Kleber Quadraxer 3 Review

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The Kleber Quadraxer 3 stands out in the grand touring tire segment, particularly for its exceptional comfort performance. Yet, the true measure of a tire extends beyond a single season. So, let’s get into some of it’s detailed performance benchmarks.

Ford Escape
Installed these boys on my Ford Escape.

As a tire engineer, my primary observations and tests reveal that this tire offers superior dry grip and snow handling, coupled with a comfortable ride. However, it requires enhancements in steering responsiveness, wet traction, tread longevity, and fuel economy.

Sizes Available

The Kleber Quadraxer 3 comes in 107 sizes, in 15 to 20 inches rims, having following specs.

  • Speed ratings: T, H and V.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Weight range: 18 to 34 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 10.5/32″ on all.
  • UTQG: 600 A A.
  • Treadwear warranty: None.

All sizes have the Tri Peak ratings, along with M+S.

Main Takeaway

The Kleber Quadraxer 3 stands out when it comes to:

  • Exceptional longitudinal grip on dry surfaces due to its directional tread pattern and central lugs.
  • Superior snow handling, benefiting from a thermally adaptive rubber and winter-focused sipes.
  • Impressive comfort in terms of road noise and vibrations, courtesy of its soft rubber compound and construction.

Though the tire needs improvements in:

  • Responsiveness and handling sharpness, as it exhibits delayed steering feedback.
  • Wet traction and hydroplaning resistance, due to a lack of effective siping and tread flexibility.
  • Tread longevity and fuel economy, where the soft compound and open tread design increase wear and rolling resistance.

Tread Design

The Kleber Quadraxer 3 comes with a directional tread pattern, where it’s overall design really resembles the Crosscliamte2 and it’s Plus variant.

Kleber Quadraxer 3
You can clearly see the secondary rubber layer, underneath all lugs.

So, looking at it’s tread, it’s lugs are can be divided in to 5 total parts, with help of longitudinal/slanted slits (you see on it’s swooping lugs).

These slits are more prominent towards shoulders, and form in-groove notches, while going towards middle, these slits get thinner/narrower, forming a structure similar to those of it’s sipes.

The central most area is more packed up overall, where all lugs don’t interlock, but also join up to each other with reinforced foundations (owing to secondary rubber layer underneath, and ridges connecting up lugs).

Here, linear siping is seen, which join up with the (inner) longitudinal slits I talked about.

From here on outwards, the siping gets thicker, and due to the V shaped lugs formations, these sipes also get a curving geometry to them as well.

Compare Kleber Quadraxer 3 With Others

Impact Comfort Performance

The comfort of a tire’s ride quality is intimately linked to how well it can absorb and adapt to road irregularities, which, in turn, is significantly influenced by the tire’s composition and construction, (both internally and externally).

To put it simply, tires with a softer compound typically yield a more cushioned driving experience, (a fact that is generally well-acknowledged).

And let me tell you, comparing other tires here, the Kleber Quadraxer 3 stands out. The tire gets the highest scores here. In-fact, its the main reason why it’s on my list of top grand touring AS tires.

The tire is crafted with a softer tread rubber that includes a higher silica content, and that coupled with its pliable inner cap ply, you get a very smooth ride, relatively.

Wet Performance

Effective wet traction is derived from two fundamental aspects: the tire’s grip (which works in tandem with steering) and its ability to resist hydroplaning.

Let’s examine each of these elements.

Wet traction and Handling

When it comes to wet traction and handling, the tire grooves play a critical role in channeling most of the water away.

However, residual water particles can still get trapped, coming right under the tire lugs, reducing overall traction, and leading to potential slippage.

And that’s where sipes and biters come in.

These sipes are basically nothing more than slits on the tread, that effectively manage water by serving as miniature containers. Their presence is crucial because water, being incompressible, needs space to go when squeezed against the road surface by the tire.

And these sipes (along with other biters), absorb the water particles, momentarily removing it from the road surface and thereby improving traction.

That’s why an optimal tire design (capable of providing decent wet traction) needs ample sipes, and yes, they should also have the flexibility to perform effectively.

Having said that, I can now explain why the Kleber’s tire lacks here overall. This is because:

  • The tire does not feature enough sipes for optimal water displacement.
  • The rubber compound used lacks the necessary flexibility.
  • The linear arrangement of its sipes is less effective in maintaining overall grip.

As a result, the Quadraxer 3 offers below-average wet traction compared to its grand touring segment rivals.

Now, the tire having less (no. of) sipes is self explanatory, and their lack of flexibility further impedes their ability to wick away water efficiently, compromising their function. Let me explain.

As I discussed in it’s construction (section), the sipes on this tire are characterized by their linear design and broader cuts. Such designs are tailored more towards snow traction, which unfortunately detracts from their wet traction capability.

That’s why you get lacking performance here. To give you an idea, comparing with Crossclimate 2 (review), the Kleber lacks by overall a second in average wet handling lap times, according to my tests.

Now sure, both tires are pretty similar in terms of their designs, the Quadraxer 3 doesn’t incorporate interlocking sipes, as seen on Michelin’s central tread area.

Such sipes are more expensive to make, (that’s why tire’s having those, especially with the ones with directional treads are command a higher price point).

You can read more about it here: https://tiredriver.com/are-all-season-tires-more-expensive/

Hydroplaning Resistance

Now as I already discussed, water is not compressible, so if not evacuated efficiently, it can form a barrier between the tire tread and the road surface, leading to hydroplaning, or tire’s flotation, (where the tire loses both grip and control).

And to avoid this, tires are designed with specialized tread grooves that channel water away from the footprint of the tire.

Now, the Kleber Quadraxer 3, with its generous and directionally oriented tread pattern, excels in this regard.

Its design allows for rapid and effective water displacement, facilitating consistent directional control and lateral stability at various speeds over wet surfaces.

Meaning, while water flows out through it’s lateral voids, they also do so longitudinally, since those voids are interlinked with each other.

Dry Performance

When evaluating dry performance, we consider the synergy of a tire’s traction and its responsiveness to steering.

Let’s check out both of these, one by one.

Overall Grip

On dry roads, the Kleber Quadraxer 3 delivers outstanding traction, particularly in the longitudinal (movement) aspect. And this superior performance stems from three core design features:

  • The tire comes with a directional pattern.
  • It also has a rounded contact patch.
  • And it’s central lugs design.

Let me discuss all one by one.

So the tire’s directional tread pattern incorporates central lugs that optimally align with the road surface, ensuring a robust rubber-to-road contact.

(These central lugs are very significant (in determining overall grip), as they get the most concentrated weight on them, when moving in a straight line).

Moreover, it’s central lugs interlock in a way that forms zigzag central most groove, which provides a lot of biting edges, enhancing grip.

And yes, the tire’s rounded contact patch promotes this further, as it evenly distributes the weight pressure on the lugs, lowering momentum, which means tires could stop more easily.

Moving towards lateral grip, you again get pretty appreciable results (as seen by its leading lateral g-forces).

By appreciable, I mean, it’s not the absolute best in class, but it still remains reliably effective.

For a bit of context, (again) comparing it with the top-rated Crossclimate 2, the tire shows 0.2g less in lateral g-forces tests (on average). And for braking, it only falls short by 1 feet, to the same tire.

So overall, it can be seen why the tire offers a good enough lateral grip, thanks to it’s effective rubber to road contact, and thick siping slits (running in all directions), providing the needed bite, while cornering.

Though it’s overall handling can still be improved.

Overall Handling

Handling is a synergy of a tire’s grip and its responsiveness to steering inputs. And here the Kleber Quadraxer 3 could benefit from enhancements in its ability to convey quicker handling feedback to you (as a driver).

So what I mean by that?

Well the tires exhibit a tendency to struggle with rapid steering changes, resulting in a delayed response. This often manifests as understeer, where the vehicle doesn’t turn as sharply as the driver intends, compromising the driving experience.

And this happens because the tire’s softer overall tread composition (relatively speaking). I’ll explain further.

So during cornering, since the (tread) lugs are prone to deformation, they take/waste time to return to their original shape.

And this introduces a lag between the driver’s steering input and the tire’s response, which predominately affects the precision and enjoyment of the overall driving experience.

For Your Info: This deformation occurs because the weight on the tread, shifts form middle towards shoulders, and vice versa.

Winter Performance

The Kleber Quadraxer 3, being a winter-focused all-season tire and coming in with a dedicated 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake certification does pretty well here, no doubt.

But what makes this tire so good here? Well three things should be considered here.

  • The tire’s rubber composition.
  • It’s winter-focused sipes, (which although lack in wet conditions, deliver great winter performance, especially when it comes to snow handling).
  • It’s directional pattern.

Let me discuss all.

So the tire comes with a thermally adaptive rubber, meaning it incorporates a rubber compound specifically formulated to remain pliable in cold temperatures.

So it’s sipes, especially the ones with thicker slits, provide (and maintain) effective snow-to-snow contact (which is significant, as snow clings better to itself than to rubber).

Additionally, its directional tread pattern enhances acceleration, thanks to the V-shaped lugs that channel snow out and backward, promoting forward motion, in return.

So overall, while the Kleber Quadraxer 3 have some limitations on ice (with it’s tread missing with ample biters), the tire’s performance on soft snow is still very appreciable, thanks to its specialized design and tread composition.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is directly linked with the tire’s rolling resistance, which is influenced by factors such as the weight of the tire and the materials used in the tread.

Now looking at all of them, it makes sense why the Kleber Quadraxer 3 is not good enough here.

Despite its relatively lightweight structure, characterized by a single layer of polyester casing and a single nylon cap ply, the tire is still prone to lug deformation due to its softer rubber compound and a more open tread design, particularly towards shoulders.

This means, each lugs still bears more pressure on itself (as the load is distributed over a smaller area of rubber).

As a result, the lugs can flex and deform, adding to the overall energy expenditure (where it’s particularly wasted in the form of heat), lowering fuel economy.

Noise Comfort

When it comes to dampening road noise, the Quadraxer 3 holds its own in the competitive landscape, (I mean looking at other grand touring tires). Yet, there’s still room for improvement in this area.

The issue primarily stems from the tire’s open-shoulder design.

To explain further, road noise is largely generated by air compression. As air particles enter through the tire’s shoulder voids, they collide with the internal tread walls, creating a variety of sounds, including what’s known as in-groove resonance.

And Kleber with it’s uninterrupted directional pattern allows air to move freely, resulting in noticeable noise levels. This can manifest as a medium-pitched hum on rough or textured road surfaces, like coarse concrete.

However, it’s worth noting that the tire doesn’t suffer excessively from growling noises, which are typically associated with heavily siped tires.

So sure, the tire lacks in providing adequate wet and ice performance, this is where it pays off.

Tread Durability

In the tread durability department, the Quadraxer 3 falls short with it’s softer rubber compound.

Though this composition provides excellent handling in wet and snowy conditions by preventing the tread from hardening during navigation, it sacrifices tread life.

Meaning, the Kleber’s tire trades off its longevity for enhanced grip, particularly on snow-covered roads. Though it’s still not necessarily bad.

You see a tire with good enough tread life should have:

  • Durable Rubber Compound: Which directly fights off wear.
  • Significant Tread Depth: Greater tread depth diminishes “the rate of wear”, thereby lengthening the interval between tire replacements.
  • Streamlined Design: How easily the tire moves (or its rolling resistance), depends on it’s design.
  • Even Tread Configuration: A balanced pattern of tread ensures equitable distribution of weight across the tire, helping to avert irregular wear and tread distortion.

Now, sure the Kleber is missing with first 2, it’s still offers a directional pattern with rounded contact patch, catering to other two (above mentioned points), allowing for a good enough longevity, especially when you consider it’s performance on snowy terrains.

Ending Note

In conclusion, the Kleber Quadraxer 3 stands out for its robust performance on dry roads, providing remarkable longitudinal traction due to its directional tread pattern, central lugs, and rounded contact patch.

However, it exhibits an average lateral grip and could benefit from a more responsive handling experience.

Moreover, as the tire lacks in providing you with ample biters, it lacks on ice and wet roads too, showcasing notable slippage (with traction control, off).

Though it’s snow traction is great, thanks to it’s thermally adaptive/softer rubber composition, which also offers superb performance when it comes to impact comfort.

Though as this composition also creates a lot of rolling resistance as well, the tire isn’t able to stand out when it comes to tread longevity and fuel efficiency.

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