The Firestone Destination LE2 was updated with LE3, and with the newer tire, you get new features that now makes the tire quite performing.
Firestone basically focused on the wet traction with LE3. And how much it’s now better can be explained by looking at their designs.
Both of these tires may seem alike but there are a few differences worth considering.
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Both of these tires have S shaped blocks surrounded by 2 others “F”shaped ones, which if they intended, is an abbreviation for Fire Stone.
Compared to LE3, the Destination LE2, has elongated blocks which have less wavelike siping pattern.
Where on LE3, sipes are deeper as they go all they way deep down to it’s tread’s base.
Also note, how on LE2’s F shaped blocks (blue), there’s also rectilinear sipes. These are changed to wave like on LE3.
Moreover, the lateral notches on Destination LE3 are now wider with better opening (where they join the longitudinal grooves). Firestone calls it Hydro-Grip Technology.
If we look at the similarities here, both tires have chamfered edges on the corners of all blocks and make same 4 longitudinal grooves having same width to them.
If we move towards the shoulder blocks, there are some prominent differences here as well.
On Destination LE2, both shoulder blocks look like a semi circle and they are divided by a deep incision in between.
These blocks have wave like siping where the outer ones are joined by a U shaped siping pattern.
And although, the shoulders have joining rib on the inner side, just like the LE3, they still make a slightly different pattern.
These ribs don’t block the lateral shoulder grooves and have notches facing inwards on LE3, shown below.
Other than that, the LE3 shoulder blocks are also not joined together and have unaltered siping throughout.
More Specs of these tires:
|LE 2||LE 3|
|Tread Depth (avg)||11.6/32″||10/32″|
|Weight (avg)||32.5 lbs||29.7 lbs|
|Sizes||15 to 22″||15 to 22″|
So the Destination LE3 now has less tread depth and the tire is lighter compared to LE2.
Traction on Roads:
Both tires on dry provide you with almost similar performance, where handling is slightly more stable on LE3, with it’s more uniform shoulder design.
But the Firestone LE2 got infamous for its not so great wet traction.
Actually the problem is with the tire’s wear. The tire has a softer rubber and with more weight the tire wears a little faster.
And since the siping is not full depth, they start to loose their efficacy with wear.
The tire besides that, also does not make proper blocks and have continuous ribs, and although this helps the tire with grip, it affects the flexibility of these blocks including siping.
Where on the other side, with Destination LE3 offers a slightly harder compound (which is although not good for wet traction), the tire offers better siping, where they are also all the way deep.
These blocks are also divided properly by lateral grooves missing in LE2, so with that the sipes are more flexible here, so they are better able to suck in the water particles beneath the tire.
These added grooves also provide more aqua channels, so the tire has more resistance to hydroplaning. (Hydro-Grip technology).
Tread Wear & Durability:
The Firestone Destination LE2 provides a single polyester cord body, as its internal construction, which has twin steel belts with spirally wound nylon.
Where on LE3, the tire has 2 ply polyester with 2 steel belts and 1 layer of nylon.
So although both tires provide you with 2 layers sidewalls (because of spirally wound nylon in LE2), the Destination LE3 is more durable out of the two with one extra layer of polyamide.
That’s why the tire gives almost 10k (miles) more tread wear warranty in comparison.
Comfort and Fuel Efficiency:
The Firestone Destination LE2 because of it’s whisper grooves technology, is quieter of the two.
Basically most of the sound occurs on the shoulders. The movement of air through the lateral grooves here make noise, it’s like whistling.
Destination LE2 has a rib which blocks the air trying to move in and out of the tire.
See how the grooves of the shoulder blocks because of that rib are now blocked and have a smaller slit instead.
This variation in the grooves dampen the noise level.
On the other side, the Destination LE3 changed the design a little.
Although they still have connector between the shoulder blocks doing the same thing here, it’s not that efficient. Still noise difference is lower.
The major one is comfortability.
And as the tire has one extra layer of polyamide in its construction, the tire is stiffer so it is not able to take on bumps in a better way.
But other than that, the tire offers better fuel efficiency and even with that extra layer, it still weighs less on average.
The Firestone Destination LE3 now provides better overall grip, delivering enhanced wet and dry on road traction.
It also give you better fuel economy as well.
But still, the tire is not comfortable like it used to be. It does not have softer compound anymore, and although with that, it lasts longer, its not able to soak up the bumps in a better way.