Falken Tire Corporation released its Ziex ZE950 all-season tire in 2014, as the successor to its popular Ziex ZE912. It was developed for sedans, sports cars, and crossover vehicles. Falken states that the tire “provides optimum levels of dry, wet, ice and snow grip as well as delivering some of the longest mileage of any Falken high-performance tire.” Let’s see if that statement holds up.
About the Falken Ziex ZE950
Falken Tire originated in Japan in 1983, and came to the United States in 1985. Originally created as a high-performance brand under Ohtsu Tire and Rubber, it has become a stand-alone brand focused on Ultra High-Performance products. Falken Tire Corporation, based in Fontana, California, serves as the corporate headquarters for the company’s North American operations. The company maintains distribution centers in Fontana, as well as Tennessee, Florida, Texas, and New Jersey. They have sponsored and outfitted vehicles for several performance and off-road championship series.
The Ziex ZE950 features Falken’s exclusive Dynamic Range Technology. This technology includes a silica tread compound that allows the rubber to remain pliable at low temperatures. It also allows the chemical bonds to remain strong in dry, hot conditions. This offers both improved grip in wet and winter conditions, and improved dry handling. It also increases tread wear performance. The Dynamic Range Technology features an asymmetric tread design that increases grip and traction on both wet and dry surfaces, and in wintertime conditions.
Another feature is the 3D Canyon Sipe Technology. This interlocks the shoulders to resist wear from high torque, and provides handling stability. It delivers faster and more accurate braking, along with even tread wear.
Additional features enhance the tire’s winter and wet handling. The wide-angled tread slot provides increased grip in winter conditions by allowing snow to become packed in the center of the tire. This increases traction and stability. The sculptured groove wall also provides snow grip, along with eliminating rain groove wander. Wide circumferential grooves evacuate water and enhance hydroplaning resistance, providing better wet handling. In addition, the tire is both mud- and snow-rated.
Internally, the Falken Ziex ZE950 features twin steel belts with a polyester cord body that adds strength and stability.
This tire fits a wide variety of vehicles. It is available in over a hundred different sizes, and speed ratings of H, V, or W. The H- and V-rated tires come with a 65,000-mile tread warranty, while the W-rated tires come with a 45,000-mile tread warranty. Some common vehicles the tires will fit, according to Falken’s website, are:
- Audi A4
- Ford Focus
- Ford Taurus X
- Honda Accord
- Hyundai Sonata
- Infiniti Q Series
- Kia Optima
- Nissan Altima
- Toyota Camry
- Volkswagen Jetta
- Acura TL
- Chevrolet Malibu
When the Ziex ZE950 was released in 2014, the team at Consumer Reports tested its braking, handling (both wet and dry), hydroplaning resistance, ride, rolling resistance, and tread wear.
The results showed that the tire lived up to the hype. They showed excellent wet braking and handling, and found that winter grip is plausible. Its tread life is still average rating, but its dry braking is better than its predecessor, the Ziex ZE912.