If you have spent any time at all on Land Rover forums, you’ll know that tire selection is a frequent topic of discussion. When our 2006 LR3 needed tires, we researched the topic ourselves and decide to go with all-season Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza rubber, a tire specifically designed for SUV and truck applications. An interesting note is that when reading reviews about this tire online, people with heavier vehicles tend to have a better experience. So far, our experience has been positive.
The street price on this tire is $220.00 to $230.00, which puts it in the low to mid-range. All-season tires of this size range from about $190.00 for the Hankook Ventus AS RH07 up to $390.00 for the Goodyear Wrangler HP All Weather.
255/55R19 Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Tire Ratings:
Speed: V (149-mph)
Temperature Resistance Grade: A
Load: 2,403 pounds
We had the tires installed in November of 2010 at a Land Rover retailer. When the tires were installed the vehicle received a four-wheel alignment and suspension recalibration. Since then, we have put 6,600 miles on the tires. Several sources have indicated these tires are expected to provide 40,000+ miles of service before replacement is necessary. Based on wear so far, we think that is probably an accurate estimate, especially if the tires are properly inflated, vehicle alignment is maintained, and the tires are rotated.
Tire noise seems minimal at this stage, but we will withhold final judgment on tire noise until 20,000+ miles. Tire noise can change dramatically over the life of the tire.
Ride quality can be described as average.
When the tires were first installed, we were a little dubious about their winter traction capabilities. However, the tire has performed admirably on all surfaces. Deep snow was no problem as long as it wasn’t so deep that the LR3 started to ride up on it, at which point the tires would start to dig holes in the snow. Despite adverse travel condition, we never became stuck or felt like we were losing control of the vehicle due to the tires. Road conditions were very adverse on a couple of occasions, with 6″ to 8″ of snow on the roads combined with significant drifting.
We cannot comment on the off-road capabilities of the tire. Certainly, these tires are not suitable nor meant for off-road duty, but should suffice for camping trips to the “back 40″ or on trail rides that are rated for stock vehicles. There have been no issues with traction on dry or wet pavement and “puddle performance” is average, with the tire experiencing a typical amount of pull when going through puddles at speed.
Ask 10 Land Rover enthusiasts about tire rotation and you will probably hear 10 different opinions. Some owners insist that you should never rotate tires on a full-time four-wheel drive vehicle. Instead, you should fix the underlying problem that is causing the tire to wear prematurely. Others will say that you should rotate tires regularly, but only front-to-back on the same side due to the idea that tires take a rotational set and rotating the tires side-to-side will cause premature wear. Others yet say follow whatever guidelines are set forth in the owner’s manual or the instructions provided by the tire manufacturer.
Our Bridgestone tires have not yet been rotated, but we plan to rotate every 7,500 miles. This will come due at our next oil change and we intend on the first rotation of the tires to be front-to-back on the same side. Depending on how the tires look at 15,000 miles, we may consider skipping a rotation or rotating side-to-side.
Below are photos of all four tires showing the shoulder and outermost tread blocks. The front tires exhibit some wear on the edges of all tread blocks, particularly on the outside shoulders. The outside shoulders pictured are worn more than the inside shoulders to a noticeable degree. The face of the tires have worn well so far, with most tread blocks still retaining their nibs despite some edge rounding.
The rear tires are showing excellent resistance to wear on the shoulders and the face of the tire. The driver’s side tire is revealing a slightly increased amount of shoulder wear when compared to the passenger side tire. All tread blocks on the rear tires still have their rubber nibs after 6,500 miles of on-road use.
Overall, the tire with the greatest amount of wear is on the passenger side front and we will be keeping an eye on it as time goes on.
UPDATE 9/28/2011: Recently, we have been able to leave the LR3 sit for four or five days without driving. Over this period of time the tires did have a tendency to develop flat spots, which results in noticeable vibration. So far, this vibration has disappeared after a mile or so.
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