Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (W-Speed Rated)

Friday, April 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.


Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (W-Speed Rated)Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.8

2007 Volkswagen GTI
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Miles driven on tires: 300
Location: Bloomington, IN
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 300 Miles on Tires
February 05, 2011

I bought this tire based on the November 2010 Consumer Reports article that put it in second place (tied for 1st in points) out of 17 tires in the Ultra-High Performance All-Season Tires Category. The price point was so low, too, among the cheapest available in 225/40-18 size to replace the two Dunlop SP Sports (front) and two Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires (rear) that came on the GTI I purchased used. Those tires had okay tread depth (not much on a tire of this size anyway) but the Michelins especially had severe weather cracking and the rolling noise of the four tires was very loud and non-uniform across the rotation (slipped radial belt, I figured). I liked that the Sumitomos were noted as being the quietest tire in the category by Consumer Reports--if they give up some performance for it, I haven't noticed.



They've indeed made a huge difference in noise and ride smoothness. I hope that lasts as the tires wear. Coincidentally we've had major snow and ice storms in Indiana since I put them on, and I'm impressed how well they do. Never felt out of control or immobile.



Basically my only gripe was with tirerack -- their competitor Vulcan Tire beat them by a few bucks on price, had cheaper shipping, and didn't charge me sales tax, so I went with them. Another possible gripe is that these tires don't have rim protectors, so be careful parallel parking. But otherwise these have not disappointed and I am picky about tires. If you drive more or less normally and like to step on it from time to time, I think you'll find these perfectly adequate, with low price and quiet ride (relative to the category) plus serviceable light winter traction to boot.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Sumitomo HTR Z II

Friday, April 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.


Sumitomo HTR Z IIReviewer's Overall Rating: 5.8

2002 Ford Mustang GT
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Kenosha, WI
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
December 11, 2009

When I purchased the HTR Z II's I was looking for a reasonably priced, well performing tire. I got the reasonable price, but not the performance I was expecting. The appearance is the best quality this tire has. The dry traction is sufficent but even with my wider rims than OEM's, I don't feel 100% that the tire is going to hold. I did get caught in the rain one time and the wet traction was good. The other quality of the tire that should be noted is that performance is definately related to temperature. During hot summer days with road temps into the 100's, the tires feel great. When you drive them below 50 degrees, it becomes a bit sketchy. It's to be expected for this type of tire, but it's a little extreme to me. Overall, I'm OK with my pruchase but would probably go a different tire next time around.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Precision Touring

Friday, April 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.

Firestone Precision Touring Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.4
 
 

1995 Subaru Impreza L Sedan 4wd
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Miles driven on tires: 3,200
Location: Exton, PA
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 3,200 Miles on Tires
March 26, 2014

Purchased four of these tires for an old 1995 Subaru Impreza L AWD daily driver. My main concerns for new tires was superior snow/ice handling, acceptable/above average wet handling, and above average dry traction with a great tread-life while keeping prices low. After I did extensive research and comparison charts I purchased the Firestone Precision Touring tires right as winter was in full force.

*In the snow/ice, the tires handle extremely well. I was driving around plow trucks with ease and mated with the AWD, was truly unstoppable this winter. Once the snow hit a few inches, the tires still gripped and when they did give way to sliding, were extremely predictable, allowing me to counter-steer with ease.
*Wet handling is acceptable, though not the greatest, but is not a reason to dismiss the tire, as it is still very predictable in those hazards.
*Dry traction and responsiveness are perfect with the only downside to cornering stability, which I believe is the weakest point of the tires. It can feel as if the tire would give way or takes a second to find the road when cornering. Despite this harsh review; it is actually on par with other tires for dry cornering in this price range.
*As to tread-wear, I cannot speak as to the performance of the category since I have not had the tires long enough.
*The comfort level is great. The tires take harsh bumps without any real complaints; in fact, I believe that I could have potentially bent a rim in lieu of popping a tire, of course due to the enormous potholes that plagued PA and DE (the Northeast Snow Belt area) this winter.
*Price - $77.00 a tire, which didn't break the bank for an old car but was well worth it.

Overall, I was looking for some affordable tires that would give me the best points of all-season tires, with increased winter time performance. The Firestone's came through and I will definitely purchase again, pending the outcome of the tread-wear. I would highly recommend them.

O.Z. Racing Tuner System Wheels

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Spring is here and what better time than now to outfit your vehicle with a set of O.Z. Racing Tuner System wheels. In 2006, Tire Rack became the North American distributor for O.Z. Racing wheels. This partnership includes O.Z. Racing's prestigious, custom 3-piece wheel program -- O.Z. Racing Tuner System. This program helps expand fitment limitations normally found with one-piece wheels. Additional brake clearance and maximum outer lip depth are just some of the benefits this system provides. Applications are available for many of the world's most exotic cars including Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, as well as a wide variety of luxury and performance cars.

How does the process work? O.Z. Racing Tuner System's 3-piece wheel components -- wheel center, inner rim section and outer rim section -- are produced in the same facility, with the same machinery and using the same technology as F1 race wheels. Rim diameters are available in 18", 19", 20" and 22" with inner rim widths of 5.5" to 9.5" and outer rim widths of 1" to 4" possible. Tire Rack's complete, in-house inventory of all 3-piece wheel components means quick turn-around with assembled wheels shipping within 1-2 days of order receipt.

Precise wheel assembly is performed at Tire Rack using an exacting process that maintains and enhances the structural integrity originally built into each individual wheel component. O.Z. Racing Tuner System supplies a proprietary fastener specific to its 3-piece wheels to ensure the highest level of structural integrity. These fasteners alone do not guarantee a properly assembled wheel and tightening. Thus, Tire Rack uses a factory-certified Ingersoll Rand DC Electric Fastening System to tighten O.Z. Racing Tuner System's proprietary fasteners.

The assembly torque of these critical fasteners is controlled and repeatable to less than 1/2%. Tire Rack's fastening system produces traceable measurements of torque to spec every time. In fact, wheels custom-assembled at Tire Rack are shipped with a computerized print out that shows in detail the settings used to assemble each wheel. Proper torque (fasteners tightened to spec so they won't break or loosen) and run-out (radial and lateral roundness for vibration-free rides) are recorded.

Once assembled, each O.Z. Racing Tuner System 3-piece wheel gets a unique serial number noted on a sticker placed on the inside of the wheel near the valve stem.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT

Tuesday, April 1, 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 Ultra Grip Ice WRT Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.73
 
 

2009 Subaru Forester 2.5 X
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location: Belington, WV
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
March 03, 2014

I live on a mountaintop farm in rural West Virginia. The road into the farm is steep and 1/2 mile long. Plus they don't get around to plowing the county roads for several days after a storm. This season, 2013-14 has been a great test of these tires. My wife and I have two identical 2009 Subaru Forester vehicles. Hers has a new set of all season tires and mine has these Goodyear WRTs. I bought these tires based on the good reviews I have read about them. I am glad to say the reviews are correct. These tires are awesome! I have yet to get stuck or even slide around even in the deepest snow and on glare ice. They go in any conditions. I have to remind myself not to get carried away with driving in bad conditions because it feels like I am on dry pavement. I tackle very steep roads in 10" of fresh snow and barely have any wheelspin. On ice I have tried emergency stopping and fooling around trying to break the tires loose and they amaze me with their gripping and stopping power. Compared to the all season tires on my wife's car they are probably 3 to 4 times better. I now consider the all seasons dangerous to drive. Bottom line is that these tires have exceeded my expectations and get the highest rating from me. Going with a pure winter tire like this is the only way to go. Spring for the spare set of rims and run them just in the winter. That also lets you get pure summer tires for max performance during the rest of the year. I have bought my last set of all season tires. Congrats to Goodyear for a job well done on these tires. I hope when they finally wear out that they will still be available. No sign of wear yet but it is the first season. Surprisingly good handling on dry pavement and very acceptable noise level. They run smooth as silk. Buy these!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeWinterContact

Tuesday, April 1, 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 ExtremeWinterContactReviewer's Overall Rating: 7.91

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: London, ON
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
March 22, 2014

We needed affordable yet excellent performing winter tires for my wifey's SUV. In Canada these tires are almost twice the price, so we drive over the boarder and have them installed by one of Tire Racks suggested garages to save serious $$$. The tires do very well in our snowy winters in Southern Ontario. The best attribute of these tires are the communication it gives you. In the situation that it is loosing it's traction it is very progressive and predictable. The most surprising aspect of this tire is it's traction on ice, it's very very good. Road noise is surprisingly minimal given it's thick block tread design. Handsome looking, aggressive tire as well. One of it's only downfalls is it's cornering ability, it was very noticeably decreased in comparison to the OEM All Seasons. This is very negative is very forgivable given that it is a winter tire and it's aspect ratio is much higher on the 17" rim versus the 20" OEM All Season tires. I would highly recommend this tire to anyone who demands a excellent performer with a value price in mind.

Looking for Lightweight Track Wheels at a Great Price? The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is Your Answer

Monday, March 24, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

Autocross and track season are quickly approaching and many racers have already begun to plan for upcoming races and events. As most enthusiasts know, switching out your vehicle's heavy, factory steel or alloy wheels is one of the easiest performance upgrades to your track vehicle. By switching to a lighter weight wheel, your car will instantly feel quicker and respond better compared to your stock wheels. The rotational force to get a lighter weight wheel to move and stop is less, therefore the engine and braking system of the car can respond quicker. Reducing the unsprung weight will also reap benefits when cornering, as the shocks and springs will have less weight to dampen during rebound and compression.

Typically, the answer to a lighter wheel is purchasing a fully forged alloy wheel, however, this option can become expensive for some. There are many highly engineered cast alloy options that are more affordable and provide a great bang for your buck.


Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Black Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Bright Silver Paint

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Gold Painted

Enkei Racing Series RPF1
Special Brilliant Coating


Enkei Racing Series' RPF1 uses a revolutionary MAT Process to make lighter weight wheels. MAT is a technology for producing an aluminum wheel by combining Enkei's MAP (Most Advanced Production) and flow-forming forging technology. MAP is a highly automated system. Each process is connected in a single-piece flow system that transports wheels from the melting process, through heat treatment and on to machining. The process of spinning the rim vs. casting it to both shape and elongate it produces a finer, more even aluminum structure and ensures the wheel will remain lightweight and strong. The complete MAT process has a drastic impact on the microstructure of aluminum and results in outstanding improvement of the mechanical property of the material.

As wheels and tires become larger, use of the MAT process to manufacture wheels becomes even more important. In order to reduce weight under a vehicle's suspension, larger wheels must remain light. Enkei Racing Series' new generation of 10% - 15% lighter weight, forged MAT wheels are strong and retain optimum anti-flex properties.

The Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered in black painted, bright silver paint, gold painted and special brilliant coating finishes for a wide assortment of vehicles like BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Honda. Shop by vehicle to see if the Enkei Racing Series RPF1 is offered as a performance upgrade for your track car.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop SP Sport Signature (H- or V-Speed Rated)

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop SP Sport Signature (H- or V-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.9
 
 

2005 Honda Accord Sedan EX V6
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Miles driven on tires: 15,000
Location: West Islip, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 15,000 Miles on Tires
December 31, 2013

These tires respond 100% better than stock tires. Turning is insanely sensitive and grip is always there. Tires don't really have much tread noise however due to the tires being so stiff (helps with the responsiveness) you do hear and feel bumps and road imperfections more than with another tire but this is just helping to "feel the road." Again due to stiff sidewalls the ride comfort suffers but I love the way they perform and consider it just a tradeoff that is well worth it. If you want a tire that handles well and is responsive with a good price and don't mind a little road noise then get these. As for the tread, I have had them for a year so far and about 15000 miles and the tires still look new.

Just a side note, the tires sidewalls are noticeably thicker than other tires and do cover more of the rim edge than a normal tire which is cool because if you happen to hit a curb(happened 1 time) you might get scared you damaged the rim but the tire protected it.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Carving Edge

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


Pirelli Winter Carving EdgeReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.36

2012 Fiat 500
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Miles driven on tires: 2,700
Location: Shrewsbury, MA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 2,700 Miles on Tires
January 04, 2014

Great purchase in terms of total cost (tires and rims). I drive 110 miles round trip per day (mixed highway & street) to work. These tires are the difference between being off the road in a ditch (calling AAA for roadside assistance) and motoring down the highway while others sturggle to make progress in poor conditions. As for the last 6 weeks we have had 60 to minus 5 degree weather and two significant snow storms. The first snow storm I took to the the road with these tires and was impressed with my ability to climb hills, corner, stop and plow through drifts. The best part was when I came home to a 20 plus inch snowbank at the end of the driveway and hit it at a reasonable speed breaking through without even slowing down (snow fying cover the hood, windshield and roof). The wife commented "please do not hit the garage door", and we came to a dead stop 6 feet away like we were on dry pavement in 10 inches of snow. I knew then and there these tires were excellent. My other car is an Audi A4 with winter Nokians, and these Pirelli's are on par in terms of performance (except for slight increasee in road noise, and this very likely a funnction of the sound dampening material betweeen a Fiat & an Audi, along with the size of the vehicles). Overall, great tires, I feel safe and in control when I hit the street, and look forward to taking on the winter conditions without a worry.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Monday, January 27, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.73
 
 

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

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
January 23, 2014

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

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus

Friday, November 8, 2013 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 Turanza Serenity Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.27
 
 

2013 Acura TL SH-AWD
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Miles driven on tires: 1,800
Location: Roseville, MN
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,800 Miles on Tires
March 23, 2013

I could not stand the lacking quality of OE tires (Eagle RS-A) So after I bought my car, I sold off my OE (40 miles on them) and bought a new set of tires. I ended with Bridgestone Turenza Serenity Plus and could not be happier.

There is a huge difference between Ultra High Performance and GT(grand touring) All season tires with 19" rims. You are trading off nimble and aggressive traction for a far better ride and sound characteristic. Since I have AWD I figured I was not losing much.

What I was after, that OE tires did not supply, was a smooth/quiet ride with solid all-season traction without changing to 17" or 18" rims. I was told that was impossible with AWD car however those bloggers were wrong. My stock size was 245/40 r19 so I went with a plus 0 size, 255/40 R19 to gain better ride. I gained maybe 7mm of sidewall and whammo it worked.

First off 255/40 R 19 recommended rim size was 8.5 to 10" and my stock rims were 19x8. I checked with numerous resources and posts/discussions of people that did the same thing, what I found was that it was fine.

Initially I tried Continentals DWS 245/40 R19 (was no 255/40 option) and loved their traction. Yet the ride was too sporty, granted they were far better than OE tires. Then I was talked into Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus in 255/40 R 19 (Ultra High Perf All season) - Traction and control were great however the tires were noisy & ride quality was not quite what I wanted.

So I then tried Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus (Grand Touring All-Season) in 255/40 R 19. Talk about night and day, these tires have solid dry, wet and snow traction with unbelievable silent/silky smooth ride. My wife could not believe it. She said, "I felt like I was driving a totally different model of TL!" Seriously, I highly recommend these tires.

Sidenote: 2013 Acura TL SH-AWD Advanced package - If you want a far smoother ride, change your stock 245/40 R19 tires to these Bridgestones in 255/40 r19. Trust me, pure silky awesomeness.

 

Best Brake Pads for Low Dust

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Are you tired of constantly cleaning ugly, black brake dust off of your factory or aftermarket rims? If you're willing to give up a small amount of braking capability, you can use ceramic brake pads - which will go a long way in reducing how often you need to clean your rims. These pads produce less brake dust and the dust is a lighter color that doesn't show up on wheels as badly. Ultimately, this leads to wheels maintaining a cleaner appearance.

Many vehicles come from the factory with ceramic brake pads. Most Acura, Lexus and many Honda brake pads are ceramic. Three of the best manufacturers of low dust ceramic brake pads are Akebono, Centric and Hawk.

 Akebono Euro Ceramic
Akebono Euro Ceramic
Pads
 Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic
Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic
Pads
 Hawk Performance Ceramic
Hawk Performance Ceramic
Pads


If you're looking for a little extra stopping power out of your low dust pads, I would lean toward the Hawk Performance Ceramic Pads as they are rated a bit higher for stopping power. However, all ceramic pads offer the following advantages over most of today's standard pads:

  • Very low dust
  • Improved braking over many inexpensive pads
  • Extremely quiet
  • Extended pad life
  • Increased rotor life
Shop by vehicle to find a recommended set of low dust brake pads.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season

Thursday, April 11, 2013 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 P Zero Nero All Season Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.09
 
 

2011 Ford Mustang GT Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
April 03, 2013

These came stock on the 19" x 8.5" rims of my 2011 Mustang GT. I drive 6-speed with 3.55 gears, so the rear tires get a bit more shock treatment than that of an automatic.

Brand new, the tires are great. You almost can't get them to break traction short of turning the traction control off and dumping the cluth after reving up to red line. But after doing that a few times, you will find the traction/stickiness of the tire will have depleted.

They are still good all-around tires, but after a few months of driving, they lose their launch traction.

I have already replaced two sets (four tires total) in the two years that I have had the car and am about to replace another set on the rear. That would mean that about every 10,000-13,000 miles, they need replaced. The tread is not down to the cords or anything, but you can feel a major difference in the performance at the 10k wear point.

Road noise is pretty minimal for a low-profile tire and the ride is comfortable as the suspension on the GT with these tires rides very well. There seems to be a bit of roll/softness in cornering, but if you know your car well enough, you know what you can and can't do and the tires stay fairly firm. I will buy them again for all year tires, but I will probably switch to something stickier for Summer track action on street tires.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Graspic DS-3

Monday, March 25, 2013 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 Graspic DS-3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.27
 
 

2002 Subaru Outback Wagon
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Miles driven on tires: 50,000
Location: East Stroudsburg, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 50,000 Miles on Tires
March 19, 2013

Got this tyre 2 winters ago for my outback. At the time it was just about the cheapest snow tyre around. My original outback died last autumn and I got another outback, and i kept the graspics on their rims. I am a confirmed michelin fanboy and was jealous of my GF who had michelin xices on her van. But my graspics have performed flawlessly. I kept them on last Summer and simply pumped them up to 36psi. My commute is 55m each way and I drive 78-90mph traffic and Smokey permitting. Tyres still have 1/3 left up front and 1/4 at the back at 50k miles (was the other way around on my original car). My GF's xices are worn after 20k miles. The tyres have pulled through ice and snow flawlessly. The graspics are also much better in the dry than the OEM tyres which are plainly awful. 4wd is no use if you don't have the right tyre-I spun out in a snowstorm on the OEM all season tyres. If you live in a winter climate region I wholeheartedly recommend the graspics.

 

BFGoodrich g-Force Rival Approved for SCCA Autocross Events

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

BF Goodrich g-Force RivalThere's quite a bit of excitement among the performance enthusiasts for the new Extreme Performance Summer BFGoodrich g-Force Rival. Trying to regain the "King in the Dry" reputation that BFGoodrich achieved with the now-discontinued g-Force T/A KD, the g-Force Rival is being released size by size as production is completed. For SCCA autocrossers, this roll out would normally present a bit of a challenge because of SCCA's "6 and 4" rule that requires a new tire to be available in six sizes across four rim diameters by April 30th.

Great news! SCCA has confirmed that BFGoodrich's production will meet the "6 and 4" requirement by this date. So, the SCCA has ruled the g-Force Rival legal for immediate use. This is very exciting new for early season autocrossers!

At the time of this writing, three sizes are available:

  1. 205/50R15
  2. 225/45R17
  3. 245/40R18

A total of fifteen sizes have been announced, so be on the look for the additional sizes to become available between now and early June.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Thursday, February 28, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


General Altimax ArcticReviewer's Overall Rating: Not Rated

2011 Mazda Mazda3 4-Door
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Iowa City, IA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
January 31, 2013

Four of these tires with studs makes a front-wheel drive car a brilliant performer on ice!

We live on a gentle hill that became slick as snot after freezing rain last week. It was so slick that it was perilous to walk down the sidewalk. But with their studs, these tires did great -- going down the hill our Mazda 3 never lost any traction. Even when I tried stepping hard on the brake, these studded tires did not slip even a little.

Besides ice, we've driven on a couple of inches of snow and with a set of four we had no problem in our front-wheel drive Mazda 3.

I bought these from TireRack, who also installed the studs and mounted them on rims. What we received from TireRack was ready to mount on the car, which we did at a cost of $25 at the local tire shop at the beginning of the snowy season. This was a good customer experience.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position

Thursday, February 28, 2013 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 RE960AS Pole PositionReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.86

1986 Toyota MR2
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Burlington, KY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
March 25, 2011

I purchased this tire to replace a pair of worn Blizzaks on my daily driven MR2. The tires were mounted on the stock rims on a car with a refreshed and slightly upgraded suspension setup (stock height), all parts replaced and aligned. Even though the stock tire size is 185/60/14, I went to the 195/60 in hopes of getting a bit more comfort, but still great traction, with this car that I DD (highway) and still hit up the backroads with on the weekends.

Based on reviews and ratings (price wasn't bad either), I opted for these Bridgestones. I haven't really done too much serious driving, but I can say that the tires are much quieter than the old Blizzaks and just as much so as the 215/45/16 Hankook RS2s (great tire, but not much creature comforts) I had last summer. Also, these Bridgestones are predictable and direct with inputs. On the highway they ride smooth, as a new tire should but, again, they are nice and quiet.

Just this evening, I took them down one of my favorite stretches of backroads, and for a tire so comfortable, they just blew me away! Very direct, predictable, and firm. I didn't feel any squirm or "mushiness" from the front to the back, even through some interesting set of turns. They catered amazingly to my mid-engined coupe's unique handling characteristics, and had me having to throttle down a bit because of how fast I was going with the car still feeling so secured to the road... Frankly I was shocked! I look forward to making these tires last, all while getting the best use out of them. I hope to report back in the future!



A note about a previous review; perspectively good tires don't make your car lose control, but a poor alignment might. Proper alignment is important when judging how well a tire performs. Side note, I was surprised at the number of Porsche owners who commented on how well these tires performed for them, certainly in the pursuit of comfort from day to day, and performance from weekend to weekend.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Destination A/T

Monday, February 25, 2013 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 A/T Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 4wd
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 80,000
Location: Silverdale, WA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 80,000 Miles on Tires
February 25, 2013

I finally broke down and purchased a new set of these after the old pair hit 80,000 miles. They are not at the wear bar, but close. Hear we have a lot of rain, black ice, and occasional snow. But I drive allover including unimproved roads, off road, and highways. These tires rock! I have had excellent wear, excellent off and on road grip in sun, rain, snow, and Ice. The ride is not as quiet as the old continentals this car had, but otherwise much better. I would not advise these for fair weather asphalt city dwellers, they can stick with basic high mileage tires, but these do not harm gas mileage much at all.
Please note my other car is a sports car with high performance tires and rims, so this car is driven where that car cannot or will not be taken.

 

Updates To Our Recommended Installer Page Help You Find Your Ideal Installer

Thursday, February 7, 2013 by Ben Rooney

Our database of Recommended Installers is always improving. We recently got all of our listed installers signed up for our Price Pledge program, to make sure everyone is able to fairly compare installation costs between different shops. Installers who participate in the Price Pledge program agree to display exact quotes for installation services based on tire aspect ratio. That's the middle number of your tire size. To learn more about a tire's aspect ratio, read "Tire Size Guide." Additional or optional related installation fees are also displayed. These services may include valve stems, disposal of old tires and service of TPMS sensors.

We have also recently added a map feature to our web search, so that you can easily see which locations are most convenient. This is especially helpful if the shop has an address that is not on a well-known street. As always, we accept customer reviews regarding your experience at the installers we work with. Reviews are averaged on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Shops that maintain an average of at least 4.5 stars out of 5 are highlighted as Price Pledge Plus installers. These are listed at the top of the search results for their local area. But first, all Recommended Installers must meet our uncompromising criteria:

  1. Use proper mounting and balancing equipment including touchless or rim clamp, European-style tire changers and high-speed computer spin balancers.
  2. Employ properly trained technicians capable of safely performing damage-free installations.
  3. Be an automotive business that can offer additional services to customers (alignments, complete repairs, auto detailing, etc.)
  4. Possess a positive attitude and the ability to treat Tire Rack's customers with the highest level of professional courtesy.

Find a Recommended Installer near you!

BFGoodrich g-Force Rival: First Test and Impressions

Monday, January 28, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Last week, a few fellow Tire Rack sales specialists and I had the opportunity to test the new BFGoodrich g-Force Rival at its official release. The event was held at NOLA Motorsports Park outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. Testing involved low-speed and high-speed autocross, as well as open track testing on a road course. While we haven't received the tire in stock (along with freezing temperatures in Indiana) to complete a full test on our track, my initial impressions were very favorable. It was composed, stable under lateral cornering load and had the grip level expected of an Extreme Performance Summer tire.

The tire was also very quick to respond to changes in steering input and extremely stable under high speed braking. After my brief time with the tire, it looks to be a front runner this year in its category. We were impressed with how well the g-Force Rival fared against its competitors while in New Orleans. 

Pre-orders have now begun for this new tire, which will debut with 15 sizes with rim dimensions ranging between 15 and 20 inches and 205 and 335 section widths. Per BFGoodrich, "The tire will help BFGoodrich target a growing market of drivers seeking extreme performance tires which are versatile enough to be used in auto-cross and track-day events then driven home. The tires have a 200 UTQG Rating (Uniform Tire Quality Grade) which allows them to be used in racing where drivers must compete on 140+ UTQG tires."

If you're in the market for a solid track-ready tire that is still street friendly, give the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival a close look. They are scheduled to ship this coming month for many sizes. Place your order today!