Customer reviews are not the best way to shop for something like tires. When it comes to items that are not only rather expensive but affect your safety and the well-being of your family and friends — such as tires — it is best to rely on professional testing and reviews to inform your buying decision. After taking the most reliable information into account, then you might add customer reviews as a confirmation of the particular product you decide to buy.
That said, there’s much to be said for online retailers who attract an obviously knowledgeable and experienced clientele. If you find a company such as this, you can grant a little more weight to their customer reviews than to those on more generic sites such as Amazon or Walmart, where customer reviewers hardly ever reveal their hidden agendas, are occasionally clueless about how the review process is supposed to work, are sometimes too lazy to learn how to use the product correctly, or are barely-literate trolls.
Shopping for All-Season Tires for Trucks and SUVs
When it comes to shopping for tires, you can find some pretty good customer reviews at Tire Rack. Even better, the professionals at Tire Rack test and review the tires they sell. Using their site, you can become well-informed about what tires will best meet your needs.
The final piece to the puzzle of acquiring information with regard to a major purchase — again, like tires — is to consider professional reviews by independent organizations with a trusted track record.
Consumer Reports is one of the most venerable and reliable product testing and review organizations. They’ve been doing it since 1936. Heck, Ralph Nader was only 2 years old when the professors, journalists, and engineers who founded Consumers Union published their first issue of Consumer Reports.
So, you have all this information available to you about which products will perform better than others. Rather than having to go all over the place — even online, this can take time — to find out what you need to know before you buy, just come to Best Stuff for Men. Here it’s all put together for you in one place. Here you can not only find the best stuff in a wide variety of categories, you can find out where the best sources are to buy it.
So, my sources of information include Consumer Reports. The benefit to you is that I’m providing information for free here that Consumer Reports makes you pay for.
Which brings us to the topic of the best all-season tires for your light truck.
So far, I’ve written about the best high-performance all-season tires for sports cars and grand-touring sedans and the best general all-season tires for mid-performance sedans and coupes. Now it’s time to cover tires for those of you who are driving a vehicle that can be classified as a “truck” — anything from a Toyota Tacoma, Ford F-150, or GMC Suburban to a Honda Pilot, Toyota 4Runner, or Ford Econoline van. As you can see, this is a wide-ranging category of vehicles that includes everything from pickups and SUVs to crossovers and vans.
When it comes to the best all-season truck tires, Consumer Reports recommends 5 different models. However, Michelin is far and away the winner in this category: four of the recommended tires are made by Michelin and one is made by Continental.
The interesting thing is, all of these tires tied with the same amount of points in the evaluation by Consumer Reports (they all scored 72 points out of 100).
So, instead of having a clear winner, a single “top-rated all-season truck tire,” you have five top-rated truck tires to choose from.
So which one should you buy? That’s where Tire Rack’s professional reviews and the reviews from Tire Rack’s customers come in. You can use them to fine-tune your choice of the best tires for your truck or SUV.
Here are this year’s five top-rated all-season truck tires as tested and evaluated by Consumer Reports:
- Michelin LTX M/S2
- Michelin X Radial LT2
- Michelin Latitude Tour HP
- Michelin Latitude Tour
- Continental CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus
You can click through the links above to get detailed information about each of these tires from Tire Rack, which is one of the best places to buy tires online. That’s where you’ll also be able to find hundreds of customer reviews for these popular models of tires.
How to Use Customer Reviews When Shopping
A rule of thumb when it comes to paying attention to customer reviews is that you want enough of them to provide a statistically-reliable trend. So if you’re going to be taking customer reviews into account when you shop for a particular item, look for at least 80 reviews of that product. If there are 80 or more reviews, you can begin to get a good idea of the overall customer experience with that product. Obviously, if you want to buy a high-quality product, the vast majority of the reviews — more than two-thirds — should be 5-star or 4-star ratings.
So let’s say you’re shopping for tires and you’ve found a model that has 100 customer reviews. In that case, you’d like to see at least 66 or more of the reviews be in the 5-star to 4-star range. Again, this is for sites where the customers pretty much know what they’re doing, such as Tire Rack or Newegg. On a site like Amazon, you want to see an even higher percentage of 5-star reviews. (It has become common knowledge, for example, that authors of books sold on Amazon will get as many of their friends as they can to give the book a 5-star review. Which means you’ve got to assume that many of the reviews are biased.)
More Info About the Top-Rated All-Season Truck Tires Listed Above
Michelin LTX M/S2: This is Michelin’s best-selling light-truck tire. These tires come with a 70,000-mile manufacturer’s treadwear limited warranty. Tire Rack has over 8 million miles of reported customer experience with these top-rated tires. These tires are suitable for year-round use in wet or dry conditions, including light snow. This tire does not meet severe snow traction requirements. For that, you need a dedicated snow tire.
Michelin X Radial LT2: This is a truck tire made by Michelin and sold exclusively through buying clubs, such as Costco. These tires also have a 70,000-mile treadwear limited warranty. Their tread-life is reported to be excellent by customers and they are known for enhancing gas mileage.
Michelin Latitude Tour HP: This is Michelin’s all-season tire for high-end crossover sport utility vehicles. For example, they come as original equipment tires on SUVs from Acura, BMW, Lexus, Porsche, and more. They have a 55,000-mile treadwear warranty. Out of 299 current customer reviews for this tire on Tire Rack, they have received 176 5-star ratings and 84 4-star ratings, for a total of about 87% highly positive reviews.
Michelin Latitude Tour: Michelin intends the Latitude Tour all-season tires to be used primarily on crossover SUVs. They are designed to provide a good combination of handling, treadwear (they have a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty), and good gas mileage. Most sizes of the Latitude Tour meet Michelin’s Green X environmental standard for tread life, wet traction, and low rolling resistance.
Continental CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus: This tire is designed by Continental to be an eco-friendly product that saves fuel, stops well on wet surfaces, and performs year-round in all conditions, including light snow and light off-road use. The CrossContact LX20 ranked number one in Tire Rack’s testing of eco-focused SUV tires (the test vehicle was a Porsche Cayenne) and in 2011 these tires won the “Best New Tire and Related Product” Award from the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). And, of course, Consumer Reports ranked them among the best all-season tires for light trucks.
Since Michelin has four tires in the top five, here’s a video to even things out a bit… This is Tire Rack’s comparison test of eco-focused tires for crossover vehicles, which features the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology against a tire from Goodyear and one from Bridgestone. This review clearly points out the advantages of utilizing professional reviews when it comes to shopping for tires (or any other important product).
Whatever tire you decide on for your truck, SUV, or van, I hope all of your driving trips for work and play are safe and satisfying this year.
For additional gear, after-market equipment, parts, and accessories to improve the performance of your truck or SUV, I recommend going to Stylin’ Trucks.