Atlanta, GA – We’ve all known that one guy trying to be somebody he’s not. Sure, reaching for the stars is admirable but when these goals are unattainable, it just looks silly. Consumer brands are no different, often making promises they can’t keep, targeting people they have no business targeting.
Sailun Tire is a little different. They’re a tier 4 tire brand with no intentions to compete with the big boys in the top tier including popular marques like Michelin, Pirelli, or Continental, all costing literally hundreds of dollars more.
Why? Because Sailun believes their products are of high-quality at a value price that’s within reach for most tire shoppers.
Sounds admirable but does this claim carry any weight?
|About Sailun Tire – 5 Things to Know:|
|– 18th largest tire company globally|
|– Sold in 67 countries|
|– 7 offices globally|
|– 5 factories, 14,000 employees|
|– Own factories/rubber plants and engineers|
To prove this point, we headed to Atlanta to pit the TerraMax HLT against the Goodyear Assurance ComfortTred Touring in a blind test on the same closed course under the same conditions.
The results? Considering the competitor is double the price, let’s just say it was eye-opening.
Quick note about the growing light truck and utility tire market
The light passenger truck market is growing, led by a surge in mid-size pickup popularity. Throw sport utilities and crossovers in the mix, an affordable option like the Terramax HLT just makes sense for those who simply don’t have the budget but need the assurances of safety.
In response, smaller tire sizes such as 15 and 16-inch are down by 9-percent, and half of that market share has moved up to the larger 18-inch size as car buyers continue to abandon the good old 4-door sedans.
Between 2019 and 2021, 42% of Sailun Tire’s sizes will be new to the list – another indication the brand is ramping up production to accommodate the need for inexpensive passenger tires.
Putting the Sailun Terramax HLT to the test
Our blind testing pitted the Sailun TerraMax HLT against the Goodyear Assurance ComfortTred Touring on a closed-circuit course; the same vehicle fitted with both tires with all logos and branding removed.
To add some context: Sailun’s product is around $130 per tire while Goodyear’s is about $260 each; both on average.
So, did we notice any significant differences between the two products when taking those sharp corners and braking on wet road conditions?
Can we say with all certainty that it’s worth walking into a tire shop and spending 50% more on the well-known name opposed to Sailun’s passenger tire?
Quiet, large contact patch, and dispels water
Sailun’s less expensive, premium SUV highway all-seasons were just as quiet as the costlier option, and equally as stable on the straights and chicanes. The TerraMax HLTs feature a noise reducing tread pattern, adequate contact area for improved handling and tread wear, and 4 extra-wide grooves to help dispel water. All evident during our test.
We’re not advocating consumers abandon the pricier all-season tires for trucks and SUVs, but if both quality and price are important buying factors, the TerraMax HLT tires displayed little to no compromise when compared to the pricier option during our blind comparison test.
We’re not advocating consumers abandon the pricier all-season tires for trucks and SUVs, but if both quality and price are important buying factors, the TerraMax HLT tires displayed little to no compromise…
“Our engineering team measured and benchmarked the Sailun TerraMax HLT against dozens of popular all-season crossover, truck and SUV tires from big name brands,” says Mark Pereira, Marketing Communications Manager at Sailun Tire. “What we soon discovered based on data recorded and independent third-party test results is that the Terramax HLT clearly comes out on top… beating out best-in-class competitors and outperforming top tier brands costing nearly twice as much.”
Clearly, this is marketing speak with a clear bias. But this statement coupled with what we experienced on that track had us seriously thinking why we’re spending so much on tires. Particularly, on all-seasons in colder climates where drivers often swap out for winter/snow tires for say 30-percent of the year.
TerraMax HLT Sizes and warranty
We counted 47 sizes currently available on Sailun’s site – from a 235/75R15 up to an LT275/65R20. This includes 11 sizes added in 2019 alone.
What really adds value is the warranty which rivals the popular marques. These come with a 50,000 miles (80,000 km) / 60-month Limited Tread Life Protection warranty. Not bad.
Takeaway: are the Sailun TerraMax HLT All-Season light truck & SUV tires worth it?
If quality and price are important, these all-season passenger tires from a relatively unknown brand are worth it. If brand names are critical and spending that extra 40 to 50% provides added confidence, then probably not.
End of the day, the Sailun TerraMax HLTs are an affordable, quiet highway tire ideal for smaller fleets to everyday drivers looking for performance, size availability, exceptional warranty, all at a price that won’t break the bank.