Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

Tuesday, July 22, 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 DW Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2008 Audi S5
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Amherst, NH
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
April 15, 2014

This is a great tire but to be honest, you're unlikely to go wrong with any of the top "max performance summer tire" competitors (thinking Michelin, Continental, Bridgestone, Dunlop, Goodyear, Pirelli). If you read the reviews, you'll notice the Conti Extreme DW is supposed to do better in the wet than the Michelin PSS's but also to have a bit less grip at the limit and a bit less feedback. In my experience with both tires on the same car, that seems fair but the difference is so slight you would only notice it if you had driven on the Michelins earlier in the day (which I did) or if you do autocross (which I do not but I'm sure the times can reveal even the slightest differences). Even then, the Michelins were at the end of their lives so they shallower tread might have been the difference I was feeling and not a "real" difference in performance. The fact is, even close to triple the on-ramp speed limit, it is hard to notice much difference. However, the Conti's definitely wear longer than the Michelins or the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT tires that are OE on the S5. With so litle difference in performance, you're left going on more pedestrian concerns like treadwear. My Dunlops were shot at about 15k miles and the Michelins didn't only made it to about 20k (admitedly with an aggressive driver at the wheel). I'll update if things change but it looks like I'm going to easily clear 20k miles on the Contis. Of course, when you're driving the sort of car these tires go on, the price of the tire or miles of use really shouldn't make much difference. I only mention it because changing tires every 15k miles can get to be a bit of an inconvenience.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Direzza ZII

Tuesday, July 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.

Dunlop Direzza ZII Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.12
 
 

1999 Mazda Miata
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Miles driven on tires: 400
Location: Poulsbo, WA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 400 Miles on Tires
May 05, 2014

I picked these up from Tirerack knowing I wanted an extreme summer tire. I had them delivered with a set of silver TRM C1M 15x7 30 offset wheels. Both the wheels and tires look fantastic. While I have had limited opportunities to experience the grip, I fully expect them to perform beautifully. A 20 minute track session in the rain was actually enjoyable as I felt supremely planted even with the wet conditions. And one autox in the dry with the tires barely scuffed went well with little drama. My '99 Miata is running on new Tein coil overs so it will be interesting to see how the tires perform this summer as the various track days that are coming up. But, I am very pleased with the tires except just one little thing....they do tend to sing a bit around 65-70 mph. So the comments regarding noise are spot on. Sad to hear they are being replaced with new versions from Dunlop, but I would buy them again in a heartbeat. Very satisfied!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama AVID Ascend (H- or V-Speed Rated)

Monday, June 9, 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.

Yokohama AVID Ascend (H- or V-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.12
 
 

2009 Honda Fit Sport
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Easton, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
June 15, 2012

I am a Michelin Hydroedge fan. I drive diesel VWs so I purchase tires that are comfortable at higher inflations (40+psi) and great handling tires so that I can maintain momentum through turns. This is critical to my high MPG driving style. The Hydroegde is about as good as it gets in that department since they are low rolling resistance tires (LRR), the ride is still comfortable over 40 psi and they offer handling performance of a high performance tire even though they are listed as a passenger tire. Unfortunately they are not available for my Honda Fit. I was faced with only 5 choices for my car, and the brand new Dunlop 7000 tires that came with the car felt like bricks. Wet weather performance is terrible on the Dunlops. So, the Yokohama Avid Ascend was it. They intrigued me with the Orange Oil, LRR, Made in the USA and Blue earth advertizing. But the proof is where the rubber meets the road. The tires are scary... at first. At recommended inflations (30-32 psi)the new tires are very inconsistent and sidewalls are soft. They have grip in dry and wet, they are comfortable and quiet on the road, but until they wear in, the first few miles of driving are scary. The back of the car felt loose until the tire grabbed which is unsettling. I felt this in the Goodyear Triple tread also when they were new so I gave it a couple of days and after a couple of heat cycles these too felt better. The installer set them at 30 psi. Once the tires settled in I experimented with pressures and found 41 in the front and 36 in the back provides neutral handling through turns. 40 front and back made the car very tail happy as the outer and inner inch of tread of the rear tire was not touching the road. At 35 the sidewall was too soft moved a lot. Once they are set properly I find them to be comfortable, quiet and grippy tires- very good in the rain. Definitely feel like LRR tires compared to the Dunlops, the car feels more stable and sporty- but they are no hydroedges.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Direzza DZ102

Monday, June 9, 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 Direzza DZ102 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.17
 
 

2000 Acura Integra LS
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Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Bloomington, IN
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
May 01, 2014

I've had these for about 2000 miles now, with a very evenly combined city / highway mixture, having just completed a 1000 mile road trip. I was initially very attracted to the price of the DZ102, but was slightly concerned about how they would perform in wet conditions, especially after reading several reviews regarding the performance of the DZ101. These tires absolutely love warm conditions, and stick very well to dry pavement, with fantastic feedback at highway speeds, and in city driving as well. Under wet conditions, the tires didn't flinch. They have great feedback, and allow only the slightest amount of give when they're pushed hard, but have a very linear feel to them that gives you plenty of notice when they're on the edge. They're very quiet on the highway, with minimal road noise; it's not imperceptible, but still remarkably quiet. These made the car feel very planted, and I didn't notice any 'tracking' or 'squirming', although I made sure to get an alignment immediately afterwards.

So far, great tire for the price. I'll update my review after I've covered some more miles.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Winter Maxx

Friday, May 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.

Dunlop Winter Maxx Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.36
 
 

2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L
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Miles driven on tires: 8,000
Location: Whitney Point, NY
Driving Condition: Easy Going
 

Initial Review, 8,000 Miles on Tires
April 20, 2014

I decided to buy winter tires just before the first forecast snow storm in my area. I live in upstate NY. The in-stock selection was low, the service manager suggested I try the Winter Maxx. I've never previously owned a set of Dunlop's, but with the only alternative available to me being the "house brand" I told the manager I'd take the Dunlops. I have not regretted that decision for a moment.

First off, the ride is very good for a snow tire with aggressive tread. Any decent snow tire is going to have some more noise and be bit rougher than all-seasons, but in the case of the Winter Maxx the drop-off in ride quality was very slight. If I was told I had to ride these all year I could handle it. Steering responsiveness takes the biggest hit, but is still within acceptable limits.

My usual commute to work takes me across two valleys before I get to the highway that takes me into town. That means I have to climb out of two valleys. Both of the hills I climb get brief sunlight so they are often snow covered for days following a storm. This is my first season without four wheel drive in many years. I was a little nervous that my VW Passat would not get me up the hills that I needed to climb in order to get to work. I'm happy to report that neither the Passat, nor the tires let me down. Not once during the winter did I fail to make the climb up the two hills, and for those who may not know, we had a very rough winter in upstate NY relative to recent years. Traction was very good and the car tracked extremely well. I would also mention that the second hill that I climb is particularly challenging as there is a sharp curve just prior to the steepest part which limits the approach speed. Braking performance was also very good as I have to go down the same hills in the evening that must climb in the morning.

Tread wear has been minimal so far. Tires were rotated twice during the winter and I'm fanatical about tire pressure. Worth every penny, would buy again.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Friday, May 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.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8
 
 

2014 Subaru Impreza WRX 5-Door
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Miles driven on tires: 6,711
Location: State College, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 6,711 Miles on Tires
April 20, 2014

This is a great tire, but not great for this car and my driving style. I sized this -1 (factory OEM is 17"), and in doing so created the majority of my "gripes" I have with this tire. The size I bought it in has been discontinued.

I have been using snows for the past 20 years, and I've tried Blizzaks, Generals, Firestones, Goodyears, Dunlops. I average around 7K a year driving in the winter on snows.

Good: The tire is an exceptional snow tire. Period. Snow to this tire is a traction additive. Deep snow, slush, light snow - not a problem. The tire hangs on very well when set on a singular course in the dry. Reasonably quiet. Stable under braking.

Bad: If you're a normal driver (commuter), *obey* the speed limit, etc. 95% of the bad won't apply to you. Because it is an exceptional snow tire, it leaves a lot to be desired in the dry. This tire is heavily siped so the tread-blocks are squishy. Full throttle acceleration isn't advised.

The web is full of comments of people complaining about the soft sidewalls, which I didn't heed. The sidewalls are *soft* and as a result I feel the tire compress over bumps before the car does. Somewhat unsettling if your car is stiffly sprung like the WRX is as you feel it "pogo" over transitions. Should you need to do a quick transition at highway speeds it is a sphincter clinching event. Just plan on hitting whatever you're trying to avoid if you're doing anything over 40 - the tires are easily overwhelmed.

Conclusion:

- A GREAT SNOW TIRE
- Very soft sidewalls - not intended for "sportier" or "firmly damped" cars.
- Surprisingly good tread wear - I wore off less than 2/32nds in 6711 miles of driving.
- These are not Blizzaks - on ice you're pretty much on your own unless you get studs. Given the price, I wasn't expecting them to match a Blizzak's performance.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx

Wednesday, April 30, 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 Sport MaxxReviewer's Overall Rating: 6.38

2011 Jaguar XF Supercharged
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Miles driven on tires: 6,900
Location: Burke, VA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 6,900 Miles on Tires
December 03, 2011

The rears are 285/35ZR20. Yeah, I know these are summer tires, but I would expect SOME sort of capability in temps between 32 and 50 degress. These tires cannot be relied on for any kind of performance applications at these temperatures. All my comments refer to these temperatures and not summer temps. Even with moderately aggressive cornering, the tires act like they are going to pop off the rim. With pseudo heavy throttle, they have minimal traction. They break loose with just the slightest amount of power application. I would go with the Continental Extreme DWS if they had better sidewall rigidity. If you are going to stay with a summer tire on your supercharged Jag XF AND would like to do SOME driving in cooler temperatures, the Dunlop is not the answer. Consider Bridgestone or Michelin.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (W-Speed Rated)

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.


Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (W-Speed Rated)Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.8

2007 Volkswagen GTI
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Miles driven on tires: 300
Location: Bloomington, IN
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 300 Miles on Tires
February 05, 2011

I bought this tire based on the November 2010 Consumer Reports article that put it in second place (tied for 1st in points) out of 17 tires in the Ultra-High Performance All-Season Tires Category. The price point was so low, too, among the cheapest available in 225/40-18 size to replace the two Dunlop SP Sports (front) and two Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires (rear) that came on the GTI I purchased used. Those tires had okay tread depth (not much on a tire of this size anyway) but the Michelins especially had severe weather cracking and the rolling noise of the four tires was very loud and non-uniform across the rotation (slipped radial belt, I figured). I liked that the Sumitomos were noted as being the quietest tire in the category by Consumer Reports--if they give up some performance for it, I haven't noticed.



They've indeed made a huge difference in noise and ride smoothness. I hope that lasts as the tires wear. Coincidentally we've had major snow and ice storms in Indiana since I put them on, and I'm impressed how well they do. Never felt out of control or immobile.



Basically my only gripe was with tirerack -- their competitor Vulcan Tire beat them by a few bucks on price, had cheaper shipping, and didn't charge me sales tax, so I went with them. Another possible gripe is that these tires don't have rim protectors, so be careful parallel parking. But otherwise these have not disappointed and I am picky about tires. If you drive more or less normally and like to step on it from time to time, I think you'll find these perfectly adequate, with low price and quiet ride (relative to the category) plus serviceable light winter traction to boot.

Introducing the Dunlop Direzza DZ102

Friday, April 11, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

A new release for this spring season is the Dunlop Direzza DZ102. This tire, a direct replacement for the Direzza DZ101, features many improvements to build upon from the mark set by its predecessor. The DZ101 was always reasonably well liked in its category due to its low cost and strong dry grip. However, it suffered slightly because of noise comfort and treadwear.

DZ102 tires feature a higher treadwear rating that should increase the life expectancy of the tire. The tire delivers head-turning performance in warm, dry and wet conditions. It also has a less pronounced, but still directional tread pattern, that aims to cut down noise. Like the DZ101, the DZ102 is classified as an Ultra High Performance Summer tire and retains one of the better price-points in the class. Now through May 31, 2014, when you purchase a set of four Dunlop Direzza DZ102 tires, you can receive a $40 Tire Rack Prepaid MasterCard by mail-in rebate.

With winter finally over, expect test results on this tire and many others in the coming months!

Dunlop Direzza DZ102 Replaces DZ101

Thursday, April 10, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Dunlop recently replaced the popular (but aging) Direzza DZ101. The new model, Direzza DZ102, retains a similar sporty look to the DZ101 while providing enhanced performance. The DZ102 keeps a similar price-point, making it a very good option for drivers seeking an affordable performance tire.

Direzza DZ102 tires combine sleek styling and impressive handling to deliver head-turning performance in warm, dry and wet conditions. It features a specially formulated Silicarbon Matrix compound (combines silica and carbon black) to enhance traction. This compound is molded into a directional tread design featuring broad shoulder blocks and three notched central ribs to promote responsive handling and stable cornering.

While we haven't tested this tire yet, the initial reviews look good. Take a look at what one customer writes:

"So far I think they are great, road noise is comfortable and what I expected coming from the DZ101. Going through turns I felt the sidewalls held up nicely, the ride was very compliant and felt precise to me. Bottom line, I would recommend them to a friend."

Be on the look for upcoming test results to see how this tire compares to other options in the Ultra High Performance Summer category.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi2

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 Xi2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.27
 
 

2009 Subaru Forester 2.5 X
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Miles driven on tires: 12,000
Location: Eau Claire, WI
Driving Condition: Easy Going
 

Initial Review, 12,000 Miles on Tires
March 20, 2014

I have tried several types of winter tires (including Dunlop and the very good Bridgestone Blizzaks) but these Michelins are the best by far. When first mounted in the late fall while the roads were still clear, it was very obvious that the tires had a deeper and softer tread than all-season tires - in particular the tires felt much more compliant over pot holes and poor road surfaces. I actually checked and rechecked tire pressures thinking that the tires were all down a few psi but they were all right at 34. Turns out that the tires just have a very compliant sidewall and that contributes to their excellent performance in real winter conditions. Wide, high perfomance summer tires with stiff, low-profile sidewalls deliver sharp handling on warm, dry and smooth race tracks but they are a disaster when the road conditions are less than perfect. I belive that Michelin enginneered the x-ice sidewalls to provide a less punishing ride on rough ice covered roads, and in so doing, found that the tread maintains constant contact with the road for better traction. The x-ice tread pattern provides excellent grip with minimal road noise and the rubber compound seems much more durable than that of the competition. I expect to get at least one additional winter out of this set! I live at the top of a hill, half a mile up a 14% grade in a snow belt. Highly recommended for anyone that really needs snow tires.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Winter Maxx

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.

Dunlop Winter Maxx Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2005 Volkswagen Jetta 2005.5 (New Jetta MKV)
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Miles driven on tires: 8,000
Location: Altamont, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 8,000 Miles on Tires
March 10, 2014

I can't express how impressed I am with these Dunlop tires. As a former Nokian Hakkapeliitta buyer, these Dunlop WinterMaxx tires perform at least as well in snow and ice, and they're priced much better than the "premium" winter tires out there. They handle well in wet or dry, and have been exceptional on snow & ice where my car would go when others were stuck during this tough winter. I have only 3 months so far on the tires all winter 2013-2014, so long-term wear (not usually a strong point of winter tires) isn't fully known though no excessive wear is evident at this point. I can confidently recommend these winter tires.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Winter Maxx

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.

Dunlop Winter Maxx Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.89
 
 

1993 Honda Accord DX/LX Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: South Bend, IN
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
March 10, 2014

Absolute must if you live in a snowy climate. Excellent price for what the tires offer and a HUGE difference between all-season and winter tire performance. Not the best snow tire out there, but a bargin for the money.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Sport 7000 A/S

Monday, March 17, 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 Sport 7000 A/S Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.18
 
 

2010 Infiniti EX35 AWD Journey
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location: Little Rock, AR
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
March 04, 2014

It came as OE for my infiniti which is AWD. I am researching tires for my other car as unfortunately I sold my infiniti, over this last snow storm my new car slipped and ran into curb causing lots of damage. Any case I used to drive on these tires in snow and quater inch ice. Actually I was the designated driver for my co workers as they usually got stuck at home due to ice. I live up a hill and had no major trouble getting in and out with significant ice on the road and no one else on the street even trying to attempt the drive.
The reason I chose to write this review was most infiniti EX owners are unhappy with this tire. I had a very different experience with them.
The road noice was better then average. They seemed to absorb pot holes well. Dry and wet traction was above average ( never really could slip them despite quite aggressive driving ) ---- near close to Bridgestone potenza pole one my BMW 535i ( which is the highest rated tire for that car), another comparison I can do is for the duler sport AS which are again OE on Infiniti JX AWD (highly rated on tire rack surveys ) again these Dunlop beat them hands down in snow and ice traction. I suspect duler sport AS might be some better in summer/ dry conditions.
I suspect some folks expect too much from their all season cross over tires. They are not summer performance tires. My suspicion is that owners of small cross overs with powerful engines think that their cars should perform like sports cars they really are not , the chassis is too soft (for compliant ride) center of gravity is too high. Infiniti EX will never perform like a BMW 335i or 535i all of these have v6 motors and about 300 horses to spare. That is one reason I swapped EX with a S5 which is sitting at a body shop.
I usually don't write reviews but reading these mixed reviews about dunlops I felt like I needed to share my thoughts/experience.

Choosing Between Performance Winter / Snow Tires and Studless Ice & Snow Tires

Monday, March 17, 2014 by Gary Stanley

As a moderator of several forums, I have received many questions on snow tires this winter. Recently, a customer had a question about choosing between Studless Ice & Snow tires and Performance Winter / Snow tires:

I’m getting ready to order winter tires and wheels. My concern is that here in Denver, we can have big changes in temperatures. It’s not uncommon to be able to wear short sleeves during February and March, while the ski resorts are getting pounded less than 80 miles away. Given the temperature range, are there any brands I should stay away from that get squirmy when it gets warmer? 95% of my driving is in the Denver area. I only have two clients in the foothills just west of town.

Here was my response to his question:

Most of the tires in the Studless Ice & Snow category like the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, Continental ExtremeWinterContact and Michelin X-Ice Xi3 will have slower steering response in warmer temperatures, and thus, feel a little squirmy. Of these choices, the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 feels the least squirmy, but would still give you outstanding snow and ice traction for the times you have to drive on snow-covered roads. 

If you move to a Performance Winter / Snow tire like the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 or Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D, you'll find that these tires have more responsive handling even in warmer temperatures. Unfortunately, there's a noticeable step down in snow and ice traction when compared to Studless Ice & Snow tires.

Are you trying to make a similar decision? You may want to lean towards one of the more aggressive snow tires like those listed above if one or more of the following are true :

  • Your geographical area gets heavy snowfall and/or lake-effect snow.
  • You are often driving on packed snow and ice.
  • You are willing to give up some dry grip and steering response for maximum winter traction.
  • You are a newer driver or want more confidence when driving in winter conditions. 

Choosing between these two performance categories may be difficult and is mostly a personal preference choice for the trade-off between snow traction and dry road handling. When making your decision, keep in mind what are the worst conditions you'll experience. This is the time when you will need traction the most!  You can read about my experience with winter tires by reading, "My Story on Winter Tires."

Are Sumitomo Tires Good?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Customers often ask me about the Sumitomo brand. The tires are often very attractively priced, but many drivers are not as familiar with this brand as they are with some of the traditional names like Goodyear and Michelin. Are they really a great value, or are they too good of a price to be true?

How is Sumitomo pronounced?

This one stumps many people, however the pronunciation is actually easier than it looks at first glance. I find that breaking it in half makes it much easier. "Sumi" is pronounced pretty much how it looks: soo-me. It rhymes with Zoomy. Then the second half, "tomo" rhymes with Romo.

Where do they come from?

Sumitomo is a Japanese company. They're part of the Sumitomo Group, which has many diverse businesses under its umbrella. Sumitomo manufactures in a number of Asian countries, including Thailand, China and Japan.

Are they good?

Yes, Sumitomo makes a good tire. Like any manufacturer, Sumitomo makes a number of different models to fit different driving styles and customer needs. Are you in the market for high performance handling and excellent wet and dry traction? Try the Sumitomo HTR Z III. Do you need something a little bit sporty, but with the ability to handle cold weather and some light snow? Sumitomo's HTR A/S P01 might fit your needs. As long as you choose a tire that suits your application and driving style, they offer a very good combination of quality and value.

Why haven't I heard of them before?

You probably have and don't know it. Sumitomo builds tires for other brands as well. The most notable is Dunlop, which is one of the oldest names in the business. They do not do as much marketing of their own tire brand compared to many of the other brands. So while they fly a little bit under the radar, they have plenty of expertise in building tires.

Take a look at all offerings available from Sumitomo.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4

Friday, February 28, 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: 9.45
 
 

2002 BMW 525i Sport Wagon
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Miles driven on tires: 1,500
Location: La Crescent, MN
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,500 Miles on Tires
February 27, 2014

Like how PA4 communicates to driver in ice or snow conditions. First winter on the PA4 but has proved grippy and secure. Can tell when tire will break away on fresh or packed snow and what it takes to bring it back. More sophisticated than an average snow tire. In times past used Nokian, Blizzack, Dunlop, and many standard or high performance snow tires on various vehicles. Thus high expectations, even though there are few reviews of PA4. Interesting that Porsche had been involved with development too. We usually have traction control devices engaged in cars --on mode– when entering harsh weather. Recently, however, have been turning off DSC in Bimmer sport-wagon, as control and performance of vehicle seems even better with PA4's. Car handled better without using DSC. Added control with such throttle response has been fun and added new dynamic. Generally enhanced winter driving experience in the 5 Series wagon with sports suspension. Rear wheel drive BMW has been easier to drive fast in snow and ice latley, yet with more control. Car more predicable now. Cornering to date has been superb in dry/wet conditions and the sidewall feels firm while offering quiet, comfortable ride. Have not pushed tires too hard yet, as want to give belts and rubber break in period. Yet already feels like an Ultra High Performance tire with intriguing winter capability. Have not yet finished testing and haven’t been in really deep, heavy snow, but if these are first indications of what to expect then we're excited. For higher performance, lower clearance vehicles this should be a serious candidate for winter consideration. Looking forward to also trying the Michelin Xi-3 on other cars, as we are also big fans of the Conti Extreme Winter Contact which was very impressive on a Saab we own. That and the PA4 seem like the real leaders currently. Shall report back as we find out more about PA4 on BMW. Thus far does seem like a game changer in winter segment. Thanks Tirerack.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D

Thursday, February 20, 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 3D Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.82
 
 

2004 Infiniti FX35
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Miles driven on tires: 7,000
Location: Palos Heights, IL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 7,000 Miles on Tires
February 15, 2014

I bought these tires last year, and naturally, here in the Chicago area, it didn't snow at all!

But this year Chicago and north central rural Illinois has been a real testing ground for this tire. Having an all wheel drive vehicle certainly helps quite a bit, but these tires add a level of confidence that I've never experienced in any vehicle before. Extremely good traction on wet surfaces, in bitter sub-zero temperatures, both light and medium snow, as well as the large mounds that leave many vehicles plowed in the parking space on Chicago's side streets. I was amazed at just how well this tread compound handles icy conditions too.

Very good performance at highway speeds... smooth and quiet ride. I don't know how long the tread will last, but I use these tires only during the ice and snow seasons, so I expect to get a few more years out of them. Very highly recommended!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32

Thursday, February 20, 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 LM-32 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.4
 
 

2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Bloomfield Hills, MI
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
February 07, 2014

I have always believed that Blizzaks are the best winter tires you can get. My car feels planted and surefooted with these tires. There is no excessive ABS and traction interventions when I am driving. I am very impressed as how smooth the tires are on the highways and on the back roads. It is comfortable and still provides excellent steering feel unlike the older Bridgestone Blizzaks. It handles better then my all season Michelins. The road noise is average for winter tire. The traction in light snow is fantastic! Even in deep snow, my car can claw through the pack snow plus ice without getting stuck. Compared to Dunlop Wintersport 3D and Michelin Pilot Alpin Pa4 which are also performance oriented tires, the Blizzaks have better handling with better snow capabilities unlike the former two tires. I highly recommend these tires.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D

Tuesday, February 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.

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.82
 
 

2011 BMW 335i xDrive Sedan
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 4,500
Location: Pelham, NH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 4,500 Miles on Tires
February 13, 2014

Good in light snow up to 3 or 4 inches but obviously not as good as non-performance oriented tires in deeper snow. Dry handling and stability are great for snow tires.