Check Out Sumitomo for Affordable Tires

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Who is Sumitomo? Headquartered in Kobe, Japan and involved extensively with the tire industry since 1909, Sumitomo has very close relationships with Dunlop and Goodyear. Sumitomo has produced tires in cooperation with Dunlop and Goodyear for many years. In fact, so much engineering, technology and manufacturing is shared between them that I sometimes refer to Sumitomo as "Goodyear's Japanese subsidiary."

Are Sumitomo tires any good? Yes! Sumitomo offers a full line of great and affordable tires with good performance. I have such confidence in their products that I have used a couple of sets on my own vehicles, as well as installed some on my relatives' vehicles over the years. About ten years ago, I used their Ultra High Performance Summer HTR Z II on a Miata with great success. After enjoying the tire so much, I installed their Max Performance Summer HTR Z III on my BMW M3. I also chose the tire because it bested the Hankook Ventus V12 Evo K110 in our test of value-priced Max Performance Summer tires.   

 Sumitomo HTRZ III
Sumitomo HTR Z III
 Sumitomo HTR Sport H/P
Sumitomo HTR Sport H/P


Sumitomo doesn't just make good tires for cars, they also makes affordable, good quality tires for sporty SUVs and trucks. The Sumitomo HTR Sport H/P is a good choice to consider in the Street/Sport Truck All-Season performance category. It's designed to enhance appearance and performance by combining sports car performance and a passenger car-like ride with the big wheel plus sized look and load carrying capacity required by light trucks.

You can learn more about Sumitomo tires by reading, "Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110 vs. Sumitomo HTRZ III."

BFGoodrich g-Force Sport vs. g-Force Sport COMP-2

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Often times when a tire manufacturer replaces a model of tire, the newer model is slightly better than the previous version. Incremental improvements over the previous generation is what we typically see. Once and awhile, a tire company will completely wow us with a dramatically better product than the one it replaces. BFGoodrich really surprised me with the new g-Force Sport COMP-2!

 BFGoodrich g-Force Sport
BFGoodrich g-Force Sport
 BFGoodrich g-Ford Sport COMP-2
BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2


Our customer survey feedback rates the original BFGoodrich g-Force Sport in a tie with the Yokohama S.drive for sixth place in the Ultra High Performance Summer category. Customers see an improvement as the new g-Force Sport COMP-2 is ranked number one!

Also, we recently tested the newer tire against other top tires in the performance category, including the former top-ranked option, the Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval INDY 500. I was a big fan of the Firestone tire when it first came out. You can see how impressed I was with it by reading, "Need Miata Performance Tires? Buy Firestone Tires!" As good as the tire is, the g-Force Sport COMP-2 performed better in our autocross and skidpad testing, as well as the 6.6-mile loop of street driving.  

To view the complete recap of our test, check out "Testing Ultra High Performance Summer Tires."

Install Two New Tires in the Rear or the Front?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 by Gary Stanley

In an ideal situation, all four of your tires would wear out at the same time. However, if you have forgotten to rotate your tires, your vehicle is out of alignment or you have worn suspension components, you may end up with a situation where only two tires need replacing. For information on properly checking your tires' tread depth, check out, "What Honest Abe Doesn't Tell You About Minimum Tread Depths."

What should you do if two tires still have adequate tread depth remaining and only two need replaced?  First, be sure to match tires. Ideally, all four tires should be the same brand and model. Just as true as with a poker game, four of a kind always beats two pair. After you've found the two matching tires to replace on your vehicle, you'll want to make sure they're installed on the rear axle. This is true for rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles. 

Conventional thinking may suggest that new tires be put on the front to help prevent hydroplaning and reduce wet stopping distances. However, the combination of new tires up front and worn tires on the rear can cause some very unpredictable handling characteristics in the wet or snow, which can lead to an oversteer condition that looks like this:
Wheel Spin GIF
Remember, it is best to install new tires on the rear axle. Members of Tire Rack had the opportunity to experience this phenomenon at Michelin's Laurens Proving Grounds. Participants were allowed to drive around a large radius, wet curve in vehicles fitted with tires of different tread depths -- one vehicle with new tires on the rear and half-worn tires on the front and the other with new tires in the front and half-worn tires on the rear. To see learn more about our experience and placing new tires on the rear axle, read "Where to Install New Pairs of Tires?"

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.

Which Tires Last the Longest?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by Gary Stanley

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

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

Passenger All-Season

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


Standard Touring All-Season

 General AltiMAX RT43
General AltiMAX RT43
 Michelin Defender
Michelin Defender


Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season 

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


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

Best Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Tires in Size 275/55R20

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 by Gary Stanley

On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tires are common for those looking for aggressive tread patterns and some off-road traction. However, many drivers aren't looking for off-road traction and instead drive mostly on the street. These drivers would rather have a tire with a smoother and quieter ride with longer wear. This is what makes tires in the Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category so appealing to them. The best two options in this category for tire size 275/55R20 are the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology and Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza.

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


If winter traction isn't a priority for you based on the area you live in, I'd suggest the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza for its smooth, quiet ride and outstanding wet traction. Are you going to experience winter conditions while on the road? Are you concerned about snow traction? You don't have to sacrifice much in the way of snow traction when you purchase the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology. It provides very good snow traction for an all-season tire, even better than some all-terrain tires.

The CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology is currently ranked first in our tire survey results. It has the highest ratings in the following areas compared to other options in the Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category:

  • Hydroplaning resistance
  • Wet traction
  • Light snow traction
  • Ride comfort

Curious to see what other drivers are saying about their experience with the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology? Take a look at some of our customer reviews

Looking for a Quiet Summer Performance Tire?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Summer tires like the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position are the tires of choice for many enthusiasts and drivers of high performance sports cars. These two tires are great options, and you can see the differences between them by reading, "Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position vs Michelin Pilot Super Sport."

While Max Performance Summer tires offer some of the highest levels of grip and handling on the market, there are quite a few drivers who would be willing to give up a little grip for a smoother and quieter ride. If this sounds like what you're looking for, check out the Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport and Continental ExtremeContact DW.

Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport
Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport
Continental Extreme Contact DW
Continental ExtremeContact DW


Both options provide great wet and dry grip, while still offering good ride qualities. The Bridgestone and Continental have good road feel and steering response that you would expect from a summer performance tire. Their asymmetric tread patterns keep the noise level low and allow you to rotate the tires for even treadwear. The Potenza RE760 Sport is currently ranked second in the Ultra High Performance Summer category, while the ExtremeContact DW sits in fourth in the Max Performance Summer category.

For additional assistance choosing the right tire, take a look at our Tire Decision Guide.

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position vs Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Since its release a few years ago, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport has dominated the Max Performance Summer category, garnering praise from many drivers of high performance cars. Its combination of handling, grip, responsiveness and road manners make it a top choice for the discriminating enthusiast. So much so, that I decided that it was the right choice for my own personal vehicle. Take a look at "Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires Installed on My Car" and "Michelin Pilot Super Sport: 5,000 Mile Update" to learn more about my experience with this top-rated tire.

Last year, my Michelin Pilot Super Sports were due for replacement. While I enjoyed their performance and handling for three years, I was impressed with a recent test of the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position. In this test of four top Max Performance Summer tires, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport finished on top. To many, this was no surprise. 

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
 Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport


However, many in our test were surprised at how close the Bridgestone compared favorably to the Pilot Super Sport. On the street and track, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport had faster steering response and a bit more dry grip than the S-04 Pole Position. However, I felt that the Bridgestone summer tire had a bit softer ride quality on the street, while still giving excellent cornering grip and road feel. Many may feel that the S-04 Pole Position has a better balance of ride quality and handling that would suit a vehicle that's driven spiritedly.

My conclusion? The Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position is great alternative to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport for those willing to give up a little in terms of ultimate handling and grip for a bit softer ride and lower price-point. Shop by vehicle and see if this Bridgestone tire is available for your application.

Best All-Terrain Tire Choices for 275/55R20 Size

Monday, June 30, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Not too long ago, 20-inch tires were rare, exotic and mostly reserved for high-end European SUVs or show vehicles gracing the cover of automobile magazines. Those that were available were ultra high performance tires, often with little to no all-season traction and wore very quickly. This is not the case today. In fact, 20" tires are an option on many popular trucks, SUVs and domestic and import crossovers. 

Of the 20" sizes that are used, one of the most common is 275/55R20. This size is often used on SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Suburban, Ford Expedition and GMC Yukon. Trucks that commonly use this size include the Chevy Silverado, Dodge Ram 1500, Ford F-150 and can even be used with 20" wheels on newer Toyota Tundras. 

A popular misconception is that one can't find more aggressive On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tires in this size. This performance category is one of the most effective in snow traction and light off-road capability in a tire that can be used year-round. Many of the best all-terrain tires on the market are available in this size, such as the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar and Michelin LTX A/T 2.   

 Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
 Michelin LTX A/T 2
Michelin LTX
A/T 2


If you're looking for a more street friendly ride and longer wear, I'd suggest the Michelin LTX A/T 2. It compares quite favorably to a long-time favorite that you can learn about by reading, "BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO vs. Michelin LTX A/T 2." For more aggressive snow and off-road traction, consider the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar as your top choice.  

Does your vehicle require a different tire size? Shop by size and view the complete selection available for your vehicle. 

Best Max Performance Summer Tires Versus Best Ultra High Performance Summer Tires

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 by Gary Stanley

If you're like many car enthusiasts, you choose to use summer tires instead of all-seasons in order to get better handling, faster steering response and higher levels of wet and dry grip. And it it's time for new summer tires, you'll want to think about how much handling and grip you'll need, and of course, how much treadwear and ride you're willing give up. Take a look at the options available in the following two performance categories to help with your decision.

Max Performance Summer 

Tires in this category are the best of the best. They're offered by manufacturers for the performance tire market. They utilize the latest technology and materials to produce outstanding performance and handling while still providing good street manners. Two options worth considering are the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position and Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Today's Max Performance Summer tires often equal the grip of D.O.T. race tires of the past. 

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
 Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport


Ultra High Performance Summer 

These tires are the next tier down from Max Performance Summer options. This category is designed for those wanting great performance for grip, cornering and handing, but need to do so at a lower cost. Often, tires in this category have slightly longer wear and a bit softer ride than a Max Performance Summer tire. A few options to take a look at are the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 and Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport.

 BFGoodrich g-force Sport COMP-2
BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2
 Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport
Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport


I've used the Michelin Pilot Super Sport on my own vehicle and have been very happy with my choice. For more information on this tire, read "Michelin Pilot Super Sport: 5,000 Mile Update." 

Michelin Replaces Primacy MXV4 with the New Premier A/S

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Gary Stanley

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Continental ExtremeContact DW vs. Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Friday, June 13, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Two of the most popular Max Performance Summer tires being discussed on automotive forums lately are the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and Continental ExtremeContact DW. Both options are highly rated and outstanding tires. In our survey results, the Pilot Super Sport is currently ranked first, while the ExtremeContact DW is fourth.

How do the two tires compare? The Michelin Pilot Super Sport offers better handling, steering response and more desirable dry and wet grip. Continental's ExtremeContact DW provides a slightly softer ride than the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and a slower steering response as a result.

Some BMW forum members state that the ExtremeContact DW has a softer sidewall compared to other tires in the category. This can be viewed either as a positive feature or a downside depending on what you're looking for in your tire. Softer sidewalls (and slower steering response) result in improved ride quality and less harshness from sharp impacts like rough roads or expansion joints on the highway. 

Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Continental Extreme Contact DW
Continental ExtremeContact DW


When it comes time to make a purchase, what tire is best for you? Think about your driving style and preferences for ride quality. If you want immediate response when quickly moving the steering wheel from side to side and desire the best dry and wet traction, go with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Are you willing to give up a little steering response for a softer ride? If so, the Continental ExtremeContact DW would be the way to go. Are you still having trouble deciding? For additional help choosing the best tire for your vehicle, visit our Tire Decision Guide.

The New Hoosier A7 Versus the Hoosier A6

Friday, May 30, 2014 by Gary Stanley

For many years, drivers looking for race-winning performance in an autocross tire turned to the Hoosier A6. Not only are Hoosier race tires high quality, competitive products, they're made right here in Indiana. Building on the success of the Hoosier A6 is the all-new A7.  

Hoosier's A7 is a DOT-legal slick tread design with alternating five-dash circumferential grooves interrupting the solid grip surface. In addition to the new look of the five-dash grooves, the A7 features a new tread compound designed to extend wear and useable heat cycles. The tire is also designed so that it has less “fall-off” during a long run and less degradation over the life of the tire compared to the previous A6 version.   

The tire's internal structure features a symmetric construction that uses two lightweight steel belts reinforced by a spirally wrapped circumferential nylon cap ply under the tread on top of two nylon cord casing plies. It features a rim recess design on all sizes. Additionally, its symmetric tread design and internal construction allows the tire to be mounted on either side of the car (and later be remounted inside out to further extend its life).

To learn more about tires offered from Hoosier, read "Hoosier Tires Made in Indiana!

OG by Axis Oldskool Wheels for BMW, Honda and VW

Friday, May 30, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Are you the proud owner of a classic BMW 3 Series or Volkswagen Golf from the 1980s or early 1990s? If so, you may have found that some of the modern wheel styles do not look quite "right" on these cars. Available in a 15x8 size with a machined with black accent and gold with machined lip, the Axis OG Oldskool wheel is a great option to give your vehicle that classic look.  

 OG Old Skool by Axis Black Machined
OG by Axis Oldskool Machined with Black
Accent
 OG Old Skool by Axis Gold Machined
OG by Axis Oldskool Gold with Machined
Lip


The OG by Axis Oldskool is available in size 15x8 only, with a 25mm offset with a 4-100 bolt pattern. These wheels can fit more than just BMW and VWs, some other common vehicle fitments include:

  • Acura Integra
  • Honda Civic
  • Honda CRX
  • BMW 2002tii
  • 1977-1991 BMW 3 series
  • VW Cabriolet
  • VW Golf
  • VW Jetta
  • VW Rabbit
  • VW Scirocco 

Please note that while these wheels will bolt up to many of the vehicles listed above, some fender modification and/or suspension changes may be needed due to this wheel's width and relatively aggressive offset. Visit our Upgrade Garage to see if the OG by Axis Oldskool wheel is available for your vehicle.

The Best Run-Flat Tire for Your Passenger Car: Bridgestone's DriveGuard

Thursday, May 22, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Imagine you're on a family vacation traveling with your spouse and children. After a long day of activities, you are heading back to the hotel for some relaxation. The whole family is tired and just ready to get out of the car. Just a few more miles on this busy highway and you'll be there. Suddenly, you hear the sound of a tire blowout.   

With conventional tires, the above scenario involves pulling over to the shoulder and calling for help. You are stuck until help arrives. Or if you were prepared enough to have checked your spare tire's pressure and savvy enough to change your own flat tire, you could attempt to install the replacement yourself. Even a car enthusiast will realize that changing a spare on the shoulder of a busy highway at night is far from ideal.  

Instead, you now have a choice. You can either choose to pull over, or you can continue driving for up to 50 miles at 50 mph. Wouldn't you rather drive your family to safety and simply deal with the problem when it's more convenient? With the new Bridgestone DriveGuard, you get to make that choice!

The ability to decide what's best for you is what having a run-flat tire is all about. In the past, most run-flat tires were stiff riding, fast wearing summer-only tires that were designed for use on a short list of specific vehicles. This is not the case when it comes to the new Grand Touring All-Season tire from Bridgestone. It offers a great ride, all-season traction and a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty. 

Thanks to mandatory tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) on most newer vehicles, you can use the Bridgestone DriveGuard on many common 2008 and newer passenger cars like the Ford Fusion, Honda Civic, Honda Accord, VW Jetta, Toyota Camry and Toyota Corolla. Shop by vehicle to see if the DriveGuard is recommended for your car.

Get Organized for Spring with These Three Storage Solutions

Thursday, May 15, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Did you purchase a new Tire & Wheel Package for this summer and now have a set of mounted winter tires and wheels with no place to go? We offer great solutions for you to consider when it comes to storing your second set of tires.

Seasonal Tire Totes fit a variety of tire and wheel sizes and include a carrying handle that is especially useful when transporting tires. These totes use a very strong velcro closure system that allows you to actually carry a tire mounted on a wheel using the sewn-in handle. Sold in sets of four, the Seasonal Tire Totes are very handy for moving tires from your vehicle to your attic, basement or the storage area in your garage. 

The Tire Garage is a durable and rugged way to keep a stack of tires or wheels protected from UV degradation and neatly out of site. Featuring a seamless look, this storage option cleans easily, retains it color and strength after years of normal use.

Our Tire Storage Rack can help you maximize your storage area by getting your tires and wheel off of the floor. Unlike other similar products, our wall-mounted tire rack is purposely built for safely storing wheels and tires and can be adjusted to accommodate mounted wheels of various dimensions.  

With your summer tires now on, let us help you store your additional sets properly!

Continental TrueContact Replaces ProContact with EcoPlus Technology

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Continental has been on a roll! First, they introduced the ExtremeContact DWS which quickly became a customer favorite in our customer survey data. This Ultra High Performance All-Season tire set the bar for winter snow traction in its category while still being competitive with good wet and dry traction.  

Next, Continental released another winner with the CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology. This tire is currently ranked number one in our Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category. It's praised by customers for its outstanding combination of ride, wear and traction in a variety of weather conditions.  

Recently, the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology equaled or bested the top Grand Touring All-Season tires from Michelin and Bridgestone while coming in at a lower price-point. For more information on this tire, read "Continental's PureContact with EcoPlus Technology vs. ContiProContact."

Now, Continental is set to have another big winner, this time in the Standard Touring All-Season category, with the new TrueContact. This new tire is replacing the ProContact with EcoPlus Technology. The ProContact with EcoPlus Technology is ranked second in the category. Will the new TrueContact be able to claim the top spot?  

 Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology
Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology
 Continental True Contact
Continental
TrueContact


TrueContact tires have vertical ridges in the circumferential grooves to improve snow traction, as well as Continental's Comfort Ride Technology to provide an even smoother ride. These features and other improvements include a treadlife warranty of 90,000 miles. Is the TrueContact right for you? Search by vehicle and find out!

Best New Tires for Honda Civic

Thursday, May 1, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Many drivers of the Honda Civic are looking for tires that provide a good combination of treadwear, ride quality and all-season traction. Safety and reliability are also top considerations among Civic drivers. Since the Honda Civic uses common tire sizes, there are many choices on the market to choose from. In fact, trying to narrow down choices to a few top options can be very difficult!  

Based on my experience testing and selling tires, as well as our millions of miles of customer survey data, the following tires should be consider when choosing your next set. Below are my top recommendations in the most common sizes that are used on the Honda Civic in the past two decades.

1996-2000 Honda Civic (185/65R14)

 General Altimax RT 43
General AltiMAX RT43
 Hankook Optimo H727
Hankook Optimo H727


2001-2005 Honda Civic (185/70R4 or 195/60R15)


2006-20014 Honda Civic (195/65R15 or 205/55R16)

As you can see, the General AltiMAX RT43 is a top recommended choice for all three generations of the Honda Civic. To see what makes this such a great tire, read "The All-Season General AltiMAX RT43 is Number One."

Best All-Weather Tires for Mazda CX-7

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Are you looking for a great all-season tire for your Mazda CX-7? Then you should take a look at the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology and Michelin Primacy MXV4. For crossover vehicles like the Mazda CX-7, Acura RDX and Nissan Rogue, consider the top tires from the Grand Touring All-Season and Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season performance categories.  

I've had the Michelin Primacy MXV4 on my Mazda CX-7 for two years. This tire has provided my vehicle with a very smooth and quiet ride, good handling and great wet traction. The Primacy MXV4 offers a large improvement over the factory installed Goodyear Eagle RS-A. My wife and I can hardly believe the difference! For more information on this tire, read "Great Deal on 235/60R18 Michelin Primacy MXV4 Tires."

 Michelin Primacy MXV4
Michelin Primacy
MXV4
 Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with
EcoPlus Technology


While you're shopping for tires for your CX-7, be sure to strongly consider the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology, which is currently the top-rated tire by our customers in its category. Reviewers consistently praise the tire's ride quality, as well as great wet and snow traction. 

If you need additional help choosing the right tire for your CX-7, take a look at our Tire Decision Guide.

Hankook's New Ventus V12 evo2 vs Original Ventus V12 evo K110

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Hankook has been producing tires since 1941 and is the seventh largest tire company in the world. While many of their tires are made in Asian countries, Hankook announced they're planning to build a plant in the United States. Amongst enthusiasts, they're known to produce some of the best value-oriented performance tires. 

While the Max Performance Summer tire of choice on the market is currently the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, not every driver wants to pay the price for the extra performance they may not fully utilize. Since its introduction, the Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110 has been a customer favorite for drivers looking for a good combination of wet grip, dry grip, ride and wear at a great price. The tire has been an especially popular choice for BMW forum members looking for a great bang-for-the-buck performance tire. 

 Hankook Ventus V12 EVO
Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110
 Hankook Ventus V12 EVO2
Hankook Ventus V12 evo2


According to Hankook, their new Ventus V12 evo2 boasts improvements over the Ventus V12 evo K110 in wet and dry grip, while reducing rolling resistance for improved fuel economy. There's also a slight improvement in treadwear.

Hankook is known for making affordable tires, and has kept the price-point on the new Ventus V12 evo2 very close to the original V12 evo K110 in most sizes. We will have a full test of this tire in the summer of 2014, so stay tuned! To learn more about how we test tires, take a look at "Tire Rack's Tire Testing Program."