Bridgestone DriveGuard Run Flat Review

The concept behind the Bridgestone DriveGuard Run Flat tire is very simple: Create a tire that is capable of being driven totally flat for up to 50 miles at a speed of 50 mph… while still maintaining the performance and comfort levels of a regular touring all-season model. A tall order to say the least, and one that has ot been made possible with any run-flat tire up to this point.

No one likes the thought of sitting on the side of a busy road trying to change a flat tire while cars and trucks go screaming by. In fact, a recent survey showed that over 25% of drivers would rather sit in a long line at their local DMV than have to change a flat. That’s bad enough but the same survey showed that 6% of respondents would rather have a colonoscopy than change a flat tire! Yikes! Nothing against colonoscopy’s… but really?

So that brings us around to Bridgestone’s new model. Of course, the run flat has been around for many years of course, but up till now it has always been dogged by a stiff, rough ride, poor handling and a much higher price tag. Bridgestone has attempted to change this with their new DriveGuard Run Flat. The question is, have they managed to pull it off or is this just more hype? Let’s take a look at what you can expect.

Bridgestone DriveGuard Run Flat Review: Basics

Bridgestone DriveGuard tires are built to fit today’s coupes, sedans and wagons that come with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, or TPMS for short. They are not designed to be used on minivans, crossovers, SUV’s, trucks, or any vehicle without a TPMS.. At least not as of yet they aren’t. (Bridgestone is looking to make the DriveGuard available on crossovers in the near future.)

When you get a flat while driving on the Bridgestone DriveGuard, your TPMS lights up on your dashboard to let you know that you have up to 50 miles to drive on the tire and get it repaired, and to be able to safely drive up to speeds of 50 mph without fears of shredding the tire.

The question now is, have they managed to create a run flat that actually performs well, or is this just more hype? Let’s take a look at what you can expect.

Dry Traction

The Bridgestone DriveGuard RunFlat is a capable performer on dry roads and highways. It delivers sure-footed traction at all speeds and tracks well at all speeds. Beyond that, most drivers will never be able to notice any difference in this tire and a non run-flat tire when it’s inflated.

Rating Verdict – Excellent

Wet Traction

With its silica-enhanced tread compound, deeper circumferential grooves and asymmetric tread pattern, this Bridgestone RunFlat provides impressive wet traction. Balance and control are excellent on wet pavement and equal to what you would find in some of the better tires in the touring all-season class. Unless you are pushing your car to the limits on wet streets, you shouldn’t notice any issues driving on this tire.

Rating Verdict – Good

Cornering Grip

This is an area where previous run flat tires have suffered. But the DriveGuard does a solid job in providing the type of cornering grip and stability you want in your tires. Sure, don’t expect high-performance handling power, but do expect a tire that is more than adequate when taking on and off-ramps, changing lanes and negotiating sharper corners.

Rating Verdict – Good

Steering Response

What may surprise some drivers is how responsive the steering is on this tire. It delivers good feel for a run flat tire or any other tire for that matter.

Rating Verdict – Excellent

Winter Traction

Performance in winter weather is decent for an all-season tire. It takes on lighter amounts of snow confidently, while deeper amounts of snow and ice are a bit more problematic as you might expect. Braking is very good in light snow as well.

Rating Verdict – Average

Ride Comfort

Without a doubt the number one issue with run flats is the rough ride. Some even make you feel like you are riding in a lumber wagon. The Bridgestone DriveGuard Run Flat is a complete 180 from all the fun flats of the past. We can say that ride quality is about equal to that of the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus or Michelin Primacy MXV4, which are very good touring tires themselves. That should give you a good idea of what to expect.

Rating Verdict – Good

Noise Comfort

Road noise is minimal for the most part and again, comparable to what you find on other touring tires. You will not hear the roaring noise you may have heard from other older run flats in the past when driving at interstate highway speeds. Bridgestone has managed to make the DriveGuard a very quiet running tire.

Rating Verdict – Good

Treadlife/Warranty

Thus far, treadlife has proven to be very good. Bridgestone has a 50,000 mile warranty on the tire and also guarantees it for 12,000 miles against road hazards. They even include a 30-day buy and try guarantee to make sure you are satisfied with the tire.

Rating Verdict – Excellent

Price / Value

Bridgestone’s DriveGuard is priced in the same area that you’ll find on other tires like the Turanza Serenity Plus or Michelin Primacy MXM4 Run Flat. For example, a DriveGuard sized 205/55 R16 91h costs approximately $133. The same size in the Serenity Plus also runs right at $133.

A Drive Guard 225/40 R18 92w is around $196, where the same size in the Michelin MXM4 Run Flat is $204. With the added technology and performance, DriveGuard tires come in at a good value for the money.

Rating Verdict – Good

Bridgestone DriveGuard Run Flat Review: Final Verdict

Bridgestone has set a new standard for run flat tires that will now be the baseline for all new models in the future. We’ve never been a big fan of run flats in the past due to their huge drivability and price issues, but we have to say that the DriveGuard is truly revolutionary. It excels far and above expectations of a run flat tire, and the price difference between this tire and other standard tires in this class is minimal.

SizeLoad/SpeedSidewallUTQG
215/55RF1693VBW500
225/45RF1791WBW460
225/50RF1794WBW460
235/45RF1794WBW460
245/45RF1896WBW460
195/65RF1591HBW500
215/55RF1895HBW500
195/55RF1687VBW500
205/55RF1691VBW500
205/60RF1692VBW500
215/60RF1695VBW500
205/45RF1788WBW460
205/50RF1793WBW460
215/45RF1791WBW460
215/50RF1795VBW500
215/55RF1794VBW500
245/45RF1799WBW460
255/40RF1794WBW460
225/40RF1892WBW460
225/45RF1895WBW460
225/50RF1895WBW460
235/40RF1895WBW460
235/50RF1897WBW460
245/40RF1897WBW460
255/35RF1894WBW460
245/40RF1998WBW460
235/45RF1898WBW460
215/45RF1893WBW460
245/40RF1791WBW460
255/45RF1899WBW460
255/40RF1899WBW460
235/50RF1796WBW460

Fits the following vehicles and many others:

  • Acura TSX, RL, TL, CL
  • BMW 525xi, 328xi, 335i, 535i, 550i, 135i, 330i, 530i
  • Chevrolet Volt, Cobalt, Impalal, Malibu, Cruze, Sonic LTZ
  • Dodge Neon, Grand Caravan, Nitro
  • Ford Focus, Mustang GT, Taurus, Fusion
  • Honda Civic, CR-V, Insight, Accord
  • Hyundai Genesis, Sonata
  • Infiniti G35x
  • Kia Optima, Rondo
  • Lexus SC430
  • Mazda6, 929, Mazda3
  • Mercedes-Benz E320
  • Mini Cooper S
  • Nissan Altima, Maxima, Versa, Leaf, Cube
  • Pontiac Vibe, Grand Am, Grand Prix, G5
  • Subaru Legacy, Impreza, Outback
  • Toyota Camry, Prius, RAV4, Avalon, Solara, Sienna
  • Volkswagen Jetta, Passat, Touareg
  • Volvo V70

Tire Warranty – 5 years or 60,000 miles on all H or V Speed Rated sizes. 5 years or 50,000 miles on all W Speed Rated sizes.

Tire Uniformity – First 1/32 inch of wear

Materials & Workmanship – 5 years. Free replacement during first 3 years. Prorated amount after 3 years down to the final 2/32 inch of tread depth.

Road Hazard – 1 year or 12,000 miles or first 2/32 inch of wear.

Other – Bridgestone provides a 30-day buy & try guarantee.

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