Pros: Smooth handling, nice, quiet ride, performs exceedingly well in wet conditions by all accounts.
Cons: None that I have encountered, but will update! Still none as of 11/26/09.
I took my 2000 Ford Expedition in for new tires and had the mindset of replacing them with the same Goodyear Wranglers that were on this urban assault vehicle/land yacht at the time. The salesman talked me into the Michelin LTX/MS P255/70 R16's and I am so glad that he did.
This is what Michelin's site has to say about the tires' construction:
1) A large contact patch and enhanced tread block stability
2) Noise-minimizing tread block pattern
3) A third steel belt in D and E load ranges
4) A state-of-the-art casing that more evenly distributes stresses
5) Deep, circumferential grooves that channel water away
6) Interlocking, full-depth sipes and tread block stability
7) Special tread rubber compound
Granted, I did get an alignment at the same time, but there is no mistaking this tire is far superior to the Wranglers that came off it, even when they were brand new. The noise was greatly reduced and the ride was much more smooth than I have ever experienced with my rig.
They do a far better job of removing water to prevent hydroplaning as I drove in the rain and hit a rather large puddle. As always, I took my foot off the accelerator and expected the brief floating feeling. It did not happen. Those tires stayed in contact with the road the entire time.
Consumer Reports does not rate them as highly as they deserve, but they did get "very good" in the following categories:
Breaking in wet conditions with or without ABS, snow traction ("Excellent" rated but not of much use to me here in Florida), braking while on ice (the drug or frozen water? Either way I'd avoid both!), overall comfort, steering feel (this is very true), noise and rolling resistance.
Its only weakness, according to them, is braking in dry conditions. Seems to me if it does well in wet, dry would be no problem. I have experienced no such issues as of yet, though I did with the Wranglers a time or two when it was fully loaded.
Despite Consumer Reports take that they are good to very good, I think they are EXCELLENT in all aspects, especially in comparison to the Goodyear Wranglers. The Goodyear Fortera HL Edition was Consumer Reports #1 pick, but I think these babies will get the job done for me!
They come with a 60,000 mile guarantee, but from reading other reviews here on epinions, it sounds like these will be the last set for my 2000 Expedition as I hope to upgrade to a newer model year if not brand new before these could possibly wear out.
Update - 6/5/07
Took a trip to the Keys, Marathon at the foot of the 7 mile Bridge we stayed in our timeshare condo (Hawksnest), about a 6-9 hour drive dependent on many factors; route taken, speeding, traffic, etc... Beautiful ride down and you could not hear the tires at all. It was gusty and you would hear some wind off the rearviews occasionally.
On the ride back we hit some major construction coupled with downpours. These tires did fantastically and we were only slowed by poor vision at times. I usually ride the tracks made by cars in front of me, but when that was not available, I did not feel the slightest wiggle.
In a sunny dry patch I was following another truck as I do figuring they will get the ticket. I looked down to see I was doing 100 mph and I swear to you I did NOT want to go that fast. 85 max no matter what. You could in no way feel the speed. These tires are phenomenal and yes I will be more cautious as a puddle a foot deep there is no tire that will save you from riding on water.
These tires still do not cease to amaze me and I am seeing them on tons of other SUV's. My smart-behinded colleagues and I were following each other to the datacenter. They have a small car and a light truck with a V-8. They tried to prove their superiority in handling when we came to a desolate, yet curvy road stretch.
I kept up with them and where my old Goodyears would squeal as they cornered a little on the fast side, these actually held on and made a sound that you would expect from a jacked up truck with super-swampers on it. Those tires just sang to me and I did not float one bit nor did I have to get out of the throttle or use the left lane.
I am still thrilled with them and now know sudden evasive moves are every bit possible with these. That will save some squirrels if the son is not in the car!
These tires very likely saved a life as I was on I-95 clipping along at 65 in a 60mph zone. The compact car in front of me suddenly braked to a near stop, afraid to run over a tire tread in the road. Personally, I would rather get a flat than stop on an interstate and die.
I saw the braking but figured she was getting off on the exit nearby. Then I saw the tell-tale sign of her back bumper thrusting upwards from a full on brake pedal to the floor. I responded after her, obviously since you do not normally anticipate this behavior and luckily I was keeping more than the 2 second rule as far as space between us. I slammed my foot darn near through the floor board and can not estimate the footage it took me to stop but it was not a very long distance at all.
I can say I thought there was NO CHANCE of avoiding rear ending the lady and that I would hit the car at least at 40 or more and it was such a small car, I would roll up on top as the wheels gave way on my truck.
If she was not stopped completely with her brakes clamped, I think, even if we hit, she would have been fine, but she was just a sitting duck, I guess waiting for the tread to miracle itself out of her way and here came a shotgun blast aimed right at her, I feared. The ABS and these tires locked and gave, locked and gave until I was a half a car length away from impact and stopped just in time.
She tried to disprove Darwinism that day, but she really has no idea how lucky she was. It was a tin can, late model, off-brand, sub-compact - not good in a wreck when new! I thank God for these tires and it is Michelin from NOW ON!!!! It could have scratched my bumper!!!! I am not sure she ever saw me...
Even after that and the many miles I have driven the last year, there is no noticeable tread wear and I have yet to hit a puddle that made my rig hydroplane.
Plenty of tread left, look like new when cleaned and handle almost like stickers (brand new tires)! Still far exceed Goodyear Wrangler stickers. Not even close. Tony Stewart is right on about those guys. 40,000 miles + on this set and they are safe, reliable and 100% quality.