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newtoncd

Need Tires For Your 2004 Rx330 (18")?

29 posts in this topic

Just FYI, Firestone is having a sale on the Bridgestone H/L Alenza this coming weekend (3/24/07). I priced the tire today and it was $857 out the door with all of the packages; if you buy this coming weekend, the price is $701 out the door. I thought I read on here that Bridgestone is doing away with the tire, but the Firestone dealer didn't seem think that was true .... he said he has 9 in stock but he does show them on back order after that.

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i had the goodyear eagles two times, up to 60,000 miles. I just got the michelin energies a few days ago. they are a lot better and might be a choice to consider.

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The Alenza is a far better tire than the Michelin Energy MXV4 S8. The Alenza has a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty while the Michelin has no treadwear warranty. The Alenza has a new tread depth of 12/32 while the Michelin new tread depth is only 9/32. The Alenza is rated much better in rain and snow conditions than the Michelin. Both tires are priced about the same, but with the Firestone sale noted by newtoncd, it becomes an even better deal.

I've had the Alenzas on my wife's 2004 RX330 AWD for about 2,000 miles now and they blow the Michelins away. Keep in mind that the Alenza is a true SUV tire while the Michelin is designed for sedans and coupes. This is a no-brainer - if you want the far better tire for an SUV application, go with the Alenza....

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If staying with stock 235/55R18 size, I agree about the Alenza vs Michelin or Goodyear RSA. But something must be happening at Bridgestone since tha Alenza is back-ordered everywhere. If cosidering an upsize, you might look at Goodyear Response Edge in 255/55R18. Tire Rack's customer reviews of the tire all acclaim ride comfort and handling, and it's less money than the Michelins.

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What is happening at Bridgestone is that more and more customers are realizing that the Alenza is the best all-around choice for SUVs with 18-inch rims and as that initial batch of 2004/2005 vehicles are now beginning to need their first set of replacement tires, the Alenzas are outselling Bridgestone's projections to this point so the dealers and tire warehouses cannot keep them in stock. The tirerack.com ratings and survey comments have really helped to sell this tire, as has the pricing structure. Plus, Michelin is shooting themselves in the foot by not offering a tire in this particular application range with a mileage warranty. As more tire buyers get savvy and informed, they will quit purchasing tires that don't offer mileage warranties, particularly when those tires cost a small fortune (as they do in the 18-inch low profile sizes).

So much of Michelin's business plan these days is hype and marketing. Some of their tire products have really declined over the past five years or so. They still make some great tires, but they now make far too many average tires that are way overpriced and in certain applications have been overtaken by their competition. This 18-inch SUV tire arena is a perfect example of that....

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I have an update. Discount Tire called Bridgestone and according to the guys at Discount, Bridgestone confirmed they are discontinuing the Alenza. I called the Firestone store back and he said he didn't know about that, but there were 9 tires in Colorado and all the rest were on "back order".

Based upon that, I went with the YK520s from Discount Tire (60,000 mile warranty); I will report back how they are doing.

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i just want to add a little blurb here.

...if your a family guy and you dont really live in a snowy area, then go with the michelines. They look good, ride quieter than the goodyears, i hear they have get better mileage than the goodyears, and have decent traction. i still think the alenzas are too butch on this car. THey look out of place.

also want to add i was taking a sharp corner faster than i should, and with the goodyears, all they did was squeal but felt sure-footed. with the michelins, it felt like they were "buckling" and about to fall apart. lol. i guess thats the 10 dollar more price.

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I would be very surprised if Bridgestone does indeed discontinue the Alenza tire. It is the only decent tire that Bridgestone offers in its Dueler SUV series. Perhaps they are doing so only in the 18-inch size. Newtoncd, if you obtain a reason why from your Discount Tire contacts, please post it here. I'll try to reach Bridgestone tech support in Nashville and pose the question to them. If they confirm, I'll post it here.

In response to the previous poster's comment about a tire looking too "butch", you would be foolish to decide a tire purchase based on "looks". In a high-speed accident your tires may be the only component of your vehicle that determines whether you and your passengers live or die. Don't be so superficial to reject a great tire because of how you think it looks. Do your research and make the best tire decision you can....

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Just talked with Bridgestone Tech Support in Nashville (800-847-3272) and they confirmed that there are absolutely no plans to discontinue the Alenza - it is their flagship SUV tire and they cannot build enough of them right now to satisfy worldwide consumer demand. That is the only reason why the 18-inch Alenzas are currently on backorder at most of the retailers and tire discounters who sell them. Bridgestone is attempting to ramp up production to increase their Alenza output. Hopefully they can accomplish that without diminishing the quality and performance of the tire.

Newtoncd, your contacts at Discount Tire probably fibbed to you in order to avoid losing your business. You may want to approach them with this information after you call Bridgestone Tech Support yourself to confirm what I've posted here. Sounds to me as if they owe you something for steering you into a tire that you may not have purchased otherwise....

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RX,

Here is what happened. Bridgestone started using a different product code, because the Alenza is being produced at a different plant, so when Discount Tire called, they were correct to say the tire was discontinued. They got their rep on speakerphone and I called the 800 number you provided and we cleared things up.

In the end, you are correct, the tire is still being produced and they can't keep up with demand.

I now have 4 on order (they said it could take up to 3 weeks to get them in) and they matched the Firestone price of out the door (with certificates) for $701.

Thanks again!

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its not superficial to base it on looks. I did mention in my post about buying tires that are not needed for snow. I live in a place where we just get rain, therefor, im saying to people who dont need "the best" traction to see other tires. WHose to say that any other tire will allow you to die versus the alenzas. I guess i should go buy a buick Rendevous if i didnt judge cars by their looks.

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I sat the Bridgestone beside the Michelin and the tread is a bit more aggressive on the Alenza, but not by that much. The added warranty and better handing during inclement weather was a huge factor for me .... but, after two sets of Michelin's and only getting 36K apiece on them, it was time to move to something else.

If I don't like the looks of the Alenza, Discount Tire will swap them over to the Yokohama YK520 for just a bit more.

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36K a piece is much better than the 30K i got with the goodyears...twice. i guess thats why i love the michelines so much. by comparison its better than what i had before.

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You just don't get it. If you'll take the time to do and understand the research, you may finally be able to comprehend what I've been trying to convey in this thread. For warranty, new tread depth, wet handling, and longevity, the MXV4 S8 is a far inferior tire when compared to the Alenza.

You may know cars, but you obviously don't know tires. As a result, you wind up doing people a disservice here with your rambling tire recommendations.

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You just don't get it. If you'll take the time to do and understand the research, you may finally be able to comprehend what I've been trying to convey in this thread. For warranty, new tread depth, wet handling, and longevity, the MXV4 S8 is a far inferior tire when compared to the Alenza.

You may know cars, but you obviously don't know tires. As a result, you wind up doing people a disservice here with your rambling tire recommendations.

================

No need for personal attacks on this subject. An individual's evaluation of the "best" tire has a lot of room for what's personally important to that individual .. there are even white letter tires available for the RX.

FWIW, the Michelin's are a softer riding tire than either Alenza or Goodyear RSA, and that is an important issue for many RX owners. I chose Alenza for the reasons being stated but had to drop pressure to 30psi to improve the ride (though I would have preferred 35 for a little better handling and fuel economy). I would still like to hear from someone trying the slightly oversize 255/55R18 Goodyear Response Edge.

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Okay, im gonna try to explain this once and for all and i hope to end this discussion. I UNDERSTAND that the alenzas are superior to any other tire out there (in your opinion) throught traction and treadware, man you love that warranty. im not trying to prove otherwise. However, i AM saying that not everybody needs that hardcore tire because not all of us live in snowy conditions nor are hit with harsh rain and flood. For those who have that american soccer mom family, all im saying is that a softer tire that btw looks better :D might be a better choice

you keep saying that those were not meant for SUVs but the RX isnt a true suv anyways. Its a crossover vehicle built on a camry platform. Its just a camry thats on big wheels is what it is.

its like you work for bridgestone. am i messing with your livelihood here? :P

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I went with Michellin Energy MXV4 S8's with full liftime service (rotate and balancing) and road hazard warranty for a grand total of $812. If wanting the tires only, without warranty, install, balance, rotations, it was $688.

I, of course, played SEVERAL tires places against one-another to dwindle the price down as much as possible, then slipped over the bridge to NTB in Wilmington, Delaware (I live 20 mins from Wilmington) and saved the 7% sales tax in NJ as well.

Fortunately, having picked a National chain store worked in my favor as 4 weeks later I rolled over construction debris and blew TWO tires, wherein I was less than 8 mins away from a NTB location, which accordingly as a chain store had these tires in stock! Between Lexus roadside flatbedding me (for free) and NTB putting on two new tires, I was back on the road in....are you ready, ONE hour!!!!!!!!!!

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No, I don't work for Bridgestone. Other than the Alenza, I've tried to avoid Bridgestone because my previous experiences with them proved that their treadwear life and wet traction was no better than average even when frequently rotated and properly inflated.

And no, you're not messing with my livelihood. I make my living via the stock and options markets around the world.

I just hate to see folks waste their hard-earned money when they buy into the Michelin hype with a very costly, very mediocre tire like the MXV4 S8....

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No, I don't work for Bridgestone. Other than the Alenza, I've tried to avoid Bridgestone because my previous experiences with them proved that their treadwear life and wet traction was no better than average even when frequently rotated and properly inflated.

And no, you're not messing with my livelihood. I make my living via the stock and options markets around the world.

I just hate to see folks waste their hard-earned money when they buy into the Michelin hype with a very costly, very mediocre tire like the MXV4 S8....

Guess it depends on your needs/and wants in a tire. I hate a truck like sound or ride, but likewise do want to realize some tread life and performance, thus must strike a balance. I replaced my factory tires in June 2006, and dont even recall the Alenza being prominently written-up at that time (Consumer's etc.), otherwise I would have seriously considered them when shopping tires. When did they come out? Are they factory equip for other manufacturer's SUV (Mercedes or BMW perhaps?) May wish to check them out next replacement time (if the newer gen of the Michellin's I have now ultimately prove less than what I expected in treadware/performance as tread life progresses...but seemingly better than the first gen Michellin's I had on the car.)

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I believe the Alenzas have been on the market in the 18-inch sizes for about 18 months. I do not know if any manufacturers use them as factory-equipped tires, but keep in mind that more and more car companies are factory-equipping their vehicles with average-to-poor tires, not best-in-class tires (which is a true crime in my book - who wants to purchase a $50,000 vehicle fitted with lousy tires?). But the car companies can save tons of money by purchasing lousy tires in massive bulk so they do it. Look at all of the new SUVs and trucks that come from the factory with Goodyear Wranglers or plain Bridgestone Duelers. Both are horrible tires that should never have seen the light of day.

If my wife's RX330 had a 16-inch or 17-inch rim (like her old RX300 did), I wouldn't have gone with the Alenzas. I would have put a set of Firestone Destination LE tires on it. 60,000 mile treadwear warranty, built with the same UNI-T technology as the Alenza, almost as good a tire as the Alenza, all for almost half the price as a set of Alenzas. I had a set of 225/70/R16 Destination LE tires on her RX300 when I sold it back in January. Those tires were pushing 53,000 miles and still had another 4,000 to 5,000 miles left in them. If the Destination LE tires are offered in the 235/55/R18 application that her RX330 needs, I'll go with them in a heartbeat when the current Alenzas are done. With her RX300, I did find that the Destination LE tires performed better at about 37 psi compared to the 33 to 34 psi that I would typically run. I'm running her Alenzas right now at 34 psi. They are comfortable, quiet, and track perfectly. I may decide to bump them up to 36 psi to see if they deliver better fuel economy without harshening the ride. But I want the tires to be well-broken in first. Right now they have less than 3,000 miles on them.

Hope this answers your questions and provides some info for your future tire research requirements.

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<< Look at all of the new SUVs and trucks that come from the factory with Goodyear Wranglers or plain Bridgestone Duelers. Both are horrible tires that should never have seen the light of day. >>

Sorry, but I just can't stand the perpetuation of such ignorance. You must be confusing the Firestone Wilderness AT with the Goodyear Wrangler RT/S. Now the Wilderness (in 2 sizes) was a BAD tire.

So which Goodyear Wrangler is so awful? Is it the Wrangler RT/S? In P-metric or LT sizes or both? Is it Wrangler AP? Wrangler AT? Is it Wrangler GS-A? Is it Wrangler HP? Wrangler AT/S? Wrangler HT? Wrangler ST? Wrangler MT/R? Wrangler SR-A? Wrangler Silent Armor? In P-Metric or LT sizes/constructions or both? Could there possibly be so many applications that all are/were needed at one time or the other? Could it be possible that the very dangerous person with a little but not enough knowledge could put a tire into the wrong application and get a bad result?

There's no such thing as a really bad tire being fitted to a new vehicle these days. The car manufacturers provide a specification. The tire manufacturers build tires which comply, at a minimum, to these specs. Turns out that the very most expensive tire you can buy is good for maybe 15,000 miles if you're careful and the longest wearing tires ride like rocks. There is always a compromise to be made and there is always someone to disagree with that compromise.

Tires are not simply round and black. In mho, Tire Rack personnel are better educated in the subject and generally offer the best recommendations. If you have the time to do the research, their website is well stocked with user reviews of the tires. It is probably worth a few dollars more to purchase them from a reputable local dealer for service and support issues.

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Sorry - I should have been more specific in my reference to the Goodyear Wrangler. I was referring to the P-metric RT/S model as well as to the P-metric AP model. I've had two sets of RT/S tires on two different SUVs. Both sets were shot within 25,000 miles and their rain performance was dangerous from day one. I've also had two sets of AP tires, one set on an SUV and one set on a pick-up. They were marginally better than the RT/S, but still woefully lacking given what they cost at the time.

I'm well aware of the expertise at Tire Rack and consult with them whenever I'm researching an upcoming tire purchase. I also peruse the reviews on their website, as well as contribute to them on occasion. But Tire Rack is not the only source that one should check with. Call the tire companies. Request their tech support toll-free numbers. Obtain the technical literature available on the tires you are considering. Talk with the folks who must support the tires, not sell them. You'll find their information to be far more trustworthy than anything you obtain from the marketing people.

And speaking of Tire Rack reviews, spend some time reading the reviews of the RT/S tire and check to see where it falls within the top-to-bottom charts. You'll quickly learn that I am far from alone in my opinion of this being an essentially lousy tire....

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I just got this from Firestone, it may change the dynamic a bit ... I emailed back my info and I will post the results. I did check the Bridgestone site and they don't even list an 18" Turanza LS so, I am guessing it isn't true.

"First, I would like to thank you for visiting Firestone Complete Auto Care's website. You were inquiring on the replacement of the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza. The Bridgestone Turanza LS is replacing the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza and is available now.

If you would provide me with the size you require, along with your zip code, I will gladly look up pricing and availability.

Thank you and have a great day."

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Sounds as if the Marketing folks aren't communicating with the Technical Support folks and perhaps the Engineering folks as well.

Throw in two different sub-companies (Bridgestone and Firestone), add the typical corporate red tape and roadblocks, and you get a recipe for the preliminary release of what is certainly mis-information at this point.

Thanks for reporting this. It will be interesting to see how the situation finally shakes out.

If Firestone would decide to build the Destination LE in a 235/55/R18 configuration, the problem would be solved at just over half the cost of a set of comparable Alenzas. I'm hoping that this will be the case by the time my wife's vehicle needs another set of tires....

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I recently replaced my Michelins for Alenza Duelers only becuase I could get them $200 cheaper for 4 tires than the Michelins.

I'm not sure about inclement weather handling.. its spring... but the ride is much different. The alenza's are a much stiffer riding tire than the michelins. If there was a night and day feel, this would be it. I'm not certain that I'd put alenzas back on this car the next time i change tires. A smooth ride to me is more important than tread life.

-Christopher

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