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.
Max Dillon
Charleston SC
'87 300TD
'95 E300

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 demanding job.

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 compromise.

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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