COLCHESTER, Conn. — Michelin- and Continental-brand tires were the most prominent brands among Consumer Reports' top tire picks for 2019, with the lesser-known Vredestein brand picking up a couple of recommendations, including best performance winter tire.
The magazine rated a Michelin product first in three of the seven categories profiled (including one tie) and second in three others, while Conti picked up two No. 1 recommendations (one Continental and one General brand) and three seconds.
Cooper, Goodyear and Vredestein garnered the other three top recommendations from the magazine in its annual tire ratings.
Michelin was rated No. 1 in the summer ultra-high-performance, all-season performance and all-season light truck with its Micheln Pilot Sport 4s, Michelin CrossClimate+ and Michelin Premier LTX, respectively.
Continental garnered top recommendations in the all-season and all-season light truck (the latter in a tie with Michelin) categories with its General Altimax RT43 and Continental CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus, respectively.
CR rated the Cooper Discoverer True North and Vredestein Wintrac Pro its top winter and performance winter tires, respectively, with the Wintrac Pro offering "outstanding snow traction and ice braking," according to the report written by CR staff writer Jeff S. Bartlett.
Goodyear's Eagle Exhilarate earned the top nod in all-season UHP.
Every year, CR chooses several categories of consumer tires and tests them for various performance characteristics at its auto test center in Colchester.
This year, concentrating on UHP tires, it purchased 520 tires for its full test program, covering 51 models, CR said. It tested for wet and dry braking and handling, ride comfort and quietness, and resistance to hydroplaning.
"A car's performance is only as good as the tires, because they are the only contact with the road," CR Tire Program Manager Gene Petersen said.
The current rankings appear in the December 2019 issue of CR.
No. 2 recommendations from CR include:
- Continental ExtremeContract Sport and the General G-Max RS in the summer UHP category, with the ExtremeContact Sport offerintg "excellent" handling and the G-Max RS a slightly longer tread life, it said.
- Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 in the winter performance category;
- Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+, General G-MAX AS-05 ($112), BFG g-Force COMP-2 A/S and Vredestein Quatrac Pro were "in a virtual four-way tie" in the all-season UHP category, CR said.
- Hankook Winter I*cept iZ2 in the winter category;
- Michelin Defender T+H in the all-season category; and
- Continental PureContact LS in the all-season performance category.