Your Questions About UTQG Ratings Answered

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 by Ben Rooney

What does "UTQG" stand for? Uniform Tire Quality Grade. It consists of a numeric treadwear rating, a letter traction rating and a letter temperature rating.

Should I use these ratings to decide what tire is best? Short answer: No. While they contain some useful information, UTQG ratings are generally not sufficient to judge the actual quality of a tire. This is especially true of the treadwear rating. The treadwear number is determined by the tire manufacturer. Each uses their own scale, and they have a surprising amount of leeway when setting the wear number.

If the treadwear number is lower, does that mean the tire has more grip? Not necessarily. Advances in compounding have allowed manufacturers to increase both treadwear and traction compared to older models. Assuming that a tire with a lower treadwear rating has better traction is like assuming that a car with worse fuel economy has more power. It is sometimes true, but not always the case.

What about the traction rating? The traction rating only determines traction under one specific condition (locked-wheel braking on wet pavement). UTQG traction tests do not evaluate dry braking, dry cornering, wet cornering or high speed hydroplaning resistance.

If I live in a hot climate, should I be looking for an "A" temperature rating? Only if you plan to drive at high speeds. The testing for this rating is designed to evaluate the tires ability to withstand heat buildup caused by high speed operation. It does not accurately assess how well or poorly a tire will fare with regards to high ambient temperature. Tires with an "A" rating can exceed 115 mph in the lab test. Tires with a "B" rating can attain speeds between 100 and 115 mph. And tires with a "C" rating can reach speeds between 85 and 100 mph without failure. These ratings are similar to the speed ratings given to tires, though the methodology isn't identical.

Where can I go for more details about the methodology and ratings involved in UTQG testing? For more details and tables about testing procedure and ratings, read "Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG) Standards."

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus

Monday, April 21, 2014 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 Turanza Serenity Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.36
 
 

2003 Honda Odyssey
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Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
January 18, 2014

This is strictly a comfort tire, and does not strike a suitable balance between comfort and performance. The tires are extremely comfortable and quiet, providing a luxurious experience for passengers. For the driver, it is a different experience. If you are in touch with your car's performance, you will notice that they 'squish' or flex a lot during turns, numbing the response through the steering wheel. If you value steering feedback, this is not the tire for you.

These tires do fairly well in snow and rain, but still have a numb feeling that makes you second-guess when control matters most. I recommend Pirelli's P7 instead.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position

Monday, April 21, 2014 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 Potenza S-04 Pole Position Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.62
 
 

2003 Audi RS6
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Miles driven on tires: 7,500
Location: Eugene, OR
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 7,500 Miles on Tires
June 05, 2013

Purchased for all season wet use. Very easy break-in with multiple rebalances as tires settled in. Tires hold balancing quite well, however.
Biggest complaint is the poor ride quality- tried various tire pressures from 35PSI to 43PSI (OE spec is 36psi to 49PSI). Went with 35 series instead of 30's but can only surmise it helped any. Wanted the higher load index (100) to hopefully prevent flat spotting- no such luck. Takes a couple miles to "warm" up. The RE962's were even worse (different size).
The Audi is heavy and powerful (4260lbs; 515hp/500tq) and generally naws thru tires rather quickly, especially on the front. The 275 width on 9.5" wheels doesn't seem to have helped much, if at all, since the circumfrential grooves just get bigger, reducing the foot print. Had Michelin Pilot's (old) that bubbled, so got the B-stones. Immediately noticed the stearing vagueness, but hoped once the tires wore down a bit, steering response would return. No such luck. Alignment is perfect, done at a european race shop.
The dry limit seems a bit low to me, even when setting the car up long as possible to load the tires. Transient response is numb and a bit mushy (even at higher PSI), but are consisently predictable, at least it's safe.
These tires are rated 2nd on TR, but would say it's a d-i-s-t-a-n-t 2nd place. Overall, I should have anted up for the Michelins, or Conti's if I wanted to "save". Friend of mine has the same car with the new Michelin Pilot Sports-- loves them.
-----Even called B-stone, but there's no tread warranty and customer service was impersonal with people seemingly flipping pages to figure out the answer. I'm a serious car "guy" and expect and hope someone on the other end can hold a reasonable technical dialogue and know basic info off the cuff. Think I'd rather deal with the French for serious performance tires. The S-04's are a good choice for someone that has low-ish high performance aspirations. 3rd and last set of B-stones....

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Optimo H418

Monday, April 21, 2014 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.


Hankook Optimo H418Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.7

1999 Nissan Maxima SE
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Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Lincoln, NE
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
December 09, 2007

I got these tires for my Maxima after having a premium brand with a premium price on the car for 40,000 miles or so. The Hankooks are quieter, smoother riding, much better in snow rain and ice, as a matter or fact I have been driving around with no trouble at all the last week watching others spin their wheels and get stuck.



As far as handling they felt a little squishy to me at first, but that may be the minimum tread on the tires I replaced vs. the full tread on the Hankooks. I have since explored cornering grip it is quite high with these tires. I am more pleased with these tires than any I have ever bought. Only question still outstanding is wear.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2

Friday, April 18, 2014 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.

Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.29
 
 

2008 Saab 9-5 2.3T SportCombi
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Amesbury, MA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
April 15, 2014

I Just replaced a set of Pirelli's with these and am very happy. Quiet ride, sure footed and smooth. Have been in some rain and they performed well. Slight hydroplane, but not bad. I am a sales rep driving 35K a year, so I'm in the car a lot. Tires / wheels are important to me! These are my Summer set up to switch out from Blizzak's in the winter. If these give me decent wear, I will be very happy with them. I would recommend them.

O.Z. Racing Tuner System Wheels

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Spring is here and what better time than now to outfit your vehicle with a set of O.Z. Racing Tuner System wheels. In 2006, Tire Rack became the North American distributor for O.Z. Racing wheels. This partnership includes O.Z. Racing's prestigious, custom 3-piece wheel program -- O.Z. Racing Tuner System. This program helps expand fitment limitations normally found with one-piece wheels. Additional brake clearance and maximum outer lip depth are just some of the benefits this system provides. Applications are available for many of the world's most exotic cars including Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, as well as a wide variety of luxury and performance cars.

How does the process work? O.Z. Racing Tuner System's 3-piece wheel components -- wheel center, inner rim section and outer rim section -- are produced in the same facility, with the same machinery and using the same technology as F1 race wheels. Rim diameters are available in 18", 19", 20" and 22" with inner rim widths of 5.5" to 9.5" and outer rim widths of 1" to 4" possible. Tire Rack's complete, in-house inventory of all 3-piece wheel components means quick turn-around with assembled wheels shipping within 1-2 days of order receipt.

Precise wheel assembly is performed at Tire Rack using an exacting process that maintains and enhances the structural integrity originally built into each individual wheel component. O.Z. Racing Tuner System supplies a proprietary fastener specific to its 3-piece wheels to ensure the highest level of structural integrity. These fasteners alone do not guarantee a properly assembled wheel and tightening. Thus, Tire Rack uses a factory-certified Ingersoll Rand DC Electric Fastening System to tighten O.Z. Racing Tuner System's proprietary fasteners.

The assembly torque of these critical fasteners is controlled and repeatable to less than 1/2%. Tire Rack's fastening system produces traceable measurements of torque to spec every time. In fact, wheels custom-assembled at Tire Rack are shipped with a computerized print out that shows in detail the settings used to assemble each wheel. Proper torque (fasteners tightened to spec so they won't break or loosen) and run-out (radial and lateral roundness for vibration-free rides) are recorded.

Once assembled, each O.Z. Racing Tuner System 3-piece wheel gets a unique serial number noted on a sticker placed on the inside of the wheel near the valve stem.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 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 Turanza Serenity Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.75
 
 

2013 Subaru Legacy Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: El Paso, TX
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
April 08, 2014

The Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus tire is much better than the Potenza RE92A OE tire, and worthy of an early switch. The difference is night and day. I have a 2013 Subaru Legacy that I really like, but over the course of 32,000 miles I grew accustomed to feeling a rigid almost jolting ride as well as all the road imperfections Texas has to offer. The vehicle has now been transformed. I noticed an immediate improvement in braking, highway performance, steering response, quietness, acceleration, and even driving over speed bumps. My mileage also went up by about 1 MPG, and every little bit helps. I currently have almost 3,000 miles on the set and highly recommend. They seem to be wearing exceptionally well. I chose these over the Michelins due to other customer ratings, and the overall cost/value. I will also say that the car can easily accommodate a larger size if you want to fill up the wheel wells and gain a little more ground clearance; I opted for the 235/50R17. As grand touring all season tires they have nice curb appeal as well -dressing up the vehicle.

Do I have to Put Run-Flat Tires on My BMW?

Thursday, April 10, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

When it comes to tires for a BMW, many aren't pleased with the harsh ride and short treadlife of the Original Equipment run-flat tires. However, many owners are unsure if they're able to make the switch to a standard tire. The answer is not as difficult as you might think.

BMWs can make the switch to non-run-flat tires, the same is true when switching to dedicated winter tires. It's important to note that in most cases, the vehicle did not come with a spare tire. If you decide to make the switch to non-run-flat tires, a road hazard would leave you stranded on the side of the road without a spare to put on the car.

A solution to this issue is to purchase the Continental ContiComfortKit. The kit is capable of comfortably sealing typical tire punctures, making it possible for you to complete the drive home, to work or to a tire repair facility. It combines a powerful, high-volume, 12-volt air compressor, integral pressure gauge and a latex liquid tire sealant packaged in a compact, lightweight unit that's easy to store in a vehicle.

Another option worth considering is buying a full-size matching spare tire and wheel. Going this route essentially creates a set of five tires that will last longer than just four. The spare should be integrated into the vehicle's tire rotation from the beginning, as this will wear out the spare tire before it becomes too old.

The choice to switch to non-run-flat tires boils down to your comfort level. If having a tire failure and being on the side of the road until roadside service arrives or changing a spare on a busy highway are things you could never cope with, then staying with run-flats is probably best for you. If you're confident changing a spare tire in only a matter of minutes or waiting for roadside service is not a big deal, then you may be someone who could easily make the switch to a non-run-flat tire.

To view available non-run-flat tire options for your BMW, shop by vehicle.

Make Sure Your Wheels Are Properly Torqued

Monday, April 7, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

The winter season is coming to an end, and for many, that means their warm weather tires and wheels are being installed. It's also the start of race season where tire and wheel changes are frequent. Making sure your car's wheels are properly torqued to the vehicle's specifications and pattern are critical. These torque specifications can be found in your vehicle's owner's manual, shop repair manual or obtained from the dealership.

It is important to make sure your threads are free of dirt, grit and other materials in order to achieve a proper torque. Do not apply anti-seize compound to the lug hardware or studs. This can result in inaccurate torque readings and/or over torquing of the hardware.

Once the lugs are snugged down by hand, finish tightening them with an accurate torque wrench. Use the appropriate crisscross sequence (shown below) for the number of wheel lugs on your vehicle until all have reached their proper torque value. If you over torque a wheel, you can strip a lug nut or hub, stretch or break a stud or bolt and cause the wheel, brake rotor and/or brake drum to distort.

           
When installing new wheels, you should re-torque the wheel lugs after driving the first 50 to 100 miles in case the clamping loads have changed following the initial installation. This is necessary due to the possibility of metal compression/elongation or thermal stresses affecting the wheels as they are breaking in, as well as to verify the accuracy of the original installation. When rechecking torque value, wait for the wheels to cool to ambient temperature (never torque a hot wheel). Loosen and retighten to value, in sequence. Simply repeat the same torque procedure listed above.

To learn more about tightening and loosening patterns, read "Wheel Lug Torquing."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Thursday, April 3, 2014 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 Xi3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.45
 
 

2014 Chevrolet Malibu
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Centennial, CO
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
April 01, 2014

I have used three brands of snows, Pirelli, Blizzaks and these Michelins. I have these on a corporate Malibu. I drive a LOT of city and through the Colorado Rockies and across prairie. I need a tire that will handle in most every temperature and condition and give me good stopping and handling in the city. These tires get worked very hard, especially in the city with quick starts at lights. If you are a city driver you know you may have seconds to make a left and you will tailgate the lumbering Buick, SUV or Camry in front of you to get through.

I will say this is an outstanding tire. I watched the videos here on Tire Rack and I cannot disagree. I love the Pirelli's and this tire in particular. I really cannot tell them apart in my driving so it is subjective. However, the Michelin's are holding up well as I drive a lot in the winter. These tires stay on minimum six months a year.

I took the Malibu out with these in a real slushy snow and it was passable. Nothing does really well in the slush as you ride up on it. I took my other car with Blizzaks and no difference. However, these tires bite, ride and recover well. They are really superb on dry road and warm weather, too. This is what I really appreciate. A Malibu is not a performance car but I drive it pretty hard, chirp the wheels frequently and push the front wheel drive. The back and front stay well planted and predictable. In the worst snow and ice the tires give good grip and minimum sliding with quick recovery. That is all you can ask. If the wear is good I am actually playing with the idea of putting these or some Pirelli winters on my Mini Countryman all year. I kayak and have an idea these will be good in sand and small rock near the rivers. Since I am in Colorado you can actually hit snow 12 months of the year in the mountains.
This is a great all around tire that should meet most needs. You can try and pick minute differences in tires but you will not go wrong with these.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General AltiMAX RT43 (T-Speed Rated)

Thursday, April 3, 2014 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 RT43 (T-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.43
 
 

2011 Nissan Sentra
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Miles driven on tires: 450
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 450 Miles on Tires
March 29, 2014

First let me say I am NOT the person who writes reviews of any kind unless I'm thoroughly impressed ... and it taks a lot to impress me. Second, I believe in purchasing the best available in two categories ... brakes and tires. Your life, my life, and in this case, my girlfriends life, ride upon brakes and tires.

As you see, we've only got 450 miles on these tires so they are barely broken in.

This morning, in a typical Florida torrential rain, I went to the Post Office. While moving about 20 MPH on asphalt, I hammered the brakes. Anti-lock kicked in and the car came to a stop in an absolute blink of an eye. No tire slippage AT ALL! I was amazed! The Turanza EL 400's slipped almost before stabbing the brakes. Next, the puddle test ... with no wheel jerk, no hydroplaning, no difference at all from the drivers seat. These are GREAT tires! Then the lane marker noise test ... absolutely unbelievable. I recognized the General's were quieter than the Turanza's as soon as I installed them, but even over the markers they are quiet.

The Post Office parking lot was deserted, and made of concrete, so I decided to try wet traction on concrete. Hard turns, quick response, no slippage of any kind. Hard accelleration in a turn ... nothing but stick. Same thing on wet asphalt ... I couldn't believe it.

I selected these tires mainly for the wet traction and hydroplaning resistance(in Florida, that is a "no brainer"). Look at their rating yourself!

In a nutshell, I thank Tire Rack, their research and the reviews of fellow buyers for leading me to these tires. They ranked #1 in the category and for less $ than the big names. I took a chance and am glad I did. This is the first set of General's I've ever owned but won't be the last. Thanks again Tire Rack!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General G-MAX AS-03

Thursday, April 3, 2014 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 G-MAX AS-03 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7
 
 

2007 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP
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Miles driven on tires: 27,000
Location: Coweta, OK
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 27,000 Miles on Tires
March 29, 2014

The G-MAX was my third set of tires on this car. 35000 miles seems to be about the maximum amount mileage I can get out of a set of tires with this car. I keep it aligned and watch tire pressure closely but, I cannot rotate the tires due to the different size tires and offset of the OEM wheels. For all around performance, the G-MAX was better than the OEM Bridgestones and the second set Kumho LX, which performed well except on ice and deep snow. However, there is a reason why I only got 27,000 miles instead of 35,000+ with the G-max. I had to replace them because I couldn't stand the noise anymore. The first 5000 miles were fine but after that it sounded like I was running mud tires. Handling on dry, wet, snow and ice were fine. Treadwear good and even. Noise was awful. My radio only goes up to 10. VanHalen called me and ask me to quit playing their music so loud. Now trying the Hankook Ventus and Eddie hasn't called once. I'll report back in 20,000 miles. BTW,Tire Rack rocks. Working on about my 10th set of tires with different vehicles from them.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Thursday, April 3, 2014 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: 9.25
 
 

2005 Mazda MAZDA6 s Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
March 26, 2014

Wow. Fantastic. Expectations met and then some. I upgrade from Hankook Ventus V12's and even though these tires are in the same class, the PSS is a revelation. The PSS were a little noisier than I thought they'd be when I first got them, but the noise is of a different quality, lower frequency but not boomy, so it is not an issue. Compared to the V12's, the PSS feel like suction cups going down the road; my car has never felt this planted before. I first put them on the day before I went down to Tail of the Dragon, so they were immediately pushed to their limits. At the limit, they do not squeal; the V12's squealed quite a bit even when they had grip in reserve. Grip was noticeably increased in all situations. I even ran them in a torrential downpour the 4th day I had them; never felt a loss of grip once in heavy rain. Even the reduction in feedback from the wheel during the rain was noticeably less than the loss of feel for the Ventus V12's. These tires are multi-talented wonders. They ride more comfortably, although that could be related to running slightly lower pressures than I ran on my V12's.

The only gripes I have is that for my particular setup, steering response seems dulled. I am going to try slightly higher tire pressures this summer to see if that can remedy that without reducing ride quality or the incredibly planted feel they gave. Also, grip is noticeably less, although still very progressive, when the temperatures head south. Compared to the V12's, grip falls off quicker below 50 degrees. A shame because Michigan can bounce between 30 degree mornings and 60 degree days in the spring and fall. But overall, these are excellent tires I would recommend to anyone wanting to run a summer tire, regardless of price, which is also not bad for a Michelin. This feels like a pinnacle product, I can't wait to see where they go next!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Thursday, April 3, 2014 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 Xi3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.89
 
 

2011 Volvo C70 T5
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Miles driven on tires: 200
Location: Glen Mills, PA
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 200 Miles on Tires
December 08, 2013

These tires are great in the snow. I got caught in a sudden snow storm in PA and these tires were unstoppable. I was passing cars, trucks & SUVs that were stuck without a single problem. Last year with my "all-season" tires I couldn't even make it up my driveway with a dusting of snow. Given that I bought these tire for their snow & ice handling I am very pleased.

As far as handling is concerned, I've noticed these tire feel slightly softer than my other tires but then these are on 16" wheels vs 18" wheels. I don't drive aggressively so I haven't noticed any degradation under normal driving conditions. So far there is no road noise to speak of and performance on wet roads has been excellent.

Given that these are WINTER tires and if you are buying them you are looking for winter performance I think they are fabulous. I don't know why people stopped buying winter tires.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Eagle RS-A

Thursday, April 3, 2014 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.

Goodyear Eagle RS-A Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.75
 
 

2013 Ford Police Interceptor
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Miles driven on tires: 15,000
Location: Callisburg, TX
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 15,000 Miles on Tires
March 27, 2014

I've had many sets of Goodyear Eagles on my Police Vehicles over the last 20 years. I've also tried other brands as well, and there is no comparison. Goodyear is an American company and their tires are American made. I'm at a point in my career where I can choose what tires I have and I won't have any other brand of tire on my police cars. These tires see a lot of abuse and there is a lot that is expected from them. Goodyear tires, and in particular the Eagle RS-A, are they only ones I trust. They hold up and perform better than anything else on the market. The Ford Police Interceptor sedan with AWD, puts a lot of power to all four wheels. These Eagles have performed flawlessly.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 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 X-Ice Xi2Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.75

2009 Honda Fit Sport
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Miles driven on tires: 8,000
Location: Chicago, IL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 8,000 Miles on Tires
March 14, 2011

These are really good tires. They do exactly what's needed in the snow. As always, Michelin makes great tires. Dedicated snow tires, and especially Michelin tires, transform a vehicle's handling in the snow. My wife, who's not used to driving with snow tires, couldn't believe the difference the Michelins made. She used to question why I purchased and installed snow tires on my vehicles. Now, our Fit Sport, is her goto car whenever the snow falls. Where she used to think 4 wheel drive was a necessity, she now sees traction is much more a function of proper tires. I can only sit back and smile while she raves about the new found winter traction.



Important Side Note: It's hard for me to compare these Michelins to my Summer tires on this car, in that not only are they very different, but I went down two sizes as well, to a 14in wheel (Kosei from The Tire Rack) for winter use. This downsize in wheels and tires made for a much MORE responsive vehicle. The significant reduction in unsprung weight, made my car feel lighter and quicker, so much so, that now that I have my stock wheels and tires mounted, I miss the Michelin X-Ice tires! I will say, that compared to other dedicated snow tires I've used, these Michelins are superior.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 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: 7.27
 
 

2004 Ford Mustang Mach 1
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Cohoes, NY
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
March 22, 2014

This review is of my WS70s bought this winter, but also my WS50s which I bought in 2007. Both sets of Blizzaks have been absolutely awesome and to be honest, I can't tell the difference between them. If you have never driven on proper winter tires then you will be astonished. When I bought my Mustang (305bhp/320lbft rear wheel drive) to use in upstate New York, everyone said I would need another vehicle for the winter. One lone friend told me that all I needed was good winter tires. He directed me to Tirerack. On my all-season (Ha) tires, the car was pretty much undriveable on ice and snow. With these studless ice and snow tires I have NEVER had any problem, and I'm a skier, so that means getting to the Mountains just after the storm. In six winters, I have seen at least ten accidents unfold in front of me in snowy or icy conditions and have never been concerned that I was going to become part of the accident. The car steers, accelerates, corners and brakes with great confidence. It would be a lie to say they have the ultimate grip of a summer tire, but they turn an unuseable car into a very good winter vehicle.

The only time these tires have caught me out is on wet pavement. On two occasions (in six years) they span up unexpectedly whilst accelerating pretty hard in second gear (The car is a Standard), but that was really my fault.

It is worth noting that in retrospect, I should have replaced them last year. The WS50s did about 30,000 miles and I expect the WS70s will be similar. The performance in ice was undiminished, but they started to struggle in snow because of insufficient tread-depth. I replaced them with about 3/16 of tread remaining. I'm sure this is less than Bridgestone recommend.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 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: 7.82
 
 

2005 Mazda MAZDA6 s Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
March 26, 2014

Coming from Continental ExtremeWinterContact's, the Blizzaks are more comfortable, steadier, and more predictable. My old Conti's actually had better take-off grip than the WS70's and had better dry weather grip and dynamics, but rode harsher, made the rear end squirrely, and were less predictable in breakaway events under all conditions. The Blizzaks are better in wet weather versus the Conti's and light years ahead in slushy conditions. I have not been stuck with them on during the winter of 2014, where we have received over 100" of snow. The only thing holding them back would be my car's ride height and lack of all wheel drive.

The only thing I would the WS70's to be better is in absolute grip (acceleration, brake, corning) but only if the predictability and stability were not compromised. Better to have a tire with lower limits that doesn't scare you than one with higher limits that does.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 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: 7.18
 
 

2010 Audi A4 2.0 Quattro
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 40,000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 40,000 Miles on Tires
March 22, 2014

I use my car to visit customers about ~2 days a week, during those highway trips, I put on about ~200 miles total. The remainder, I have a short commute to the office or work from home. This is an AWD car with a 60/40 rear/front torque split so I kept a careful eye on rear tire wear. Tires were rotated every 10k. After the initial break-in and first 10k, I thought the Conti sidewalls were a little soft comparing to my Pirelli OEM's, but all in all, I determined the tire had a good all around rating.

I live in the Bay Area and when my friends don't feel like driving to Lake Tahoe, I volunteer, though my Audi can only hold 1~2 other schlorks including gear (hee hee hee)... Light/heavy snow performance is a 6~7 out of 10, but that's also due to poor ground clearance (and insufficient space in the wheel wells when they fill with snow). But hey, that's what you get with a good looking sedan with 18" wheels...

Last 10k miles, tire noise has increased slightly. I had a good experience with these and am now in the market for another set. Tire Rack will continue to see all my new tire business. Checking out Michelin PS3's, RE970AS's, and Eagle F1's. Will probably go with the PS3's to try something new and because they are relatively all in the same price range. Thank you Tire Rack.

Looking for Lightweight Track Wheels at a Great Price? The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is Your Answer

Monday, March 24, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

Autocross and track season are quickly approaching and many racers have already begun to plan for upcoming races and events. As most enthusiasts know, switching out your vehicle's heavy, factory steel or alloy wheels is one of the easiest performance upgrades to your track vehicle. By switching to a lighter weight wheel, your car will instantly feel quicker and respond better compared to your stock wheels. The rotational force to get a lighter weight wheel to move and stop is less, therefore the engine and braking system of the car can respond quicker. Reducing the unsprung weight will also reap benefits when cornering, as the shocks and springs will have less weight to dampen during rebound and compression.

Typically, the answer to a lighter wheel is purchasing a fully forged alloy wheel, however, this option can become expensive for some. There are many highly engineered cast alloy options that are more affordable and provide a great bang for your buck.


Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Black Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Bright Silver Paint

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Gold Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Special Brilliant Coating


Enkei Racing Series' RPF1 uses a revolutionary MAT Process to make lighter weight wheels. MAT is a technology for producing an aluminum wheel by combining Enkei's MAP (Most Advanced Production) and flow-forming forging technology. MAP is a highly automated system. Each process is connected in a single-piece flow system that transports wheels from the melting process, through heat treatment and on to machining. The process of spinning the rim vs. casting it to both shape and elongate it produces a finer, more even aluminum structure and ensures the wheel will remain lightweight and strong. The complete MAT process has a drastic impact on the microstructure of aluminum and results in outstanding improvement of the mechanical property of the material.

As wheels and tires become larger, use of the MAT process to manufacture wheels becomes even more important. In order to reduce weight under a vehicle's suspension, larger wheels must remain light. Enkei Racing Series' new generation of 10% - 15% lighter weight, forged MAT wheels are strong and retain optimum anti-flex properties.

The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered in black painted, bright silver paint, gold painted and special brilliant coating finishes for a wide assortment of vehicles like BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Honda. Shop by vehicle to see if the Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered as a performance upgrade for your track car.