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New Goodyear Tires Assure Smooth, Safe Ride

Goodyear Offers New Tires for Worry-Free Ride

It's a hard decision to make, but one I've thought long and hard about: Would you rather go to the dentist…or go shopping for new tires?

Yeah, it's a tough one. I don't know a single woman who enjoys either process (and really, why would we?).

I'd be inclined to pick tire shopping as the greater of the two evils. Mostly because time is usually of the essence - an unexpected blowout forces us into an uncomfortable situation where we feel that our lack of tire acumen has put us at an immediate disadvantage. Do you know what kind of tires are on your car now? What size? How much do you want to pay? It's a lot to think about, especially when you need to make a quick decision.

All you know is that you need new tires and you need them now. The kids need to be picked up at 4, there's a big work presentation tomorrow morning that you can't miss - it seems entirely too late now to do your tire research. Plus, you're probably dealing with a pushy salesperson who insists he knows what's right for you and your family.

The solution to this dilemma is something you can do now, as opposed to later when you're in a pinch. Research. After all, your tires are much more important than you probably think. They're the only things between your vehicle and the road - you depend on them to bring your car to a safe stop, to help smooth the bumpy ride on a potholed street, to handle well in the rain and snow. We expect a lot out of our tires, yet usually don't think twice about them until it's too late.

Perhaps that's why Goodyear picked Assurance as the name of its newest product line. The name immediately puts you at ease, and that's exactly what it's supposed to do.

Two types of Assurance tires (which will go on sale in April) are meant to offer consumers exactly what they want when they're behind the wheel - peace of mind. Goodyear's Assurance featuring ComforTred technology promises an ultra-comfortable, quiet ride - even on the worst of roads. Twenty percent more cushion between the tread and the belt versus standard auto tires is what helps provide such a smooth ride.

These tires are designed for luxury vehicles like Cadillac Seville, Chrysler 300M, Lincoln Continental, Audi A8, BMW 740, and a host of others. If you're the type of driver who likes a luxurious, quiet ride, these tires are for you. When I got my chance to test Assurance tires with ComforTread technology, I noticed an absence of road noise - even when I drove on an old cobblestone street, I felt insulated and safe. (I'd personally like to try this type of tire in my native Detroit, where harsh weather conditions leaves the roads even more pockmarked and bumpy.)

Anyone who has driven in snowy conditions can attest to the stress it causes. Not only does Goodyear's Assurance with TripleTred technology promise great traction in snow, it's also designed for driving in the rain and on dry pavement.

The tread design is really quite remarkable. There's a strip down the middle of the tire - the ice zone - that uses fiberglass fibers and pumice (yes, like the kind you use to buff callouses off your feet) for grip and flexibility in cold conditions. Then, on each side of that middle strip are Aquachutes, designed to propel water off the tread and away from the tire, ensuring tire contact on water-drenched roads. The dry zone, on the shoulders of the tire, provides maneuverability.

I tested the TripleTred tires on a course that was hosed down to resemble driving conditions on a rainy day. The tires hugged the sharp curves, not slipping at all when encountering wet spots on the pavement.

I was pleased with how in control I still felt behind the wheel, and that's just what Goodyear hopes to deliver with the TripleTred. "It's our promise to give you maximum traction under any weather condition," said Sanjay Sivanandan, general manager of Goodyear tire brand in North America.

With TripleTred tires being aimed at mid-value passenger vehicles (think Ford Taurus, Honda Accord, Pontiac Grand Am and Toyota Camry) and minivans, it's definitely one women should consider when in the market.

Sivanandan, who understands the importance of safety to female consumers, also reminded me of Goodyear's new Driver Assurance Package. It includes a 30-day no obligation trial period, an 80,000-mile treadlife limited warranty and a roadside assistance program.

"Peace of mind is what Goodyear means to consumers," Sivanandan said.

But peace of mind doesn't come cheap. While Goodyear's new Assurance line is comparable to its competitors, they're not bargain-basement tires in the slightest.

Sivanandan asserts that buying a premium car and skimping on its tires "is like buying a sound system and getting the best amplifiers, the best CD player, but when it comes to the speakers, you buy the cheapest ones."

How much you spend is strictly up to you and your budget, of course. However, if you do decide to go with Goodyear's new tires, they'll try their hardest to make you glad you did.

Rest assured.

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