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- Excellent responsiveness and steering feel
- High cornering grip on dry surfaces for an all-season tire
- Very short braking distances on dry surfaces
- Exceptional directional stability on the highway
- Comfortable ride over smaller and larger imperfections on the road
- Cheaper than other premium all-season tires
- Wet traction is a step behind the best premium high-performance all-season tires
- Goodyear doesn’t provide any treadwear warranty on the tire
- The treadlife is far from impressive for an all-season tread compound
- Snow traction and braking are lacking in comparison to newer all-season tires
The tire market today isn’t only flooded with models from different manufacturers. Apart from choosing your favorite brand, you also need to pick from various types of tires. And, for most people, the classification of tires can be a bit confusing.
Let’s say you want to purchase a set of all-season tires. You find several models to choose from online retailers, only to find out that some tires are branded as “grand-touring,” while others are rated as “high-performance.” Does that mean that the latter is better? Interestingly, you can find the answer to that question in my Goodyear Eagle RS-A review.
That’s because even though the Eagle RS-A is rated as a high-performance all-season tire, it has many traits borrowed from grand-touring tires. More accurately, Goodyear designed this tire to provide the driver with sportier driving experience, without sacrificing on comfort too much. Sounds familiar? Well, that’s because you’ll hear these things in most marketing talks.
There is a reason why Goodyear is so confident, though. The Eagle RS-A is a tire that’s primarily used as an OEM choice for numerous vehicles made in the U.S., but also other countries. This means that car manufacturers test the tire for excellent overall performance and treadlife.
Nonetheless, the time has proven that you can find even better tires than the OEM option, especially in terms of treadlife. That’s because car manufacturers want to save a bit of money on the tires, to make greater profits on new vehicles. So, yes, you can improve your car with even better tires down the road.
But where does that leave the Goodyear Eagle RS-A? Does this product have the qualities needed to compete with the best premium high-performance all-season tires? Or, with similar grand-touring all-season tires? I’ll answer these questions in detail in my Goodyear Eagle RS-A review down below. There, I’ll cover every aspect of the tire, including dry, wet, and snow traction, comfort levels, and treadlife.
Goodyear offers the Eagle RS-A in many popular tire sizes, starting from 15-inch wheel diameter and up to 20-inch wheel diameter. With these dimensions, the company covers a large variety of vehicles, including compact cars, mid-size sedans, minivans, performance sedans, sports coupes, sports cars, crossovers, and SUVs.
With that said, let’s see what features Goodyear utilized in the Eagle RS-A to make it stand out from the competition before we jump to my thoughts and conclusions.
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What are the features of the Goodyear Eagle RS-A?
According to Goodyear, the Eagle RS-A is a “quality performance tire for all-season traction in dry, wet, and snowy conditions.” Moreover, the company states that this tire is designed for sport performance, which is why you will find it as a high-performance all-season tire on online retailers.
To achieve those things, Goodyear utilized an advanced tread compound on the Eagle RS-A. The rubber used in this tire is designed for higher cornering grip and traction, but also to remain pliable at lower temperatures for better winter traction.
The tread compound of the Eagle RS-A is molded into an asymmetric tread pattern, which was optimized for a quiet ride, without losing on the performance front. Moreover, the tread pattern features aggressive interlocking shoulder tread blocks, which widen the contact patch during hard cornering for increased grip and stability.
On the other hand, the tire features four wide circumferential grooves designed to channel water out of the contact patch through the wide lateral grooves. These grooves help to reduce hydroplaning in puddles of water, and also to increase overall wet traction and braking. Moreover, the grooves help with traction in slush.
For wintry conditions, the Eagle RS-A features multiple sipes across the tread blocks of the tire. These sipes increase the number of biting edges for better snow traction and braking.
The internal construction of the Goodyear Eagle RS-A is usual for a high-performance all-season tire. It features twin steel belts reinforced by nylon for added high-speed capability and better ride quality.
What are the maintenance indicators?
Goodyear utilized the regular TWI’s (tread wear indicators) on the Eagle RS-A. These indicators help the owner or tire technician to monitor the tread depth more easily, without the need for special measuring tools.
And, that’s very important for safety. The tread depth is directly linked to the wet and snow performance of the tire. Without sufficient tread depth, the tire won’t be able to channel enough water for reliable hydroplaning resistance, especially at higher speeds. Moreover, as the tread wears down, the sipes on the tire lose the biting capacity, which hurts snow performance.
The minimum tread depth for safe driving on wet roads is 2/32-inch. That’s not only recommended by Goodyear, but also by authorities. In other words, you not only risk driving with tires that are unsafe for wet roads, but you also risk getting a fine. That’s why, as soon as the tread depth reaches 2/32-inch, you should immediately replace the tires. Or, replace them even sooner if you care about safety.
But let’s get back to the TWI’s. The treadwear indicators are narrow rubber bars that sit inside the circumferential grooves of the tire. When the tires are new, these bars are recessed inside the tire but become more visible as the tread wears down. As soon as the tire reaches 2/32-inch tread depth, the TWI’s will be completely flush with the surface, which is a sign that you need to replace the tires.
Now, in terms of treadlife, all-season tires are much better than summer or winter tires. Nevertheless, the treadlife of the Eagle RS-A is far from impressive. Owners report that they get around 40,000-miles, which is much worse than grand-touring all-season tires, and also worse than some ultra-high-performance all-season tires.
Besides, Goodyear doesn’t provide any treadwear warranty on the Eagle RS-A. I know, most tire companies don’t provide treadwear warranties on tires designed for OEM use. However, you are not a car manufacturer and shouldn’t really care about that. In 2020, you should get a treadwear warranty on your new all-season tires.
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
The Eagle RS-A impresses on dry roads. Behind the wheel, the tire feels very responsive and communicates well with the driver. Moreover, the cornering grip is better than what you’d get on most grand-touring tires, and the braking is impressive as well. The Eagle RS-A also provides the driver with outstanding highway stability, way beyond the speed limit.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
Sadly, the excellent dry performance doesn’t transmit on wet roads. The Eagle RS-A still feels eager in the rain, but it doesn’t possess enough traction to give the driver confidence to push forward.
The tire understeers sooner than competing high-performance all-season tires, and it doesn’t stop as shortly. Even some modern grand-touring tires work better in rainy conditions than the Eagle RS-A.
So, the Eagle RS-A is not bad in rainy weather, but you can find better options on the market, primarily from premium manufacturers.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
Snow traction is another thorn in the tire’s attempt for class dominance. The Eagle RS-A simply lacks enough traction for confident driving over light snow, and especially over deep snow.
Furthermore, the braking distances can be very long, even for an all-season tire. And, while I won’t recommend any all-season tire for very harsh wintry conditions, some competitors do it better than the Eagle RS-A.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
The Goodyear Eagle RS-A isn’t designed for off-roading, even though some sizes fit crossovers and SUVs. The tire simply lacks enough tread depth for driving over slippery surfaces, and the compound isn’t protected from cuts, chips, and punctures. If you insist, you can use it for a few miles on gravel, provide you’re careful about not hitting sharp rocks.
Is it comfortable and refined?
The Eagle RS-A redeems itself in the comfort testing. The tire has firm sidewalls but still manages to filter out smaller and larger imperfections on the road. Moreover, while it’s certainly not the quietest tire out there, noise isn’t a real issue at highway speeds.
Should I buy the Goodyear Eagle RS-A?
The Goodyear Eagle RS-A costs less than competing premium tires, drives outstandingly well on dry roads, and rides comfortably.
However, that’s not enough for a straight recommendation. The competition might be more expensive, but it also comes with a treadwear warranty and longer treadlife, better wet performance, and usable snow traction.