Hello and welcome to my Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S review.
Manufacturers these days are trying to put everything they can in tires, attempting to achieve what may seem impossible. As a consequence, the market is flooded with tires that promise high-performance handling, durable tread compound, all-season capability, and even excellent snow performance. We all know that achieving all of that without some compromises is borderline impossible, but you’d be surprised at how close they are.
Take the Falken Ziex ZE950 for example. Reading through the lines, we can see that Falken promises almost everything a car owner would want in their new premium vehicle. High-performance handling in the corners? Check. Long-lasting tread compound? Check. Excellent wet performance? Check. Snow traction? Check. It seems like Falken is just playing with words here, and in the next article, I’ll try to find if that’s the truth.
Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S Tire Overview
The Falken Ziex ZE950 is a high-performance all-season tire available in sizes ranging from 15”-20”. That means that it would be perfect for smaller sporty compact vehicles, executive sedans, and even SUVs. In my opinion, sporty executive sedans, such as the Lexus IS, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C Class, and Audi A4 are the best fit for these tires, especially models with more power under the hood. Or in other words, for drivers who want to experience more exhilarating driving experience.
To please the needs of those drivers, Falken equipped the Ziex ZE950 with high-tech features that are specifically developed for their high-end products. First, that comes to mind is the Dynamic Range Technology implemented into the new silica tread compound and asymmetric tread design.
Falken says that thanks to this improvement, the Ziex ZE950 will not only offer great handling in dry and wet conditions, but it will be pliable in the winter, and it will be the most durable of all high-performance Falken tires. I should note here, for those that still don’t know this – high-performance tires usually don’t last for a long time, especially when you drive more aggressively.
Winter driving is further enhanced by the Canyon Sipe Technology and Wide Angled Tread Slot, both exclusive to Falken, while the wide circumferential grooves help the tire evacuate water quickly and achieve better performance in wet conditions. In the end, the sculptured groove wall eliminates rain wander, for even more precise wet driving.
Falken is full of praise for their Ziex ZE950 (duh), but that doesn’t always translate into great performance in real-world driving scenarios. Read on to find out if that’s the case with this tire.
Treadlife and Durability
All the improvements Falken made to this tire regarding the tread compound resulted in long-lasting performance. Well, that is unless you compare it to touring tires, which will last much longer. However, the Ziex ZE950 compares favorably to other high-performance tires, and especially when compared to its predecessor Ziex ZE912.
This is more pronounced in aggressive driving scenarios, all the more reason to give the new Ziex ZE950 the extra points for longevity. Falken even gives long tread wear warranty. For example, in the popular “W” speed rating, you’ll get 45,000-mile tread wear warranty, which is a very nice result for a high-performance tire, or even 65,000-mile warranty in the “H” and “V” speed ratings.
Dry Traction and Grip
The number one reason to buy a set of these tires is to have more fun in the corners hot and dry weather. Well, if you fall into that category, the Ziex ZE950 should be on your mind the next time you’re changing tires. If I’m perfectly honest, I still prefer Bridgestone Potenza, Pirelli P Zero or Michelin Pilot when driving very aggressively, but for the price, this one comes very close.
If I go into detail, it lacks a little precision in the corners, even when compared to the previous Ziex ZE912, but in everyday driving, the difference will be negligible. Behind the wheel, it still feels like a performance tire and for most drivers, that will be perfectly fine. When I throw the added durability when compared to previous models, there is really not a lot to complain about.
Wet Traction and Grip
The Ziex ZE950 is much improved in this area. Wet traction and grip are very good for the category and you can really push your car to the limits with a lot of confidence. While premium models might offer some advantage, you’d be hard-pressed to feel the difference in the rain. I am also very satisfied with the braking in wet conditions, and hydroplaning is almost nullified. It seems that all those advanced technologies really work here.
Snow Traction and Braking Performance
If you expected to do crazy things in the snow with this tire, I’ll advise against it. Sure, Falken has made some improvements in that area, but this is not a winter tire and it shouldn’t be driven like one. It can offer a little bit of traction and some braking when there’s unexpected snow on the road, but you should really buy winter tires if it snows frequently in your area.
Comfort & Noise
We all want precise handling in our sporty vehicles, but no one wants to give up comfort. The Falken Ziex ZE950 is quieter and more comfortable than its predecessor, climbing up the ladder in the high-performance class. It’s not the quietest or most comfortable high-performance all-season tire out there, but I’ll not complain much. If comfort is the highest priority on your list, I don’t know why you’re still reading this – go buy a touring tire!
Pros and Cons
- Very good dry and wet traction
- Excellent dry and wet braking performance
- Durable for a high-performance tire
- Comfortable for what it is
- Lacks a bit precision when compared to other high-performance tires
- Snow traction is almost nonexistent
I think it has become pretty clear by now that I really like the Falken Ziex ZE950. It’s not the champion in any particular category, but it’s not the worst either. What it is though is a tire that offers a combination of qualities that should appeal to a lot of drivers of midsize sedans, SUVs and premium vehicles, notably those who are more aggressive behind the wheel.
Thanks for reading and I hope you found this review of Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S helpful. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.