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'Consumer Reports' likes Michelin and...

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Choosing the "top" tires in any category is not easy. There are too many variables to consider, and an apples-to-apples comparison is not always possible.

But that didn't stop "Consumer Reports" from doing it! "CR" judged tires in nine(!) categories, culled from its tests of more than 150 tires, and came up with its brand recommendations.

Michelin (five), Continental (three), Cooper (two) and Hankook (two) were on top in more than one category. Nokian also finished on top in two categories, both winter tire categories.

All-season tires, cars: Continental ProContact EcoPlus+, Michelin Energy Saver A/S, Hankook Optimo H727.

All-season tires, SUVs and light trucks: Michelin LTX M/S2, Michelin Radial X LT2, Continental CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus, Michelin Latitude Tour HP and Michelin Latitude Tour.

All-terrain SUV and light truck tires: Cooper Discoverer A/T3.

Performance and UHP tires, H- and V-rated all-season: Michelin Primacy MXV4 (H), Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S (V).

UHP all-season tires: Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season, Cooper Zeon RS3-A, Sumitomo HTR A/S PO1.

UHP summer tires: Michelin Pilot Super Sport.

Winter tires, cars: Michelin X-Ice XI 2.

Winter performance tires, cars: Nokian WR G2 (V), Hankook Winter I*cept Evo, Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3.

Winter tires, SUVs and light trucks: Continental ExtremeWinterContact, Nokian Hakkapeliitta R Sport Utility.

"Tires continue to improve," writes the magazine. "Drivers used to have to make performance trade-offs between, say traction and tread life, but now plenty of models with impressive grip are also long lasting."

The rest of the results can be found in the April 2012 issue of "CR."

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