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Which ultra-high performance tires are best?

Posted June 10, 2014

When it comes to ultra-high performance tires, designed for responsive handling and maximum grip, there are many to choose from.

Consumer Reports tested more than 40 brands of all-season and summer tires in dry and wet conditions.

"When I get in the corner, how well does the tire hold on,” said Ryan Pszczolkowski, an engineer at the Consumer Reports Automotive Testing Center. ”When I accelerate out of the corner, how well does the tire give me traction? Does it just spin? How stable, how well does the tire brake?"

When it comes to tread, ultra-high performance tires don’t wear well, said Gene Petersen, a senior engineer for Consumer Reports.

“The all-season models which we tested only had a maximum warranty of 60,000 miles,” he said. “The summer models rarely have a warranty at all."

The Michelin Pilot Super Sport, at $203 per tire, had the longest tread life of any of the summer tires tested.

For all-season tires, the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, at $175, earned top ratings. They also have a relatively long tread life and an impressive grip.

When buying new tires, Consumer Reports says it's best to stick with the same size and speed rating as your car's original tires so to give your vehicle optimum ride and handling.

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  • 68_dodge_polara Jun 12, 2014

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    I agree. In this case I just finally got confirmation after 14 days that my Redemption Approved has been approved. Now waiting to see if it appears.

  • Ijaz Fahted Jun 12, 2014
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    Oddly enough Mike high performance tires are not designed for smooth ride. The soft compounds are there to allow the tire to stick and grip which equates to a shorter tire life. The majority of high performance tires are low profile. That low profile fitment means you have less sidewall to cushion the ride and tends to make the tires less soft.

    At one end of the spectrum you have the S rated tires with a durable rubber compound and a soft tire body so the tire has a soft floaty ride. The other end is the UHP tires (Z, W, & Y) with a soft rubber compound and a stiff tire body so the tire sticks, grips and reacts.

  • Ijaz Fahted Jun 12, 2014
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    The rebate cut off is the 15th. 75.00 back for your purchase of a quality tire is never a rip off.

  • Bill of Rights Jun 12, 2014

    Realstory: the soft rubber compounds of higher performance tires often make them ride smoother and quieter. In the case of your Camry, it was a way to get the car to handle really nicely.

    There's plenty of tires that will provide a much longer lifespan with negligible detriment to the car's handling and ride quality.

  • iopsyc Jun 12, 2014

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    Rebates are a great marketing ploy. Estimates are that 40-50% of rebates never get redeemed; mainly due to customers' behaviors. Many folks don't send in the rebate on time, and some of those who do, don't follow all the instructions. If you are detail oriented, and can follow instructions, then rebates can work well.

  • Namey Names Jun 11, 2014
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    My camry came with "bridgestone turanza EL 400" tires.. V-speed rating. While they aren't "ultra high performance tires", they are the worst tires I've ever had. At 23,000 miles, they are literally bald. I don't mean a little bald either - like no tread at all on them. Contacted bridgestone and got next to no help.

    I don't know why anyone would put "ultra high performance tires" on their car unless they have a high performance car. You can get a good set of tires for a lot less money.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jun 11, 2014

    Just bought a set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport, at $203. They are advertising a 70 rebate when you buy four but I haven't seen it yet and at this point don't expect it. So don't count on rebates they're often a rip.