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

Thursday, July 31, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

General AltiMAX RT43 (T-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9

2008 Ford Focus SE Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Mount Vernon, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
June 26, 2014

I have recently installed these tires on my Focus and they are great! They are better than the Goodyear Eagle RS-A's that I previously had. I have only had them for about a month but so far, they have been stellar in heavy rain as well as dry roads. These tires inspire confidence and I will buy these tires again. Hopefully I get more mileage out of these than I did with the Goodyear's. The Goodyear's were good for the first 20k miles but then the performance exponentially declined shortly after. Thus far, the Altimax's have proven themselves better than the Goodyear's that they replace. Updates to follow after I put more mileage on them.

Which Tires Last the Longest?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by Gary Stanley

As a consumer shopping for tires, there are many important attributes and characteristics that you should take into consideration. For example, some tires have better wet traction for rainy days, while some are designed to handle winter's toughest conditions. There are tires that focus mostly on maximum dry grip on the race track, and others that are meant to provide a smooth and quiet ride.

Some of these characteristics may be more important to your particular situation than others, but one question that is almost always asked is, "How long will my tires last?" This may even be the most important feature in your tires if you drive many miles on a yearly basis. If you're a driver who has a long daily commute and takes long road trips, consider the following options from a few of our popular performance categories. 

Passenger All-Season

 Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season
Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season
 Goodyear Assurance ComforTred
Goodyear Assurance ComforTred

Standard Touring All-Season

 General AltiMAX RT43
General AltiMAX RT43
 Michelin Defender
Michelin Defender

Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season 

 Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus
Bridgestone Dueler H/L
Alenza Plus
 Continental  CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology

In order to get the most wear out of your tires, be sure check your tires' air pressures often and keep them inflated to your vehicle's recommended pressures. You'll want to check and adjust the pressure first thing in the morning before rising ambient temperatures, the sun's radiant heat or even driving short distances temporarily warms the tires. For more maintenance tips to increase your tires' performance, life and durability, read "Air Pressure: When and How to Set."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

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 DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.18

2010 Ford Fusion
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Miles driven on tires: 50,000
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 50,000 Miles on Tires
May 26, 2014

These tires have been outstanding in all conditions. Snow traction has been phenomenal especially after one of the worst winters in 10 years. Wet traction very good. Tires were quiet but have gotten louder lately due to some uneven wear. Regardless of the other reviewers ill-guided opinions, I don't blame this on the tires, it was due to my car's alignment.

Don't let the fact that some drivers don't care for their cars and/or strike fixed objects reflect poorly on the tires they purchased.

I am purchasing a set for the wife's new Focus and I will be getting a new set for my car before the winter.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology

Tuesday, July 8, 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 PureContact with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.38

2012 Ford Focus 5-Door
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Miles driven on tires: 48,000
Location: Weston, FL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 48,000 Miles on Tires
July 05, 2014

This is my 3rd review of this tire and I was compelled to write. At 48,000 miles, I still have 5/32 tread left of the original 10/32. The "S" in the DWS system is still visible and it rides and handles like the first day I bought them. I have absolutely no doubt this tire will reach or surpass the claimed 70,000 mile tread life. It is the best tire I have ever owned and is a perfect match for my Ford Focus in the 215/55-17 size. A truly incredible tire, it continues to be outstanding in wet weather and more than holds its own in the dry. South Florida is subject to extremes in weather with torrential rains and blistering heat and the Pure Contact inspires driving confidence no matter the conditions. Get a set-you won't be disappointed.

Michelin Replaces Primacy MXV4 with the New Premier A/S

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Michelin is known in the tire industry and by drivers worldwide for their technology and innovation. In 1946, Michelin produced the first radial tire. In 1992, Michelin introduced high silica rubber compounds and Green X technology. Continuing to develop new and exciting products, this year Michelin released the first tire with Evergrip Technology, the Premier A/S.  

What is Evergrip Technology? Simply stated, it reduces the rate of decline in wet traction. The Michelin Premier A/S retains more of its outstanding wet traction as it wears down. 

There are three main components to how this helps the tire perform:

  • Sunflower oil additive in the rubber compound maintains wet traction even in lower temperatures. 
  • Extreme silica acts to further improve wet traction throughout the life of the tire.
  • Emerging Grooves widen as the tire wears, reducing hydroplaning.  
 Michelin Primacy MXV4
Michelin Primacy MXV4
 Michelin Premier A/S
Michelin Premier A/S

This technology is so effective that Michelin is choosing the Premier A/S as the replacement tire for its top-of-the-line Grand Touring All-Season option, the Primacy MXV4. Already an outstanding tire, I installed the Primacy MXV4 on one of my own vehicles. You can read about my experience with this tire in a post titled, "Best All-Weather Tires for Mazda CX-7."

Why did Michelin place such a focus on wet traction? Keep in mind that accidents are more likely to happen on wet roads compared to dry. Drivers rank the ability to stop when a tire when is worn compared to when new as a top consideration when they're purchasing a new set of tires. The Michelin Premier A/S delivers that additional margin of safety when you need it the most!  

Shop by vehicle to see if this tire is available for your application.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Affinity Touring

Thursday, June 5, 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.

Firestone Affinity Touring Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.55

2009 Ford Focus SEL Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 96,000
Location: Mountain Home, ID
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 96,000 Miles on Tires
June 01, 2014

These tires have served me well. Until I see another manufacture do as well as these I will never switch. Your gonna see alot of people bash tires on here because they did not follow the proper balancing procedures and break ins while using these tires. they are quiet and grippy. I love them

How to Choose the Correct Track Tires

Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Are you heading to your first driving school or lapping day? Or are you already a track veteran who's looking to go even faster? Whenever you go to the track, having the right set of tires is essential to going fast, being safe and having fun.

What type of tires do you need to bring for a track event? Depends on the type of event, the expected conditions and the resources available to you.

Take a look at your available options:

Street Tires 

Some people run their cars on the track with the same tires they use on the street. If you're already driving high performance tires, that set may work for you on the track. This scenario works best when you're attending beginner driving schools, casual lapping days or other events where the focus is more on polishing your skills rather than setting fast lap times. Street tires are not recommended for track use, and driving them in a track environment will most likely void their warranty. Keep in mind that if you overdrive them into corners, you could easily render them useless after only one day at the track. An example of this type of tire is the Michelin Pilot Super Sport.

Pros of Running Street Tires:

  • Convenience
  • Price
  • Can drive to the track safely.
  • Most street tires perform well in the rain.

Cons of Running Street Tires:

  • Performance - These tires aren't as fast in dry conditions as track tires.
  • Longevity
  • Getting home - What happens if you lose a tire on the track? Do you have an option for getting home?

Extreme Performance Tires

These options are really a subset of street tires, but they're designed to take the abuse of occasional track days. They have more focus on dry traction and responsive handling. Extreme performance tires can be used on an enthusiast oriented daily driver, or mounted on separate wheels for track use. An example of this tire is the Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 R.

Pros of Extreme Performance Tires:

  • Grip - Better performance than regular street tires.
  • Durability
  • Value - Last longer at the track than normal street tires.
  • Convenience
  • Versatility

Cons of Extreme Performance Tires:

  • Competition - Drivers are at a disadvantage compared to drivers who use dedicated track tires.

Streetable Track Tires 

There are some tires that are essentially track tires, but can be driven to and from the track. They would wear out very quickly if driven daily on the street. These tires will generally have enough tread pattern to handle damp pavement, but will be very prone to hydroplaning. An example of this type of tire is the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo.

Pros of Streetable Track Tires:

  • Grip - These tires will outgrip extreme performance tires.
  • Convenient - If you can swap wheels at home, but your car won't carry a second set of wheels to the track, this can be the perfect solution.
  • Versatility - Some of these tires can work as an intermediate tire for damp or drying track conditions.

Cons of Streetable Track Tires:

  • Give up a little grip compared to the most specialized options.
  • Few miles of use as a street tire.
  • Hydroplaning can be an issue if caught in the rain.

Specialized Track Tires

Track tires provide the ultimate in grip. They discard most streetability characteristics in order to deliver the very best lap times. With lots of grip and shoulders that are generally more square, these tires can be more challenging to drive at their limits. They should be mounted on separate wheels and installed at the track. An example of this type of tire is the Hoosier A7.

Pros of Track Tires:

  • Performance - If you are racing to win, track tires are the way to go.
  • Easiest way to turn faster lap times.

Cons of Track Tires:

  • Track tires won't work in the rain. You need a separate set if rain is a possibility.
  • More challenging to drive at the limit.
  • Often requires suspension modification or a specialized set-up.

Sports Car, Sporty Coupe and Performance Sedan Owners Need to Look at Hankook's Ventus S1 noble2

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Hankook's newest addition to the Ultra High Performance All-Season category is their Ventus S1 noble2. This tire feeds the all-season sport needs of those with sport coupes and performance sedans looking to combine on-road performance with all-season traction in dry, wet and wintry conditions. Unique to Hankook, their Kontrol Technology, along with other innovations, is designed into the tire to ensure controlled driving experiences. The "K" denotes "kinetic" to reflect the interaction of the tire with the road lies at the heart of driving control. Kontrol Technology provides a range of benefits across four areas that drivers identify as key when choosing quality tires: performance, safety, comfort and environmental impact.

The tire also employs a hybrid silica compound technology that combines wet road traction with lower rolling resistance and longer treadlife. This compound is molded into a sophisticated semi-rib asymmetric tread design that features notched outboard shoulders, intermediate and center ribs to deliver responsive handling and stable cornering in dry conditions.

Take a look at what some of our customers are saying about their experience with the Ventus S1 noble2:

"Ever since I got these tires I have been so glad that I got them. The tires I had before were the O.E. and they were supposedly the best on the market, but I tell you what, Hankook tires are so much better -- they should be the ones put on new cars." - Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2013 Ford Focus 5-Door Titanium

"Just put these tires on a week ago so I haven't tried them on wet or snow-covered roads, yet. As soon as I pulled away from the install shop, I noticed a huge difference in noise and feel. Granted my old tires were just about shot, but these new Hankooks on my 7 Series are AWESOME! The ride feels and sounds so much better than before, it was almost like driving a new car. I never knew a tire could make that much of a difference. Totally satisfied and didn't have to pay a fortune." - Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2004 BMW 745Li 

To see how the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 performed on our test track, read "Testing Value-Priced Ultra High Performance All-Season Tires."