This is a summary of tire information and opinions posted to Usenet from 1989-1994, by Jim Battan of Sequent Computer Systems, Beaverton, OR. It's quite long (~113K) but worth it, with a diverse set of opinions from actual users of the products. Thanks to all those people whose comments are included here for their thoughts.
This survery is oriented towards performance, but not racing, tires. Please send Jim Battan (firstname.lastname@example.org) your opinions and comments. This compilation is in the Public Domain; copy and distribute it as you wish. Summary is sorted by tire manufacturer, with some overlap.
Index General Comments Michelin BF Goodrich Goodyear Yokohama Bridgestone Dunlop Pirelli Others General Comments References: The Goodyear brochure "Everything you Wanted to Know about High Performance Tires" just covers the basics, not "everything", and has too much advertising hype in it. An extremely helpful booklet is called "High Performance Tire Sales and Reference Guide" by Yokohama. It discusses different things about tires in general, about performance tires and then has detailed descriptions, sizes, and ratings on all their tires. Yokohama has a toll free support number: 800/423-4544. Highly recommended is Jim Horner's "High-Performance Wheel & Tire Handbook". Despite pervasive punctuation errors and some loss of cohesion in chapter 7, the book is highly informative, complete, and written in a readable style. ISBN 0-87938-321-6, Motorbooks International, 1988, $19.95, 159 pp. Call the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393. A recording will come on, and you can indicate what information you would like to obtain-- you want the report Uniform Tire Grading, which will tell you all about Treadwear, Traction, and Temperature ratings required by law on all tires. Also, it will list all tires made and their ratings, and it's all free. The explanations given will satisfy any questions that you may have. Some of the information includes recall data - you provide the make, model, year and they presumably send you the info (good for those situations where the local dealership won't level with you), crash test results (I ordered one of these and will try to post it), child safety seat recall info, and a tire quality grading report. A "Consumer Tire Guide" is available from the Tire Industry Safety Council, PO Box 3147, Medina OH 44258, for $4. It also includes an air pressure gauge, tread depth gauge, and four valve caps. Tire company nationalities and ownerships: Sources: "Everybody's Business", "Trade Names Dictionary", Moody's. BF Goodrich Company - USA Tire division merged with Uniroyal in 1986. Now solely a manufacturer of PVC pipe, but the tires brand name is still used. Bridgestone - Japan Makes Bridgestone and Firestone brands. Continental AG - Germany Makes Continental and General brands. Dunlop Tire Corp - Japan Subsidiary of Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd Firestone - Japan sold to Bridgestone in 1988. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company - USA Sole US tire mfgr. Also operates 2,000 service centers worldwide. Makes Goodyear, Atlas, Lee, and Kelly-Springfield brands. Michelin Tire Corp - France Tires are all they do. Makes Michelin, Uniroyal, BF Goodrich brands. Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corp - Italy Makes Pirelli and Armstrong brands. Toyo - Japan Anyone know anything about them? UGTC (Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Corp) - France Holding corp for BFG and Uniroyal based in Delaware, USA. Bought by Michelin in 1990. Uniroyal - France Merged with BFG tire division in 1986 to become Uniroyal Goodrich. Yokohama Tire Corp - Japan Makes Yokohama brand. Top world mfgrs in 1992 were Michelin (22%), Goodyear (18%), Bridgestone (17%), Continental (7%), Pirelli (7%). Country of manufacture probably does not correspond to country of ownership. Also, many tires are manufactured in multiple countries. Tires tests: "A Tire for All Seasons", C/D Nov '89, 99-112. Tests 8 215/60-15 all-season tires on a Porsche 944, in both the wet and dry. Gives graphs as well as this overall ranking: 1. Michelin XGT H4 2. Goodyear Eagle GT+4 3. Goodrich Comp T/A HR tied with Goodyear Eagle M+S 4. Kelly Charger HR 5. General XP2000AS tied with Yokohama AVS A+4 6. Bridgestone Potenza HP41 7. Riken STX60. "A Gripping Performance", R&T Dec '89, 103-111. Tests 5 205/60VR-15s in both the wet and the dry on a Nissan 240SX, in the dry only. Doesn't rank them, but Dunlop's D40/M2 is probably the winner. "Tireless Pursuit!", part one, Motor Trend, June '91, 112-117. Discusses tires in general. "Tireless Pursuit!", part two, Motor Trend, July '91, 112-115. Discusses issues to be considered in upgrading tires, including some information on how dimensions affect performance, the maximum size you can safely put on your wheel, etc. "Designer Treads, Part 1: In the dry", R&T, Apr '87, 142-156. Tests 13 street and 6 race tires (including a race slick) on a Corvette, in the dry only. Also includes an interview with several tire designers. Doesn't rank tires. Yokohama comes out a clear winner in the dry, *BUT* see part 2's results. Since it's 5 years old, this article doesn't cover many more- modern tires. "Designer Treads, Part 2: In the wet", R&T, Mar '88, 62-68. Tests the same 19 tires for braking performance on a wet-skid trailer. Doesn't cover other wet-handling issues. Tires are ranked by performance on this figure. Yokohama shows its tradeoffs here by placing next-to-worst of street tires. Race slick's performance is astoundingly bad (big surprise). A tire-test article appeared in R&T's Feb '85 issue. Consumer Reports does a tire test about every two years, but they generally don't test "performance" tires. Their last was May 1993. Performance Car (a UK mag) held a "Tyre Test 90" in Nov 1990, and gave the D40/M2 a #1 rating. In 1991 they tested a bunch of tires again and the D40/M2 was last in almost all the wet tests. Here are the results of the 1991 test: Tire tested: total points scored Bridgestone RE71 8579 Uniroyal Rallye 440 8485 Yoko A008P 8294 GY Eagle NCT55 8272 Conti Sport Contact 7966 Dunlop D40/M2 7789 Pirelli P600 7757 Michelin MXV 7597 A very comprehensive test, and excellent too, IMO. The D40/M2 fell from first to sixth and did very poorly in the wet tests, which is somewhat surprising. I guess we all know that the RE71 is excellent all round. The MXV is once again as bad as everybody knows it to be and coming out first in the consolation "tire wear" test. The Uniroyal 440 is new and the test results do collaborate with the theoretical articles that point out its very special design. Modern Motor is an Australian magazine. In Oct '91 they did a serious performance tyre test. They did the following tests (the car was a Nissan 300ZX, 225/50ZR16 tyres): Dry G Readings, Dry Circut Times, Slalom Times, Braking Distance, Noise Readings, Wet G-Force, Wet Circut Times. Final rangings were: Dunlop D40/M2 94 points Bridgestone RE-71 85 Pirelli P-700Z 78 Michelin MXX 75 Yokohama A-008P 69 Toyo 600 F1 64 Avon Turbospeed CR228 62 Goodyear Eagle 58 Some comments: "the winner, without question, is the Dunlop D40/M2. It's the consumatte all-round athlete, with superb wet and dry performance, wonderful predictability and good wear characteristics." "Next best is the Bridgestone RE-71, which did everything almost as well and was actually [the driver's] favourite as a "feel good tyre". Only noise and wear pushed it behind the Dunlop." "Taking third spot in the final standings is the Pirelli P-700, which backed up a solid dry-road performance with a particularly good showing in the wet. Also quiet, but a bit expensive." "Michelin's MXX finds itself in fourth place because it is a highly advanced, very single minded bit of rubber which trades wet weather managability for supreme dry road grip. Although cool-running and no doubt long wearing, the price is an obstacle" (it was also the noisiest tyre, much noiser than Avon, Pirelli, Dunlops). I don't like white letters or whitewalls on most cars. So I've always asked the tire store to mount tires with the white part on the inside of the rim. The lettering is only visible when the front tires are fully turned left or right. You would have to be slightly more careful with unidirectional tires but this isn't too hard. Just make sure they turn in the proper direction. The softer the compound in the tire, the more grip it produces, but the shorter its life. Decent performance tires probably won't last more than 30K miles. The best performance for all seasons is TWO sets of tires. You really need a set of snows for the best traction in winter, and a set of wet-dry for the rest of the time. Don't just put snows on the drive wheels! The difference between "front-wheel" and "rear-wheel" drive tires is that rounded shoulders work better on front wheel drive cars. The feeling in the steering wheel is more consistent when the sidewall starts to flex and roll over. On a snow tire you want lots of open space perpendicular to tire rotation. On a dry performance tire, you want lots of tread area, and small slots parallel to rotation direction. The two do not mix well, although there are tires that compromise a bit in both, and are better all around. A tire marked "all-season" doesn't necessarily mean it's mud+snow approved. Most mountain passes require M+S or chains when snowy. If you're driving in a snowy area, DEFINITELY put snow tires on your car. Note the side effects of higher tire pressures - firmer ride, more wear in the center of the tire, improved gas mileage, reduced chance of blowout (generally), quieter ride, quicker steering response and more steering feedback. Also, changing the front and rear pressures in different ratios will affect handling balance, and can result in dangerous handling characteristics. Higher front pressures will decrease understeer/increase oversteer while a higher rear pressures will increase understeer. Of course like everything else these days, tire choice is almost a religious argument, so look around and drive on some if you can... The next step in tire performance improvement is to get a car that drives all four wheels! I am convinced of the huge benefits in stability after test-driving the new Porsche Carerra 4 and the (bargain-priced) Mitsubishi GSX. The preferred tire rotation and alternative tire rotation patterns shown below also appear in the Rubber Manufacturer's Association (RMA) booklet, The Care and Service of Automobile and Light Truck Tires. Translation: All major tire companies are in agreement concerning these tire rotation patterns. It is all right to rotate tires to the opposite side of the car as long as it is done according to the prescribed method. Preferred Tire Rotation Patterns - Passenger & 4WD Light Trucks RWD and 4WD vehicles: LF -> RR, RF -> LR, LR -> LF, RR -> RF FWD vehicles: LF -> LR, RF -> RR, LR -> RF, RR -> LF Alternative Tire Rotation Patterns - All Vehicles X-rotate: LF -> RR, RF -> LR, LR -> RF, RR -> LF front-to-back: LF -> LR, RF -> RR, LR -> LF, RR -> RF Tires are measured in both standard and metric units, for historical reasons. Take P215/60VR15, for example. The first number is the section width in mm (the width at the widest point of the sidewall in an unloaded condition), the second is the percentage ratio of height to width, and the third is the wheel's diameter in inches (unless 3 digit, which is a metric diameter). The P stands for Passenger (LT is light truck), the R stands for Radial (a B would be bias ply, a D diagonal ply), and the V is one of many speed designators for the maximum recommended sustained speed (M=81, Q=99, R=106, S=112, T=118, U=124, H=130, V=149, Z=149+ MPH). The V rating changed around 1992-1993. It used to stand for "130+" but was uprated to 149 mph. For more information, see the rec.autos FAQ. The DOT markings on the side of all tires sold in the USA look like: "DOT MA L9 ABCD 352", which decodes as manufacturer's plant code, tire size code, up to four characters to identify model, and date of manufacture. As I understand it, the major difference between the speed ratings is how much internal heat the tire generates, and how much it can withstand. There are other criteria, such as running the tire under simulated high speed under load until it throws a certain number of tread blocks. The survival time determines the level of speed it is rated for. It is coincidental that higher speed rated tires usually have "stickier" compounds and tread patterns. However you will find it difficult to find a 70 series Z rated tire. As the profile decreases, so does the amount of sidewall flex and so the less heat generated in the sidewall. Racers shave the tires so that heat generated at the contact patch may more easily be conducted away, cooling the contact patch. High speed causes increased heat in the sidewalls of the tire. This heat is what most commonly causes catastrophic blowouts. And these are most likely in underinflated tires since there is a greater amount of sidewall flex at the tire rotates. Whatever you do, don't be fooled into thinking you don't need performance/highest quality tyres - just one emergency stop may be the difference between life/death. VR costs (substantially) more than HR and is really only necessary if you live in Nevada or Montana, doing 130 to work all day. Changing from a VR tire to an HR tire may reduce some ride harshness, but then again it may not. The added strength and better compounds in a VR rated tire may not affect ride quality that much. Moving to a higher-profile tire will probably help ride quality. Note that it is illegal to fit a tire with a lower speed or load rating than OEM in some jurisdictions. Also, don't change your tire's profile unless you know what affect that will have on the speedometer, etc. Many V-rated tires will not hydroplane until 65 mph in 8 mm of water. By comparison, many S-rated tires hydroplane at speeds under 50 mph in the same test. Differences in cornering and braking are equally astounding: no S-rated tire even came close to the performance of H- and V-rated tires. In general, the overall performance of H- and V-rated tires is better than S-rated tires of the same width. This is because the S-rated tire is designed less for performance and more for minimal treadwear and rolling resistance. It is true that all things being equal, a very wide tire will generally have poorer wet traction. Also, dry traction does not improve significantly, and aquaplaning and braking are much worse with wider, lower-profile tires. Just because a tire is billed as all weather does not mean it will have good wet traction. In some cases, everything is sacrificed to good traction in the snow. Buying through the mail isn't always cheaper. You have to add shipping, mounting, balancing, and old tire disposal fees, be around to receive them, and take them to be mounted. And if they go bad, a local dealer is much more likely to help you. I've ordered tires mail-order quite a bit, from the four major places that advertise in the usual magazines. Tire Rack, Euro-Tire, TeleTire, and, uh, I forget the fourth one. They're all quite good. Some have warehouses on both coasts, which keeps shipping costs down. Shipping is generally between $3 and $10 per tire. Call them all and get the cheapest overall price including shipping, and make sure they've got 'em in stock! If they're not in stock, they may quote you a lower price and order them for you, which can take several weeks. I bring my tires to my favorite tire shop, where they charge me some nominal fee for mounting (they don't charge for mounting if you buy them there) and the usual charge for balancing. They're happy to do it, no prob. Buying from the Tire Rack is practically guaranteed success. I've never heard of an unhappy customer of theirs. Buying tires mail-order is usually cheaper, can be faster since they have more types/sizes in stock, and easier since they stock most brands and are knowledgeable about tire tradeoffs. Most places will mount/balance mail-order tires for about $10/ea; figure this cost into your comparisons. You can't compare racing tires to street tires. For example, the Comp T/A and Comp T/A R1 are like apples and oranges. And just because the Goodyear Eagle VRS wins a lot of races doesn't mean the Goodyear Arriva is a good tire. More cars are being designed around a specific tire. This might prevent people from changing makes of tires because they may lose handling ability, competitive pricing, general ride comfort, and worst of all safety. The fact that a company does make a DOT race-compound tire shows that they have some interest in improving tire technology, and it's frequently the case that info gleaned from competition in the autocross or showroom stock tire wars spills over into a company's street tire design. There is an easy trap to fall into: the trap of thinking that if the best tires of some maker are great, then the less-expensive tires must be pretty good. Michelin: My MXVs were horrible in the rain, okay in the dry, and gave 35K miles. Every Honda I buy comes with the MXVs and they must be the worst set of tires ever made. I also have 195/60-14 tires (Michelin MXVs), and have been fairly pleased with their wet-surface traction and braking. On the few occasions when I ended up having to brake hard on wet pavement, the MXVs still didn't break loose. Based on their treadwear to this point (19 K miles) I estimate they'll last about 40 K. I think this is fairly typical for "second-tier" high-performance tires; I've heard that 25 K is closer for "serious" tires. V-rated MXVs were standard equipment on my Alfa Milano; they went in 20k miles (this appears to be typical). Michelins have historically been poor rain tires; the current MXV is the best Michelin I've ever driven on, but is at best adequate in rain. I saw Michelin MXV2s on a new VW Jetta at a VW dealer. The MXV2 has a completely and utterly different tread pattern from the old MXV. LJK Setright of CAR magazine said that the MXV2s were a vast improvement over the MXV, but then went on to say that it would have been easy for Michelin to improve on the MXV since it was so bad. I've got an older copy of CAR where one of the columnists devoted a lot of words detailing the shortcomings of the MXV in general. I've been reading this magazine for years and have not come across such strong criticism for a particular tire ever. So, here's another data point to add to the list of MXV haters. They may have been ticked off about one particular aspect of MXVs; which is that it is OEM on a lot of cars coming from a lot of manufacturers who should have known better (the MXL has this same characteristic.) The MXV and MXL are noticeably inferior to and more expensive than other tires in the same performance categories; yet they are on most new sedans and less expensive coupes made in Europe (and quite a few Japanese cars as well). One wonders if Michelin gives the manufacturers a serious price break to get the tires on the cars, hoping that the owners will simply keep putting the same tires on over and over again... I don't know how many of you have looked at the MXL tread pattern closely or not, but it's pretty interesting. The rain channels simply don't run in the correct direction. MXL owners I know find them to be absolutely terrifying in the wet. I've been dissatisfied with the dealer installed tires, Michelin MXVs, for the poor handling in rainy/wet or snowy conditions. A lot of the problems I've experienced with those tires are hydroplaning in those semi-wet to wet road conditions (and this is at intermediate speeds 30-50 MPH). I also recently drove an MXV2-shod Audi 200 through the slaloms and simulated emergency braking maneuvers. The car performed marvelously and I would attribute that in no small part to its tires. I repeated the same maneuvers in a Dunlop D40-shod Audi Coupe quattro and was a lot less impressed with the car's overall performance, especially in emergency braking where I ran down a couple of cones. (I missed them in the 200). I would personally recommend Michelins. I own Sport-EXPs. This tire is a medium performance tire. They are a hard rubber so they last a long time. If you are going to do any serious snow driving I would STRONGLY recommend that you replace the MXVs. Someone I work with here has an Accord with 195/60-14 Michelin MXVs and was surprised that I was replacing them. He claims to have had absolutely no problem with them in any weather. I am not impressed with people's experience with Michelins. I have heard more blowout stories relative to Michelins than any other tire. Of course this may not be true for all Michelin owners, but it is enough for me to doubt ever purchasing them, or even a car with stock Michelins. A friend of mine has recently bought a 1990 Honda Accord EX. It has Michelin MXV3 tires which perform so poorly that he couldn't get up his driveway with a 2" snow cover! He talked to Honda and found out that they plan to offer a program of exchange offering the Michelin MXV tire instead. This is to be announced at the end of January. However, in my experience, the MXV will not be any improvement. STAY AWAY FROM MICHELIN TIRES if you are driving in anything but dry pavement. THEY SUCK! Two friends cracked cars on these tires, one in rain, other in snow, and another had a Mustang GT the year when they had the TRX wheels, and he said compared to his later and earlier Mustangs, the tires where horrible. Some people will come in defense of Michelin, but its your life and car. One of the auto mags just had a tire review, and Michelin's new model came out on top. Either they have gotten their design act together, or you can not trust the magazines. It's not a question of the Michelin tires. It is a question of "Do you have enough brains to pick the right tire for the conditions?"! Michelin does make a pretty good high performance tire that is a all season tire. It is called the Sport EXP! It comes in speed rated and nonspeed rated. I think that the non-speed rated version is probably the best tire for bad weather for the price! If you want extreme traction & extreme performance, Goodyear will sale you a 150 MPH rated snow tire. It is probably the best low-profile snow tire, but it will probably cost more than $200 a piece! Goodyear also has the GT+4 tire which is close to the Sport EXP in performance. I read a magazine article a few years back that said that the best snow tires are designed and built by companies in Scandinavian countries. The reasons for that should be obvious. And if you want better go in the snow you might consider buying some narrower all-season tires for use in the winter months and switch back to the MXVs during the summer. That is what I probably would do if I lived in the North. The magazine just picked the right Michelin for the job. Michelins are *GOOD* tires. Of the tire companies carried by the company I worked for Michelins had the fewest returns because of defects: 5-10 Michelins vs. around 150 Dunlops during that summer! I recommend Michelins very highly, especially for the requirements you list. Michelin optimizes performance on wet surfaces (using a more hydrophilic compound) but their tires also have good performance in the dry. In tire tests done by Car and Driver and Road & Track, Michelin always scores high both in objective performance tests (wet/dry braking, wet/dry skidpad) and in subjective opinions of the writers/testers. If you want traction in snow, stay away from Michelin MXVs. I live in Minneapolis, and have Michelin MXV3s on my 90 Accord. My experience on snow has been that they suck. I bought a '90 Accord EXr (EX in US, I believe) and it has the Michelin MXV3 (How these are related to the MXVs, I don't know). I have found the wet weather traction somewhat less than inspiring. I haven't had too much trouble on dry pavement, but they do tend to make a little noise if I over do it pulling away from intersections. A Honda sticker said the MXV3s were not recommended for winter driving. I don't even want to talk about Michelin performance on loose (mud, snow, gravel) surfaces; they've nearly killed me twice. There are infinitely better tires for such applications which give up nothing in wet/dry to Michelins. Simply put, past experience with Michelins has given me no reason to ever buy the tires again, and ample reason to STRONGLY recommend alternative brands of tire. Michelins, although good values in drier climates, are probably not your best buy in more northern states. The HR-rated MXVs are good performance tires, it is true, but I've found them to be only average in the wet, and marginal in the snow. I was surprised to discover that they generated so much tread noise too, much more than the XZXs they replaced. The tire test in C&D and R&T magazines covered Michelin XGT line the XGT H4 and XGTV, and Michelin Corvette ads where they exceeded 1g on the skid pad, are for XGT and XGT Plus, those tires are completely different than the rest of the Michelin line. The Sport EPX Plus is marketed in USA under XGT H4 name, regular Sport EPX is a different tire. Sport EPX was not tested, Sport EPX Plus was. Michelin XGT Plus, Michelin XGTV, and Michelin XGT H4 are good tires in appropriate categories, however the rest of Michelin line offers very poor performance for the money. Car & Driver's top all-season tire, the XGT H4, is now available is sizes to fit many performance cars. Call Tire Rack. My GS came with XGT V4s and they are NOT all weather tires. I took out my right front bumper sliding on packed snow (not ice), before I learned this fact. I immediately bought XGT H4s which are definately all-weather. The Michelin dealer where I bought my new tires said the V4s were made out of a different rubber that gets really hard and slick when the weather gets near freezing. My XGTVs are fine in the rain so far. MXVs are not intended to be Michelin's best performance tire. Try the Sport EPX in the rain (a top performer in a recent all-season tire test), or try the Sport XGTV, which does pretty well in spite of its relatively wide profile. In my opinion, based on both my own experience and the results of magazine test after magazine test, Michelin consistently offers the best compromise between dry handling and wet braking of all the major tire manufacturers. XGTVs are relatively inexpensive, especially in light of the XGTV's documented performance. If you know of a better performance tire in that size for a better price, then I invite comparison shopping. I use XGTVs on my van. The XGTs on my 928 were noisy and kinda 'greasy' feeling in the rain. Today I replaced my Goodyear Eagles with Michelin Sport XGTVs, and I just wanted to say that they are great! They seem to handle the same, or slightly better in the dry, and there is a BIG difference when driving on damp/wet roads. My car has Michelin XGTVs on its wheels. The ride is too hard, so my wife gets sick for 30 minute drive. Noise? I have to shout to communicate. I've never encountered a more thoroughly mediocre tire than the MXV. They're poor on dry pavement, miserable in the wet, worse in snow, only lasted 8500 miles (compared to 10K on Yokohama Y352s and 12.5K on Comp T/A VRs) and weren't especially cheap. I can't think of a single good thing to say about MXVs. I've also used MXLs, on a rental car, and they were worse. Michelin MXL are nice but pricey. I used to run Michelin MXLs on my VW Golf, but they no longer make them, so I had to settle for Michelin LX1s. I am told these will replace the MXL. On dry pavement however, they do not stand up to what the MXLs would handle. On our VW vans we have always used XZXs. They are awesome in summer and winter. The LX1 offers somewhat better performance than a low-end all-season radial, but is not a performance tire. Its ability in rain and winter weather is good until late in its life, when winter will start to scare you. Spirited drivers will easily discover its cornering limits and should have no difficulty breaking it loose on gear changes under heavy acceleration. I expect mine to last 75K miles. The MXVs are a joke on anything but bone-dry pavement, and even there they cut loose much easier than they ought to, especially in the rear. For my driving in New England, the Michelins offer NO snow traction, but I really didn't expect it of them. As far as wet weather traction of the MXVs (195/55R15), past 15,000 miles and they are bad, but under that they are good. I drove with a fully loaded car (me, wife, daughter, roof rack, trunk full) in Florida when a rain shower that had people pulling off the road hit. I was still doing 75-80 MPH with excellent road feel, etc. But, at over 15,000 miles in the same conditions, you're up on a wave when you try to slow. Depending on what car you have of course, I've found that you really have to play with front and rear tire pressure. My Milano's owner's manual says 28PSI front and rear with light load, but I've found that 29PSI front and 31PSI rear works the best for me. The tires are loud in hard turns, and you do scuff the side walls a lot but they are tough tires. And they give you good feedback--you know when they are reaching the limit! On a pothole that took out both front and rear wheels (I couldn't avoid it), the tires suffered NO damage and continued in service for another 15,000. I got 34,000 miles out of them and still wasn't to wear bars (but winter was coming). You have to rotate them often. I rotate every 4000 miles. They are pricey and hard to find in certain sizes. When I replaced my MXV 195/55VR15s, NO distributor had them--the company only had 12 in country. The distributor's price was $150 per...I ended up buying them from MY car dealer at $180 per... I probably will buy another brand at replacement time...but it won't be for performance but price... Even Michelin produces a few lemons. The tire guy said he replaces far fewer Michelins than anything else, though. I am pretty impressed with XA4s on my Tempo. Granted they are not muscle car tires, but they get the job done in rain and snow. But they blew a sidewall. Michelin MXV - abysmal, junked them long before the tread wore out, looks like they'd last for years, but wouldn't grip and would squeal alarmingly at moderate cornering speeds. Tread also showed signs of lifting off the tyre at the edges (not feathering, which the Pirellis suffer from, but actual cracks forming at the base of the tread blocks). My Dodge Spirit R/T came with these (205/15s). I've got mixed feelings about them. Their dry performance is good (not spectacular, just good). In a light rain, the XGT V4s are ok. In a heavy rain, they suck BIG time. These babies just love to hydroplane at speeds (so low) you wouldn't have thought it possible! They are actually not bad in snow (I haven't been in really heavy snow with them though). I would rate them a little better than a good all season on snow (the XGT V4s are M+S rated BTW). On ice, they're on par with a good all season. In slush, they revert to their heavy rain performance (hydroplane city!). There is no one area where these tires really shine. They are generally all around good performers with the exception of heavy rain/slush. In those conditions, you really need to slow way down and pay a lot of attention (and perhaps say a few prayers :-). The MXVs on our not-so-hard-driven 1989 Accord only lasted 32K, and their traction was absolutely awful in snow. I probably would have been happy with a set of "wooden" tires compared to the MXVs. I had two sets of MXVs and during the BRIEF length of time they lasted, I feel that I definitely was risking my life on those tires in any sort of rain or snow. I have only owned Michelin MXVs which I hate and wouldn't wish on anybody. Unfortunately, many automakers still seem to use those Michelin MXVs and call them performance tires. They are not, and in no way compare to the A008, NCT2, or RE71. The Michelin tire that's similar to those is the XGT (H or V rated) and it's excellent (I have a set of them). Their treadlife is kind of short, but they are very sticky in both the wet and dry. They are terrible, however, in the snow. I have had some traction problems with the XGTs on rainy days when accelerating during a turn, but they grip well in a wet standing start. It's a shame that MXV and XGTs cost the same -- the XGTs are much better IMHO. If you want longer treadlife, then the XGT H4 lasts longer, is M+S rated, but is not as sticky as the XGTV (but way better than the MXV!). I have XGT H4 tires, and I would say they are comparable to the line of A008 or RE71 tires if they were XGTVs, but I wanted the H4 for longer treadlife. They still will be fairly short, I expect to get 25K miles from them. They have pretty good traction characteristics, and break loose very linearly when they do. No surprises. I drive them hard, so you could easily get more life from these tires. Not an autocrossing tire by a long shot, but definitely a performance tire. I like MXVs; I had *zero* trouble in rain and snow, even taking corners at 35+ in rain. My car is full time 4 wheel drive with limited slip differentials and something like a 51/49 weight distribution. Get the Michelin XGT H4. I have had a set on an Audi quattro for over a year now, and they have performed brilliantly and are holding up very well indeed, which is a big deal because quattros EAT tires. I got mine from TeleTire, who have some of the best prices and are very prompt with delivery. Michelin XGT V: Excellent handling in the dry. They'll probably only last one more season, 20,000 total. The car got real "squirrely" in the rain once. Mileage - poor. Noise - ok. Ride - sporty, but not real harsh. I am generally satisfied with the performance of the XGT H4s but the MXVs seemed to handle just noticeably better on dry pavement. Wet traction is ok but wheel spin happens easier than I would like off the line. Snow traction with the H4s is only average (up to about 4") and gets worse the deeper the snow gets. Ice traction is average but better than the MXVs. As an all season tire, it is an adequate compromise but I would still prefer more snow traction. I would only recommend these tires for locations which undergo moderate winters. If I could start over, I'd probably buy the Yokohama AVS U+4 (supposed to have better snow traction than the H4s and a 40,000 mile treadwear warranty). The XGT V4s sucked in the rain. 55 MPH in moderate rain was down right dangerous! they were good on dry, sucked/deadly in the rain, ok to good on snow, sucked/deadly on slush, and were mediocre on ice. The MXVs on the MB 300SD I used to own would only last about 20K miles. As others have mentioned, the wet traction sucked big time. Quite frankly, I found no redeeming qualities with the MXVs. The OE tires on my 88 Honda Accord LXi were Michelin MXV, which gave adequate performance and about 55k miles of highway driving. I was utterly unimpressed with Michelin MXV tires. The steering response on dry surfaces was slow and squishy, with little warning near the breakaway point. Traction in rain and snow was terrible. Scary even. Many thanks to all those who responded to my question about the Michelin MXV tire. The opinion on this tire was generally negative: property lousy ok good rec.autos grade -------- ----- -- ---- --------------- overall 4 1 2 B- value 1 1 B- dry handling 2 1 B+ wet/snow handling 5 2 1 C treadwear 2 1 C+ Suggested alternatives: Yokohama Y352, Yoko AVS A+4, Yoko A509, Riken STX70, Pirelli P500, Dunlop, BF Goodrich, Nokia. Has Michelin ever made a tire that didn't suck in the rain? My generic Michelin all-seasons stick like glue to the road in the rain WHEN COMPARED TO the Eagle GAs that came with my car. Those things were horrible. Now, maybe my Michelins are pretty bad when compared to other tires, but they're a thousand percent better then them dam Eagles. I use the Michelin XMS 100 tires (185-60-14 size) here in Canada. They are good in snow/slush and dry conditions, but they are noisy on the freeway. I use Michelin XMS 100s on my '88 Integra in the winter and am quite happy with them. On certain surfaces, they make a high pitched "turbine" noise (not too loud, but noticeable). They handle well in wet/dry/slush. BF Goodrich: There are several different things named Comp T/A; there is the hot autocross tire (the R1) which is totally unreasonable for street driving; there is the V-rated Comp T/A which the R1 is based on which is top notch on dry pavement; ok on wet pavement; and sort of tolerable on loose surfaces given that it's a V-rated performance tire; there is also the Comp T/A HR which has a distinctly different tread pattern (and an H rating, as you might have guessed), which is well liked by netters who have used it for all purpose applications. There are lots of different models of BFG T/A radials, including the Comp T/A VR/ZR, the Comp T/A HR4/VR4, two Comp T/A R1s, the Radial T/A, the Euro Radial T/A, the Touring T/A, the Advantage T/A, and who knows, maybe more. Then there's the light truck T/As. But now I've got BF Goodrich Comp-T/A HRs on there and these are cheaper and better than the AVSs... M+S rated, a little noisier in the dry, but they feel as sticky, and truly spectacular in standing water, slush, etc... And their treadwear rating, for what it's worth, is twice what the AVSs were. I got about 11K out of the AVSs... I've got almost that much on the T/As and they look like they've got another 20K to go (although don't quote me on that [sorry -Ed.]). A local tire dealer praised the Goodrich Comp T/A HR tire recently and stated that this tire would "run rings around the Michelin MXV", which he also sells. Pressed for details, he claimed at least equal dry performance, much better wet performance and a longer tire life. The T/A HRs will run rings around the MXV for wet and dry conditions, and although I can't speak for their life, they have a treadwear rating of 300 which is mind-bogglingly high, although these things have to be taken with a grain of salt. T/A HR: Good dry performance. Excellent in the wet and in the snow. Last forever. Don't do any sort of racing with these tires since they have a tendency to chunk away. Don't consider this tire for a CRX; it's too square edged. I just hung a set of Comp T/A HRs on the Bismarck, and they sure beat the heck out of the factory P6s in rain, snow, and especially ice. Dry, they seem to have more ultimate grip, but break away much less progressively than the Pirellis. Upsides include 300 treadwear rating (and related 45000 mile treadwear warranty), and cost ($100/per in 205/60HR15). Downsides include a tiny bit more road noise, slight numbness in on-center steering, and the fact that local NTWs have stopped carrying them "because of problems". They would not tell me what sorts of problems. Cowboy Bob sez check them out. Comp T/A VR is an excellent rain tire assuming it has a reasonable amount of tread. Don't buy BF-goodfornothings. I recommend the Comp T/A HR for an all-around tire. They're not the sort of tires I'd want to drive all winter long in New England with, but they're plenty adequate for Maryland snows, fairly quiet, M+S rated, have terrific dry grip, and go for about $95/per in your size. They carry A ratings on traction and temperature, and a ludicrous 300 treadwear index. My only gripe is that they've numbed the on-center feel of my Scorpio a tiny bit, which was designed for Pirellis. I used the Comp T/A on my 86 Porsche 911 and was very pleased with it. Although not an all-out performance tire, it was an excellent compromise for street use as it had reasonable stick in the wet as well as light snow, yet allowed me to play boy-racer on freeway on/off ramps. Its squeal factor was a little higher than I liked, but it was not nearly as loud as the Pirelli P7 that the car was delivered with. Don't race on 'em. But I can definitely recommend them as a street tire. They are the best all-around tire I've had on the car (and I've had Michelin MXVs, Yokohama A509 and AVS-Intermediate, Bridgestone RE-71, and the Comp T/A HR). The Comp is the only all-season of the bunch, and it was a great tire. Only the V-rated RE-71 had better dry traction, and the Comp had fantastic wet traction and excellent snow capabilities as well, for a non-snow tire). I've STILL got them on the back of the (FWD) car, after 31,000 miles, about 10 autocrosses, and the track session at Mid-Ohio (I had to throw the front tires away after Mid-Ohio). And they've still got at least 10,000 miles left, I think. A great all-around tire. I was very pleased with the Comp T/As, except for wear (they go fast! and wear fast too :-) ). The Comp T/A HR has been renamed to the Comp T/A HR4, and the Comp T/A VR4 has been introduced. The '4' indicates that the tire is designed for all-season use, and they both carry an M&S designation. The Comp T/A HR4 and VR4 are somewhat different tires from the Comp T/A; they have a much different tread pattern. Goodrich now has the Comp T/A HR4 available, which they claim improved wet/snow performance by 10-12% over the T/A. Just after I got my HR4s, I went through an incredible rainstorm in western Utah with lots and lots of standing water... 80 MPH and the tires didn't flinch. I've used them plenty in the snow as well, and found them to be MUCH better than the stock Michelin MXVs were. I replaced the Michelin MXLs on my Accord with HR4s, and the steering feels much quicker now. The tires are great in wet and dry, and will probably last longer than the car. I *can* heartily recommend (thanks to Josh) BFGoodrich Comp T/A HRs, now called the HR4. They deliver good-to-excellent performance over most driving conditions, they now carry a ludicrous treadwear rating of over 330, and Goodrich practically sells them for a song; mine in 205/60HR15 were $100 apiece, about 2/3 what comparable Eagle HR+4s cost. Someone asked about BFGoodrich Comp VR4 tires. I have BFGoodrich Comp T/A HR4s on my 1990 Ford Probe GT. Living in the Northeast and driving 170 miles a day in varying road conditions (from rural, unplowed dirt roads to interstate highways), I have found the HR4s to be great tires. They have as much corning ability as the Goodyear Eagle VR tires they replaced. The BFGoodrich HR4s are better on wet pavement and obviously better on snow and slick roadways. I have also noted that the HR4s stop the car better on dry pavement (with some loose sand and gravel) than the Eagles, because the ABS does not activate as much (with the Eagles, the car was ABSing quite frequently). They have Temperature and Traction ratings of A, and the Treadwear is 340. Of course I have not had the tires long enough to determine how much treadlife they actually have (although the Eagle VRs I took off had 30,000 miles on them and they have lots of tread left). On the negative side I think the tires are noiser than the Eagle VRs and have a rougher ride. But you can't have everything! I have been using BFG Comp T/A HR4s for about 1.5 months. Excellent dry, pretty good wet traction. The snow traction is not great, but manageable. I've returned to BF Goodrich in a big way! I've purchased three sets within the last 6 months and am extremely satisfied with all of them. Honda Accord - Comp TA VR (2nd generation design) - sticky, good ride, decent in the wet, no snow experience. Let's put it this way: on the backroad near my house, I run with the Vettes (seriously) in the twisty sections which includes decreasing radius turns and sweepers. No other mods to the car. Wearing very well. 9k miles and I've used about 2/32 of tread. Volvo 740 Turbo - Comp TA HR4 - pretty close to the same as above with the major exception that they were pretty good in light snow. (Anything more, you'll want real snows...). BMW 535 - New generation Comp TA ZR (16") - they kick ass on the stock Michelins. BFG Comp T/A VR4s compared to the stock Eagle GT+4s that were stock: ride better, provide more grip, are quieter, are excellent in the rain, were cheaper. The BFGs are not as sensitive to input straight on. Turn-in seems to be about the same. I just recently purchased 4 BF Goodrich Comp T/A VR4 205/60R15 for my 90 Dodge Daytona ES. These tires replaced my Goodyear Eagle GT+4 that came originally on the car. The Eagles had ~60k miles on them but I didn't like there performance on wet roads. The Comp T/As have better grip on wet roads than the Eagles did when they were new. I am hoping to get at least 60k miles from the T/As. They are also a lot quieter than the Eagles. BF Goodrich Comp TA HR4s handle MUCH better than the Dunlops even considering the difference in the two car's handling capabilities. The Comps do ride a bit stiff but this is the tradeoff for an all-season performance tire. I have BFG VR4s in 195/60-15 on my Saab 9000 turbo. The tires are crisp-handling and quiet (i.e., no squealing), but they give little steering feel on-center. They're no stiffer than the Pirelli P6s that I replaced, and are much more accurate. I have set of Comp T/A VR4s on a '91 SHO. I like the Comp T/As better than the GT+4s. The T/As are quieter, smoother running. They handle expansion joints better. I put Comp T/A VR4s on my Lancer Shelby after the Goodyear Gatorbacks wore out. Here is how I compared those two tires: All comments are concerning Goodrich (compared to Goodyear). Steering Effort: Somewhat reduced at all turn angles. Steering on center precision: Not as good as Goodyears, by a small amount. Road noise: Slightly less than Goodyears when they were new, much less than Goodyears when Gatorbacks were at half tread depth. Shock (over expansion joints, etc): Better than Gatorbacks. These are much smoother running tires than the Goodyears. Response to sudden lane change maneuver: Pretty aggressive at getting the nose turned, but the rear end seems slow to follow. When if finally does come, you almost feel like you have to countersteer a little (probably just dropping off the steer angle input at a funny rate) to get things back in control. In this sense, I think the Goodyears are superior. Output vs slip angle: At near center position, the "gain" of these tires seems significantly less than Goodyears, making them feel less responsive (mushy). After you get through that dead zone, however, the Goodrich tires seems to develop more cornering force for a given slip angle. This may be a little bit deceiving, however, since the steering effort is so much lower. Ultimate cornering force: There might be a slight reduction due to the more open tread pattern, but I doubt that you would be able to notice it without track times. At the limit, they are a little noiser than the Goodyears (not so much squeal and grumble or growl sound) whereas the Gatorbacks were extremely smooth at the limit. But ultimate cornering force is comparable. Wet Weather Handling: Superior to Gatorbacks. Accelerate from stop on wet street with significantly less wheel slip, even compared to Gatorbacks on same car when it was new. The above warnings notwithstanding, I am very happy with the 225/60R15 BFG Comp T/A VR4s that I put on my 1990 SHO. They are very capable of keeping up with the power and handling stresses of the SHO and my driving. I have replaced all of the Eagle GT+4 tires I have ever owned with BFGoodrich T/As. They handle well, are much quieter, are better in inclement weather and are much cheaper. I also get substantially better wear out of them. The BF Goodrich Comp T/A, although a performance tire, has much to recommend it for non-performance applications- I've always been pleased with them. They're a bit pricey but not unreasonably so. Get them unless you have some requirement that demands a special tire. I have replaced a variety of Eagle GT, Eagle GT+4, and Uniroyal Tiger Paw Royal Seals with BF Goodrich tires. I have found them to have superior winter traction to all of the tires I replaced. They are also less expensive, quieter and lasted much, much longer. I have experience with the BFGoodrich Radial T/A, Comp T/As and Advantage T/As. I am very satisfied and would highly recommend them. The Comp T/A VR rated version is designed for dry or wet summer traction and the compound will in fact freeze below 40 degrees and provide worse traction than the H rated BFGs. I just bought a set of Comp T/As for the front. The wet/dry traction is excellent. BFG has a 225/50-16 HR4 Comp T/A that is an excellent replacement for the Michelins IMHO. A friend switched his Mustang to HR4 recently, and thinks they are much better than what he had been running (XP-2000s). I just got new BF Goodrich Comp T/A HR4 for my 92 Integra which replaced the Michelin XGTV4s I had. The Michelins were horrible. Grip was fair in the dry, (alot of squeal), horrible in the wet, and snow, don't bother. I only got 22,000 miles out of them. Replacements would have run at least 500$. The Comp HR4s were 350$ Grip in dry and wet is better (alot better in the wet) and ride has not changed, and the life of the tire should be much longer. The car doesn't recover from sharp turns as fast as it used to. BF Goodrich Comp T/As - almost as bad as Michelins, last for ages and they give a very disconcerting vague feel and an awful sloppy turn-in, grip seems ok in a straight line but is well below par on corners. Precisely what I'd expect from the USA! BF Goodrich=good good good. The top BFGs are excellent tires; the very best are expensive. The BFGs are quieter, better riding, and have better traction in the rain and snow than the GT+4s that originally came on my car. Given my experience with the BFGs, I would recommend them to anyone looking to replace the Goodyears that are original equipment on the SHO. Goodyear: These tires have amazing grip in dry weather and aren't that bad in wet weather either. In increasing order of cost & performance, here they are: Eagle ST: Never had these. Eagle GT: I've had two sets of these, one on a 400cid Pontiac These tires had a life of about 20k to 25k miles. Dry performance was very sticky with sudden breakaways. Steering was precise and never wandered, in spite of the size of the tires. Eagle GT+4: Never had these. According to the rags a year or so ago, the dry handling is nearly as good as the regular GT tire while the wet and M&S capabilities are much better, but still not optimal. Very expensive. Eagle NCT: Eagle VR: Never had. Eagle ZR: Last 20K miles, cost huge $$. remarkably good in the rain. Dry pavement performance is amazing. Tend to follow grooves. S-Compound: If you feel your tires last too long and you want to have to replace them more often, you can order the GTS, VRS, or ZRS tires. Supposedly stickier and designed more for autocrossing and racing than for driving like a maniac. Eagle GT+4: Come in speed-rated and non-speed-rated versions. "GT+4s supplied to GM will not feature the high-speed heavy-duty belt package." The article noted that this belting increases the tire's rolling resistance, and therefore the car's gas mileage by about 0.3 MPG - a serious consideration in these days of CAFE. Further, the ride of the tire is harsher with heavier belting: "GM cites the harsher ride as one of the many reasons the GT+4 supplied to it does not contain the belt package for speed rating." [Popular Mechanics, 12/87] So the tradeoff is higher-speed rating (you can sustain speeds up to 130 MPH with a HR rating) and *probably* better performance vs. poorer ride comfort and slightly increased rolling resistance (e.g., reduced gas mileage). The Car & Driver article was testing the HR version. I have Goodyear Eagle NCT2s and have been nothing but impressed with them. They were great, both wet and dry and very quiet/smooth. People who have GT+4s love them. Great tire. Confidence inspiring. Unfortunately 195/60-14 GT+4s only come with raised white lettering. Goodyear also produces a "V" rated blackwall GT+4. I've got 205VR55-16s on my Eclipse. In that size, the sidewall is real short, so ride comfort leaves a little to be desired. The performance is great though, especially in the wet (don't have any snow yet). I just bought Goodyear Eagle GT+4s based on their good, balanced performance in dry, wet, *and* snow. I went with the GT+4s with winter coming on, as the others have tread designs that would probably provide unacceptable winter performance. The GT+4s could be used all year, but I will probably use them as winter tires, and purchase another summer high-performance tire to provide better dry performance with acceptable wet handling. I have been pleased with the GT+4s relative to other common 944 OEM tires: Dunlop D40s (easily controlled in slides, but not sticky; breaks away quickly in wet), and Pirelli P6s (similarly good dry tire; not as easily to slide in dry, but better in telegraphing breakaway in wet). Some credentials on the GT+4: good rain handling (best tire available in C&D recent all-weather tire test, using a 944; the top-rated Michelin proved unavailable in U.S.). excellent dry handling (fastest track times of all tires in same C&D test) I have been pretty happy with the GT+4s in wet and Winter driving thus far. It is much more comforting to drive in inclement weather with them on. 2 years later I bought an 89 Sundance RS (with the 2.5L turbo engine), and it came with Eagle GT+4 tires. Great I thought, better wet weather traction. Sadly, this is not the case. If I'm not real careful, the tires will slip quite a bit when starting to move. I had similar experience with the GT+4 on an 87 Daytona Shelby Z. They nearly always spun if the road was wet. They were on the car when I bought it and the car handled better than previous vehicles. When the tires needed replacing I purchased Firestone Firehawk GTX's. What a difference! I took the car on a 1800 mile trip the week after I got the GTXs. I went through several severe thunderstorms on interstates without any trouble. The tires don't spin when starting out and I discovered that the handling with the GT+4s was a great deal less than optimal. I'd highly recommend the GTXs as all-weather tires; I'll never buy GT+4s. My Talon comes with GT+4s that have exhibited poor snow handling at best. They are much better in the rain than any tire I've owned. My experiences with Goodyear Eagles have been nothing less than phenomenal. My brother has a set of Goodyear GT+4s (stock size) on his 1990 Acura Integra RS and says that they are much better than the stock Yokohamas. He does state, however that its rain traction isn't that great (below average) but he is happy with them anyways. The GT+4s didn't stick in the wet worth a darn toward the end of their treadlife. They road as if they had sidewalls of steel. The Mustang is pretty horrifying in the snow when shod on Goodyear VR Eagles. Gatorbacks are overated by the press as superior tires when they really are very poor for other than dry weather. Gators are a 1 dimensional weakling. if you buy a Mustang GT, you get skatorbacks that are worthless in winter. If you buy a Mustang LX 5.0, you get Eagle GT+4, which are the best rated M+S tire I've found. Winter traction and Eagle Gatorbacks are mutually exclusive concepts. Their rain grip is also pretty modest compared to the competition's, a testament to tire development over the past 6 years. As for treadlife, Gatorbacks aren't really that soft. Most Mustang owners I know are lucky to get 20k on Gatorbacks. Frankly, I think they're a rotten value as replacement tires go. I will get about 34K miles from my Gatorbacks. Goodyear GT are best on dry roads. (even on wet roads). Buy them. You might want to look into the Goodyear GS-C tires that have just been introduced. I've just put a set of them on my vette...it is nothing like the Gatorbacks, tire noise is greatly reduced, the back end doesn't have a mind of its own over rough turns, and I haven't tried it in the rain yet.. you may have to wait awhile since NO vette owner in their right mind would drive on rainy days. I recently bought a new '92 Vette with the Eagle GS-Cs (std. tires); not only are they great in the rain (and snow up here) but the cornering is great! You may have trouble getting sizes for an older Vette though, as I heard that initially Goodyear has made only 275/40 ZR-17 (Vette) and 315/35 ZR-17 (ZR-1 Vette rear tires) sizes available. Just finished a 2000 mile trip from NJ to Florida and back with a brand new set of Goodyear GS-Cs on my Turbo Supra, and since I've noticed a few comments about them, I though I'd chime in. The Supra uses 225-50-16s on all four wheels, and came with 7 rib Gatorbacks as standard. I'd changed to 5 rib ones at the last tire change, in the hope they'd be a bit better in the wet (rumor had it... wasn't true). The old Gatorbacks would slip in the rear at the slightest moisture on the road (spit would do it) - tread was still about 1/4". They were hard riding (every tar strip was noticeable). They didn't wear worth a damn (about 30,000 max on the rears).... New GS-Cs... Averaged 75 MPH though South Carolina and Georgia during an all day rainstorm on Route 95 - occasional speeds up to 100.. (just keepin' up with the flow of traffic).. with a very heavily loaded car... didn't feel a single slip... Good points: 1. Excellent in rain - have yet to reach the wet adhesion limit, unlike the old tires. 2. Seem good on ice - day I got them it iced here in NJ - I didn't know it until I got out of the car and fell on my a*s... 3. MUCH smoother ride, enough to be REALLY noticeable.... 4. Should be OK in snow (haven't tried them, thank God) - has a VERY open tread pattern, with big grooves.. 5. Quieter, has an irregular block pattern, and they're virtually silent (didn't notice how noisy the old Eagles were until I put these on). 6. No tracking of rain grooves or grated bridge surfaces - and I got to check this wet and dry in most of the southern states. 7. Dry traction - haven't gotten to the limit yet Bad points: 1. COST - the 225/50/16s with a road hazard guarantee (free wheel alignment - free balancing, etc..) cost me about $1200 (tax, mounting etc..) for 4. Might beat this with mail order, but I put them on the day before I left... 2. Slightly different feel - not sure if this is good or bad, but I find I have to pay a little more attention to going straight down the road at speed (70 MPH and up), not a lot of difference, but there is some. Recommendation: If you're unhappy with the performance of your current tires, and these puppies come in a size to fit; I'd recommend them. They REALLY made a wet weather tail-happy car much more manageable. I wouldn't recommend Gatorbacks...they may have been the state-of-the-art tires in '84, but the other tire manufacturers has passed it by. I highly recommend the newer generation Goodyear Gatorback GS-Cs. Read the various Vette, CD, MT, articles on the new '92 for more info. I've got a set on and there is a noticeable difference in handling, tire noise, and wet weather traction... It's only hearsay (from Goodyear's Motorsports PR Manager!) but at the press intro, supposedly none of the flacks could reach the adhesion limits with GS-Cs. Just seeing them on TV, they look like they ought to work really well. Should be an interesting tire. The Goodyear GS-C are a lot better than the old Gatorback. These tires ride great, feel very good and get great traction, even with lots of engine mods. Try them, I think you will like them, if not love them. Personally, I will NEVER buy another Goodyear tire in my lifetime, nor would I ever recommend it to anyone. Your tires are SHOT by 10,000 miles and we're talking 500 - 600 dollars to replace them with a decent pair. Goodyear Eagle STs: Good all season tire. Moderate mileage (~25,000) M+S rated. Predictable handling. Not true high performance but sporty with a comfortable and quiet ride. Good traction in rain, snow and dry. Good at speed. Price is good. If you're not into "pushing" your car real hard regularly, but you want a good sporty tire, this is a great choice. This Goodyear GA stuff is a real can of worms. There are at least two *completely* different types of Goodyear GAs, the Invicta GA and the Eagle GA are the two that I'm aware of. The thread patterns on them are completely different. The Invicta is the one that's found on the 91 Audi v8 and it's VR rated as well as all-season. This is the quiet and comfy tire, I think. The thread pattern looks very different from most other tires; the longitudinal grooves are wide and deep; the transverse grooves are very small. The Eagle GA is fitted to some 92 Audi 100s and it's HR rated and all-season as well if I'm not mistaken. The thread resembles the other various Eagles and Pirellis, with the chunks of rubber thing. My Lexus Coupe has Eagle GAs in 215/60VR15. These are the tires that were developed with Lexus for the LS400 sedan, but now you can find them on lots of cars in all price categories. They're very quiet and pretty good in the wet + dry. They track truck groves in the road, making handling at highway speeds less than inspiring. They spin like crazy on snow, which keeps the traction control and ABS working overtime. I replaced them with Comp T/A VR4s and now have little problem with rutted roads. The only thing in which the Comp T/A VR4s aren't at least as good as the Eagle GAs is ride quality. At the 1993 auto show, I couldn't believe the number of cars (and SUVs) shod with Goodyear Eagle GAs. I would guess at least 60% of the tires I saw were GAs. But as I looked at them, I started to notice slight differences between the GAs. Some were all-season, some weren't. Some had ratings of 180/A/A, while the all-seasons were 300/A/A. Some of the sidewalls had "Steel Belted Radial" in large letters, most didn't. Some had raised letters on a serated background, others were serated letters on a plain background, and yet others were white outlined. Speed ratings ranged from S to V. Sizes ranged from 175/75-13 to 215/60-16 (or so). I've heard reports of wide-ranging prices for GAs. What's going on here?! Goodyear Eagle GT or GT+4=shit; great on dry, bad on anything else and they go bald quickly. I recently replaced my GT+4s with GAs. The GAs are *much* quieter and smoother riding as well. Traction and handling are very much the same on the highway, but not quite as firm on the back roads. The difference is hardly noticeable, though, and worth the quiet. Goodyear Eagle VR Gatorbacks suck! They are miserable in the rain, and downright dangerous in the snow! They wear out very quickly, and often cause balancing problems! Stay away! I bought a set of EAGLE M+S P205/50VR15 for my Shelby CSX, and it handles as well in the worst snow storms as my brother's Jeep renegade. They provide the best footing I've ever felt in the snow, with little discernible loss of performance on dry and wet pavement. The only time I notice the lost of dry pavement traction is when I'm doing ~50 MPH in one of those freeway on/off ramp circles. I have Aquatred Tires and I love them. Ever since I got them I've noticed that my car feels more "glued" to the road. And they are just as great in the snow. The only thing about them is that, under normal driving conditions, they are a bit loud. I also wonder what the life of their tread will be. People who run the Aquatred are VERY happy w/them. The Aquatred is a scam. Avoid it. For the first 5k miles or so it works as described, after that the "aquatred" is worn down (depending on your driving habits) and you just have a normal M+S tire for the next 60k miles. My experience with the Aquatreds has been excellent (and we don't know about rain in Seattle :-). My experience includes driving at Seattle International Raceway on a wet track, and they were great! I have the Aquatreds on my Hyundai Excel and I've been quite pleased with them. I would definitely consider purchasing them again. They seem to do well in rain and snow and they seem pretty durable. I installed Goodyear "Aquatreds" (the ones that look like to skinny tires real close together) on a '92 Civic last fall. Compared to the cheap, squeak-in-every-curve and slide-in-every-puddle OEM Dunlops, these tires are a dream. Handling and traction in wet weather are better than any other tires I've seen. They are also rated for 60,000 miles. The only down sides I know about are price and the fact that they may not make a wide, high speed version for performance cars. If you buy them from a Goodyear franchise, you'll pay premium but I bought mine next door at Discount Tire for $65 each, including balancing and all taxes (vs. $80-90 ea. at Goodyear). All in all, I'd say Aqua-Treads are the best general purpose, all-season tire on the market right now. Expect to see others come out with similar designs real soon. General markets a tire like the Aquatred and point out its superior performance after 15k miles. The General is still working, the Goodyear is worn out. The Aquatreds are rated and guaranteed for 60,000 miles. If you only get 40,000 miles out of them, Goodyear will give you 1/3 off the best sale price of replacements. The Aquatreds are Goodyear's premium passenger vehicle all-season tire. I have been very satisfied with my Aquatreds. The Aquatreds have worked very well for us (88 Civic Sedan). They are quiet (even at 85+) and seem to provide a reasonable grip to the road. Goodyear, as well as other manufacturers now, have unidirectional tires that force the water/snow off to the sides as they rotate. The wildest one is the Aquatred, which has a deep groove in the center, providing another place for water/snow to escape easier. The Aquatreds are outstanding. Way better than the crappy Invictas. The Aquatreds are real smooth and grippy in dry and wet, square profile. Lately it rains 3 inches a day out here in CA, and the tires are great in the rain of course. I purchased a set of Aquatreds about a month ago. A few days later we had a good heavy rain. The Aquatreds were great. I hardly notice that I am driving in the rain now. They are loud though. Aquatreds are awesome in the rain, average in dry, and horrible in the snow. Yokohama: The A008 series is their premier race/autocross tire. They do not have exceptional treadlife (in fact, rather poor!) A008 - Premier dry performance tire A008R - Soft compound version of above A008RTU - New, higher perf version of A008R (TU stands for Tune Up) A008G - Different tread pattern for improved wet performance. The AVS series is more of a high performance road tire. Expect much better treadlife. AVS Wet - Wet performance oriented AVS Int - Intermediate : Compromise wet/dry AVS Dry - Dry performance oriented AVS A+4 - True all season performance tire. AVS U+4 - True all season performance tire with 40K mile life. Yokohama also has other "performance" tires, most are more oriented towards "average" use. The tread on the A008 is different from that on the AVS Dry: The A008 has a semi-slick outer treadface and no helical pattern for water; the AVS Dry has helical groves for water channeling. The AVS Dry looks much like the AVS Intermediate, except the semi-slick area covers about half the tire in the Dry version, while only a quarter in the Int. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the new Yokohama AVS series tires. They are supposedly great in the dry *and* wet! Every article I've read about them has praised their road-holding ability and quietness. I used AVSs. They wore out. Fast. I had the Intermediates on my Integra, and they were a very significantly large improvement in both dry and wet over the Michelin MXVs that were on the car before them. But they were by no means great in the wet, although they were very good in the dry. Very quiet, very sticky. For what it's worth, I just got Yokohama AVS A+4 all season radials for my Audi Quattro Coupe, size 205VR50/15. So far, in the dry they handle great, and the tread (practically solid on the outer edge, chunky wide-open diamond tread in the middle) looks like it should handle snow/rain well. Ride quality is good, and they are quieter than my previous tires (Goodyears). Now I'm looking forward to awful weather. Where's a big, empty, snow covered parking lot.:-) After much surveying, I ended up with the Yokohoma AVS A+4s (not U+4s). So far I've been MUCH, MUCH happier than the first TWO sets of MXVs that I had. The U+4s should be the newer tire and should be the "more all season" tire. At the dealer I went to they had a booklet which was extremely detailed on first tires (and tire terminology - i.e. want the different profiles bought you, how to calculated them, etc.) and then broke down the characteristics of each Yokohama tire. Comparing that booklet to what I see on the net about other Yokohoma tires - Yokohoma was quite honest in its evaluation of their tires. The booklet could have been designed for the dealers but since there was a big stack sitting there in the open, I grabbed one. I have been pretty satisfied with the AVS U+4s so far. I run about 35,000+ miles per year in the Chicago/Indiana area so I definitely wanted a good snow tire with good wear. This is the FIRST of three winters that I have not had to buy a new set of tires. (My first two sets were Michelin MXVs... :-(...) The AVS U Plus 4 is the latest entry into the expanding all-season, high performance market. The U Plus 4 was designed as a replacement all-season high performance tire, or tire upgrade, for the motoring public seeking to enter the high performance market. The U Plus 4 is one of the only high performance tires to come with a 40,000 mile treadwear warranty. (For complete details, check the warranty for this tire.) This is also one of the few H speed-rated tires that carries a mud and snow rating. This means it meets all highway requirements where the M and S rating is needed without sacrificing excellent performance. FEATURES AND BENEFITS: * Unidirectional tread design Provides solid cornering on dry pavement and a firm footing on wet. Individual block sipes double the number of biting edges for excellent performance in snow. * Deep, wide grooves Permit tread blocks to move independently and to conform to the road surface to absorb shock for a smoother ride. Also effectively channel water, improving road-handling ability in the wet. * Two steel belts with nylon cover The steel belts supply excellent support for the thread. The nylon cover holds the belts firmly in place at highway speeds. * Unique thread compound Gives excellent traction in sun, rain or snow with little deviation in performance. CUSTOMER APPLICATIONS: For drivers seeking to replace original equipment high performance tires with high performance tires that have an M and S rating. Also for drivers seeking an excellent, all-season high performance tire that is more affordable than the A Plus 4. GRADING: Speed Rating - H Treadwear Grade - 220 Traction Grade - A Temperature Grade - A Owners love the AVS A+4. The respondents seem to have limited experience with them in the wet and no experience in the snow. No complaints about it in the wet though. Great in the dry. Yoko AVS Intermediate: Respondent didn't like it. Wore away quickly. Marginal snow capabilities. Okay rain performance. Didn't like the on-center feel. I put 4 new Yokohama AVS-Intermediate 245ZR50s on my IROC for the same price as Gatorbacks, and for the money they're a whole lot stickier. I used to be able to kick the rear end out on smooth, dry pavement with the mildest amount of throttle on a corner; with the Yokos it only happens intentionally. I get much more traction on heavy-throttle starts, too. They're also a bit better in wet (but not much). [From a Copyright article by Greg Wageman -Ed.] Yokohama A008s are not bad in rain, but useless in snow. A008s wear flat across. Always. When there is standing water, they hydroplane a little. Yokohama A008s are great in dry, but are a terror in the wet - due to the half-racing slick design. While the A008R is a great tire, the A509 and AVS Intermediate are not. I now have AVS Intermediates. (Did Yokohama stop selling the AVS Dry and Wet?) They're pretty good tires (better than my '86 Honda's stock Michelin MXLs). The tread is a bit squishy now (especially after just finishing off a set of A008Rs), but I think that as they get naturally shaved, they'll get better. I now have 205/50ZR15 Yokohoma AVS Drys on 15 x 6 1/2" for the summer and the car sticks like glue. For the last year, I've been using A008Rs as my race tires (on my X1/9) and either A001Rs, A008Rs or a combination thereof (depending on whether I felt like changing tires after an autocross :-) as my street tires. A few weeks ago I mounted a set of street A008s and took to the hills and was amazed at the difference! It's been so long since I've driven on regular street tires that I had forgotten how easily and gradually they break away, and how much noise they make (I am always aware of some amount of squealing; the R-compound tires were almost completely silent). In a way, they're a lot more fun -- with A008Rs I would never have considered getting into a 4-wheel drift on a public road (race tires break away fairly suddenly, and you have to be going quite fast before they lose traction at all); the street 8s give me lots of warning and I can drift merrily around corners while still being secure that I still have a large margin of control in case of an emergency. In my opinion, both the A008 and the Comp T/A happen to be excellent street tires, the best non-race tires I've ever used, which may or may not have anything to do with the fact that both companies are active in racing. A008R is an excellent rain tire assuming it has a reasonable amount of tread. The A008R is one of the best dry tires available. You can expect 15K to 20K out of these on the street. If you get a lot of rain, you probably don't want these. A008Rs -- nothing sticks better A008R: The R compound has half the number of "holes" in the wide outer block. Also I believe the diagonal groves in the other strips are not as deep. They are definitely not desirable for driving in the rain. I'll take an 8R in the rain any day over a normal A008. Soft compounds are essential in the rain, and the 8R has adequate tread to channel water. The softness of the 8R makes it do quite well in the rain vs. a normal street tire. That is, unless the street tire is one that is designed with both a soft compound and a killer rain-tread such as a Gatorback ZR. A008Rs come with 7/32" of tread. I've never driven "normal" A008s ;-), but the Rs I have on my '83 GTI work just spiffy in the wet. The only real problem seems to be that they're easy to spin if I rev too high and clutch too fast coming off a dead stop. They do work better in the dry than in the wet, but that's got to be true of any tire. A008s changed my life. The A008R has been replaced with the A008RTU. The A001R is commonly used as a rain tire; unfortunately, Yokohama is evidently planning to discontinue all the A00-series tires except the A008Rtu in the near future, as they feel that the AVS tires finally work well enough. A lot of IT racers are real concerned about what they're going to use for rain tires in the near future. My current tire is the Yoko A001R, but preferred the A008R due to its stiffer sidewall. My next tires will be the new A008RS. FYI, I know a CRX racer who used to practice on free Gatorbacks. SCCA Sports Renault teams who were nationally competitive used to throw them out when they got a little hard. They weren't the fastest tires to be on, but they were free. My Yokohama dealer tells me that Yokohama is recommending a new rain setup -- A008Rtu tires with the near-slick side mounted on the *inside* of the wheel. Although I race on the A008R, I've decided that Yokohama's street tires are highly overrated. Instead, I highly recommend the BF Goodrich Comp T/A or Comp T/A HR4/VR4. For street applications, you would be much better off with A001R. These have asymmetrical tread design and soft/high-traction compound. These deliver C-rated treadlife. Any of 8R, A008RTU, or 1R isn't really suitable for street use, but lots of people get away with either 1 or 8 tires in street application. I don't see as a 1R is much better than an 8R for treadwear on the street. My next set of tires is going to be the AVS Intermediate. They are worth the money. I have Yoko AVS U+4s on my GLI--Love em--had MXV-terrible-Eagle GT+4, not bad, but expensive, but these AVS U+4s do it all--unbelievable in snow-paid $92.00 each total-recommend them highly. They handle great in wet, dry, and super in the snow--Solid 6 plies in the tread- low profile-quiet-unidirectional tire-H rated-All Season- M & S rated-guaranteed for 40K in writing-got 45K out of first set-wasn't even down to the treadwear indicators yet, but I replaced them. The price I paid was $334.00 for 4 complete- tax, balance, stems, etc.--They are well made--Normally rotated every 5K-re-balanced also--The Yokos didn't need the rotation, and re-balancing--unusual for a radial. Car & Driver tested the Yokohama AVS V+4, which has an asymmetric tread design. I use a set of Yokohama U+4 myself. They are less sticky than the V+4, which are VR rated (the U+4 are HR rated). I feel that the U+4 offers better year-round performance than the V+4 due to the unidirectional design. By the way, I drive an Integra using 195/60-14. Comparing to similar size Eagle GT+4, Michelin XGT, MXV, XGT H4, Bridgestone HP41, and Comp T/A, I liked the U+4 the best for wet/dry performance. You can call Yokohama 1-800-423-4544, x3939, their performance tire dept. They will be happy to discuss and send you all kinds of technical data about their tires. Yoko AVS U+4 beat the hell out of MXV and GT+4-no comparison. I have been pleased with AVS U+4s until this date. Yokohama A509s on my Alfa have proven to be outstanding rain tires; perhaps even a hair better than the Nokia Rollster HTs I'd run for the past several years. To my mind, moderately priced tires like the A509 are an ideal solution; they last longer than real gumballs, and don't stick as well, but they're great fun and don't break the budget when you have to replace them. The AVS-I is a good tire. I replaced MXVs with Yokohama A509s. Dry traction is much better. Steering response is great (they bite NOW!) Wet traction seems almost as good as dry, and I have used them somewhat on paved snowy roads without incident. I just (last week) put a set of Yokohama AVS A+4 onto my Saab 9000 turbo, and have put 1000 miles on them already, in a mix of rain and shine. I really like them - the car feels more solid than it did with the NCD 2s, and I think the ride is smoother. The Yokos seem to soak up expansion joint bump-thump better. They certainly have much stiffer sidewalls - it took two mechanics to lever them onto the rims. A-509's handling was better, breakaway was more gradual (rather than the sudden breakaway with the Goodyears), less propensity to skid in wet, and more quiet! I recently put a set of Yokohama AVS U+4s on my 89 Integra. In town they handle very nicely on rain and snow. Got them from Tire Rack (1-800-428-8355). I'd steer clear of Yokohama as well. In my early days on the Honda list (last year), I might as well have worked for Yokohama with the number of Yoko recommendations that I made. I've had Yokohama A008, A008R, A509, Y352, AVSi. I guess my feeling, in retrospect, is that I've never been TOTALLY satisfied with any of them. Good yes, great, maybe... After 2 winters, one snowless and one snowful, as well as many months rain and sunshine, I feel that the Yokohama AVS U+4 is one of the best all-season high-performance tires I have driven on. The weakness of the U+4s are in longitudinal loading (ie. hard acceleration and braking...although the ALB helps a lot!) and in wear. Off the line grip is average but is good once you get moving. Braking is good, especially going into turns. When Yokohama specified a 40,000km warranty, they knew what they were doing. I bought 4 Yoko A509s for my Supra about 9 months ago. Best set of tires I've had so far, quiet and sticky. Yokohama AVS U+4: Everything Yokohama says they are. Good snow traction, excellent lateral traction, predictable handling, good in rain. These tires are stable at high speed and in cornering. They have a guaranteed treadlife of 40,000 miles, which I intend to test. The tires aren't any quieter than the original Michelin tires, but they aren't too noisy. The ride is sporty but not harsh. They're priced reasonably (:$80, compared to $110 for Michelin XGT H4s). Note that the AVS U+4 is a unidirectional tread and that the AVS V+4 is a totally different tire (pattern, construction, materials, and price $$$). I have a 88 Integra LS-SE. Two month ago, in the first snow storm in Chicago, I was almost killed. The next week I changed all four to Yokohama AVS U+4 as it had been recommended highly on the net. So far so good for me, although the front wheels still occasionally spin on wet road at starting (I am not sure this problem is due to the tires or design). I would say it is much better than my previous Michelin MXV. I can't believe Michelin is still in the business. Excluding all-out racing slicks, the stickiest dry pavement tire would be the Yokohama A008RS-II or the BF-Goodrich Comp TA R/1. I have Yokohama AVS U+4s on my Honda Prelude and they're great! I can feel a large improvement in wet and dry handling over my old Michelin MXVs. Bridgestone: If you said "what was the best v-rated dry/wet pavement tire," I'd say that the Bridgestone RE71 offered the best tradeoff. I suggest the Bridgestone RE71 as excellent high-performance tires that can also make strong claims for wet performance. I replaced Gatorbacks with Bridgestone RE41 HR60s. These Bridgestone came out 2nd to last in the test due to poor dry handling and quick breakaway; they excelled in the snow,wet braking and cost (one of the lowest by 10-20%)! I bought them knowing this as I drove a similar car with them, and found that the test had really split hairs. Since then, I have put about 4000 miles on them with no regrets. How's the supposedly bad dry weather handling and breakaway???well at what would be probably 7 or 8/10 driving they are as good or superior to the Gatorbacks tenacity. In other words, I got a low cost M+S rated great tire without seeing the drawbacks in the test. I feel the test (and other tests now I assume) are again overstating negatives. Regarding Eagles vs. others, I got much better mileage out of my OEM Eagles (225/50/16) on my SVO Mustang than the Bridgestone RE71s I replaced them with (25k vs 15k). The Bridgestones were vastly superior in terms of wet and dry grip. But they cost a friggin fortune. I've been reduced to a set of miserable Falkens that were cheap and will probably last forever to spite me. I love the RE-71s. They're great in dry and rain! Not so hot in snow. RE-71 VR/ZR: Good performance tire for both wet and dry. I'm currently using Bridgestones RE-71 Potenza 205/60VR15s. These are excellent tires, and I've had them on my car for over 60,000 miles. When talking about tires, especially High Performance, I strongly recommend Bridgestone RE-71 Potenza. I haven't found a better all weather tire. I also used them in solo events (in the soft compound version) and they have taken me to the first place 4 times. Bridgestone Potenza RE88 are very good in dry weather, but in the rain they are terrible. I highly recommend the Bridgestone SF471 in a 175/70-13 size. They're an all season tire that's rated M+S and that have a Traction A, Temperature A, and Treadwear 240 rating. I been using these on my '87 Civic hatchback and they've been pretty good in NY snow and ice. Also, their dry weather traction is pretty decent. Better for auto-crossing than the Michelin MXLs that I used to have. Try the RE-71R in the wet and dry! It works really well! It is not a snow tire (Gee, I wonder why?), but get them at about 7/32 depth and they will never let you down. There are rumors Bridgestone upgraded the RE71s without telling anyone. They are much better now than they used to be. I traded in Bridgestone RE81 OEM tires for RE71s the day I picked up the car. I am very happy with them. Good traction in dry and wet conditions. I even did an auto-cross on them, and was impressed (nice stiff sidewalls). HOWEVER, be aware that this is NOT an all-season tire. Not only does it not have a tread I would want to try in the snow, when it gets cold ( < 40 F or so) they get MUCH harder. I picked up a nasty rumor that Bridgestone is dropping this tire. I replaced both front Michelin Sport EP-X with Bridgestone HP-41s. I have found these tires to be much more sticky and just as competent in the rain and snow. Dunlop: The phone number for Dunlop is 1-800-845-TEST. When you call you get an answering machine and just leave your name and address. I suggest the Dunlop D40/M2 as excellent high-performance tires that can also make strong claims for wet performance. My brother replaced the MXVs on his Prelude with D40/M2s, and says they are remarkably better in all aspects except bump hop (he did a Plus-1 conversion though, so this may be why). He changes over to Pirelli 190 Winter tires during the snowy season. I bought a set of Dunlop D40/M2s for my Mazda RX-7 several months ago and I love 'em. These are high-performance tires that just stick to the road like glue. They're far better than the original-equipment Bridgestone Potenzas I replaced, which went 'slip, slip sliding away' when wet and made more noise 'than a jet engine'. So far I have been very satisfied with the D40/M2 compared to the original Goodyear Skatorbacks. I am very happy with my D40/M2s. My mom has a set of D40/M2s for her 88 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, and they appear to drive great. They also are wearing quite well, having 15k to 20k on them and plenty of tread left. I drive a Thunderbird SC and I replaced the original Gatorbacks (26K Miles) with the Dunlop D40/M2 and I am very happy with them even in the wet. (we do not get much wet weather in LA, this year was an exception). But for my father's car I am leaning towards the second group, as he currently have on the car Eagle GT+4 (lasted 47K miles) with an OK performance in wet weather. He also does not drive his car as aggressively as I do mine, and he wants a longer lasting tire. The Dunlop D40/M2s feel better on rain than the XGT V4s at speeds of 15+ higher. I expect to get ~20,000 out of the D40/M2s. The D40/M2 is an excellent tire as far as I'm concerned. It has great lateral grip, and traction, in the dry. In the wet it resists hydroplaning very well. In the snow, they are all but useless. They are a little bit noisy, and will make the car ride a bit rougher, due to the very stiff sidewalls. If you're planning on driving in snow, DON'T GET THE DUNLOPS! I got stuck on a level street in a mild snowstorm with a set of Dunlop D40/M2s on a Supra. Actually had to get towed to the nearest tire store to put on another set of tires. I went from Michelin MXVs to the Dunlop GT Qualifier HR4+. The Dunlops performance in the rain and snow exceeded my expectations. But they gave away too much on dry pavement (although they were at least predictable). Next time I will go for the Comp T/As. I own an 89 CRX Si and I wore out my front Yokohamas in 20K miles. I replaced the front tires with Dunlop Qualifiers. I have 63K so far on my car and the tread looks good. They're not bad in snow, better than the Yokos. These tires are best in the rain. They are not the stickiest tire around; however, they have predictable slip characteristics on dry pavement which makes them fun to drive on winding backroads. I may try Goodyears next time around. I have a set of Dunlop HR4s (195/60-HR14) on my CRX. They've given me impressive rain traction and adequate snow traction for a "performance/ all-weather" tire. For the same money, however, I'm sure that there are other strictly all-season tires that will handle snow much better. I have a very strong prejudice against the D40/M2. My set lasted around 6k miles - I do drive aggressively - but friends with the same tires go no more than 12k (VW GTI, Miata, Civic). They have little grip and are worse in the wet. I don't know about the A2s. Dunlop D80V4s - excellent tire which blows away the GT+4s. They give a great, yielding ride with excellent cornering at 42 PSI. I considered competitive models from Yokohama, Bridgestone, and Goodyear before I made my choice. Sorry, I can't remember exactly which models. The Dunlops had the best price, and I haven't been sorry I chose them. They're quiet and they have excellent wet-weather manners. The Dunlop D60/M2 is *NOT* an all-season tire. The differences are that one is made of a better rubber compound (D40), and one of the two is made in the US while the other is made in Japan or Korea (which is which I don't remember for sure, but I believe the D60 was made in the US) The D60 is also an H rated tire, while the D40 can be V or Z. I bought a set of D60/M2s for my 88 Celica AllTrac Turbo, they lasted 24k miles. At first, these tires were great, but after 8k miles, the car developed a definite pull to the right that was fixed when I switched to MXVs. The D60s are very noisy on concrete road surfaces. I have D60/M2s on the front of my LeBaron GT. I like them so far (100 miles or so). I replaced the OE Goodyear Eagle GT+4s on the front with D60/A2s, but was not impressed with their stickyness, plus they weren't round. When the guy at the tire shop was about to replace one week old D60/A2s with more of the same, I stopped him, asked if I could pay the difference and get M2s instead. Much better. Made in Japan. The D60/M2s are like D40/M2s with "H" instead of "V" speed rating. They have a unidirectional tread design, stick very well in the dry, and don't look like they are going to wear very well. I don't know how they perform in the wet, I live in California :-}. In my opinion, they are stickier than the GT+4s. The A2s seemed about as sticky as GT+4s, but sounded a lot better when they broke loose. The M2s don't break loose much (on my car :-). I replaced Eagle GT+4s with Dunlop Sport 8000s and It feels like I have a new car! The difference in sidewall strength between these two tires is incredible. The car no longer rolls as much and it responds quickly to any changes in the steering wheel. There is a lot more information been transmitted back to the driver now, I no longer feel 'separated' from the road. Grip on dry and wet is of course MUCH better. The only thing I can say that has been lost is ride quality, bumps and groves in the road are now felt a LOT more, but this is how I like it. It is the price that has to be paid for excellent handling. I do not know if you want to consider ZR rated tires (more expansive/last less), but I have just received a $50 rebate certificate from Dunlop for their new SP Sport 8000 tire together with some propaganda info and a comparison test: They are 1st in slalom, lateral hydroplaning, wet breaking and dry cornering, 2nd in lap times, 3rd (by a very small margin after two 1st place ties) in dry breaking and wet cornering, their only low score is in ride comfort, 5th out of 9. "This tire is NOT (their caps) M-S rated for winter use in ice and snow. Snow and ice conditions will always require special handling and care and much reduced speed." The HP41s are quieter, with less rolling resistance, and I can point the car much more accurately. Dunlop Qualifier HR4s on my 89 Accord LXi have the same tread as the GTs but are a higher speed rating and do not have the white letters. The Qualifiers are much better in the snow then the MXVs that came on the Honda. I have put about 25K miles on the tires so far and I been happy with them so far. I've been running D60/A2s on my Civic for 4 months now. They are vastly superior to the oem crap (also Dunlops) the car came with. They are fairly quiet, have great dry and wet handling and do not hydroplane AT ALL. I'd recommend them. I put D60/A2s on my wife's Miata about 3 months back. Basically they are OK tires - the sidewall seems to be pretty stiff, so expect a firm ride. Grip and turn-in seem fine on the street. Wet traction seems fine. I would say they are medium quiet - definitely noisier than the Yokohamas they replaced. My only qualm is this: I am developing a gut feeling that these are not of the highest quality manufacture. We had to have two of the four tires purchased replaced to correct a "radial pull.' Another poster on the net related a story of replacing a D60/A2 because it was not round. I know this is not a statistically significant sample, but it sure doesn't make me feel very good either. I hate to say this (again), but the D60/M2 is made in Japan, the D60/A2 is not. I put the new Dunlop SP-8000s on my Supra. Excellent tires. 225/50ZR16 ran $185 a pop. Great traction for both take offs and cornering - I can do things I couldn't do before with my Eagles. On top of that, they are considerably more quiet than the Eagles. According to their adds in various car magazines they are very good on wet roads and my own experience confirms this. I replaced my Michelin MXV2s with a set of Dunlop D40/M2s. The Dunlops are extremely sticky. I have had a chance to drive them during wet conditions, and they were very sure footed. I would recommend them highly! An alternative is the Dunlop D60/M2 (forget the -A2 version) or Falken FK06G. All these 3 are about the same price -- at least over here -- and offer the same performance. Dunlop D40/M2 are original equipment for Porsche 959... After doing a lot of research, I decided the choice for replacement tires for my Audi turbo would be Dunlop D60/M2s. What I wanted were inexpensive, but decent tires, a bit more towards performance, but not needing V-rated tires anymore. D60/M2 have a similar tread pattern to the higher performance D40/M2 tires. They are unidirectional, but do not have a M+S rating. Which is fine, as I don't drive the Audi in the snow. It is a good rain tire. Dunlop GT Qualifier are NOT performance tires. They are smooth riding tires that are a cut above non-performance tires. I was disappointed in these tires for my Pontiac 600STE. They don't cost a lot compared to real performance tires so one gets what one pays for. The Dunlops handled much worse in the dry then regular Eagle GTs. Of course the Dunlops are all-season where the GTs were not but I still don't like the Dunlops. The Dunlops are developing micro cracks in the sidewalls. Pirelli: The ZR-rated P600s on the Audi V8 were terrific. I've talked to a few mechanics and they have all recommended Pirellis. If Pirelli made a really good performance street radial, wouldn't a lot of Showroom Stock teams, Autocrossers and other racing classes that require DOT approved tires use them? Pirelli doesn't make a race-compound tire. They may still make the P7R, but it's just too old to be competitive. Just because Pirelli doesn't make a race-compound tire doesn't mean they don't make good tires. There's no reason to assume that the Comp T/A is better than a P600 or P700, just because the Comp T/A R1 is a winning tire. P7s and P6s are mediocre at best in the wet; the newer P600s seem better. BFGoodrich Comp T/As, and Bridgestone RE71 are both much, much better rain tires with comparable dry pavement performance to the better Pirellis. I also had good luck with P6s. Comp T/A HRs beat the heck out of the P6s. They seem to have more ultimate grip, but break away much less progressively than the Pirellis. Granted the P6s aren't the greatest rain tire (they were pretty mediocre on wet and dry) they were better in the wet then the RE71s on my Rx7 but not as good in the dry. Now, I have Dunlop D40s, they are really good in the wet, but not as good as the RE71s in the dry. All in all though, I think I like the Dunlops best for everyday driving. Of course, a fellow net.friend has Yoko AVS Intermediates that he seems duly impressed with in both wet and dry performance. If you don't need V or Z rating and can live with H rating, longer treadlife and lower cost I'd recommend the Dunlop D60, similar to the D40 but less than half the price. Pirellis are overpriced, loud, wear quickly, and are lousy in rain and snow. Seems like they are riding an old reputation, and other manufacturers have surpassed them. I can't recommend them. C/D really liked the Pirelli P600. It was extremely communicative and broke away progressively, and was basically pretty good at everything, not exceptional at anything, but not bad at anything either. Which makes it a damn good street tire. I have had two cars with Pirelli P6s. They lasted over 60,000 miles and were excellent on my car ('82 Audi 5000 Turbo and my '87 Audi 5000 Turbo). The P7s are pricey, but are also supposed to be good. I had a set of P3s on a Mazda GLC, and I didn't like them at all. The treadlife was good (I got over 50 k miles on them), but the sidewall is weak. They didn't do well when cornering hard. Pirelli makes fine street tires for climates like California. My OEM P6s lasted over 30,000 miles. Twenty thou' of those were around 75-80 MPH on interstates. A few thousand were harsh, twisty mountain road miles. The rest were city miles. By an incredible coincidence, 20 thou of those miles WERE in California, in the Bay area. Plusses: quiet, extremely communicative, dependable. Very low tendency to wander on steel gratings. Mine were exemplary during that little stretch through the California desert when I was doing an indicated 122. Standard equipment on many fine-handling cars. Minuses: expensive ($122 per in 205/60HR15), only middling wet traction, serviceable but uninspiring snow traction, bogus on ice. Low ultimate dry grip. Require frequent rotation to achieve even treadwear. Tend to feather the tread blocks anyway. In summary perhaps the ultimate tire for, say, a new Lincoln. Or a chauffeured Benz limo. I still rate the Comp T/A HR as a better bargain. Pirelli tires tend to get a bit expensive. I have 225/60HR14 Pirelli P6 on my Celebrity I bought mailorder for 120 each. These tires are great in dry weather. Quick turn in response, very sticky, progressive once their limit is exceeded. In the rain their adhesion is mediocre. My cousin in law has P600 on his GTI and they are great in the dry and are pretty good in the rain. On of the car magazines did a tire test resently and those tires lost to Dunlop D40 and Michelin XGTV, but beat Gatorbacks and Continentals. I also used P77 on an old X-body Buick Skylark. After I put P77 on the car it no longer spun out every time you hit the brakes. The tires were good in the dry and in the wet and also surprisingly good in the snow. Pirelli tires I have tried were good tires and lasted 30,000 miles of my driving. But by shopping around you can get a better performance tire for less money. Pirellis are very good wearing tires. On the performance side, they tend to be outdated technologically. And overpriced. The general impression, and one that has proven itself on the track, is that P7s wear like nails and don't stick at all. Remember, P7s came out in the mid 70s! I really don't think they compare to the RE-71s, Yokos (AVS or A008G), or the Comp T/A ZR (or VR) tires. Comp T/As are by far the longest wearing of the latter tires. The Dunlop M2s are good, if you want to live with the 140 treadwear rating (RE-71s same). The P7 was replaced many years ago ('84?) as the flagship by the P700, which has since been upgraded to the P700Z, and since then the PZero has come out. Similarly, the P6 is an outdated tire, replaced in the Pirelli line by the P600. If you're gonna go comparing Pirelli performance tires, don't use the P6 or P7 for your comparisons. That's just not fair. P600s leave something to be desired in wet/slippery weather. Pirelli P77 is incredible. Its tread varies across the face of the tire, with half looking "streetish" and half looking "off-roadish". These tires have more guts than I do, on wet, asphalt corners. They don't even seem to put any effort into it, but act as if I were cornering much slower. When I did push them too far, eventually, they just whispered a warning and offered a gentle slip to reinforce. They did not suddenly lose traction, squeal, and toss the car around. Nicely mannered. If you have a Costco handy, you could buy a 185/70 13 for about $55, including mounting, balancing, and Costco's good road hazard warranty. I believe Pirelli warrants 40,000 mile lifespan. Be forewarned that Pirellis typically glue to the road very well, at the cost of mileage life. If you make good use of the P77's holding power, you surely won't get near 40,000 miles from them, but you won't care. They are good. I found the Pirelli P44s my VW had were great as well. Stuck to the road like glue all summer and gave good traction in the winter, but also found that the tire life was not incredibly long. I have had both MXVs and P77s, the latter being definitely superior. Pirelli has just replaced the P7 with the P500 -- supposed to compete with the Eagle GT+4 (which I just bought) but at a lower price -- I dunno. These tires might be a little noisier and are ok in snow, which you are not interested in. Pirelli P6 and P600: An excellent tyre, easily the best I have driven on, they lasted about 10-12 thousand miles and gave excellent grip in both the wet and dry (P600 were noticeably better in the wet than the P6s). The most impressive part of the tyre's performance is the amount of road information or "feel" they transmit and the excellent grip or "bite" given on initial turn-in to a corner. For the past couple of years I've put up with the lousy performance from my Eagle GT+4 (P205/50VR15) in snow conditions. Going into this winter I decided it was time to give up some dry performance and try something different. At the moment I have Pirelli Response (only TR rated though) on my Dodge Shadow ES. I haven't had a real chance to test them hard in dry conditions, but with eight inches of snow on Nov. 12 I really don't care about what I lost from the Eagle GT+4. The performance in the snow and ice was unbelievable compared to the Goodyears. With the GT+4s the Shadow was a death trap, with the Pirellis I had the confidence to drive the 120 KMs to school. Dry weather performance means nothing if you end-up upside down in the ditch after the first snow or ice storm. By the way, the Eagle GT+4 are in the $200-$250 range, while the Pirellis were only $150. Pirelli P600 was obsolete before its time. My experience with Pirelli P500 on ice and snow is far from satisfactory. The tires did work well in the rain though. It's very frustrating to be slipping at highway speed and I thought that I almost lost it. (Other drivers were doing faster than I with no apparent trouble). I have HAD IT with Pirelli tires. I've gone through two sets of P6, 205/60VR-15s, due to (1) tread separation, and (2) flat spotting. My Pirelli P600S are noisy. Pirelli P500s were excellent but kind of pricey. I love the P500s but I would not get them for their snow handling. I have heard nothing but praise for P300s from friends that got them. Pirelli 210P are the best winter tires I have used. Others: Top-notch snow tires include Gislaved Frost, Vredestein Snow+, old-style Continental Contact, or Nokia Hakkapelitta. If you required an M+S rating, I'd say that the Vredestein Snow+ or the Nokia M+S 111 for light snow, and the Nokia NR09 for deep snow. For light snow/ice, Vredestein Snow+ and Nokia MS 111 are both very fine tires. The modern Conti Contacts would be ok, but they're overpriced. For deep snow, the Gislaved Frost is quite good, and the Nokia NR 09 and NR 10 are outstanding. The M+S Goodyear Eagle GT+4 are about as good as you can get if you're stuck with a wide low profile tire, but they're no substitute for skinny tires. I think you will find it hard to beat the Gislaved Frost series. They are all-weather, M+S rated, and excellent in snow and rain, not too shoddy on the dry either. I have them on my car, 1986 Subaru XT Turbo. I bought 2 for the front last winter, and now am going to move those to the rear and buy 2 new fronts (college student's rotation!). A friend agrees that they are excellent, but complained of high road noise. I didn't notice that much difference from my Bridgestones (which were awful in the wet and wore out in about 20K). The current rate at the only place in Westchester County who carries these is $69 a tire plus mounting+balancing=$7 each, this for 185/70R13. There is another model, the Speed 210, a little less wet prowess but a better dry tire. I corner really hard on ramps, etc, and they've held up pretty well. For snow tires, I'm using 4 Vredestein Snow+. They are a square-shouldered tire - best for RWD. They feel a little funny, but grip great. It's not a major catastrophe. If you said "what was the best h-rated dry/wet pavement tire," I'd say either a Nitto or a Nokia Rollster HT. The Nokia is a superior tire on all points to the MXV except for the speed rating (and with a 127 MPH top speed, I didn't feel obligated to go with a V-rated replacement on the Alfa); and in particular, while I found the wet performance of the MXV tolerable at best, the wet performance of the Nokia is absolutely magnificent. On top of that, the Nokia is cheaper by $20 a tire. The word is getting out about how good the Nokia snow tires are, but the distribution is still limited. There are mail order tire firms (such as Dav Mac) that now carry Nokias, and I can give the address of my own dealer if anyone wants (he is the guy who supplies Dav Mac.) I bought a set of Nokia snow tires for my car this winter and was, quite frankly, amazed at the traction and performance of the tires. I currently have a set of four Nokia tires. They grip amazingly well. They make lots more noise than my regular tires (mostly because I had them studded) but they seem worth it. Considering the several inches of snowfall we got the last couple of days, it's worth the extra trouble. The Nokia Hakkapelitta (Finnish made snow tire) are considered the finest snow tire in the world. Gislaved Frost (Swedish) is not bad at all. Blizzak seems to be the new tire this year. I personally used Gislaved on a few cars, and loved it dearly. I replaced the Goodyear 'skatorbacks' that came on my Mustang. Now with Kelly charger HR M+S radials I get around in Rochester NY snowbelt winter quite well, and I didn't have to sacrifice too much in performance on dry, and I don't have to change tires twice a year My mechanic, on hearing that I had 70000 miles on my '85 Prelude and expect to keep it another 70K, recommended Kelly Chargers. He claimed they are Kelly's version of Goodyear Eagles. I've only had them 3 days so no reports yet. They seemed OK in the drizzle today, but I didn't have the opportunity to push them at all. Have had excellent luck with the Continental CH-51s on my Volvo, have had two sets, 205/70HR14 and 205/60HR15 (did a plus one conversion along the way!) The tires strong points are cornering (wet and dry), dry braking, smooth quiet ride. Tread life on the Volvo has been ~30,000 mile range. Wet braking is adequate but not great when they are worn. If you can find them Continental CS21 Contacts are fine tires. I looked at the Y352s, but ended up settling on the Continental CH51s. They handle a little better, but are somewhat noisier than I expected. I only have 10K on them so far, but have had SUPERB quality and life out of my old Conti 771s. The last set were retired with 110K+ miles on them, and two still pass inspection! The bottom line for me was the bottom line: the CH51s were cheaper (I paid $60 or so for them). I have had Conti 771s. Real bad in the rain. Uniroyal GT-type tires are good. I have also bought H rated Cooper Cobras. Real nice tire in the summer and rain, deplorable in the winter. They have a lot of nylon in them which makes them stiff, but will flatspot in the winter (3 miles of driving and there fine). I had a second set of four Conti 735 tires for the winter. Generals were OEM on my '88 Sentra and they lasted 65K miles (with a treadwear rating of 200!). And I drive that little car HARD. Those tires stuck like glue (for 155/80R13s) in dry weather and always performed well in the rain. Stay away from Falkens at all costs -- they're actually worse than MXVs, though at least they're significantly cheaper. AVON automobile tires are exactly the same tire as Falkens with a different (directional) tread pattern. Definitely a nicer tread pattern, but these tires aren't all that hot, at least, on my X1/9 they feel a bit skittish. Firestone Firehawk GTX: feel much smoother, without giving up any road feel, compared to the stock Yokos. I feel they're worth a recommendation. These are the first tires jointly designed by Bridgestone since they bought Firestone. I just put a set of Sumitomo HTR4s on my GTI (185-60HR14). I'm very happy with them both in the wet and dry. I think they're better than the Pirelli P600s I had before. Also, they are noticeably quieter. Their innovative feature is a continuous steel belt instead of the typical 45-degree joint---should be quieter and smoother. The HTR4 is M+S rated, but it hasn't snowed here in Boston yet :-) so I don't know how they'll be, but they handle a *lot* of wetness with no problem. The guy I bought them from said they're supposed to last 60K miles, but we'll wait and see (treadwear 260). They handle great, I can't imagine it would be worth spending a whole lot more, HR is fine for me. BTW, I think Sumitomo owns Dunlop. The experience that I have had with Toyo tires has been excellent. They are affordable, long lasting and average performance. For things like trucks they are great, for non-performance commuter cars they are just fine. I probably wouldn't put them on a performance vehicle for two reasons, 1) they aren't noted for performance as other brands like Pirelli, Goodyear, etc (and name is everything when you are showing off your car!) 2) the compound is harder (thus long life) so there will be some lacking of traction on certain conditions. If you are looking for dry performance, stay aways from the Toyos. I've had them on my Integra and they are good in rain, okay in snow and okay on dry. Mine wore out in 28k miles (with hard driving, rotated every ~7000 miles, alignment is okay) === The End! -- Jim Battan - Sequent Computer Systems, Beaverton, OR email@example.com or uunet!sequent!battan +1 503 578 5129
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