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Sneak peek: Consumer Reports' 2011 SUV and pickup truck tire-test program

Consumer Reports News: December 07, 2010 04:03 PM

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With a new year is almost upon us, we are busy preparing for our 2011 tire testing program. Next year, we'll be testing tires for SUVs and pickups, including those that are considered passenger car tires designed specifically for trucks. The test will cover tires in three subcategories: all-season, all-terrain, and winter tires. (Learn about tire types.) 

We last tested those tire types three years ago. Since then, some models have disappeared from the market or will be gone this year. Of course, there are many new models to be tested, and we'll also evaluate some that have been around for a while but weren't included in the previous program.

From our planned program, eight of the 13 all-terrain tires are new, 12 of 22 all-season tires are new, and all 12 winter truck tires are new. The last time we tested winter truck tires, we only had seven models. Now more manufacturers are offering winter tires developed for light-duty trucks, such as newcomers Maxxis, Nexen, and Nokian in the all-season and all-terrain categories.

Here are the tires we're lining up for testing:

BF Goodrich Rugged Terrain X
Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 2 X
Bridgestone Dueler A/T H695 X
Cooper Discoverer AT 3 X
Firestone Destination A/T  
Hankook Dynapro ATM FT10 X
Kumho Road Venture AT KL-78  
Michelin LTX A/T 2  
Maxxis AT 771 X
Nexen Rodian AT2 X
Pirelli Scorpion ATR  
Toyo Open County A/T

Yokohama Geolandar A/T 2 X
BF Goodrich Long Train T/A Tour X
Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza  
Continental CrossContact LX20 X
Cooper Discoverer CTS  
Dunlop Rover HT X
Firestone Destination LE  
General General Grabber HTS  
Goodyear Wrangler SR-A  
Hankook DynaPro HT X
Kumho Road Venture APT KL51
Kumho  Road Venture SAT KL61 X
Michelin Latitude Tour X
Michelin Latitude Tour HP X
Maxxis Highway Terrain H/T 750 X
Nexen Rodian HT SUV X
Nokian WR G2 SUV X
Nokian HT SUV X
Nokian WR G2 SUV X
Pirelli Scorpion STR A  
Toyo Open Country H/T  
Uniroyal Laredo Cross Country A/S  
Yokohama Geolandar HT-S G051  
BF Goodrich Winter Slalom KSI X
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 X
Continental ExtremeWinterContact X
Firestone Winterforce UV X
General Altimax Artic X
Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT X
Kumho Road Venture SAT KL61 (winter symbol) X
Michelin Latitude X-Ice 2 X
Nokian WR G2 SUV X
Nokian Hakkapeletitta R SUV X
Toyo Observe Open COuntry G-02 Plus X
Yokohama Geolandar IT G072 X

Missing from the list are Falken and Nitto; they have new products coming out after our testing will be underway. One thing we've learned already from this test: truck tires are much more expensive, with prices up 22 percent from the last program.

For non-truck drivers, we will do updates in our Ultra-High Performance category. We plan to test Firestone Wide Oval Indy 500, Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTZ A/S, Yokohama Avid Envigor A/S, and we are pursuing new models from Cooper and Michelin.

It should be an interesting and busy year.  Enough typing, its time to go testing...

Gene Petersen

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