Recently I was invited to test drive some new tires being introduced by Goodyear. I had no idea what to expect, but I knew I was going to have a lot of fun with this!
On Tuesday, August 27th, I made the trek out to the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. It is about a 30-minute drive for me, and it was a blazing hot day here. There are two tires Goodyear recently introduced – Wrangler All-Terrain Tires and Eagle Sport All-Season Tires. I had the pleasure of testing both sets of tires!
I first got to try-out the Wrangler All-Terrain Tires. These tires are designed for on and off-road driving. They are great for trucks and Jeeps; generally those who live an active lifestyle and enjoy a lot of outdoor recreation. These tires are made with the toughest DuPont Kevlar material to offer superior strength and the ability to go off-road in a moment’s notice. Plus it makes the tire exceptionally durable.
Testing tires was both extremely interesting and educational. It is not often you get to drive like a maniac legally and not risk injury to yourself or others! Since these tires are designed for both on-road and off-road, we tested how they perform on a road with many curves going at a high speed. We also tested the stopping ability on both concrete and on dirt. Lastly, how they performed while driving on dirt. I am a safe driver so being told to go faster and faster while maneuvering between cones was a bit scary and exhilarating at the same time!
For the on-road testing, there were cones set-up in a park lot with a lot of twist and turns. Toward the very end of that section they wanted you to come out of the final curve at a pretty good speed and then slam on the breaks. This was to test how well the tires held onto the road, as well as how quickly you could stop. I have to say, that with these tires you stop on the dime! There is no slipping or skidding. Also, while driving at high speeds the tires hugged the road.
The off-road driving was very interesting! On a dirt road, I had to drive straight down the road at over 30 mph and then slam on the breaks. This was used to test the stopping ability on the different road surface. Again, they stopped without sliding at all! From there I continued on the dirt track, was told to pick up the speed and then make a quick U-Turn. I thought for sure I was going to do a donut, but without fail I stayed snug on the road. From there I went a short distance to where I had to pick up speed to go over a big dirt hill. I went through this entire course two times before switching into another vehicle that was equipped with their competitor’s equivalent tires, specifically the Michelin LTX A/T 2 tires.
While driving through the same course with the competitor’s tires, I felt they did hold onto the road, but did not have the same stopping ability. When I slammed on the breaks the truck did slid a bit before coming to a complete stop. This also happened on the dirt road when I came to a stop. Also, when I did the high speed U-turn with the other tires I felt as though I had way less control of the truck. Lastly, I had to go over the high dirt hill again. I did not realize how bumpy it was until we drove over it with the other tires. I did drive this course two times with the competitor’s tires as well.
All in all, I was extremely impressed with the Goodyear tires. Before having the opportunity to do an actual compare and contrast drive, I had no idea how much of a difference tires could make!
Next, it was time to test out the Eagle Sport All-Season tires. These are performance tires, which most people feel are not for the everyday vehicle. Performance tires are not just for the sports cars like the Corvette or the Mustang. They are for the family car, such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, and such. Performance also relates to the driver. Do you like to drive in the first lane and just leisurely go places, or are you a second and third lane driver where you have to drive a little more defensively? Lastly, performance is in the maneuvers you need to make, for instance stopping instantly because a child runs out in front of the car.
For testing the Eagle Sport All-Season Tires, I was put in an Audi. A very sweet ride in itself, although this testing had nothing to do with the car…but it was my first time ever driving such a “rich” car! Since these tires are for on-road driving, but are all-season I had to drive very fast making very quick turns for the curves in the obstacle course with the cones. I drove from dry pavement to wet pavement since they had a water takes set up to spray a curve with a lot of water. From there, I drove onto semi-wet pavement to dry pavement and then came to a quick stop. It was a slam on the breaks stop.
The person in the car with me really pushed me to drive faster and faster, which again, as frightening as that can be…it was also a huge adrenaline rush! The tires handled the curves perfectly; there was no slipping or sliding in anyway. Also, at no time did I feel as though I was going to lose control of the car. It went from dry land to wetland and back to dry land without incident. Once I came out of the wet curve, there was a distance to drive with at least one more curve before I had to slam on the breaks. The ABS system was immediately engaged and the car stopped instantly.
After driving this course two times with the Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season tires, I was then put in a duplicate car but with comparable competitor’s tires. Actually, they were the new Firestone Firehawk tires that were just introduced to the market a few months ago. Although the car did handle well through the curves, I did not feel as though I had nearly as much control going around the wet curve. I almost felt as though the car was going to slip out from under me! Also, when it came time to slam on the breaks the ABS system did not immediately engage. The car bumped a little and then stopped. This is due to the fact that the grip on the road was not nearly as strong. I drove this course two times with the competitor’s tires as well.
This test drive that I was able to participate was extremely educational. I think if more consumers had this ability to really see the difference a tire could make, it would make a huge difference in their purchase decision. It was explained to me like this, at all times while driving the car the contact point with each tire is only the size of your fist. The tire is spinning but those contact points are the only things that are keeping your car on the road. Hearing it in those terms was a bit of an eye-opener for me.
Do you need new tires?
I would highly recommend these new Goodyear tires for maximum stopping ability and control.
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