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2016 Kia Optima 2016 Optima SXL
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI...have not seen this posted on the forum so I hope it's a new question.
2016 Optima SXL picked up new with 5 miles on it in Aug 2016. Great car, love it and all but I was on my 3rd tire rotation at 19,000 miles and in doing so I checked the thread depth and noticed that it's at 5/32nds. I check tire pressure regularly (even though it does have the TPM) and do not drive the car hard, have never driven on a dirt road etc. I keep it looking and running nice. Anyway, has anyone else had any issues with such wear on their tires at such few miles? These are the Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires (235/45R18). I do lease my vehicles and still have 15 months left on the lease and basically about 17k more miles to go. At this rate I will be well below the 1/4 minimum so I will buy new tires now, so I can enjoy them, and then put these back on when I turn it in.
Any other people notice this type of wear? My wife's 2017 Sportage with 18k still has almost 8/32 left on hers...quite a difference.
Thanks...appreciate any replies.
 

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2017 Kia Optima
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582 Posts
Lewbar, I'm at about 13,500 on my 2017 SX-L, and I've been eyeing my tires lately, too. Turbonut is probably right about the "beginning tread depth", but like you, I wonder how long these tires are going to last.

That said, I've had MXM4's on other cars and they held up fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the replies. I never checked to see at what the original tread depth was but it concerned me because I really don't want to turn it in and end up having to buy new tires for the subsequent owner. Regardless of the tread depth when brand new, I'm just not very pleased with how long they may end up lasting for the 3 years that I will have the vehicle.
Again, I do thank you both very much for your input.
 

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2016 Kia Optima 2016 Optima SXL
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BluesSX Turbo....I did contact Michelin and they were extremely helpful in having me replace the tires, however the closest authorized Michelin dealer is well over 100 miles away. On top of that, from my chatting with that person, I would have to follow the treadwear warranty which means for the 19+ months I've had the vehicle, it would cost me about 70% of the cost of a new tire. So my issue is and what I presented to them is twofold. First off, why would I want to pay that much for tires (list price with mounting balancing etc is over $240 per tire in my area) that are only going to last less than 2 years and secondly, why did they only last 19+ months if they are supposed to last for a heck of a lot longer than 19k miles. I purchased new Cooper tires yesterday and paid much less than what it would have cost me for the replacement Michelin. This is our 4th leased Kia vehicle (and 1 Hyundai prior to that) and I've never had an issues with the tires being worn out when the vehicle was turned in, of course none of them have had Michelin tires either.
 

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2017 Kia Optima
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I think we need to keep in mind that the MXM4's on our cars and the MXM4's in the tire store are very likely different tires.

Carmakers contract with tire companies to produce tires to the carmaker's specifications. They do this for several reasons - cost, of course, but also noise control, fuel economy, appearance, traction, and so on. The tire mfr usually takes one of its tire lines and modifies it to meet the carmaker's specs. In this case, Kia told Michelin what it wanted, and Michelin agreed to give them an MXM4 tweaked to Kia's specs.

The downside to this is just what we see here - loss of confidence in the tire mfr's product - but the upside is a solid contract for millions of tires.

The bottom line is that tires are consumables, and you can't count on the brand name to guarantee you good performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I couldn't agree with you more Mike_TX, so I feel part of the blame does not fall on Michelin, however I have been leasing cars for years and this is honestly the first issue I've (and it looks like at least a few others) had with tires wearing out too soon. My wife's 17 Sportage EX (as I had said in a post above) has great tread life on her tires and they should still be fine when her vehicle is turned in for another Kia vehicle. I just feel with the warranty (even pro-rated) that Michelin does offer on those tires, that they should at least be a bit more 'receptive' to making it right when they wear out way too soon.
 

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Got a 2017 Soul and a 2017 Optima SX in June 2017, and recently when I went to have the oil changed on the Soul with 12k miles, they asked if I wanted the tires rotated. They said tread depth had gone down, but I honestly don't remember how much they said.

It just surprised me that they mentioned tread depth wear at only 12k miles!!

Of course they wanted $30 to rotate the tires.

I went home and rotated tires on both cars, but then thought "I'm too old for this"!!

So looking at the tires, I was also surprised that my wife's Soul had the same size tires as the Optima! I would have surely though the Optima's would be larger.

Anyway, the Soul uses Nexen GP671 235/45R18
And the Optima Kumho 235/45R18.

I've been out of the tire industry so long I have no clue how good either of these are. Could someone elaborate?

Are they low range, mid range or upper range tires? How many miles should I expect?

Thanks all!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We had Kumho tires on our 2014 Soul and when we turned it in at lease end with just over 35k on the tires, they were still at 6/32nd tread, therefore well better than the minimum 4/32nds that Kia requires. I have also had them on my 1994 Vette and they lasted much longer than the Goodyear tires that came with the car...18k on Goodyear, 29k on Kumho. So in my mind, they are far from junk. To me, if they are rotated regularly (side by side on the Vette because of different tires sizes front and back) and inflation kept in check, they should last for some time. Just my opinion and you've already heard me complain about the Michelin at the start of this post so I would take Kumho tires any day of the Michelin or Goodyear.
 

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The OEM tires on my 2014 SX-L were garbage. I had to replace 2 of them before the car even hit 10K miles. Considering how much body roll I experienced with the original suspension, I threw cheap rubber on, as I couldn't imagine spending money on high performance tires if the car was still going to be sloppy. Tirerack has a good guide for finding replacement rubber. https://www.tirerack.com/content/tirerack/desktop/en/tire_decision_guide.html If I were shopping for an Optima, I'd look at comfort and wet weather performance as my main concern.
 

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I've got the Michelins as well, and at 28,000 miles, being told that replacement is probably required by the next oil change. That's ridiculous. I'm on my third Kia, I think I'll write to Corporate and complain...not that it will do me any good, but maybe they'll find a tire with better wear characteristics that offer comparable performance
 

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Not to beat it to death, but I've had Michelin MXM4's on several vehicles before my two Optima SXL's - everything from Acura TL's, TLX's and an RDX, and even a BMW 540i. And I think they were alike only in having the same brand name and model on the sidewall. ;)
 

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Just got home from my Optima's second service at 11,000 miles (literally 10,992 when I dropped it off at the dealer). 2018 Optima EX, OEM 17" wheels.

Service report for tires: "Little or no wear".

OEM Kumho's. I have a tire rotation with each service, FWIW.
 

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A lot of times the wear is based on how you drive and if the tire pressure is correct to keep them from wearing incorrectly. Grand touring tires are ok but I think a lot of us on the forums would be better served by Ultra High Performance tires, be it All Seasons or Summer, depending on where you live. Before I started driving hybrids, I would ditch the tires that came on the car as soon as I could for ones that performed at a higher level as I tend to drive and corner fast, in wet and dry, so it had to perform well in both. Tire wear wasn't a concern of mine as I drove them hard and since I don't keep cars that long, they would serve me for the period I had the vehicle. OEM tires aren't the best out there, unless you get a high performance vehicle with tires specced to match, for family vehicles GT tires are sufficient in most cases. Tires are the only art of the vehicle touching the roads, for me they have to perform well. I say drive the tires util they wear down then replace them with better performing stuff. I never expect to get the mileage rating from any tire, by the time the get anywhere close to that, they become dangerous for most of my uses. I chuck them and go with something else. Yeah, it was expensive going through summer tires with low thread wear rating to get great grip, which is why I started finding UHP AS tires worked better while also getting me away from the 2 sets of wheel/tire setup.

I've become more practical in my later years and longer commute, so comfort also plays a role in the tire choice. The OEM tires I had on the 2017 Hybrid were Kumho TA31 and they performed decently well in wet and dry but snow performance was lacking, while being pretty quiet. I've since gone over to General G-Max AS-05 and they are great performing tires while being quiet for the hybrid. They grip well when mashing the throttle off the line and putting the 271 torques to the road and have high levels of grip in corners, plus they were under $100 each in 225/50 - 17" sizes, this was one of the reasons I decided to give them a try. The other was that the Kumhos were squealing too much after lowering the car and me cornering the car harder. Fuel economy don't seem to have been impacted much, I still get mid 40s mpg when driving in ECO mode on my commute, which sadly don't happen much these days. :) The car is much more fun now in port mode! Check out the tire section if you want to replace tires to see what other forum members have chosen. My other favorite tire is the Pirelli P7 AS+, ECO focused tire but grips well, is quiet, has excellent winter performance and has a 700 thread wear rating. TR tested it a second time and said the wet weather performance was not what they remembered, so the compound might have been changed but I got it a bit after it first came out and I never had any wet performance concerns, based on how I drive, which is pretty much the same wet and dry. Was planning on getting them again but the price went up and I really wanted to do the Lowering Springs first and tires later so the lower price on the General fit the budget at the time. Happy I went with the Generals.
 
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