Dunlop GT Qualifier tires

[2/20/2000] Reviewed by Leighton Davis -

Applicable to '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Budget price "T" rated hi-performance radial tire

Only recently installed but favorably impressed with initial quality and performance. Good ride, no balance problems, low noise.

Originally ordered Falken tires but distributor was out of stock. Dealer offered Dunlops as a substitute. The profile is not as aggresive as the Falken. It has a rounded shoulder that, in my opinion, goes quite well with the general shape of the Miata. Traction seems good on dry pavement and I have yet to experience wet weather.If these are anything like my previous sets of Dunlops they will ride comfortably and life expectancy will be above average but not outstanding. I opted for the 50 series profile to maintain as much "cush" as possible. If you want to increase your handling performance without giving up too much in the way of ride quality I would recommend these tires. If you are concerned only with maximum performance...look elsewhere. But after all, how many of us really NEED super-sticky, ultra hi-performance tires for our daily commute?

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Reviewed by: Jesse Lee -

I bought these 205/40-16 tires at the local America's Tires ( for $70 a pop. The tires seem narrow (& round-shouldered) for their size: they are barely wider than the 185/60-14 Comp T/A's they're replacing. I bought them because they're cheap, light (18lb) and long wearing.

Initially the tires were balanced with all the weights on the inside edge of the rim; thus configured, the car has a steering wheel shimmy at >60mph. I brought them back to be rebalanced- this time they moved some of the weights closer to the centerline of the wheel. (They called it 'dynamic balancing'- be sure to ask for it next time!). This time the shimmy is gone, but the car still vibrates all over at >70mph. I took them back a second time. After trying to convince me that vibrations is normal, and trying to show me that my wheels (brand new) were bent by watching it spin on the balancer (I sure didn't see any run-out), the tire guys finally proclaimed that the tires are out-of round (also from watching the wheel spin on the balancer- I am surprised that they don't have any dial indicators in their otherwise fully up-to-date mega shop).

The tires were exchanged for Nitto 450's (I only had to pay the price difference- whatever you say about their competence, they do have a pretty good warranty service). The ride maybe a tad harsher w/ the Nittos, but all the high speed vibration problems were gone. I figure this could be due to one of 3 reasons: 1. the GT qualifiers do not have the non-overlapping belts technology that the premium Dunlops and Nittos have (read the Miata Perf. Handbook on belt overlap effects). 2. I think the key is actually dimensional stability: the Nitto is plain heavier (20+ lbs), and more 'square' or stiff looking (even the installer kept commenting that the Nitto is much higher quality), whereas the Dunlops are light and more lumpy and 'floppy' looking. 3. Maybe the tire shop folks are right- the Dunlops happen to be from a bad batch which are out-of-round; in other words, a pure anomaly. (I'm not convinved at all of this one)

Anomaly or not , that's the first and last time I go near a set of GT Qualifiers

Back to Product Reviews 16 March, 2000