I just finished a road ride on performance-oriented all-season SUV tires and tested the Firestone Destination ST, the Kumho Ecsta STX, and the Pirelli Scorpion Zero. Here’s the good and the bad on each.
I started my test with the Firestone Destination ST. The tire was noisy and had a very firm ride. It allowed you to feel every bump and expansion joint that you came across. However, it did have nice steering responsiveness and strong cornering stability. It truly is a performance oriented tire, there is NO focus on ride quality or road manners.
The next tire I tested was the Kumho Ecsta STX. This tire was probably the closest to the "middle ground" if there is one. It was quieter, more comfortable, and had a better ride quality than the Firestone, but was not as responsive and lacked the cornering stability. It is a value-priced tire, and is just that. . .a pretty good value.
The third tire I tested was the Pirelli Scorpion Zero. It had a nice ride quality and road manners, but lacked the performance part. It had poor cornering stability and was not very responsive. I felt that on the first off ramp the tire could not settle into the turn; it was all over the place. It did NOT inspire confidence in the turns. On the road it was the best mannered of the three tires in the test.
There will be more to come! Stay tuned to tirerack.com for all the test results.