Rav 4 Tire Recommendations - Round 2

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This is part 2 to my original thread found here: Link Hope it’s OK to start a second thread, I have a bit different selection of tires I’m interested in. I'm trying not to rehash the same ground we covered there. I’ve also gotten educated and learned that my wife’s 2009 Rav 4 has a 225 65 17 tire, and an H speed rating is required. That limits tire choices a LOT. To recap my buying criteria: 1) I work within a mile of a Discount tire and Costco. I’ll be buying from one of them. I lean a bit to Discount, because it’s closer and I can drop my car off for a free rotation and walk to work. Costco requires a trip, and sitting around waiting. All the tires on my short list can be had at one of both of these stores. I had some recommendations for other brand tires in the original thread – while I think they were valid suggestions I really like the service and ease of use that Costco and Discount provide me. And the free rotations are also nice. 2) We live in the country, in WI. The road to our house is known for drifting. I understand a Rav4 is not a drift busting machine but some drift busting will be happening, so snow traction is a decision factor. We aren’t looking to buy dedicated snow tires for this vehicle. I do have a pickup that we would use in extreme weather. But my wife still needs to be able to make it home from work in the snow, etc... Anyway – on to my list. I’ve put my thoughts around each tire below and I’d appreciate any other feedback that people might have that would let me differentiate between the five of them. Prices are from Tirerack and are only for tires, but at least it gives a comparison. Front Runners (in rough order) 1. Bridgestone Alenza: $544 Solidly reviewed, and is what she’s got currently. She got about 40K out of the set, but did not rotate them. We’ve had a chat about that, and she is going to give me her car the day after each oil change so I can take it to Discount and get the tires rotated. Been around for a while and has lots of miles in the survey results. I thought these were a solid pick when I put them on last time, and they still seem to be one. 2. Bridgestone 422 Ecopia: $556 Solid tire, low rolling resistance. My understanding is the 422 prioritizes mileage while the Alenza prioritizes traction. If that’s the case, I’m leaning Alenza because they seem to be pretty similar across all the ratings. Tread depth is also less. 3. Firestone Destination LE2: $520 People love them, but they are new and their performance is unknown over the long term. FIL also has an obsessive hatred of Firestone, and I’m putting these on his daughters car. Last night I mentioned that I was thinking about putting Bridgestones on it and the first comment was “Those are Firestones, aren’t they?” In short, they will need to be a head and shoulders better choice before I’m going to go there. I don’t know if they are. Maybe? • BFG Long Trail T/A Tour: $598 Hokiefyd, you recommended this tire in a different thread. My wife had the prior version on her Escape and liked them. I had the OEM version on my Nissan Frontier, and they were OK. TireRack reviews are very harsh on these tires, and their snow traction is much lower than the rest. Treadwear rating is also low. I want to like these, but the ratings just don’t seem to bear it out. • Cooper CTS: $524 Only sold through Discount Tire direct, so not much data out there. Forum reviews seem to indicate they are a decent tire. Price is OK. FIL swears by Coopers, so I would get some positive PR there. I’m going to attempt to post my chart of the relevant TireRack survey results for comparison, but no guarantees I can get it to work….. Appreciate all the help! Even if I can just work it down to a short list of a couple closely comparable tires I can always try to negotiate on price between them.
 
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I'd be tempted to drop the speed rating down to a "T" and go with the Dunlop Signature II for $99 per tire with DT. This is out of the Madison, WI area. So $460 plus tax. Edit: Just checked the Coopers which look good. There's a $40 instant rebate then an additional $80 rebate which brings the price down to $101 per tire roughly plus install and tax. 620AA. Those would be my first choice.
 
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The alenza is an older tire and is very heavy at at the bottom of the fuel economy ratings. the dueler ecopia is a smooth riding nice tire that also has good results from Tireracks testing. We have sold a lot of them and I haven't heard anything but good things from our customers who have purchased them. I haven't had a chance to try LE2's, they have very good reviews on Tire rack,are fuel eefficient, and are priced right.
 
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TWG1572

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For comparison, here are the other tires I looked at which would work on the Rav4 but decided against. I don't feel bad about dropping any of these unless I'm completely missing something.
 

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The problem with going with the T rating that is the many places refuse to install a speed rating other than what is specced by Toyota. Costco won't, I havent tried DT yet...
 
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At 10/32 and because I find the ratings very suspect for a new LRR tire the 422 would be out. I wanted the BFG LT T/A's for our Highlander but I was also put off by bad reviews about winter traction so I didn't. The tire looked good enough, I just saw a lot of negative experiences. So for me it would be weather I believed the Firestones were really that good in snow (and actually I don't), finding out what the Cooper CTS's are, and then probably just buying what you already have. It's just my opinion, but thinking low rolling resistance or fuel economy is important in an SUV tire used year round in an area with over 50 inches of snow a year is stupid. Any money you save in gas is negated by the fact they start with less tread to begin with. One must assume there is at least some tradeoff between low rolling resistance and good deep snow traction as well.
 
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If money is not a high priority, I don't think you will beat the Nokian WR-G2: http://is.gd/F4xiDn Been wanting to try that tire (and its predecessors) for many years, but just can't afford it and/or justify the price premium at tire-buy time. In your situation, it sounds ideal---though it is obviously not made in the USA, if that is an issue.
 

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Originally Posted By: bepperb
At 10/32 and because I find the ratings very suspect for a new LRR tire the 422 would be out. I wanted the BFG LT T/A's for our Highlander but I was also put off by bad reviews about winter traction so I didn't. The tire looked good enough, I just saw a lot of negative experiences. So for me it would be weather I believed the Firestones were really that good in snow (and actually I don't), finding out what the Cooper CTS's are, and then probably just buying what you already have.
I'm starting to think you are right. Been at the library looking at Consumer Reports reviews, which seem to be very different than Tire Rack ratings and comments. You take some of their top picks, and people just hate them in the reviews. I don't know who's right, but its odd.. Anyway, I've done some more investigating on the Cooper CTS thanks to the link that was provided. The reviewers that have put a lot of miles on them generally like them and have decent things to say about snow traction. They seem like a serious contender. There is $120 in rebates on them at Discount Tire direct, which would take me to just over $400 for the set of 4. Shipping is also free. If you do believe Consumer Reports, they are pretty much neck and neck with the Alenzas.
 
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TWG1572

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Ok. Decision made. I pulled the trigger on the Cooper CTS. With all the rebates, I am walking out the door for $404 on a set of four. Discount Tire matched Discount Tire Direct's price (which they should since they are the same store), but was also willing to make their after tax out the door price the same as DTD's price since DTD doesn't charge tax. Data is a little more limited on these tires, but CR has them ranked at #10 and the reviews I have read have been positive. I'm looking forward to getting them on and seeing how they perform.
 
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