Anyone who has driven along historic Highway 1 on California's central coast can attest to the amazing vistas and picturesque ocean views. The asphalt road was laid down in the early 1900s and has survived in the land of earthquakes, fires, and landslides. Decades of weather and heavy use has done a number on the road surface, and its patchwork of old asphalt and newer, repaired pavement sections creates a unique surface that's perfect for testing tires. Especially the new Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring, which was touted as a premium tire fit to wrap the rims of luxury sedans and to ultimately provide a smooth and comfortable ride.
My round-trip journey behind the wheel of a brand-new 2010 BMW 328i began in Monterey and took me south along the coast. The Goodyear tires were comfortable along even the bumpiest gravel traps and across the older pits and pots of the more worn highway areas. The tires were so quiet that I could still hear the roar of the ocean when a particularly large wave would crash on the beach. With the sun streaming in through the windows and a breathtaking view around each bend, I felt truly at peace. It occurred to me that the mark of a good tire is when you don't have to think about it at all. When there's absolute confidence and your mind can be at ease to just enjoy the ride. What was even more surprising was that the tire was more than just comfortable-it handled the loops and twists of the winding coastal road with definite sporting performance.
My circuitous coastal journey terminated in the asphalt parking lot of Cal State Monterey Bay, where a few test courses were set up to snap us tire testers out of our dreamlike driving states and demonstrate how this tire earned the touring part of its name. It was time to get down to business and see what the tire could really do. Wet and dry courses were present to show its extremely capable handling in either situation, and an obstacle course offering road irregularities (train tracks, bridge seams, pot-holes, etc.) showed how few vibrations are transferred to the steering wheel.
Overall, the Assurance ComforTred Touring lived up to its billing and seems a perfect match for those daily drivers who are looking for premium comfort, longevity, wet and dry handling, and a touch of sporty performance. -Anthony Gelinas
• Asymmetric tread helps provide a balance between wet and dry handling
• Wide circumferential tread grooves quickly disperse water away from the tread surface for better wet handling
• Inner Handling Layer of the ComfortEdge(tm) sidewall technology adds a stiff layer of rubber to give support and reduce deflection in corners thus increasing stability and handling
• Outer Comfort Layer is designed to complement the Inner Handling Layer by adding second layer of rubber to absorb vibration and reduce road noise when traveling in a straight line
• An extra Comfort Layer is sandwiched between the tread and belt to act as a cushion and absorb noise and vibration
Size tested: 215/55R17; Load Index: 94; Speed Rating V; Treadwear: 640; Traction: A; Temperature: B
Tire Type: All Season
Available size range: 15 - 18 inch
Speed Rating T and H: Treadwear: 740; Traction: A; Temperature: B; Tread Life Limited Warranty: 80,000 miles
Speed Rating V: Treadwear: 640; Traction: A; Temperature: B; Tread Life Limited Warranty: 70,000 miles