Unfortunately I think tire quality can vary significantly between
sizes, as well as manufacturer date, so (insert brand name here)
tires with the same model name can perform at opposite ends of the
quality spectrum, if they are different sizes, made on different
days, made by different plants, etc.
User reviews should be highly discounted as biased to either
extreme, in my opinion.
Another complication: makers stop offering a particular model before
you can buy replacement tires, because the first set lasts so long!
In the end, I think buying tires is like rolling the dice. I try to
pay a low price, but each set needs to be judged on its merits.
I do agree that Michelin tires tend to have higher quality and last
longer, but in my experience they become too slick and noisy long
before the tread is worn out, and I value traction above all else,
followed by noise.
Much of the tire quality is related to the tire builder in the plant.
Most plants now have high turnover, so the tires don't last long,
because of the low skill/artisan level of the tire builder. I agree,
it is a crapshoot, unless you can get Continentals built in Germany.
I've never had a failure with those. Tire builder is a physically
I agree with Max, traction is the key. you have only a few square
inches of contact surface between the vehicle and the road. You need
traction in wet, muddy, schnee and ice conditions as well as very hot
and very cold dry conditions. Tires are the best insurance you can
buy. Mid range tires generally offer the best traction/value
Personally, I like blizzaks and a summer road tire combination.
Blizzak/general is an acceptable combo, though not optimal.
High mileage/long wearing tires generally have poor traction. Back
in the 70s when GM put long wearing uniroyals on their new cars, the
junkyards were loaded with GM low mileage vehicles that slid into
something, or slid off the road and rolled. Crappy tars, but they
lasted a lot of miles.s
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