Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Friday, November 8, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Continental ExtremeContact DWSReviewer's Overall Rating: 9

2008 Nissan Sentra SE-R
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Worcester, MA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
September 01, 2011

We bought 4 215X45X17 "XL" Conti Extreme Contact DWS and had them mounted in October 2010 at Martin Tire in Worcester Ma, a Tire Rack recommended service center. They did an excellent job, inflating to 40 psi, did not scratch the allow rims, and it has never been necessary to return for rebalancing. We went through the 2010-2011 winter with record snowfalls and we live at nearly 1000 ft on the hills to the west of Worcester. The approaches are very steep and challenging with lots of snow and ice. Most of our neighbors have AWD or 4WD vehicles (and our other car is a Nissan Pathfinder). We just passed 10,000 miles on the tires and they look new with no sign of tread wear. We had no difficulty all winter long making our hill into our driveway. There were instances when there was 5-6 inches of snow down and the grade is steep with no opportunity to build speed ahead of the turn onto our road. We have one of the steepest accesses in Worcester MA yet we had no trouble getting home in severe weather conditions. These tires come very close to the Mountain and Snowflake severe weather requirement and we highly recommend them for northern tier states and CANADA where snow, ice and HILLS are a problem. If you have an AWD Subaru, VW, BMW or Audi I would recommend them even for areas as tough as Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho. They are excellent in severe conditions (and we have only front wheel drive)! I keep the tires inflated to 50 psi year round which improves their handling and treadwear. The Conti's are a true radial, not a "bias radial" and the 2 ply sidewalls and 4 ply tread are highly conforming to the road surface. Don't be afraid to put them close to their 51 PSI maximum. We found the ride conforming because the sidewall flexibility cushions the bumps. Also, the 177HP Sentra SER engine hits maximum torque at 2800 rpm yet reducing the tire size from stock 225X45X17 to 215X45X17 XL did not cause any tire spin issues. On a dry road, they are awesome. Great tires.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Friday, November 8, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.09
 
 

2004 BMW 330i Sedan Sprt Pkg
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Miles driven on tires: 1,500
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,500 Miles on Tires
February 19, 2013

This is the first season on these tires, so they're still really good. Time will tell how well they hold up.
I went with a narrower tread than what was on the winter wheels that came with the car. This was a good choice. The 225's that were on the car had almost no wet grip and poor dry grip.
I'm very impressed with the overall performance of these tires. They get me though the snow and packed ice in the unplowed ally behind our house with minimal activation of the traction control and no slip around the corners.
Highway performance is great. They're stable with good road feel and minimal noise. Dry performance is also very good, but they don't get pushed too hard.

 

Best BMW Tires for the Summer? My Top Tire Recommendations

Thursday, August 8, 2013 by Gary Stanley

I recently received the following question on a BMW tire and wheel forum that I moderate for members of 2013 BMW 3 Series vehicles:

"I was looking at getting a summer 19" set-up, but after some research, it doesn't sound like I'll get much improvement in performance over an 18" set-up with my style of driving. I live in Minnesota, so I will probably only have them on the car for five months. I don't track my car and only do spirited driving occasionally due to having a wife and kid, but would still like an upgrade over the stock 18' all-seasons when I do.

I was looking at the Continental ExtremeContact DW because of the low price being offered through Tire Rack, but would prefer the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Is there a big difference for the extra $200 between these two options for my style of driving? Also, I want a little more aggressive look, while still maintaining the square set-up. I was looking at Enkei Racing Series PF01 (18x8) all the way around. Can I use a 245/35R18 on those for a little fatter, more aggressive look or should I stick with the stock size?
"

With his style of driving, I recommended the following:

"Given that you only do occasional spirited driving, you'll likely be happy with the Continental ExtremeContact DW tires. On the new body of the BMW 3 Series (F30), you have a bit more clearance compared to the older E90 3 Series models, so you can use the stock 225/45R18, 245/40R18 or shorter 245/35R18 sizes with no problem. I personally would lean towards 245/40R18 to keep the same overall diameter while slightly increasing the width compared to the stock size."

Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Continental Extreme Contact DW
Continental ExtremeContact DW


The member emphasized that his vehicle is a family car and implied that he wouldn't mind giving up a little in terms of grip and handling for a lower cost tire. From our testing and customer feedback, the Continental ExtremeContact DW does just that. The Continental ExtremeContact DW has a slightly softer ride, while the Michelin Pilot Super Sport has more dry grip and a faster steering response.

For more information on the differences between these tires, read "Michelin Pilot Super Sport vs. Continental ExtremeContact DW."

Why Does the Borbet Type CG Have a Cap That Reads "CW"?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 by Ben Rooney

Looking over Borbet's line-up, it seems like there's some confusion - the brand is Borbet, the wheel is the Type CG, so why does the cap say "CW"? Actually, CW is another brand within the Borbet family. They specialize in wheels for less common vehicles like vans, trucks and motorhomes. Since we do not carry the full range of CW wheels, we include the Type CG and Type CWC under the Borbet brand.

Both the CG and CWC are specialized to fit Sprinter vans, which are unique applications not covered by many wheel manufacturers. Their thick, closely spaced spokes provide a solid structure to support the weight ratings required for Sprinters. There are several varieties of Sprinters, and some have different bolt patterns, so make sure to use our shop by vehicle feature to ensure a correct fit.

With a history going back to 1881, Borbet is a very well-respected wheel manufacturer. It has supplied wheels for BMW, Audi, VW and Ford among others. Their styles tend to be somewhat conservative, but it's hard to argue with the quality and consistency they have achieved in the challenging business of making alloy wheels.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tire Pressure Sensors

Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Starting with 2008 model year cars and light trucks, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) has been required for all new vehicles sold in the United States. While some vehicles (Audi and BMW most recently) use the ABS system (or indirect system) to keep watch for a deflating tire, most use a battery powered sensor (based in the base of the valve stem assembly) to give the most accurate read of your tire pressure. When replacing tires or wheels and tires as a complete package, the presence of these remote sensors can require a few extra steps in the purchase and/or installation process.

Why does my installer charge a "TPMS" service fee for installing new tires?

Many of our Recommended Installers will charge a TPMS service fee as part of new tire installation. When the old tire is being removed from your existing wheel, it's best to remove the TPMS sensor (and the attached valve stem). This avoids any damage caused by breaking the tire bead loose from the wheel as well as seating the new tire onto the wheel. Once the sensor has been removed, it will require a new "O" ring and/or compression ring to seal the sensor properly.

What happens if I do not add new TPMS sensors to my Tire & Wheel Package?

When we sell a set of wheel and tires, we're happy to mount and Road Force balance the tires to the wheels at no cost prior to shipment. Given the TPMS sensors are located inside the wheel (opposite the valve stem hole), the sensors (if requested) need to go in the wheel before the tires are installed. Without the sensors installed, most vehicles will display a warning light and chime upon engine start up (the light will continue to blink as long as the engine is running). Some vehicles may also limit your ability to turn off traction control if you need to "rock" out of a snow drift in winter or even limit engine output. In many states, an active TPMS system is required as part of the state's safety inspection, and any illuminated warning lights may cause the vehicle to fail its annual safety inspection. With your purchase, you can elect to add the correct sensor (at an additional cost) or choose to have your existing sensors removed from your old wheels and installed on the new wheel. If run-flat tires are being purchased with new wheels, new sensors are required.

If I purchase new sensors as part of my Tire & Wheel Package, what else needs to be done before use?

Many vehicles require new TPMS sensors be activated or initialized at an authorized repair facility or dealership. This process normally involves connecting the vehicle to a service computer (via the ODB port under your dashboard) and having a technician load the new sensor's ID codes into the car's computer. Most cars will need to have this activation service performed each time wheels and tires are changed out (like when changing from dedicated winter wheels and tires back to your summer/all-season set). As always, consult your owner's manual or contact your dealer for more information. 

Deciding Between Run-Flat and Non-Run-Flat Tires

Thursday, April 25, 2013 by Colin .

Many vehicles come equipped with run-flat tires from the manufacturer. Our sales specialists receive many calls from drivers asking if they can replace their run-flat tires with non-run-flat options. There are a few pros and cons when it comes to changing to a non-run-flat tire.

Pros:

  • Conventional tires are typically less expensive
  • Better ride quality
  • Longer lasting

Cons:

  • Many vehicles don't have a spare, therefore you won't be able to drive when you get a flat
  • When leasing a vehicle, many companies often require vehicles sold with run-flats be returned with them

Switching to conventional tires will not negatively affect the vehicle and will fit on Original Equipment wheels. Also, for those that don't have a spare, take a look at the Continental ContiComfortKit that seals and inflates tire punctures. It's capable of comfortably sealing typical tire punctures that make it possible for you to complete your drive home, to work, an important appointment or a tire repair facility. The ContiComfortKit combines a powerful, high-volume, 12-volt air compressor, integral pressure gauge and a latex liquid sealant packaged in a compact, lightweight unit that's easy to store in your vehicle.

I have experienced first-hand the differences between non-run-flat tires and run-flats. The BMW I owned came with 18" wheels and Bridgestone Potenza RE050A RFT tires and I switched to 19" wheels and the Sumitomo HTR Z III. Normally, increasing the wheel diameter has a negative impact on ride quality, however I thought the conventional tires on larger sized wheels actually rode a little better than the 18" run-flats. 

To find the tire that works best for your car, shop by vehicle.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Latitude Tour HP

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Latitude Tour HP Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2011 BMW X5 xDrive35d Sport Activity
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Miles driven on tires: 27,000
Location: San Juan Capistrano, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 27,000 Miles on Tires
April 16, 2013

We have staggered sizes. Center sections on both rear wore to safety bars, requiring replacement. Fronts barely show signs of wear at all. I'm anal on PSI and alignment, and these have worn beautifully and ride/handle even better! Didn't realize they are uni-directional, so I can rotate sides. This is a 3 ton beast with 500lbs of torque and 4-wheel drive, almost always driven hard. Totally sold on these tires (especially over run-flats!), and have replaced with same. Maintained quietness throughout life (hard to imagine with this width), and makes this handle like it's on rails. Can't recommend highly enough.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Super Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.57
 
 

2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T
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Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Sanford, FL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
April 02, 2013

Went from the OEM 225/45/18 Hankook Optimo H431 on OEM 18x8 to 245/35/19 Michelin PSS on 19x8.5 wheels. I'm very ocd when it comes to proper air pressure. I use nitrogen and run 38psi, 3psi over oem to optimize for proper load rating. Even though I drive a 4-door sedan, I drive it spirited! The PSSs in my honest opinion is an incredible tire in all aspects. I use to race BMWs and Mazdas in SCCA and know a little about racing. Hence, this tire has great turn-in and allows for sustained control cornering with little push. The variable contact patch seems to just bite the harder I engage cornering and handles the car's weight transfer during cornering, maximizing lateral grip. Wet weather handling is great, however our rainy season has yet to hit us down here in central Florida. In the rain that we have had the tire does very well in both handling, hydroplaning, and breaking. I've driven on Goodyear's F1, Bridgestone's S04, and Conti's Contact DW & DWS. Looking forward to updating this review after I put some mileage on the tires. Stay tuned!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.5
 
 

2008 BMW X3 3.0si
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Wasilla, AK
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
April 09, 2013

Bought these to replace my worn out Pirelli Scorpions. Thinking spring had arrived I pulled off my Blizzak WS-70's and put these on. As luck would have it, 3 days later we got hammered with almost 2 feet of snow. Very quickly found out how good my Blizzak's really are. Calling these "All Season" tires is being optimistic. Traction in loose snow (after roads were plowed) is marginal at best. Cornering in loose snow caused the front end to plow and the traction control to activate immediately. Deep snow (unplowed roads) resulted in lots of wheel spin and darting. To be fair, I didn't buy these for winter driving and I did get a chance to evaluate them on dry roads prior to our spring snow. Road noise is low to moderate. Not as quiet as my Pirelli's but not annoyingly so. Haven't seen wet roads yet so I can't comment on how these do on them. Dry traction feels good but there is a small amount of sidewall squirm that you can feel in cornering. We have a lot of rutted roads thanks to the use of studded winter tires and these tires wander around when you get in a rut. It's not uncontrollable but it does make me feel a little loose compared to the OEM tires. I only have 500 miles on the tires so maybe they will get better as they break in and the roads warm up. I'll write a followup review in another 1000 miles to see if this is the case.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Thursday, April 11, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.3
 
 

2009 BMW 335i xDrive Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Kansas City, MO
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
March 26, 2013

I've been a long time skeptic of all season tires. Having spent a decade switching between dedicated summer and snow/winter wheel sets, I decided to give the DWS a try. My previous set of A/S tires, RE960 AS's were a huge disappointment. The dry weather in early January gave ample opportunities to test traction and stability and although the DWS' are a little less responsive than say the SportContacts it's certainly enough for a small AWD sedan. The snow storms in February/March however have made me a believer. Braking on snow is as expected. Ice performance is as well (since nothing is "great" on ice, "OK" performance is acceptable. The light/heavy snow traction though is what impressed me. This does have something to do with the fact that I drive an AWD with a manual transmission, but the tires rocked the snowy roads. I actually found myself detouring down unplowed streets just to keep the smile on my face!

 

When Should I Take Off My Winter / Snow Tires?

Friday, April 5, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Recently, the following question was posted on one of the BMW forums I moderate: "It's getting close to spring time, and I am just wondering when everyone puts their summer wheels/tires on? I live in Ohio, so I was thinking of putting mine on during the first week of April. Any thoughts? In Cleveland, you never know when the winter will permanently end.

Yes, it's difficult to believe the calendar says another winter season has ended, but that doesn't mean your winter tires have been removed. I'm often asked when is the best time to swap winter / snow tires out for all-season or summer tires? My advice is to wait until the threat of snow is gone. Many are tempted to take off their winter tires early because of an unseasonably warm weekend. However, it's important to remember why you purchased your snow tires in the first place: safety! Is it really worth taking the chance of getting caught in a late-season snowstorm just to have your "fun" tires on a week or two sooner? 

 

 

 

 

 

If you own a set of all-season tires, you should make the change when low temperatures are consistently above freezing each night and the longer term forecast is showing the same. Getting caught in an early spring dusting shouldn't be an issue as all-season tires can still provide traction in light snow.

Summer performance tires are at their best when it's warmer, as they provide almost no traction in snow. If your area tends to have such unpredictable late freezes, put off the changeover a little longer than you would with all-seasons.

When the time does come, why not do the job yourself? Read "Do You Have the Three Tools Needed to Remove Your Wheels and Tires?" to see how easy it is to replace your winter tires with your non-winter set.

Tire Rack Now Offers Stud Conversion Kits for Your BMW

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 by Doc Horvath

For the enthusiast who takes his/her BMW to the track on a regular basis, using the Original Equipment lug bolts can prove to be cumbersome when removing or replacing wheels frequently. In an effort to support our friends that autocross or race their cars at any level, Tire Rack is proud to offer stud conversion kits for your BMW using 14x1.25 thread pitch studs. The standard kit comes with 20 studs, 20 black lug nuts and a heavy-duty thin wall socket (19mm). The premium kit substitutes the black nuts for a more unique polar light finish. All studs are zinc coated for durability. The 14x1.25 thread pitch reduces the chances of cross threading the lugs over repeated use.

BMW Stud Kit with 14x1.25 Studs and Black Lug Nuts
BMW Stud Kit with 14x1.25 Studs and Black
Lug Nuts
BMW Stud Kit with 14x1.25 Studs and Polar Light Lug Nuts
BMW Stud Kit with 14x1.25 Studs and Polar
Light Lug Nuts


Stud kits aren't just for enthusiasts. They are also used by BMW owners that want to make changing their wheels and tires easier. For the ultimate addition, consider picking up Tire Rack's Cordless Impact Wrench Kit. Whether you're track side or in your garage, this heavy-duty tool generates nearly 206 ft. lb. of torque (enough to break free most bolts or stubborn lug nuts).

Look at the tools we carry to find one that'll be a great addition to your garage!

New Item! Stud Conversion Kits Available for BMWs

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 by Ben Rooney

Do you frequently swap wheels for your BMW or MINI? Anyone who has made the change has probably noticed that lining up the wheel with the lug holes for proper insertion of lug bolts can be a nuisance. You can fiddle with it freehand, or add one extra tool and an extra step to insert a guide pin into one of the lug holes and slide the wheel over that. Either way, you'll find yourself wishing for the simplicity of a traditional lug stud and lug nut arrangement. 

Whether you're changing winter and summer packages seasonally, or changing from street wheels to track wheels and back, switching from the factory lug bolts to a stud kit will save you time and trouble. Should you happen to cross-thread a nut, the nut and stud can be replaced more easily than a hub that has had a cross-threaded bolt screwed in. 

These kits are currently available in 14x1.25 for models using the fine thread M14 studs. This includes many newer-model BMWs, as well as MINIs built after May 2005. They're available in black (shown above) and polar light

Important Note: Many BMWs used 12x1.5 thread pitch. Make sure to verify the thread specifications for your BMW before ordering or attempting installation.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Ecsta 4X

Monday, February 25, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Kumho Ecsta 4X Reviewer's Overall Rating: 10
 
 

2000 BMW 323i
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Hanover, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
February 20, 2013

My BMW is rear wheel drive with traction control. I purchased 2 of these tires to test them out as my rear wheel tires. My old tires seemed like slick tires compared to these. I could never drive this car in the winter with the tries I had on it. I was extremely impressed with the no noise level and traction in light snow, slush, wet and dry conditions. I just purchased 2 new ones as my front tires. It was a smooth ride home. I am A Kumho fan.
I had to leave home quickly one morning. I was facing a rain/snow storm "2 inches of slush". I doubted the tires and my safety. These are the best tires for this type of sports car............

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4

Monday, February 25, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2011 BMW 335d Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
February 22, 2013

Fantastic tire. I am using this on a rear wheel drive high torque (430 ft/lb) diesel 3 series. I live in NE Pennsylvania so need excellent snow ability without giving up any dry traction. These tires handle precisely and are quiet. A set of these on a high power rear wheel drive makes you think that your car has four wheel drive in the snow while retaining the finesse of rear wheel drive in the dry. Highly recommended!!!

 

Max Performance Summer Tire Review: Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

As much of the country is dreaming about warmer weather, taking off your winter / snow tires isn't too far away. Which means we will be able to get to feel the rush of driving our ultra high performance sports cars, coupes and sedans!

One of my favorite tires in the Max Performance Summer category is the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position. This tire has been a long time front runner in the category and is currently in second place only to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport in our Tire Survey Results. In these rankings, the tire receives very high marks in the following areas:

  • Hydroplaning resistance
  • Wet traction
  • Dry traction
  • Ride comfort
  • Noise comfort

Bridgestone's Potenza S-04 Pole Position does everything well at a moderate price point. Without spending a fortune, the S-04 Pole Position gives you brand name quality, great performance and a tire that has good road manners. This tire has fared very well in both dry and wet traction and continues to be a strong seller for those considering street-friendly performance tires. It's available in a host of sizes ranging between 16" and 20" and widths from 205mm up to 305mm. Take a look at what some of our customers are saying about their experience with this Bridgestone summer tire:

"I replaced the Original Equipment with these and was amazed at the result. Fantastic street tire with excellent grip, low noise and very good steering response. Very pleased with the purchase and I recommend them for performance ranges of aggressive down to mild." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

"By far the best tire I have ever had. I live in Seattle where it rains a lot and I don't hydroplane with these tires. I have a 2001 BMW 540 with rear-wheel drive and the car handles amazing. I never have a problem losing control or grip with this tire. I would definitely get another set when the time comes." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2001 BMW 540

"I doubt there is a better choice for the money. It completely changed the handling of my car for the better." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2009 Pontiac G8 GT

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


General Altimax ArcticReviewer's Overall Rating: 7.82

2007 BMW 335i Sedan Sport Package
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Lake Villa, IL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
February 05, 2013

I purchased these directly from The Tire Rack store in Indiana, and had their folks mount these tires on my winter rims. Then I waited 3 over 3 months for a chance to test them in snow.

A trip up north into Michigan threw me into a severe, lake-effect snow storm, with white out conditions, ice, packed snow, and on-road depths over 4 inches. All I can say is these tires were fantastic.

My car is REAR WHEEL DRIVE, not all-wheel drive, not front wheel drive. I was able to drive safely, and with confidence. At one point, I missed my exit and had to use the yet-to-be-plowed freeway turn-around (i.e. deep, deep snow). My car just tore through it. The next day, when everything had turned to ice, again, I feared not. My car, with these tires, remained well planted and predictable.

When it's not snowing, the Generals are really good tires. For snow tires, they aren't too loud. And with over 10,000 miles on them, the treadwear is minimal. I should be able to get at least 3 seasons out of these. I had never before owned or considered General Tires. But now, after this experience with these Altimax's, I will definitely consider General Tires' other tires.

Thanks for the great service Tire Rack. I know I can always count on your folks to take good care of me. This was probably the 10th set of tires I've bought from you!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Michelin X-Ice Xi3Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9

2013 BMW 335i Sedan
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Staten Island, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
February 12, 2013

I have limited miles with these tires on my RWD BMW, but the one major storm we had here in the north east recently I was able to put these tires to the test which include hard braking, evasive maneuvers and acceleration and was amazed how well the car performed under the conditions, It made you feel in total control and you can feel the tires grip the road and push the car ahead.
I look forward to the winters now with my rear wheel drive BMW now!

I was really impressed with how these tires performed

Hankook's Ventus R-S3 Brings Competition Tire Grip to the Street

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Hankook's Ventus R-S3 provides an affordable street tire that best mimics the grip of a racing slick intended for the track. The R-S3 entered a very competitive group of Extreme Performance Summer tires dominated by the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 and the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec, both of which are considered excellent dual purpose tires for performance street and occasional track / autocross use. We had the opportunity to compare the Hankook against both these tires, as well as the Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 and Kumho Ecsta XS on our test track. Results were published in the August 2011 issue of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine. During this test, the R-S3 shaved nearly a full second off the Dunlop's lap time and came in quicker than the Bridgestone, too! Our tester remarked: "The tire inspires confidence from the first turn of the steering wheel, making it easy to attack the course's elements."

Our extensive Tire Survey Results put the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 just slightly ahead of the Hankook in cornering stability and hydroplaning resistance. With that said, customers really like this tire and have spoken with high praise for this Hankook and say they would buy this tire again!

"I love this tire. I bought it mostly for autocross use. However, I have driven quite a few highway miles now and have had no problems. I'd say this is one of the best performance tires you can buy, especially for the price. Needless to say, I'll be buying another set when the time comes." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2002 Honda S2000

"I purchased this tire for mainly track use and it did not disappoint. The traction was great when accelerating, cornering and braking. I have just purchased another set for my TT. Excellent value!" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe

Do you want to see if the Hankook Ventus RS-3 is available for sports car, sports coupe or performance sedan? Then shop by vehicle!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4

Monday, February 11, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.73

2012 BMW M3 Coupe
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Manhasset, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
February 09, 2013

I cannot believe there are no reviews on this tire anywhere online!

When I was searching for winter tires for my M3 I really wanted a tire that would get me through light or heavy snow, but with a strong emphasis on not sacrificing dry cold conditions.

I was tempted to go with a Blizzak LM-60, but there were a few reasons I decided not to.
1. The factory recommended tire for the M3 is a Pilot Alpin 3 (since 2008), this could be considered the newest update, so that held some weight.
2. I could not break myself away from the fact that the PA4 is V speed rated and the Blizzak H rated. Am I going to drive 150 in the snow? no I am not... but the Pilot Alpin is designed for speed, so that has to trickle down for every day driving performance.
3. I also like the Assymetrical design of the tire and the snow sipes which are angled (most likely for snow turning performance, and I feel this really helps the snow grip performance when turning.

The size I chose was 245/40 r 18 which I decided because I wanted to have the exact same size front as the summer setup. The factory recommends 235 but this has not at all been an issue.

The PA4 is wider than other 245 tires by just a few mm's according to the specs.
I mounted them square on 4 identical 9.5 inch wide wheels for rotation purposes, and there is enough side wall tire that the wheel is not sticking out.

They drive safely in ice/snow and grip well, but have a tremendous amount of grip in the cold dry, and do not at all feel like they sacrifice steering response or grip from the factory summer sport michelins. (when driving in the cold)

I chose the Michelins PA4 over the LM-60 because to me COLD dry and wet driving performance is more important and actually measurable to me. Face it, if the snow gets deep enough eventually any low car is going to get stuck, so for just a few inches of snow a few times a year, why give up all of that FUN dry grip performance?