Last year I headed down to the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving to test out Goodyear’s latest all-around, high-performance all-season tire, the Eagle Sport. Although a thorough test was performed in both wet and dry conditions against a major competitor’s tire, we were in Phoenix, AZ and the temperatures were well over 100 degrees.
1. Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season replaces Goodyear Eagle GT.
2. Tire includes latest Goodyear TripleTred, ComforTred, Fuel Max, TredLock and Durawall technologies.
3. Much improved snow and ice performance over old Eagle GT.
4. Eagle Sport carries a 50,000-mile tread life limited warranty.
This made it hard to garner any impression on whether the tire truly was an all-season tire. Sure it held up great in hot weather, but how would it perform when temperatures dip significantly? As luck would have it, for better or worse, I live in a region that sees four full seasons. After a quick phone call with Goodyear, a long-term test was set-up that would see a set of the Eagle Sports installed on one of my family’s vehicle, a 2008 Suzuki SX4 Sport sedan that would put them through their paces.
But unlike a lot of tire reviews, this isn’t going to be a one-season and done test. I plan to evaluate these tires over several seasons and gauge wear, driveability and durability. They Eagle Sports won’t be used in heart of winter as we switch over to a dedicated set of winter tires. But, they did stay on for a few light dustings of snow and temperatures that dipped below freezing.
Goodyear’s High Performance All-Season Tire
The Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season is replacing one of Goodyear’s most successful tires of all time, the Eagle GT. Available in in 47 sizes and V or W speed ratings, the tire falls into the high performance all-season line, slotted below the Ultra-High Performance All-Season Eagle F1 asymmetrical tire.
As mentioned, the Eagle Sport is designed for wet, dry, and light snowy days that will see duty as both a replacement tire and an original equipment tire installed on vehicles from the factory.
The asymmetric tread pattern, which includes angled tread block edges, is designed to provide good handling and grip while also reducing road noise. The tire has the ability to maintain a large tread surface area, even under light loads, thanks to the overall design and rubber compounds used.
To keep contact in slippery conditions, there are numerous full-depth tread sipes to expel water as well as a silica compound to provide better grip. To ensure the tires and the wheels their mounted on last, a large wheel protection lip is built into the Eagle Sport to help guard against curb damage when parking.
The First Two Test Seasons
We installed a set of 205/50R17 Eagle Sport tires onto the Suzuki at the start of the summer with 53,710 miles reading on the odometer. Tread depth readings for all four tires measured in at 10/32nds at the start of test. Expect to pay around $127 a tire for this size according to tirerack.com.
SEE ALSO: AutoGuide.com Tire Reviews
During the first few weeks of the test I immediately noticed how smooth these tires are on a variety of road surfaces. Being a tire with sporty pretensions, there is usually a trade-off in ride quality. But that is not the case with the Eagle Sports. Compared to other high performance tires I’ve installed on the Suzuki, none match the smooth operation of the Eagles.
There is also a distinctly light feel to the tires. And by that I don’t mean a loose, non-direct, wobbly feel, but more of an airiness; like they make the car lighter. Turn-in, acceleration and deceleration all feel heightened with the tires, as if they some-how require less effort to change the cars direction than other tires of the same size. It also provided good feedback and the sidewalls despite their tendency for a smooth ride would not roll over during hard cornering and provided high levels of grip for an all-season tire.
Foul Weather? No Problem
In the rain, the Eagle Sports never skipped a beat. Their performance didn’t stand out compared to other high-performance all-season tires I’ve had installed on the Suzuki, but they were not any worse either. Regardless if it was warm or cold, wet weather conditions were no problem for the Goodyears.
Shortly before pulling the tires off of the car for the winter season, we had a few light dustings of snow and temperatures dipping below the freezing mark. Obviously the Eagle Sports are not going to perform as well as a specially formulated dedicated winter or snow tire, but I was still impressed by these all-seasons cold weather performance.
As anyone who lives in a region with a proper winter knows, the rubber on summer and all-season tires will actually begin to freeze at temperatures approach freezing. This causes the tire to adapt a non-uniform shape and offer less grip. Tires will chatter and vibrate when this occurs, especially at highway speeds. The Eagle Sports did not exhibit much of this ‘blocky square’ feeling some lesser all-season tires exhibit and in cold conditions, it didn’t take more than a few minutes of driving for the tires to warm up and reach acceptable operating temperatures.
The First Test Verdict
After four months of use and just 3,000 miles put on the Eagle Sports, the rear tires were showing virtually no wear with tread depth readings of just under 10/32nds with the front tires had worn down to 9.5/32nds. These readings seem to fall in-line with the Goodyear’s 50,000-mile tread life limited warranty.
Although a dedicated summer tire may handle a bit better, a long-life tire last longer or a winter tire tackle the cold weather better, the Eagle Sport is a good all-around compromise for all conditions. Those looking for a bit of performance in a tire that will not wear out quickly and be able to handle moderately cool climates, the Eagle Sport High-Performance All-Season is worth a look.
Second Season Update
Winter is upon us and it is time to wrap up another season with the Eagle Sport All-Season tires. They began the spring with the Suzuki’s odometer reading 58,756 miles. By season’s end the SX4 was up to 64,467 miles, meaning it racked up 5,711 miles this year. Combined with last year’s 3,000 mile journey, the tires now have nearly 9,000 miles on them.
So how are they holding up? Well, everything we liked about the tires initially still stands true. They’re quiet, comfortable and perform well in both dry and wet weather. Performance in terms of braking and cornering ability are unaffected thus far as the tire continues to work as advertised.
Tread depth is now around 8.5/32nds all-around, which appears to be a bit more wear than we expected. It will be interesting to see where they end up after season three and if any performance degradation begins as the tread depth starts to dissipate.