Saturday, September 06, 2003
These are very nice tires as replacement to large SUV’s. They provide a great grip to the road that I thought was incapable of having in a large SUV. I have a 2001 Ford Expedition and these are the third set of tire on the truck. The OEM tiers were crap. I had one separate and cause $1,700 worth of damage while on vacation. I will never have another General Tire on ANY vehicle that I own. I then was forced to settle with Goodyear Eagle II’s and I had one that was out of balance that caused a great vibration from San Diego to Phoenix.
I purchased the tires from Discount Tire in Yuma and asked the closest store about the problem with the Goodyear. They tried to balance it three times and then stated they would have to get another tire. I asked to “up-grade” the tires and they suggested the Nitto 404’s. I was skeptical, because I have never heard of Nitto, but I thought that it was a nice price. They rebated the full price of the GT-II’s and for $130.00 I was out of the door with new tires. The first place that I took the Expedition was the freeway, because that was where the vibration was with the GT-II’s and there was nothing. They were so quiet and nice. It was so smooth that you could fall asleep at speed.
These tries actually make the Expedition more stable. With the GT-II’s and OEM tires there seemed to be a yaw and you would never take the corner very quick, but with the Nitto’s there is a positive contact with the road and positive feedback. They make going around the corner very nice, because there is not a “washy” feel that I seemed to get while driving.
I live in Phoenix, Arizona so I would not know about snow problems. I can see that it would be a problem due to tread design. They are very good in the rain, even though it dose not rain very often here; when it does it is a pounding shower. The Nitto’s cut through the water so smoothly and effortlessly. I also like the fact that they have an A rating for temperature.
If you are looking for a good tire for the value, do not pass up this little beauty. They are really nice and give your SUV that nice “sporty” look without having to spend big bucks to get it.
UPDATE - While I still do like the tries and the way that they ride, they wear down really quickly. My wife is a spirited driver, but I am not contemplating changing the tires at about 25,000 miles. The tire itself states that I would get at least 35,000 miles out of it as it sits now there is significant wear and they only have 15,000 miles on them. I am not a person that runs a tire until it gets to the wear strips, so I will be changing them before they are worn out. If you are a person that dose not mind how quickly a tire wears, this is a good choice. I am now going to switch to either a Goodyear Fortura HL with 60,000 miles warrantee (On my truck and love it) or a Michelin Cross Terrain 65,000 miles warrantee
OK, with 25,000 miles on the Nitto's they are almost done (5,000 - 8,000 miles left if your are cautious). If you so do choose to get them you must rotate them every 5,000-6,000 miles for you to gain maximal life out of these tires. I would also suggest that you have your front end aligned when you get these put on. The alignment was off and it really affected the life on the tires, as was the fact that my wife drives very aggressively and you can see that by the right side and the wear differential on the meat and edge of the tire.
These are high performance tires, so you cannot simply cross rotate them, but only move back to front. If you want to get maximal life out of your set of tires you should have them switched to allow both edges to get equal work.
At first, I was not very impressed with the tires, but I think once you know how to properly handle these tires they do work well. The Nitto’s took a very unstable SUV and made it handle a lot more nimble. These are excellent tires in a hot and dry location. They were also good in wet conditions, but living in the desert I have no idea how they would handle in the snow.