Roadstone N Blue Eco Tyre review

Roadstone N’Blue Eco tyres

Welcome to 2018 and I have a genuinely useful review to start off the year. Welcome to the review of Roadstone N’Blue   185 – 60- 15 tyre review. Since no-one has done a proper review yet this is the first and I expect this review to be copied and repeated elsewhere without context and acknowledgment.

The Roadstone brand appears to have been made up as the company history is a little obscured. They state they are from South Korea and have factories in China as well but based on their tyre models identical tyre names and numbers they are a subsidiary of Nexen, another budget tyre manufacturer? Or perhaps a joint venture with a Chinese company?

The Roadstone N-Blue Eco is the tyre model is promoted to those interested in fuel economy. Being a second hand car this is what I got with the Yaris. The N-Blue model is designed for low rolling resistance so you can throttle off and the car will not lose as much speed as a performance tyre. The N-Blue is broadly described as an Eco Tyre meaning that they are hard compound rubber/composite  blend and sidewalls.

Roadstone N-Blue ride quality: The ride quality of the N-Blue tyre is best described sporty, at worst hard. Unless your car has advanced suspension these tyres will make your car ride more firmly. Sure the Yaris does’t have plush suspension but it is usually settled. The N Blue’s Low speed road ride is firm but acceptable and higher speeds are good. Overall though the Roadstone’s ride quality is not a particularly settled unless on a really smooth road or higher speeds.

Roadstone N-Blue road noise level: The noise levels of the N-Blue tyres is best described as acceptable on city and suburban roads. Noise levels generated on country Australian roads are best described as very loud.

Roadstone N-Blue handling: Suburban speeds approx 60kph max. When conditions are dry and under 30 Celsius these tyres are Ok. The grip quite well and you can hear them gripping but will squeal easily especially at roundabouts when cornering as normal speeds. I presume due to their low friction rubber the rear can be made to passive steer a little when exiting a round about – easily which is nice if you know what your doing. When temperatures are hot they are more vocal. Driving in an underground car park with any painted or smooth surface will squeal a lot. However despite the squealing they actually grip quite well.

One highways and freeways approx 100kph in dry and under 30 degrees the Roadstone N-Blue is best described as good. The have sufficient grip but they feel like they balloon out and lose road feel. It is not confidence inspiring in hot conditions. In wet conditions the N-Blue tyres do not feel as grippy as normal tyres that said they are acceptable. Pools of water are best avoided to prevent aquaplaning which is noticeable since the Yaris is a light weight.

Roadstone N-Blue tyre wear rate: I can confidently report that the N-Blue will do at least 40,000kms if you maintain them every so often. Note that they are directional so the thread is not the same and the tyre needs to be installed a certain way.

Roadstone N-Blue tyre price: Tyre prices are sensitive as the market is saturated with all sorts of brands and tyres. I have found that the price of the N-Blue can range from $70 to $150 for the same tyre. Roadstone competes on price so broadly speaking when you get a price you will find that the better known brands can be purchased for a little more. The Roadstone tyres will always be cheaper than the better known brands so shop around.

Roadstone N-Blue tyre review conclusion: I haven’t mentioned that the rolling resistance feature on the N-Blue tyres are it’s best feature and very good. Throttle off and the car will roll for a much longer distance than than normal tyres. Your fuel saving will be dependent on your driving style so if you use the low rolling resistance feature to your advantage you will save on fuel.

Are the Roadstone N-Blue worth buying? Yes if you want just acceptable and reasonably cheap tyres. However there are better tyres that although cost a little more are arguably worth it. This review does not extend to the rest of the Roadstone tyre range just this particular N-Blue model. Since I have had the Yaris a for a little while they have been replaced by Bridgestone EP100 tyres and that review is coming up soon.

2011 Toyota Yaris Review

Welcome to the review of the Toyota Yaris from 2011. There are two different Yaris models available during that year, the current angular model and the curvy one in both sedan and hatchback, which is the subject of my review. The fact I did buy one is really enough said that this was the best small car package as a used car. Here where my thoughts on this particular model:

In terms of exterior design the 2005-2011 Yaris is very good, it hasn’t aged even in 2017. Out of all the 2011 models, the 2011 Yaris is probably the ‘cutest’ and admittedly that’s a problem as it will appeal by default appeal to younger women drivers most of the time and secondary appeal to older men. Why older men, because they’ve largely grown out of the need to buy  a overpowered and overpriced car. That said our partners agree that it does appeal more to them. Next time you’re out just checkout the drivers of this particular Yaris. Also take note of the Yaris sedan drivers vs the hatchback, it’s quite interesting. Whether this was a deliberate design choice is anyone’s guess except for Toyota Marketing at the time. The Yaris also had the best door closing sound with a solidity that none of the other small had.

In terms of interior design the 2005 – 2011 Yaris is the second best design out of all the small cars I tested and reviewed. The rear seats may not be as flexible as the Jazz but the Yaris seats do fold flat with integrated panels and the seats move forward, backwards and recline at various angles.  The storage trump card of the Yaris is the 3 glove boxes and 5 cup holders in the front which beats all the other small cars. The instrument cluster is also centralised and has LED read outs which is unique to the class. Hard plastics cover the entire interior and in 2017 do look on the cheap side. The seats are on the smaller side however the seat design has the best backrest although lacking any real side bolstering when cornering fast . Overall the design is modern and airy despite the grey plastics. The most impressive part was the seat height that made the hip point high enough so you don’t need to fold your self or duck your head when getting in and out of the Yaris.

In terms of the drive experience the Yaris is very good at speeds under 60kph. Under this speed roundabouts and corners and be driven in an entertaining fashion with easily controlled understeer and even oversteer if you know how to drive. The most annoying thing about the Yaris is the electric steering, it is simply not very good with inconsistent weighing and no feel but this is perfect for peak hour drives. The Yaris interior noise levels are acceptable and dependent on the type of tyres you choose. The course country roads in Australia it will be annoyingly loud. The 4 speed auto is often highlighted as a problem but I don’t think so. 4 gears perfect for around town and suburbia especially if you have the 1.3 litre. In the automatic 1.5 litre petrol the only time which you notice are it has shifted to 4 gear usually from 60 due to the tall 4 gear and needs to change down for more go, but on the freeways it seemingly finds more power and zips along quite nicely especially after the 80kph and a surprising speed reserve after 100kph.  This can be attributed to the VVT engine tech. Change the auto into 3rd gear when needed and you avoid all the problems. The ride quality is firm-ish but absorbent under 60kph and dependent on the road and tyres can get that typically lumpy as with all small cars. I think the manual 1.5 litre Yaris is an entertaining little car.

Overall I liked the 2011 Toyota Yaris and bought one. This model doesn’t have much coverage on the internet for an obvious reason, the main buyers of the car. There are few enthusiastic owners since there is no performance model bar the Japan only RS model which is equipped with 1.8 litre Corolla engine of the time. Overall the supportive seats, hair trigger throttle, surprising performance of the 1.5 litre, storage areas, cool central dash and most of all a stereo system that can be replaced or  upgraded and that it looks good and market reliability are the key factors.  More performance can also be gained by removing the heavy full sized rear spare wheel and replacing it with the 2017 standard of a puncture repair kit.

2011 Toyota Yaris
Engines
IL 4 Cylinder
EFI DOHC VVT
1.3 Litre (1299cc)
Claimed 63Kw @ 6000RPM
Claimed 121Nm @ 4400RPM
IL 4 Cylinder
EFI DOHC VVT
1.5 Litre (1497cc)
Claimed 80Kw @ 6000RPM
Claimed 141Nm @ 4200RPM
Weight
Kerb weight FROM 1055 Kg
Towing capacity up to 700 kg
Fuel capacity & consumption
Up to 42 litres – 91 Octane
IL4 1.3 litre Petrol 6.5 Lts per 100km AVG
IL4 1.5 litre Petrol 6.7 Lts per 100km AVG
Other specifications
5 speed manual or 4 speed auto
Overall length/height/width 3785/1530/1695
ANCAP Safety: 5/5
Performance
Pricing
2011 $14,990 – 21,390 AUD excluding on road costs