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FINALLY after 46,500 miles of goodyear rsa road noise and impact harshness I am riding in comfort. I went with general tire's altimax hp grand touring all-season tire, size 215/50R17 for $550 out the door at the local mazda dealer. Wow! What a difference good tires make. The 3 is a new animal. I can now hear noises I never heard before over the roar of the goodyears. Which may or may not be a good thing. Riding around town on the same roads I always drive on, bumps that were loud thuds and whacks before are now muted thumps. I can't believe how much better these tires absorb road imperfections and potholes/bumps. I can hear the radio better, and my wife and I don't have to yell on the interstate anymore. As for grip, I did a straight-line max braking test from about 65 or so and the abs never even engaged. Even though the generals are a size wider than the goodyears, they weight 2 pounds less at 20 pounds each. All this with a treadwear rating of 440! I included a link to tirerack if anyone wants to check out the specs. Just add a "w" at the beginning of the link.

ww.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=General&tireModel=Altimax+HP&partnum=15HR7AMAXHP&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&place=28
 
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