Continental's Best Tire for Your SUV is the CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology

Friday, August 16, 2013 by Doc Horvath

With larger SUVs still in high demand, tire manufacturers continue to fine tune their lines to offer quiet and comfortable options, but now with an added improvement in fuel economy. In an effort to minimize the pain most SUV owners feel at the gas pump, Continental has integrated their EcoPlus Technology found in the ProContact passenger car tire into the popular CrossContact LX SUV and light truck model to give us the CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology.

The CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology uses an all-season tread compound and a symmetric tread design to combine precise steering response with reduced tread noise and good ride comfort. Continental’s Traction Grooves promote three-dimensional snow-to-snow grip in wintry conditions. All these benefits combine with a focus on fuel efficiency to create a winning package!

With just over one million miles reported, our customers have rated the CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology near the top of the Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category with a high number of favorable reviews, too.

In our most recent test, the CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology proved to be the best with a superior rating for handling and traction, especially in wet conditions. For a complete recap of our testing, read "Testing Eco-Focused Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Tires."

Introducing the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 by Steve Huffman

Released for the 2013 season, Hankook has unveiled their new Ultra High Performance All-Season tire, the Ventus S1 noble2. The tire is very popular as it's offered in many sizes, ranging from 16" all the way up to 20". This asymmetric all-season tire features a UTQG rating of 500 AA A, which is excellent for this category. It's also offered with a 50,000-mile treadlife warranty, as well as a one-year Manufacturer Road Hazard Warranty that provides customers with peace of mind.

Ventus S1 noble2 tires use hybrid compound technology silica that combines wet road traction with lower rolling resistance and longer treadlife. The compound is molded into a sophisticated semi-rib asymmetric tread design that features notched outboard shoulders, intermediate and center ribs to deliver responsive handling and stable cornering in dry conditions. Four circumferential grooves and inboard Aqua Hydro Block technology offer efficient wet traction and braking. Carving edge grooves and 3D sipes promote wet road and wintertime traction without abandoning dry road response and handling.

I was able to test this tire recently and can report that it offers a very nice ride with precise handling and is very responsive to input. Check back soon for a complete recap of our test results.

New Extreme Performance Summer Tires for 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Steve Huffman

2013 is a great year for enthusiasts of high performance cars looking for street tires that are trackable. This year we are excited to offer three new Extreme Performance Summer tires. These tires primary focus is going to be on extreme dry grip for spirited or competitive driving such as autocrossing. We can't wait to get a chance to test them at our facility this spring!

While we haven't had a chance to test the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival on our track, we did have the chance to drive on it at NOLA Motorsports Park near New Orleans and the feedback was very positive. The tire was very easy to drive on, had excellent responsiveness and is designed to wear very well over the course of a competitive event. It has the 200 UTQG treadwear rating that is required by many sanctioning bodies.

The next new tire for 2013 is the Dunlop Direzza ZII. This tire is replacing the Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec. Compared to its predecessor, it's designed to have better responsiveness, as well as an improvement in wet and dry grip. Also offered with the 200 UTQG treadwear rating, the Direzza ZII is available in a variety of hard-to-find smaller sizes. Last fall, we tested a production-spec set of Direzza ZII tires against the Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec and found that Dunlop hit the mark with this new offering as it was faster and more predictable in the dry and wet. For a complete recap of our test, read "Dunlop Direzza ZII Introductory Track Drive."

Bridgestone's Potenza RE-11A is replacing the previous model, the Potenza RE-11 in 10 sizes. This newer tire has an updated rubber compound designed to improve wet and dry traction. While sharing the same tread design, the Potenza RE-11A adds an exclusive tread compound that combines silica with a new long-link carbon black that increases road contact and abrasion resistance while promoting tread rubber flexibility across a range of cool to hot temperatures. The internal construction includes a custom asymmetric shape that helps distribute footprint pressure more evenly.

BF Goodrich g-Force Rival
BFGoodrich g-Force Rival
Dunlop Direzza ZII
Dunlop Direzza ZII
Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A
Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A


Are you a serious driving enthusiast looking for dry road response, traction, handling and high speed capabilities? If so, take a look at our Extreme Performance Summer tires and find the one that's right for your vehicle.

Hankook's Newest Ultra High Performance All-Season Tire: Ventus S1 noble2

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Hankook Ventus noble2Hankook has started to release their latest entry into the Ultra High Performance All-Season category, the Ventus S1 noble2. Developed for the drivers of sports cars, sporty coupes and performance sedans, the tire is being released in a myriad of sizes and wheel diameters. This includes sizes between 16" and 20" diameters and widths ranging from 205mm up to 275mm. At the time of this post, many of the 16", 17" and 18" sizes are available, while the 19" and 20" options are expected to arrive at a later time.

Ventus S1 noble2 tires feature an asymmetric tread design pattern. The inside of the pattern is optimized for wet traction and wet traction channels were developed with 3D computer simulations for hydroplaning resistance. Asymmetric patterns can cause some questions for some customers due to the shape of their water channels, however this pattern allows for full tire rotation. For additional information, read "Are my Asymmetric Tires Running Backwards?"

The Hankook's outer edge focuses on cornering and noise reduction, while larger tread blocks and a solid rib provide stability under load. 3D vibration analysis technology was used to produce an advanced mold profile that delivers uniform contact pressure across the footprint to promote even wear and secure braking performance.

We plan on testing this tire during the summer months, so be on the look for those results.

 

New Top Contender in Extreme Performance Summer Category: Introducing the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival

Thursday, February 7, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

BFGoodrich's g-Force Rival was developed to fill the void between the Ultra High Performance Summer g-Force Sport COMP-2 and the Dry Racetrack & Autocross Only g-Force R1. Many autocross and road race drivers, as well as performance enthusiasts needed a tire with higher grip and better trackability than the g-Force Sport COMP-2. Alternatively, the same drivers couldn't use the g-Force R1 because they needed a tire with very high levels of dry traction, yet could be driven to and from the track. The g-Force Rival also boosts a higher UTQG rating of 200 as compared to the 40 UTQG rating of the g-Force R1, thus allowing the g-Force Rival to be used in a wider array of autocross and road race events which restrict tire use by UTQG rating.  

BFGoodrich g-Force Rival
BFGoodrich g-Force Rival
BFGoodrich g-Force Rival
BFGoodrich g-Force Rival


g-Force Rival tires are developed for sports car, muscle machine and pro-touring car driving enthusiasts who want their tires to turn heads on the street and lower lap times at the track. Created with razor-sharp reflexes, the g-Force Rival is designed to raise the limits by delivering extreme grip that’s extremely predictable.

This Extreme Performance Summer tire features a Silica-infused compound molded into asymmetric tread designs that are performance-tuned to match tire width (255mm and narrower sizes feature a 3-rib design, while 265mm and wider sizes use a 4-rib pattern). To achieve predictable feedback and maximum cornering grip from start to finish, the g-Force Rival has large, solid outboard tread blocks and BFGoodrich’s Extreme Tread Edge (ETE) shoulder design that wraps the tread compound farther down the sidewalls. Lateral groove draft angles promote consistent performance and wear, while chamfered block edges resist feathering under extreme cornering and braking.

The tire’s internal structure features BFGoodrich’s Performance Racing Core reinforced internal structure that reduces flex to increase steering response. g-Control sidewall inserts tune the sidewall stiffening to promote steering response.

To see if the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival can transform your ride, shop by size.

If You Liked the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec Then Check Out the New Dunlop Direzza ZII

Thursday, January 24, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

The Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec has become a staple among autocross and performance enthusiasts. Many were disappointed to hear it had been discontinued. Dunlop has launched the newest version of their highly successful Extreme Performance Summer tire, the Direzza ZII. It's designed for enthusiasts who demand race tire-like traction for street use, autocross, drifting and track events.

Direzza ZII’s high-grip tread compound is molded into a directional design with a continuous center rib flanked by massive shoulders to form a highly rigid tread that delivers high levels of dry grip and handling while promoting uniform tire temperatures and even wear across the tread. Two wide circumferential center grooves channel water through the center of the tread design. Angled independent grooves help direct water to the sides of the footprint to enhance wet traction.

 Dunlop Direzza ZII
Dunlop Direzza ZII
 Dunlop Direzza ZII
Dunlop Direzza ZII


The Direzza ZII features Dunlop’s True Circle Profile to distribute tire deflection forces along the sidewall to provide more control by better communicating tire performance limits to the driver. Its internal structure includes JointLess Band (JLB) Technology that spirally winds polyamide cord over two wide steel belts to promote strength, uniform ride quality and high-speed capability.

During our time testing the tire, it proved to be a worthy replacement for the Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec with significant lap time improvements in both the dry and wet when compared head-to-head. To read the full report, take a look at "Dunlop Direzza ZII Introductory Track Drive."

Best Tires for the Toyota Highlander

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Since its introduction in the United States in 2001, the Toyota Highlander has been a popular luxury SUV/CUV. The second generation of the vehicle was introduced in 2008 and has continued to be a great choice for many drivers. Given the popularity of the Toyota Highlander, I'm often asked about what replacement tires are best for the vehicle. Below are my top picks that work well for each generation:

2001-2007 Toyota Highlander

Firestone Destination LE 2
Firestone Destination LE 2
Michelin LTX M/S2
Michelin LTX M/S2


The Michelin LTX M/S2 and Firestone Destination LE2 are the top two tires in our Highway All-Season category, and for good reason. Both tires offer a smooth and quiet ride, with excellent traction in all conditions. Firestone's Destination LE 2 is also designed to combine a long wear with a comfortable ride. Its internal structure features twin steel belts reinforced with spirally wrapped nylon to provide strength, uniformity and durability on top of a polyester cord body to help cushion the ride. Destination LE 2 tires come with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty.

Compared to the original LTX M/S, the Michelin LTX M/S2 is an evolution in looks...and a leap forward in performance. It molds a long wearing, silica-enhanced, all-season compound into a tread profile that features Michelin's MaxTouch Construction to produce a contact patch that promotes reliable traction with long wear by evenly distributing acceleration, braking and cornering forces. The tire is offered with a 70,000-mile treadlife warranty.

2008-2013 Toyota Highlander

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


Both the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology and the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza rank near the top of the Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season category. The CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology is a relatively new tire, but initial customer feedback and testing data show it to be a top contending tire. This ecologically friendly tire performs on the highway, as well as in mild off-road conditions. Designed to enhance driving pleasure, the tire saves fuel and maintains grip when braking on wet surfaces while providing long wear and all-season traction, even in light snow.

Bridgestone's Dueler H/L Alenza has been a reliable favorite for many years and is consistently praised for its smooth and quiet ride, as well as great wet traction and wear. The tire provides elegance with an edge, along with year-round traction, even in light snow. Featuring Bridgestone's UNI-T technology takes the tire's behavior to a higher level by increasing comfort and control, in order to further enhance wet traction over the life of the tire.

Shop by vehicle to view all tire options available for your Toyota Highlander.

Introducing the New Dunlop Direzza ZII

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 by Steve Huffman

New forDunlop Direzza ZII 2013, Dunlop has released their latest Extreme Performance Summer tire, the Direzza ZII. This tire is replacing the ever popular Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec. Testing of this tire is scheduled for spring, but from our time with the tire during our introductory track drive, we saw the tire offer better dry traction than its predecessor. From the initial look of the tire, it has fewer circumferential grooves and directional sweeping treads, along with larger shoulder blocks - thus promoting better dry traction and improved stability in cornering.

The Direzza ZII features Dunlop’s True Circle Profile that distributes tire deflection forces along the sidewall to provide more control by better communicating tire performance limits to the driver. Its internal structure includes JointLess Band (JLB) Technology that spirally winds polyamide cord over the two wide steel belts to promote strength, uniform ride quality and high-speed capability. Two-ply polyester sidewalls help resist lateral deflection to provide responsive handling and cornering stability.

With 27 sizes expected to arrive for race season, get the Dunlop Direzza ZII and beat your competition.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Destination LE 2

Tuesday, January 15, 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 LE 2Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9

2008 Ford Escape 4wd
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle


Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1,600
Location: Hudson, WI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 1,600 Miles on Tires
December 06, 2012

My 2008 Ford Escape came with Cross Terrains. I liked them and wanted to replace with them, but not at their current price. My dealer suggested these Firestones which matched all-season specs of OE, and at the low promotional price I couldn't pass it up. I've only got 1600 miles on them and no serious rain or any winter driving yet, but I like them. They are quieter than the OE tires - always a good thing (and the OE tires were quiet). They transfer a bit more road feel than I remember in the OE tires, but I'm going to chalk that up to being new so side walls are stiff. If it continues, well...it's an SUV not a sedan - I expect that to an extent. We have yet to get significant snow in the upper midwest so I can't rate that aspect, but I seriously want to. I enjoy driving in snow, yeah maybe weird, but I'm a kid at heart and I like to see what I can do (while being safe about it). However my limitation is the all-wheel drive, which I don't feel allows me to really see what the tires can do. My previous Mazda Tribute with push button 4x4 would have been the perfect test for these, but what can you do?

So far so good and if they continue to perform as they have I would most likely purchase again.

Looking for The Best Tires for Your Toyota Camry?

Friday, December 7, 2012 by Steve Huffman

The Toyota Camry has been one of America's best-selling sedans for many years. It's very practical, fuel efficient and dependable. Many owners keep them for a long period of time, thus requiring them to likely have to replace the tires at some point.

If you're looking for the best all-season tires, two that'll last long and provide a smooth and comfortable ride are the Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring and Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus. These options are two of the best in class and will provide fantastic all-season traction. Customers like the ComforTred Touring for its hydroplaning resistance, dry traction, ride comfort and noise comfort. With over 3,000,000 miles reported, the tire is currently ranked second in our Tire Survey Results.

Goodyear Assurance ComfortTred Touring
Goodyear Assurance
ComforTred Touring
Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus
Bridgestone Turanza Serenity
Plus
Bridgestone Ecopia EP422
Bridgestone Ecopia
EP422


Drivers looking for a low rolling resistance tire that will continue to promote great fuel economy, I would recommend the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422. On top of designing a tire that offers good fuel economy, Bridgestone has done an excellent job developing a tire that maintains good overall all-season traction. On top of enhancing fuel economy by reducing tire rolling resistance along with the vehicle's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the tire offers good handling and comfort. To learn more about how the tire reduces environmental impact, read "Bridgestone Ecopia Low Rolling Resistance Technology."

Shop by vehicle to find the tire that's right for your Toyota Camry.

Best Tire Options for Tahoes, Yukons and Escalades

Friday, November 9, 2012 by Steve Huffman

General Motors' best-selling full-size SUVs are all based from the same platform. These vehicles include the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade. There are many basic similarities between these three vehicles, including tires. The current generation of these three SUVs either came with a 17", 18" or 20" tire. Given the popularity of these vehicles, many owners are looking for the best tire selection for their vehicle. Take a look at the following options when considering tire replacements for your Tahoe, Yukon or Escalade:

Bridgestone's Dueler H/L Alenza is the Original Equipment tire on most of these SUVs. This Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season tire is a very good option and I would continue to recommend it as a replacement option. It rides very nicely, offers good all-season traction and provides good treadlife. Designed to provide elegance with an edge, the tire has been ride and noise tuned to enhance comfort.

Another good option for these trucks is the new Michelin LTX M/S2. If you consider yourself a "Michelin Man", than this is your tire. This latest Highway All-Season radial from the French tire maker offers a very smooth ride and has the best all-season traction according to our most recent survey results. The LTX M/S2 molds a long wearing, silica-enhanced, all-season compound into a tread profile featuring Michelin's MaxTouch Construction to produce a contact patch that promotes reliable traction and long wear by evenly distributing acceleration, braking and cornering forces. Compared to the original LTX M/S, the LTX M/S2 is an evolution in looks and a leap forward in performance.

Bridgestone Dueler HL Alenza
Bridgestone Dueler
H/L Alenza
Michelin LTX M/S 2
Michelin LTX
M/S2
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Continental CrossContact LX20
with EcoPlus Technology


If you're looking for a tire with good value, then consider the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology. The tire is a favorite among our customers as it is currently ranked number one in our Tire Survey Results for Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season tires. It's also engineered to help you improve your fuel efficiency and maintain grip when braking on wet surfaces while providing long wear and all-season traction, even in light snow. For more information about EcoPlus Technology, read "Continental Tire EcoPlus+ Technology, EcoPlus or 'E' Symbol."

When your Tahoe, Yukon or Escalade is in need of new tires, consider these options or shop by vehicle to find the tire that's best for your driving style.

Best Tires for a Toyota Prius

Monday, September 17, 2012 by Steve Huffman

Given today's record-setting gas prices, the Toyota Prius has become the standard in hybrid vehicles. They're dependable, sporty and most drivers hold on to them for many years. Choosing the right tire will help keep your Prius rolling for miles to come. What's the best tire for you? Well that all depends on what you're looking for. The following options are a few top recommendations that'll suit most drivers.

If you're looking for the best all-season tires, two that will last long and provide a smooth and comfortable ride are the Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring and Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus. These options are two of the best in class and will provide fantastic all-season traction.

Goodyear Assurance ComfortTred Touring
Goodyear Assurance
ComforTred Touring
Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus
Bridgestone Turanza Serenity
Plus
Bridgestone Ecopia EP422
Bridgestone Ecopia
EP422


If you're looking for a low rolling resistance tire that will continue to promote great fuel economy, I would recommend the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422. On top of designing a tire that offers good fuel economy, Bridgestone has done an excellent job developing a tire that maintains good overall all-season traction. To see how Bridgestone created a tire that matched Prius' drivers' needs and driving style while addressing a broad range of today's environmental topics, read "Bridgestone Ecopia.'

 

Michelin Defender: Long Miles, Good Fuel Economy and Excellent Reviews

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 by Alex Mouroulis

During our recent test of the Michelin Defender, I came away impressed with how the tire performed. Driving in wet conditions on our test track, I found the steering and cornering response to be very crisp. The IntelliSipe Technology helps provide a connected feel to the road and also the additional biting edges enhance all-season traction in rain and light snow.

Michelin Green X technology allows drivers to gain additional fuel efficiency while maintaining all-weather traction. This tire features an asymmetric tread design, allowing cross rotation (C) to help promote even wear.

MaxTouch Construction optimizes the stresses experienced when the tire's footprint comes in contact with the road to promote predictable handling, even wear and long treadlife. Its internal structure combines twin steel belts with a polyester cord body.

Take a look at what some of our customers are saying about their experience with the Michelin Defender:

"The Michelin Defender is the best tire I have ever purchased for my Odyssey minivan. Ever! Tires are very quiet and responsive. You will never regret purchasing the Michelin Defender tire." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2007 Honda Odyssey EX-L

"These Michelins are like driving on glass -- incredibly smooth and ultra quiet. They are responsive and brake well on dry and wet pavement." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2010 Honda CR-V EX 2wd

"I could not be more pleased with this set of tires. No problems in wet conditions. Also, very quiet at highway speeds." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2003 Honda CR-V

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Wrangler SilentArmor

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 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 Wrangler SilentArmorReviewer's Overall Rating: 6.62

2006 Lincoln Mark LT 4x4
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 25,000
Location: Lafayette, LA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 25,000 Miles on Tires
July 30, 2012

These tires are great for a truck as long as you don't need anything that can handle a lot of mud. Even though they're technically all-terrains, they quickly become slick with thick mud and will bottom out within seconds.

On the road, these tires are very well mannered, but I was expecting at least double the tread life. After only 25,000 miles, my tires are down to 4-5 32nds of tread all around, with proper rotations every 3-5k miles. These tires aren't cheap either; for the price, I definitely expected a lot more life. I drive pretty aggressively, but I don't spin my tires or do anything that should burn excessive tread.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with these tires, but Goodyear should state a 30k mile tread expectancy and promote as less of an all-terrain. I had no trouble with flats, punctures, sidewall damage, or anything else, I just wanted them to last longer.

I'd say the short tread life is not a total loss for me as I plan on moving to a 35" mud-terrain as soon as the tread wears a bit more on these.

Information About Rebates and Promotions

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 by Ben Rooney

Tire manufacturers often use rebates to help attract buyers to their brand. Tire Rack participates in these special offers when possible. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we receive regarding rebates and promotions:

Q: Does the tire I want have a rebate available? Products that have a rebate or special offer will generally be noted right on the screen when you're viewing the product's price. If you want to see an overview of current promotions, see our special offers page.

Q: Is the dollar amount of the rebate for a set? Or for each tire? The rebates generally apply to a set of four tires. In most cases, if you qualify for a $50 rebate, this would mean you'd receive a Reward Card valued at $50 by mail-in rebate.

Q: I have different sizes on the front and rear of my car, does that still count as a set of four? Yes, it does. As long as the four tires are the same model and for the same vehicle, they count as a set of four.

Q: I reside outside the United States, do rebates still apply to me? Most rebates apply to U.S. residents only, as determined by your billing (not shipping) address. APO addresses are generally considered part of the U.S. Check the official terms and conditions page of the offer for specific details.

Q: I bought two tires last year and want to buy two more now. Does that count as a set of four? The four tires must be purchased during the current rebate period to qualify.

Q: There is a rebate on my tires, but the price in the cart is the regular price. What is going on? Most of the tire makers have mail-in rebates. After you order, watch your mailbox. You should receive the rebate form in about 1-2 weeks. Fill it out and submit it to receive the advertised offer.

Q: If I buy more than one set, do I get more than one rebate? It depends on the terms and conditions set by the manufacturer. Make sure to read them carefully if considering multiple sets to determine your eligibility. We make all of the terms and conditions available online.

For more information on special offers and promotions, visit our FAQ section.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin HydroEdge with Green X

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 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 HydroEdge with Green XReviewer's Overall Rating: 7.36

2003 Honda Odyssey
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle


Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 30,000
Location: Wauseon, OH
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 30,000 Miles on Tires
May 10, 2012

I bought these tires for their promoted wet weather traction capabilities. I wasn't sure about the directional tread design though. The van had the Goodyear version of this tire before that were worn out. They preformed well when new and I've not had any major problems. One rear tire was replaced early on with a new one when it blew out the side wall after hitting some sharp road debris up in MI. They seem to always look low on air even though I run 37 lbs. pressure in all four tires and monitor the pressure weekly. The fronts are nearing the outer wear bars. Partially my fault,I should have been more diligent in rotating front to rear, but I would still have thought they'd last longer. The fronts are getting noisy too. I am considering ordering a set of 4 of the new Michelin Defenders since they are more traditional in tread design and look to have longer life potential and a possibly a quieter ride. I'm not looking for a Ultra-high performance tire on an Odyssey, not planning on running any road ralleys. Whether it's the tires or not, the Odyssey gets an honest 25 MPG on the highway and my family and I got 28 MPG coming back from VA with a slight tailwind.I really appreciate Tire Rack's reviews and look forward to continue to use them as my tire source.

UTQG Treadwear Numbers: What Do They Mean?

Friday, April 27, 2012 by Marshall Wisler

Often, I receive calls about a tire's life and the tire's relationship to its assigned UTQG treadwear indicator. UTQG numbers are assigned to indicate a tires overall level of performance and tread hardness. These numbers beginning at 0 for race products and traveling north of 800 for some of the longest lasting all-season tires, are nothing more than a general guideline to assist customers in making their correct tire purchase. 
 

While certain performance standards are held standard, such as Traction Grades and Temperature Resistance, UTQG treadwear numbers are published by the manufacturer based upon their test findings of a tire's life expectancy. It's important to note that not all manufacturer's standards are equal and similar ratings may lead to different real world results between similar product types.
 

On a large basis, however, most manufacturer's figures are surprisingly accurate. To gain a better understanding of the process, take a look at a few of our popular performance categories beginning with soft compounds and working our way up.

Track & Competition DOT

These tires offer maximum grip in race environments where performance is key and treadlife is sacrificed. In order to be competitive, these tires feature a soft tread compound that tends to be very adhesive. These soft tires wear much faster than a standard street tire and aren't recommend for street use. Take a look at the Hoosier A6, a popular autocross tire to see an example. Note this tire's low UTQG figure of 40.
 

Max Performance Summer

This category features high-performance tires designed for street use. Although not nearly as soft as the race products outlined above, they're at home in a performance environment. This is an optimal choice for a driver looking for acceptable levels of treadwear combined with a high-performing grip level. Even though these tires offer much more flexibility, I'm reminded of an economics lesson: There is no free lunch. The longest wearing Max Performance Summer tires will not outlast a good performing all-season option. Sometimes a driver must choose between smiles and miles. Take a look at our current top-rated summer tire, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and its 300 indicated UTQG treadwear.
 

Ultra High Performance All-Season

Perhaps our most popular and best-selling category, the Ultra High Performance All-Season, promotes higher treadwear in exchange for some loss in ultimate dry grip. Although not as soft, and therefore not as sticky as the Max Performance Summer tires, these tires still place a good amount of focus on performance. This new breed of all-season tires typically lasts between 30,000-50,000 miles and allows the driver to experience practicality while also including good performance features such as a responsive sidewalls and higher speed ratings. The Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position is currently the number one tire in this category and carries a UTQG number of 400.

Standard Touring All-Season

Tires in this category sacrifice performance in terms of ultimate dry grip to focus on maximum life and mileage. These tires are designed for conservative drivers that are looking for the best in ride, treadlife and practicality. These tires aren't meant for track use or for aggressive street driving, but often work well as purposeful all-season tires. The popular Hankook Optimo H727 is a great example of such a tire. Notice that its 700 treadwear fits this category to a tee.

Goodbye, Michelin Harmony and HydroEdge with Green X. Hello, Michelin Defender.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Are you happy with your set of Michelin Harmony or Michelin HydroEdge with Green X tires? Ready for another set but having trouble finding your size? Don't worry, the Michelin Man has got your back. He's been hard at work making some good tires even better. After many hours of engineering and testing, it's time to say hello to the new Michelin Defender.

The Defender combines the strengths of the Harmony and HydroEdge with Green X into a single tire. The Harmony's greatest strength was above-average snow traction for its category. The HydroEdge with Green X excelled in low rolling resistance, wet grip, hydroplaning resistance and dry handling. Both of the Defender's predecessors wore well, especially the HydroEdge with Green X. The Defender maintains the HydroEdge's 6 years /90,000 miles warranty and carries an 820 treadwear rating compared to the HydroEdge's 800.*
 

Michelin has taken these strengths and improved on the rolling resistance and lowered the tread noise. Michelin's testing shows lower rolling resistance (17% compared to the HydroEdge with Green X) for better fuel economy. The new non-directional tread design yields 10% less tread noise relative to the HydroEdge and allows you to rotate them in an "X" pattern, promoting the even wear that's critical to maintaining low tread noise.

To gain a better understanding of Michelin's environmentally friendly tire options, read "Michelin Green X."
 

*H- and T-speed rated sizes have a 90,000 mileage wear warranty, while V-speed rated tires have an 80,000 mile warranty.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Ecsta 4X

Thursday, March 1, 2012 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.

Kumho Ecsta 4X Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2002 Audi A4 3.0 Quattro
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: St. Paul, MN
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
February 03, 2012

THEN: I had Pirelli's P6 Four Season's when I initially purchased my Audi A4, but the tread was almost ¾ gone on the rear tires, and probably ½ depleted on the front. Nothing particularly impressive about the Pirelli's I owned. They did look visually appealing, but they were quite loud on the freeway; actually the noise was almost unbearable! They could have been usable for another year easily, but I couldn't deal with the noise. The dealer recommended I get Pirelli's again. I didn't.
NOW: Kumho's are visually stunning (which is a mild factor I consider). They are relatively affordable (they had a promotion which gave me $50 in rebate). 500 miles plus driven on the tires and as such, they are technically "broken-in" So now I guess I can offer my thoughts about them.
I have 235-45-17 Ecsta 4X on 2002 A4 3.0 Quattro. Performance in the snow is the ultimate measure for me and so far, no regrets. NO spinning at all, braking in the snow and wet weather has improved considerably! I do have Quattro, so you would expect that the Pirelli's I owned previously would perform somewhat decently in the snow and wet weather, but they left a lot to be desired! This was another reason why I wanted new tires.
(Just a stray thought..DO get some Bridgestone Blizzaks if you are looking for some nice, non-compromising winter tires. I had them on my previous vehicle, and they were absolutely phenomenal in the snow and ice and winter in general).
Winter tires on Quattro are not necessary for me; the Ecsta 4X works harmoniously with Quattro and ESP.
The tires feel firm and secure on the road (I highly recommend getting them aligned). Noise level is noticeably lower than previous Pirelli's. Road grip is impressive on all surfaces; this translates to smooth, yet responsive handling. Though not typical of me, I can be somewhat of a spirited almost aggressive driver depending on my mood, and these tires are yet to disappoint

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Sumitomo HTR Z III

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 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 IIIReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.5

2005 Toyota Camry SE V6
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 1000
Location: HONOLULU, HI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 1000 Miles on Tires
November 08, 2011

Purchased four 225/50ZR17 tires about a month ago now. At $107/per tire for a max performance tire, this tire is a bargain. The Tirerack test reviews for this tire alerted me that I should seriously consider this tire, although I had originally want the highly rated Continental ExtremeContact DW tires. Since I did not like the special Continental tires promotion at the time and the Continentals were more expensive than the Sumitomo tires, I opted for the Sumitomo tires. (Sumitomo had a $50 rebate at the time.) Well, these tires are very satisfactory for me here in Hawaii (no snow). For my driving style and conditions, the Sumitomo tires are great. They offer a treadwear rating of 300AAA, so they should provide relatively long tread life. Since I do not drive aggressively/fast, I do not need an "extreme" performance tire, but I do appreciate performance. I have not been disappointed by there tires in any way so far.