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In Our Opinion:
Sumitomo tires are a great option for low-cost, high-performance tires. The manufacturer also produces several quality all-season models, especially for trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. Its pricing is low- to mid-range and is accessible to many drivers. Though Sumitomo is a solid brand, it’s not the best of the best.
Long-lasting tread life warranties
Some affordable models available
Excellent high-performance and all-season tires
Limited selection overall
Only one winter tire model
Sumitomo is a key player in the tire industry, operating its own line as well as providing tires for several other well-known brands across the globe. But among all the tires it produces, which Sumitomo tires are the best?
In this Sumitomo review, we’ll discuss the brand in detail, going over company history, industry ratings, popular models, and more. We’ll also offer our top recommendations for tires based on our comprehensive review of the industry’s best tires. A new set of tires can be a costly purchase, so it’s smart to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
To start comparing a variety of tire brands, Sumitomo included, visit TireRack.
Established in 1919 in Osaka, Japan, Sumitomo Rubber Industries is the fifth-largest tire manufacturer in the world, according to a 2019 Tire Business report. Sumitomo not only produces its own tire line but also Dunlop, Ohtsu, and Falken tires in certain regions.
Sumitomo tires are known for their quality and affordable price range. Unlike other big-name brands, Sumitomo models rarely exceed $160 per tire. While they’re not as low-cost as Ironman tires or Cooper tires, Sumitomo’s pricing is accessible to many drivers.
Including its sub-brands, Sumitomo offers a broad range of tires. However, Sumitomo itself produces a relatively conservative number of models. It offers a greater selection of all-season and performance tires, but the manufacturer does not produce the most diverse range of all-terrain or winter tires.
Sumitomo Industry Ratings
Sumitomo tires follow an evaluation system created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This system is called Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG), and it grades tires – except specialized tires – based on their treadwear, traction, and temperature resistance.
Here’s an explanation of the UTQG grading system:
Treadwear: This grade estimates the longevity of your tires. To calculate treadwear, tires are measured against a control tire given a rating of 100. If a tire has a 500 treadwear rating, that means it lasted five times longer than the control. Most passenger tires have between a 300 and 500 treadwear rating, according to data from SaferCar.gov.
Traction: This grade measures how well your tires “grip” a wet road. Traction grades are given on a scale of AA, A, B, or C. Good day-to-day passenger tires typically receive A ratings.
Temperature: This grade evaluates a tire’s heat resistance on a scale of A, B, or C. Tires need to withstand different temperatures based on their specialization. Performance tires, for example, usually move at much higher speeds than all-season tires, and in turn, have higher temperature ratings.
It’s important to note that the NHTSA does not oversee UTQG tests. Manufacturers and independent companies hired by brands are responsible for tire testing and reporting.
Below, we’ve listed a few top-rated Sumitomo tire models and their treadwear, traction, and temperature scores using data from SaferCar.gov.
If you want to know the UTQG scores for your current tires, they can be found on the tires’ sidewalls.
Most Popular Sumitomo Tires
The most popular Sumitomo models are lauded for their traction, handling, and stability. The company offers excellent high-performance tires as well as notable all-season models for coupes, light trucks, and SUVs. These highly rated tires also boast long-lasting tread life warranties, many of which are between 60,000 and 70,000 miles.
Below, we’ve detailed a few of the most popular Sumitomo tires currently available.
Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 (W-Speed Rated)
Tire Type: Ultra high-performance all-season tire
Cost: $95.97 to $126.82 per tire
Tread Life: Up to 65,000 miles
The Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 (W-Speed Rated) tire is best-suited for speed enthusiasts and sports car owners. Also available in an H- or V-speed rated model, the tire features an asymmetric tread with silica compounds for an improved grip year-round. Its 3D sipes, an unusual design for a performance tire, make the tire suitable for some winter driving as well. The next generation HTR A/S P03 further improves on the model’s cold-weather driving capabilities.
Sumitomo HTR Z III
Tire Type: Max performance summer tire
Cost: $105.02 per tire
Tread Life: Not listed
If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly performance tire, the Sumitomo HTR Z III is your best bet. The tire offers a comfortable ride, stability, and notable traction in wet and dry conditions. Like many Sumitomo tires, this performance model features a silica-enhanced, asymmetric tread.
Sumitomo Encounter H/T
Tire Type: Highway all-season tire
Cost: $102.99 to $210.99 per tire
Tread Life: Up to 60,000 miles
The Encounter H/T can bear loads up to 3,750 pounds, depending on the tire size. It excels in wet and dry braking as well as has a long-lasting tread life warranty. This Sumitomo tire is designed with a symmetric tread pattern for even wear and four circumferential grooves to reduce hydroplaning on wet roads.
Sumitomo Touring LS T
Tire Type: Standing touring all-season tire
Cost: $71.99 to $102.99
Tread Life: Up to 65,000 miles
The Sumitomo Touring LS T comes in sizes suitable for passenger cars, sedans, minivans, and crossovers. Though this all-season tire may not be the best model for snow and ice, it does provide good traction on dry and wet roads. The symmetric tread pattern ensures an even wear, while a carbon black compound increases the tire’s fuel efficiency and tread life.
Sumitomo Tire Warranties
Like most tire brands, Sumitomo offers a limited manufacturer warranty. The company covers its tires for six years after the initial purchase, which protects buyers if their tires malfunction due to defective materials or workmanship. Sumitomo’s tread life warranties are above average. Many of its models come with warranties above 50,000 miles, which is the industry standard.
Cost of Sumitomo Tires
Sumitomo tires are in the low to mid price range. On average, most models cost $100. You won’t find any exceptionally cheap tires from Sumitomo – between $50 and $60 – but its products also rarely cost more than $165. Sumitomo models are best suited for drivers looking for tires more affordable than those from big-name brands but with better quality than your standard budget tire.
Sumitomo tires are praised for their overall value – they offer a solid performance without an expensive price tag. Throughout the years, the brand has also won several design and eco-sustainability awards for its technological advancements. Based on our research, most Sumitomo models hold around a 4.0-star customer rating.
To give you a better idea of Sumitomo’s pros and cons, we’ve detailed a few customer reviews from TireRack below.
Positive Sumitomo Tires Reviews
“While we do have these tires on the family minivan, I consider myself a ‘spirited’ driver, and I am fully impressed with the Sumis. [The Sumitomo HTR Enhance L/X tires feature] very quiet highway cruising, comfortable ride, responsive handling, great traction, and braking in all conditions.”
– via TireRack
“Recently installed a full set of these Sumitomo Encounter AT, replacing the 1/2 worn Hankook Dynapro tires. My first driving impression is [the] 90% reduction in tire noise. Ride is much smoother over washboard and rough, uneven roads. City and highway driving [is] much improved.”
– via TireRack
Negative Sumitomo Tires Reviews
“[The Sumitomo Touring LS T tires are] so loud. These tires drove me crazy. I’ve never experienced a loud tire before, and didn’t understand how aggravating it could be.”
– via TireRack
“Not sure what happened with [the Sumitomo HTR Sport H/P] tires. It was my second set of the same tire of the same size on the same truck. The first set wore well, rode well and performed reasonably well. This new set rode awful and would not balance out. They also started to feather badly after just a few weeks and began to get [really] noisy.”
– via TireRack
Our Final Thoughts on Sumitomo Tires: 3.5 Stars
Sumitomo offers some excellent options for drivers looking for high-quality and budget-friendly high performance tires. The manufacturer produces well-regarded all-season models for trucks and SUVs, especially its Encounter line. However, Sumitomo does not have the most diverse product lineup. We also wouldn’t put Sumitomo at the top of any of our “best” lists – they’re good, but not exceptional.
Our Top Recommendations for Tires
Michelin and Cooper secured the top two spots in our industry-wide tires review. Michelin is best for buyers interested in a wide variety of tire types as well as superior quality and performance. Cooper tires, on the other hand, are a great budget-friendly option for replacement tires.
Michelin: 4.5 Stars
We rate Michelin tires the Best Tires Overall. The company has been a market leader for years, with customers coming back time and time again for Michelin’s tire variety and durability. In our review, we were impressed with how long the tires last – tread life warranties span up to 80,000 miles – which helps justify the tires’ hefty price tags. The brand also had several models appear on our list of the industry’s best all-season tires.
If you’re looking for affordability, make sure to look into Cooper tires. Based on our research, this brand is unmatched when it comes to cost-effectiveness. Although the company hasn’t been in business for as long as some of its century-old competitors, it’s already built up a strong reputation for its low-cost, high-quality tires.