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- Mud Flaps
- Engine Tuning
June 1, 2012
Boxy sport utility vehicles based on the trusty old pickup truck have long since transformed into the sleek SUVs or svelte crossovers we find on the road today. Tires for these vehicles have transformed, too, where knobby all-terrain tires are no longer the typical option. These days, plenty of eco-focused choices abound and are among the most popular, while other designs are highly tuned to give drivers plenty of a specific attribute.
So the Tire Rack team decided to compare a new offering with several category favorites. The second-generation Goodyear Assurance CS TripleTred All-Season retains the original's highly directional tread pattern that places a primary emphasis on providing significant wet and snow traction. We also chose a couple tires from the top of our survey and sales results, with the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia and Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season, both carrying a strong emphasis on being eco-friendly.
This test was the first with our new 2012 Porsche Cayenne V6 test vehicles, which in themselves have transformed from the previous generation Cayennes we tested with in years past. Our evaluation used new, full tread depth 255/55R18 tires mounted on 18x8.0" wheels.
What We Learned on the Road
Our 6.6-mile loop of expressway, state highway and county roads provides a great variety of road conditions that include city and highway speeds, smooth and coarse concrete, as well as new and patched asphalt. This route allows our team to experience noise comfort, ride quality and everyday handling, just as you would during your drive to school or work.
The Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia did the best job at softening the impacts and patched potholes along our road route. Our team found the ride of the Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season to be rather taut and controlled, but not harsh, making it a good companion to the sporty suspension of our Cayenne test vehicles. The Goodyear Assurance CS TripleTred All-Season followed, leaving the driver feeling a bit more jostled around when driving over rough pavement.
The tread noise levels of the Scorpion Verde All Season and Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia were both quite low, with a small advantage going to the Pirelli tire. The Assurance CS TripleTred All-Season rounded out the group, where its aggressive-looking tread pattern produced a subtle but distinct growl at low to medium speeds. We're looking forward to testing these tires in the snow, as the aggressive pattern of the Goodyear should pay back some dividend when the white stuff covers the ground.
The Scorpion Verde All Season felt responsive and nimble with a very direct feel in the steering wheel. The quick initial steering response of the Assurance CS TripleTred All-Season helped its overall road handling score, slotting in behind the Pirelli tire. The Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia wasn't as responsive as the other two tires, but offered a reassuring feel through the steering wheel allowing the driver to easily hold the desired driving line.
What We Learned on the Test Track
Our 1/3-mile per lap test track course includes 90-degree street corners, a 5-cone slalom and simulated expressway ramps. Run in both dry and wet conditions, the test track allows our team to experience the traction, responsiveness, handling and drivability normally only encountered during abrupt emergency avoidance maneuvers or competition events.
The nimble feel of the Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season our team found on the road carried over to our handling track, where this tire was composed and easy to control when driving at the limit. The Goodyear Assurance CS TripleTred All-Season responded very quickly to the initial turn of the steering wheel but lacked the precision and directness of the Pirelli tire when driven at the limit. The Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia felt well balanced but didn't have the level of overall cornering traction needed to match the pace of the others.
In wet conditions the Scorpion Verde All Season again led the group with good traction and poised handling. The Assurance CS TripleTred All-Season was close behind thanks to its overall grip level, but didn't have quite the composure of the Pirelli. The Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia trailed the others feeling balanced, but at a lower overall grip level.
Fuel Consumption Results
Our Real World Road Ride features a relatively flat 6.6-mile loop of 65 mph expressway, 55 mph state highway and 40 mph county roads along with two stop signs and one traffic light every lap. Our team drove approximately 500 miles over the course of several days. Since we wanted to compare fuel consumption results that typical drivers would experience, our drivers were instructed to maintain the flow of traffic by running at the posted speed limits and sustain the vehicle's speed using cruise control whenever possible. They did not use hypermiling techniques to influence vehicle fuel economy.
Two of the tires in this test were designed with low rolling resistance as a high-priority. And while absolute differences in fuel economy may exist, during our brief drive we found a negligible difference across all three tires in our test. This is our first test with our 2012 Porsche Cayenne V6 test vehicles and we're seeing a 3-4 mpg improvement in average fuel consumption versus the previous-generation V6 Cayennes we used in the past. Hats off to Porsche for making such big strides in vehicle efficiency.
It's important to note our test's fuel consumption measurements follow consistent procedures designed to minimize variables that could influence the results, however they do not represent an exhaustive long-range fuel consumption study. While our procedures require the test vehicles in each convoy to run under the same prevailing conditions, the week-to-week differences in ambient temperatures, barometric pressures and wind speeds that we experience over a season of testing can influence vehicle fuel consumption and prevent the absolute mpg values of this test from being compared directly against those of others.
Larger differences in consumption between tires may indicate a difference that might be experienced on the road, while smaller differences should be considered equivalent. As they say, your mileage may vary.
Driving In Winter ConditionsWe will conduct subjective and objective tests in the snow and on the ice in the coming winter season. Stay tuned for the results once testing has been completed.
Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia (Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season): The Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia is one of Bridgestone's ecologically oriented Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season tires developed for the drivers of small- and medium-sized crossover and sport utility vehicles looking to combine year-round traction, handling and comfort with reduced environmental impact. Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia tires are designed to enhance vehicle fuel economy by reducing tire rolling resistance along with the vehicle's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while delivering year-round all-season traction, even in light snow. Read more.
Goodyear Assurance CS TripleTred All-Season (Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season): The Assurance CS TripleTred All-Season is Goodyear's premium Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season light truck tire developed for the drivers of crossovers, sport utility vehicles and light duty pickup trucks looking for year-round drivability. The tire's directional tread pattern features three unique zones designed to provide all-season traction in dry, wet and wintry conditions, even in light snow. Read more.
Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season (Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season): The Scorpion Verde (Italian for green) All Season is Pirelli's eco-friendly Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season tire developed for the drivers of crossovers, sport utility vehicles and prestigious pickups. The Ecoimpact icons on the sidewall of the Scorpion Verde All Season highlight its environmental compatibility where it reduces rolling resistance and tire weight, compared to Pirelli's previous CUV/SUV tire lines, to increase fuel economy and lower the vehicle's CO2 emissions. The Scorpion Verde All Season is designed to combine dry and wet road handling, comfort and year-round capabilities, including all-season traction in light snow. Read more.