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What We Looked For in All-Season Tire Reviews

When zeroing in on all-season tires for your car, both consumer and expert reviews can tell you a lot about the tires' performance; i.e., the road grip, riding comfort, and overall driver satisfaction. In making our picks, we paid particular attention to review sites that display an average score for the tire across multiple categories.

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By doing so our conclusions account for drivers whose experience and subsequent assessment might have been skewed due to driver error, such as improperly rotating the tires, failing to keep them fully inflated, and the like.

All-Season Tires Traction.

How well a tire grips the road is largely a function of the tread. And tread ultimately has an effect on driver confidence and vehicle performance. Dozens of all-season tire reviews indicate that our top picks provide the traction that drivers can count on.

The General Altimax RT (starting at $63) enjoys a reputation for an excellent grasp of the road, with traction that stands up to dry and water-slicked pavement. The average of dozens of all-season tire reviews at Tire Buyer give the Altimax RT close to top scores for performance on dry and wet roads, traction in light snow, and resistance to hydroplaning. Some drivers also say the tires deftly manage ice, although others assert they slip and are unsuited to harsh winters. Still, there is strong consensus in all-season tire reviews that these are some of the best around.

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We also found positive reports for the Falken Sincera Touring SN211 (starting at $77) all-season tire. Reviews at Vulcan Tire Sales assign very high marks for dry traction and wet traction, but slightly lower grades for hydroplane resistance and traction in light snow, and just average scores for traction on ice and packed snow.

By contrast, Goodyear Wrangler ST tires (starting at $73) take plenty of heat in reviews for poor traction on wet roads (especially when covered with snow), and some drivers report difficulty rounding corners even on dry roads. Some all-season tire reviews of the Wrangler ST also claim the tread wears down quickly.

Riding Comfort and Handling.

A good marker of buyer satisfaction with a product is repeat purchases. We read many all-season tire reviews that noted drivers previously had used General Altimax RT and Falken Sincera Touring SN11 tires and had already bought, or would in future buy, them again. Part of the appeal, no doubt, are their budget prices. But drivers also say they like the feel of the ride, the handling, and the low noise level, which no doubt up their value quotient.

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General Altimax RT tires attract a strong following for a smooth and quiet ride as well as for responsiveness, even in emergency maneuvers. One diesel-car owner says the noise level is so minimal that it's possible to believe you're driving a gasoline-fed vehicle. All-season tire reviews of the Falken Sincera Touring SN211 tout their steering responsiveness and smooth cornering, and place them on par with higher-end tires. This tire also wins points for being incredibly quiet. Passable reviews for riding comfort and noise accrue to Goodyear Wrangler RTs but many disgruntled drivers pan this tire for inadequate traction, which leaves them feeling uneasy about the ride.

by Jeremy Bender (Google+ Profile)

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