Even though I have just 8,00 miles on my 2017 Hyundai Elantra SE Value Edition, I would REALLY love to dump these OEM Kumho Solus TA13 tires. What are the top tier grand touring LRR (low rolling resistance tire) that would be a huge improvement in ride quality and comfort?
First, I don't think you're going to experience a *huge* improvement in ride quality by changing tires within the same grouping. More likely a small improvement.
But you're also going to experience a loss in fuel economy. Here's why:
Unlike what others have said, in tread rubber compounds, the tradeoffs are rolling resistance vs treadwear vs traction (especially wet traction). That means that if you want a tire with good fuel economy, one or both of the other properties has to be sacrificed.
Notice that ride and handling are NOT
on that list. That's because the things that control ride harshness and good handling feel are different - specifically sidewall stiffness - and while it might make sense that a stiffer tire generates better fuel economy, the properties of the tread compound overwhelm that and, in fact, the inflation pressure has more effect (albeit also relatively small compared to tread compound.)
Second, the term *LRR* is a bit of a misnomer. It means better rolling resistance compare to tires of equal treadwear and traction. In some respects that contradicts what I wrote in the first paragraph, but that 3 way relationship is still true within a family of tread compounds - AND, more importantly, the differences in RR of grippy or long wearing tread compounds is much, much larger than the changes that can be made difference between tread compounds.
So, a tire labeled *LRR* may actually be worse for RR than one not so labeled.
- AND - the tires with the best RR are those supplied to the OEM. That's because the OEM has to report fuel economy of their vehicle so they specify low values of RR for the tires they buy - AND - that is not what the tire manufacturers see as important in the tires they sell in the open market, so they don't offer tires with truly low RR - expect for those OE tires they make.
So a word of caution: As a general rule, the tires that come on a car from the vehicle assembly plant are going to have better RR (and therefore better fuel economy) than you'll be able to obtain on the open tire market.
If ride quality is the important thing, then I suggest going up in tire size (and by that I mean larger load carrying capacity), then use less inflation pressure. There are 3 problems here:
1) Many tire shops will not sell anything other than the tire size listed on the vehicle tire placard.
2) There is only so much room under the fenders, so you can't go up in size very much without experiencing rubbing - and that's why tire shops don't like to use a different size.
3) The wheels may not be wide enough to accommodate a larger tire.