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Finally had to replace mine, and I got regular blades. As you know, the factory blade has an airfoil to keep the blade on the glass at road speeds. It turns out that this is required. I kept my original blade, so I got it out and checked to see if the airfoil could be transferred to the new blade - it couldn't, at least without some fabrication.
I have tried the new 'beam' blades on my previous Saturn VUE (twice) and never had any luck with them (7 or 8 years ago) as they would not flatten out enough to wipe the center of the path, so I returned them both times.
Evidently, this type of blade has been perfected, because I just put a pair on and entered wiper heaven. Smooth, quiet and they wipe the whole path clean even at freeway speeds. I picked the Trico brand because they were on special at Autozone. I think most all brands are made so the beam functions as an airfoil, but check that before buying. The beam simply has an inside curve on both sides, so you can't mount it wrong in regard to the airfoil function.
And, they look great on the Sportage while seeming to restrict visibility less than the standard type when they're working. We're still stuck with the factory replacement on the rear, though.
So, even though the two cost $29 after the discount, I'm happy that I finally get to use beam wipers.
2011 Sportage EX
FWD Auto Silver/Black
For years I was buying the Valvoline Aquablade for $14 each (Zellers in Canada) which worked great. I've also have previously purchased the Viewmax Plus at Walmart for $18 which performed adequately. My last wiper change I switched to the Michelin Stealth at Costco which were on sale for $8.99 each (again, in Canada). They both performed fantastic and when my factory blades wear out, I'll be putting a set on my Sportage.
The rear window is rather strange in that you can only replace the blade insert, but I guess there isn't a need for an aerodynamic blade on the back. When I'm out driving I often see newer cars with missing rear wiper arms, and my only guess is the car's owner didn't RTFM before ripping off the wiper arm in an attempt at removing the blade.
Drives: 2011 Kia Sportage AWD EX w/ Premium................. 2012 Kia Rio SX w/ Premium
I agree...Rain-x were terrible. They worked great on my last vehicle but not for the Sportage. They wouldn't wipe shit over 50 mph. I know that Valeo has a few sets of wipers that were designed specifically to keep them against the windshield at highway speeds.
I went by ConsumerReports recommendations; they picked Rain-X Lattitude, IIRC.
I like the beam style too, since they look nice and aerodynamic, and have worked well for me. The first generation of them may have been worse. I haven't tried the incredibly cheap beam wipers, but they are tempting, since Lattitude gets expensive over many vehicles.
Good wipers are a fantastic yet inexpensive safety upgrade :-)
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