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Discussion: Archives > BR Goodrich vs Bridgestone
1 of 19

I'm looking at getting a set of 4 tires for my daughter's 2000 VW Passat GLS (195/65R15). Tirerack has Bridgestone Potenza and Costco has BF Goodrich Advantage T/A. Both are within $10 of each other (the BF Goodrich is cheaper). I'm thinking the Bridgstone is the better tire but I can't compare them. Also, the BF Goodrich is a 60,000 mile tire vs the Bridgestone at 40,000 miles. Any insight? I don't mind paying a little more for a better tire.



2 of 19
Hi - - -

I don't "know" how you will tell until it would be too late - BUT - last month while picking up a new car, it happened to have one of your two selections as it's "O.E.M.s" . . . .

Rode so abominably that within 10 miles, I literally had the Dealer swap those (4) w/ another identical unit which had Michelins.
Edited 5/5/09   by  Everett_Whitney
3 of 19

Wow! Thanks for the head up!

Can I ask...was it the BF's that were the OEM brand?




4 of 19
Hi back - - - Certainly !

Nope - the Bridgestones. It was every single expansion joint , sending bone-jarring "thuds" totally-through that new car's suspension as tho all (4) tires had been left at the 44 psi of transit !

Was not the case - Service manager checked that w/ two different gauges.

That terrible set was switched to a 5 speed manual transmission, also new car, so, whomever that buys it will never know or notice it anyway! Much too busy shifting constantly, as we ARE a huge metropolitan city.   

These are "promoted" as terrific cornering versions - hope they do have Something good about them - as you "posted" it certainly isn't tread life rating!
Edited 5/5/09   by  Everett_Whitney
Edited 5/5/09   by  Everett_Whitney
Edited 5/5/09   by  Everett_Whitney
Edited 5/5/09   by  Everett_Whitney
Edited 5/5/09   by  Everett_Whitney
5 of 19
I got a VW Passat model year 1999 with oem tire of 196/65/15.  I got new tires from Costco on 205/60/15, which is one of the three sizes specified in the gas cap (the other 205/55/16).  Got Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S H rated ones.  I am very pleased with it.  It's CR highest rated tire available for the Passat in that size.  I waited until Costco had an $80 rebate, which seems to happen more than a few times a year. 

There were two the oem tires for Passat for that generation - either Michelin MXV4 plus or Continental something....maybe Conticontact. 
Edited 5/5/09   by  David_Lim
6 of 19
Should I assume that the car originally had H-rated tires, keeping some of the very good T-rated tires out of the running?
7 of 19
Which Bridgestone Potenza tires?  Bridgestone has marketed numerous tires under the Potenza name, some good, some not so good. lists both the Potenza G009 and Potenza RE960A/S Pole Position with Uni-T for a 2000 Passat GLS (195/65R15 91H).  It also lists other Bridgestone tires like the Ecopia EP100, Turanza EL400, and Turanza with Serenity Technology for your car.
8 of 19
There were two the oem tires for Passat for that generation - either Michelin MXV4 plus or Continental something....maybe Conticontact.

For that tire size during that era, VW liked to use the Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus, Continental TouringContact CH95, and Goodyear Eagle LS.  On VW forums, the Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus was liked the best, while the Goodyear Eagle LS was liked the least.
9 of 19
Personally I think Michelins are way over priced, and other brands provide the same quality.  The Bridgestone 960As are a nice tire for the peoice.
10 of 19
Because Michelins have rated so highly (especially in the last round of tests) and because we have some people who have had SO much success with them,  it's hard to talk such language.

But by and large, that has been my conclusion as well.  I am as concerned about safety as anyone, and do not believe that tires should be an area where you try to buy 2nd-rate merchandise just to save a few bucks.

But when it comes to having to make the final call on which tires to buy, the price difference between Michelins and other (usually VERY good) quality tires has been just too great for me to pull the trigger on the Michelins.

Maybe part of my problem with Michelins being SO high-priced is the local dealers I've had over the years who sell Michelin.  In almost every case, even their lesser tires I had found to be priced excessively.  And I have been successful finding dealers of many of the other major brands who will willingly drive a hard bargain.

And until entities like Sears Auto and Sam's Club started selling Michelins, both common tires, and specially badged tires, there also weren't any national chains with which you could have national coverage and someone nearby, no matter where you were, if there was a (rare) problem with one of the tires.

When the wholesale clubs (Sam's, Costco, BJ's) received this new tire called the 'X' radial DT (now just 'X' radial) a number of years ago, I had hopes this would be the tire that would finally bridge that price gap.  Indeed, a previous CR tire test showed that tire to be very good overall.  And when you can combine it with an occasional rebate, that is as good as you will do with Michelin tires.  But still, when you compare specials plus rebates of other brands, the difference in price can still be noticeable.

It must be said that for those who can afford them, they won't ever regret purchasing Michelins.  And for those who can't, Michelin has also been upgrading their B F Goodrich line.  But no question to get the Cadillac, you have to pay the price for the Cadillac.

11 of 19
Actually, Michelin tires are not necessarily the most expensive when one takes lifetime costs into account.  Some Michelin tires do very well in rolling resistance (fuel economy) and tread life, in addition to doing very well in performance / safety tests.  A longer tread life using less fuel over those thousands of miles can make such tires less expensive over their lifetime than other tires that have a lower initial price.
12 of 19
I'd add that if you can "afford" it that you should buy the "best" (newest technology) Michelin tire as well.
If you owned a 2008 Toyota Camry LE (figured a popular car) it could come with Michelin MXV4 S8 tires as standard equipment.
On TireRack they score 14th out of 24 for "grand Touring" tires on their owner surveys. They cost $160 a tire
The Primacy MXV4 scores 1st out of that 24, they cost $132 a tire
General Altimax HP is 2nd for $82
Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum is 4th for $86

My view on tire brands is this
Michelin, Goodyear and Pirelli are the best, they fight it out for the top spot.
Yokohama and Kumho are the best bargain brands
and Bridgestone/Firestone should pay you to take their lousy tires.
13 of 19
In lieu of CR's ratings, maybe I should have re-named the tires.  I agree with your comments on getting the best, including the best Michelin.  It is hard to argue with how well the Primacy MXV4 did.  But I should have called Michelin the "Lexus" of brands.

The rest?  Goodyear - Volkswagen - usually high-priced, but not always with a great reason to pay such a premium price.

Pirelli - Subaru - a VERY good tire brand but until recently desperately trying to get people to learn even a little bit about who they are.  In terms of Winter competence, Subaru would also work for Nokian.

Hankook - Hyundai - an emerging brand, with tires emerging that have both seriously good quality and a good price.  But trying to overcome years of anonymity and mediocrity.

Yokohama - Nissan - solid Japanese brand, but trying to fight for respect vs. better-known brands.  Oh, and in terms of Winter, they are more like a BMW, which stands for "Barely Moves in Winter."

Bridgestone-Firestone - General Motors.  STILL a lot of garbage in the system, and some absolute disasters in their past.  But like today's GM (which is FINALLY wanting to get serious about building better vehicles in every sense of the word), B-F has come out recently with some solid tires.  The Firestone Firehawk GT is a solid value and surprisingly showed up near the top of the last round of CR test results.  The Bridgestone Turanza with Serenity is an excellent tire, if only for three seasons.  My daughter has a set of Bridgestone HP550's (sold at Sears) on her car, and they have absolutely transformed the handling on her car.  The Dueler APT4, also sold at Sears, is one of the best truck/SUV choices out there.  Okay, their OEM tires remain awful.  But a lot of their after-market stuff is actually pretty good.

Cooper - Ford.  You didn't want to own one of those years and years ago, the quality was so bad (I know - I did).  But today it seems they can do no wrong.  In a day when other manufacturers are trending down, Cooper is adding capacity.  And their new models have been a hit.

Kumho - Kia.  Both from South Korea, both SERIOUSLY better than they were just a few years ago.  But they still have a ways to go before they reach a good pinnacle in the market.  But definitely one of the fastest risers.

B F Goodrich - Buick:  Not a Cadillac, but not an Aveo either.  A solid brand with some seriously good tires.  And for the money, maybe a better deal than their Cadillac (Michelin) brand-mate, and certainly the case for truck-SUV tires.

Others anyone??
14 of 19
It's the low end common car versions of Bridgestone/Firestone tires that seem poor to me. Maybe GYs as well
it's all the Affinity, Integrity, Insignia, Eagle LS that are poor
General Tires seem to be getting good reviews from the users.

15 of 19
Agree.  Both B-F and Goodyear's lower-end tires are not good.  And we have talked on this board frequently about B-F's poor OEM tires.

On another thread, I talked about how the new Altimax line and the new Grabber HTS have transformed the General name and line into something that is somewhere between acceptable and exceptional - two words you would have never used previously on Generals.  The same is true with Cooper and their new CS4 and new Discoverer CTS.
16 of 19

Just to throw my 2 cents in (and there's not a whole lot in here that others haven't already posted).

I've been a Michelin customer for a while.  I've owned other brands as well, and actually, of my three vehicles, only one has a set of Michelins right now.  My truck doesn't have a Michelin tire in its size, and my Corolla has a set of Yokohama Avid TRZs that I essentially got at employee pricing through an acquaintenance (otherwise, it'd have a set of Michelin X Radials, as my van does now).

Michelins can be expensive.  But not always so, and I think the generalization that Michelin as a brand is more expensive than its competition is unfortunate, because it's often not true.  The highly-rated and very successful Michelin X Radial from warehouse clubs is a great example.  It's cheaper even than the mediocre Goodyear Assurance ComforTred, and runs circles around that Goodyear tire.

The other point about rolling resistance is a good one.  In general, Michelins tend to have better rolling resistance than other tires in the same class.  It's not always true, so it wouldn't be fair to say that Michelins are always more frugal in this area, but where the data shows that to be the case, it's a point that shouldn't be overlooked.  We look at first-cost too often these days, and jump at the cheaper solution simply because it costs less up front.  But all too often, the solution that's cheaper up front ends up costing more in the long run.  Lower rolling resistance can more than offset even a significant up-front cost difference.  Think about it: even if a set of tires saved you just 0.5 MPG on a 20 MPG vehicle, over 40,000 miles, that's 50 gallons, and at $3.50/per, that's $175, or a cost difference of over $40/tire.

But I prefer Michelin tires for a number of reasons, and most of these are intangible (or at least meaningless to most other people).  Firstly, the tread on all of my Michelin tires has looked new until the day the tire is retired (ha ha).  I've seen other tires were the tread chunks out, starts looking ragged on the edges, etc.  On all of my Michelins, the edges of the tread continue to look crisp and sharp, even as the tire wears down.  Secondly, whatever Michelin uses in the sidewall of its tires gives them a glossy, almost metallic shine.  The "quality" of the sidewall appearance of the Firestones on my truck, or the Yokohamas on my Corolla, just doesn't compare to the Michelins on my van.  The sidewalls of the Firestones look pitted and rough.  That's just the way they're made.  The Yokohamas do also, but to a lesser extent.  The Michelins are completely smooth and glossy.  I appreciate that.  Lastly, Michelin seems to always nail the ride/handling compromise that I look for in a tire.  They seem to add a layer of silk to the road, but still handle very good.  My Yokohamas add no such layer of silk, but handling is VERY good.  I acknowledge the trade-off there, but as the Yokohamas wear-in, the ride seems to be getting firmer and not as yielding.  The Michelins I've had in the past have undergone no such changes after having been installed.  They're as good on the last day as they are on the first.

I usually don't ever mention those "intangibles" because they're likely not important to anyone but a "tire freak" as my wife likes to call me.  But there is another very tangible benefit: Michelins always seem to balance easily with a minimum of weight.  I used to own a few Cadillacs, and on Cadillac message boards, Michelin tires were always the first recommendation when someone had a problem with road vibration.  When other tires couldn't get balanced right, folks usually reported success with Michelin.

I've typically found that you DO get what you pay for (in the long run), even in tires.

17 of 19

I like your analogies, Thomas.  Great idea, and I enjoyed reading them.  I agree on most all of them.  I like your Michelin/BF analogy to Cadillac/Buick.  I think this one also makes a lot of sense:

I liken Michelin to Toyota, and BFGoodrich to Scion.  Both Michelin and Toyota are bread-and-butter brands; they're known entities, with known quality benchmarks, with known excellent field service.  They're not always the cheapest to buy up front, but their cost-of-ownership is often lower than other brands, and you don't often meet an unhappy Michelin/Toyota owner.

Like Scion, BFGoodrich is the "bargain" brand, tending more toward youthful/sporty products like their g-Force line and successful All Terrain KO tires.  Outgoing and apologizing to nobody, both brands are very good at their respective market niches.

I don't really even consider Uniroyal here.  It's really a non-entity anymore, except with a few retailers like Walmart.

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It looks like Continental has put some engineering force behind the General name.
19 of 19
Uniroyal used to be the OEM tire on about 1/2 the cars sold in the US. I guess the name has just faded out.