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 Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500

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.

Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.5
 
 

2007 Mazda MazdaSpeed3
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location: Birmingham, AL
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
April 17, 2013

When I got these tires I didn't realize they came with no treadwear warranty. I didn't expect to get very many miles out of them but I have been pleasantly surprised by them. I have just over 20,000 miles on them as of this writing. When the were new they felt a little "squirrely", especially on grooved pavement but that feeling went away after about 200 miles. Wet traction has been exceptional and these tires inspire as much confidence as can be had when hitting a large puddle at speed. As they've worn I do detect a little more road noise but that could just be me getting old. I think I'll get at least 25,000 out of this set, possibly more. They are good tires for the cost (for my needs).

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 Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H- or V-Speed Rated)

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.


Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H- or V-Speed Rated)Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.2

2008 Volkswagen Passat Wagon
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Chicago, IL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
October 22, 2010

After 500 miles with these tires, i would say they are great. They are very smooth riding and quiet, much more than OEM Eagle LSs. Grip on expressway on and off ramps is very good. Gas mileage is the same so far through 2 tanks. There has been no rain or snow in Chicago this October, so I can't comment on wet or snow performance, but I'm looking forward to trying them on snowy Chicago streets. So far, a great tire for the price.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza G 019 Grid

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 G 019 Grid Reviewer's Overall Rating: 3.64
 
 

2011 Toyota Camry
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Miles driven on tires: 40,000
Location: Blakeslee, PA
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 40,000 Miles on Tires
September 20, 2013

Okay, I am not into the rogue specifics of tires as I am not a mechanic nor car expert, just a commuting, high-mileage, everyday driver. I purchased these as a part of a closeout deal and the Turanzas I wanted were not in stock. Before purchasing, I read reviews online and found more good comments than bad - I simply should've listened. I drive an everage of 45k miles annually; therefore, I get considerable use out of my tires. These tires are extremely and uncomfortably loud (I did not recognize what a loud tire was until I had these). I am not impressed with their performance on wet roads and definitely not in the snow. I've had them for about 8 months and they are already cupping and showing signs of uneven wear. My car shimmies when braking from high speed. I was told I needed new struts (although they are not leaking), but I believe it is these horrible tires contributing to their own wear. They have been rotated at least 3 times since purchase. I see now why they were discontinued..Pure garbage! Now I have to purchase new tires and these will barely be a year old.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology

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 PureContact with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.71
 
 

2012 Subaru Legacy Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 650
Location: Waterford, CT
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 650 Miles on Tires
March 29, 2013

Huge difference in ride, noise level, responsiveness,over the OEM Bridgestone Turanza EL400-02 Standard Touring All-Season tires that came with my 2012 Subaru Legacy. My work commute of 18 miles covers city,(5mi)Interstate I-95,(8mi) winding country back roads(5mi)
These tires are rated for 70k, i`ll dance in the streets if i get 45-50k.
So far with only 1800 miles on my car (got it with 14 miles last month) combined driving 24.7-26.1Mpg Hwy 29.03Mpg @70-73speed
The VR rated Conti tire vs the HR rated Conti tire gets better wet traction according to a leading consumer magazine and its only 2.00 more!! per tire
The only negative: the set of tires the store got were made in Mexico not USA as i thought they would of been.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Eagle GT (V-Speed Rated)

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.


Goodyear Eagle GT (V-Speed Rated)Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.43

1998 BMW Z3 Roadster 2.8
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Miles driven on tires: 3,500
Location: Azusa, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,500 Miles on Tires
April 27, 2011

I replaced a set of Riken Raptors with the Goodyears. Much less noise, much better ride, better MPG and improved handling. I drive both mountain twisties and long freeway runs, and in both situations these are superior tires. Good grip under hard corniering and braking. I haven't had them long enough to report on tire wear, as the Z3 is a "third car" even thoug it gets almost 10,000 miles a year. Over all, I will proably get another set for this car, but that's a few years away at the pace we use the car. I also have a 2007 Corvette so the Z3 is a backup, rather than a daily driver. But I do like the Goodyear tire on the Z3. It seems like a good match-up.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Fuzion Touring (H- or V-Speed Rated)

Friday, April 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

Fuzion Touring (H- or V-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.45
 
 

2012 Ford Focus Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
January 17, 2014

These tires were installed less than 1 month ago, so I can't testify to their longevity. However, I am very impressed so far with their performance. Since installing, the car has been driven regularly in rain/snow/ice weather conditions. These tires provide excellent traction and handling on side roads as well as the interstate. For driving in wet/winter weather, I recommend these tires. As for treadwear and longevity...only time will tell. Stay tuned!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H- or V-Speed Rated)

Friday, April 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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


Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H- or V-Speed Rated)Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.13

2006 Toyota Avalon XLS
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Miles driven on tires: 14,000
Location: Burlington, VT
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 14,000 Miles on Tires
October 19, 2010

Sadly, I just got rid of this car, and did not have the time to swap out tires. I wouldn't call these tires Ultra, more touring that performance actually. Turn in is a bit soft, but if you go aggressively, they catch up and dig in. Very good ride, minimal noise. I didn't really use these in the winter, put on new in April, and traded the car just last month. Fantastic and predictable, even in deep rain from downpours. The best part was wear. No noticeable wear at all after 12k miles. My new car is a 2011 Camry with these same size tires. The Michelins that came with the car reminded me of how much I loved the new Yokahama. The Michelins taught me a good lesson in that latest downpour, they aren't very good at all. I will be buying a new set of these Yokahamas next year for the Camry.

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

Friday, April 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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


Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (W-Speed Rated)Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.67

2004 Nissan 350Z Touring
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Miles driven on tires: 15,000
Location: West Linn, OR
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 15,000 Miles on Tires
June 11, 2011

I've had Bridgestone, Kumho, Avon, and Sumitomo tires on my 350Z. Compared to the others, the Sumitomo tires wear better with no feathering (so far), they are definitely quieter, and they handle just fine.

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

Friday, April 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.57
 
 

2008 Chevrolet Corvette C6 Convertible
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Miles driven on tires: 1,500
Location: Waterville, OH
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 1,500 Miles on Tires
April 07, 2014

Have 1500 miles on the set and drove through miles of heavy rain with no loss of traction or hydroplaning like the old Goodyears. Very quiet tire with a great ride. Only wish they came with a runflat option like the old A/S Michelin pilot sport.

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

Friday, April 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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


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

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

Initial Review, 300 Miles on Tires
February 05, 2011

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



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



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

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H- or V-Speed Rated)

Friday, April 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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


Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H- or V-Speed Rated)Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.75

2008 Acura MDX
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Miles driven on tires: 15,000
Location: Baltimore, MD
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 15,000 Miles on Tires
December 09, 2011

Tires have been great for the first 15,000 miles. No sign of hydroplaning or loss of grip in rain. No snow yet but will have better idea after this winter. Great tire and very economical. As quiet and comfortable as my OEM Michelin Latitude HP and MUCH less expensive.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama ADVAN S.4.

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.

Yokohama ADVAN S.4. Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.5
 
 

1993 Lexus LS400
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Miles driven on tires: 21,000
Location: La Crosse, WI
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 21,000 Miles on Tires
April 30, 2010

Ordered for Lexus several years ago and have been happily surprised with minimal wear. Tires still look new. Excellent grip and very comfortable. Gave us the best ride we ever had on our LS 400. Handles very well, good turn in and really responsive. Rotated and balanced normally. At higher speeds we were surprised the tire was silent. Really feels secure dry or wet. Lexus should have put S.4 on car from day one. We will buy tire again if needed, but am thrilled if we ever go to sell car the tires sure look in excellent shape and give a great ride. If you have a heavy luxury vehicle and want a superb tire this is it.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H- or V-Speed Rated)

Friday, April 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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


Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H- or V-Speed Rated)Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.89

2005 Honda Civic EX Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Harleysville, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
August 27, 2011

These tires replaced a set of Michelin Pilot Exaltos, which are excellent tires. On most measures I would consider the Yokohama to be even better. Dry and wet traction are both excellent, and better than the Michelins. Cornering is excellent. Snow traction is clearly much better than the Michelins.



I do not have enough miles on these tires to comment on treadwear.



The only negative I can think of is that these tires are a bit louder in hard cornering. This is no reason not to buy them, but they are going to let you know when you push the limit. That may actually be a good thing.



One final comment that I think is a bit of an anomaly: This set of tire were balanced three times in the first 750 miles. Basically that means at the original installation and once a week thereafter. There was a subtle high speed (65-70 MPH) balance problem. Neither of the re-balance efforts helped. The problem simply vanished on its own at about 1000 miles.



In summary, I am extremely pleased with these tires and would not hesitate to recommend them. Treadwear is as yet unknown, but the Michelins they replaced made it to 54,000 miles. I would be happy if these Yokohamas reach 40,000 miles.

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

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.


Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus TechnologyReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.12

2010 Volvo XC90
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location: San José, CR
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
April 16, 2014

Don't know why I am not asked in the questionnaire for dirt, sand and stones review when one fifth of our driving on the Volvo XC90 AWD 320 Diesel is on aggressive gravel and light mud roads. The Conti CrossContact LX20 Ecoplus has been a marvel, after going through two sets of original tires. It performs beautiful in the mountain curvy highways leading from San José, Costa Rica to the lowlands, even in wet conditions. In the Guanacaste lowlands the speed is up to 160 kph and the braking and turning ability is marvelous.
Once on the aggressive gravel roads towards Punta Islita the tires behave superb and have not had a flat, an old habit with the original ones.
After 20,000 kms the tires show no wear or tear. Definitely recommend for anyone combining both highway and gravel surfaces.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeWinterContact

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.

Continental ExtremeWinterContact Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8
 
 

2009 Mazda Mazda5
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location: Alameda, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
April 16, 2014

Living in Germany where snow tires are required during the winter months. I am running Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S tires the rest of the year. I can compare them to each other. The Michelin tires are by far the best tires I have ever put on any of my cars for warm or wet driving. But when it is cold (40 degrees or lower) or icy, the Conti's are mind-blowing. I am 45 years old and grew up driving in snow and ice covered steep, curvy mountain roads. The Conti winter tires brake and handle astonishingly well on snow and ice. They are superior to the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S in very cold temps on both wet and dry. They have two weak spots. First, when pushed hard in sustained turns, they fall off suddenly and dramatically, which is forgivable for winter tires that perform so well as intended. Second, at high speed in a strait line the car is very unsettled. It just won't track straight. My my oldest son eventually gets queazy.
This comes on at about 60mph and gets worse all the way to 'can't go any faster" mph. The Autobahn is smooth as freshly Zambonied ice and yet the exhausting high frequency instability is ever present. (tried rotating tires, no effect)
Bottom line:
Astonishingly good winter traction in cold dry, cold wet, snow covered and ice covered roads. If you travel at high speeds for long periods of time, maybe look at another tire.

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

Friday, April 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

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

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (W- or Y-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.45
 
 

2011 Volkswagen GTI
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Miles driven on tires: 6,000
Location: Benton, AR
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 6,000 Miles on Tires
April 16, 2014

These Michelins replaced the Pirelli P Zero Nero all seasons that originally came on my GTI and they have exceeded all my expectations. I cannot recommend them enough! I was dead set on summer tires at first, but someone told me to check these out and a month of research later I bought the Michelins.

I started autocross this year and I'm topping the GS class after 2 events with these tires against guys with more experience - some with max performance summer tires! They still can't believe a 500 rated tire can be that sticky.

Ride and noise: The Pirellis were pretty good but the A/S3s are noticeably better.
Dry traction: Way, way more grip than the Pirellis. Just as fast on the track as similar cars with 200 treadwear rated tires.
Wet traction: As good as the Pirellis were IN THE DRY.
Cold temps: No noticeable drop-off in grip compared to warmer temps.
Snow and Ice: I'd call them manageable. In light to medium snow, they were fine. On ice, I can't recommend them. I just barely made it up a ramp to an interstate overpass to get home after a couple hours of freezing rain.

Other than snow and ice traction, the only other negative comment I have is I think the sidewall could be a little stiffer. Even with 45 psi, the front tires were wearing past the shoulder indicator on the track.

If snow and ice traction is a priority for you, choose another tire. If you don't see a lot of snow and just want an excellent all-around year-around tire, look no further.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

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.

Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.55
 
 

2001 BMW 540i 6-Speed Sport Package
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Miles driven on tires: 1,200
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 1,200 Miles on Tires
April 08, 2014

What a difference this tire is from the fairly worn set of Yokohama all seasons. Superior wet, cold, and snow traction. In 40 -45 degree F temps, the Yokohama’s would constantly be calling the traction control system into action. The Pirelli Sottozero 3’s almost never activate the traction control in the dry and only under heavy load in the wet. I have an open diff so snow and ice causes the DSC to blink often, but the overall performance in these conditions is wonderful. These tires really bite well in the corners. Always inspire confidence in any condition. I have the V rated version and they feel like a winter performance tire should. Not as crisp in the corners as a summer tire, but perfect for Chicago winter conditions.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position

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 Potenza RE970AS Pole Position Reviewer's Overall Rating: 10
 
 

2005 Chrysler Crossfire Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
March 30, 2014

I can't comment on how they drive in the snow, my SRT stays inside during the winter months. As for summer driving and wet conditions these tires do great. I race on the track and on road courses and the tire traction is great on both. I can easily take corners at high speeds and turns pretty nicely at decent speeds such as 60 mph and if you push it a little faster. They handle very well at speeds well above 100 mph also.
Pretty good tire