After nearly 50,000 miles of service, it was time to replace the tires on my wife’s 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe SE. My wife’s grandfather is a retired Firestone employee, so she wanted to stay “in the family” so to speak.
Rather than replace the Santa Fe’s stock Bridgestone rubber, we wanted to go for something different. The initial plan was to try Bridgestone’s new Dueler H/L Ecopia tires. Ecopia is the company’s brand of low-rolling-resistance tires, so that means they’re designed to provide maximum fuel efficiency while maintaining traction on all types of road surfaces. They looked solid but were a bit pricey.
A less-expensive alternative was Firestone’s new Destination LE2. These tires stood out for the cross-cut grooves in the tread pattern. The grooves help wick away moisture that can cause hydroplaning (a loss of traction while driving on wet roads). A competitive 60,000-mile tread warranty at a price significantly less than the Ecopia (not to mention an additional $70 mail-in rebate) was enough to tip the scales in the Destination’s favor.
The result? While we don’t have the facilities to make any sort of objective analysis, the subjective opinion can be summed up thusly: “So far, so good.” Actually, that might be underselling it a bit. The Destinations are notably quieter than the original-equipment Bridgestone Dueler H/Ts that were on the Santa Fe since new. Further, the new rubber at least partially addresses one of my biggest complaints with this Hyundai—the ride. While the tires can’t fully compensate for the Santa Fe’s sloppy suspension tuning, they’re much better at absorbing bumps than the stock treads.
I asked my wife if she noticed any difference, especially since she’s the one who drives the car 98 percent of the time. She said she did, noting that the ride was indeed smoother and quieter than before. When such a change is perceptible by someone who’s not otherwise a “car person,” that’s pretty high praise.
So if you’re in the market for a new set of tires for your SUV, give the Firestone Destination LE2 a try. They’re solid performers at a price that won’t break the bank.