When it comes to “sheer driving pleasure,” there’s one category that makes no compromises — high-performance all-season tires, and the Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S is a prime example. It’s designed to be sporty, and it’s best suited with sporty sedans, coupes, hatchbacks, and even crossover vehicles.
The tire market has seen its fair share of sporty, high-performance tires, but the Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S stands out with strong ride comfort and quietness claims. In some ways, that makes this tire a hybrid performance—touring tire.
If that’s confusing, don’t worry — we’re here to walk you through everything you need to know about this tire. This review discusses the tire’s tread design and performance in various conditions like dry, wet, and snowy roads. So without further ado, let’s jump in.
Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S — Overview
The Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S has an asymmetric tread pattern with unique wide tread slots. Not only does this help with road grip by directing road debris (like mud, snow, or dirt) to the center of the tire, but it also adds to the tire’s sporty aesthetic! Let’s be honest; we all care about how the tire “looks” — especially if it’s for a sports car.
Most of the tire’s features aim to enhance the tire’s sporty feel. The wide circumferential grooves take care of hydroplaning issues in challenging wet conditions, whereas textured groove walls help improve traction on light snow.
Speaking of snow, the tire’s tread is pliable enough to provide sufficient road grip in the winter, while the tire’s canyon sipes and biting edges offer better braking and improved handling.
Falken has employed their trademark Dynamic Range Technology on the ZE950 A/S, which changes how the tire’s rubber behaves in different temperatures. It remains sufficiently soft and pliable in the winters and provides solid road grip in scorching summers.
Performance on Dry Roads
The ZE950 A/S impresses dry roads with a ton of traction and impeccable handling even at higher speeds. It allows the driver to push any city car or sports coupe to its limit, even on narrow roads. The drive feels smooth, confident, grippy, and the sharp braking compliments it all. The steering response could be a bit sportier, but that’d take away the ride’s comfort and smoothness, so there’s not much to complain about here.
Performance on Wet Roads
The Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S doesn’t disappoint in the rain either! It feels perfectly capable of handling deep puddles of water and corners well on slippery surfaces. The wide circumferential grooves, sculptured groove wall, and wide-angled tread slots seem to be highly effective at maintaining a strong road grip in wet conditions.
It’s not common for sporty, high-performance all-season tires to do so well in the snow, but the Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S surprisingly breaks that norm! The tire’s tread design nails winter performance in mild conditions, and you definitely don’t need any dedicated snow tires unless you live in Northern areas with extreme winter conditions.
Falken rates the ZE950 A/S a solid 5/5 for snow performance, which is incredibly rare for a sporty performance tire.
This tire just seems to have it all — even ride comfort! It goes to show how well engineered the tire is. Even though it’s not plush enough to suit a luxury sedan, the comfort levels for city use and long highway drives are sublime. The Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S provides top-notch sporty performance without making the typical compromises of its category, such as ride quality and snow traction. Impressive!
The ZE950 A/S seems to be just a bit louder at higher speeds than some of its competitors. The road noise isn’t too harsh or obtrusive, but it’s enough to let you know that it’s not a touring tire after all. As long as you’re within the speed limit and manage your expectations from a sports tire at highway speeds, you won’t have any sigifnicant complaints.
Can you take the Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S off-road? The answer is a straight-up no — and there are plenty of reasons why. Firstly, the tread compound and pattern aren’t designed to handle rough surfaces too well, both in terms of traction and durability.
Even though some sizes of the ZE950 A/S can fit crossover vehicles, the tire won’t be able to do much for you on challenging terrains like mud, rocks, or gravel. Since the tire is supposed to be pliable and soft enough to handle snowy conditions well, it won’t withstand the chip damage from off-road tracks. Sure, it might get you out of a tricky patch in an emergency, but that’s it.
The Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S is an impressive tire in all relevant categories. It’s exceptional at what it’s primarily meant to do, i.e., lots of traction on dry roads and sporty handling. However, it also manages to avoid some typical sacrifices that are common for a tire of its type, such as snow performance and ride comfort. For the price, it’s hard to beat the Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S’s value!