Your Questions About UTQG Ratings Answered

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 by Ben Rooney

What does "UTQG" stand for? Uniform Tire Quality Grade. It consists of a numeric treadwear rating, a letter traction rating and a letter temperature rating.

Should I use these ratings to decide what tire is best? Short answer: No. While they contain some useful information, UTQG ratings are generally not sufficient to judge the actual quality of a tire. This is especially true of the treadwear rating. The treadwear number is determined by the tire manufacturer. Each uses their own scale, and they have a surprising amount of leeway when setting the wear number.

If the treadwear number is lower, does that mean the tire has more grip? Not necessarily. Advances in compounding have allowed manufacturers to increase both treadwear and traction compared to older models. Assuming that a tire with a lower treadwear rating has better traction is like assuming that a car with worse fuel economy has more power. It is sometimes true, but not always the case.

What about the traction rating? The traction rating only determines traction under one specific condition (locked-wheel braking on wet pavement). UTQG traction tests do not evaluate dry braking, dry cornering, wet cornering or high speed hydroplaning resistance.

If I live in a hot climate, should I be looking for an "A" temperature rating? Only if you plan to drive at high speeds. The testing for this rating is designed to evaluate the tires ability to withstand heat buildup caused by high speed operation. It does not accurately assess how well or poorly a tire will fare with regards to high ambient temperature. Tires with an "A" rating can exceed 115 mph in the lab test. Tires with a "B" rating can attain speeds between 100 and 115 mph. And tires with a "C" rating can reach speeds between 85 and 100 mph without failure. These ratings are similar to the speed ratings given to tires, though the methodology isn't identical.

Where can I go for more details about the methodology and ratings involved in UTQG testing? For more details and tables about testing procedure and ratings, read "Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG) Standards."

 

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

Monday, April 21, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.62
 
 

2003 Audi RS6
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Miles driven on tires: 7,500
Location: Eugene, OR
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 7,500 Miles on Tires
June 05, 2013

Purchased for all season wet use. Very easy break-in with multiple rebalances as tires settled in. Tires hold balancing quite well, however.
Biggest complaint is the poor ride quality- tried various tire pressures from 35PSI to 43PSI (OE spec is 36psi to 49PSI). Went with 35 series instead of 30's but can only surmise it helped any. Wanted the higher load index (100) to hopefully prevent flat spotting- no such luck. Takes a couple miles to "warm" up. The RE962's were even worse (different size).
The Audi is heavy and powerful (4260lbs; 515hp/500tq) and generally naws thru tires rather quickly, especially on the front. The 275 width on 9.5" wheels doesn't seem to have helped much, if at all, since the circumfrential grooves just get bigger, reducing the foot print. Had Michelin Pilot's (old) that bubbled, so got the B-stones. Immediately noticed the stearing vagueness, but hoped once the tires wore down a bit, steering response would return. No such luck. Alignment is perfect, done at a european race shop.
The dry limit seems a bit low to me, even when setting the car up long as possible to load the tires. Transient response is numb and a bit mushy (even at higher PSI), but are consisently predictable, at least it's safe.
These tires are rated 2nd on TR, but would say it's a d-i-s-t-a-n-t 2nd place. Overall, I should have anted up for the Michelins, or Conti's if I wanted to "save". Friend of mine has the same car with the new Michelin Pilot Sports-- loves them.
-----Even called B-stone, but there's no tread warranty and customer service was impersonal with people seemingly flipping pages to figure out the answer. I'm a serious car "guy" and expect and hope someone on the other end can hold a reasonable technical dialogue and know basic info off the cuff. Think I'd rather deal with the French for serious performance tires. The S-04's are a good choice for someone that has low-ish high performance aspirations. 3rd and last set of B-stones....

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Monday, April 21, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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


Continental ExtremeContact DWSReviewer's Overall Rating: 7.14

2011 Toyota Camry
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
April 11, 2012

Unacceptable vibrations at highway speeds since new. Have had them rebalanced by two different shops and moved them to a second set of wheels and the problem persists. Do a search online and you'll find it's a common complaint about these.

Other than the vibration they are fine tires. Not as good as the Pilot Sport A/S, but cheaper.

If it wasn't for the balancing problem I'd recommend them as a good bang/buck.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport

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.

Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.2
 
 

2007 Mazda MAZDA3 s 5-Door
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
June 11, 2013

These replaced well worn Yokohama s.drives in the same size, mounted on Mazda CX7 OEM wheels 18x7.5". The s.drives had 35K hard heat soaked miles on them, were zigzag cupped on the insides (bad rear toe) and very thin inside compared to outside, perhaps from the MZ3's stock negative camber. Noise and dry grip are dramatically improved, as is the ride comfort, keeping in mind that any new tire replacing a worn and heat cycled tire will almost always be quieter, grippier and softer riding. The Las Vegas heat is brutal on tires, and it so seldom rains I cannot comment on and wet performance. I also can't comment on tread wear as of yet. So far and am very pleased I spent the extra $1 per tire over a new set of s.drives. This was all thanks to Tire Rack's excellent customer survey system. As I look back at all of the Yokohama tires I have purchased here at Tire Rack it seems all Yoko's get extremely noisy with age. Maybe a brand trait? I only thank the Good Lord that Tire Rack does not have a button to click on that tells you how much money you have spent total on tires in your life time!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow

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.


Pirelli Scorpion Ice & SnowReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.25

2010 Toyota Sienna XLE
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Miles driven on tires: 7,500
Location: Laurel, MD
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 7,500 Miles on Tires
March 29, 2012

Had almost no snow or ice this winter but lots of rain. As expected these tires handled the rain without issue. Superior wet weather performance.

After two mid-Atlantic winters these tires impress for their relative quiet, smoothness and overall competence on dry and wet roads. My mpg suffers only a little. I still have 12/32 tread on all 4 tires. Wear has been even, keeping the pressure at 38 to 40 psi.

Just (Mar 28, 2012) took them off for the summer. Put on a set of Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology on my OEM wheels.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2

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.

Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.29
 
 

2008 Saab 9-5 2.3T SportCombi
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Amesbury, MA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
April 15, 2014

I Just replaced a set of Pirelli's with these and am very happy. Quiet ride, sure footed and smooth. Have been in some rain and they performed well. Slight hydroplane, but not bad. I am a sales rep driving 35K a year, so I'm in the car a lot. Tires / wheels are important to me! These are my Summer set up to switch out from Blizzak's in the winter. If these give me decent wear, I will be very happy with them. I would recommend them.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.75
 
 

2010 Acura TL SH-AWD
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Miles driven on tires: 650
Location: Newtown, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 650 Miles on Tires
April 08, 2014

The DWS is in a different league as the original Michelin. While the DWS is slightly noisier than the OEM Michelin, it more than makes up for it in how much better it absorbs bumps and shocks to the wheel. Also, with the Michelin's, even though the TLS is all wheel drive I could easily spin the tires while shifting in to 2nd gear and could shake them loose coming out of tight turns (upon acceleration) I could not make these Continental tires break loose under the same conditions. The Continentals are cheaper and have been a best buy for me for the TL AWD. Also, the Michelin's were horrible in snow. I actually have to use snow tires to get anywhere. While I expect these Continental's to perform better than the Michelin's in light snow, I already have a dedicated set of snow tires that have the sever snowflake rating for the heart of winter.

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 Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.75
 
 

2013 Subaru Legacy Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: El Paso, TX
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
April 08, 2014

The Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus tire is much better than the Potenza RE92A OE tire, and worthy of an early switch. The difference is night and day. I have a 2013 Subaru Legacy that I really like, but over the course of 32,000 miles I grew accustomed to feeling a rigid almost jolting ride as well as all the road imperfections Texas has to offer. The vehicle has now been transformed. I noticed an immediate improvement in braking, highway performance, steering response, quietness, acceleration, and even driving over speed bumps. My mileage also went up by about 1 MPG, and every little bit helps. I currently have almost 3,000 miles on the set and highly recommend. They seem to be wearing exceptionally well. I chose these over the Michelins due to other customer ratings, and the overall cost/value. I will also say that the car can easily accommodate a larger size if you want to fill up the wheel wells and gain a little more ground clearance; I opted for the 235/50R17. As grand touring all season tires they have nice curb appeal as well -dressing up the vehicle.

Do I have to Put Run-Flat Tires on My BMW?

Thursday, April 10, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

When it comes to tires for a BMW, many aren't pleased with the harsh ride and short treadlife of the Original Equipment run-flat tires. However, many owners are unsure if they're able to make the switch to a standard tire. The answer is not as difficult as you might think.

BMWs can make the switch to non-run-flat tires, the same is true when switching to dedicated winter tires. It's important to note that in most cases, the vehicle did not come with a spare tire. If you decide to make the switch to non-run-flat tires, a road hazard would leave you stranded on the side of the road without a spare to put on the car.

A solution to this issue is to purchase the Continental ContiComfortKit. The kit is capable of comfortably sealing typical tire punctures, making it possible for you to complete the drive home, to work or to a tire repair facility. It combines a powerful, high-volume, 12-volt air compressor, integral pressure gauge and a latex liquid tire sealant packaged in a compact, lightweight unit that's easy to store in a vehicle.

Another option worth considering is buying a full-size matching spare tire and wheel. Going this route essentially creates a set of five tires that will last longer than just four. The spare should be integrated into the vehicle's tire rotation from the beginning, as this will wear out the spare tire before it becomes too old.

The choice to switch to non-run-flat tires boils down to your comfort level. If having a tire failure and being on the side of the road until roadside service arrives or changing a spare on a busy highway are things you could never cope with, then staying with run-flats is probably best for you. If you're confident changing a spare tire in only a matter of minutes or waiting for roadside service is not a big deal, then you may be someone who could easily make the switch to a non-run-flat tire.

To view available non-run-flat tire options for your BMW, shop by vehicle.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General AltiMAX RT43 (T-Speed Rated)

Thursday, April 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

General AltiMAX RT43 (T-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.43
 
 

2011 Nissan Sentra
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Miles driven on tires: 450
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 450 Miles on Tires
March 29, 2014

First let me say I am NOT the person who writes reviews of any kind unless I'm thoroughly impressed ... and it taks a lot to impress me. Second, I believe in purchasing the best available in two categories ... brakes and tires. Your life, my life, and in this case, my girlfriends life, ride upon brakes and tires.

As you see, we've only got 450 miles on these tires so they are barely broken in.

This morning, in a typical Florida torrential rain, I went to the Post Office. While moving about 20 MPH on asphalt, I hammered the brakes. Anti-lock kicked in and the car came to a stop in an absolute blink of an eye. No tire slippage AT ALL! I was amazed! The Turanza EL 400's slipped almost before stabbing the brakes. Next, the puddle test ... with no wheel jerk, no hydroplaning, no difference at all from the drivers seat. These are GREAT tires! Then the lane marker noise test ... absolutely unbelievable. I recognized the General's were quieter than the Turanza's as soon as I installed them, but even over the markers they are quiet.

The Post Office parking lot was deserted, and made of concrete, so I decided to try wet traction on concrete. Hard turns, quick response, no slippage of any kind. Hard accelleration in a turn ... nothing but stick. Same thing on wet asphalt ... I couldn't believe it.

I selected these tires mainly for the wet traction and hydroplaning resistance(in Florida, that is a "no brainer"). Look at their rating yourself!

In a nutshell, I thank Tire Rack, their research and the reviews of fellow buyers for leading me to these tires. They ranked #1 in the category and for less $ than the big names. I took a chance and am glad I did. This is the first set of General's I've ever owned but won't be the last. Thanks again Tire Rack!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General G-MAX AS-03

Thursday, April 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

General G-MAX AS-03 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7
 
 

2007 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP
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Miles driven on tires: 27,000
Location: Coweta, OK
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 27,000 Miles on Tires
March 29, 2014

The G-MAX was my third set of tires on this car. 35000 miles seems to be about the maximum amount mileage I can get out of a set of tires with this car. I keep it aligned and watch tire pressure closely but, I cannot rotate the tires due to the different size tires and offset of the OEM wheels. For all around performance, the G-MAX was better than the OEM Bridgestones and the second set Kumho LX, which performed well except on ice and deep snow. However, there is a reason why I only got 27,000 miles instead of 35,000+ with the G-max. I had to replace them because I couldn't stand the noise anymore. The first 5000 miles were fine but after that it sounded like I was running mud tires. Handling on dry, wet, snow and ice were fine. Treadwear good and even. Noise was awful. My radio only goes up to 10. VanHalen called me and ask me to quit playing their music so loud. Now trying the Hankook Ventus and Eddie hasn't called once. I'll report back in 20,000 miles. BTW,Tire Rack rocks. Working on about my 10th set of tires with different vehicles from them.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Thursday, April 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.64
 
 

2006 Mini Cooper Non-Runflat Tires
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location: Dearborn, MI
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
March 31, 2014

This is my first experience with Conti's that I can say was outstanding! I am a very spirited driver in Michigan, in the worst winter we have had in 50 years and these tires performed wonderfully! 20K and these tires are still going strong and still handle competently. The only negatives (but very nominal negative) is they do generate just a bit of road noise, the sacrifice was comfort for handling (they don't take bumps great)but they are absolutely outstanding in the turns, on wet pavement and in the snow. For you high end tech. guys......These tires road-force wonderfully! I have installed 2 sets and every tire road forced to less than 10 lbs and balanced with minimal weights. The last set I installed (205 50 16's) only required a total of 3 ounces of wheel weights for all 4 tires and the tire with the worst road force numbers had 9 lbs of road force. These are GREAT tires! Forget about the Continentals of yester-year!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Eagle RS-A

Thursday, April 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

Goodyear Eagle RS-A Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.75
 
 

2013 Ford Police Interceptor
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Miles driven on tires: 15,000
Location: Callisburg, TX
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 15,000 Miles on Tires
March 27, 2014

I've had many sets of Goodyear Eagles on my Police Vehicles over the last 20 years. I've also tried other brands as well, and there is no comparison. Goodyear is an American company and their tires are American made. I'm at a point in my career where I can choose what tires I have and I won't have any other brand of tire on my police cars. These tires see a lot of abuse and there is a lot that is expected from them. Goodyear tires, and in particular the Eagle RS-A, are they only ones I trust. They hold up and perform better than anything else on the market. The Ford Police Interceptor sedan with AWD, puts a lot of power to all four wheels. These Eagles have performed flawlessly.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.38
 
 

2001 Lexus IS300
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Miles driven on tires: 100
Location: Kansas City, KS
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 100 Miles on Tires
March 02, 2014

I bought this set after reading reviews online and was more geared towards reliability. After getting them installed, I could tell right away how much quieter, responsiveness, and clean (with a notable brand name) looking this set is. I haven't put that much time on these tires and the weather here in KS is pretty unpredictable. I will always have backup tools and stuff for crazy snow/ice days but just to make it home with these tires will boost my confidence. I will re-evaluate again after having some time behind the wheel and going to places where I can really get on them without fear of slipping on ice/snow. It's like driving a new car almost since the tread noise has made it really quiet.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

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.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.27
 
 

2004 Ford Mustang Mach 1
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Cohoes, NY
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
March 22, 2014

This review is of my WS70s bought this winter, but also my WS50s which I bought in 2007. Both sets of Blizzaks have been absolutely awesome and to be honest, I can't tell the difference between them. If you have never driven on proper winter tires then you will be astonished. When I bought my Mustang (305bhp/320lbft rear wheel drive) to use in upstate New York, everyone said I would need another vehicle for the winter. One lone friend told me that all I needed was good winter tires. He directed me to Tirerack. On my all-season (Ha) tires, the car was pretty much undriveable on ice and snow. With these studless ice and snow tires I have NEVER had any problem, and I'm a skier, so that means getting to the Mountains just after the storm. In six winters, I have seen at least ten accidents unfold in front of me in snowy or icy conditions and have never been concerned that I was going to become part of the accident. The car steers, accelerates, corners and brakes with great confidence. It would be a lie to say they have the ultimate grip of a summer tire, but they turn an unuseable car into a very good winter vehicle.

The only time these tires have caught me out is on wet pavement. On two occasions (in six years) they span up unexpectedly whilst accelerating pretty hard in second gear (The car is a Standard), but that was really my fault.

It is worth noting that in retrospect, I should have replaced them last year. The WS50s did about 30,000 miles and I expect the WS70s will be similar. The performance in ice was undiminished, but they started to struggle in snow because of insufficient tread-depth. I replaced them with about 3/16 of tread remaining. I'm sure this is less than Bridgestone recommend.

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

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.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.4
 
 

2008 Toyota Avalon Limited
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Ashford, CT
Driving Condition: Easy Going
 

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
March 24, 2014

Just put a set on wife's 2008 Avalon, only driven 500 miles on dry roads so far, but VERY happy with these Pirelli's that replaced Michelin Energy MXV4's that wore out way too soon. Have a separate set of wheels/winter tires, so can't comment on snow/ice traction, but other reviews appear positive. Like the responsiveness as well as the ride, and they're pretty quiet on the highway. These are really great tires, I only wish they made them in the size my truck takes, I'd order a set in a heartbeat.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.18
 
 

2010 Audi A4 2.0 Quattro
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Miles driven on tires: 40,000
Location: San Francisco, CA
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 40,000 Miles on Tires
March 22, 2014

I use my car to visit customers about ~2 days a week, during those highway trips, I put on about ~200 miles total. The remainder, I have a short commute to the office or work from home. This is an AWD car with a 60/40 rear/front torque split so I kept a careful eye on rear tire wear. Tires were rotated every 10k. After the initial break-in and first 10k, I thought the Conti sidewalls were a little soft comparing to my Pirelli OEM's, but all in all, I determined the tire had a good all around rating.

I live in the Bay Area and when my friends don't feel like driving to Lake Tahoe, I volunteer, though my Audi can only hold 1~2 other schlorks including gear (hee hee hee)... Light/heavy snow performance is a 6~7 out of 10, but that's also due to poor ground clearance (and insufficient space in the wheel wells when they fill with snow). But hey, that's what you get with a good looking sedan with 18" wheels...

Last 10k miles, tire noise has increased slightly. I had a good experience with these and am now in the market for another set. Tire Rack will continue to see all my new tire business. Checking out Michelin PS3's, RE970AS's, and Eagle F1's. Will probably go with the PS3's to try something new and because they are relatively all in the same price range. Thank you Tire Rack.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.25
 
 

2008 Mini Cooper S
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Warwick, RI
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

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

Decided to replace my 50% used Continental Extreme Contact DWS tires with a set of these A/S 3's, along with new wheels. I upgraded from the OEM size 205/50/ZR 16 to a set of 205/45/ZR 17's on Sparco Tarmacs. Both the Continentals and the Michelins were W speed rated. While I understand upgrading to larger wheels with smaller aspect ratio tires improves handling, I only reduced the aspect ration by 5%. I say that because the difference between the Continental's and the Michelin's is night and day.

2 weeks prior I upgraded my suspension with the H&R Touring Cup Kit. While it was a significant upgrade over stock, I felt it was still missing something. There was still some roll in hard corners and the steering was a tad mushy. I simply couldn't believe the difference as soon as I bolted up the new wheels with the Michelin A/S 3's! The Conti's have a very soft sidewall that makes the suspension feel mushier than it needs to be. Turn in on the Michelins is simply outstanding. Crisp and precise. Prodigious grip in corners and very predictable at the limit. High speed stability is light years ahead of the Continentals, which were excellent in there own right. Ride quality is actually a tad better than the DWS's as well. I would recommend these to anyone looking for a truly no compromise all-season tire.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Monday, March 17, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.73
 
 

2010 Toyota Prius
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Lake Villa, IL
Driving Condition: Easy Going
 

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

After 10,000 miles, I'm impressed with these tires. While not as tenacious as studdable snows, these tires dont suffer from the noise issues with which studdable snow tires are burdened. The ride comfort is a fair trade, as these tires still provide very nice light and deep snow grip, and they seem additionally competent on the ice.

This was a tough winter with lots of opportunities to drive in challenging conditions. I drove through deep snow, across hard packed snow, two inch thick ice on the freeway. My Prius tore through it all. 7 plus inches of unplowed snow posed no issue. I drove at over 60 mph on two inch thick ice (just east of Lake Michigan) and found myself laughing at how easy it was.

What's more, and this is why I find myself buying Michelin tires over and over again, the tires are remarkably quiet in the dry. Although I have a separate set of summer wheels and tires (purchased from Tire Rack) I could easily run these tires with few issues. But I won't.

For those of you who drive a Prius or other hybrid, or are simply concerned with the mileage impact, I have found these tires, which are LRR, to be very good. I can easily average over 50mpg with my Prius in the warm, on fair weather tires. With these winter tires, I found my mileage to be closer to 44. How much of the decline is attributable to the tires, and how much is attributable to the cold weather, I cannot be certain. But now that it's a bit warmer, Ive seen my mileage climb back up to 50mpg, even though the winter tires are still mounted.

I would definitely buy these again, and I would recommend them. I hope this review has been helpful.