- Marvelous off-road performance
- Decent dry and wet traction
- Pretty usable in snow conditions
- Acceptable noise levels
- The ride can be harsh at times
- Not the most communicative tire
Over the years, as cars were evolving and progressing, the tire industry had to follow the trend and produce models that matched the cars’ capabilities. As the tire is an important aspect that delivers the performance, choosing the correct set is crucial to getting the most out of your vehicle.
Among the many car types on the market, SUVs are the type that is slowly taking over the market. As versatile are they are, there are some cases where people don’t use all aspects of them. Despite the off-road capabilities, some SUVs rarely see a dirt road and get driven on the streets most of the time.
In these cases, car owners aim for tires that are designed for road use, and one of the many options on the market is highway tires. In essence, you are looking at a touring tire but designed for SUVs or trucks.
The market has plenty of options, and the one I’ll be talking about comes from a premium brand called Bridgestone. There are plenty of tires in this company’s lineup, and today’s review will be about the Dueler H/L 400. It’s an all-season highway tire made for luxurious SUVs or trucks which aims to provide a great combination of performance and refinement.
What are the features of the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400?
When it comes to the features, the Dueler H/L 400 aims to bring improved traction on wet without making any compromises in terms of noise and comfort.
The Dueler H/L 400 is an all-season tire, so Bridgestone had to use a rubber compound capable of being used in multiple weather conditions. Not only will the tire remain softer in colder temperatures, but the addition of L.L. Carbon black makes the tire tougher and longer-lasting.
Bridgestone put a lot of effort into the tread pattern to ensure that the tire can deliver the performance that the company claims. For wet performance, the Dueler H/L 400 features siped tread blocks which are designed to improve grip and aquaplaning resistance as well as reduce noise levels.
The second aspect of the Dueler H/L 400 is the improved noise levels, and there are two features that enable that. The jointless cap ply is the part of the tire that allows it to have a smoother ride, reduces noise levels, and improves longevity.
Next up is the actual design, and thanks to the smaller blocks with the 5 pitch tread sequence, the Dueler H/L 400 is tuned to be a very quiet tire.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
As far as highway tires go, the Dueler H/L 400 delivers pretty good performance in dry conditions.
The tire will be able to deliver plenty of grip and traction in most cases, making it a pretty strong competitor in this class. You’ll have a tire that you can confidently drive, even push it more than you’d normally would. This, combined with the short braking distances, makes it a very safe tire.
As for safety, the tire has excellent braking distances, which, even though are not the shortest in its class, they are well above average.
As for handling, the Dueler H/L 400 proves to be a pretty good performer when compared with some of its rivals. The tire exhibits superb responsive characteristics and is very dynamic to be driven.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
This is where the tire falls apart and drops in performance drastically when compared with dry performance.
Traction on wet surfaces with the Dueler H/L 400 is below average, and the tire doesn’t provide nearly as much performance as it did on dry roads. The tire is drivable but will slip more than the rest of its competitors. Grip levels also aren’t too great, and the tire shouldn’t be pushed too fast into a corner. You also should consider that the braking distances are average for this category.
One area that the tire does a bit better job is aquaplaning resistance. While it does a decent job at remaining stable, a tire like the Continental TerrainContact H/T does a much better job at it.
How is it over snow?
Even though the Dueler H/L 400 is an all-season tire with an M+S rating, I’d have to say that the tire is barely usable in the winter.
Snow performance with the Dueler H/L 400 is not very good. Traction and grip are very poor, and you will feel the tire slip almost constantly. It doesn’t provide a lot of confidence, and the handling is far from what the rest of the highway tires can do.
If the roads are clear and dry, the tire will perform decently, and that’s as much as you’re going to get out of it. Wet performance is as poor as in the summer, making it a bad choice for winter conditions.
Is it comfortable and refined?
One of the main characteristics of a highway tire is refinement, and the Dueler H/L 400 seems to be pretty well refined.
Comfort-wise the tire is doing a good job and provides a plush driving experience. It is capable of absorbing bumps and road imperfections excellently and mutes vibrations to the cabin.
The noise is also a positive side of the Dueler H/L 400. It remains quiet regardless of the speed or surface and is well above the average for this class.
Is it good for off-roading?
Highway tires make for poor off-road tires, and the Dueler H/L 400 is no different in this regard.
One thing that makes the Dueler H/L 400 not suitable for off-roading is that it’s not designed for it. The 2-ply internal construction means that it can be damaged more easily.
Traction and grip are the second problem with the Dueler H/L 400. The lack of both means that it will struggle to put the power down. You may be able to drive it over a dirt road, but with limited performance.
Is the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400 ideal for sporty driving?
As for sporty driving, the Dueler H/L 400 isn’t too bad but will struggle in some situations.
As long as the road is dry, the tire will be able to provide a sporty-like feeling. The dynamic handling characteristics, along with the high levels of grip and traction, means that you can have quite a lot of fun down a dry and twisty road.
In different weather conditions, the Dueler H/L 400 is not a tire that you’d want to push too much. Handling is not the best, but a much bigger problem is the lack of grip and traction.
Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400 Warranty
The biggest drawback of the Dueler H/L 400 is in the warranty department. This is a highway tire that comes without a treadwear warranty, unlike most of its competitors.
Unlike the Dueler H/L 400, tires like the Michelin Premier LTX come with a 55,000-mile treadwear warranty, with some offering more.
Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400 Pricing: Is it worth the money?
Looking at the price alone, the Dueler H/L 400 isn’t the most affordable option you’ll find on the market. Prices start from around $160 for the smallest sizes. When compared with its rivals, there isn’t a massive difference in price for similarly-sized models.
Should I buy the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400?
Even though the Dueler H/L 400 isn’t the worst tire on the market, I still wouldn’t recommend it.
In terms of performance, the only area where the tire performs well is in dry conditions. It delivers plenty of grip and traction and combined with the handling characteristics, it makes for a fun-to-drive tire.
As for wet and snow conditions, the Dueler H/L 400 is a pretty weak performer. The traction and grip levels are very limited, and the tire cannot deliver as much performance as the rest of the tires in this category.
Highway tires are designed to be refined, and the Dueler H/L 400 delivers on that front. The tire manages to combine and deliver excellent levels of comfort accompanied by low levels of noise. It manages to iron out the imperfections in the road without being too loud in the process.
When it comes to the warranty, the lack of it makes it a non-attractive choice. As a comparison, even the mid-range highway tires offer this kind of warranty and are cheaper. In terms of pricing, the premium price tag combined with the poor performance makes the tire even less attractive.
Overall, the Dueler H/L 400 is not a tire that I can recommend. As far as premium highway tires go, there are much better options out there.
What Vehicles Will the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400 Fit?
Here’s a sample list of cars that the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400 will fit:
- Acura MDX, RDX
- Audi Q5, Q7
- BMW X5, X6
- Chevrolet Traverse, Blazer
- Honda CR-V
- Hyundai Santa Fe, Tucson
- Infiniti FX50
- Lexus RX
- Mazda CX-9
- Toyota Highlander, RAV4
- Volvo XC90
Tire Sizes for Bridgestone Dueler H/L 400
List of Bridgestone Tire Reviews