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 General G-MAX AS-03

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.

General G-MAX AS-03 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.7
 
 

2000 Chrysler 300M
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Miles driven on tires: 2,840
Location: Medford, NJ
Driving Condition:

Spirited


Initial Review, 2,840 Miles on Tires
December 19, 2013

I purchased Generals for their low price and wet traction. They perform very well in wet, dry and snow - better than the General Altimax HP previously purchased. Hopefully, they last better than the Altimax's which lasted only about 30,000 miles.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General AltiMAX RT43

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.

General AltiMAX RT43 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.6
 
 

2011 Kia Sorento
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Corfu, NY
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
December 18, 2013

Well Only have them on for 500 miles but timing couldn't be better for Winter Rating as we have a couple feet of snow here in Buffalo. Hwy ride is excellent and very little is an road noise. Snow traction is super, I was concerned when I purchased, as the RT's have bad reviews and my friend slid in a ditch with hers , but the RT 43's are truly different. They handled the Light and deep snow great and the ice as well as a tire can. Will update once we get rid of the snow and have more miles on them. For the price you can't beat these tires.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Grabber HTS

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.

General Grabber HTS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.15
 
 

2007 Honda Pilot EX 2WD
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Miles driven on tires: 65,000
Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 65,000 Miles on Tires
December 16, 2013

So great, I'd just bought my second set. After spending several hours searching reviews for a better set, I decided to go back with the tires I was 100% satisfied with. Very responsive to braking and accelerating. Okay for side stability/cornering... in part due to worn suspension (shocks, bushings and sway bar links) and the high center of gravity for Honda Pilots. Road noise was hardly noticeable compared to the original Goodyear Integrity. Compared to them, tread lasted much longer on the HTS. One advice: do not let their price tag disguise you.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Grabber AT 2

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.

General Grabber AT 2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 10
 
 

2011 Ford Ranger Sport
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Denver, CO
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
December 15, 2013

Great traction - wet, ice, and snow. Huge boost in confidence in my truck's ability to handle the elements over OEM tires. While they are very quiet, you can definitely feel the tread when driving over 70 mph on a smooth highway. But, that is to be expected with such an aggressive tread and I personally don't consider it a negative. They handle the torn up roads of Denver very well with less bounce than the OEM tires. I used to lose the back-end if the roads were just slightly wet, while in 4 wheel drive, with the OEM set. With these, in 2 wheel drive, I can corner in the rain instead of pray I don't hit someone or something. Overall, these tires exceed my expectations, they are priced right, look right, and handle great.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax HP

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.

General Altimax HP Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.25
 
 

2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2wd
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Miles driven on tires: 28,120
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 28,120 Miles on Tires
December 15, 2013

I drive a little more spirited than the avg. driver, but not a lot. I'm at 28k mileage on this set and looking for new tires. I may however get these again because of the value in them, it's hard to beat the price. Styling is fairly important to me so the directional tread of these tires is appealing to me. I do wish they'd last longer though, I'd gladly give-up a little dry whether traction for 15k more miles.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General AltiMAX RT43

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.

General AltiMAX RT43 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.62
 
 

2002 Dodge Intrepid ES
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Woodbridge, NJ
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
December 14, 2013

I just got these tires. They are ok, but I'm not terribly impressed. I think they are overpriced probably by about $10/ea. Perhaps it is due to me going from a grand touring to a standard touring tire. There is a lot of flex in the sidewall of this tire. For about $15 more you can get a better performing, higher speed rated tire (600 A A) with a road hazard warranty included instead of these (700 A A). Least impressive it's hydroplaning resistance. For a brand new tire, they don't pump much water at 72MPH. If you are the type to drive 5-10MPH under in the rain, these tires might be more up your alley. I read the road test results and was concerned about it's dry stopping distance, but I haven't noticed a problem with that. General tires seem to have a characteristic of developing a flat spot when parked overnight. These are no exception but that seems to go away after riding a very short distance (1/4 mile.) What also may be due to note is that if the tire is repaired from a puncture, the warranty is voided. I opted for a cheaper tire on my older car. It did lessen the impact on my wallet. I think I revealed how this tire is not a Michelin, and if you are attracted by a lower price tag how this tire might be ok for you. I'm a bit surprised how well it did in test results, perhaps it was tested against tires that are just average or below average.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

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.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.82
 
 

1996 Pontiac Bonneville SE
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Miles driven on tires: 16,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 16,000 Miles on Tires
December 11, 2013

I've run Blizzaks as winter tires for years, but I have not been happy with the high noise and poor performance on dry pavement. So after seeing the positive reviews on tirerack for Altimax Arctics, I decided to buy a set.

I am so glad I did. These winter tires are as quiet as my summer tires. During hard stops on dry pavement, the Altimax tires grip where the Blizzaks would lose traction. My ABS activates much less frequently. Directional stability is much improved as well.

These tires truly shine in the snow. Their performance in deep snow, packed snow, and even ice is beyond amazing. I live near the mountains in Colorado, and we get lots of deep snow. I've managed to get out of my neighborhood in my front wheel drive car while my neighbors with all wheel drive cars, SUVs struggled to even get out of their driveway. These tires perform far beyond their price point. Buy a set allready!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

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.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.4
 
 

2003 Toyota Highlander 2wd
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Miles driven on tires: 25,000
Location: Windham, NH
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 25,000 Miles on Tires
December 09, 2013

I put the tires on yesterday for their seventh season. At 25,000 miles, the tires are not as good as they were new, but they are still very good as today's snow proved. These tires are fantastic in snow and generally good all around. Naturally, I try to minimize the fair weather use to preserve them for real winter driving, but they are fine in normal weather. I don't think you can get better winter tires at any price. These are a great bargain.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

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.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.12
 
 

2001 Subaru Forester S
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Miles driven on tires: 40,000
Location: Hoosick Falls, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 40,000 Miles on Tires
December 07, 2013

Amazing tire, great traction especially in light to moderate snow, excellent rain traction and hydroplane resistance. Got about 40,000 on my last set and they exceeded my expectations, not the best mileage life but can prevent you from losing your life during those rough winter commutes. Good cornering but wouldn't recommend flying around any corners. The grip is the most impressive part, makes you feel like you're stuck to the road and that's the most impressive part. Last winter it just did amazing so much so I wrote General Tire a personal thank you and they sent me a customer appreciation package with lots of accessories. Great tire, and great price, worth the buy!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax RT

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.

General Altimax RT Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.11
 
 

1999 Chevrolet Lumina
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Reading, PA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
December 06, 2013

I got these tires last March to replace nearly 8 year old BF Goodrich tires( great tires). The price was good for the tires and will probably be the last tires I buy for the car as its now almost 15 years old.
The traction in rain is excellent and the one or two slushy wet snows were good but they haven't really been tested in snow yet. The noise level is good. But the ride over bumps and ruts is pretty harsh. I'd probably buy different tires that road better and handled shocks better but the tires have given good road grip and handling on roads in dry and rain.

 

Hankook Ventus S1 noble2: Great Performance at a Value Price

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

The Ventus S1 noble2 is the newest Ultra High Performance All-Season tire offered from Hankook and a recent Tire Rack test showed the tire to be one of the best in its performance category. In our test, "Testing Value-Priced Ultra High Performance All-Season Tires," the Ventus S1 noble2 proved to be a top performer in key areas like ride comfort, road noise and wet traction. We compared Firestone's Firehawk Wide Oval AS, the General G-MAX AS-03, Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season and Hankook Ventus S1 noble2.

 Hankook Ventus S1 noble2
Hankook Ventus S1 noble2
 Hankook Ventus S1 noble2
Hankook Ventus S1 noble2


The Ventus S1 noble2 (H452) is developed for drivers of sports cars, sporty coupes and performance sedans looking to combine on-road performance with all-season traction in dry, wet and wintry conditions. Designed to provide Hankook's ideal ultra high performance all-season balance, the Ventus S1 noble2 blends handling and cornering performance with all-season traction, even in light snow.

Ventus S1 noble2 tires use hybrid compound technology silica 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. Four circumferential grooves and inboard Aqua Hydro Block technology provide efficient wet traction and braking. Carving edge grooves and 3D sipes promote wet road and wintertime traction without abandoning dry road response and handling.

If you're looking to get the most tire for your money, the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 is definitely a great performing tire at a value price.

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
 
 

2006 Scion tC
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Miles driven on tires: 6,000
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 6,000 Miles on Tires
December 06, 2013

Run these year round. People say don't but I do. The best out there for the price. I have blizzaks too and these tire out performs those one for the price. I have bought these tires for all my cars and have not been disappointed. Keep making these tires please. My corolla has had them on for five years without taking them off and still good in the recent storm we got in mn. Buy it. Don't listen to others about tires u can't afford buy these.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Grabber HTS

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 Grabber HTS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.55
 
 

2005 Toyota Tundra Double Cab Limited 4wd
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Omaha, NE
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
April 05, 2011

I have now driven the Grabbers through all the eliments. Compared with the OEM tires these are in a different league. There is no weak characteristic. I measured treadwear at 7500 miles and it was about 1/32. At that rate they should go well beyond 80k miles. With low initial cost I can't see any reason to spend the extra money for Michelin or Goodyear. The Grabbers are likley better than the available Goodyears and as good, possibly better, then Michelin. In the past I have always chosen the big brand name tires, I was very reluctant to look at General. Just did not figure it could play with the big boys. Now I am getting ready to buy the wife tires for her mini-van and General is high on my list. Price aside these are hard to beat, take price into consideration and they may be unbeatable.

 

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

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 G-MAX AS-03 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer
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Miles driven on tires: 38,000
Location: Buffalo, NY
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 38,000 Miles on Tires
January 15, 2014

Dear concerned all-season high-performance tire buyers,
As many of you know it is not cheap to buy tires in rare sizes that can handle all weather conditions, much less give you extended tread wear life. I recently purchased my second set of these tires to trudge through my 4-season situation in Buffalo, NY. Now don't get me wrong I love my town but its weather changes everyday, it can range from slush to deep snow to a flood zone to beautifully sunny in less than 2 days. With all of that said I purchased 4 g-max tires to replace my OEM Dunlop sport tires around late 2011(which the Dunlops wore insanely fast, and couldn't handle wet roads much less snow). At the time I considered spending some extra cash and getting a set of continental extreme DWS tires, because at that time the g-max was a brand new tire with little to no reviews. I had an eclipse before the lancer with General Altimax tires on it and was very pleased, so I went the G-Max route. I couldn't have been happier with this tire for the price and its ability to handle dry, wet, and snow with still getting 38,000+ miles out of them, and only had to change them when I hit a large crater in the road we call potholes here and blew out a side wall. The wet condition handling is AMAZING. Never once have I hydro-planed even through large puddles at highway speeds. Snow handling is well above average for a high-performance tire, and dry cornering is also very good but what shines for this tire is it multi-function ability and its value. Needless to say I bought another set as I mentioned and just put them on today it feels like I'm driving a new car again, such a great feeling. And as a frequent Tire Rack customer and review reader I felt it was my time to finally give a little info back. Happy driving!

 

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: 9.73
 
 

2008 Honda CRV LX
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Towaco, NJ
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
January 23, 2014

The perfect winter tire. I replaced my all-seasons with a set of these and now I can drive with confidence in the snow. I researched snow tires to death before I decided on these and it was a great decision. When I'm buying tires I spend almost too much time researching online because of the high expense and I want the best for my money. You cant beat the price for the performance. I priced out local shops for 17" tires for my CRV and I ended up saving money by downsizing the wheel to a 16"and going with a rim/wheel combo from tire rack. So far the performance is perfect given the limits of my FWD car. Driving up steep hills with these in FWD will still spin your tires but I can at least pass people that don't obviously have winter tires. My biggest concern with snow and ice driving is cornering and BRAKING! Last week I had to brake hard at a stop light on snow and the ABS didnt even activate. The tires did their job. On the cornering, I still use great caution but I have not had any problems with these so far. If your trying to decide on which snow tire is better than the other and are stuck on a few different brands, stop wasting your time and but the Arctic's!.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

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.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.91
 
 

2007 Ford Fusion SEL
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Miles driven on tires: 35,000
Location: Boise, ID
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 35,000 Miles on Tires
January 16, 2014

I ran a set of the Conti ExtremeContactDWS through a full life on my Fusion. Treadwear was better than the other two sets of tires this car has worn, but not outstanding. I believe the first generation Fusions have a compromised front end alignment that increases the outside shoulder wear. I strongly believe with a camber change in front these tires would have lasted about 10000 more miles as the inner 60% of the tread surface had life left while the outer 40% was into the wear bars when replaced. Winter traction with the DWS was very good in ice, snow and wet conditions, at least throught the S portion of the tread. Cornering response and feel was good, a little softer turn in than some performance tires, but the limits are high and the feedback at the limit is good. Straight line and braking traction is very good. Fuel economoy was better with the DWS than either tire the car had before as well. I liked these tires enough to replace them with the same when the first set wore out, as well as putting them on another car that my son owns. The price point is very good for the performance and wear life of the tires. I have recommended this model tire to friends with performance cars, and they have been happy with them as well.

 

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: 9.9
 
 

2007 Honda Accord Sedan EX-L V6
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Miles driven on tires: 600
Location: Lyndon Center, VT
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 600 Miles on Tires
November 29, 2013

Here in Vermont, I've had two occasions of 'real' winter driving with these tires this November: 1st, on granular/slushy/wet conditions and 2nd, in much deeper snow. These tires have superb grip on icy situations benefited by the sipes [sp?] incorporated in the tread design and they churn through deeper snow just fine. They are very quiet which was unexpected... even quieter than my summer rain tires. Steering is quick and secure giving the driver a solid confidence level. I have a set of four on both of my Hondas and can't say enough good things as to how satisfied I am. The price tag was very reasonable. I have been driving in severe winter conditions for most of my life, therefore I am a very experienced northern Vermont driver. I highly recommend these winter tires.

 

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 ArcticReviewer's Overall Rating: Not Rated

2001 Infiniti I30
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Miles driven on tires: 15
Location: Hartford, WI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 15 Miles on Tires
December 17, 2011

Just had these installed this morning with a fresh coating of light, slick snow on the roads. My drive to the shop on my old, severely worn Michelens was putrid. The car spun its wheels with the smallest of acceleration, even on just wet roads...the snow was like an ice rink. After getting the General's put on, the difference is unbelievable. Even on steep inclines with slippery hard pack, I didn't loose traction at all even under heavy acceleration. For a car with no traction control, I was in dire need of a good performing snow tire and these have initially proven to exceed my expectation. Compared to the Firestone Winterforce tires I ran the past two winters on my previous vehicle, I can tell already these out-perform them, at least in terms of traction. The Firestones were on a car with T/C and even still had troubles finding grip in slick conditions on accelerating from a dead stop. Still have yet to try the Generals in anything deep, but I have every confidence they will handle it with ease.

The only thing I have noticed thus far that I would take away points for is that the car doesn't track quite as well with these on it. Going on a straight line there is some sway to adjust for, though nothing overly worrisome, and the steering response is a bit loose. However, that said, these are snow tires and my only expectation from them is to handle winters worst, not win races.

Time will tell the ultimate conclusion on these things, but initial impressions indicate that these tires are the real deal...and at a price that you can't complain about. Buy them, you wont regret it!!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax HP

Thursday, January 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.

General Altimax HP Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.75
 
 

2002 Honda Civic EX Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Harrison, TN
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
December 12, 2013

Great tire for the price and love the traction.