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Goodyear introduces new ComforTred Touring tire

Fri, 07 May 2010

Since its introduction in 2004, more than nine million Goodyear Assurance ComforTred all-season tires have hit roadways in OE applications and in the replacement market. Even after six years of being on the market, it continues to consistently account for more than a million sales annually.

It would have been easy for Goodyear to let the ComforTred train keep rolling untouched, but it realized a new version was necessary due to the changing market and emergence of the touring car segment. While the original tire was designed for vehicles such as the Cadillac Deville and Ford Crown Victoria in mind, the new ComforTred Touring was developed for newer, more capable vehicles including the Cadillac CTS, BMW 3-series and Audi A4. Even traditional midsize offerings like the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry have made large performance strides in the past few years to make more demands on tires.

To best satisfy the evolving needs of customers looking for both a comfortable ride and slightly raised performance appetite, Goodyear spent two-and-a-half years on a clean sheet design for the new ComforTred Touring. Notable features on the new tire include a new ComfortEdge sidewall featuring split apex construction with a softer comfort layer to absorb shocks and a stiffer layer for better handling.

Carried over from the original tire is the Comfort layer in the tread, which engineers equate to a gel-sole for tires, provides roughly 20 percent more cushion when compared to standard passenger tires.

The tread design itself is now an asymmetrical design for better tread wear and quieter ride. Wide circumferential grooves aid in improved wet weather performance to more efficiently evacuate water away from the tread.

After spending a morning driving on the new tire, the first thing we were impressed with was the quiet ride. In a Lexus ES 350, virtually no tire noise was present over multiple road surfaces. The tires beautifully absorb small bumps and the impacts from raised center lane dividers. On those same roads, but in a BMW 3-series, the tire was again quiet but the car exploited the tire's better performance ability. Steering response is good for an all-season touring tire and there's enough grip to confidently push it some on winding roadways when the feeling strikes you.

In controlled tests, the new Goodyear was noticeably cushier over rumble strips than a comparable Bridgestone both mounted on Toyota Camrys. And on a short wet autocross course, the new ComfortTred Touring took sharp turns in a more controlled manner with much less understeer than the original ComforTred.

The ComforTred Touring is available at retailers now in T-, H- and V-speed ratings with T- and H-speed tires coming with an 80,000-mile limited warranty and V-speed rated versions receiving a 70,000-mile warranty. If you're looking for a capable, quiet and long lasting all-season touring tire, the new Goodyear should be high up on your consideration list.

By Jonathan Wong