Atlanta, GA – Consider this: tires from top tier brands will cost you double the price if not more compared to the relatively lesser known marques. So the question is, are these expensive tires a much more superior product? Do they promise to perform exceptionally better for the huge price hike? Is the tire warranty any different? Are they safer on the road?
End of the day, is it necessary to pay more for your all-season tires?
Sailun Tire doesn’t think so and set out to prove it with their new Inspire all-season touring tire designed for compacts, sedans, crossovers and SUVs. As Sailun’s Sales Director, Christine Rouleau, tells us, “The Inspire really has proven the Sailun brand for its advanced technology, taking the brand to the next level – it stands up to the top manufacturers, so why spend more?”
But this won’t be easy for the relatively unknown Sailun which happens to be the 18th largest tire company globally and selling in 167 countries; to change consumer perceptions and convince tire buyers to ditch the more well-known brands from the top tier guys like Michelin, Pirelli, and Continental to the lower level yet more familiar names like National and Uniroyal.
Putting the Inspire tires to the test
Our test included a true Coke vs Pepsi style blind test, where a pair of identical vehicles each fitted with either Sailun Inspire tires or a set from Goodyear (with sidewall markings and logos rubbed off), were compared on a short course which included a wet road portion, hard stopping section, Chicago Box, and slalom. The results were a bit eye-opening (and head-scratching).
So, did we notice a massive difference between the two vehicles’ tire performance? Did one offer better stopping power compared to the other? Any big differences in hard cornering and handling?
The answer? No. Certainly nothing in our test to justify spending hundreds of dollars more. If one vehicle seemingly performed better in the corners, it may have underperformed on the wet road conditions. Again, the differences, if any, were marginal. The price discrepancy, on the other hand, is not.
Improved traction, control, and longevity
Touring tires in general focus on a smoother ride, emphasizing better performance and handling in addition to all the comfort you’d expect from typical all-season rubber — a more ‘premium’ all-season tire, if you will.
The Inspire is made of advanced rubber compound to help increase traction. Sailun calls it SertaGrip, and it serves to provide added control in both wet and dry conditions.
It’s important to note, Sailun designed the Inspire all-seasons in North America, for North American roads. So this isn’t just an import product, shipped from Asia and priced to sell. The company really put emphasis on superior performance offering improved wet traction.
Less noise with new tread pattern
Expect Sailun’s passenger tire be quiet as well. Dubbed SilentTread, these tires get an all-new tread pattern to keep things quiet on the road. The Inspire’s new pattern uses staggered tuning technology and variable pitch sequence for a quiet, comfortable, and safer experience. Jargon aside, we found this to be true – no noisy performance, and nothing different than the competing Goodyear test tires.
We couldn’t tell the difference. That’s kind of the point.
Longevity and Warranty
Consumers expect tires to last. Sailun knows this and ensured the Inspire tires are not only less expensive but will actually last, too. Nobody wants to buy cheap tires that need to be replaced in a year or two.
Designed with 3D multi-sipe technology, the Inspire tires expand and expel substances for confident performance that regenerates with tire wear. They come with a 70,000 mile / 120,000 km warranty, which is impressive for a tire at this price point, considering some pricier competitors are only offering 50,000 mile / 100,000 km warranties.
According to Sailun, the Inspire boasts an above industry standard warranty rate, well below the 1-percent average. In other words, the Inspire defects and customer returns are low.
As the crossover and SUV popularity continues to grow with new models hitting the market literally every year, so is the Inspire tire range of sizes.
Starting out with only 17 sizes, Sailun now offers the Inspire in 48 sizes, “with over 20 more sizes coming,” Rouleau tells us.
For more tire reviews, tips & advice, and news visit our Tire Guide here.
|Exceptional value||Not well known tire brand|
|Quiet tire with good wet performance & ride comfort||Convincing buyers to go for a lower tier brand vs expensive big names|
|Great warranty & wide range of sizes|
Just a couple parting shots below of a 1995 240SX drifting and burning some Sailun Atrezzo SVA1 ultra high-performance rubber.