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 Radial Mud Rover

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.

Dunlop Radial Mud Rover Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8
 
 

2001 Jeep Wrangler Sport
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average
 

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

I have just recommended this tire to someone else. I will definitely be buying these tires again. Well worth the money I spent for them.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 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.

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.38
 
 

2008 Audi A4 2.0T quattro
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Miles driven on tires: 25,000
Location: Dublin, CA
Driving Condition: Easy Going
 

Initial Review, 25,000 Miles on Tires
October 18, 2011

This is my second-set of these tires, and they are outstanding for day-to-day use. But, they are pretty-good on spirited drives through winding mountain roads around the San Francisco Bay Area. I take them off in the summer, bout sometimes I only get them off in August through the end-of-October in order to wear my Michelin 19"-ers. My wet-month tires are the 18"ers. Since I rotate from 18-to-19's, I am not totally sure about the mileage, and I rotate tires religously-- but they seam to wear forever. I have tried Pirelli, Dunlop, and the Yok's. But these are by far the best tires I have ever had

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin LTX M/S2

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 LTX M/S2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.92
 
 

2009 Lexus GX470
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Miles driven on tires: 25,000
Location: Groveland, IL
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 25,000 Miles on Tires
February 16, 2014

Car came with Dunlop tires. I cannot believe Lexus put those tires on this car. I got rid of them at 25K. I have a 2000 LX 470 and have always been happy with the LTX M/S. These tires are even better. There is nothing bad about this tire. Bought at Tire Rack. Had dealer mount 'em. Better everything: handling, ride, traction and even gas mileage. I hunt, so in addition to city/highway, I do cornfields, creeks and every other type of off-road driving that can be found in the Midwest. The only thing that keeps me from buying a Range Rover Sport is that I cannot find these tires for that truck. I still have my LX 470 and still use the LTX M/S on that truck (it has 287K). I'm not necessarily a Michelin freak. My wife has a Lexus RX and I'm putting Continentals on that. But for the larger SUVs, the LTX M/S is fantastic tire. I like the M/S 2 better than the M/S, but they don't make it for the '00 LX470. When my friends are stuck in their Range Rovers, I'm going strong, mainly because of the traction these tires afford. On the highway, rain, snow, and sun, the tires handle well and are quiet. I'm 63 and have driven a car/truck farther in reverse than most have driven in forward. These tires are simply the best. If they make 'em to fit your vehicle, buy them. You will thank me. I promise. And I don't work for Michelin or anybody else in any auto related industry.

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.

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: 4.27
 
 

2011 Honda CR-Z
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Miles driven on tires: 37,000
Location: Chaska, MN
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 37,000 Miles on Tires
March 01, 2014

37000 miles driven in a Honda CRZ (hybrid) and these tires are worn out. Dry traction was initially very good, but the wear quickly reared it ugly head in not only the dry traction, but became a white knuckle experience in wet conditions, and heavy rains meant handling was just short of water skiing. Driving in Minnesota snow conditions never was acceptable, and in slush or on ice it was terrifying. Sub-zero temperatures made the tires noticeably hard and further decreased traction and handling.

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

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 Winter Sport 4D Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.1
 
 

2012 Mazda Mazda3 4-Door
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Miles driven on tires: 2,500
Location: Bartlett, IL
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 2,500 Miles on Tires
March 02, 2014

Great Snow Tire. Acceleration, braking and cornering are very good. I find them to be just as quiet as the OEM Summer tires. I have two Mazda-3 vehicles: one with the 4Ds one with the 3Ds. The 4Ds seems to have improved braking over the 3Ds, the other attributes are similar (I can't tell any difference). These tires love the wet snow, they rip through it with ease. They handle the hard pack snow well. They are less effective in the light powdery stuff when it gets over 3 or 4 inches. On the highway they are quiet, predictable and do not wander. Very happy with my purchase of the 4Ds.

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."

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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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 Direzza DZ101

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 Direzza DZ101 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.25
 
 

2003 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T
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Miles driven on tires: 30,000
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 30,000 Miles on Tires
February 14, 2014

I read the reviews of this tire and have to laugh when people say they are weak in the dry traction area. I drive VERY spirited through tight mountain roads and they are fantastic. They out preform the Michelin, Kumho, and Continental sport tires hands down. These things stick like glue and lose traction very predictably. If you have trouble with traction or ultimate grip with these tires it is NOT the tires lol. My son runs the DZ 1, I know it is a softer compound then the 101, on and his M3 suspension binds before his tires lose grip. He has run both and had the same experience I had. I bought them on this site and am thinking about getting them again for another car. They do not last as long as the others I mentioned but that is the trade off for the grip you get. My "5" means average my "10" means exceeds expectations.

 

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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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.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec

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 Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2005 Pontiac GTO
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
February 12, 2014

best up grade i made, by far. already changed to stiff anti-sway bars, shock tower support, battery in trunk, poly bushings............i would buy the dunlops again, and again.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport

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.

BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.12
 
 

2003 Ferrari
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
February 07, 2014

Very good out perform goodyear, Dunlop etc for this price range

 

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: 8.73
 
 

2011 Volkswagen GTI
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Miles driven on tires: 9,000
Location: Webster, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 9,000 Miles on Tires
February 12, 2014

I live in Rochester, NY and we have some severe winter storms with lake effect snow. These tires are fantastic in the snow. I have tremendous confidence while driving in the snow with these tires. My other concern when purchasing them is that they would be noisy. These tires are incredibly quiet and no noisier than my all seasons.

If you need good winter tires get these!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Thursday, February 6, 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: 9.3
 
 

2011 BMW 550i Sedan M Sport Package
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Shrewsbury, MA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
January 31, 2014

These tires ride better than the summer OEM Dunlops. ear whell drive in the snow is fine. In the drive very smooth and quiet.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Thursday, February 6, 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
 
 

2010 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Greenwich, CT
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
February 03, 2014

I took delivery of the Sportwagen in October 2010. The OEM tires were new when they faced their first snowy season in Connecticut. I was constantly checking tire pressures because the handling in the lite snow and dry was terrible. I resigned my self thinking, "Be glad with the TDI but the Sportwagen is no handler.

This winter is above average for snowfall in Connecticut and the driving on uncleared roads is mission critical for me; getting my four year-old daughter safely back and forth to school. I decided to get dedicated snows for the winter. I've had Blizzaks, Dunlops even Firestone studded tires on other family cars. I liked what I read about the Michelin X-Ice3's and decided to try them. The Michelin X-Ice3's replaced the OEM all-season Hankooks. What a difference! I keep anticipating a slide or skid, but the X-Ice3's have raised the bar when driving in the snow.

OK, you would expect them to be way better than OEM All-Seasons in snow. But, the real surprise was that the X-Ice3's have better grip than the OEM tires did in both dry and rainy conditions. No more loss of traction when accelerating.
I've changed my mind, the Jetta TDI is a pretty good handling car. I expect the Michelins to wear longer than the Blizzaks I had. Come the spring I intend to treat the Sportwagen to a set of summer-performance tires; probably Michelin's.

 

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

Thursday, February 6, 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: 8.27
 
 

2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
February 03, 2014

This is my second winter on these tires, I have used winter tires on my cars for years now, even though we haven't been getting as much snow around here as we used to growing up. I love that with these tires I can actually drive my Carrera in the snow, rather than keep it parked like a garage queen. Since most folks in my area don't switch to snow tires, they are utterly baffled when they see me driving with ease in several inches of snow. Braking performance in snowy conditions is fantastic.

General cold weather driving, sans snow, is very good. The tires maintain their grip on dry roads, slide progressively and aren't as squirmy in the tread as some winters are. The downside is a bit of tire noise, especially under braking, but it's not too bad. Hydroplane resistance is very good, even in heavy rain.

Keep your performance car on the road even ion winter weather! Highly recommend.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Winter Maxx

Thursday, February 6, 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: 7.8
 
 

2009 Honda Fit Sport
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Washington, DC
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
February 03, 2014

Living in Washington, DC, I have to consider the purchase of winter tires to be a luxury item primarily for mountain weekends. I didn't want the all-seasons on my Honda Fit to keep me from safely getting to various ski destinations anymore. They haven't seen too many snow storms in the 3000 miles I've driven, but when the roads were covered, I was very impressed (relative to the all-seasons). I had no trouble climbing steep snow-covered grades, and felt very confident in my ability to stop, steer, and start moving on multiple snow surfaces. Being on a Honda Fit, I haven't tried them in anything more than about 6 inches unpacked, but I'm very happy with how they've performed. These Dunlops are slightly noisier on dry roads, but the Fit isn't a quiet car to begin with...so it isn't anything overly annoying. I can't really comment on treadwear at this point, but their dry and wet performance (non-frozen) hasn't ever caused me any concern with my driving style (I do occasionally take turns and exit ramps a bit fast).
Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase - I went with a lower-priced winter tire from TireRack since I had never purchased winter tires before and didn't think I'd benefit from any added performance of more expensive models (I walk to work, and don't really drive that much anyway - maybe 8000 miles per year). After a few snow/ice events in town and two very snowy mountain trips, I'm very glad I purchased them. I'd probably need to do a back-to-back test of various winter tire models to convince myself that I should upgrade to a pricier model...at least for my expected usage.