The Goodyear Assurance TripleTred was rated best overall in tests of 18 different all-season tire models by Consumer Reports (CR) magazine for its November issue. Placing second and third, respectively, were the Michelin X Radial and Hankook Mileage Plus II H725.
The independent magazine, published by Yonkers-based Consumers Union of U.S. Inc., said it has seen ``substantive improvement in the performance of all-season tires since it last rated them in 2001.''
CR's overall tire scores emphasize safety-related tests, it said, including braking, handling and resistance to hydroplaning. The magazine pointed out that all-season tires, standard on most new cars and light trucks, accounted for 83 percent of the replacement market in 2004.
In a separate series of tests, Consumer Reports rated the Michelin X-Ice best among 12 models of winter tires on the market. Continental Tire North America Inc.'s Viking Snow Tech placed second and the Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice came in third. While the Michelin and Goodyear tires ``have excellent snow grip,'' CR said, the ``Viking is best suited for all-weather use and more moderate winter conditions.''
A report on the magazine's complete tests and ratings of the all-season and winter tires appears in its November issue, which went on sale Oct. 4.
For the first time in decades, CR also evaluated all 18 models of all-season tires for tread wear. ``The results show that the Uniform Tire Quality treadwear grades found on a tire's sidewall and the manufacturer's tire warranty don't always paint an accurate picture of what consumers can expect,'' it said, adding that tests indicated treadwear ratings on some tires ``overstate their treadwear potential while other ratings underestimate that potential.''