I decided to post this here, even it was an older thread than a few on the front pages, only because this is the thread linked in the "questions/Problems" sticky thread, and because it has the huge list of tires grouped by type and size on page one.
Super-long post coming...
OK, so we bought our 2008 Base V6 CPO used in 2010 with 44,000 miles on the factory 245/65/17.
The original Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400 werd basically bald in my opinion. Maybe had 2 out of the 10/32 original tread left. At 44,000 miles, they got every last mile out of those 40,000 mile tread tires for sure.
I asked the Toyota dealership to replace them before I would buy it, and they did. I forget exactly what they put on (I want to say they were Cooper, but I didn't see any listed, Dunlop maybe?) but I remember them being a 50,000 mile all-season tire. I didn't like them at all. Sloppy in the snow, hard and noisy. Plus, they were shot at 42,000 miles when I had to replace them at 86,000.
I decided to swap in the spare since it was about 4 years old, so I had them put the best non-spare underneath, and install the three used Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400 I bought off of bestusedtires.com to match the original spare. I got them with 8-9/32 out of the 10/32 they come with new, and the date codes were less than a year old. I didn't really like these tires either. They were quieter than the ones Toyota put on in most conditions, but really noisy on highway concrete for some reason. Even more so than all the other tires when they get louder on concrete. They were also pretty short lived, and total crap in snow. All season, my arse.
I replaced them this past July with only around 34,000 miles on them, which is a little less than the 40,000 mile tread life they should have got, even when you consider a few of them were used. Plus they were damaged easily. I had to plug several of them multiple times after pulling out small nails or screws. Decided not to buy them again. Same goes for the Toyos that other Highlanders had, which seemed to get even worse reviews. Also, I hate the Bridgestone Dueler H/T D684 II (sloppy, hard, noisy, damaged easily too) that are on my Saturn VUE, so those were out too.
After doing some consumer reports research, and reading a ton about tires from Highlander owners (online forums, tire rack, etc.) and looking what was easily available in both the new and used market, I came down to 6 real possibilities, even if I had basically already decided one of them wasn't going to happen. I decided to use the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400 as the base-line, since I was getting rid of them, and they were fresh in my mind.
The choices were:
Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza
Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia
Continental CrossContact LX20
Goodyear Assurance CS Fuel Max
Michelin Latitude Tour (not the older "HP" version)
Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400
I first started by looking at the retail price (Tirerack at the time), tread life and tread depth and used this info to also figure out the cost per 1,000 miles and the number of miles per 1/32". This would also be helpful to determine what I could expect from a used tire if I bought them again since (for example) 7/32" on one tire could be twice or half as many miles as 7/32" on another tire.
For these tires they were as follows. (I'm an Engineer, did this all in Excel, and still have it of course. NERD!)
Dueler Alenza - 80,000 mi. - $154.00 - $1.93 $/k-mi - 13/32" new - 6,154 mi/32"
Dueler Ecopia - 65,000 mi. - $142.00 - $2.18 $/k-mi - 10/32" new - 6,500 mi/32"
X-contact LX20 - 74,000 mi. - $147.00 - $1.99 $/k-mi - 12/32" new - 6,167 mi/32"
GY CS Fuel Max - 60,000 mi. - $151.00 - $2.52 $/k-mi - 10/32" new - 6,000 mi/32"
Latitude Tour - 72,000 mi. - $185.00 - $2.57 $/k-mi - 12.5/32" new - 5,760 mi/32"
Dueler H/L 400 - 40,000 mi. - $172.00 - $4.30 $/k-mi - 10/32" new - 4,000 mi/32"
These calculations were nice to see, since it showed pretty clearly that the Dueler H/L 400 was not only overpriced, but was not as good as a tire for mileage. Plus, basically everyone with them on a Highlander hated them. It also showed that the Goodyear CS Fuel Max and Michelin Latitude Tour also seemed a bit overpriced. They were generally 25% more expensive per 1,000 miles driven than the other three. I didn't notice that many raving reviews for either one, so they were out unless I got a great deal. I figured they were probably just charging more for the Goodyear or Michelin name at that point anyhow.
That left me with the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza, Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia and the Continental CrossContact LX20. Retail price wise they were all right around $150 each, and I needed four, since I was going to put the best H/L 400 back underneath as the spare again. The Alenzas seemed to get the best reviews, and they had the highest tread life, so that's where I concentrated at first. The Ecopias were a close second in reviews, and the CrossContacts are still pretty new, and not too many people have reviewed tham at all. The used market was pretty non-existant for the CrossContacts and the Alenzas were priced too high for the tread they had left.
I decided to check Bestusedtires.com again since I had good luck finding cheap and nearly new H/L 400 there years ago, but didn't find much. I then tried eBay and found four H/L 422 Ecopias for under $100 each ($85, $90, $90, and $100) all free shipping from the same seller, so I got them. Another $20 each to mount them, and I had basically a new set of tires with no less than 8.5/32" (originally they had 10) which should last 55,000 miles easily for under $500 out the door. Good deal. Actually, compare that to the near $800 it would have cost to get new Dueler H/L 400 from Tirerack and have them mounted that would have only lasted another 40-45,000 miles... great deal.
So far, I like these the best of the four I've driven on (OE H/L 400, Some cooper or Dunlop tire, the H/T D684 II on my Saturn, and the new 422 Ecopia), and they are most certainly the quietest of them all. Only been on the snow twice this year, but they seemed to grip pretty well too. The only thing I've noticed it that they give off a weird "sweet burning" smell when you drive on them fast and hot in the summer heat. Think, 70 MPH on a 90 degree day for 200 miles. I actually can't quite describe the smell. It's not necessarily a bad smell, but it certainly one of the chemical compounds in the rubber off-gassing at hot/high speeds. It doesn't bother me though.
Last edited by BenTM; 11-18-2014 at 03:08 PM.