Longest-Wearing Z-Rated Performance Tires

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 by Gary Stanley

What can drivers of sports cars and high performance vehicles with low profile, Z-rated Ultra High Performance All-Season tires do if they want to have longer wearing tires? In the past, the best a driver could hope for, in regards to treadwear, was an option that lasted approximately 20,000 miles. This was the case for so long that it has become a common misconception that all low profile tires or tires with a high speed rating have rapid treadwear. On the contrary, there are options available with long treadwear ratings. Three of the best to consider are the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 and Continental ExtremeContact DWS.  

 Continental Extreme Contact DWS
Continental ExtremeContact DWS
 Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2
Hankook Ventus S1
noble2
 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3
Michelin Pilot Sport
A/S 3


The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 has the best dry grip and quickest steering response among the three and comes with a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty. Both the Continental ExtremeContact DWS and Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 feature 50,000-mile treadwear warranties and perform a little better in light snow conditions compared to the Pilot Sport A/S 3. All three tires are made in a variety of sizes. Now, even drivers of sports cars like the Chevy Corvette and Ford Mustang can find tires with higher treadwear.  

Shop by size to view all options available for your vehicle.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax RT

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 RT Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.25
 
 

1998 Subaru Legacy GT 2.5 Wagon
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Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Glen Ellyn, IL
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
June 22, 2014

Excellent in all applicable categories, haven't had them long enough to rate them for winter performance. I will append my review next spring, but I expect performance will be extremely good. They are super quite, and have surprisingly good lateral stability for not being a low profile tire.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

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.

Michelin Pilot Super Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.12
 
 

2009 Audi A5 3.2
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Miles driven on tires: 35,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 35,000 Miles on Tires
December 09, 2013

Excellent tires! On my A5 I'm able to corner without hesitation and full confidence. I got 245/35-19s and ride comfort is adequate, which is expected on low profile tires, but on smooth pavement these tires are not bad at all initially, after putting 30K+ miles on them noise is starting to become louder, but still, nothing horrible. Steering response is great, no complaints there, and tire wear is excellent. I have, like said before, over 30K miles on these tires and they are at 6/32nd tread, very impressed for summer tires. Overall, I will be buying these tires again, no doubt.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position

Monday, July 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.

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.29
 
 

2004 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Newark, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
June 22, 2014

I purchased this tire after I ruined a set of Dunlops by mistake. I used to be a dedicated Bridgestone before buying the Dunlop just to save a few dollars. Bad mistake. Anyways onto the review of this tire. Simply put, best Bridgestone tire I have ever owned. This tire is listed as a summer tire but I have used them in snow and had no trouble at all. It performed just as good as my all season tires I have owned. The dry and wet grip is outstanding. I have yet to make these tires squeal going around a high speed corner. As for the wet grip it is just like the dry grip, only way you can tell you are driving on wet asphalt is if its still raining. As with all tires there is going to be tire noise but for me the level of noise is almost non existent. I can't say too much about ride comfort with these being low profile tires but I can say they are better than my previous tires were. I can say for sure that as long as I have this car and Bridgestone makes this tire it will be my tire I buy when I need tires. I would recommend this tire for anyone with a spirited driving attitude and even if you live in the snow belt like I do, it's simple, if there is snow on the road slow down and these tires will do just fine for you. After I get more miles on them I will do a follow up review but as of right now I don't see anything changing about how I feel about these tires. Like I said earlier best tires I have ever owned, period.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Premier A/S

Tuesday, July 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 Premier A/S Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.86
 
 

2014 Mazda Mazda6
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Miles driven on tires: 800
Location: Madison, CT
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 800 Miles on Tires
May 19, 2014

Replaced the 19 inch dunlop low profile (5000 sport) that came with car with 17 inch allow wheels and the new michelin premeier. Could not take the road noise and harsh ride from the oem dunlop sport 5000. Ride is much better, quieter and far smoother. Road noise is lowered and the harsh, bone jarring ride, on highways with potholes or all types, is vastly improved. Interesting to note that the steering response is somewhat firmer, with more resistance, and that is also improved over the stock tires, because it is more natural, with better road feel. All in all a great choice for highway cruisers like me.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Tuesday, July 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 Super Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.88
 
 

2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
June 22, 2014

Believe it or not I drive my 911 year round. The factory Dunlop tires performed well in the dry, decently in the rain, but wear very quickly and were quite noisy. I had the Michelins installed on an aftermarket set of forged wheels lighter than stock. Right away the noise level was drastically reduced. Also, I could get the Dunlop tires to break away if I tried, the Michelins stick like glue. Handling confidence is up there with an r compound street/track tire. The sidewalls are stiff, but quite frankly I'd prefer that with low profile tires. The ride isn't busy by any means, but you can feel the stiffness of the tires over larger road imperfections. Knowing that my expensive wheels are protected improves driving confidence rather than a softer ride. I run dedicated winter tires on the stock wheels during the colder months, and while they ride much better the 'grip threshold is much lower as to be expected. Running tires without the Porsche "N" designation doesn't worry me in this case as I trust the Michelin brand. I have run Michelin tires on other vehicles with equally great results. The price/performance/wear expectancy of these tires made them an easy choice. I haven't driven enough to gauge wear, but the factory rear Dunlops lasted about 18 months and 7,500 miles before needing replacement. While this is understandable given the performance envelope the car is capable of, the noise level alone turned me off to getting another set. The front tires seem to last twice as long, but for a few bucks more I got a whole set of Michelins as opposed to just replacing the factory rear rubber. If the rear tires last 15,000 miles I will definitely be sticking with them.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S

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.

Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.3
 
 

2006 Honda Ridgeline
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Eugene, OR
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
February 22, 2008

I've had them long enough to have driven in almost every condition on road, including deep snow, ice, heavy rain, dry highway, secondary roads with tight turns, and some highway cruising. I don't have any meaningful off-road experience to report.



These tires transformed the ride and tire noise levels to those of near car tires in our 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL. We had low-profile Toyo Proxes ST, and while the dry handling was great, that was the only joy I got from them.



The Geolander AT-S, the replacement for the AT-2's,is far better for typical driving (I've had the AT-2's), with the extra sidewall casing belt. It steers very well, and generally does what is asked of it. In my case that's a lot. The Ridgeline puts 'sports' into a truck: it has precise steering, high spring and shock rates, and a fully independent suspension. It drives like a quality sedan. Tires have no where to hide with this vehicle and any flaw or characteristic is made apparent.



I'm mostly amazed at the ride quality, and the near absence any noise. These tires soak up most road imperfections extremely well, especially on expansion joints going over bridges. Yokohama has done a great job balancing everything one needs in a AT rated tire, while giving you (me really, until you buy your own!) what you're hoping for.



I drive pretty briskly, and the handling is just great. I've bought performance tires for nearly 20 years (usually the best of the best) and these remind me of how they handle in the wet. Matter of fact I've yet to slide this truck in either wet or dry condition, and haved provoked them, but never unsettled them yet.



For those that are big on tire wear (it's not a selling feature for me at all), I'm happy to report uniform, but hardly perceptible wear. I don't think most people could even see it. Oh yes, one other thing, these tires do seem to balance quite well, too.



Overall Yokohama makes a great tire for the money. I can't see how a ti

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position

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.

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2006 BMW 325i Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 30,000
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 30,000 Miles on Tires
April 10, 2014

This is a phenomenal tire. It combines excellent grip and handling with decent ride quality. They are very quiet, especially for low profile tires. These tires replaced the Bridgestone RE050a Runflat tires that originally came with my car. They are much better than the RE050a tires in every way. They last about as long as you'd expect a high performance summer tire to last. I am on my second set of s04s - I like them that much! Highly recommended.

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.

Max Performance Summer Tires for 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Here in South Bend, Indiana we are nearly thawed out from a brutal winter and it is time to start considering what tires to run this summer. For enthusiasts with cars that are driven on the street as opposed to the track, this usually means selecting a tire from our Max Performance Summer category. Max Performance Summer tires feature advanced ultra low profile, high speed options that combine computer developed designs and unique materials with precision manufacturing techniques to provide an unsurpassed blend of dry and wet traction and handling.

If you're shopping for a set of tires from this performance category, here are your top picks:

King of the Hill: Michelin Pilot Super Sport

The Pilot Super Sport does everything well: wet traction, dry traction, steering response, braking and even treadlife is better than average for the category. This tire is designed to allow sports cars, sporty coupes, performance sedans and supercars to achieve their full potential in dry and wet conditions. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires are competitively priced and usually cheaper than the previous generation Pilot Sport PS2.

Top Tier Value: Bridgestone S-04 Pole Position

The Bridgestone S-04 Pole Position is a leading member of the most recent generation of Max Performance Summer tires. While their raw grip is not quite equal to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, they have excellent traction in wet and dry conditions, are extremely stable and provide confident handling. Bridgestone has been pricing them very aggressively, and in some sizes, you'd almost be crazy not to buy a tire this good at such a low price.

Lots of Grip, Not Yet Hyped: Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105

If you're the type of enthusiast who likes to do things a little differently from the rest, this may be the tire for you. The Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105 has not yet made a big splash in the marketplace, but it has exceptional grip. I'm also a fan of the responsive handling that its stiff sidewalls provide. To see how the tire performed during our in-house test, read "New Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105 Tested."

View all Max Performance Summer tires we offer and find the one that will make your summer driving a blast!

What Causes Tire Bubbles?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

After this year's harsh winter, the roads are worse than ever. I've not only seen many stranded motorists parked next to potholes they've hit, but single replacement tire requests have been more frequent lately. While a bubble can be caused by a handful of scenarios, the most common is impact damage such as hitting a pothole.  

Tires are made of specialized rubber compounds reinforced by plies of fabric cords and wires. The underlying fabric cords and wires actually define the tire's shape by limiting stretching. In order to bond these dissimilar materials, the cords and wires are coated with adhesives and/or rubber before the other components are bonded to them during curing. This bond can be compromised by contamination during assembly, damage by underinflation or being overloaded and finally by blunt force trauma or impact from potholes, curbs or other road hazards. Any one of these scenarios can cause a sidewall bubble.

Typically, incomplete bonding caused by contamination during assembly will appear within the first six months of service. These types of bubbles are small in size and usually appear before the tire's strength is significantly compromised. However, since typical tires roll about 800 times every mile and the air pressure inside the tire is greater than outside, tire separations/bubbles that are unseen or ignored will continue to grow in size and further reduce strength, while generating noise and vibration. This ultimately leads to tire failure as the tire stretches under load. If a sidewall bubble appears six months after service, prolonged driving on overloaded/underinflated tires or a road hazard impact are the most likely causes. It can sometimes take weeks or even months after an impact for a separation or bubble to appear. The varieties of possible causes make it necessary to inspect the tire while mounted on the wheel, as well as dismounting it to inspect the inner liner for damage.

While taller profile tires can be damaged by more severe impacts with deeper potholes and sharper curbs, low profile tires mounted on large diameter wheels are the most susceptible to this type of damage. The driver of vehicles equipped with low profile tires should make special efforts to avoid potholes, curbs or other road hazards.

If you do experience a road hazard, be prepared with a Continental ContiComfortKit and Accutire Excursion Road Kit.  

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2

Tuesday, March 11, 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.

Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.91
 
 

2006 BMW 325i Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Grandville, MI
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
February 28, 2014

I bought these tires a couple months ago, based on the test ratings on this website. As usual, the Tire Rack ratings were dead on! I drive (on average) about 2,000 miles per week, and live in west Michigan. Due to the unpredictable nature of Michigan weather, I needed a tire that performed well in all weather conditions. These tires do everything they say they do, and at a good price.

I was concerned, having a rear-wheel drive car, that an all-season tire would not perform well enough for winter driving. Acceleration at times can be a struggle, but I've never had an issue with traction, when every other vehicle on the road didn't have the same problems. Stopping on icy, slushy, and snow covered roads is NEVER a problem. I've never had a set of tires that allows me to stop like these tires do.

In dry conditions, I don't think there is an UHP-tire available that out-perfoms these. I'm sure there are others that perform as well, but it would be a stretch to say they are better. The tires that are as good, are generally more than twice the price. The only tires that I would consider relatively equal both in performance and price, would be the Continental Extreme Contact DWS'. I think the tread wear is a little better on the Hankook tires though.

Road noise (on good roads) is all but non-existant. My car runs 40 series up front, with 35 series in the rear. I expected these tires to have a very harsh ride, but they are surprisingly comfortable. As anticipated, corner roll doesn't happen, but it shouldn't with such a low-profile tire. Heat disipation is good. I've only had them in weather up to 65 F at this point, but they have never felt surprisingly warm, even after several miles of spirited curved road driving.

The only complaint I have, is these tires "track" pretty bad on grooved roads. It may be due to the 225 front, and 255 rear widths, but I didn't notice this issue with the Goodyear tires my car came with.

Overall, Exceptional Tires

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

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.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.44
 
 

2009 Mazda Mazda6 Sport Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 1,500
Location: Columbus, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,500 Miles on Tires
February 05, 2014

Recently purchased these tires to replace the factory Michelen tires. I have noticed an immediate reduction in road noise with these tires, and the comfort over pot marked roads has been a great improvement. Today, in Columbus Ohio (2-5-14) we received 6" of snow with a layer of ice over top of it over night. The tires handled it with an amazing amount of ease. Almost zero wheel spin while driving back roads over ice covered roads from the plows, as well as areas the plow missed and my car became the plow. Highway driving over somewhat plowed roads meant lane changes over slush, ice and snow at 30 - 40 mph and I had no issues. Was passing SUV after SUV this morning. Only incident I have had was I hit a rather large pot hole and blew the tire out. I do not think that the tire itself had anything to do with it, as much as it was in regards to the road conditions and the tire size is a low profile tire and they just can't handle impact like that. I would recommend this tire to anyone. I have had Goodyears, Michelen's , etc before and this has been my most remarkable tire to date.

 

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

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.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.55
 
 

2013 Toyota Prius
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Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Clifton, IL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
January 11, 2014

I purchased a 2013 Toyota Prius Five model in November 2013 and replaced the OEM Toyo tires immediately based on the reviews of the Toyo's on Tire Rack. I selected the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus tires based on the reviews on Tire Rack. I drive between 1000 and 1250 miles per week because of my job. I drive both highway and city miles. During the first 2000 miles with the Pirelli's they have been truly tested on ice, snow and rain due to the recent weather in Illinois and Indiana. I drove 60 miles on I-57 between Mattoon, IL and Effingham, IL on a sheet of ice and these tires performed awesome. I could only drive between 25 and 35 mph and the car was stable with little to no sliding. Stopping was very good as well considering the conditions. The snow traction of these tires if far above average. The Prius had no issues going through 12 to 14 inches of snow up an inclined drive that had not been plowed. I drove the car for two hours yesterday in constant rain and in some cases a complete downpour with little to no hydroplaning. Ride comfort is good for a 17" low profile tire. There seems to be no difference in road noise between the OEM tire and the Pirelli's. So far this very well might be the BEST set of tires I have ever purchased!

 

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: 8.73
 
 

2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 5 Door
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Miles driven on tires: 30,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 30,000 Miles on Tires
January 17, 2014

These are definitely the best all season low profile tires I have come across. I have had Nitto, Michelin and Bridgestone tires and these take the cake when it comes to all season low profile tires. They last pretty long to; I have about 20,000-25,000 miles on them and they are at 6-7/32 still. I've driven in all kinds of snow and rain storms and had nothing but confidence. The only thing I can say negatively about these tires is that they have gotten a little loud recently, but if you ask me that is kind of normal for all seasonal tires but they are definitely the quietest snow tire I ever had. I would recommend these tires to anyone who has low pros, drives daily, drives in all kinds of weather and care about the look of the tire.