June 30, 2006
Bridgestone Turanza LS-V Grand Touring All-Season 205/55R16
2006 BMW E90 325i Sedan
The drivers of many luxury performance sedans and sporty coupes are looking for tires that combine muscular looks, satisfying comfort and lively performance to complete their vehicle's capabilities with the appearance, luxury and handling that helps make cars more fun to drive. And whether the tires are identified by their manufacturers to be Sophisticated Performance, Luxury Performance or Performance Touring tires, if the tires combine low profiles, large rim diameters, high speed ratings and year-round traction (including light snow), they fall into Tire Rack's Grand Touring All-Season tire category.
Goodyear's Eagle featuring ResponsEdge Technology is an example of this type of tire. While carbon fiber has been used in racing tires previously, the Eagle ResponsEdge introduces it to street tires, along with a DuPont KEVLAR InsuLayer and dual zone tread compounds. This innovative technology is designed to transform luxury performance vehicles into the driver's mobile sanctuary.
As a group, Grand Touring All-Season tires are designed to blend much of the appearance, as well as some of the responsiveness and handling of a performance tire with the smooth and quiet ride of a passenger tire. And as with any blend, there are inherent compromises that normally take place as a result. To find out how sporty and comfortable Goodyear's Eagle ResponsEdge tire is, Tire Rack team conducted a Real World Road Ride and Performance Track Drive, comparing it with several tires from the Grand Touring All-Season category. The Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus has been a popular Original Equipment fitment on a wide variety of European and domestic vehicles, and the Bridgestone Turanza LS-V has become a popular choice for drivers who elect to purchase non-Original Equipment tires for their vehicle when it's time to replace its original set of tires.
Our evaluation used 2006 BMW 325i E90 sedans, with new, full tread depth 205/55R16 tires mounted on 16x7.5" wheels.
Our 5.6-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.
All three Grand Touring All-Season tires in our test group delivered a pleasant blend of noise comfort, ride quality and real-world handling appropriate for their tire category. Their differences on the road were slight, indicating how competent the tires in this category have become. The tires felt composed on smooth roads, only being upset by the irregularities of concrete expansion joints and pothole repairs.
Our team felt the Bridgestone Turanza LS-V offered the best overall ride quality, although found it transmitted a bit of impact thump into the cabin when driven over larger bumps and broken pavement. The Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus offered acceptable ride quality, yet produced a slight pinging noise when encountering the sharper expansion joints of our test route's concrete expressway. The Goodyear Eagle ResponsEdge did a good job of cushioning the ride, but like the other tires, was not immune to allowing some of the road's irregularities to be felt through the chassis.
None of the tires generated what could be called significant amounts of tread noise. The Energy MXV4 Plus was considered to be the quietest of the group, with Turanza LS-V close behind due to a low growl at slower speeds. The Eagle ResponsEdge was found to be very quiet at highway speeds, but did emit a faint tone when driving on asphalt at a steady 40-45 mph.
All three tires felt well-connected to the road, with the Michelin feeling light and responsive to steering inputs. The Bridgestone required a bit more effort to turn the wheel, but delivered a solid feel around the sweeping expressway on-and off-ramps. The Goodyear was stable in a straight line, reacted gradually to initial steering wheel movement and then responded at an increasing pace as the car changed direction.
Our 1/3-mile per lap test track course includes 90-degree street corners, lane changes 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.
In dry conditions, the light and responsive feel we found on the road allowed the Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus to turn the fastest average lap time of the group. This tire felt poised and was easy to drive at the limit. The Goodyear Eagle ResponsEdge was a close second, and was praised for its performance under hard braking. Bridgestone's Turanza LS-V rounded out the group, delivering stable, poised handling with a hint of understeer at the limit.
In the wet, as is often the case, the differences were more apparent. Here, the Turanza LS-V had a clear advantage in overall traction allowing it to post the fastest average lap time. The Eagle ResponsEdge was second, feeling a little elastic during transitional maneuvers. The Energy MXV4 Plus was third, feeling rather slippery when compared to the other two tires.
Bridgestone Turanza LS-V (Grand Touring All-Season): The Turanza LS-V with UNI-T AQII tires are Bridgestone's Grand Touring All-Season tires developed to meet the needs of the drivers of sporty coupes and luxury performance sedans by blending responsive handling and comfort with dry, wet and year-round traction, even in light snow. Turanza LS tires feature UNI-T AQII Technology that uses advanced tread compound and construction features to enhance and preserve wet traction through the tire's life, keeping wet traction up - even as it wears.
Goodyear Eagle featuring ResponsEdge Technology (Grand Touring All-Season): Eagle ResponsEdge radials are Grand Touring All-Season tires developed to enhance the capabilities of sport coupes and sedans. The Eagle ResponsEdge is designed to offer year-round traction on dry, wet and lightly snow-covered roads, while delivering a blend of responsive handling and comfortable ride qualities that allow drivers to feel the road, not the rumble. Read more.Michelin's Energy MXV4 Plus (Grand Touring All-Season): Energy MXV4 Plus tires are Michelin's best-selling and most popular Grand Touring All-Season tires developed to meet the needs of sporty coupe and luxury performance sedan drivers. Featuring an advanced version of Michelin's Radial XSE Technology, Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus tires are designed to offer a high level of comfort, long tread life, consistent and precise handling and all-season traction, including light snow. Read more.
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