Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Latitude Tour

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.

Michelin Latitude Tour Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.44
 
 

1999 Mercedes-Benz ML320
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Miles driven on tires: 63,000
Location: St Petersburg Beach, FL
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 63,000 Miles on Tires
March 27, 2014

P255/65R16 106T Latitude Tour on an ML320 first series SUV. The tires are holding up well with just over 63k miles over 64 months. The first 18 months (14k mi) were in New England and the tires performed well through two northern winters. Snow traction was excellent as was wet traction. The last 48k miles have been in south Florida, mostly highway miles. Treadwear is excellent with about 4 to 5/32 of depth across the widths of each tire. (Tire rotation schedule and alignment issues with the car are main culprits for the uneven tire wear). Wet weather driving at highway speed in Florida has been great with zero hydroplaning (on 255s) along with confident braking. Dry weather driving is relatively quiet as is expected from all season tires. Mileage for the ML320 at highway driving is consistently 20mpg which I attribute 1-2 miles on the tire model. The previous tires were also Michelins but were H rated, lower tread life tires. I was initially concerned with "T" (118mph) speed rating, "B" temp rating, and 106 load index (2,094lb) for Florida drivers tend to consistently speed beyond the 70 MPH law. The ML is a heavy SUV with gross weight of 6000lbs. Front and Rear GAWR are 2550 & 3550 lbs respectively. A typical workday round trip is 140 miles highway driving 3-4 times a week. Additionally, was also concerned about the Florida heat and sun as the vehicle was not parked under cover for most of the last three years. As such, there is cracking all along the circumference of the tire walls (dry rot cracking, maybe). At this point, I am pleased with the performance and longevity of these Latitude Tours and may likely keep them on until the warranty period end (or another 2k miles). As a side note, I would purchase these again for a vehicle that I expected to keep a long time. These tires were a great investment. By the way, I love Tire Rack and will continue to purchase from them. Just replaced these with Conti CrossContact LX20 due to cost and remaining life of the Benz.

Is the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology the Best Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Tire? Our Customers Think So!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

The main concern of many crossover and SUV customers is traction, treadlife and road noise, not always in that order. Continental's CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology is a tire that rates highly in all of these key areas.

The CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology, currently ranked first in our survey results, is Continental's ecologically friendly Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season tire developed to help crossovers, sport utility vehicles and light-duty pickup trucks perform on the highway and in mild off-road conditions. It's designed to enhance driving pleasure, save fuel and maintain grip when braking on wet surfaces, while providing long wear and all-season traction, even in light snow.

 Continental Cross Contact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
 Continental Cross Contact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology


Continental uses an all-season tread compound featuring their Tg-F Polymers and +Silane additives to improve treadwear, fuel efficiency and traction on slippery roads. The compound is molded into a symmetric tread design with notched outboard shoulders, independent intermediate tread blocks and continuous center ribs to blend on-road steering response and straight-line stability with reduced noise and enhanced ride comfort. Four circumferential grooves enhance wet traction while Continental’s Traction Grooves (featuring ridges in the outboard grooves) promote three-dimensional snow-to-snow traction.

To view the performance ratings for the CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology, take a look at "Testing Eco-Focused Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Tire."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1

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.

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.5
 
 

2006 Ford Expedition XLT 4wd
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Miles driven on tires: 200
Location: Tariffville, CT
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 200 Miles on Tires
February 02, 2014

I only have a short time on the tires. I planned on driving the Expedition 1000mi a year but it might be more now that I've driven it a bit.

I used the vehicle during a pretty bad snow storm, rain, and of course in dry conditions. I also got to drive the OEM tires on the Expedition before this one. I also got to drive a similar year Explorer with all season tires in the snow back to back with the Expedition (same 1/4 mile in snow/sleet-then-frozen road conditions).

For winter use in the Explorer with all seasons (OEM tires) not only did the Explorer not respond well to any steering or braking input but on our very steep driveway the Explorer slid off the pavement and into the grass/deep-snow. I also had a hard time keeping the Explorer from sliding to the right due to the crown of the road (base layer of frozen sleet covered with hard pack snow, plus it was snowing). I was switching vehicles so I parked the Explorer and drove back the Expedition. Absolutely no problems accelerating, stopping (I did a brake check). I also went up and down our driveway to see if I'd have the same situation sliding down the driveway since the next morning I'd have my family in the Expedition. Not only did I have total control (this is literally 5 minutes later) but I could actually stop directly on the steep part of the driveway.

I also forgot to put it in the auto 4WD mode because I forgot - I drove it in 2WD (aka RWD) without any problems early the next morning.

The tires are also much quieter than the (not sure of age) OEM tires, respond significantly better on the few exit ramps I've taken, and are noticeably more comfortable. I'm very happy with the tires and would get them again.

Note: This is my first SUV so although I enjoy driving it's been interesting learning how a larger SUV drives/handles. Previously I've owned a large van along with regular compact cars, but I'm not used to the slower response of the large SUV.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology

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.

Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2005 Dodge Durango ST V8 4wd
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location: Springfield, OH
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
December 27, 2012

Perhaps the best set of tires I've had on an SUV. Yesterday was this first I've had them out in any type of snow or slippery conditions and I must say I am impressed. They seemed very good in the snow and slush and refrozen ice on the roads. I was able to engage the antilock brakes but only because I was actually trying; under normal driving I doubt the ABS would have been used -at least in the snow. In a short period of time I became confident that these tires would provide the traction I was looking for. I've had Michelin's M/T and this Durango came with Goodyears. The Goodyears were OK and the Michelins were very good, however these Continentals are almost as good in the snow as the Michelins and superior to the Goodyears (in all fairness the Goodyears had 20K miles on them when I bought the Durango and the Michelins were used on a different vehicle). In some ways, these Continentals are better than the Michelins; they are quieter on the road and because the sidewalls on the Continentals are a bit softer, they do not require near the steering input the Michelins require and are therefor easier to drive on longer trips. The softer sidewalls do not distract at all from stability though. I pull a 5500lbs camper and these Continentals are stable and predictable -no complaints. All in all, for an SUV that is used for towing, and for city and highway in moderate snow, slush, and some ice; I'd say these are as good as, if not better than anything I've driven on, and they are less expensive than some other brands too. So far I'd say I would definitely buy them again but I'll let you know if that changes in the next 50K miles.

 

Best All-Season Tires for Winter

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 by Steve Huffman

Believe it or not, winter's just around the corner. With the change in weather comes the change of tires. If you're a driver who faces the challenges of winter driving, you're going to want the best tire for your vehicle. A dedicated winter / snow tire will be your best route for handling the elements, but if you opt for using an all-season tire year-round, consider the following options.

When it comes to high performance, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS consistently ranks among the top all-season tires, particularly as it relates to winter traction. A visible "DWS" indicates the tire has sufficient tread depth for dry conditions, as well as wet roads and light snow. After the "S" has worn away, the remaining "DW" indicates the tire only has sufficient tread depth for dry and most wet road conditions. And after the "W" and "S" have both worn away, the remaining "D" indicates the tire has appropriate tread depth for dry conditions only. Along with good winter traction, this performance tire will hug the road and give your sports car the confidence you're looking for.

Are you looking for more of a touring tire, something that will ride exceptionally well? Then take a look at Pirelli's Cinturato P7 All Season Plus. Designed to to be driven in America's diverse weather conditions, the tire features lower weight, less rolling resistance and reduced noise while enhancing wet braking and year-round traction, even in light snow.

Finally, if you're in need of a tire for your SUV or light truck, one of the top choices with winter in mind is the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology. This tire is designed to enhance driving pleasure, save fuel and maintain grip when braking on wet surfaces while providing long wear and all-season traction.

Mouseover Text Here
Continental ExtremeContact
DWS
Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus
Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season
Plus
Continental CrossContact LX20 with Ecoplus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology


Shop by vehicle to find the tire that's best for how and where you drive this winter.

Which Tire Can Make Your SUV Handle Like a Car?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 by Doc Horvath

While most SUV owners appreciate the added space and "go anywhere" capability of their vehicles, the high speed handling of most SUVs can often leave enthusiastic drivers wanting more. Bridgestone, Continental, Pirelli and others have developed Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season tires in popular SUV sizes which fit this bill.

The new Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport AS was put in a head-to-head test with the Continental CrossContact LX Sport and Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season. Tests were performed using our Performance Test Track Drives and Real World Road Rides to see which tire made our Porsche Cayenne test SUVs handle most like their sports car relatives.

On our 4.1-mile loop of expressways, state highways and county roads, we're able to get a sense for how each tire will perform in real world conditions, like those most of our customers experience on their daily commute. The variety of pavement types, conditions and legal speeds puts each tire through its paces and helps determine overall ride comfort, road noise and handling characteristics. Continental's CrossContact LX Sport made easy work of small- and medium-sized impacts, while minimizing the effects of larger pavement breaks and other issues. Pirelli's Scorpion Verde All Season was close behind, with the Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport AS allowing just a little more road feel to sneak through the suspension. Road noise was minimal from all three models, and the Bridgestone was able to set the standard with the best handling characteristics. The Continental and Pirelli followed behind, but weren't able to replicate the crisp steering response of the Dueler H/P Sport AS.

Our 1/3-mile test track allows us to replicate extreme maneuvers in both wet and dry conditions that are normally experienced during an abrupt emergency avoidance move. The quick handling characteristics of the Bridgestone carried over to the track, providing very predictable and stable handling in both dry and most notably, wet track conditions. The CrossContact Sport LX wasn't too far behind, but the Pirelli struggled to maintain grip during acceleration and braking, making it a challenge to control near the limit.

For a complete recap of our test, read "Testing Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Tires: Can Some of the Newest Help Yours Drive More Like a Car?"

Best Brake Rotors for Import Cars

Friday, June 28, 2013 by Gary Stanley

For many drivers, a vehicle's braking system is not something they think about much until the vehicle starts to have problems. The most common problems with brakes are typically brake pad noise and brake pedal vibration. Both of these issues can be linked to worn out brake pads or brake rotors. For recommendations on new brake brake pads, read "Picking the Best SUV, Crossover and Truck Brake Pads."

Centric High Carbon 125 series
Centric High Carbon Plain 125 Series Rotor
Stoptech Sport Slotted Cryo Treated Rotor
StopTech Sport Slotted Cryo-Treated Rotor


For a high quality, value-oriented standard replacement rotor, I would suggest the Centric Plain 120 Series and Centric High Carbon Plain 125 Series rotors. A step up from generic rotors that are typically sold at local auto parts stores, these rotors are a great value and are equivalent to your vehicle's Original Equipment. In addition to being double ground and mill balanced, they feature a durable and attractive black E-coating for superior corrosion resistance.  

If you're looking for an improvement in durability, more resistance to warping and longer rotor life, I would consider checking out the StopTech Sport Slotted Cryo-Treated Rotor. These rotors have more resistance to cracking, warping and brake fade while delivering two to three times the life of a standard rotor. Given that much of the cost of changing brakes is in shop labor, fewer rotor changes over the life of your vehicle can mean these rotors may actually save you money in the long run while giving better performance. 

To help you in your decision making of purchasing the proper brake product, take a look at "Choosing Brake Components."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Fortera TripleTred

Thursday, March 7, 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.


Goodyear Fortera TripleTredReviewer's Overall Rating: 10

2006 Honda Pilot EX AWD
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Berlin, Germany, GE
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
April 03, 2010

I purchased these to replace the OEM Goodyear Integra, which were average but slippery. I had hydroplaning issues with those and slid on acceleration from stops on wet pavement. However, these Fortera TripleTreds are AWESOME. I need a good all-weather tire for my Pilot that I could use in bad weather at high speed on the German autobahn. I put them on in October and have gone through the fall and winter with them happily. They provide outstanding traction and stability in all conditions. I first noticed that they didn't slip on wet leaves or paint stripes when driving in town in the fall. I have since riven them in heavy rain, ice, and snow in town and at over 105 MPH on the autobahn. They perform perfectly at all speeds and vehicle weights and give me total confidence. They brake well, corner well even when loaded, and they are sure-footed cat's paws even on ice and snow. Sure, every tire will slide some if you turn sharply on glazed ice or brake suddenly on black ice; but these grip better than anything I've ever driven, on any vehicle. I trust my family's safety with them even at very high speed. I have also done anti-terrorist performance driving training. These TripleTred tires are what I want on my vehicle for max performance that could literally save my family's life. Even with shipping, they were cheaper to buy from Tire Rack and ship to a military APO than to buy autobahn-capable SUV tires in Germany. I will definitely buy them again.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60

Wednesday, February 20, 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 Blizzak LM-60 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.45
 
 

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location: Dover, NH
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
February 16, 2013

My second set of Blizzak's had my first set with my Tiburon. We got a mild snow here early and the regular tires on the Genesis were already spinning like crazy. I knew I was going to need snow tires in the New England winter so I went ahead and bought Blizzaks once again Tire Rack beat everyone else's prices by a mile actually coming in at $300 less including shipping than any tire shop I checked at. I went out with the car last weekend during the so-named storm of Nemo here and saw one SUV off the road immediately upon exiting the turnpike ramp. Not an unusual sight mind you but comical to go by in my RWD Genesis and have no problems at all. As other reviews have said, the Blizzaks really grip the road and may give you a false sense of confidence combined with the ESC on the car. Having learned to drive with RWD vehicles and in New England winters there is no substitute for leaving 10 minutes earlier or leaving extra space when following another vehicle and for braking, some people seem to forget all common sense every winter and wind up in the ditch. That being said, the Blizzaks will get you where you want to go, even when two vehicles couldn't seem to make it up a small hill (more of a grade mind you) and I had to come to a complete stop or hit them, I still got up the hill there was some spinning but once they got traction up we went. These tires are worth every penny and my last set lasted the four winters I ran them when I had the car. Typically I drive around 12k a year so the snow tires see maybe 6k each winter for mileage.