The Falken Ziex ZE329 is a performance all-season tire. It comes with a sporty non-directional symmetrical tread design to improve the looks and stance of your vehicle. And while this all sounds well and good, the Falken Ziex Ze329 has a large kink in the armor: fast tread wear.
Due to this pressing downside, Falken has replaced the Ziex ZE329 with the newer Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S. The new tire is enhanced to address the shortcomings of the Ziex ZE329 in terms of mileage, comfort, and sporty handling.
However, the Ziex ZE329 remains a solid choice. But for the money, I will naturally choose the newer model over the old one, and the same holds true for this review. The Falken Ziex ZE329 is still pretty good for a performance all-season tire, especially if you can get it at a lower price.
But since introducing the new Ziex ZE950 in the performance all-season category, the older model naturally pales in comparison with the new. In this review of the Falken ZE329, you will find out why Falken went back to the drawing board to come up with the newer ZE950 A/S.
What are the features of the Falken Ziex ZE329?
On paper, the Falken Ziex ZE329 is a superior all-season tire. Falken utilized a softer and more pliable tread compound to give the ZE329 higher levels of grip on both dry and wet pavements. But ultimately, this led to a problem. The softer tread compound has a tendency to shed rubber like a dog shed its winter coat in the spring. This led people to believe the Falken Ziex ZE329 is inferior to other hybrid tires in the market.
Falken addressed this issue with the Ziex ZE950, which utilizes an exclusive silica-enhanced tread compound called Dynamic Range Technology. This feature not only addressed the poor wear characteristics of the Ziex ZE329, but it also improves grip in wet, snow, and icy conditions.
But for what it’s worth, the Falken Ziex ZE329 is equipped with five circumferential grooves to assist in water displacement. The tire also comes with a barrage of lateral grooves to offer more biting edges in the contact patch. This enables the rubber to provide better traction when driving or wet or snowy pavement.
What vehicles are applicable to the Falken Ziex ZE329?
The Falken Ziex ZE329 is perfect for small sports coupes and sporty compact cars. The tire is sold in 15” to 18” diameters and is a solid choice for the Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Chrysler 200, and Chevrolet Sonic.
It can also be fitted to sporty trim models of the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Subaru Legacy, and Mazda 6. But since this tire is not available in larger sizes, it is not ideal for modern vehicles equipped with larger 19” or 20” alloys.
But if you hate the idea of installing a conservative set of touring tires in your compact car, take a closer look at the Falken Ziex ZE329. But then again, you can also set your sights on the improved performance of the Ziex ZE950 A/S.
How does the tire feel in dry pavement?
It feels like a proper performance tire, but newer tires can deliver higher levels of dry traction. The grip levels of the Falken Ziex ZE329 will depend on the depth of the treads. This tire has a tendency to deliver sticky traction when new. But the grip levels will fade as the tire wears out, which won’t take long given the reputation of the Ziex ZE329 in terms of longevity.
Does it offer steady grip in the wet?
The Falken Ziex ZE329 is not as sticky in the wet as a set of newer hybrid tires. However, it still offers moderate traction for safer driving. One of my biggest complaints is wet braking. The tires can’t seem to make up their mind if you step hard on the brake pedal in a soaking wet road. It felt like grip was present at initial bite but wears steadily as you dig the brakes deeper.
Can it handle snowy or icy roads?
Yes, but only for very light snow. Driving in cold weather is not a problem as long as you maintain a slow and steady pace. But as the snow piles up, the Falken Ziex ZE329 will struggle to find the necessary amounts of traction.
Is the tire quiet and comfortable on the highway?
Not quite. The Falken Ziex ZE329 has a tendency to emit a lot of noise especially on rougher patches of tarmac. The tires are also not as comfortable as you would hope given the performance credentials. But you have to understand the Falken Ziex ZE329 was conceived before the proliferation of hybrid tires, so this is not a big issue.
But if you’re expecting a smooth and refined ride with the Falken Ziex ZE329, prepare to be surprised. The tires feel fine at slow to moderate speeds. But there will be chaos once you reach triple digit speeds.
How about the treadwear?
Should I buy the Falken Ziex ZE329?
In truth, no. But if you can get it at a lower price, why not? For the money, I would recommend the new Ziex ZE950 A/S over the older Ziex ZE329. But if all you want is a sportier tire for everyday driving, the Falken Ziex ZE329 is good enough.
But then again, the word ‘good enough’ is not acceptable in this day and age of lighter and more modern vehicles. If you have an older car, you can proceed with caution. But if you have a newer vehicle, the Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S is a better bet over the Ziex ZE329.
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