Firestone Destination LE3 Review & Buying Guide
- Natural handling in the dry with excellent overall grip and traction
- Very solid performance in wet conditions, with good traction and confident handling
- Good center steering feel and intuitive response
- Stable handling on snowy roads along with good braking and acceleration
- They are not as bad on ice as other highway all-season tires
- Totally quiet – road noise just hums in the background
- Excellent tread life and long tread warranty
- Very affordable for the performance it offers
- Recurring road imperfections seriously impair otherwise good driving characteristics
- Firestone does not offer LT-metric sizes for full-size and heavy-duty truck owners
- The Continental TerrainContact H/T is best in almost all scenario (although it costs more)
SUVs and crossovers are becoming more popular day by day, overtaking all other vehicle categories worldwide. As sales of these cars rise, the demand for SUV-specific tires, especially on-road all-season tires in North America, is rising.
These tires are made to perform a comfortable and safe ride and long tread life.
A very popular highway all-season tire among US and Canadian buyers is the Destination LE3.
Firestone’s latest entry into the competition category brings several improvements over its predecessor, focusing primarily on greater safety in rainy and snowy conditions.
The tire comes with an excellent tread wear warranty and costs less than the premium competition from Continental and Michelin.
But is it any good? After testing the Firestone Destination LE3 on my Lexus RX300 for a while, I’ve prepared an in-depth review of the Firestone Destination LE3 to help you determine if it’s the right tire for you.
What are the specifications and maintenance indicators?
The Firestone Destination LE3 is a highway every-season tire made for owners of small trucks, crossovers and SUVs. It comes in many sizes, from 15-inch to 22-inch wheel diameters.
However, Firestone always offers regular P-metric and Euro Metric sizes, with no LT-metric sizes on the rudder. So, full-size and heavy-duty truck owners, you’re out of luck.
In terms of maintenance, the tire comes with industry standard TWI (Tread Wear Indicators) to show you when the tires need to be replaced.
These are narrow rubber bars that are recessed into the grooves of the tire but protrude 2/32 inch from the bottom. So the tread depth will reach 2/32 inch, the TWIs will be flush with the surface.
The reason this is important is that 2/32 inch is the minimum legal tread depth in North America, as tires with less tread depth will not provide safe traction in wet conditions.
Naturally, if you want to use them during the winter, you have to use a deeper 5/32 inch tread.
Fortunately, the Destination LE3 is under the longest-extended every-season highway tires; although I didn’t test it long sufficient, the tire showed no wear after a few months.
In addition, Firestone gives it a 70,000 mile tread warranty, which is excellent for the price.
Features and performance of Firestone Destination LE3
The Firestone Destination LE3 is made to perpetrate admirably on dry, wet and snowy nature.
To that end, it features the simple symmetrical tread pattern, which Firestone says also delivers a peaceful and comfortable ride.
Let’s take with BD Guiger an in-depth look at all of the tire’s features and see if they really make a difference in the real world.
- Dry grip and traction
The Firestone Destination LE3 makes an every-season tread compound made with stability, security and comfort in thinking.
Already, the tread model makes full tread depth as part of the TractionTech package to support the tire to maintain balanced grip throughout its life.
Right now, all-season tires aren’t quite known for providing a stellar driving experience.
However, owners of small trucks, SUVs and crossovers almost never afford their cars to the limit, so dry grip is less necessary here.
But safety is important – you still need good grip to perform evasive maneuvers and solid lateral traction to stop in time.
Thanks to our dank road experiment, the Firestone Destination LE3 excels in wet situations, in both light and heavy rain.
And here Destination LE3 positively surprised me. It fulfills consistently and never surprises the driver with an unexpected loss of traction or erratic behavior, meaning it’s very comfortable to drive.
Longitudinal traction is also excellent for the category – it rivals the best premium tires in its class, while costing significantly less.
Cornering is another area where the Destination LE3 excels, at least when it comes to all-season tires. Grip is excellent & when you push the car too hard and the tire fails traction, the Destination LE3 makes it easy to correct your mistake.
Last but not least, the stability on the highway is excellent.
2. Handling and steering feel
Although not a representation tire, the Destination LE3 feels very excellent behind the wheel. The steering is very linear and quite responsive, making it quite easy to place the vehicle on the road.
There’s a truth in how it communicates with the driver that most all-season tires are absent, which is a big plus in my eyes.
In addition, the Destination LE3 is also very easy to drive on the highway; Keeping the vehicle straight is very easy and the feel of the center of the tire is excellent.
So overall, this tire will be a great companion for years to come!
3. Wet grip, traction and braking
Firestone has completed its proprietary Hydro-Grip technology, which adds open shoulder slots and a tread optimized for chopping through water.
The result is excellent resistance to aquaplaning – the tire does not lose traction when driving through deep puddles of water. In this sense, the tire is super safe even at higher speeds.
However, what most people don’t recognize is that the tread compound is more significant than the pattern in wet nature.
In particular, the stickier compound adheres better to the road, especially in the wet. For this reason, summer tires are better than all-season wet tires despite having a less aggressive tread pattern.
Truly, the only tire that beats it is the Continental Terrain Contact H/T, but the German manufacture is also much more costly.
For the price, Firestone has made the best highway all-season rain tire and it’s not even close!
For starters, acceleration traction is excellent, meaning your truck or SUV won’t slide easily during acceleration. Then braking distances are very short; again only longer than the Continental Terrain Contact H/T.
However, what impressed me the most was how Destination LE3 controls; grip levels are higher than most all-season tires, but even if you lose grip, the tire behaves predictably and is easy to repair.
All in all, Firestone has guided us to make a good wet tire – the Destination LE3 is best safe in even the most difficult rain. But what about snow?
4. Is it Good for Winter?
Firestone used full-depth 3D Sipes to provide more traction on snowy roads. However, it’s not the zig-zag type that has become more common recently, so I think the snow traction wouldn’t be as good to begin with.
But BD Guiger was wrong! The Destination LE3 is one of the better every-season tires for winter riding; it provides very usable lengthwise traction, which means you won’t stop when stuck in the snow, and the stopping difference is reasonably short, too.
In addition, the tire handles quite well and does not surprise the driver with a sudden loss of traction. I was pleasantly surprised by this behavior, especially after being impressed with the handling in both dry and wet conditions during the several months I tested this tire.
For all the commendations I mention this tire, the Destination LE3 is not made for very deep snow and ice.
There is still little grip in this nature, but I wholeheartedly recommend using a set of perfect winter tires to give you a much better overall taste.
Meanwhile, if you don’t demand alternative tires but want the best overall snow traction, the Continental TerrainContact H/T is still best in this category.
5. Driving in bad weather
Engineers designed the Firestone Destination LE3 using the most innovative technologies, such as full-depth 3D sipes and Hydro-grip for optimal handling in poor weather conditions. On snow, the deeper sipes allow more biting edges on the tires to increase traction.
On wet roads, Hydro-grip technology uses an optimized tread pattern with open shoulder grooves to reduce the risk of aquaplaning.
Despite the uncommon features, it is essential to note that the Firestone Destination LE3 is an every-season tire and not a snow tire. It will allow the driver to safely turn and brake on snowy days. However, if the weather conditions are extreme, we do not recommend using these tires.
Is the Firestone Destination LE3 perfect for sporty driving?
The Destination LE3 is surprisingly not a bad tire for sporty driving. With the amount of cornering grip it provides, this is a tire to have some fun with.
While sporty riding isn’t in this tire’s DNA, you can carry it down a twisty road and see how excellent it can be in the right hands. With a combination of grip levels and decently sharp response, you won’t be disappointed with the tyre’s sporty qualities.
Comfort and road noise
Apparently, Firestone spent a lot of time designing the tread to produce less noise.
The Destination LE3 is a highly cool tire, even when driving over bristly terrain – tread snarl is little and discreet.
Ride ability is also highly smooth on most roads. However, repeated road imperfections can degrade the ride quality and create a harshness that is otherwise lacking. It’s not as big of a deal as it sounds because it doesn’t happen often, but it’s still important to be aware of.
Should I buy a Firestone Destination LE3?
The Firestone Destination LE3 is a tire with a very small amount of makeup; performs well on dry, wet and snowy roads, gives a smooth and quiet drive and has good durability.
Overall, it might lose the coronet to the Continental TerrainContact H/T, which gives better grip on the road in all natures.
But when you think about the price, it’s clear that the Destination LE3 is the best buy in the highway all-season class.
So if you’re looking for an all-season tire for your light truck, SUV or crossover, I highly recommend the Destination LE3!
What vehicles will the Firestone Destination LE3 fit?
- Chevrolet Silverado, Blazer, Traverse
- Ford F series, Explorer
- GMC Sierra
- Hyundai Tucson, Santa Fe,
- Jeep Compass, Cherokee, Wrangler
- Mitsubishi Outlander, L200
- Nissan Pathfinder, Rogue
- Ram Pickup
- Toyota Rav4, CH-R, Tacoma, Hilux
The Firestone’s Destination LE3 is a tire on-highway in every-season made for crossovers, small trucks and SUVs. It is an excellent choice for those who want a reliable tire that performs well in a variety of conditions.
The Destination LE3 has a tread wear rating of 700, which is higher than average. This means that the tire should last longer than other all-season tires on the market.