Many buyers expect that the set of all-season tires they buy will be a complete, year-round solution, only to find them lacking in some areas. Particularly, even some premium models struggle in wintry conditions, especially when the road is covered with snow, slush, and ice.
As a result, many manufacturers started offering two different all-season tires in the touring category; the regular all-season tires are designed mostly for tackling dry and wet conditions, with snow traction as an afterthought.
Meanwhile, winter-focused all-season tires, i.e., all-weather tires, provide better snow, slush, and ice traction, but at the expense of treadlife. The Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady belongs to the latter category, as it comes with a Severe Snow Service rating (3PMSF symbol).
But how would you know if a tire is designed to tackle winter, apart from the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol? Well, for starters, these tires have a slightly more aggressive tread pattern, with an increased number of small zig-zag sipes to bite into the snow, slush, or ice.
But premium manufacturers like Goodyear also employ advanced tread compounds that stay more pliable in freezing conditions, thus increasing traction.
So, the Assurance WeatherReady promises better snow traction than a regular touring/grand-touring all-season tire, but what about other traits? I mean, it would be worthless if it didn’t work well in dry and wet conditions, right?
Fortunately, I installed the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady on my 2012 Subaru Outback and experienced it in all different weather conditions.
Based on the performance of the tires I prepared this Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady review, where you’ll be able to learn everything there is to know about the tire. So, without further ado, let’s dig in!
Specifications and Maintenance Indicators
The Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady is available in numerous sizes, ranging from 15-inch to 20-inch wheel diameter. With all the dimensions on offer, the tire covers a large number of passenger vehicles, including compact cars, mid-size sedans and crossovers, minivans, SUVs, and even some sporty coupes.
As for monitoring tread wear, Goodyear didn’t include its Wear Gauge indicators. It’s a shame because these indicators are miles better than the industry-standard TWIs (tread wear indicators), as they give a visual indication of the tread depth left, rather than warning you when the tire reaches the end of its life.
Notably, with the Wear Gauge indicators, the tire will show you when it reaches 8/32, 6/32, 4/32, and 2/32 inches of tread depth.
Unfortunately, the Assurance WeatherReady only comes with the industry-standard TWIs (tread wear indicators), which can only show you when the tread reaches 2/32-inch of tread depth.
Now, that’s okay if you only drive in dry and wet conditions, as it’s generally considered that tires with more than 2/32 inches of tread depth should be safe hydroplaning-wise. Moreover, every tire with at least 2/32-inch tread depth is legal in most places around the world.
But the issue is that the TWIs can’t show you when your tire won’t provide enough snow traction, i.e., have 5/32-inch tread depth. The reason why I spend so much time explaining this is because the Assurance WeatherReady is a tire that promises elevated snow traction.
Fortunately, Goodyear took care of the treadlife, so you’ll definitely be able to drive successfully over snow in the first two years. Owners are pretty satisfied with the treadlife, especially since the Assurance WeatherReady has a more pliable compound that wears faster.
Finally, Goodyear provides a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty – not class-leading, but not bad for an all-weather tire, either. Notably, it’s on par with similar tires, such as the Michelin CrossClimate 2 (60,000 miles) and Firestone WeatherGrip (65,000 miles).
Experience with the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady tires
The Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady has quite a few technologies and unique designs to make it stand out from the competition, but more importantly, it helps it tackle all sorts of weather conditions. So, did it succeed in doing that?
As mentioned earlier, I installed the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady on my Subaru Outback and experienced it in conditions such as dry, wet, snow and ice.
Here are my real experiences!
1. On Dry Pavement
When I researched this tire for my Subaru Outback, I found that Goodyear doesn’t mention much about the tire’s dry grip and traction. That’s probably because the tread pattern isn’t very dry-friendly, as it features multiple tread blocks and sipes.
Still, in my experience on dry surfaces, the overall dry traction and grip are very good.
Driving out of the dealership as soon as the tires were installed, I immediately felt excellent acceleration on dry pavement.
Furthermore, Assurance WeatherReady provided relatively short braking distances during my experience. However, the braking distance of the Assurance WeatherReady is still about 8% longer than the Continental TrueContact Tour tires I've used before on my Subaru Outback.
Notably, the tires are very responsive with very good steering response. The Assurance WeatherReady has a higher cornering grip than any normal driver would need. Moreover, it feels very balanced and natural in the corners, with good behavior at the limit.
The Assurance WeatherReady won’t compete with the class leaders overall, but it’s still a very capable dry tire and an excellent companion for everyday driving.
All in all, the tire won’t be winning any enthusiast’s heart, but it’s good enough for the regular driver.
2. Handling and Steering Feel
The Assurance WeatherReady features a special soy-based tread compound designed to remain pliable in freezing conditions.
Most tires that feature such compounds become unresponsive in warmer conditions, but not this one, as it reacts fairly quickly to the driver’s input.
But it seems that the Michelin CrossClimate 2 tire that I have tested before on my Subaru is even more responsive, but the differences are marginal.
From the first miles with this tire, I found that the steering feels very linear, which is more important for the target audience. Another excellent trait of the tire is that the straight-line tracking is on-point, crucial for drivers that cover a lot of highway miles throughout the year.
3. Wet Grip, Traction, and Braking
The unique feature of the Assurance WeatherReady is called 3D TredLock Technology Blades; it is present in both the center and outboard tread ribs and helps with maximizing lateral grip in slippery conditions.
Furthermore, Goodyear utilized Sweeping Tread Grooves to channel the water out of the tread surface, along with four deep circumferential grooves.
The tire also features increased silica content in the compound, which should further increase traction on wet tarmac. Finally, Goodyear made sure that the wet traction stays intact throughout the tire’s life, thanks to the Evolving Traction Grooves.
So, thanks to all those technologies, the Assurance WeatherReady must be an outstanding wet tire, right?
Well, sadly, I've been through quite a bit of rain with these all-weather tires, but I'm a bit disappointed in traction on wet surfaces, especially in heavy rain.
Namely, the tires still provide quite good wet grip but not high. I noticed that the front wheel of my Subaru slipped a bit when I cornered at medium speed in heavy rain.
Moreover, when I pushed it harder than it could at another corner, the tires felt very unbalanced.
Besides, the stopping distances are much longer than what you’d get from a regular all-season tire and also longer than other all-weather tires.
Specifically, the braking distance of the Assurance WeatherReady is about 12% longer than the Continental TrueContact Tour tires I've used before.
On the highway, the traction in the rain is good, and at the same time the hydroplaning resistance is excellent, but that doesn’t change the overall picture much.
Now, sure, the Assurance WeatherReady is still safe if you drive at legal speeds, and it can also keep you on the road if you go faster. However, the panic braking or sharp cornering with this tire will be more difficult than with the Continental TrueContact Tour tire, which is a crucial safety aspect.
4. Snow and Ice Traction
The Assurance WeatherReady’s biggest attraction to me is the enhanced snow and ice abilities compared to a regular all-season tire. As far as I see, this is one of the most capable all-season/all-weather tires in the winter.
Namely, early this past winter, the roads around my town had about 3 to 4 inches of snow, and I had a chance to test the tires on this light snow surface. And the Assurance WeatherReady did not let me down, it handled very well with traction being excellent.
The longitudinal snow traction is excellent – I had no issues accelerating or braking, especially good at stopping, with a much shorter braking distance than the previous all-season tires I've owned.
Furthermore, the tire does a stellar job at keeping me on track through the corners, as it feels very balanced and easy to drive.
A few days after heavy snowfall, the packed snow has appeared on some roads around town, and I had a chance to test the tires on that surface. And it worked well, with very good traction and grip.
Also, on some of the 8 to 9 inch deep snow-covered roads that I encountered, the tires still skimmed through with ease with outstanding traction.
What impresses me about these tires is that they perform quite well on ice. I've been a few times driving through some sections of ice about 1 inch thin and without skidding when I was driving at medium speeds.
Still, this tire has its limitations, particularly in deeper snow and ice. So, if you live in areas with harsh wintry conditions, you should go with a set of proper winter tires.
5. Comfort and Noise
Although it falls under the grand-touring all-season category, but the Assurance WeatherReady does have quite a lot of grooves and sipes across the tread. Even so, I still expect a quiet and comfortable ride with this tire.
Driving out of the dealership after the tires were installed, I was particularly impressed with their quietness after the first few miles in town and about 60 miles on the highway before returning home.
And Goodyear did a tremendous job here, as the noise is low-pitched and never an issue inside the cabin, even on longer journeys.
I tried opening the car windows and to my surprise there was almost no road noise from the tires.
Nonetheless, the ride quality can be a bit firm, especially over sharp creases and rough tarmac.
Quick Summary of Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady
- Easy to drive over snow or slush
- Very good handling and traction on snow-covered roads
- Very good acceleration and short braking distance on snow
- Can be used on ice surface
- Very good steering response
- Balanced handling and short stopping distances in dry conditions
- Reasonably quiet on the highway
- Comfortable ride on smooth pavement
- Solid treadlife a Severe Snow Service all-season tire
- The ride can be a bit firm, especially over sharp creases and rough tarmac
- Wet handling and braking are only average
You can see more Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady review here: Video created by Elvis Car Reviews
The Assurance WeatherReady successfully brings excellent snow and slush traction into the mix, making it very attractive for buyers that want a year-round solution.
However, it suffers from sub-par traction in rainy conditions, especially when compared to similarly-priced all-season tires.
It’s still a good buy if you know its limitations, but make sure that you also check the Michelin CrossClimate 2 and Vredestein Quatrac Pro, as both work better in the rain while being on par with the Assurance WeatherReady on snow.
List of the Goodyear Tires Review