Dunlop Direzza ZII Review

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Dunlop Direzza ZII Review

Tire experts and pro drivers love the performance of the Dunlop Direzza ZII, saying its outstanding accelerating and braking performance are ideal for the track. The Dunlop maintains stability when cornering, with handling that experts describe as refined and responsive. Because the Direzza ZII emphasizes grip over comfort, scores for road noise and smoothness are lower than all-season tires, and estimated life span is shorter. Dunlop doesn't include a tread warranty. However, it's relatively low price makes this a good choice as a budget tire as well.

ProsExcellent steering response, Excellent traction, Appropriate for both highway and track driving, Good valueConsLouder tread noise, No treadwear warranty

Breaking it down

Performance

Track-worthy traction. In comparison to its popular predecessor, editors with TireRack.com say the Dunlop Direzza ZII displays an improved steering response, stability and traction. "Lateral stability through the slalom was noticeably better, with a considerable improvement in composure at the rear of the car," says TireRack.com. In a separate tire review with about 100 test drivers, TireRack.com says the Direzza ZII places second for handling on the track. Many of the testers "favored the crisp steering response and precise handling of the Dunlop Direzza ZII, which sliced through the transitions of the five-cone slalom and carved around the tight, 180-degree turn with relative ease."

Comfort

Compromises some on comfort. Unlike the smooth-rolling nature of grand-touring all-season tires, the performance-grade summer Dunlop Direzza ZII trades in some comfort for its extra traction. TireRack.com says the Direzza ZII was the firmest in its four-tire review (which included similar performance summer tires from Bridgestone, BFGoodrich and Yokohama). This rougher ride is "likely a trade off for the sharp steering response it delivers," say TireRack.com editors. Reviewers note that tread noise is fairly loud. According to TireRack.com test drivers, "This tire also produced several distinct pitches from the tread pattern that was heard at all speeds above 20 mph."

Durability

Short-term durability. As with many performance tires, the Dunlop Direzza ZII emphasizes performance over longevity. Softer tires like this maximize their grip but tend to have a shorter life span. The Direzza ZII is a 200 treadwear grade tire -- a much lower rating than the 800 treadwear rating of long lasting all-season tires. At TireRack.com many owners estimate the Dunlop's life span between 10,000 and 20,000 miles, saying it wears evenly and reliably. The Direzza ZII doesn't include a treadwear warranty; Dunlop only offers a defect warranty for up to six years or until 2/32-inches of tread depth remains.

Our Sources

1. Tire Rack

Dunlop Direzza ZII Introductory Track Drive, Editors of TireRack.com, Nov. 19, 2012

After Dunlop redesigns the popular Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec, releasing it under the Direzza ZII name, editors decide to test it head-to-head against its predecessor. The Direzza ZII shows improved handling and traction, giving test drivers more control and faster lap times than with the Sport Z1 Star Spec.

2. Tire Rack

Testing Extreme Performance Summer Tires: The Boys of Summer Are Here, Editors of TireRack.com, June 6, 2013

Editors test four sets of extreme-performance summer tires: BFGoodrich g-Force Rival, Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A, Dunlop Direzza ZII and Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 R. Overall, the Direzza ZII places third overall, though it has high scores for handling, dry-pavement performance and speed.

3. Hot Rod

Traction Test - The Best 200-Treadwear Tires, Elana Scherr, Dec. 4, 2013

Dunlop's Direzza ZII is the clear winner in this seven-tire test of the best 200-treadwear tires. Test driver and tire expert Woody Rogers calls its performance magic, saying the Direzza ZII accelerates smoothly, delivers responsive steering and has excellent braking performance.

4. Tire Rack

Dunlop Direzza ZII, Contributors to TireRack.com, As of September 2015

About 100 owners rate and review the Dunlop Direzza ZII here, giving it an average score of 4 stars out of 5. On a customer survey on the best extreme-performance summer tires at the same website, the Direzza ZII ranks sixth of 12, but most say they would buy the tire again.