What does it take to make your sports sedan or coupe better to drive in the corners? While most people will jump and tell you that upgrading your suspension is the best bet, the truth is that tires will make the biggest difference. Replacing the standard all-season tires on your car with high-performance tires will immediately make your car livelier in the corners and safer as well. The Nitto NT555 G2 is an ultra-high-performance tire that should definitely be on your list of upgrades thanks to the lower price than its main competitors and very good handling abilities. Read on to find out if it’s the best tire for your needs in this detailed Nitto NT555 G2 review.
If you didn’t already know, Nitto is a subsidiary to Toyo Tires, which means that it is a Japanese company. That is almost always positive – the Japanese are at the forefront of the automotive industry. That said, even though it competes with premium high-performance tires, you should view it more as a budget option aimed at owners of older sporty sedans and crossovers.
The first vehicles that come to mind are the BMW 3 Series and 5 Series, Lexus IS and GS, and the Audi A4 and A6. The Nitto NT555 G2 is also a great choice for owners of Camry’s, Accords’, Prelude’s that want a more exhilarating driving experience, or for owners of sporty coupes such as the Nissan 350Z and Ford Mustang. It is available in sizes ranging from 17-20 inches, that is pretty comprehensive. Nonetheless, I would’ve liked smaller models for more compact vehicles.
What are the features of the Nitto NT555 G2?
Glad you asked because Nitto really tried to do something special here. First of all, it’s good to know that this is the second version of the NT555, which brings several improvements to the table. When compared to the previous model, the G2 is equipped with large tapered tread blocks for increased stability in the corners and also improved traction during strong acceleration. The twin center ribs provide additional stability at higher speeds, also improving traction during hard cornering.
Nitto covered wet driving with the circumferential tread grooves that prevent hydroplaning and reinforced shoulder blocks that additionally help with grip in dry and wet conditions. On top of that, the silica-enriched tread compound is very stiff, which makes the NT555 G2 much more responsive in the corners.
There are some things to consider when choosing a set of NT555 G2’s. First of all, the 275mm section tires have larger tread blocks than 265mm section tires, which should give you much greater grip in the corners. Also, the NT555 G2 is a summer ultra-high-performance tire, which means that it is designed to be used in warmer conditions, on both dry and wet surfaces.
Like most Nitto tires, this one also looks the part, thanks to the symmetrical and directional tread pattern. In my opinion, it is one of the best-looking tires on the market right now, making your car look much more dynamics and sporty. Not that this should be the only factor when choosing a set of tires, but good looks are always welcomed.
What are maintenance indicators?
Like with all tires, you should inspect the Nitto NT555 G2’s for damage monthly, such as cuts or punctures. Nitto’s tires also have visual performance indicators that show how much the tread is worn-out. They’re called “wear bars,” which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread, will appear on the tire when that point of wear is reached.
Thanks to these indicators, you can always check if the tire is ready to be driven in wet conditions. Also, Nitto suggests checking with a penny. Install the penny into a tread groove with the head of the Queen going down. The head should be covered by the tread – otherwise, the tire is not safe to drive in wet conditions. In numbers, the tires must be replaced when 2/32nds of the tread is worn down.
Like most ultra-high-performance tires, the NT555 G2 doesn’t come with any treadwear warranty. That said, car enthusiasts report that they are pretty durable, even when driven on a track. Sure, there are tires that will last even longer, but almost all of them cost much more than the Nitto. Like most products from this brand, the durability is very good for the price.
Is it good for off-road driving?
I’m glad you asked, but the answer is “no.” The Nitto NT555 G2 is an ultra-high-performance tire that’s designed to be driven only on street or track. This means that it will immediately lose traction on slippery surfaces such as mud, rocks, and sand. Nonetheless, if you drive carefully, you can probably cover a dozen miles of gravel, but otherwise, you should absolutely avoid using them in off-road conditions.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
That’s the reason why you buy it in the first place, isn’t it? The answer is: pretty good. The reason why I don’t give the Nitto the highest praise is simple – there are ultra-high-performance tires, namely those from Michelin, Pirelli, Dunlop and Bridgestone that do a better job here. That said, they cost a lot more than the Nitto NT555 G2. And honestly, for most people, the performance those tires give is simply unattainable on public roads, or better than their vehicles can handle. In other words, if you own a mid-size sedan and simply want a better driving experience, the Nitto NT555 G2 is a good-enough choice.
The biggest advantage this tire has over its similarly priced rivals is the responsiveness. With a set of these tires, your car will immediately feel more alive in the corners, while the steering wheel will communicate better with you. The grip is also very good for the price range, even when the tire is put to its limits, and I have no qualms about high-speed stability. That said, I would’ve liked better traction under strong acceleration, especially on cars with tuned turbo engines or V8 machines. Overall, though, there’s not much to complain about, especially given the price.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
Much better if you previously drove on grand-touring tires, but still worse than the best in the ultra-high-performance category. Again, the problem here is traction under strong acceleration, but even more pronounced. Still, if you’re light with the throttle input, you might have some fun in the rain, because the NT555 G2 resists hydroplaning very well and grip levels are very high. Braking performance is also pretty good. Where the Nitto won’t struggle is light rain or damp track. In these conditions, it shows a lot of promise and is near the best in the class.
Again, I cannot stress enough – the Nitto NT555 G2 is a budget-oriented ultra-high-performance tire, so the slightly worse performance than its premium competitors is expected. Overall, the Nitto offers very good characteristics in both heavy and light rain for most people, and most importantly, it is completely safe.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
The Nitto NT555 G2 is an ultra-high-performance summer tire. If you need an explanation, this means that it isn’t made for cold weather. And by that, I mean even on dry tarmac. Due to the stiffer tread compound, the Nitto suffers in chilly weather. You might experience worse traction and grip, even at temperatures of around 30° F (0° C). Things on snow are even worse than that, due to the less-aggressive tread design. Driving with a set of these tires on snow and ice is unsafe to you and the environment, so please replace them with a set of winter tires when the time comes.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Not very much, to be honest. Like most ultra-high-performance tires, you might experience higher noise on the highway, but the real problem here is the ride quality. Due to the stiffer sidewalls that give you the responsive handling, the ride quality is much worse than what you’d get with a set of grand-touring tires. That said, not a lot of tires in this category offer good ride quality, and the same can be said for the cars that most people put these tires on. In other words, you really shouldn’t expect high levels of comfort on these tires in the first place.
You can see more Nitto NT555 G2 Review here: videos created by 4SECNDS6GEN
Should I buy the Nitto NT555 G2?
It depends on several factors. First of all – the car you drive. If you own a sporty sedan or a sporty coupe such as the Nissan 350Z or Ford Mustang, these tires are a great bet. They don’t cost as much as premium ultra-high-performance tires and offer nearly the same performance. However, if you own a supercar, you might want to look elsewhere (read: more expensive tires) if you want to extract the best from your puppet.
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