Tire testing & reviews

Tire testing & reviews

by KJ Player
(Amarillo, TX)

Consumer Reports, Consumer Search, & Tire Rack test tires and then rate them. Are these findings factual? Are they a good basis for comparison?

I'm thinking of buying the General Grabber HTS for my Nissan Frontier. My OEM tire is the BF Goodrich Rugged Trail (20K and my treadware is 4/32). Anyway the Grabber is rated at #1 but the dudes at Discount Tire tell me it is a junk tire and don't pay any attention to tire reviews.

Anybody have a take on this matter and does anyone have an opinion on the Grabber HTS?

Editorial Comment:

The most important thing in considering tire test results is the relevance to your own situation. Read the test report and ask yourself if what you read pertains to you, to your vehicle and your driving conditions.

If you look at Tire Rack's tire test results, for example
and look up the specific tire you're interested in read the comments about the tires being tested. If the conditions which they describe have absolutely no likelihood of pertaining to you then you shouldn't place too much importance on what the report tells you.

About the comments of the folks at Discount Tire, do they sell the tire you asked about? If not, and they call it down, you need to ask yourself if they would bad-mouth it as much if they had it available to sell to you. Even so, ask them why they think it's junk and where they get that information.

You'll notice that the tire tests which Tire Rack did compared two other tires which they also sell against the Grabber and they concluded that the Grabber was best, but they also told you why. Does this mean that it is better than a similar Michelin, Kumho, or Goodyear tire? Not necessarily, because these were not part of the comparison. If they were included, their conclusion might have been different.

In the end it is your money and your life which is at stake and if you accept the advice of someone without even questioning for more details you are the one who will eventually have to live with the consequences.

All that being said, I don't believe that there is a "Perfect" tire, that will be the best for everyone under all circumstances and at all times. Most major brands have a strong commitment to quality control and performance, but it is up to you to decide what you want most from your tires and seek the particular one which comes closest to meeting your special mixture.


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