No winter driving. Mainly normal commuting. Occasional sporty driving on Angeles Forest HWY, so something that can handle that. I planned on just using the same brand that came with car unless I find something with better reviews or price. I'd keep in mind handling, life of tire, wear issues, etc when considering the replacements.
I'll spare you the tired truisms about all seasons being no seasons, but all the same, you're going to get better performance out of a summer only tire with minimal headache in your situation. All season tires have their place to be sure, but it's not in an area that hardly ever sees solid precipitation, or even temperatures below about 40. You might have some tradeoff in treadwear with a summer tire, but you'll more than make up for it with added safety margins for traction, especially in wet conditions.
Your OE tire is an all season Dunlop that is fairly expensive and gets pretty crappy reviews on Tire Rack. For practically the same money (at least when the Dunlop is on special as it is now), you could get one of the highest-rated tires that they sell - the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Its 300 treadwear rating is a little lower than the Dunlop's 340, but I wouldn't expect drastically less life out of them. Right now the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position is on special, which would save you a little over $200 on four tires versus either the Dunlops or Michelins. Its treadwear rating isn't quite as good, but if that's really a concern for you, there's also the Continental ExtremeContact DW which would still save you about $125. There are a few others that would save you some money versus stock, but those three should be on anybody's extra-short list of tires.
And if you're really, truly insistent on all seasons, there are a couple of new models that look promising - the Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 and the Yokohama Advan Sport A/S.
Asymmetrical, yes... directional, no. Meaning that once they're mounted on your wheels, you're free to put them on any corner of your car without worrying about whether they're rotating the right direction.
For commuting purposes and sporty driving/highway cruising I chose the Yokohama Advan A/S that came out this year. I have found it to be dead silent, more compliant than the factory dunlop, and very grippy now that it's broken in. I have 5k miles on them now and they're great with around 38psi. I also hear great things about the new Continental DWS 06. I would consider one of those if you value tread life.
A little late in posting this but as an FYI. I have b3n using the Goodyear tripletread om all my cars. They have gotten expensive from when I first started using them about 8 years ago. But dealer always pro rates them when they wear oiut at 50k. These tires are great in the rain and OK in the snow here in western pa. I recommend them to anyone looking for new tires.
Lee, you seem very knowledgable regarding tires and I need help picking tires for my 2015 Mazda6 GT. I live in NY and we have snow as we speak, but I need a cheap set of tires ASAP. Have you ever heard of the Achilles ATR Sport 2s? Are they OK for a quick fix for a short period of time? Also what cheap tire would you recommend for a quick fix?
I've been very pleased with the Yokohama advan a83 tires on my 2015 Mazda 6. I find that they were really well tuned to Mazda's chassis. it made the steering come alive around corners and the traction/stability in pouring rain was ridiculously strong. I see you live in california, and I have heard that driving there during the few times it rains is really dangerous due to all the oil making the road slick, so I would highly recommend you look into their tires. I got the avid envigors for the front axle because they are cheaper, yet almost as good as the OEM 17" tires i originally had.