Any dedicated car owner knows how essential selecting the right tires is. Not only do they up your car’s value and quality, but they contribute to your journey’s comfort, noise level and safety.
Bridgestone, Firestone tire manufacturers, are an innovative bunch and work tirelessly to improve their range of high-quality tires. The Firestone WeatherGrip is one of those tires. In this Firestone WeatherGrip review, we’ll see if the manufacturers succeeded and crafted the quality tire we all desire.
What Makes Tires So Important?
Do you know that while purchasing a vehicle, people tend to notice tires towards the end? Factors as innocuous as the car color, seat color, speakers, music system, and other aesthetics seem to take precedence over car tires.
People are too fickle and appearance-focused, ignoring the real gems of a vehicle. Car tires are one of the most critical but least expensive components that your car can have because they:
- Support your car’s weight.
- Absorb shock.
- Transfer traction, braking forces and torque to road surfaces.
- Maintain and change the travel direction.
- Ensure your safety on wet, icy and bumpy surfaces—if you select the right model, of course.
Like any other product you buy, the brand and the quality of tires can make an enormous difference in your car’s functioning. This makes investing in superior-quality tires worth it.
So, how do the Firestone WeatherGrip tires line up compared to what customers expect of all-season tire models?
Why Firestone WeatherGrip?
Firestone WeatherGrip tires are a decent all-season tire if you don’t experience the extremes of every weather-type. That makes these a fantastic buy as there are some tires that turn from rubber to glue in snow, then to soap on wet roads.
We’re going to get into how Firestone WeatherGrip tires perform on each road condition. We’ll tell you upfront that they’re not the best for each. Though, they won’t compromise your safety or comfort if you’re on a budget and can’t afford to change your tires with the season and the road type.
Dry Road Performance
The Firestone’s performance on dry tarmac goes two ways. There’s a learning curve to it, like breaking in new shoes—you won’t jump behind the wheel and immediately feel bonded with your tires and have them respond to the lightest touch.
You’ll notice a difference between the Firestone WeatherGrip and other all-season tires. We theorize that it’s because the manufacturers put more care into how the tires will perform in snow and rain, rather than how they’ll feel to drive on dry tarmac.
The tires respond somewhat slower than other all-season tires, and the steering input is palpably less than direct. It’s basically just unpleasant to drive at first. When you get used to it, the muscle memory kicks in. Then you’ll know exactly how to drive to get the tires to respond the way you want them to.
Once you get over the feel, you can come to appreciate the traction the tires offer. As they’re all-season the traction isn’t perfect, but it’s perfectly adequate and safe. The braking distances are excellent, there’s fantastic directional stability and the tires take on corners with ease. There are no downsides performance-wise.
Wet Road Performance
Incidentally, these tires perform better on wet roads than they do on dry. By no means are they the best tires to use in rain, so if you live somewhere like Mobile, Alabama or New Orleans, Louisiana you should look elsewhere. They’re not for the rainiest cities, but for ones with regular rainfall.
Customers have high praise for the Firestone WeatherGrip in wet conditions, with some expressing disappointment that the tires don’t feel as good on regular, dry tarmac.
They feel better to drive in the rain, slightly more responsive on slippery roads, but they still have incredible traction thanks to the unmatched hydroplaning resistance. This leads to a safe-feeling drive with short braking distances and easy cornering. You won’t notice a difference in these aspects of driving in wet vs. dry conditions.
You’ll easily find tires with better traction, shorter braking distances and further handling comfort out there. Although, for all-season tires on a budget, these are excellent. You’ll also find no jarring transition from dry to wet performance, unlike some unfavorable tires on the market.
The Firestone WeatherGrip excels in snow, and that explains why the tires are so slow to respond and feel clunky to handle on dry tarmac. We feel the manufacturer’s paid more attention to their winter performance than how they handle on other road conditions.
Customers state they haven’t come across a better all-season tire for snow performance. It’s easy to deal with corners, there are almost no braking distances and you can drive at speed easily. The wheels cut through the snow like it’s butter.
They also work well on ice, again excelling beyond other tires of this type. Their traction is unbeatable, second only to real winter tires. Some more premium brands, like Michelin, even fail to produce all-season tires with such wonderful snow traction, making the Firestone WeatherGrip a mightly impressive pick.
If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, though, we wouldn’t recommend using these tires. It’ll be safe, but they’re still not as good as actual premium winter tires, and you always want the best when you live in an area of extremes. The Firestone WeatherGrip is more for areas with regular winter snowfall, but no blizzards or deep snowbanks.
These tires aren’t made for off-road driving, though they do a better job than some of their competitors. That said, they’re still not great for it. Although they can handle ice, the WeatherGrip tires can’t fully handle the slippery and bumpy off-road conditions you’ll encounter on a trail.
The treadwear isn’t made for off-road conditions either. Although it’s durable, the compound hasn’t been crafted to deal with the kind of debris you’ll find off the beaten path. The tires damage far too quickly, which will decrease their safety and stability level once you get them back on the appropriate terrain.
Comfort and Noise Performance
Once you get past the slightly unpleasant handling at the start of your Firestone WeatherGrip journey, the ride is superb. You’ll find the tires are smooth, soft, supple and can handle potholes and debris. They absorb shock well, so you won’t feel much of anything littering your path.
Some users feel the tires perform better than average in terms of comfort, but that’s all physical. They have nothing outstanding to say about the noise levels.
All tires will give you a level of noise and the Firestone WeatherGrip is no different. They’re average in that regard, neither loud nor quiet. They grow louder with a significant but not irritating tread growl if you accelerate to speeds found on the highway, though.
You can be sure that when this sound becomes too intrusive, though, something may be off with your tires—have they worn down too much? On top of this, can you tell when the tires are on their last legs any other way?
Do the Firestone WeatherGrip Have Maintenance Indicators?
When the tire touches the road surface, tread life is one of the most essential things to look for while purchasing the tires. Thankfully, the company has used traditional tread wear indicators (TWI’s) in the Firestone WeatherGrip.
The TWI’s give a general idea of the tire tread depth. The treadwear indicators are small rubber bars built into the grooves of the tire. They’re not quite visible in new tires, but are noticeable if you know what you’re looking for.
Some customers feel that other tire brands and models have better maintenance indicators, but they wouldn’t talk down about the WeatherGrip’s. They work well enough to give you an idea of when you need to replace your tires, and aren’t bad by any means.
You determine when you should be changing over by how visible the maintenance indicators are. Although, once on your second set of tires you should consider replacing them before the indicators start showing through if you can calculate that. This way, you ensure they retain full safety throughout their lifespan.
The minimum legal tread depth of all-weather tires is 1.6 millimeters. This is what’s set to provide you effective traction in wet and snowy conditions, keeping you and other drivers safe on the road in all weathers.
As you use the tires, the tread on the tire wears down. This makes the tread wear indicators more discernible. When your tire grooves are only 1.6 millimeters deep, the tread wear indicators will be completely in level with the road surface.
This situation demands immediate replacement of tires. However, experts recommend replacing tires even sooner if you want steady snow traction. As we said above, pay attention to when the tread wore down last, so you know when to replace your tires next time.
Do Firestone WeatherGrip Tires Come With a Warranty?
There’s no argument that new tires infuse life into your vehicle. Therefore, one should invest in quality tires from the start. You should also ensure the tires are covered by a fair warranty. That way it’s protected should anything beyond your control go wrong. Or worse, the tires start feeling off, friction-less, or otherwise before they should.
Firestone WeatherGrip tires are built with softer rubber for providing improved traction. Yet, according to various semi-inconclusive reports, the Firestone WeatherGrip has a predicted tread life of 60,000 miles. That’s quite good, even though not on the level of other all-season tires.
It’s also quite interesting because Firestone backs the tires with a tread life warranty of 65,000 miles on all sizes. That’s amazing for an all-season tire, even though it’s slightly higher than the predicted tread life. Hopefully, the reports are wrong given the novelty of the tire, and the tires actually last as long as the warranty does.
The Warranty Plans
The best part is that the Firestone WeatherGrip comes with an excellent warranty plan. Additionally, Bridgestone gives a 90-day buy-and-try guarantee to customers for these tires.
Plus, the 65,000-mile treadwear warranty isn’t set in stone. Specifically, they’re backed with a tread life warranty of 65,000 miles or three years, whichever comes first.
Lastly, the tires also have a materials and workmanship warranty for five years. This includes free replacement during the first three years of use.
Are They Really All-Weather Tires?
While Firestone WeatherGrip tires can be used in all conditions, they’re perfect for none. However, the manufacturers wish to ensure drivers that these tires are fit for general use in everyday scenarios year-round.
Erik Seidel, the president of consumer replacement tire sales, Canada and the United States, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, publicly stated:
“Drivers today are looking for durable, dependable tires that work hard and keep them in control in every driving season. This is why we built the Firestone WeatherGrip tire to provide enhanced grip in wet and winter conditions, so drivers can confidently take on any forecast.”
The tire comes with the favorable 3PMSF (Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake) certification, for enhanced winter performance. This makes it better than the average all-season tire in the snow, but not a designated winter tire as it’s a four-season product.
The manufacturer intends for you to fit your vehicle with these tires and leave them all year, in rain, snow or shine. It’s the convenient option, as many drivers have to store a set of tires away which is time and space consuming. Not to mention the effort it takes to change over. The WeatherGrip means you don’t have to do that anymore.
Although, Bridgestone supplies actual winter tires, so the company isn’t calling for the abandonment of specialist tires entirely. Essentially, we can assume the manufacturers want to target customers living in areas lacking harsh weather conditions. Let’s delve into that further.
Firestone WeatherGrip Tires: Customer Consensus
There’s no denying these are great tires, with decent maintenance indicators and an average warranty. None of this sets them apart from the crowd—instead, we have to see, specifically, what customers are saying about them and what their standout points are.
Customers appear to be the most opinionated regarding the tires’ function in weather, their handling and on the warranty—it’s mainly positive feedback, which is a good sign, but the tires could be improved in some areas based on the review above.
The internet sparkles with glittering reviews of the Firestone WeatherGrip. The customers appreciate that the tires work functionally on all road conditions, whether dry, wet, sleet-covered or icy roads. They say that the tires offer excellent ice traction and a very secure drive compared to some other all-season tires.
Some customers even claim that Firestone WeatherGrip tires fare better than proper snow tires on dry and wet roads. This is a rarer opinion among them—you should still always choose real winter tires over any all-season tire if you live in a wintery area.
Customers praise Firestone WeatherGrip’s stable performance while starting, cornering, or stopping. The users feel that with the Firestone WeatherGrip, it’s like driving a brand new car.
The feedback likely comes from customers who’ve grown used to the unpleasant starting feel of the tires, and have become satisfied with their purchase.
Customers love the fact that the tires are backed with an impressive warranty plan.
Buyers are also happy that the tires offer an ideal solution to those who can’t switch tires seasonally due to affordability.
Overall, customers remain satisfied. There are some who express disappointment that the tires don’t fully replicate more premium brands, but for the price, it wouldn’t stop them from diving in with these.
They enjoy how they work in all conditions, especially their prowess in snow, and they wouldn’t expect perfection from an all-season tire. Mostly, the disappointment in performance is with how they perform on dry roads. Customers feel the manufacturers paid too much attention to winter performance, not enough to the everyday.
Some customers also aren’t entirely satisfied with the information about the tires available online. Because the tire is relatively new, the customers are curious. They want to know how long the tread will last and how it’ll fare in the winters to come.
Unfortunately, we can’t yet determine that, so take the information above as you will and hopefully it helps you understand these tires more.
Firestone WeatherGrip Tires: Conclusion
There’s no argument that investing in a good set of tires is worth your time and money. Your tires may last for a good 10–12 years depending on how well you maintain them. It’s, therefore, essential to buy premium tires.
Firestone WeatherGrip lives up to its name by supplying a grip in all weather conditions.
We conclude this review with one word for Firestone WeatherGrip: fantastic. This all-in-one package is truly the perfect combination of value and money, if you’re willing to sacrifice easy, effortless driving and put the work in.
If seeking both style and comfort, Firestone WeatherGrip excels there too. The supple and super soft ride quality of Firestone WeatherGrip will iron out the imperfections on the road, while looking sleek all the while.