Firestone Destination LE2 Review: Solid Wet Traction for the Price

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  • Very good traction and grip in dry conditions
  • Outstanding hydroplaning resistance
  • Strong braking in wet conditions
  • Supremely quiet and comfortable
  • Budget-oriented price
  • 60,000-mile treadwear warranty is somewhat lackluster
  • Not that good on snow or ice
  • Not the most responsive highway tire out there

In a world where trucks and SUVs are bought to be driven exclusively on paved surfaces, the need for highway tires rises to the point of becoming one of the best-selling tire types in the world. Highway tires are specifically made to make your truck or SUV better on the road. Compared to all-terrain tires, they are much more comfortable and quieter, have better traction and grip, and better high-speed stability. You probably get it by now.

The thing is, the market is absolutely flooded with highway tires and choosing a set that will fit your particular vehicle or driving style becomes increasingly hard. As expected, Firestone is also in the race with their Destination LE2 tire. The company that’s now under the ownership of Bridgestone has a very comprehensive light truck portfolio that covers passenger and commercial trucks.

The Destination LE2 is geared towards drivers of passenger light-duty pickups, vans, and SUVs. Its predecessor, the LE, was a very popular tire within the truck community due to its combination of low price and good traction, but the LE2 still tries to improve upon it in every aspect. Firestone even says that the Destination LE2 is fine for crossovers, but we would only recommend it on very large three-row crossovers. The reason is very simple – the Destination LE2 is not the most responsive tire around, which is something that most crossover owners often seek their vehicles.

Models that are well-suited to the Destination LE2 are Chevrolet Colorado, Equinox, and Silverado, Ford Escape, Explorer, Ranger and F-150, GMC Acadia, Sierra, and Yukon, Jeep Compass, Patriot, and Cherokee, Kia Sorento, Land Rover LR2, Nissan Frontier, Range Rover, Toyota Tacoma, Tundra, 4Runner, Land Cruiser and Highlander, etc. Some sizes can fit smaller crossovers, like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe or Mazda CX-7, but in our opinion, there are better choices for those models.

The Destination LE2 is available in sizes ranging from 15-20 inches, widths from 215 to 275mm, and sidewall height between 50 and 75. That’s very comprehensive, but we still would’ve wanted tires that have higher load ratings. Still, for the majority of people, the Destination LE2 can be used for lighter towing and hauling – some models can withstand 2,601 lbs per tire, which is pretty standard in the category. With all that said, let’s see what does Firestone say about their popular highway tire.

What are the features of the Firestone Destination LE2?

According to Firestone, the Destination LE2 is designed to “keep up with you.” That’s a nice slogan for sure, but more importantly, the LE2 is an all-season highway tire that’s designed for all-season performance. The manufacturer even says that this tire offers traction in winter conditions, which is often misinterpreted by people for sure – jump to the snow section to see why. In addition to all-season traction, the Destination LE2 is designed to be quiet and comfortable, something that’s expected from a highway tire.

Firestone achieved these treats with several design decisions that are standard across most highway tires. First of all, the Destination LE2 is equipped with continuous closed shoulder blocks that enhance dry traction, but also improve wear life. Then, the wide circumferential grooves help for better performance in heavy rain by channeling the water out of the tire, while the stepped inside notches and zigzag sipes help for better traction in light snow. On top of that, the Destination LE2 has optimized noise sequencing for a quieter ride on the highway, and sweeping slots for even better wet traction.

The internal structure of the tire is also standard for the category with twin steel belts reinforced with spirally wrapped nylon. This combination provides the strength needed to withstand the weight of light and medium trucks. Also, there’s a polyester cord body that makes the ride smoother, even on uneven surfaces.

Firestone Destination LE2 Review

What are maintenance indicators?

Interestingly, we weren’t able to find wear indicators on the Destination LE2, like we were able to find on other highway tires from premium manufacturers. Instead, Firestone suggests using the penny test, which by now has become a standard for measuring tread depth. Before you do the penny test, you should know that the legal limit of tread depth is 2/32” for safety reasons, as less tread depth than that can significantly worsen the wet performance.

As for the test, stick a penny in the tire tread grooves. If the tire tread is at least touching Abraham Lincoln’s upside-down head, the tire tread depth is at least 2/32”. While we would’ve certainly wanted tread wear indicators, if you don’t want to make the penny test by yourself, Firestone Tire and Auto Service Professionals will inspect your tires for free.

The Firestone Destination LE2 comes with 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is not the best in the category, but still good for the price. Owners around the world report very good durability and toughness. They report very good treadlife, in the region of 50,000 to 60,000-miles, which is close to the manufacturer’s warranty, and great uniformity over the lifespan of the tire. Still, if you want the best possible durability, you might want to check premium highway tires which come with 70,000-mile or even 80,000-mile treadwear warranty.

Is it good for off-road driving?

Considering the fact that the Destination LE2 is designed for use on SUVs and trucks, it must be good for off-road driving, right? Well, to be honest, that’s not the case here. It’s not the case with most highway tires for that matter. This Firestone tire is designed only to be used on the road, not for off-road driving.

That said, if you own a model that has an all-wheel-drive system, you can still have some traction on lighter terrain, such as gravel for example. In those conditions, the Firestone Destination LE2 can provide you with enough traction for the safe driving experience. Anything more than that, like mud or sand, is not recommended. That is unless you want to get stuck, of course.

How does it behave on dry tarmac?

This is the area where the Destination LE2 should perform great – in dry conditions on paved roads. But does it deliver? Well, mostly. I don’t have anything bad to report here, apart from perhaps slightly worse responsiveness than crossover-focused tires. In other words, if you want a tire that will provide sporty feeling behind the wheel, the Firestone is not the best choice for you.

On the other hand, the Destination LE2 is completely safe in dry conditions. Traction is good, but still not on the level on the best premium tires out there – you can feel this on more powerful vehicles. However, the difference is negligible for the average driver. More importantly, the Destination LE2 provides excellent stability on the highway and short braking distances. The side-to-side grip is also very good for a highway tire.

Overall, the Destination LE2 is certainly not the best tire when it comes to handling prowess – competitors from Michelin and Bridgestone are certainly better in that regard. However, considering the price of the Firestone, the performance it gives is still very good, especially for the average truck and SUV driver.

How is it over wet and slippery roads?

It’s the same story with wet traction and grip. The Destination LE2 is not flawless – we would’ve liked a bit more traction during hard acceleration. But it is good enough for most drivers that don’t drive their cars like maniacs. What’s more important, the Firestone resists hydroplaning very well – almost like the best tires out there. On top of that, it stops in wet conditions without a fuss and in no time, and it is usable in damp conditions. Overall, a very strong showing for the Destination LE2 here, again considering the price of the tire.

Firestone Destination LE2 Review

With that being said, how is it in snowy roads?

Firestone seems to be very confident about how the Destination LE2 behaves on snow, but that doesn’t mean that you should be too. This tire is completely fine for people that live in areas with little to no snow in the winter. Traction, grip, and braking during the cold months are almost as good as in the summer, and there is even traction in light snow.

However, if you live in areas with harsh winters and a lot of snow, you might find the Destination LE2 completely useless. It lacks the proper traction of a winter tire, and more importantly, braking can take ages. Also, the Firestone seems to be very bad over ice. Do yourself a favor and buy a set of winter tires if you want reliable performance in those conditions.

Is it comfortable and refined?

Being a highway tire, the Firestone is very comfortable and quiet. More precisely, we rate it to be amongst the most comfortable and quiet tires for trucks and SUVs right now, which is very high praise considering the price of the Destination LE2. With a set of these tires, longer road trips will feel much more luxurious, that’s for sure.

You can see more Firestone Destination LE2 Review here: Video created by HILLYARD’S RIM LIONS

Should I buy the Firestone Destination LE2?

If you are in the market for a set of highway tires for your truck or SUV, you should at least consider the Firestone Destination LE2. It provides very good performance across the board – it only loses in harsh wintry conditions. More importantly, the price is lower than that of premium competitors, which is another great advantage of this tire. That said, drivers of sporty crossovers may want to consider the premium counterparts, all of which offer a more responsive driving experience.

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