The five worst original equipment tires of the 21st century
During vehicle development, automotive engineers are renowned for spending countless hour poring over fine details, and making minute adjustments with intention of producing the best possible product. Things don't always go according to plan though...
Fitting sub-par original equipment tires is one surefire way to corrupt an entire project, and leave customers irked.
Whether doomed for failure from the tire manufacturer, or a poor fit for the vehicle application, these tires reached near-epic disaster status. In no particular order, here are the five worst original equipment tires of the 21st century:
1. Goodyear Wrangler HP
Original equipment tire for: Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Avalanche, Dodge Ram, Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, et al.
What went wrong: With the Dodge Ram in particular, the Wrangler HP was a match made in hell. Wet road traction was exceptionally poor. The same can be said for performance in winter conditions.
Cupping was a regular occurrence, and treadlife was well short of reasonable expectations. As if to disqualify any chance of user satisfaction, the Wrangler HP also produced significant road noise.
To be fair, Wrangler HP owner impressions on alternative vehicle platforms weren't quite so resoundingly negative. Positive feedback is a drop in the ocean compared to a tidal wave of negativity though. The Wrangler HP makes the list.
2. Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400
Original equipment tire for: Subaru Forester, BMW X5, Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander, et al.
What went wrong: While represented as an all season tire suitable for all-wheel drive crossovers and SUV's, the Dueler H/L 400 lacked any semblance of winter condition performance. Wet road performance was sketchy as well; horrible under braking and hydroplane-happy.
Users commonly reported very limited treadlife even with proper rotation and inflation protocols in place.
3. Kumho Solus KH25
Original equipment tire for: Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Veloster, Dodge Dart, et al.
What went wrong: The Solus KH25 was particularly prone to punctures and sidewall bubbling, with some reported sidewall blowouts.
And according to most users in northern climates, the Solus KH25 was devoid of actual all season performance despite the designation.
4. Continental 4x4 Contact
Original equipment tire for: Nissan Rouge, Volvo XC70, Land Rover LR4, et al.
What went wrong: Marginal winter performance to begin with that worsened rapidly with mileage. And with regard to mileage, sub-30,000 to the wear bars wasn't uncommon.
5. Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar EMT
Original equipment tire for: C6 Chevrolet Corvette
What went wrong: Ah... previous generation run-flat tires. And when Goodyear tried to combine that early run-flat technology with strong performance attributes befitting a sports car, it made for a special blend of horrible.
Treadlife often expired at 10,000 miles or less. Noise was a problem from mile 0, but became unbearable as the miles added up.
Unfortunately, the Eagle F1 Supercar EMT didn't bring performance to the table either. So 'Vette owners suffered through the noise and the accelerated wear for marginal performance.
To top it all off, the Eagle F1 Supercar EMT is one of the most absurdly priced original equipment tires that we've ever seen at almost $1,500 per set.