Chinese tires: are they worth it?

Most of our membership belong to a select group that, for them, tires are of the utmost importance.  So much so, that price isn’t usually the first consideration.  But is this the case when it comes to our more mundane transportation; namely, the commuter car?  I came across this from Consumer Reports and thought it might help when it comes to the latter.

Tires are a global commodity, and many of the major brand names that Consumer Reports tests are manufactured in China. But those tires are designed and manufactured to quality standards dictated by the original manufacturers. Chinese tire brands don’t have that oversight, and some may not have the marketing foresight to design products well-suited to the specific requirements of the U.S. consumer.

It seems that the Pegasus tire as tested was not actually manufactured for its design owner–Global Pacific Industries.  It would appear that even cheap products get the knock-off treatment.

Aside from the performance lows, if value is a high priority, consider that the Pegasus cost about half as much as a top-scoring tire, the Michelin LTX M/S2. But keep in mind that the Michelin will last almost three times longer. Factor in the cost of buying two additional sets of tires, plus mounting and balancing, and you could save hundreds of dollars, not to mention get a better all-weather performing tire, if you choose the Michelin.

Certainly if you are on tight budget, and who isn’t nowadays, buying a cheap tire is better than riding on worn-out tires. But as our tests show, buying bargain-priced tires such as these Chinese models isn’t the right choice for the long haul.

Consumer Reports has removed its ratings for the Pegasus Advanta SUV tire originally reported on page 60 of our November issue and online. Although we purchased the tire through normal retail channels, Arizona-based American Pacific Industries (API) notified us that, based on the DOT tire identification code on our tires, the model tested was not produced or distributed by an authorized Pegasus vendor. The “unauthorized” Pegasus tires performed relatively poorly for snow traction and tread life. We have not tested “authorized” Pegasus tires.



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