The Nitto NT555 is an enigma. We all know summer tires are supposed to be exceptional in the dry, but the Nitto NT555 is different. It somehow manages to be good (but not exceptional) in dry tarmac but remains sticky enough to handle wet roads. And there lies the problem.
I’m not saying the Nitto NT555 is a bad tire by any means. In fact, it offers an ideal balance between wet/dry traction, ride comfort, and long tread life. It still offers true all-season performance even in light snow. But if you’re expecting relentless amounts of dry grip for high-horsepower applications, there are better tires to consider.
But there’s one thing going for the Nitto NT555. It happens to be a more affordable alternative to other options such as the Goodyear Eagle F1 or Bridgestone Potenza RE050. This makes the Nitto NT555 a solid choice if you want to maximize performance in every dollar.
What are the features of the Nitto NT555?
One of the most unique things about the Nitto NT555 is the ability to pair it with the NT555R drag radials. This is great for vehicles equipped with staggered wheel applications. This ensures a uniform look while retaining a high level of performance.
Nitto utilized an advanced tread compound in constructing the NT555. This provides the ideal balance between dry traction and longer wear. The Nitto NT555 may be classified as an ultra-high performance tire, but it doesn’t sacrifice comfort, fuel economy, and road noise as much as the more extreme Nitto NT05.
Taking a closer look at the Nitto NT555, you will notice the tire has a larger contact patch. This design is meant to enhance braking, cornering, and acceleration since more rubber is in actual contact with the road. The tire also comes with highly rigid tread blocks to maintain a flat contact patch with the road even in the most adverse driving conditions.
How does it behave in the dry?
The one thing that bothers me with the Nitto NT555 is the lack of dry traction. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this tire doesn’t offer the necessary levels of grip in high-speed driving. But if you have a tuned muscle car or European sports sedans like the BMW M5 or Mercedes-AMG E55, the Nitto NT555 will spend most of its time spinning, squealing, and hunting for grip. This wouldn’t be a problem if we’re talking about a performance tire for all-season driving. But the Nitto NT555 happens to be a summer tire for ultra-high performance applications, so I was naturally expecting more grip and control from this tire.
How is it in the wet?
The wet performance of the Nitto NT555 is acceptable. If you want a basis for comparison, this tire is a bit better in the wet than the Nitto NT05. However, it’s a different story when you’re going fast over a rain-drenched highway. The Nitto NT555 is unique because it doesn’t have a proper continuous center rib. This also means it only has two wide circumferential grooves to disperse water, but it has a smaller center groove in the middle for the same purpose. Other tires have four circumferential grooves to enhance traction and stability in the wet, but this doesn’t make the Nitto NT555 inferior.
Think of it like this: it all depends on how fast you’re going. The Nitto NT555 is an ultra-high performer at moderately fast speeds. But for pedal-to-the-metal driving, it suffers greatly in terms of both wet and dry grip. But then again, we’re talking about a street tire and not a racing tire, so it’s still pretty good for normal day-to-day driving.
Is it good for snow or winter driving?
It depends on the actual temperature and amount of snow on the road. If we’re talking about light snow, thin ice, or cold weather driving in general, the Nitto NT555 is more than capable. But in places with extremely low temperatures, heavy snowfalls, and black ice, you are safer when riding on a set of proper winter tires.
How about comfort and refinement?
The Nitto NT555 is more comfortable and refined than the NT05. It absorbs bumps and shock quite well given the stiffer tread blocks. The tire provides a compliant ride for a summer tire, but it’s a bit noisy, to be honest. The tire roar is not as bad if you take it slow, but there will be more noise as you increase the speed.
However, comfort and general NVH tuning will depend mostly on the type of vehicle. But if you’re looking for all-season comfort, this is not the tire for you. This also holds true if you get bothered by tire roar at the slightest hint of speed.
I was expecting this type of compromise in the Nitto NT555. Comfort and refinement are not lacking, but it could use more considering this tire is meant for the street. But this won’t matter if you’re behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang or Chevy Camaro.
You can see more Nitto NT555 Review here: videos created by 714SALEEN
Should I buy the Nitto NT555?
Truth be told, there are better options to consider albeit at a higher price. The Nitto NT555 is a solid choice for a summer tire given the affordable price, but it’s not the best in terms of outright performance. If you have a tuned muscle car or sports car and you need a tire that harnesses the power of the motor, the Nitto NT555 will fall short.
But when it comes to street drivability and all-weather stability and composure, the Nitto NT555 deserves a place in your list. It also comes with a sporty-looking tread design to improve the character and stance of your vehicle.
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