Good Tires From Kumho, Hankook, Sumitomo and General

Thursday, February 20, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

In the tire game, Kumho, Hankook, Sumitomo and General may not be common household names to some, but our testing and customer feedback proves they make some great tires. How do they do this? Specialization. 

The vehicle market is so diverse, making it a huge challenge for a single tire manufacturer to engineer the right tire for every car, SUV, crossover and light truck. It's not easy to fine-tune tires appropriate for the Ford F-150, FIAT 500 and the vast spectrum of vehicles in between. The end result is specific tires dominating in specialized areas.

Are you searching for great steering response, good wet grip and value in a sporty size? If so, the Kumho Ecsta 4X needs to be on your list. Do you put heavy emphasis on treadwear and light snow traction? Take a look at the Hankook Optimo H727. When looking for a 315/35R17 tire for the back axle of your muscle car, it's hard to beat the Sumitomo HTR Z's combination of value and performance. Finally, if you're looking for a tire at a reasonable price, with good wet grip and a cool tread design, check out the General G-MAX AS-03.

Ultra High Performance All-Season Kumho Ecsta 4X
Kumho Ecsta 4X
Standard Touring All-Season Hankook Optimo H727
Hankook Optimo H727
Ultra High Performance Summer Sumitomo HTRZ
Sumitomo HTR Z
Ultra High Performance All-Season General G-Max AS-03
General G-MAX AS-03

To learn more about what tire is a good match for your vehicle, read "Selecting the Right Tires."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Primacy MXM4

Friday, February 7, 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 Primacy MXM4 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.44

2009 Infiniti G37 Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Kennesaw, GA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
January 30, 2014

Thought it appropriate to write a review after managing through Snowmageddon in Atlanta on January 28, 2014. These tires are about 2 months old and replaced Yokohama Avid ENVigor's that were on the car when I bought it used about 15 months ago. To say these Primacy's are an upgrade over the Yokohama's is an understatement. The Yokohama's are VERY noisy, and had modest dry traction--especially cornering--and even worse wet traction, despite an aggressive tread pattern. The Michelin's are very quiet, comfortable sneakers for my G37S are even are more than admirable through spirited take-offs and cornering on wet and dry pavement here in the ATL. However, when challenged with our great snow/ice event this week, showed their vulnerabilities. Snow traction was fairly good (we only got 2"), but on the icy conditions beneath the snow, they were horrible. I managed to keep it out of ditches and off of bumpers and made it home unscathed, but without my northern, snow-driving capabilities (from PA), not sure I would have pulled it off (in a high-torque, rear-wheel drive, staggered fitment) without them! Love my Michelin's 363 days a year. But any more frozen stuff here in the ATL, and I'm not sure they would be the choice. So, if you are reading this from anywhere above the Mason-Dixon, you may want to think differently!


Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot HX MXM4

Friday, February 7, 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 HX MXM4 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.6

2014 Dodge Challenger
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Lawrenceburg, KY
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
February 06, 2014

I gave the tire an 8 for comfort due to "flat-spotting" on cold mornings. Tire feels like a truck tire for the first few miles in cold weather. Otherwise, absolutely silent on the road and very smooth. Traction in rain and snow is superb. I drive a Dodge Challenger and I come from the 4x4 world. This is my first car in 12 years. So honestly I didn't expect it to do well in snow at all being a rear wheel drive car. But these Michelin Pilot tires have really surprised me. We are currently in the middle of one of our worst winters in my lifetime and I haven't been stuck once yet. This morning other front wheel drive cars and two wheel drive trucks couldn't get out of my neighborhood. My rear-drive Challenger made it out. Completely the opposite of what you'd expect. I think these tires are fantastic in snow and ice. They have really made me a believer. They are also very good in the rain. I've never spun the tires or felt the car beginning to hydroplane. Honestly, these tires are really great in all conditions. I'm not a Michelin fan because they are usually overpriced but these things are great. Quiet, fuel efficient, and very good in snow and ice so far. Hopefully they wear well as the years pass.


Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4

Monday, February 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 Alpin PA4 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.3

2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 2,500
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 2,500 Miles on Tires
January 06, 2014

Since putting on the tires just after Thanksgiving I have had an opportunity to test them in very challenging winter road conditions. I have thus far experienced snow covered highways, black ice, and a mixture of snow and ice. The tires have remarkable traction yet at the same time offer excellent dry pavement handling and ride quality. These tires are a 9+ on a scale of ten.


Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D

Monday, January 27, 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.

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.5

2013 Volkswagen Golf R
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location: Bel Air, MD
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
December 15, 2013

Having had considerable experience with Dunlop's D3 winter radial on two previous cars, I was curious to see how the D4 would perform on my 2013 VW Golf R. In a word, the new D4 is outstanding.

I had my tires installed in early November, before serious winter weather set in here in Maryland. I noticed immediately that while they were a little less precise in their steering feel than my Michelin Pilot summer tires, they delivered excellent wet and dry traction in cold weather, with no loss of ride comfort and no increased noise level over the Michelins.

However, the acid test for these tires would have to be snowy conditions; after all, that's why I bought them. On Sunday, December 8, I drove from Long Island to my home in Maryland in a serious snowstorm. What would have been a 3 hour trip in good weather became a 7 hour challenge, mostly due to accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Through it all my Golf kept going, with the Dunlops delivering superb traction and excellent steering feel on both fresh and plowed snow. When I got near my home, I went to an empty parking lot, and stopped in about 6" of fresh, moderately wet snow. I engaged first gear, let out the clutch, and punched the throttle...and without drama or excitement, the Golf simply gathered speed and moved straight ahead. I did this several times, with the traction control on and off, and the tire performed equally well. (Yes, with the TC off, I could sense a difference, and a little wheelspin, but it was insignificant.)

Numerically rating a tire like this is tricky: In the non-snow categories, I compared these Dunlops to my summer Michelins. In the winter/snow category, I compared them to my previous Dunlop D3s. In both catergories, they are outstanding, and I will definitely buy them again! :-)


Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Monday, January 27, 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 Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9

2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
January 23, 2014

These tires are simply amazing. I have recommended them to all my friends and the ones who have followed my advice have been pleased as well. I am simply blown away by their level of grip. In fact, they grip so good in the snow that it almost takes the fun out of winter driving!! Amazingly enough even in the dry these snow tires will surprise you with their grip. I use these tires as my dedicated winter wheels but on warm winter days with no snow I do not feel at all nervous to hit a back road and carve a few corners. These tires are up to the challenge. They are super tough, offer a great value, and do not seem to wear down at all! I absolutely cannot recommend them enough. I will continue buying these tires over the competitors offerings for my future vehicles.


Yokohama's PARADA Spec-X is a Proven All-Season Performer for Your SUV

Thursday, January 23, 2014 by Doc Horvath

Currently sitting at the top of our survey results in the Street/Sport Truck All-Season category, the Yokohama PARADA Spec-X continues to impress SUV and light truck owners with superior wet and dry traction, as well as a quiet ride. Available in sizes ranging from 17" up to 28" wheel diameters, the PARADA Spec-X has built a strong reputation over its life by using a directional tread pattern and wide center grooves to resist hydroplaning and enhance wet traction. Recently, Yokohama added more sizes to provide owners of "modern" muscle cars with confidence in year-round conditions, even light snow. Now, vehicles like the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro can trade their fast wearing Original Equipment tires for extended life and improved comfort.

The range of available sizes means the PARADA Spec-X can be used on a variety of vehicles including:

  • Late-model GM SUVs
  • Cadillac Escalades
  • Chevrolet Suburbans 
  • Acura MDX and RDX
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Mazda CX-9

For more insight on this tire, read our customer reviews to see what drivers are saying about their experience with the Yokohama PARADA Spec-X,

What's the Best Handling Performance Snow Tire?

Thursday, January 16, 2014 by Doc Horvath

Many car enthusiasts like to use their performance vehicles all year long, but for those that live in colder climates, there's a challenge: the Original Equipment summer tires can't provide grip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In Europe, the standard is to have a set of performance tires for the summer and a second set of performance tires for the winter.  

One of our recent tests compared the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60, Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D, Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 and Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 to see which one would provide the best balance of performance and winter grip.

To best evaluate the tires' traction levels on ice, we headed back to a hockey rink to measure 60' acceleration times and stopping distances from 12 mph. The Bridgestone and Michelin nearly tied for the quickest times and shortest stopping distances. However, all four were able to beat the figures of any all-season tire.

Before winter arrived in the Midwest, we loaded up the tires and went to a winter test facility in Sweden. While there, we measured each tire's ability to accelerate and brake in light snow, as well as gather subjective ratings of how each tire feels while driving through several inches of groomed snow on a handling course. The Michelin and Pirelli both proved to be responsive and stable when called upon at highway speeds, with the Dunlop and Bridgestone just a little behind. Similar tests were performed on our track when ambient temperatures were in the upper 30°F range to replicate conditions found during the winter season, with both the Michelin and Pirelli tires leading the way.

When all the results were examined, the numbers proved that the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 delivers the best balance of performance in this group, driving well on the road plus providing good ice and wet traction. Pirelli's Winter Sottozero 3 and Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D both have good ice and wet traction and nearly matched the Pilot Alpin PA4's handling on the road. The Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 takes a more focused approach by also providing good ice traction, but it just doesn't have the wet road grip or clear road handling stability of the other three tires.

For a complete recap of our test, read "Testing Performance Winter / Snow Tires: Which have the Right Balance of Performance?"

Best All-Season Tires of 2013

Thursday, January 2, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

It's been a great year for tires with many new performers coming to market. At the top of the all-season are a handful of newcomers and some repeat winners. Listed below are some of the top all-season performers for 2013.

Grand Touring All-Season

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

  • What We Liked: Civilized road manners and stable dry handling
  • What We'd Improve: A bit more traction and handling in wet conditions
  • Conclusion: This tire ups dry handling a little without compromising ride quality too much

Continental Pure Contact with EcoPlus Technology

  • What We Liked: Civilized road manners and stable dry handling
  • What We'd Improve: A bit more traction and handling in wet conditions
  • Conclusion: This tire ups dry handling a little without compromising ride quality too much

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season

Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia

Passenger All-Season

Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season

  • What We Liked: Very good ultimate traction
  • What We'd Improve: Reduce tread noise and increase snow traction a little
  • Conclusion: A capable tire for drivers who put a priority on traction

High Performance All-Season

Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S

  • What We Liked: Composed road manners
  • What We'd Improve: A small improvement in wet traction
  • Conclusion: A class-leader that holds its own against the new challengers

Ultra High Performance All-Season

Continental ExtremeContact DWS

  • What We Liked: Comfort out on the road
  • What We'd Improve: Handling precision and steering response
  • Conclusion: Delivering a good blend of road manners and handling, with a reputation for very good winter traction

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-Season

  • What We Liked: Good overall traction and quick steering response
  • What We'd Improve: Ride comfort and handling balance when driving at the limit
  • Conclusion: Perfect for the driver who prefers quick steering response

Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season

Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology

  • What We Liked: Responsive handling and excellent traction, especially in the wet
  • What We'd Improve: Soften the ride quality just a little bit and increase snow traction
  • Conclusion: A very capable tire that trades some fuel efficiency for an advantage in wet grip

Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia

  • What We Liked: Quiet and comfortable road manners and good snow traction
  • What We'd Improve: A moderate increase in wet traction
  • Conclusion: A good choice for drivers who don't want to worry about their tires 

Shop by vehicle to find the all-season tire that's right for you!

Tire Alternatives and Options for Your 2009 and Newer Honda Fit Sport

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Time for new tires on your beloved Honda Fit Sport? The Original Equipment size of 185/55R16 offered two options, the Bridgestone Turanza EL470 and Dunlop SP Sport 7000 A/S. Regrettably, but not all that unusual for Original Equipment, they do not fare that well in our customer survey results. Looking for some other options? Then consider changing the tire size to 205/50R16. This size is only .1" taller and about 3/4" wider than the original tire. It will mount onto the factory wheel and fit without rubbing or other fitment issues.

In this alternate size you will find many options from all-season tires to summer performance tires. To learn about the different performance categories tires fall in and find the one that's right for you, read "What Tire Performance Category Do I Need?

General Altimax HP
General AltiMAX
Continental ExtremeContact DWS
Continental ExtremeContact
Fuzion Touring

General AltiMAX HP  

A long-time favorite, this Grand Touring All-Season tire features a directional pattern for better wet grip and comes with a 55,000-mile treadlife warranty. It was developed to be a smarter tire for smarter drivers by addressing many of the treadwear quality and year-round traction challenges faced by drivers of today's sedans and coupes. This tires is a great bang for your buck!

Continental ExtremeContact DWS

The ExtremeContact DWS is for the Honda Fit Sport owner who's more of a spirited driver. This Ultra High Performance All-Season tires is currently ranked first in its category and delivers very good winter traction.

ExtremeContact DWS tires feature Tuned Performance Indicators -- visible letters molded into the second rib from the outboard shoulder to alert drivers of the tire's performance levels. A visible "DWS" indicates the tire has sufficient tread depth for dry conditions, as well as wet roads and light snow. After the "S" has worn away, the remaining "DW" indicates the tire only has sufficient tread depth for dry and most wet road conditions. And after the "W" and "S" have worn away, the remaining "D" shows the tire only has appropriate tread depth for dry conditions.

Fuzion Touring  

For the value minded customer, this is a quality product from Bridgestone. This affordably priced tire is designed to blend good treadwear, a quiet ride and all-season traction on dry and wet roads, as well as in light snow.

To view more options available for your Honda Fit Sport, shop by size.

Looking for a Gift for Your Car Enthusiast? Try Our Gift Guide!

Friday, December 6, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Some people are just hard to shop for,  which can make the Holiday gift giving a challenge. Luckily, the Tire Rack Gift Guide can recommend the right gift for any budget!

You can look for gift ideas based on price. For example, you can get stocking stuffers for under $25, an Adjustable Torque Wrench for under $50 or shop by vehicle and find the car enthusiast in your life's dream set of tires and wheels.

Are you having trouble deciding on what to purchase? A Gift Certificate is truly the ultimate gift. We offer them in any amount, deliverable by mail, as a paper certificate, or as an email, which can be sent directly to the recipient!

  • Available in $25.00 to $5,000.00 amounts
  • You may include a personal message
  • Standard shipping is free (when sent via postal mail)

We have gift ideas that are a sure fit. For the garage. For the car. For the enthusiast. Place your orders by December 19, 2013 to ensure they are arrive in time for Christmas!

What Type of Wheel Should You Buy for Winter?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

When purchasing a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package, choosing a wheel can be a challenge for some. We offer aluminum alloy wheels for almost every vehicle and steel wheels for select vehicles. Are you having trouble deciding on what wheel to pick? Take a look at the tips below to help you decide which type of wheel suits your winter driving needs.

Aluminum Alloy Wheels

  • Stronger than a steel wheel and weighs less
  • More styles available to help enhance the look of your vehicle
  • Allows for more brake clearance
  • Manufactured to precise standards to meet exact fitment and performance needs
  • Require more maintenance to protect finish against elements such as salt and sand

Steel Wheels

  • Black or silver finish depending on the application
  • Wheel covers available to help enhance the style
  • Less expensive option compared to alloy
  • Meets basic needs of someone looking for a winter package without maintenance of alloy wheels

Our steel and aluminum wheel options will accept factory tire pressure monitors which will come pre-installed. All necessary hardware is included at no cost, as well as complimentary Hunter Road Force mounting and balancing. Tackle winter's elements this year by creating your own Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package!

Comparing the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, LM-32 and LM-60

Thursday, November 7, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

When shopping for winter / snow tires, it's important to know whether you need a Studless Ice & Snow tire like the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 or a Performance Winter / Snow tire like the Blizzak LM-32 or Blizzak LM-60. Tires in each performance category are designed to function differently in the winter and it's best to know the difference between the two before you decide which tire to purchase.

 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60

Studless Ice & Snow tires, like the Blizzak WS70, are designed for the driver who wants to maximize snow and ice traction without the inconvenience of using studs. These tires were developed to meet challenging winter driving conditions around the world by delivering studded-like snow and ice traction without employing studs. They also feature pliable tread compounds molded into purposeful tread designs that trade some handling in dry and wet conditions to deliver excellent winter traction.

The Performance Winter / Snow category features the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 and LM-60. Tires in this category are designed for drivers who want enhanced dry road handling from their winter / snow tires and are willing to trade some snow and ice traction to get it. Performance snow tires were originally developed for winter driving on European highways where high-speed driving on clear roads must be combined with traction on snow-covered roads. The LM-32 is offered in both a standard and run-flat (RFT) version.

The Bridgestone Blizzak line of winter / snow tires is a name synonymous with the best snow and ice traction. To learn more about the Blizzak tires, read "Bridgestone Blizzak FAQs."

Do Studdable Winter / Snow Tires Come Studded?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

"When I purchase a set of Studdable Winter / Snow tires, will they arrive studded or unstudded?" All studdable winter tires we sell can be sent with or without studs installed. It's important to note that only new tires that have never been driven on can be studded. Tires already driven on cannot be studded nor re-studded.

Studdable Winter / Snow tires without studs are still effective winter tires and many drivers choose not to stud them. If you desire a higher level of traction due to challenging conditions, studs can be added to any tires in this performance category for a $15 charge. 

When placing your order online, simply check the box to add studs when prompted in the checkout.  Because studdable tires are manufactured with different tread depths, studs are manufactured in different lengths that must be matched to the depth of the holes molded in the tire. We will select the correct gauge of stud for your specific tire and ship them out with the studs pressed in.

A Studdable Winter / Snow tire's tread is often lubricated to facilitate stud installation, therefore a special tool is inserted into the molded hole, spreading the tread rubber, and inserting the stud towards the bottom of the hole and retracting. With the stud inserted, the tread rubber compresses around the stud's flat head and cylindrical housing to hold it in place. Because it takes some time for the lubricant to evaporate and the tread rubber to securely compress around the stud, new studded tires require a break-in period.

Some states prohibit studded winter tires completely or restrict them to seasonal use. Check with local law enforcement officials to confirm restrictions in your area.

To learn more about using studded tires in the colder months, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."

Winter Test Results for All-Season Tires

Thursday, October 3, 2013 by Ben Rooney

During the summer, we test a wide variety of tires in wet and dry conditions. While we can't test every tire in every category, we focus on the newest and most popular tires in order to deliver the most relevant results. Testing in winter conditions is a bit more challenging. Winter here in South Bend, Indiana is unpredictable, and it's rare that we have consistent temperatures and snow surface on our test track in order to obtain repeatable results.

To perform a portion of our winter tests, we go to a local hockey rink to test the latest winter tires on the ice. This facility provides a consistent surface and allows us to fairly compare the tires under controlled conditions. However, ice is only one component of winter traction. In order to offer more insight into which tires are best in the winter, we have taken a number of tires to a testing area in northern Sweden. To learn more about our experiences in Sweden, watch "Winter Testing at the Arctic Circle: Introduction."

Winter results are also added to existing tire tests for all-season tires, such as this test of some of the top Grand Touring All-Season tires. When it comes to winter driving, you can't beat the traction provided by a dedicated winter / snow tire. If you live in an area where all-season tires can get you by, our test results will help you find the right tire. Regardless of where you reside, shop by vehicle to view all options available for your car.

Best All-Season Tires for Winter

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 by Steve Huffman

Believe it or not, winter's just around the corner. With the change in weather comes the change of tires. If you're a driver who faces the challenges of winter driving, you're going to want the best tire for your vehicle. A dedicated winter / snow tire will be your best route for handling the elements, but if you opt for using an all-season tire year-round, consider the following options.

When it comes to high performance, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS consistently ranks among the top all-season tires, particularly as it relates to winter traction. A visible "DWS" indicates the tire has sufficient tread depth for dry conditions, as well as wet roads and light snow. After the "S" has worn away, the remaining "DW" indicates the tire only has sufficient tread depth for dry and most wet road conditions. And after the "W" and "S" have both worn away, the remaining "D" indicates the tire has appropriate tread depth for dry conditions only. Along with good winter traction, this performance tire will hug the road and give your sports car the confidence you're looking for.

Are you looking for more of a touring tire, something that will ride exceptionally well? Then take a look at Pirelli's Cinturato P7 All Season Plus. Designed to to be driven in America's diverse weather conditions, the tire features lower weight, less rolling resistance and reduced noise while enhancing wet braking and year-round traction, even in light snow.

Finally, if you're in need of a tire for your SUV or light truck, one of the top choices with winter in mind is the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology. This tire is designed to enhance driving pleasure, save fuel and maintain grip when braking on wet surfaces while providing long wear and all-season traction.

Mouseover Text Here
Continental ExtremeContact
Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus
Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season
Continental CrossContact LX20 with Ecoplus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology

Shop by vehicle to find the tire that's best for how and where you drive this winter.

Which Tire Can Make Your SUV Handle Like a Car?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 by Doc Horvath

While most SUV owners appreciate the added space and "go anywhere" capability of their vehicles, the high speed handling of most SUVs can often leave enthusiastic drivers wanting more. Bridgestone, Continental, Pirelli and others have developed Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season tires in popular SUV sizes which fit this bill.

The new Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport AS was put in a head-to-head test with the Continental CrossContact LX Sport and Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season. Tests were performed using our Performance Test Track Drives and Real World Road Rides to see which tire made our Porsche Cayenne test SUVs handle most like their sports car relatives.

On our 4.1-mile loop of expressways, state highways and county roads, we're able to get a sense for how each tire will perform in real world conditions, like those most of our customers experience on their daily commute. The variety of pavement types, conditions and legal speeds puts each tire through its paces and helps determine overall ride comfort, road noise and handling characteristics. Continental's CrossContact LX Sport made easy work of small- and medium-sized impacts, while minimizing the effects of larger pavement breaks and other issues. Pirelli's Scorpion Verde All Season was close behind, with the Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport AS allowing just a little more road feel to sneak through the suspension. Road noise was minimal from all three models, and the Bridgestone was able to set the standard with the best handling characteristics. The Continental and Pirelli followed behind, but weren't able to replicate the crisp steering response of the Dueler H/P Sport AS.

Our 1/3-mile test track allows us to replicate extreme maneuvers in both wet and dry conditions that are normally experienced during an abrupt emergency avoidance move. The quick handling characteristics of the Bridgestone carried over to the track, providing very predictable and stable handling in both dry and most notably, wet track conditions. The CrossContact Sport LX wasn't too far behind, but the Pirelli struggled to maintain grip during acceleration and braking, making it a challenge to control near the limit.

For a complete recap of our test, read "Testing Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Tires: Can Some of the Newest Help Yours Drive More Like a Car?"

Commonly Asked Winter / Snow Tire Questions

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

This time of year I get calls from potential first time winter / snow tire owners curious if a dedicated winter / snow tire fits their needs. It only took my first set of snow tires eleven years ago to convince me how different they truly are compared to an all-season tire. Since then, I've installed winter / snow tires on every one of my vehicles during the winter. Below you can find answers to some of the more popular questions regarding snow tires.

Will I benefit from a dedicated winter / snow tire where I live?

The primary concern of our customers is that they don't want to get stuck in the snow during the winter months. Cities that see minimal snow fall and are located at the outside edges of snowbelts, are typically fine using all-season tires. However, those who live deeper into a snowbelt region, tires play by a different set of rules.

We all know that tires are a compromise. One tire can't be the fastest on the track, most controllable in the snow and longest wearing. By design, all-season tires are a compromise intended to provide acceptable traits under a wide variety of conditions. However, that compromised goal prevents them from being a master of any one of them. Only dedicated winter / snow tires are designed to excel in the colder temperatures, slush, snow and on ice. These tires deliver much better snow and ice performance than an all-season tire due to their tread designs and tread compounds being engineered to master winter conditions.

Should I install four or two winter / snow tires?

Today's winter tires provide more ice and snow traction than ever before. The technology used to develop the tread designs and tread compounds has evolved beyond what you may have used previously. Every one of our tire manufacturers recommend a full set of four dedicated winter tires be used on rear-wheel, front-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicles. This is because if you use two dissimilar types of tires on your vehicle, you'll have a vehicle that has a split personality. One end of the vehicle will react differently verses the other in dry, wet, slushy and snowy conditions. This is emphasized most in emergency situations when you need the most control. The vehicle may understeer in one condition and oversteer in another. It's preferable to keep your vehicles handling as consistently as possible by matching all four tires. Our customers who have matched their tires tell us they're glad they made the extra investment in four winter tires so they can retain the most control of their vehicle through winter's challenges.

Isn't driving cautiously enough?

That question verifies that you recognize the risk you feel when not using winter tires. Why not take some of the tension out of your winter driving and provide yourself with a greater margin of control to avoid the unexpected. Not only can you pose a risk to yourself, but all of the other vehicles around you.

I have AWD, is that enough?

Having an all-wheel drive vehicle definitely has its advantages during the winter season. However, its advantage can be multiplied by using dedicated snow tires. All of the reasons that encouraged you to select an all-wheel drive car are the same reasons that snow tires will make your winter driving safer and more enjoyable. It's also important to note that advancements in ABS and traction control do not provide more traction. They only help prevent drivers from over braking or overpowering the available traction of their tires.

I heard dedicated winter / snow tires are expensive. Is this true?

Winter tires may be one of the most economical purchases you can make. We have excellent prices on tires, alloy wheels, steel wheels and complete Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages. Using winter tires will extend the life of your summer or all-season tires. The summer and all-season tires won't wear out sitting in the garage or basement while the winter tires and wheels are on the vehicle. Using winter wheels will protect Original Equipment or aftermarket alloy wheels from the harsh realities of winter: salt, slush and grime.

Create a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today to help you have the easiest winter driving experience you can have!

What are the Different Types of Winter / Snow Tires?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

When it comes to choosing your next set of winter / snow tires for a passenger vehicle, you'll choose an option from one of three performance categories.

  • Studdable Winter / Snow - Tires in this category are designed to accept an optional metal stud to enhance ice traction. Drivers can run these tires without the studs and they tend to be a very good snow solution, however become a bit more challenged on icy surfaces. When the studs are added, ice traction is improved at the expense of noise level. Because studded tires damage road surfaces, many states restrict them to wintertime use or prohibit them entirely. Check with your local authorities to confirm legality.
  • Studless Ice & Snow - This category is created for the tire that really delivers in the harshest of winter conditions. Designed as a friendlier alternative to studded solutions, we like to say they make driving in snow feel like driving in the rain. These tires meet challenging winter driving conditions by delivering studded-like snow and ice traction without employing studs.
  • Performance Winter / Snow - These tires will trade some deep snow and ice traction to gain better clear, open-road capabilities. Originally designed for winter driving on European highways where high-speed driving on clear roads must be combined with traction on snow-covered roads, this category is an ideal solution for areas with cold temperatures and less snow.
General Altimax Arctic - studdable winter
General AltiMAX Arctic - Studdable Winter / Snow
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 - Studless Ice and Snow
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 - Studless Ice & Snow
Bridgestone Blizzak LM32 - Performance Winter
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 - Performance Winter / Snow

Shop by vehicle to find the winter / snow tire options available for your application.

BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 Tested at Miller Motorsports Park

Thursday, August 15, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Every so often my job allows me to travel the country and experience the products I recommend and sell to consumers. This past week, I was fortunate enough to spend three days at Miller Motorsports Park outside Salt Lake City, Utah to experience the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 on the school's prepped Mustang GTs. 

With a 340 treadwear rating, the tire isn't considered a dedicated track tire, nor does it achieve the designation of an Extreme Performance Summer tire. This tire does, however, provide consistent and predictable grip levels and allows a driver to experience a dedicated summer tire that still provides acceptable levels of treadwear and wet performance.

Using both the tight and technical east course and the long sweeping west course at Miller Motorsports Park, the tire performed admirably as an Ultra High Performance Summer tire and remained its composure under 110 mph braking zones, fast sweepers and challenging downhill S-curves. While this tire isn't as fast on course as its big brother the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival, it deserves its best-in-class rating in our consumer surveys and is suitable for drivers looking for responsiveness, predictability and most of all, fun.

While there are faster tires available in other higher performance categories, I can say with much confidence that this tire under my watch was driven harder than is possible to do on the street. For several hours I pushed this tire and it inspired good confidence.

Available in a multitude of sizes for muscle cars, sports cars,and coupes, this tire deserves your attention. View all sizes and choose the one that's right for your vehicle.