Tires are often an after thought for the average driver, and with hundreds of brands and models out there picking the perfect tire can seem daunting. But according to the NHTSA 11,000 crashes occur every year due to tire related issues. So, why not get the safest tires that you can to avoid becoming part of that statistic? Check out this list for five of the best tires you probably haven’t heard of. Safe driving!
Falken Wildpeak AT3W
The Falken Wildpeak AT3W has pioneered the All-Terrain market. In the early 2000’s Falken was well-known for making a great performance tire at an entry price point. Now, in 2017, they have focused on reinventing themselves as an original equipment tire player. The Wildpeak AT3W is not your ordinary All-Terrain tire. This tire has a W for a reason; it has met the requirements for the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association “Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake” symbol for winter and sever snow conditions. Aside from handling the snow better than its predecessors, this tire offers long tread life and the ability to have little noise on the road.
Vredestein Quatrac 5
Consumers often get fooled into thinking that poor mileage equals poor quality. The Quatrac 5 by Vredestein, crafted in Holland with quality and precision, proves that this is not always the case. My dad, a 40-year veteran in the tire industry, claims that this is the best tire he has ever driven on; and I have to agree.
The Q5 has a half summer and half winter tread which makes it the best overall tire and most capable at handling all weather conditions. Is it the better than a winter tire in the snow? No. But it does handle the snow better than almost any all-season tire.
The best part about this tire? It doesn’t break the bank. For a tire that is the same quality, if not better than, most of the well-known brands it costs about 20% less.
Nexen Roadian HTX RH5
You may not have heard of Nexen yet, but this Korean brand makes a high-quality tire while also offering some of the best warranties in the industry. The Roadian HTX RH5 comes with a road hazard for the first two years or first 3/32nds, two-year roadside assistance on tire related issues, and a mileage warranty.
This tire is a great fit on work vans, light trucks, and SUVs. The tread is one of the most important features of a tire and this tire offers a unique zig zag sipe design that proves to be great for all-season performance.
I would go as far as to say that this tire can handle light mud and can do a good job in wet road conditions. The combination between the way the tread was designed and the product warranty made this a tire I would recommend to those who wanted a highway tread type tire that was good for withstanding the pounding of non-stop driving and mild snow conditions.
Sumitomo A/S P02
Sumi-what? Yes, Sumitomo! This Japanese company makes one of the best tires for the money. The A/S P02 provides consumers with a great middle of the road option, value play.
As far as performance goes, this is a great all-season tire. When you factor in the 30-day trial, one-year road hazard, and two-year roadside assistance, along with the price, this tire provides value that cannot be beat.
This model is a perfect fit for a sports car or sedan driver who is looking for an option that is a step above the “cheap” options with the quality of Tier 2 tires. Sumitomo doesn’t advertise to the public, they instead rely on retailers to get to know their product and push it. By not advertising, the company is able to put that savings into the cost of the tire without sacrificing quality.
Rarely will I mention “cheap” tires in any form of recommendation, but I have to talk about a tire that appeals to the price conscious consumer. The Ohtsu FP7000 is distributed and owned by the aforementioned Falken Tire. Ohtsu has remained a popular brand because it offers a higher quality tire than the perceived low-quality imported tire brands, but at a similar price point.
And don’t be alarmed that you cannot find a company website for Ohtsu; that is more common than you may think among large brands that have private/sister brand tires. Consumers can be assured that Ohtsu has similar tread designs of other Falken labeled tires and is backed by a reputable company.