Tire Recommendations?

I need 4 new tires for a 2004 Ford Escape Limited 4x4…any suggestions? I don’t want top of the line simply because of expense, but I live in the Midwest, and need something reliable for the winter months. A local shop recommended General Tires…

My own perception ofo General tires is less than enthusiastic, however viisit www.tirerack.com and www.1010tires.com and you’ll see some good consumer feedback sections on all types of tires. Their data is far less biased than my opinion.

A shop will recommend a brand that they carry, whether it is the best one for you or not.
And, you will get a variety of opinions from folks on this site, based on their own personal experiences and/or biases.

If you want a truly objective opinion-backed by test data–you should go to the website maintained by Tire Rack, a huge retailer that sells almost every brand of tire. If you use their Tire Decision Guide, you can specify your own priorities in a tire (low noise level, long tread wear, maximum fuel efficiency, wet road traction, etc), and get a list of the many tires that will fit your vehicle, and that meet your criteria.

No matter where you wind up buying your tires, Tire Rack gives you an excellent tool for selecting your tires. Take a look at www.tirerack.com

I put a set of Generals on my G6 a while ago and am quite happy with them. I’ve usually bought Goodyear but didn’t want to pay $800 for a set of tires on a second car and the Goodyear dealer recommended them. They seemed to be fine in snow and rain as much as I was able to tell. Not incredible but as good as any other all season tire and quiet. Plus they are US made in Illinois.

Shops will ALWAYS recommend the tire they carry…and tell you the tire they don’t carry is cr*p.

You’ll get as many opinions as there are people here.

The BEST tires I’ve found have been Michelin. The problem with them is their cost. I’ve been using Cooper tires for over 20 years now…and never had a problem with any of them. IMHO their performance is equal that of equivalent Michelin tire…with the exception of longevity. Michelins do seem to last longer. But the Coopers are so much cheaper and last almost as long…they save me a lot of money compared to the Michelins.

Different tires from the same brand can get different ratings and opinions. Check the ratings from Tire Rack and CR and have no preconceived notion as to which brand is best. Look for tires that serve your needs first instead of focussing on one brand, then shop around for the best deal on the tires that serve your need.
Saying one brand is better in snow without any reference to the models they make is like saying all GM cars are good in snow without any reference to their models.

I vote for Michelin, I got some long trail to replace Michelin and lost 2mpg, I could pay for the upgrade in gas alone, plus a more road sensitive bump factor making the ride more rough.

General Tire reorganized its holdings into the holding company GenCorp in 1984, with General Tire and RKO General as subsidiaries.

GenCorp sold General Tire to German tire maker Continental AG in 1987. General Tire still exists today as part of Continental’s American operations.

Based on CR, Tire Rack surveys, and price, I bought General Grabber HTS for my Chevy Tahoe.
I’ve been happy with them. This is an all-season light truck tire.

If mpg is important to you, I’d go with a Michelin tire. The Michelin LRR (low rolling resistance) tires are really good and deliver a few extra mpg. Over the life of the tire the savings in fuel is well worth it.

Otherwise General (I have a set of General Grabbers on a Toyota Sequoia) are OK, decent tire for the money but nothing special either. I usually get about 30K out of tires on the Sequoia, and judging from the wear so far on these Generals I don’t expect them to get to 30K miles. I’ll replace them with a different tire when the time comes.

I’m a big fan of Goodyear TripleTread tires - they always seem to be in the middle price wise for my Subaru’s (I always thought they’d be expensive, but hasn’t turned out that way for me, though it may just be all tires are pricy for the cars I’ve checked) - and they have some of the best grip and handling I’ve ever seen. Just amazing in rain / standing water and good in snow. They don’t last as long as Goodyear claims however.

Before I got tripletreads, I had a more generic goodyear carried by Sears which did last forever and seemed competent to me.

My mom had good luck with Michelin on her old car, but got rid of it after 2 years of the tires, so I can’t speak to longevity of the tires. These seemed competent as well.

I doubt you could go wrong with Goodyear or Michelin.

OTOH, my Uncle has a pickup and tends to get whatever tires the local repair shop sells, and they seem to be pretty crappy to me. Not that they don’t work ok, just that they last about 1/2 as long as the goodyear tripletreads - say 15-20k. So whatever he thinks he’s saving on those tires, with the replacement interval, it seems more expensive to me - and he spends more time driving on marginal tire tread - these things just wear really fast.

So I wouldn’t just get whatever happens to be at the local shop without some research, unless you like going there frequently for new tires.

I agree with jp10558’s last line. While I’ve found local independent (non-chain) tire shops to have the best prices and service, I’ve found it’s best to do your homework first (tirerack, CR) to decide what tire you want. Then any good local shop can have those tires for you by the next day.

Another recommendation for checking Tire Rack

If you have a 4x4, you do an injustice unless you use dedicated tires for winter and summer. It costs less in the long run and is the safest you can do. Winter driving in a vehicle that is easily driven faster then it should, makes it mandatory you choose the better ice/snow rated winter tire. It is fools thinking to think you get as good traction with ANYall season tire. You must slow down to legal speeds on highway travel with their loss of handiling with winter tires but it’s a compromise that overall, is safer.

We spend less on tires over the car’s life time as we DO NOT depend upon well worn but still “legal” and summer capable 3 season tires in the winter. Even half to two thirds worn all season tires can be down right treacherous in the winter as it sneaks up on you. The 4 by 4 running them makes it WORSE not better as you still tend to travel too fast for conditions in those worn tires for winter travel. Triple treads are an excellent compromise, but are stil a compromise and winter traction suffers much greater compared to winter tires as they age. Think about it.

Rethink your “one tire fits all” philosophy. It doesn’t 't work and worn tires are a huge contributor to winter accidents. Half to two thirds worn winter tires still run circles around most new all season tires in winter travel. It’s an absolute no brainier. Specialize !

If you have a 4x4, you do an injustice unless you use dedicated tires for winter and summer.

I’ve been running AT tires on my 4runner all year round. They are not as quiet at a summer tire…but they are still very good. And are EXCELLENT in snow. Cooper AT3’s. One of the best tires I’ve ever had. At a little over 40k miles on them…and still plenty of tread left.

I agree with dagosa, as I frequently do.

When I had to be able to get to my elderly parents’ house at a moment’s notice, and when I had to be at work on time, regardless of the weather, I used a set of winter tires (on their own steel wheels) for a few months of the year. Because this saved my “regular” tires from a few months of wear each year, it really didn’t cost me more money in the long run, and–it could be argued that–the added safety in the winter was very valuable, in and of itself.

Being able to stop in a significantly shorter distance on a slippery winter road is close to priceless, IMHO. Even though my Subarus have all had very good traction on winter roads, adding winter tires made them just that much safer for me and my passengers.

However, now that I am retired, and have the luxury of not going anywhere until the roads have been plowed & salted, I have stopped buying winter tires.

On tire rack . com you might want to look at Kelly Tires. They are made by Goodyear and are perfectly fine without the cost of the Goodyear name.

We have had this discussion before. You are right. AT tires can be just as good in snow as any dedicated snow tire. But, not on ice and they struggle with good summer tires handling. I had them on a truck and they are a worth while compromise. But again IMHO, they are still a compromise and my 4runner with studs goes anywhere on ice and snow when called for and as winter tires are still fairly quite. The dedicated summers are absolutely silent and great in summer rains. No AT tire I know of can do it all as well as dedicated tires. I feel that commercial use truck tires would do well with AT tires and a third car off road suv i had was great in deep mud and rock climbing with them, but my advice sticks.

But, not on ice and they struggle with good summer tires handling.

Probably not as good on ice. I can count on one hand the times I drove on ice in the past 10 years.

And yea…not as good as summer tires…but they are very good. I’ve had some AT tires that are very noisy and not good on dry roads…but some like the AT3’s are very good on dry roads…just a little noisier.

I’ve had good luck with Bridgestones. On my Bronco (back when I had it) I had a set of Dueler A/T’s that was a an excellent compromise between on-road and offroad performance. And on my Mustang I’ve had two sets of BFG’s . A set of G-Force KDW2’s which were noisy but had good wet grip, and a set of G-Force Sport’s , which were cheaper, and weren’t as noisy as the KDW2’s but didn’t have same levels of grip, and the wet traction deteriorated alarmingly as the tire wore out (well before the wear bars). I’ve also had two sets of Bridgestones on the Mustang, a set of Potenza RE760 sports that were Better than the BFG G-Force sports in every way, but didn’t have quite the grip in the wet as the KDW2’s did. About a month ago I had a set of Potenza RE970 AS’s put on, and they definitely ride better than the others, grip is good though they aren’t as “sharp” as the summer tires I had been using, but being that they are all-season tires, that’s to be expected.

On my F-150 I have BFG A/T KO’s and they are great for what I use my truck for.

I’m a firm believer in not skimping on brakes and tires. With that said Michelins are usually the top tires you can get, but IMHO, you can get comparable performance in most cases for less money if you do your research. Costco almost always alternates $70 off a set of a certain brand of tires every month.