Indeed, the Bridgestone Turanza LS-H would be a pretty good choice for your
car. The following two are also highly rated by both tire testing companies
(like Tire Rack) and also from consumer surveys: the Yokohama Avid H4S and
the relatively new Goodyear Assurance TripleTred. All three come in your
size, and have the 'H' speed rating, which is the minimum recommended for
I promise you that you will not go wrong with any of these.
I also highly, highly recommend the BF Goodrich Traction T/A. It is
also available in your size with the H rating. I have had two sets of
these tires and they are like no other tire I have ever owned.
Treadwear was DOUBLE what it was with the original Michelins on my 2002
Elantra, and the traction, especially in the rain and snow, was far
superior to the Michelins. On top of that, the price for my Elantra was
1/2 of what the Michelins cost.
Then again, the Bridestone and Yokahama tires mentioned above are also
I hate following up to my own post, but it would seem that I had the
wrong size on Tirerack. I entered the XG350, while you must have the
XG350L. It would seem that the Traction T/A does NOT come in your OE
225/55R16 and 185/65R16 would be roughly equivalent in diameter to the
original. I'd be hesitant to go to the 185's just because the XG is a
heavy car and the handling is questionable already. If you have the room
to go wider, the 225's may get you better handling and a stiffer ride.
Sorry, but I cannot agree with this opinion. Having worked with these OEM
tires, and many others, OEM Michelin's have been MUCH more hype than
quality, and this is no exception.
Part of the problem is what car manufacturers must look for when they order
specs for tires for their cars. The government regulations force them to
put WAY too much emphasis on fuel economy, vs. other factors of tire
This means that OEM tires, when stacked against virtually ANY other quality
competitor, will invariably come up short in a lot of ways, because these
other tires don't have to be bound by what has to be in a new car.
While we are not talking about the same tire, a good example is a popular
OEM tire, and a popular replacement when cars are traded in and need
different tires, the Goodyear Eagle LS. It is a wonderfully quiet tire, and
will get you as good a fuel mileage as any tire out there. But the Eagle LS
radials have the longest stopping distances in the industry, bar none.
Virtually any other OEM tire has similar or other weaknesses.
I am yet to see any OEM tire that was SO good that it would be a better
choice than some of the others out there that are sold. Indeed, one of my
best friends, who owns a tire store, continues to make a lot of money on
"take-off's," original equipment tires that are replaced by their owners
almost immediately with something better. New car owners know what these
OEM tires are (and are not) made of, and get into something that will indeed
serve them better.
Okay, fuel mileage may suffer a bit with any of them, but in a hundred other
different means of measuring a good tire, these "after-market" tires run
rings around OEM's, even if the originals have brand names like Michelin,
Goodyear, Bridgestone.or others.
Indeed, sometimes these owners even trade in OEM Michelins for other
Michelins, OEM Bridgestones for other Bridgestones, etc. They know that,
even if they like the manufacturer, and know they want that brand of tires,
they will not want the originals put on their cars, as they are not all that
Overall, this tire store owner is of the opinion that Michelins are one
thing consistently - expensive. There are some good ones (and a very good
one available through Sam's Club, BJ's and Costco) if you have the money,
and it meets your particular specs [the XG350L does not]. But none of the
good ones are OEM's. Tire sites that test tires will bear this out, that
there is nothing special about Michelin OEM's, and the OEM on the XG350L is
it. They seemed to be great for about the first half of the tread. But
after that point, even in a moderate rainfall, they began hydroplaning
seriously at 35 mph. I changed these tires out for some relatively
inexpensive Falkens and noted a vast improvement in handling. Even when
those tires were virtually worn out, they did not hydroplane like the
Michelin's did. My mileage did not suffer with the replacements. I have
found that after several sets of tires (my Tiburon has over 257,000
miles on it), nothing has been as bad as the original Michelin's.
I have to agree with both you and Tom. My Michelin's were OK to begin
with. At about 1/2 life, I might as well have been driving on slicks.
And I mean only the bad part of slicks. You know, hydroplaning. No
benefit in the dry as slicks usually give you.
They cost double the price and get half the life. I guess that makes
them 4 times as expensive as many other tires.
On my Elantra(s) at least, I never noticed a decrease in mileage from
switching to the BF Goodrich that I did.
We'll see on the Sonata when the tread wears out on it.
I must agree. The Michelin MXV4s that came on my wife's '01 Elantra
were useless in the wet or snow after 15k miles. After doing a bit of
online research, we had a set of Kumho ECSTA HP4 714s (what a name!)
installed and the improvement in handling, ride, road noise, and wet
performance was staggering. They're better in the snow, too, but not
as good as snow tires.
Also, the price of the Kumhos as well as mounting and high speed
balancing came to significantly less money than buying a set of MXV4s
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