Best All-Season Tire?

Wheel and tire information and upgrade discussions

Which P205/55R16 all-season tire should I purchase?

Poll ended at Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:22 pm

Continental ProContact EcoPlus
0
No votes
Continental PureContact EcoPlus
0
No votes
Pirelli Cinturato P7 Plus
2
67%
General AltiMAX RT43
1
33%
Pirelli P4
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 3

schwartzy18510
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Best All-Season Tire?

Postby schwartzy18510 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:22 pm

Our '03 Vibe (Base, FWD, 1.8L) popped a tire on a rather severe frost heave on a state highway this weekend. Because the current P205/55R16 Goodyear Eagle RS-A's have 30,000 miles or so on them and are fairly worn (I was only planning on getting one more summer out of them), I'm in the market for a full set of four new tires.

The car serves as my wife's daily driver as well as our combined vehicle for weekend trips. We usually put about 6,000-8,000 miles on it per year at a ratio of approximately 30/70 city/hwy. We live in SW Michigan and are therefore accustomed to receiving decent amounts of snowfall. Our subdivision is usually plowed out a day or so after the main county roads, and our driveway is about 100' long, up a moderate hill. Our normal commute to town involves driving a mile or so stretch of road that is lined by expansive fields and is notorious for being drifted shut after a snow and some strong wind.

At this point I'm not willing to shell out the money required for another set of wheels and winter tires, so we're in the market for an all-season P205/55R16 tire with a focus on dry/wet braking, hydroplaning, snow traction, ride comfort, and tread life. We purchased the Vibe in part for its fuel economy and drive quite conservatively, so tire "performance" as measured in regard to high speed cornering or hard acceleration is of little concern. I'm a big believer in Consumer Reports, which is actually what led us to purchase the Vibe in the first place. After cross-referencing the 2015 Consumer Reports Buying Guide with the tests, surveys, and reviews found at Tire Rack and our budget of approximately $500, I've narrowed the field to the below tires:

Continental ProContact EcoPlus, A/S, shipped price - $?
Consumer Reports ranks this the #2 overall tire in the All-Season "T" speed rated category, second only to the Michelin Defender (our budget precludes the Michelin series). It is rated "very good" across the board, even for snow traction, while wet braking is rated "excellent". However, it appears that this tire is being / has been discontinued by Contitech, as Tire Rack no longer carries it in P205/55R16 and Wal-Mart lists it as "out of stock". Tire Rack survey responses for the ProContact EcoPlus in the P195/60R16 size (on close-out) indicate somewhat sub-par owner happiness, winter performance, and tread life. Some of the reviews specifically mention great winter performance, others reference unduly fast tread wear. Who to believe, Consumer Reports or the short tread life warnings from some Tire Rack customers? Is this tire still available in the P205/55R16 size anywhere? Would running this tire in a P195/60R16 size negatively impact ride comfort at highway speeds?

Continental PureContact EcoPlus, A/S, shipped price - $441.92
Consumer Reports ranks this the #2 overall tire in the Performance All-Season "H" speed rated category. However, hydroplaning and snow traction capabilities are listed as only "good" compared to "very good" for the ProContact. This tire seems to be readily available and has stellar Tire Rack reviews, placing #3 overall in the category. Owners of cross-over type vehicles report excellent snow traction. Consumer Reports ranks the ProContact above the PureContact, but Tire Rack appears to put the PureContact first. Who's right?

Pirelli P7 Cinturato Plus, A/S, shipped price - $501.32
Consumer Reports ranks this the #4 tire in the Performance All-Season "H" speed rated category. It has "Very Good" hydroplaning and snow traction capabilities which compares favorably to the Contitech PureContact, but the tread life is rated only "Fair", two steps removed from the "Very Good" of the PureContact. However, Tire Rack consumer survey results rank the P7 Cinturato Plus as the #1 overall tire in the category, topping the Michelin Premier (#2) and the Continental PureContact (#3). Who to believe, Consumer Reports or the Tire Rack consumer survey results?

General AltiMAX RT43, A/S, shipped price - $373.32
The General AltiMAX RT43 wasn't tested by Consumer Reports, but Tire Rack lists this as the #4 tire within its category, trailing the Pirelli Cinturato P7, Michelin Premier, and ContiTech PureContact by a hair. This would appear to be a cheaper option than the Cinturato P7 or the PureContact without sacrificing much in the way of performance, leading to better overall value. Can anybody vouch for the performance of these tires?

Pirelli P4, A/S, shipped price - $372
Consumer Reports ranks this the #4 tire in the All-Season "T" speed rated category. It has only "Good" snow traction and rolling resistance, but it has "Excellent" tread life. Tire Rack doesn't carry them but I was able to find them on Amazon. Anybody have experience with these?

A direct comparison of the three models above that are stocked by Tire Rack can be found here.
Last edited by schwartzy18510 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Caretaker
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby Caretaker » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:39 pm

You need to correct your comments about the Pirelli P7 Plus. The Consumer Reports writeup is NOT for the P7 Plus; it is for the P7 which was a tire from a couple of years ago. The P7 Plus is a brand new tire (2014). Like Bridgestone's Serenity, both companies improved upon (mainly light-medium snow category) that tire, adding the word Plus. I voted for the P7 Plus on your survey because I have it on my Vibe, and have the Generals you list on my Fit. The P7 Plus is equally as quiet and soft as the Michelin MXV4s they replaced. I don't think the wet cornering (and I mean hard cornering) is quite as stable as the MXV4, but for the price (I paid $70 each versus the $140 for the Michelins), I found the best replacement for Michelin there is.
I can't provide you too much on the Generals since I cannot drive two cars at once. I can tell you that we took the Fit out for a spin in VERY slippery snow/slush/ice and they did just as well as the latest northern climate writeups on Tire Rack indicate. The amount of sipes on the General are impressive and on a day in/day out basis, can be had at a bargain price. Don't expect to pay what I paid for the P7 Plus. That was due to an internet timing issue which allowed me to grab a bargain. From all my research, I'd stay away from any Continentals. Reviews year after year point to road noise and short lifespans. I had ContiContacts on my first Gen Vibe; never again.
Last edited by Caretaker on Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Live it up: There will be plenty of time to be old when you die.
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KITT222
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby KITT222 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:43 pm

I'd also consider the Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring in your search. And also, if you want to go with Consumer Reports, the Cooper Zeon RS3-A is ranked #1 in performance all-season and is only $10 more per tire from Discount Tire. Though I understand that you don't exactly want/need a performance tire, thus the CS5 would be more than fine. Around $100/corner.

http://www.discounttiredirect.com/direc ... =16&cs=205

http://www.motortrend.com/features/cons ... re_review/

RadioFreeVibe
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby RadioFreeVibe » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:22 pm

I got the Pirelli P7 Cinturato Plus this past spring based on recommends here, hoping for them to be a solid 'touring tire'. Love them, they feel very solid and true on the road. I took them off in mid-December, so no snow experience with them. But I can see why they're rated at the top on Tire Rack.
2005 AWD Vibe "Clementine" 117,000 km
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Zimm
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby Zimm » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:00 pm

i got my Michelin Defenders at Belle Tire 18 months ago for $542, and that was before the $70 mail-in-rebate that came as a pre-paid card (Visa, i think.)

after about 17,000 miles, i've been very happy with them.
'10 Black w/1.8L Auto
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star_deceiver
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby star_deceiver » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:24 pm

None of the above. One sheet of ice and you're ditched (at best). Dedicated summer/winter tires on their own rims, nothing less.
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kumquat
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby kumquat » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:35 pm

No all-season is doing to do anything for you on ice, and they're all pretty awful in the snow.

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vibrologist
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby vibrologist » Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:26 pm

It seems schwartzy knows what he wants.

I found a used set of wheels with snow tires for only $250. However, that was in June last year. One tire needed a flat repair and I had them balanced. So it came to about $320 total cost. That is still less than the rims alone would have cost new. Summer is the best time to buy winter tires.

I do not participate in the poll as I have no experience with the listed tires.
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schwartzy18510
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby schwartzy18510 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:45 am

Thanks for the input, all. After doing some more research, I was able to narrow the field to the Pirelli P7 Cinturato Plus, Continental PureContact with Ecoplus, and the General Altimax RT43, all of which seemed like excellent choices. Based on some comments here and the aggregate customer survey responses on Tire Rack, I was leaning slightly towards the Pirelli's even though they would stretch my budget beyond what I had hoped to spend ($500).

After comparing the head-to-head results of the Tire Rack Road Manners and Dry/Wet Track Test for the PureContact and the P7 Cinturato Plus, I found that the Cinturato Plus slightly out-performed the PureContact in the Overall Road Rating category due to slightly better scores in the Ride Comfort and Road Noise categories. The two tires were roughly equal in the Overall Track Rating for dry conditions, with the PureContact posting a slightly higher overall rating. It was the wet test track results that illustrated a stark difference between the two tires. The PureContacts posted far better numbers in every test category for wet conditions than did the Cinturato Plus, resulting in a final Overall Track Rating for wet conditions that was almost a full point higher. To further illustrate the point, the PureContacts posted a stopping distance of 102' when braking from 50-0 mph in wet conditions, while the Cinturato posted a stopping distance of 115'. Meanwhile, the head-to-head results of the Tire Rack Snow Traction / Handling Test for these two tires were roughly equal, with a slight edge going to the PureContact in the Acceleration and Stopping Distance categories.

After comparing the performance of the Cinturato with that of the PureContact in the above tests, the PureContact became the clear choice for my desired application, particularly considering the higher price tag of the Pirelli's. I was then left to compare the PureContacts with the Altimax RT43's. Both appeared to be excellent choices and I found myself fairly torn between the two. The RT43's were about $100 (20%) less than the PureContacts, but did not carry the LRR tire designation. I ended up opting for the PureContacts over the RT43's, but I'm still unsure as to whether that was the "correct" choice, since I believe that either tire would have been a good performer. Hopefully the LRR designation of the PureContacts will provide a return on my higher initial investment in the form of slightly better gas mileage. My local tire shop matched a price from TireBuyer.com for a total price of $499 installed. Thanks again to all who provided anecdotal feedback, know that I took your suggestions and comments into serious consideration.

Jbenrod
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby Jbenrod » Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:27 am

I wouldn't mind getting updates from some of you that have purchased these tires mentioned above.

I think I am going to go with 205/60/16 to get a bit more sidewall height since I seldom take advantage of the Vibe's handling limits.

Mark
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby Mark » Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:50 am

KITT222 wrote:I'd also consider the Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring in your search. And also, if you want to go with Consumer Reports, the Cooper Zeon RS3-A is ranked #1 in performance all-season and is only $10 more per tire from Discount Tire. Though I understand that you don't exactly want/need a performance tire, thus the CS5 would be more than fine. Around $100/corner.

http://www.discounttiredirect.com/direc ... =16&cs=205" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.motortrend.com/features/cons ... re_review/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;



I have Cooper CS3's on both Vibes and also my son's Solara. Not quite the tire that the CS5 is, but really good for the money. Great all around tire.

I went with the 205/60/16 on the Vibes and they ride much nicer than the 205/55's.
'04 Base Frosty, '08 Base Stealth

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ColonelPanic
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby ColonelPanic » Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:10 am

Jbenrod wrote:I wouldn't mind getting updates from some of you that have purchased these tires mentioned above.


I have experience with the General Altimax RT43's mentioned, though not on the Vibe. I've had a set on my Sonic for about 5k now and so far they've been excellent. My requirements were a quiet, smooth ride and good traction at a reasonable price point. These have met my expectations and then some.

I'll definitely have these at the top of the list when it's time to replace the current Ecopias on the Vibe.
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BenWA
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby BenWA » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:22 pm

I got these...
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp ... toModClar=

They come with free 3-yr roadside tire changing from Michelin..
http://www.michelinman.com/US/en/tires/warranty.html
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schwartzy18510
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby schwartzy18510 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:27 am

Jbenrod wrote:I wouldn't mind getting updates from some of you that have purchased these tires mentioned above.

I think I am going to go with 205/60/16 to get a bit more sidewall height since I seldom take advantage of the Vibe's handling limits.

OP here. As mentioned above, I ended up purchasing the Continental PureContact's, and I couldn't be more pleased. While these tires are admittedly the first set I've ever purchased that are of a higher quality than the run-of-the-mill Wal-Mart brands, the improved performance has been noticeable. The tires have 11,194 miles on them since installation and tread wear is hardly noticeable. They've served us through one brutal SW Michigan winter to date, and the traction has been a huge bonus. We live in a lake association that is usually one of the last to be plowed after a given snow storm, and our driveway is up a 30 degree incline. These tires have provided excellent traction, even in up to 8-10" of snow.

Handling on the highway has been smooth, quiet, and steady. Couldn't ask for anything more, in my mind.

dmottv
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby dmottv » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:56 pm

Jbenrod wrote:I wouldn't mind getting updates from some of you that have purchased these tires mentioned above.

I think I am going to go with 205/60/16 to get a bit more sidewall height since I seldom take advantage of the Vibe's handling limits.


I prefer the 205 60 16 for the extra height over the 205 55 16. The problem is that service centers will only mount exactly what is specified for the car. I have extra rims so swap them out, have the 60's mounted then install them back on in the driveway. Thanks to schwartzy18510 for all the research, I ordered the RT43 60's for my '05 AWD about 5k miles ago and like the smooth quiet ride (the $80 per was nice too!) but just gave the car to my daughter.

The good news is that I just picked up an '09 AWD 2.4 "Mystique" (have to upgrade my sig!). It came with two sets of rims, the black steel rims with studded 205 55 16's currently on it, and the optional 215 45 17's on aluminum rims, that are worn out. The 17's actually calc out to a smaller diameter than the 55 16's, and the 60's are a full 1"+ diameter larger than the 17's! I like the looks of the 17" aluminum rims, but I'll probably order another set of the RT43 60's for the steel rims unless I find a taller size that will fit the 17" aluminum rims.
'09 AWD 2.4 "Mystique"
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BenWA
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby BenWA » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:36 pm

dmottv wrote:
Jbenrod wrote:I prefer the 205 60 16 for the extra height over the 205 55 16. The problem is that service centers will only mount exactly what is specified for the car.


If that was true, it would be nearly impossible to get tires for old vans that used 16.5" wheels/tires. In 2012 or so, I took a set of 16" bare, used, steel rims to Sears when I bought a set of 16" tires for a 1978 van that had 16.5" originally and still had such size tires+rims on it when I drove it in. I used the exact 16" tire size equiv (What Dodge switched to when 16.5" was phased out) and Sears didn't have any objections to mounting the 16" tires on the 16" bare steel rims, then installing the 16" wheels+tires on the van, putting the 16.5" wheels+tires inside since I wasn't going to pay disposal. (I left them on the side of the highway in front of my house with a "FREE" sign and someone took them in no time).
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Browning
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby Browning » Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:03 pm

we run cooper on our 05

Jbenrod
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby Jbenrod » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:57 pm

Would those Cooper's be the CS3 Touring or CS5 Ultra or which model?

If you have driven them in snow conditions I'd like to hear how they worked in snow.

Mark
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby Mark » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:57 pm

I have the CS3 on three cars and never had any issues this winter. They aren't good for digging through deep snow, but they do Ok even though they aren't really made for that anyway. On packed snow and icy conditions they performed very well. The CS5 seemed like overkill on as light a car as the Vibe, but maybe not.
'04 Base Frosty, '08 Base Stealth

Jbenrod
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby Jbenrod » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:02 am

Thanks for those comments as I have never used Cooper tires.

I will mention that a set of the CS3 Touring or CS5 Ultra tires are virtually the same price right now (assuming one can get them to honor the $50 and $70 rebates that are good through April 15th). I am showing around $250 at discount tire direct with both being in the "H" speed rating that I will get.

It is difficult know how these tires might be different in the day to day driving experience with a Vibe.

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Caretaker
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby Caretaker » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:05 am

I have had Pirelli P7 Cinturato Plus on my car for a little over 2 years or so. They are rated at 70,000 mile warranty. My report is this: while the P7 Plus is the softest ride I have ever had on a tire, there ain't no way you are going to get 70,000 miles out of them. I just got a huge bolt wedged into the front tire, in the main tread. The tire was not repairable of course. Since my front tires were the lowest tread of the set, I decided to get two more. The back tires are in great shape still. While I don't religiously rotate my tires, I do try to keep close to a 7,500 mile rotation schedule. My front tires were probably only 10,000 miles away from the wear bars. I can only guess that I would have gotten 45,000 miles on them; I lost the paperwork when I moved. Despite that, I found a local, slimy tire shop that had the tire for $80, so I went for two more P7 plus tires. The guy put them on the front and didn't even bother to put them on the rear, which is normally suggested at reputable firms. The ride home was sublime. The P7 plus is like riding on a pillow. I'll take it easy for the first 50 miles or so as the tires wear in. Just wanted to report to the group that while the P7 Plus is an amazing tire, it won't last anywhere near the miles the manufacturer states. Now I'm paranoid about watching out for road debris with the new tires on front.
Live it up: There will be plenty of time to be old when you die.
** 2009 Vibe: 1.8 liter automatic **
** 2010 Elantra Touring **
** 2007 Honda Fit Sport **

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lannvouivre
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby lannvouivre » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:45 pm

The set I'm getting is Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06. I mean, it's got a rearing horsey on the sidewall, that's gotta make you go faster, right?

Also, Continental overall is a solid brand and they bought out Goodyear in 2015, so I'm really hoping the Eagle-RS-A tires will finally die.
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10vibe
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby 10vibe » Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:13 am

I could be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge Goodyear is still 100% independent and American owned. Continental did buy out Veyance, a former Goodyear unit from the Carlyle group.
http://www.ohio.com/news/break-news/vey ... y-1.465824

Continental does own General Tire.

Yes, Eagle RS-A's need to die!
2010 Vibe 1.8 auto, fwd, base, air, preferred package, cargo mgt, cargo cover, ultra white.

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TraumaForYou
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby TraumaForYou » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:21 am

I work at a dealership and I can say that continental tires are crap. I have firestone firehawks on my 06 vibe and I have say I love them. I previously had 2 sets of good year assurance but I got sick of the cruddy traction. these firestones though are fantastic!

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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby deebiv » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:39 pm

I have 25K on a set of Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring, they are perhaps the best tire I ever purchased.

The CS5 on the Vibe can corner at almost the same speed as my '92 911 on Michelin Pilots.

http://www.tractionnews.com/how-good-is ... d-touring/
http://www.motortrend.com/news/cooper-t ... re-review/

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petervivian
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Re: Best All-Season Tire?

Postby petervivian » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:18 am

I have a set of PILOT SPORT A/S 3+ 225/45ZR17 94Y XL BSW ULTRA HI on my 05 Vibe right now. They run quiet and have pretty good grip on both dry and wet surfaces. I can't speak of the longevity at this moment.
05 Base Vibe (Frosty), 13 VW CC (Fortana Red)


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