Published on February 26, 2014

CR tabs 5 tire makers for best choices in 2014

Tire Business photo by Miles Moore
Rik Paul, automotive editor of Consumer Reports, stands beside a poster of the April 2014 issue giving the magazine's annual rankings for cars and tires. The issue will be on newsstands April 4.

WASHINGTON (Feb. 26, 2014) — Michelin, Goodyear, Yokohama, Continental and Pirelli scored the most mentions from Consumer Reports for the best tire choices in 2014, according to CR's annual auto issue.

Meanwhile, the electric Tesla Model S, with a base price of $89,650, was the magazine's choice for best overall car available to the public this year, CR's top automotive experts announced at a Feb. 25 news conference at the National Press Club in Washington.

Three luxury makes — Lexus, Acura and Audi — had the best overall scores for 2014 based on CR's testing and surveys of vehicle owners, said Jake Fisher, CR director of automotive testing, and Rik Paul, CR automotive editor.

All three makes combined innovative designs with impressive reliability, according to Messrs. Fisher and Paul. Lexus scored 79 out of 100 in testing and consumer surveys, while Acura scored 75 and Audi 74, they said.

Ford and Jeep scored lowest in CR's report cards, at 50 each.

"Jeep has some good individual models, such as the Grand Cherokee, but the reliability isn't there," Mr. Fisher said.

Mr. Fisher described Ford as a "sad story." After achieving high marks in CR's 2013 ratings, the company scored abysmally low in consumer reliability ratings in 2014 despite making cars with outstanding ride and handling, he said.

In the tire category, CR chose the Michelin Primacy MXV4 as the best choice among H-rated performance all-season radials for most newer cars, followed by the Continental PureContact and the Nexen CP672.

Among V-rated performance all-season radials for newer cars, its choices were the Continental PureContact, the Pirelli P7 Cinturato All Season and the Michelin Primacy MXV4, in that order.

Among T-rated tires for older cars, the Michelin Defender is tops, followed by the Continental ProContact EcoPlus, Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All Season, Pirelli P4 Four Seasons, Michelin Energy Saver AS/S and Yokohama Avid Ascend, CR said.

Among ultra-high-performance all-season tires for sporty tires, the magazine's choices were: Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All Season, Continental Extreme Contact DWS, Hankook Ventus S1 Noble 2, BF Goodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S, Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season and Cooper Zeon RS3-A.

The Pirelli P Zero is tops among UHP summer tires for sporty cars, CR said. Other excellent choices are Michelin Pilot Super Sport, Yokohama Advan Sport V105, Nokian zLine, Continental Extreme Contact DW, Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 and Vredestein Ultrac Vorti.

Among all-season light-truck tires, CR chose the Michelin LTX M/S2, X Radial LT2, Latitude Tour HP and Latitude Tour and the Continental CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus.

Its choices among all-terrain light-truck tires were the Cooper Discoverer A/T3, Michelin LTX A/T2, Hankook Dynapro ATM, Kumho Road Venture AT KL78 and Road Venture SAT KL61.

The April issue of CR is due on newsstands March 4.

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This reporter can be contacted at mmoore@crain.com

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