I noticed yesterday that Discount Tire is running a 10% rebate in the form of a prepaid Mastercard this weekend. I looked at their options again yesterday and decided to go with the Cooper Evolution Tour. The RT43 is a very good tire but came in a little too high for a car that's just going to sit around all of the time. I did buy a set for the Mrs' Escape a couple weeks back. While the RT43 is a good value for what it is, I'm still trying to get over the sting of the cost of tires in that size.
Thus, another reason to consider a lesser expensive tire...
The Coopers worked out to $400 after installation (before rebate and excluding tax.) I did add the road hazard warranty for $49, though given the car's limited use we might not ever need it.
While it's way too early to form much of an opinion on them, initial impressions are very favorable. The ride is vastly improved over the old Bridgestones. Feels like a completely different car. They're also quieter than the old tires, though perhaps not RT43 quiet. On stretches of concrete highway you're still reminded that you're in a Vibe. Handled great in the whopping 20 miles I've driven it so far. No idea about wet weather traction, it's sunny and warm here at the moment.
I'll keep you guys updated as we add some miles on 'em.