Founded in 1900, Firestone is one of the five worldwide tire brands to come out of Akron, Ohio. (Goodyear, General Tire, Cooper and BFGoodrich are the others.) For most of the twentieth century, Firestone and Goodyear were the dominant and most trusted tire brands in the U.S., but in the late 1980's, Firestone was purchased by Bridgestone, a Japanese tire company. Ironically, the similar brand-names are named after their founders, Harvey Firestone and Shojiro Ishibashi ("Ishi" translates to stone and "bashi" translates to "bridge.").
To compare the best tire brands, I compared the prices, options and tread-mile warranties on the most common tire sizes. Firestone emerged as an affordable tire brand with average performance options and average tread-mile warranties.
The sedan tires cost an average of $87 per tire. This is notable because it's $15 below the market average. By comparison, Goodyear averages $108 per tire for the same size, though it has a much great variety of performance options to choose from.
The SUV tires are about $169 per tire. This is only about $2 more expensive than the market average. It's certainly not competitive with Cooper Tires ($118 per tire on average). And the truck tires aren't much better at $189 per tire. While this is $14 below the market average, there are few truck options, so finding the tire performance is less likely.
Firestone's biggest disappointment is the tread-life warranties. While the warranty covers 30 tire series, the average mileage is just 50,000 miles and the highest mileage is 70,000 miles. Both are well below average for the expected mileage. By comparison, the best tire brands have tread-life mileage peaking at between 90,000 and 100,000 miles. At a 30,000-mile difference, the lifespan could represent years of difference.
The performance options per size are also disappointing. The average tire options fitting a 15-inch rim was four. For a 16-inch rim, the average was three. For 17-inch rims, the average was one. The best tire brands sometimes had as many as 26 performance options fitting a single tire size. With so few options, you're severely limited in the type of performance you can get with Firestone.
The truck tires averaged four options for each of the six common sizes fitting on rims between 16- and 18-inches. This was in line with the market average, but still not great. Some brands had as many as 15 options for a truck tire while the most Firestone had was six options.
In many ways, Firestone is the most average tire brand on the market. The prices are competitive, but not the best. The performance options are limited, but so are other brands. The tread-life warranties are sub-par, but the warranty covers more tire series than most brands.