Bridgestone tires come in a huge array of shapes and sizes, if you want new tires for your auto then chances are Bridgestone will offer something that fits. Bridgestone was established in Japan in the 1930s and has gone on to become the world's biggest tire manufacturer with plants in the US. It also owns Firestone.
It offers tires for both commercial and non-commercial vehicles, but our Bridgestone review will focus on its consumer brands. There are six to choose from: Potenza for performance, Driveguard for extra safety, Turanza for a quiet ride, Ecopia for fuel efficiency, Dueler for off-roading and Blizzak for winter traction. Each brand comes with multiple models, making deciding on which one is best for your needs even trickier.
We've spent hours researching the top Bridgestone tires, and compared them to the best tire brands from around the world. We've also consulted with industry experts and examined user reviews and survey data to add context to our conclusions.
1. Bridgestone Dueler: All-season truck and SUV tires
- Price: From $113 to $399
- Up to 80k miles limited warranty
- 90-day trial
- High Silica content for improved grip
- High stiffness and angle slots for improved handling
- Eco-Product badging for low rolling resistance
- Excellent handling
- Comfortable ride
- Superior wet grip
- Can be noisy on the road
- Limited traction on snow and ice
If you’re looking for a new set of boots for your truck, SUV or CUV then the Dueler could be for you. We say ‘could’ because these tires are designed to be a safe pair of hands on difficult, changing road surfaces, not the rather un-challenging school run or trip to the store.
If you’re unlikely to go off-roading then you can save some money and opt for tires more geared towards the tarmac. If you really want a pair of Dueler’s then there’s a ‘Highway’ (H/L or H/P) option designed for predominantly road use and includes sportier options. For motorists interested in pushing things to more heightened limits there are several all-terrain options.
With a sturdy, firm grip, comfortable ride and precise handling in wet and dry conditions, even light snow, the Dueler is even able to hold a match to its more expensive contemporaries and it probably comes as no surprise they’re fitted as standard on GMC Sierra, Chevy Silverado, Jeep Wrangler and select models of the Ram 1500 which. In fact, the Ram fitted with Dueler tires was named the 2019 Motor Trend Truck of the Year. A crossover model (Dueler H/L Ecopia) rated well in Consumer Report scoring 68% and given ‘recommended’ status.
2. Bridgestone Blizzak: Winter and snow tires for all cars and trucks
- Price: From $94 to $242
- Nano Pro-tech technology
- Tube Multicell TM Compound
- Center Multi-Z Pattern to slice through snow and ice
- One of the best winter tires on the market
- Superb grip in snow and ice
- Great dry performance
- Pricey, especially when offered without warranty
- Enhanced performance gone after 12,000 to 15,000 miles of winter service
Bridestone’s Blizzak is a no-holds-barred tire made for treacherously cold weather conditions and in independent reviews regularly comes top. Blizzak tires are available for cars, trucks, SUV’s, CUV’s and everything in between, all relying on circumferential and lateral grooves, further enhanced by a tire compound that features a hydrophilic coating and microscopic bite particles. This effectively casts aside water, slush and snow to make it handle as if the weather is fine and dry.
It's versatile too: its 3D sipes enhance dry performance while maintaining snow, ice and wet traction, though it’s inadvisable to run Blizzak’s (or any other winter tire) when the weather improves, simply because you’ll wear your tires out much faster. Handling and ride comfort is good but, as is the case with larger tires with deeper treads, it can be a bit noisy depending on the surface of the road.
There are three basic tires in the range, WS (Winter studless) DM (Dueler Multicell) and LS (Lamella studless), each designed to cope with varying degrees of extremity in the winter months. The DM-V2 model achieved 68% in Consumer Reports and comes recommended, but whichever suits you or your location is the best. However, Vredstein’s Wintrac Pro achieved 78% in the same survey and there were a few other brands in-between, including Hankook and Nexen tires, that did as well or better.
3. Bridgestone Potenza: Ultra-performance
- Price: From $127 to $365
- Up to 55k miles limited warranty
- Asymmetric tread pattern for grip
- Continuous central circumferential rib for superior handling
- Robust sidewalls for greater stability
- Good braking and handling in dry conditions
- Good resistance to aquaplaning
- Runs flat
- Long braking in wet conditions
- High rolling resistance
- Relatively noisy
Bridgestone claims the Potenza range was developed in conjunction with its Formula One interests and boasts superior grip in the corners and under heavy braking, even in the wet. Fitted as standard to models of Ferrari, Aston Martin and Lexus this is Bridgestone’s premium tire model and there are variations on the performance-focused formula. Each is tweaked to suit the vehicle and the exacting needs of the driver, but essentially split into three categories: extreme performance, ultra-high performance and all-season.
Potenza tires are aimed at dry summer driving – though they’re reasonably happy in all conditions – but best kept in the garage in snow or ice. Generally, they’re an above-average choice with customers, they’re grippy in the corners with responsive handling and can run at limited speeds following a puncture. They aren’t as warmly received for noise and rate average when it comes to stopping in wet conditions, but they’re a good all-rounder for those who like to drive hard. Only Pirelli tires have better heritage here.
Other Bridgestone tires to consider
Driveguard tires offer decent performance in all conditions with superior traction in the wet and they last well too. They are relatively inexpensive for run-flats, but they’re still more expensive than conventional tires and the extra safety they offer is partially offset by a slight increase in noise.
Bridgestone’s Turanza was originally designed and developed as tires for luxury European cars. They’re well-above-average tires – not just in terms of their drivability but their performance in all weather conditions (with the exception of snow – they have been designed as a summer or grand tourer tire so that’s hardly a surprise) and with Bridgestone’s B-Silent technology keeping things on the quiet side.
The US Department of Energy explains that motorists can save 3% on gas when using Bridgestone Ecopia tires, this is achieved by an advanced sidewall compound that returns more energy (rather than heat) to the tire. They are also manufactured from 5% recycled rubber. Ecopia tires are quiet, effective in both wet and dry conditions, but a little lacking when it comes to fast steering and the softer, comfortable ride may not suit those looking for sporty feedback.
Bridgestone tires: User reviews
In the JD Power Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study of 2019, Bridgestone featured in all four categories – Performance Sport, Luxury, Passenger Car and Truck/Utility – and was judged alongside its competitors on the following criteria: satisfaction, tire ride, traction/handling, wearability and appearance on a scale of 1 to 5 with all winners getting 5/5.
Performance Sport: 2/5, just behind third-placed Pirelli, down on Michelin 5/5 (didn’t fare as well for tire ride and appearance) and winners Goodyear.
Luxury: 2/5, just behind Pirelli and third-placed Goodyear, down on Continental 3/5 who were lagging behind winners Michelin.
Passenger Car: 3/5, just behind Yokohama, Goodyear and third-placed Continental, down on Pirelli 4/5 and winners Michelin.
Truck/Utility: 4/5 second behind winners Michelin.
According to Consumer Reports Bridgestone came 5th on the Tire Brand Report Card list behind Michelin 71%, Continental tires 70%, General 69%, Pirelli 66% with Goodyear, Nexen and Bridgestone on 65%.
Overall - Should you buy Bridgestone tires?
Bridgestone makes perfectly good tires... it’s just that they’re not the best out there. The real winner is Michelin's tires. Aside from the all-season SUV tire category (where the Dueler H/L Ecopia took second place) and the winter/snow tire category when Bridgestone took third, Michelin took first in a whopping five out of the ten categories tested, and came second in a further three.
To add insult to injury Bridgestone was consistently bettered by old hands Continental, Pirelli, and Goodyear and smaller, less established brands leaving them struggling to get a grip. Fortunately, they’re fitted as standard to many makes and models of car which means less savvy, or just contented, owners will refit them without question. That’s assuming you are comfortable with the cost, which you could potentially offset with one of the best auto insurance policies.
Bridgestone Tires: Company history
Established 1931, Fukuoka, Japan as Bridgestone Tyre Co., Ltd., Bridgestone is the largest tire manufacturer in the world with over 180 production facilities operating out of 24 countries. They’re one of the five foreign tire brands that manufacture in the USA and, since 1988, have owned Firestone, founded 1900 in Akron, Ohio.
Bridgestone manufactures a complete range of tires for all types of commercial and non-commercial vehicles. In the latter concern they’ve six brands to suit the needs of the consumer: Potenza for performance, Driveguard for peace of mind, Turanza for a quiet ride, Ecopia for fuel efficiency, Dueler for off-roading and Blizzak for winter traction. Competitively priced and widely available, Bridgestone tires have a mixed reception in user reviews and product tests and don’t always beat the competition.