For the longest time, the tire industry has tried to develop tires that the drivers don’t have to swap out with varying weather conditions. Hence, the all-season category was born, and it’s one of the most popular categories within the market. However, almost every all-season tire fails in heavy snowfall, icy surfaces, or roads covered in thick layers of slush or snow. Not quite all-season — are they? Well, all-weather tires are meant to change that. The category is a re-branded version of the all-season segment, with improved heavy-duty winter performance. The Firestone WeatherGrip is one such contender, so let’s see if it has what it takes.
Firestone WeatherGrip — Features
According to Firestone, the WeatherGrip is designed to “help keep you in control, no matter the weather.”
The bold advertising is supported with a Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake rating, which signifies that it’s not just a gimmick — the tire might genuinely have some all-weather performance in store.
There’s lots of engineering behind it, including the secret ingredient — Firestone’s advanced all-season tread compound. It has a directional pattern that’s designed with traction in mind. It improves the tire’s ability to bite onto the road, whether it’s covered in snow or water.
The company’s Hydro-Grip technology also deserves mention, as it plays an essential role in Firestone WeatherGrip’s wet performance through a more rounded foodprint that helps with hydroplaning issues.
The tire’s chamfered shoulder blocks provide added friction and road contact, improving traction and braking performance. Overall, there’s a lot at play to ensure the tire does well no matter where and when you drive it.
Due to its chamfered shoulder blocks, the tire feels a bit like a winter tire on dry pavement. You won’t feel the snappy responsiveness of a summer track tire, but then again, those track tires are useless on snow — so it’s a bit of a trade-off.
There’s enough traction to work with at all times, but it’s definitely not the best in class. For your day-to-day commute, the tire’s cornering, braking, and directional stability will comfortably get the job done on dry tarmac.
The Firestone Weathergrip really shines in wet conditions. The company’s innovative implementations seem to pay off, especially since they finally did something different from just having four circumferential grooves for hydroplaning resistance.
The HydroGrip technology seems to work pretty well, providing class-leading hydroplaning resistance, and you’ll feel confident in sharp corners. The braking performance is consistently impressive and reliable.
Heavy snow is where more all-season tires fail. So, this is what this all-weather category is all about. Surprisingly, the Firestone WeatherGrip’s snow performance is fantastic. It’s not on the same level as premium winter tires like the Blizzak WS90, but most entry-level winter tires will trade blows with this all-weather contender in snow performance — and that’s impressive!
You get excellent snow traction for cornering and accelerating, and the braking won’t disappoint either. One thing’s for sure; you probably won’t get stuck with this one in the winter, so that’s a win!
Like all tires that have decent winter performance, you’re not supposed to take the WeatherGrip off-road. It’s all-weather, not all-terrain, so the pliable tread compound will quickly get ruined by the hardpacked surfaces of the off-road realm.
Ride quality consists of two things, smoothness, and noise. Well, the WeatherGrip is pretty smooth with its soft compound eating up the road’s imperfections, but the shoulder blocks can make the ride a bit noisy on the highway.
If you get all sorts of weather where you live throughout the year, you’ll need a tire that can handle anything. The Firestone WeatherGrip packs everything in one package, and we can’t say that about many all-season tires out there.
Since you probably won’t need any winter tires with these installed, you’re essentially getting two sets of tires at the price of one. Considering its balanced performance on dry, wet, and snowy roads, the price tag is pretty fair for everything it offers.