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Old 01-19-2018, 02:32 PM   #1
equ
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SUV tires

There have been threads on crossover tires as well as light-truck tires... It's also been a while, so here goes.

The 2015 JGC needs tires. The goodyear fortera's that it came with are original to the vehicle with 34k miles. It's fine driving around in the dry, but not snowstorm or puddle material (likely never great tires to begin with).

If money were no object, I'd get an 18" winter set with Nokian Hakka R2's or whatever (failing that Blizzak's) and put some H or V-rated rubber for three seasons.

My local tire shop recommended Michelin Defender LTX on the stock wheels. When I said I'm more of a two sets of wheels kind of guy, he looked at me like I have two heads and showed me his plow truck wearing said Defender's.

So that's one option. T-rated, probably "good in the snow", supposed to wear very well, comes with 12/32nds. I'm concerned I won't like it on the highway, but I don't know. It would also mean driving 265/50/20 year round instead of going with smaller wheels for winter.

The other option is to get two sets.I already bought and sold one "wrong" winter set (245/70/17, great size but did not clear heavy duty brakes, either due to diesel or towing package). I'd find another one.

Then for the 3-seasons, I'd likely pick the Pirelli Scorpion Verde Plus. (Michelin Premier LTX, the Latitude replacement, is highly reviewed, but starts out at 8.5/32nds, and I can't bear that).

Any Defender and Verde Plus stories?
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Old 01-19-2018, 02:51 PM   #2
wdc330i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by equ View Post
There have been threads on crossover tires as well as light-truck tires... It's also been a while, so here goes.

The 2015 JGC needs tires. The goodyear fortera's that it came with are original to the vehicle with 34k miles. It's fine driving around in the dry, but not snowstorm or puddle material (likely never great tires to begin with).

If money were no object, I'd get an 18" winter set with Nokian Hakka R2's or whatever (failing that Blizzak's) and put some H or V-rated rubber for three seasons.

My local tire shop recommended Michelin Defender LTX on the stock wheels. When I said I'm more of a two sets of wheels kind of guy, he looked at me like I have two heads and showed me his plow truck wearing said Defender's.

So that's one option. T-rated, probably "good in the snow", supposed to wear very well, comes with 12/32nds. I'm concerned I won't like it on the highway, but I don't know. It would also mean driving 265/50/20 year round instead of going with smaller wheels for winter.

The other option is to get two sets.I already bought and sold one "wrong" winter set (245/70/17, great size but did not clear heavy duty brakes, either due to diesel or towing package). I'd find another one.

Then for the 3-seasons, I'd likely pick the Pirelli Scorpion Verde Plus. (Michelin Premier LTX, the Latitude replacement, is highly reviewed, but starts out at 8.5/32nds, and I can't bear that).

Any Defender and Verde Plus stories?
We have Pirelli's on our X5. They seem fine, but I don't drive it much (so I don't remember what model they are; they're OEM--probably one of the Scorpion run flat models.) We have a spare in this car, so we will dump the run flats when the time comes.

We had the Michelin Latitudes on the last X5, which I drove primarily, and I liked them a lot. I am solidly a Michelin fan.
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Old 01-19-2018, 02:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by equ View Post
If money were no object, I'd get an 18" winter set with Nokian Hakka R2's or whatever (failing that Blizzak's) and put some H or V-rated rubber for three seasons.
I can't answer any of your questions.. but I'll throw this out there.

I'm starting to question the value of pure snow tires on an AWD vehicle unless you really, truly need max snow performance. In theory my xi wagon is my "snow vehicle", but I end up driving it on dry pavement a lot anyway - sometimes I'm not sure how big a storm is going to be, etc. And for all that driving, the tread squirm and soft sidewalls negatively impact the driving experience.

I put 205/50/16 Michelin x-ice3's on the wheels that came on the wagon and it's just not enough tire for a vehicle that heavy. What will 5000 lbs of JGC lbs do to Blizzak siped tread on dry pavement? In hindsight I wish I had gotten new wheels with 225's, and I think I might have been better off with performance snows.

Then again, there's satisfaction in owning a maxed out snow machine and I go back and forth. So... basically I'm of no use here.
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:02 PM   #4
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I'm pretty sure that we had the Michelin LTX tires on our 4Runner after the stock tires were done (don't recall if the name included the word "defender", but I can say that the tread design looks identical). It spend a whole Minnesota winter plowing effortlessly through remarkably frequent and deep snow, and the rest of the time on dry pavement in MN and FL. The Michelins were so much better than the stock Dunlop Grandtreks in all conditions, that it's not fair to even mention them in the same sentence.

I can't say that I have extensive experience with tires in this range, so it's certainly possible that there are others better than the LTX. But for what it's worth, if I was in the same position again looking for SUV tires, these would be at the top of my shopping list. Partially because I had such a good experience with them, but also because I've always been pretty partial to the quality of the Michelin brand.
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rumatt View Post
I'm starting to question the value of pure snow tires on an AWD vehicle unless you really, truly need max snow performance.
Yes, this. Maybe if you spent a lot of your time crawling up hills covered in glare ice, it might be worth the investment. But for something like the JGC, I have to say that snow tires would be needless overkill.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:06 PM   #6
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I'm concerned I won't like it on the highway
Pretty certain my parents have the LTX's on their GC and RAM. I know they had some trouble balancing one of the tires on the truck, but I haven't heard any other complaints.

What are you concerned about happening on the highway?
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:31 PM   #7
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Michelin nomenclature: the old LTX became the Defender LTX. The old Latitude Touring became the Premier LTX.

Yeah, it's a tough one. 2000 to 2004, five winters, I did fine with my Audi A4 and all-seasons but had some hairy moments. Since then, I've been spoiled (and protected) by dedicated winter tires, whether on RWD or AWD.

I'm not concerned with the Defender not being able to plow through, with the AWD & clearance, it absolutely should. I'm just debating whether I want the best for each case and go to the expense and trouble or do a good compromise. I think I already know the answer, I hate compromise. If I were 65 and had a bad back, one set of Defender LTX's would be an easy solution.

Bren: The LTX is T-rated. There is no way a T-rated tire is going to feel as planted as an H or V-rated tire in three seasons. It wears like iron, to me that indicates hard rubber. Its sipes are cut like snow tires, but I don't think it will grip like a Blizzak or a Nokian (or an X-ice).

I guess I'll keep looking for two sets. I seem to have answered my own question.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:40 PM   #8
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Bren: The LTX is T-rated. There is no way a T-rated tire is going to feel as planted
Dude, it's a big heavy SUV. This thing isn't going to last six months.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:57 PM   #9
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It's probably a little too "light-duty" for it, but I've really liked the General Altimax RT43 that we've had on the old CR-V.

The Bridgestone Duelers, still "light-duty," on the new CR-V have been fantastic for normal highway and city driving, and they have been great on the unpaved roads and fields where my wife keeps her horses. They don't get the best mileage compared to others, but they are very good for our needs.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:51 PM   #10
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I had Michelin LTX AT2 tires on my JGC. Surprisingly good tires on the highway, reasonably quiet, and good tread life. Pretty good on deep or fresh snow as well. On ice, or packed snow, nothing will beat a snow tire. And the more aggressive the the off-roadiness of the tire, the worse they will be in those conditions. Tires need siping for ice/packed snow.

This is why the Nokian Hakka R2 SUV tires on the LR4 are ridiculously good.
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