The Best Tires for Snow and Rain for an Acura RDXby Richard Rowe
Acura's very first compact crossover has always been known for its safety and versatility. Mechanically related to the Civic and CR-V, the RDX offers the family friendliness of a station wagon, the all-weather capability of a truck and sedan-like handling. Why Honda would choose to saddle such an excellent chassis with such an overpriced and under-performing tire baffles the mind; there are far better and cheaper options available.
Yokohama AVID V4S
Ranging in price from $60 to $145, as of March 2010, Yokohama's AVID tire comes in at less than half the price of a stock replacement Michelin Pilot HX MXM4, and performs better in nearly every respect. Although its real strength is in its dry road traction, wet road traction and hydroplaning resistance are also very good, far better than the Pilot's. The tire comes with a five year/60,000 mile tread life warranty.
Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza
Bridgestone's Dueler retails for $163, but is a huge improvement over the Yokohamas and are in an entirely different league than the stock Michelins. That extra money buys you more performance in all areas of traction when compared to the Yokos, especially hydroplaning resistance, wet traction and snow/ice handling. While not the cheapest tire you can buy, these Bridgestones offer a fine balance of performance and price. They're offered with a five year/65,000 mile tread life warranty.
Continental ExtremeContact DWS
If you've got the money ($160), then you're simply not going to find a better wet road tire than the ExtremeContact. This tire sacrifices a certain amount of steering response and cornering stability for wet road traction/hydroplaning resistance that's guaranteed to get you through anything short of an ocean. Light snow handling and tread wear are well above average. If you live in a rain forest and don't mind spending the money, then the ExtremeContact is just the rudder for your RDX. They come with a six year/50,000 mile tread wear warranty.
Yokohama Parada Spec-X
For $147, you can step up to the Spec-X. The Spec-X boasts fantastic dry road traction and steering response, with wet road traction nearly as good as the ExtremeContact's. Ride comfort and noise levels are likewise good, but deep snow traction leaves a little to be desired. Still, a set of Spec-Xs may be the best $450 to $600 you'll ever spend on your RDX, and are a fantastic value for the money. The only real downside is that the Parada does not come with a tread wear warranty.
Richard Rowe has been writing professionally since 2007, specializing in automotive topics. He has worked as a tractor-trailer driver and mechanic, a rigger at a fire engine factory and as a race-car driver and builder. Rowe studied engineering, philosophy and American literature at Central Florida Community College.