Sumitomo Tires

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Sumitomo Tires

Post by Leesbro63 » Sun May 13, 2018 2:13 pm

Researching tires for a family members' 2014 Honda CRV AWD in Indianapolis. The original Bridgestone Dueler HP Sport A/Stires (25,000 miles) did not do well in snow and ice this past winter. Oddly, it seems from Tire Rack ratings that Sumitomo Encounter HT tires are better than anything Michelin I can find for all season driving, with a special concern about winter. They're much cheaper too. Am I missing something? I've never had this brand and frankly am suspicious of the unknown. Always been a Michelin or Goodyear guy, although I did put a set of Hankooks on a Corolla a while back that were fine.

Also, the OEM tires are rated as "T" but many of the Tire Rack recommended tires are rated "H". I never understood this letter rating. Would H rated tires be an OK replacement for T?

One other thing: A CR-V isn't exactly a "truck", but it seems that some of the tires coming up on Tire Rack appear to have truck-like aggressive tread. Any idea what's going on here?

EDIT: I didn’t mean to imply that we are overly price sensitive. We’re happy to pay a little more for a better tire. The fact that the Sumitomo is cheaper is just an added bonus.
Last edited by Leesbro63 on Sun May 13, 2018 6:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Sumitomo Tires

Post by boffalora » Sun May 13, 2018 6:29 pm

1. I know several owners of imported vehicles, German, Japanese and Korean makes, who are fans of Sumitomo tires. Those who have tried them seem to like them, and are especially pleased with their low prices.

2. Nearly all major tiremakers now have modern plants in China producing top quality tires of all types. In the case of Michelin, it purchased a well-known Chinese brand called Warrior. For the first two years of production at a new plant, Michelin made its well-known MXV4 all-season tire under the Warrior brand. Many of these tires made it to the US and were sold by independent tire dealers at an astonishingly low price. I drove a 1998 Honda Civic on set of Warriors during the last two years I owned the car and was very happy with them.

3. Bridgestone makes a low-priced competitor to Sumitomo for your vehicle. There are two Primewell Valera all-season tires in 225/65R17 priced at under $100. I've heard positive reports on Primewell Valeras for smoothness, quietness and good control on snow. Both tires have a 50K mile warranty. I've had Primewells on three cars, but have never driven them on snow or ice. I live in Louisiana.

4. With regard to the differing tread patterns on tires for pickups and SUVs, there are two general types: highway and off-road specialty tires. Highway tires offer smooth, quiet performance over long distances and generally have a warranty to support that performance. Off-road tires are more "nubby" for grabbing uneven surfaces and carry no mileage warranty.

5. Performance tires have higher speed ratings, up to the letter Z, which means they can be safely run well over 100mph. Others have lower speed ratings but offer better value over long distances.

Hope this helps!

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Re: Sumitomo Tires

Post by bloom2708 » Sun May 13, 2018 7:57 pm

Check out Toyo Celsius.

I have no direct experience with the brand you mention.

Toyo or Cooper are my primary brands.
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Re: Sumitomo Tires

Post by FinTruth » Sun May 13, 2018 9:11 pm

I am guessing Toyo's are better now. I had some about 15 years ago on an accord, and they were the worst tires I have every purchased. The slightest rain, and they would lose traction. Driving on the highway was an experience, the car would literally hydroplane every time it rained. I guess that was how they got their 80K mileage warranty.

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Re: Sumitomo Tires

Post by Hyperborea » Sun May 13, 2018 10:39 pm

I don't know about those specific tires but Sumitomo HTR Z III have been a well known "secret" in the sports car community for a long time. I went through 2 and a half sets over a decade on my sports car. Those are max performance summer tires so a bit soft and the wear isn't the same as a family sedan tire. Very good quality tires and highly recommended for an incredible price. I got handling and capability on the Sumitomos just a hair below the best max performance summer tires but far beyond what I would ever need on the street for about half or so of the price. I wouldn't have any qualms on the quality of Sumitomo tires.
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Re: Sumitomo Tires

Post by dsmil » Mon May 14, 2018 7:32 am

I have some Sumitomo HTR A/S tires and they were reasonably priced and I've been happy with them. So far they've gone 4 years and 40k miles. I know nothing about tires though, so you can take my positive experience with a grain of salt.

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Re: Sumitomo Tires

Post by ScooterBob » Mon May 14, 2018 7:52 am

I have a set of Sumitomos on my car. LS model. They are probably the best tires I ever bought regardless of price. I have Michelins on my other car that are comparable but will cost WAY MORE if I replace them with the same tires. The Sumitomos transformed my car when I put them on. Highly recommend them.


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Re: Sumitomo Tires

Post by bob60014 » Mon May 14, 2018 8:03 am

Can't speak for the quality, reliability, or handling but I thought I read that Sumitomo, Goodyear and Dunlop have some relationship for manufacturing.

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Re: Sumitomo Tires

Post by boffalora » Mon May 14, 2018 10:44 pm

bob60014, you are correct. This agreement was in effect between 1999 and 2015. ... issolution

The take-home message from this is that when a tire brand appears in the US, it is very likely the result of an affiliation with a well-known tire brand. I probably did not make that very clear in my story above about Michelin and Warrior in China.

When (Japanese) Bridgestone bought out (US) Firestone, they became quite selective about which US plants remained open, not necessarily because of the cost of production, but because of quality issues in Firestone tires. Example, tire production of a onetime Oklahoma plant with persistent labor and quality issues was transferred to China, with a noticeable improvement in quality. This plant also manufactures Primewell tires.

Bridgestone has essentially converted Firestone from a tire brand to a tire store brand.

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