Have just purchased an 05 Honda Jazz 1.4 SPORT fitted with Bridgestone Potenza RA040 185 55 15V tyres (are directional, can only be swopped on same side). Not having any knowledge of these I checked Bridgestone and any Internet tyre forums I could find.
They appear to be High performance Summer tyres with a very poor snow rating. (Undriveable on snow according to some comments). Can anyone add to this info or had any experience with them? Also any recommendations as to alternative?
Surely HONDA should be putting more general purpose tyres on their cars (Honda commented by helpline that all tyres are bad on snow which is not exactly true (some must be better than others as all tyres must be a compromise).
No low profile tyre of this type is going to be exactly 'good' in snow, but the RE040 happens to be an otherwise very capabable tyre, factory fitted to many marques of car, that I happen to like from personal experience.
There is a school of thought that more people in the UK, especially Scotland, should use winter tyres anyway. Holland, for example, now has a substantial winter tyre market.
I can't remember the exact number, but it's recommended to use winter tyres if the temp is consistently less than 8??C.
Apparently driving on proper winter tyres is a 'night & day' difference to summer tyres.
Thanks for responses.
My wife (midwife) needs to be available any road conditions so snow performance is important as well as every day conditions. Live in south of England, due to geography we can get cut off when it snows easily, although not a problem recently.
Jazz seems a big car in a very flexible body (love the Magic seat system. Only concern is size of 1.4 (1339cc) engine. Shame they don't do a 1.5/1.6 as 0-62mph is only 13.3 seconds (1.5 in Japan known as 'FIT'. I like about 10.5/11 seconds as that is better performance without being too racy. Build quality and engineering brilliant.
M.P.G. (U.K. gallons) is about 44/45 in first 500 miles which is good. Audio and Climate controlled air conditioning good with stylish and intuative controls.
Some of the add on extras are a bit pricy so kept away from them apart from floor mats (thin/flimsy) and boot protector mat(OK).
(£150 for stick on unpainted side protectors,cd changer £600, sill guards £75 for example!!)
Any body tried any other tyres or suggestions for better ones (need to be directional tread I'm told).
Appreciate what you're saying, but there comes a point when even Land Rovers get stuck. And once the car in front of you gets stuck, then you've had it anyway. Perhaps you should invest in some chains (but they can wreck alloys)? Or something like this www.spikes-spiders.com/ I've seen others too, with 4 arms that go over the tyres.
My wife has a Jazz (SE), which I haven't driven in snow, but I have driven other small FWD cars in snow (esp Fiesta) which performed well.
I find the performance perfectly adequate for town & country (A road) use, but I took it on the M6 once and I didn't like it (others have disagreed on this point). The engine might not be very powerful but it's quite 'torquey' so it feels better than it is.
Agree about the options (£350 for front fogs!). I sent a letter to Honda after we bought ours (Sept 03) because I felt the spec was seriously wrong (eg no intermittant rear wiper) and they have since made some adjustments.
I really wouldn't worry. As has been posted, anyone's stuck anyway if the car in front is. If she's really worried about the snow, buy a Landrover Defender, fit winter tyres, and teach her how to drive it, else get on and enjoy the Jazz for what it is and what it's very capable of on RE040's for 99.999% of the time. Any car, and any tyre, is a compromise, and the Jazz on RE040's is perfectly fine for the South of England. I would wager anyway that any snow capability differences between RE040 and Carlos Fandango WXYZ's can more than be made up by driver ability, so if you're that worried, teach her how to drive properly in snow, or find someone who can. If there's seriously bad weather, her employer will probably say "stay at home", too. Sorry to be dismissive, and I certainly don't want to be antagonistic, but I really don't see a problem.
PS - My wife's a Midwife too, and on the few snowy days we've had, I have taught her how to get the most out of the Continental shod 306 Sedan that she has.
Our Jazz handbook says rotate the tyres (around the car, not spinning on the axles) every 6000 miles which involves those on one axle swapping sides on the car. Would like to see how you do this with directional tyres.