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 General G-MAX AS-03

Wednesday, March 26, 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: 7
 
 

2013 Ford Mustang GT Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Harleysville, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
March 19, 2014

I have these mounted on a 2013 Mustang GT, with 245front, 275 rear. For the most part, I am very pleased with the tire. My only concern is in wet weather, during spirited acceleration, these will break loose pretty quickly. Not just during active rain, just on wet roads, these will start spinning if I am not careful. Wet braking is very good, and if I had to choose, I would much rather have the tires hold during braking. Having the back tires break loose when you hit third gear on wet roads reduces trust in the tire. I have had other high performance cars and tire, but never one with 420 hp, so that could be part of the problem(?) Tires look great, would buy them again.

Free Shipping on Coil-Overs, Pads, Rotors, Springs, Shocks and More When You Spend Over $50

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Most drivers know us for our tires and wheels, comprehensive tire testing and billions of miles of review feedback. However, we offer more than tires and wheels. We've got coil-overs, pads, rotors, springs, shocks and a myriad of other items that are now eligible for free shipping. All it takes is $50 of qualifying products and the shipping's on us.

For example, if your light truck is ready for new shocks and struts, it's hard to beat the offerings from Bilstein. Bilstein makes the HD products for many light trucks, as well as passenger cars. We hear many trucks owners rave about their Bilstein HD shocks and struts.

Bilstein's shocks and struts are built to meet the fitment and performance needs of specific vehicles. And their patented design reduces the need for a compromise between ride, handling and control. Their rigorous development, testing and attention to detail combine to provide exceptional ride comfort and a product that will out last and out perform Original Equipment. Additionally, with Bilstein's aftermarket lifetime warranty, you can be assured they're built to last.

When engineered properly, a strut or shock will exert only moderate rebound damping on the high-velocity damper piston speeds encountered on tar strips and small road imperfections. They also increase rebound damping on lower-velocity damper piston speeds encountered on curvy roads and exit ramps. This leads to a great combination of ride compliance on rough roads combined with handling. One of my co-workers raves about how the Bilstein HD performs on his first-generation 2001 Toyota Tacoma 4WD Double Cab.

Free shipping offer does not apply to tire and wheel purchases. It is valid for retail customers in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia. For complete details on our free shipping, visit here.

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 Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season

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.

Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.55
 
 

2006 Honda Odyssey
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location: Saint John, IN
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
March 13, 2014

We did have the Goodyear Triple Tread on our 2004 Honda Odyessy and it has performed extremely well. Our primary focus was to find an all season tire that perfomed very well in the rain or snow. The Triple Tread on the 2004 Odyessy exceded our expectations. The 2004 Honda sized tires did not create ANY noise issues, and we are pleased with the ride and safety handling on this van. When our 2006 Honda Odyessy needed new tires the Goodyear Triple Tread was a first choice, even though we considered the Michelin tires. We did get the Goodyear for the 2006 Honda in the 16inch stock size and I drove them home and could not believe the noise level! In this 16 inch size the interior noise level is louder than a truck tire. On the 2006 Honda these tires do handle well and are very good in light to medium snow. They do drive very well in the rain, but the noise level is way too high for a all season tire. If I had to do it over I would not choose this same tire. I do hope that Goodyear does look into the design of this tire (in the 16 by 225 version) and modify it to reduce the sound. I would easily give up some tread life to reduce the sound..Thx

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Wrangler SilentArmor

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.

Goodyear Wrangler SilentArmor Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.67
 
 

2010 Ford Escape 2wd
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Miles driven on tires: 8,000
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 8,000 Miles on Tires
March 13, 2014

Just moved to Michigan this year from the south... Surprise! Worst winter in 20+ years. I bought these tires as a possible alternative to dedicated winter tires due to the high mileage my car sees. A lot of other reviewers were claiming 70,000+ miles and that sounded great with a tire that could handle winter weather. (they have the mountain/snowflake on the side) I braced myself for a noisy, bumpy ride as the car came with a Michelin touring tire originally. I can honestly say, these tires are quieter and ride almost as smoothly as the Michelin's. That said, the Michelin's were worn when I replaced them so I don't hold the noise against them. These tires have never left me stuck or stranded and I didn't usually spin or slide unless I was trying to. A few times I had to disable the traction control to let them spin and clear. This was only in slow speed situations like cutting fresh tracks in 8+ inches of heavy wet snow. Not sure you can ask anymore for a longer treadlife all-terrain in my opinion. My biggest complaint in the 8,000+ miles I have had them comes from the fact that they tend to "catch" grooves or seams in the highway which can be unnerving when the road is icy. I noticed it the first day I had the tires and now I have gotten more used to it and it is less of an issue but at first it did get my attention. Overall, I would and already have recommend these tires. Not the best winter solution, not the best off-road solution, definitely not the best for mpg's or handling performance. Just a really good mix of life, traction, and so far low noise.

Introducing Continental's New Track Tire, the ContiForceContact

Monday, March 17, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Continental has brought their Streetable Track & Competition tire, the ContiForceContact, over from Europe. Developed at the world famous Nürburgring circuit, the ContiForceContact is built to deliver extremely high levels of dry traction along with precise steering response and predictable cornering behavior. It is designed to allow driving on the street, though caution should be taken when driving in heavy rain. While it is built to resist hydroplaning, the tire is not recommended for high-speed driving on extremely wet roads/tracks with standing water where there is the risk of hydroplaning.

The ContiForceContact competes with other Streetable Track & Competition tires such as the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup and Pirelli P Zero Corsa System. It offers exceptional performance at the track while allowing drivers to drive to and from the track without changing their wheels and tires. With a treadwear rating of 80, the ContiForceContact isn't intended for long service on the road. The tire would work best on a set of wheels used for track days and performance driving events, or on a second car that is driven primarily for fun. 

ContiForceContact tires are molded with approximately 6/32" of tread depth in their grooves and are left unshaved for use on damp tracks. While the tires do not require shaving for dry track use, their durability and lap time performance will improve if shaved to approximately 4/32" deep tread to begin competitive road racing/track use in dry conditions, however this will sacrifice treadlife.

To learn more about tire shaving as an effective means of permitting more of a tire's performance capability, read "Shaving Tires for Autocross / Track Use / Competition."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

Thursday, March 13, 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.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.71
 
 

2003 Subaru Outback Wagon
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
March 10, 2014

Tires are basically brand new but from the minute I got in the car and drove away I knew I made the best decision I could have buying these tires. We immediately took a trip from our town of St. Michaels Md. to Washington D C and it was pure bliss. The car felt, and sounded, like a new car again. Absolutely the best tire I have ever rolled on. Quiet, and I mean quiet, comfortable, and responsive to every urging of the steering wheel.
I obviously can not comment on tread wear yet but I am pretty confident, well, hopefull. It would be a shame if the tread wear was lacking when everything else about this tire is so stellar.
Response was great. The car responded immediately to the steering wheel, not having the usual delay of new tires with the increased tread squirm delay. Driving in D C can be a challenge at times and one is often forced to make some very last minute decisions and moves in traffic and as always I was forced to execute several of these and the tires performed like a Dall Sheep high in the Rockies, so sure footed and always under complete control. I expect them to only get better with a little break in. My wife could even tell a difference and believe me, if she noticed a difference, there is a BIG difference. She also commented on the quietness of the tires, so again, big difference.
These are the very first Pirelli tires we have ever had and I have to say, we are very impressed.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-Season

Thursday, March 13, 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.

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-Season Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.4
 
 

2006 Mazda RX-8 6-Speed Manual
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Miles driven on tires: 5,700
Location: Knoxville, TN
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 5,700 Miles on Tires
February 13, 2014

Follow up from my last post. Great tires. Light snow traction is actually good. Suprised actually. As all my other "all-season" ultra high performance tires weren't that great in snow except the Continental DWS. These are like them in the snow and much better than them in the corners.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow

Thursday, March 13, 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.

Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.9
 
 

2011 Lincoln MKS AWD
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
February 28, 2014

245/45R20 - Great tire for winter weather, which we have had a boatload of this year. The tire takes the worry right out of bad weather commuting. It cuts right through the snow and slush and seems to offer a decent grip on glare ice. Coupled with the car's AWD, it's like I'm driving a rally car/tank when other cars around me struggle to move. I probably drive with too much confidence, to be honest. The dry performance sees a reduction in steering precision and ultimate dry traction, which is standard for a winter tire. The noise is also somewhat elevated due to the open block design and high sipe density. I purchased a second set of these for my wife's SUV, which now enjoys the same benefits.

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.

Getting the Most From Your Competition Tires

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

You want your competition tires to last as long as possible and perform their best when in use. How can you maximize the amount of wear and increase response/handling at the same time? Luckily, Tire Rack offers competition tire heat cycling and shaving for these exact needs.

Any tread design that breaks up the contact patch into smaller elements or adds additional tread depth (required to enhance wet traction) will increase tread block squirm and reduce dry performance. Tire shaving is an effective means of permitting more of a tire's performance capability to be realized early in its life. And in many cases, shaved tires used in competition actually have a longer useful life than tires that enter competition at full tread depth. Full tread depth tires tend to squirm more, which can build up heat that can overwork the tire causing irregular wear or damage. Shaving a tire also reduces weight and provides slightly more footprint on the ground by increasing its contact patch. We shave tires by removing tread rubber from a new tire on a specialized machine that operates as a tire lathe. This service can also be performed on street tires used for competition use. Our tire shaving service ranges between $25 and $35 per tire.

Like many high performance parts, high performance tires will last longer if properly broken in. The first time Track & Competition DOT tires go into service is very important. All tires deflect under load and their tread rubber compounds repeatedly stretch and relax as they roll into and out of contact with the road. This stretching breaks some of the weaker bonds between the tread rubber molecules, generating heat. If a new Track & Competition DOT tire is initially run too aggressively, too hot or too long, some of the stronger bonds will also be broken which reduces its grip and wear. Cycling a tire through an easy heat cycle and letting it cool over a 24-hour period will allow the stronger molecules to bond back together in a more uniform manner than they were originally manufactured. Heat cycling actually makes Track & Competition DOT tread compounds more consistent in strength and more resistant to losing their strength the next time they're used.

Our heat cycling service begins by mounting the tire on an appropriate-width wheel and inflating it to the desired pressure. It's then placed in our heat cycling machine which has three rollers positioned at the corners of a triangle. The tread flexes where it comes into contact with each of the rollers, stretching the rubber compound enough to progressively bring it up to temperature all the way around the tire and across the tread. There is no artificial heat added by an oven, forced air or heat lamp. Tread temperature is monitored with a pyrometer to confirm when the tire has reached the desired 170-180° F temperature. The tire is then dismounted and stamped as Tire Rack heat cycled. Since the minimum 24-hour waiting period typically occurs while the tires are in transit, the tires are ready to use when they arrive! The only thing our heat cycling service doesn’t do is scuff in the tires. Heat cycling service costs $15 per tire.

To learn more about this process, read "Competition Tire Heat Cycling Service."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position

Monday, March 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.

Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.38
 
 

2009 Honda Civic Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 35,000
Location: Clinton, NJ
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 35,000 Miles on Tires
February 21, 2014

I've used many tires in the last 35 years, usually I go for high performance, but long lasting tires. Out of all the tires I've bought the Potenza RE970AS Pole Position were hands down the very best tires I've bought, dry and wet traction, hydroplaning resistance, steering responsiveness, and cornering stability, exceed every all weather tires and some well known dedicated summer tires. Period. I never drove them in the snow, but in cold weather (15-40 degrees)they became a little slippery when being pushed hard, but always very predictable. In the dry or wet, cold or hot, you always knew what these tires were doing. Fairly comfortable for the type of tires they are (UHP, and reasonably quite, the only annoying sound came from the slap of expansion joints. I will definitely buy again.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Destination LE 2

Monday, March 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.

Firestone Destination LE 2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.75
 
 

2003 Dodge Durango 4WD
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Miles driven on tires: 100
Location: Osceola, WI
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 100 Miles on Tires
February 22, 2014

Just went through one of the worst winter storms in Minnesota/Wisconsin. Had to drive to the airport in Minnesota. These tires handled the ice on the freeway very well. The Off ramps were not plowed on the way home. The first off ramp to not be plowed was getting off of I-694 to HWY 36 snow was at least a foot deep. Yes I put my trusty Dodge Durango in 4H and and let er rip, I had my doubts about this tire and no longer do handled that off ramp like a champ. Then came the fun part.... I live in rural Wisconsin and when I got close to home ...no roads had been plowed, again had to put the old Durango in 4H and plow through about a mile and a half of snow drift that were about four feet high, it was a scary ride but these Firestone's did not have a problem with the high drifts and got me home bottom line. I was thinking of getting a pure A/T tire but now know these LE 2 tires out performed what I thought they could do. Nice tire !! If they keep it the same I will be buying these tires again when the time comes no need to research again.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Solus KH16

Monday, March 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.

Kumho Solus KH16 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.6
 
 

2008 Honda Fit
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Miles driven on tires: 40,000
Location: Swannanoa, NC
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 40,000 Miles on Tires
February 14, 2014

I am a class winning autocrosser, and a performance car enthusiast. My judgments consider the cost and class of the tire. I am not the primary driver of this vehicle, but often carpool with my wife and take this car on long trips.

I have owned three sets of this particular tire. The first are on the factory wheels that have been replaced with aftermarket ones. These still have great tread and I still use them from time to time. The second set was on a set of aftermarket wheels once the car was lowered. With a Good alignment and proper rotations, we got **40k miles** (note the tread wear rating indicates they will last about 31k miles) out of this set, only driving down to the wear indicators. Currently have about 8-10k on our third set.
For the price, these tires are absolutely unbeatable. During spirited, mountain road, dry conditions they performed very well and very predictably. Easily outpaced novice drivers in a slower car on the tail of the dragon. However, their peak grip does not approach that of a performance summer tire. During wet city and highway conditions these tires are excellent. Their wet grip and resistance to hydroplaning is stellar for their price. Even right before we replaced the second set they inspired confidence and maintained a high degree of hydroplane resistance in all but full on, standing water. We only recently experienced snow that was worthy of reviewing. I have to say I was completely surprised these tires performed as well as they did. These tires on this car easily went where my primary vehicle (a heavier car with Michelin All-Seasons, more ground clearance, and a limited slip differential) would never have ever gone. With smart, cautious driving I would trust these tires in up to 4 inches of powder any day of the week.

These are an excellent, all around, affordable, tire and simply cannot be beaten for their price. I will continue to purchase these for all of my commuting vehicles and recommend them to all.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Fuzion Touring (H- or V-Speed Rated)

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.

Fuzion Touring (H- or V-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.73
 
 

2004 BMW 325xi Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 5,500
Location: Bayonne, NJ
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 5,500 Miles on Tires
February 25, 2014

Can't beat this tire for the price. Its not great at any one thing, but is good to very good in general. I wasn't looking for high performance, so this tire exceeds my needs. During our 15+ inch snow, the tire did well with minor slips and still rides nicely on the highway in the summer.

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.

What Makes Your Track Car Stop?

Friday, February 28, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Race season is near and you've bought a fresh set of competition tires, lightweight wheels and sport suspension, but what about your braking system? Hawk Performance offers a wide selection of performance friction material for your autocross or road race car. Take a look at the following options from Hawk and see if one is right for your vehicle. 

HP Plus Plus Race Brake Pads

Hawk Performance's HP Plus disc brake pads are designed for sports cars, coupes and sedans for driving in autocross, Solo II and many “track day” applications. Also, the Hawk Performance HP Plus Ferro-Carbon compound can take the heat at the track and get you home safely without having to change your brake pads in and out. This compound was designed for the serious street and autocross enthusiast.

Black Track Only Pads

Black Track Only Pads feature an all-purpose competition compound for use on lower temp and torque applications. They're commonly used on the rear axle of vehicles when using Blue 9012 compounds on the front axle. These pads are also recommended for dirt circle track and driving school/lapping days.

Blue 9012 Track Only Pads

Hawk's most popular Motorsport Compound offers excellent modulation and braking power for a wide variety of applications. A strong initial bite combines with exceptional pedal feel to give drivers confidence during road racing and stage rally events. Blue 9012 Track Only Pads are popular with experienced lapping day and driving school participants.

HT-10 Track Only Pads

This pad is for road racing or pavement circle track use that requires more torque than the Blue 9012.

HT-14 Track Only Pads

HT-14 Track Only Pads are designed for vehicles that achieve high top speeds and require repeated high deceleration rates during road race competition. Drivers of Sports Car/GT and higher horsepower, open wheel applications will consider this pad.


Hawk HP Plus Race

Hawk Black Track Only Pads

Hawk DTC-60 Track Only Pads


DTC-60 Track Only Pads

Hawk's latest formulation for excellent torque control and modulation for wheel-to-wheel competition. DTC-60 pads can be combined with the DTC-70 when less torque is desired on the rear axle. Road race and asphalt circle track cars will benefit from using these pads from Hawk.

DTC-70 Track Only Pads

A higher torque version of the DTC-60, this compound is designed for vehicles with high top speeds that require repeated high deceleration rates. It can be used on the front or rear axle or combined with the DTC-60 if split friction between the front and rear axles is desired.

Search by vehicle to see all brake options available for your application.

Hoosier Tires Made in Indiana!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 by Gary Stanley

If you're looking for race-winning performance in an autocross or road race tire, look no further than Hoosier Racing tires! Not only are Hoosier tires of outstanding quality, they're made right here in Indiana.

 Hoosier A6
Hoosier A6
 Hoosier R6
Hoosier R6


Manufactured in Plymouth, Indiana, Hoosier's tires are popular for competition use in:

  • Autocross
  • Road Racing
  • High Performance Driving Events
  • Miata Racing
  • Time Attack Racing

While the Hoosier A6 and R6 may look the same, they have different tread compounds. Which Hoosier tire is for you? If you are chasing cones in an autocross event or are a very light road racer, choose the Hoosier A6. This tire heats up very quickly for the short runs that are typical at most autocrossing events.

For heavier cars and most track driving applications, choose the Hoosier R6. It requires more of a gradual warm-up time and provides consistency lap after lap. Two factors that will help steer you to victory!

While Hoosier tires are DOT-legal, they are not intended for highway use. Due to their low tread depth and ultra sticky rubber compound, we recommend that these tires be used on the track only.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

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.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8
 
 

2009 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Elkhorn, WI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
February 08, 2014

I couldn't get up my driveway with the street tires. On goes the Blizzak's and it's like driving on dry pavement. Great snow / ice tire. The car feels a little loose on dry pavement and gas mileage has dropped off a hair but I would expect that vs. a high performance street tire. Great product. Do yourself a favor and switch to snow / ice tires if you want the comfort of feeling safe during the winter months.