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- Outstanding ride quality for a run-flat tire
- Quiet on the highway
- Very good traction and braking on dry surfaces
- Excellent wet performance
- Long treadwear warranty
- Doesn’t handle very aggressive driving well
- Not the most responsive tire around
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If you have run-flat tires on your vehicle, it is possible to drive it even if it has a flat tire because we live in an age where this is possible. Clearly, this is something that will dramatically alter the level of comfort experienced while operating one of our vehicles. You may avoid the hassle of changing a flat tire in the middle of nowhere by driving to the nearest tire repair professional without even having to exit your vehicle.
When it comes to run-flat tires, the industry pioneer was none other than Bridgestone, the largest tire producer in the entire globe. 1987 was the year that they came up with this innovation for the Porsche 959. Because of the versatility of the vehicle, which could compete on both tarmac and rally circuits, it was essential to have tires that could be driven without any pressure being applied to them.
However, run-flat tires have a few obvious drawbacks that manufacturers are currently trying to figure out how to address. The most significant drawback is to ride quality, as run-flat tires, which have sidewalls that are more rigid, provide a far less comfortable ride than standard tires, which have sidewalls that are more flexible.
As was to be predicted, Bridgestone is currently in the lead position among manufacturers of run-flat tires. Their grand-touring model, the Bridgestone DriveGuard, is designed to fit compact cars, mid-size sedans, sports sedans, and crossover vehicles.
The DriveGuard is an interesting alternative to other run-flat models that are currently on the market because it was built specifically for drivers of vehicles that did not come equipped with such tires from the factory. It is true that you will also need to buy new wheels that are compatible with these wheels, but it is still beneficial to have the alternative available.
In addition, Bridgestone developed the DriveGuard with the intention of providing superior ride quality in comparison to any and all other run-flat choices. This is one of the things that we will aim to find out about in our review of the Bridgestone DriveGuard, especially because all of the other run-flat tires that we have examined in the past have fallen short in this particular aspect.
In our assessment of the Bridgestone DriveGuard, we won’t, of course, confine ourselves to discussing merely the vehicle’s level of comfort. Other characteristics of the tire, such as its traction and grip on dry and wet surfaces, as well as its quietness, durability, and snow performance, will be discussed in the following sections.
Having said that, before we delve into our perspective on the review, let’s first hear what Bridgestone has to say about the premium run-flat product they have available.
What are the features of the Bridgestone DriveGuard?
Bridgestone claims that their DriveGuard tires are able to withstand a punch, or more properly, a puncture, thanks to their specifically designed construction. The manufacturer suggests that these run-flat tires should only be driven without any air pressure for a distance of up to fifty miles and at speeds of up to fifty miles per hour.
This is due to the fact that run-flat tires, despite having sidewalls that are more rigid, will not provide the same level of stability, traction, and grip for the driver if there is no pressure inside the tire. To put it another way, you should not relax your attention on the road. The speed of 50 miles per hour and the distance of 50 miles is a standard among run-flat tires. Other tire manufacturers also recommend these speeds and distances.
But, let’s get into more detail. The Bridgestone DriveGuard is equipped with the most recent generation of the company’s run-flat technology. Bridgestone’s goal in developing its most recent technology was to maximize ride comfort without compromising the vehicle’s ability to travel further in the event that a tire became flat. This is something that nearly no other type of tire is able to accomplish, particularly on wheels that are larger and tires that have sidewalls that are lower.
Bridgestone was able to accomplish this goal by utilizing a variety of recently developed technologies. The DriveGuard run-flat tire, just like its predecessors, has a structure on the inside that consists of twin steel belts that are reinforced by spirally wrapped nylon on top of a rayon cord casing. Additionally, the sidewalls of the tire have been reinforced so that they can support the weight of the vehicle even when there is no pressure within the tire. However, in addition to this, the DriveGuard utilizes a technology known as NanoPro-Tech Sidewall, which is a strengthened rubber compound that is directly molded into the sidewalls of the tire in the form of a “Cooling Fin Design.”
When opposed to earlier designs, this one boasts a number of important advantages. The first benefit, and perhaps the most noticeable, is an increase in comfort. A rubber compound with such a design is able to flex more efficiently, which ought to result in an improvement in ride quality. Therefore, the building should result in an improvement in terms of performance as a whole. Older kinds of run-flat tires were significantly heavier than standard tires.
The DriveGuard was designed to meet the requirements of the vast majority of drivers all over the world, with the exception of the run-flat feature. Because it is an all-season grand-touring tire, you can use it regardless of the temperature or precipitation levels that are present. According to the manufacturer, the DriveGuard offers year-round versatility by providing predictable handling in the majority of situations, which includes on dry roads, rainy roads, and snowy roads.
Bridgestone molded the DriveGuard from a silica-enhanced all-season tread compound that focuses on all-weather grip, high-speed cornering stability, and long wear. This compound was used so that the DriveGuard could do all of these objectives. In all honesty, the compound is pretty similar to that of other Bridgestone tires, which have consistently performed very well in our evaluations.
The tread compound is formed into an asymmetric tread pattern with circumferential and cross grooves by using a molding process. This design should improve water evacuation a considerable deal, which should result in increased resistance to hydroplaning. In addition, in comparison to earlier models, Bridgestone increased the number of biting edges, which is a move that contributes to improvements in both wet traction and handling, in addition to snow traction.
What are the maintenance indicators?
The tread pattern of the DriveGuard is designed with the typical indication bars that are built in, which allow the owner to keep track of how much tread is still available on the tire. When the tire is new, these signs are not apparent (unless you examine the tire in great detail); nevertheless, when the tread wears down, they become obvious.
The Bridgestone DriveGuard tires have a minimum tread depth of 2/32 inches, which is standard for most tires. When the tread reaches this level of wear, the indication bars will have been worn down to the point where they are fully flush with the surface of the tread. When this occurs, you should immediately get a new set of tires since you run the risk of having significantly reduced performance in the snow and the rain.
When it comes to longevity of use, the DriveGuard, to your great good fortune, will serve you well for a very long time. This model comes with a treadwear warranty that is good for 5 years and 60,000 miles (H-, V-, and T-Speed Rated Models) or 50,000 miles (W-Speed Rated Models), which is the best outcome possible for any run-flat tire. Even though you may get even better results using regular grand-touring tires, this is still a very good result taking into consideration the category.
The durability of these Bridgestone DriveGuard tires has also been praised positively by customers who have purchased them. In spite of this, we ought to hold off on making any definitive judgments for a few more years.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
The DriveGuard was created with the user’s comfort in mind first and foremost. In spite of this, Bridgestone manufactured this tire in larger sizes so that it may be used on sports sedans and executive sedans. Both of these types of sedans are typically equipped with potent turbocharged four-cylinder or six-cylinder engines. Therefore, it is reasonable to anticipate having a good performance.
Having saying that, the DriveGuard is not the best tire in terms of handling that is currently available. In the course of our review testing for the Bridgestone DriveGuard, we found that it lacked ultimate responsiveness and did not handle quick turns particularly well. To suggest that these tires are not for you if you need the absolute best handling would be an understatement.
Having said that, the DriveGuard is more than adequate for the kind of driving that is done on a regular basis. When driving on dry roads, the grip and stopping power are exceptional, and they are on level with the performance of the greatest grand-touring tires now available on the market. As long as you don’t stay on the edge of control the entire time, there is enough cornering grip for sporty driving.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
We believe that the DriveGuard is the new run-flat grand-touring tire champion when it comes to wet performance. This opinion is based on our testing. It is a monument to how far technology has come in the development of tread compound materials that this tire performs incredibly well on asphalt that has a tiny amount of moisture in it. In addition, the DriveGuard is unbeatable when it comes to maneuverability in heavy precipitation; its resistance to hydroplaning is exceptional, and its braking performance is exceptional as well.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
In practice, many all-season tires fail to deliver the promised level of traction in the snow, despite their marketing claims to the contrary. The DriveGuard falls somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. Bridgestone brags about the increased number of biting edges, which should improve snow traction, but in practice, the tire is merely adequate.
To put it another way, you shouldn’t anticipate exceptional traction and stopping power in the snow. Even though the DriveGuard shouldn’t have any problems operating in light snow, you should still drive with caution. This tire is not designed to perform well in harsh winter weather and should not be used in conditions including heavy snow or ice.
We won’t go into too much detail, but suffice it to say that if you reside in a region that experiences severe winter weather, you should replace these tires with a pair of winter tires.
Is it comfortable and refined?
The riding quality of most run-flat tires is significantly compromised, which is the most important drawback of these tires. The DriveGuard, on the other hand, provides a ride that is quite similar to that of a standard tire, so it is fortunate that Bridgestone appears to have successfully resolved the problem.
Yes, you can still sense more vibrations on uneven surfaces, but the changes are negligible. This is the best that can be said about run-flat tires, and there is no competition.
Additionally, noise has been effectively muffled. It is already common knowledge that Bridgestone manufactures some of the quietest tires on the market, such as the Turanza QuietTrack, and it appears that the DriveGuard will follow in its footsteps.
In general, we were satisfied with how this tire performed in terms of comfort during our evaluations.
Additional Bridgestone DriveGuard Review content may be viewed on this page, which features films produced by Tire Rack.
Bridgestone DriveGuard Tire Reviews – Should I buy?
In a nutshell, the answer is “yes,” you ought to go ahead and get the Bridgestone DriveGuard. At this moment in time, this is by far the most comfortable run-flat tire available on the market, and it is also a quiet one. If you are in the market for run-flat tires, we highly suggest Bridgestone’s solution, which improved this tire’s ride quality despite its run-flat design.
In spite of this, if you don’t worry about run-flat tires, standard grand-touring tires will provide you with even more comfort and slightly improved performance. However, we won’t discuss that choice because ultimately it is up to you to make the call.