tires. With the performance of them being so good and the noise level low, at higher highway speeds, I was able to hear how quiet the cabin of the 2017 Hybrid was. I didn’t have to turn up the radio to quell any outside noise and actually kept the system under 10 when the others were napping.

These tires have made my 2017 Optima Hybrid feel so sporty, I keep driving it harder and harder. The downside is my fuel economy hasn’t gone above the 35.5 mark, I don’t expect it to be in the 40s again anytime soon. The car however, is so much fun to drive now, sport mode all the way!


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