Backed out of the garage three days ago into about 6" of snow, sitting on top of solid ice. (We have not been above freezing for more than two weeks) I stopped and closed the garage door and then attempted to move forward. NADA! My sad OEM Cont's, with 18,000 miles on them just sat there and spun on top of the ice layer. There wasn't enough tread to grip the snow and pull me up off the ice sheet. Only an extensive rocking session got me moving enough to get back into the garage.
This caused me to take a good look at the tires, and I realized they had a lot more wear than I would have expected at 18,000 miles. Working at home means I am not forced to go out every day, and can usually wait for things to moderate a bit before I attempt to go anywhere, but the massive fail behavior of those sad Conti's drove me to the computer to research some new skins. I spent almost an entire work day looking for a good alternative to the OEM's. Along the way I brought up reviews of the OEMs that came stock on my 2016. The biggest complaint was the shocking early wear - some people showed extensive wear at only 10,000 miles! Then there were the sidewall bubbles and failures. Not good!
I searched for a good all-season tire that would give me a bit more grip in modest conditions than I had at present with the Conti's (none!). I didn't want to have to drive around on snow tires in an area that typically has more dry weather than anything else. The road noise in these cans is bad enough as it is, and I value my 27 MPG average mileage. I ended up settling on a Goodyear all-weather tire that had stellar reviews for all conditions and got raves about their long wear. Unfortunately, as is all too common for TC owners - these babies did not come in the TC's stock size. I could have accepted a taller tire, but I didn't want to alter my speedo readings. Bummer.
Further local searches in my area for what the few typical tire stores (Discount, Big-O, etc.) actually offered left me disappointed. I was going to have to pick from what was available and offered in the TC's size. I ended up at Discount Tire, reluctantly taking the suggestion to fit a set of Pirelli Cinturato Strada AS's (a model exclusive to Discount Tires). I Drove off in the 22 degree weather on my new, very unexciting-looking $500 tires for the trip home, expecting to not notice anything different. BIG SURPRISE!
The Pirelli's had completely changed the feeling of my van. The steering was lighter. The wheels pointed quickly in the direction I wanted. The van had a much tighter and crisper feel all-around, and maybe equally as welcome was a much reduced level of road noise! This made me realize what crappy tires I had been driving on for the last two years! I have since driven them through some packed snow and over some ice. These things are not winter tires, In truth, they are performance tires, but they do provide a higher degree of grip than the Conti's, and I expect them to be able to get me through modest winter conditions just fine. The best thing is that I feel like I am driving a completely different vehicle!
So, here you are guys and gals...Need new shoes? If your needs parallel mine, I think you will find a lot to like about these pirelli's. Check 'em out.