Pros: great wet and dry handling, relatively quiet, long tread life
Cons: slightly less great handling on snow and ice, or so I've heard
If the truth be told, I was never overly fond of the OEM tires that came on our 2002 Honda CR-V. Those Bridgestone Dueler H/Ts may have been a little more to my liking had I still lived in Colorado's relatively dry climate, but in Texas where I could reasonably expect fifty inches of rainfall a year (coming up to ten inches at a time), I just didn't think they cut the mustard. Even when I moved back to the Midwest, they still didn't quite make it, easily breaking traction on wet roads and giving me the jitters whenever there was a hint of snow or ice. So when the Bridgestones reached the end of their useful life somewhere around 55K miles, I made a point of shopping for all-weather tires to meet three specific criteria:
• superior wet-weather traction
• long tread life
• low road noise (the CR-V is not the world's quietest vehicle)
I believe I found that combination in the Goodyear Assurance TripleTred. Let me tell you about it...
The "triple" part of the name is Goodyear's way of informing us that this tire incorporates three distinctive tread patterns, each of which "specializes" in a different road condition. A central zone with an interlocking pattern is designed to provide added grip on icy roads. Flanking that central zone are deep angled grooves for channeling water out from beneath the tire, increasing wet traction and greatly reducing the likelihood of hydroplaning. The outer zone has a more conventional tread pattern for dry traction; giving the tire a surefooted feel in quick maneuvers at any (reasonable) speed.
As luck would have it, it was raining when I left the shop where the tires had been installed (heck, it rained off and on for about five days afterwards). I've yet, however, to break traction while driving on wet roads, even though I tried several times. When it's not raining (it is occasionally dry, after all), the TripleTreds have demonstrated the agility and security I'd expect from a tire with this reputation (and cost). To summarize:
Braking: The Assurance TripleTred has proven to maintain an excellent grip on the pavement, regardless of whether it is wet or dry. The one time I lost traction in wet braking was while crossing a broad painted stripe at an intersection.
Handling: Also very good to excellent; no loss of traction and a firm footing in both wet and dry conditions. Whether I have the CR-V out on an interstate highway or on a single-lane farm road, I feel confident that the tires will stay put through whatever maneuvers they're asked to perform. I've dodged iPodded-out cyclists and out-of-nowhere fire trucks without so much as a peep out of the tires. They've proven capable of the quick maneuvers necessary to dodge all the farm machinery that crops up around planting and harvest time. Now it's always been well-nigh impossible to "peel out" with my CR-V (how juvenile, eh?), but with these things on it is impossible. Please note, though, that I haven't had them out on snow or ice - I tend to drive the 4WD truck with its aggressive Goodyear Wrangler AT/S tires, whenever the weather looks iffy. Published reports, however, give the TripleTred but average marks on snow and ice. Visually, at least, that makes sense - the "ice zone" on the tires is the thinnest of the three and simply doesn't look aggressive at all.
Noise: I'd long bemoaned the amount of road noise in the interior of the CR-V. Now, however, I've decided that the noise was due to the OEM tires. Why? Because the decibel level in the interior is far lower with the Assurance TripleTred. They do "sing" on concrete, but they're nice and quiet on asphalt.
The CR-V takes 205/70R15 tires for the factory wheels, which I bought at Sears for a tick under $90 per tire. The specs...
Treadwear rating: 740, the highest available.
Speed Rating: T
Maximum Load: 1499# at 44 psi - a load index of 95
Color: Black - whitewalls are not available
Treadwear: The tires are have an 80,000-mile warranty (pro-rated, of course). Goodyear includes a roadside assistance package (which, curiously, Sears didn't mention - instead they sold me their road-hazard insurance) with the TripleTred; a service they call their "Driver Assurance Program." The assistance package is good for the first 25K miles, and will get you a free tire change any time you have a flat - 24/7 - just for calling their toll-free number. Remind me to get that number...
The bottom line:
The Goodyear Assurance TripleTred is surefooted in wet weather and dry, has an 80,000-mile warranty, and is several notches quieter on the road than the tire it replaced. It met all three of my criteria (and they were on sale, too).
Bridgestone Dueler H/T tires
Goodyear Wrangler AT/S tires
2002 Honda CR-V