With Tire Rack's headquarters based in South Bend, Indiana, many of our employees are Notre Dame football fans. The hot topic of discussion is who will be the team's starting quarterback. With four viable options to place behind center, the head coach has a tough decision to make. What does this talk of football and starting quarterbacks have to do with tires? Just like each quarterback has strengths and weaknesses, so do the tire options for your vehicle. In order to decide what the best tire is for your car, you have to decide how important a given tire's strength or weakness is based on where you drive and how you drive.
Are you a fast driver who also autocrosses on the weekend? Are you a road warrior that puts 50,000 miles on your vehicle annually? Do you live in a place that receives quite a bit of rain like Seattle or is dry like Arizona? By balancing steering response, overall grip, wet grip, longevity, tire efficiency and ride compliance, you can find the best tire for your car. It's also important to see how these parameters will change relative to your current tire.
Consider this hypothetical situation. Susie from San Antonio drives 30,000 per year near or a little above the speed limit while Marcy from Maryland who drives approximately 5,000 miles annually but has trouble driving near the posted speed limit. Both drive a 2007 Honda Accord EX 4 Cylinder with the Original Equipment tire size of 205/60-16.
Susie needs longevity and tire efficiency, so her optimum choices would be the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max or the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422. While Marcy's need for overall grip, steering response and light snow traction in the 205/60-16 size limit her choices, she's better off switching to the alternative size of 215/55-16 and picking between the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus or the Continental ExtremeContact DWS.
Whether choosing the right quarterback for the season or picking the proper tire for your vehicle, the right option can affect you throughout the year. Choose the wrong quarterback and the head coach may be looking for a new job. Choose the wrong tire and you can't drive your vehicle the way it was intended to be driven in certain conditions.
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