October 19, 2012
by Emily Atkins
A group of automotive journalists recently put tires through a series of on-road tests to compare a national brand with a value-priced brand.
The journalists did not know which tires were on the cars they were driving in three sets of exercises: a wet slalom, simulated country roads at normal driving speeds and hot laps on the track.
After a full day of testing, a surprising victor took home the honours: The tire was the Sailun Atrezzo Z4+AS, which retails in the Greater Toronto Area for $111. The competitive, national-brand tire is priced at $189.
Sailun Tire is a Chinese company established in 2002. It now distributes tires for passenger cars, light truck, medium radial truck and off-the-road applications in markets throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Last year, the company sold 10 million tires worldwide.
At the test day, journalists were asked to rate the tires on drive comfort, traction under acceleration, steering feel/responsiveness, cornering stability, and overall control/predictability. In the wet slalom test, the Sailun tires came out on top in all categories, although drive comfort was not rated for this exercise. Likewise, in the road drive, the Sailun tires also received a higher rating than the competitor across all categories. Only in the track exercise did the competitive tire best the Sailun, outperforming it by a slim margin in the steering feel/responsiveness rating.
At the end of the day, the Sailun tire had accumulated a total of 31 out of 40 points, while the national brand tire had 30. While the points spread is not great, the Sailun tire is 70 percent less expensive than the national brand.
Watch this video to see the testing in action, and the journalists’ reactions.