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- Comfortable over bumps and uneven roads
- Little noise on the highway, at least when the tire is new
- Good stability on the highway
- Usable traction and grip on dry pavement
- Good hydroplaning resistance
- Unusable snow traction and long braking distances
- Treadlife isn’t very impressive
- Wet traction is below the class average
- Overall handling is a step behind premium tires
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In the past, drivers didn’t have a lot of options to pick from when it came to tires for their vehicles. There were not many more firms that made tires besides the premium manufacturers like Bridgestone and Michelin. more manufacturers included. You could, without a doubt, track down some items that were kind to your wallet, but finding them would be a challenge.
Things are not the same as they were in the past. Every premium tire manufacturer also produces a brand that competes at a lower price point. That would be BFGoodrich in the case of Michelin. That would be Firestone in the case of Bridgestone. Even some of the smaller corporations in today’s market, such as Cooper Tire, for instance, have their own budget brands.
Cooper Tire is the parent company of the Starfire brand, which is a sub-brand of Cooper Tire. This indicates that they are able to use some of Cooper’s innovations in their products while still being able to sell those products at cheaper pricing points. It is common for tires to not receive the most up-to-date rubber from their parent firm; therefore, it will be fascinating to find out if the Starfire Solarus AS is a realistic alternative for car owners in North America.
The Solarus AS is a touring all-season tire that was intended particularly for drivers of older vehicles. However, this tire can be used by anyone who is not willing to spend a substantial amount of money on tires. At least in the beginning, purchasing the Solarus AS will result in quite considerable cost reductions for you.
The issue is, my experience with inexpensive tires hasn’t been something to write home about. On the surface, these tires can appear to be on par with luxury items; but, in terms of performance, they are light years behind. Every single inexpensive tire I’ve used in the past performs poorly in the corners and has a lengthy stopping distance.
These are things that the majority of drivers won’t be aware of while driving normally, but when faced with an emergency, they are absolutely essential. I’ve been witness to a number of collisions in which the primary contributor to the accident was a set of worn-out or inexpensive tires. To put it another way, the distinction between low-cost and high-quality tires can actually mean the difference between being involved in an accident and avoiding one.
Now, Starfire guarantees that its goods will be completely risk-free for usage when traveling on public roads. Even though this claim is made by a multitude of low-quality tire manufacturers, the fact that the Starfire Solarus AS is produced by an American company is, at the very least, a positive development.
In addition, I’ve always been a strong supporter of Cooper Tire. The American manufacturer has repeatedly demonstrated that it is feasible to produce outstanding tires at price points that are cheaper than the premium competition’s offerings while maintaining the same level of quality. There are basically no new products offered by Cooper Tire that are unsatisfactory in any way.
“The Starfire® brand is committed to giving value at a reasonable price without compromising either the product’s quality or its overall performance. According to Cooper Tire’s website, their brand is suitable for “passenger, performance, light truck, crossover, and sport utility vehicles.”
To my good fortune, I was able to put all of these things through their paces and present my findings to you in the Starfire Solarus AS review. I will discuss every aspect of the tire, including how it handles and brakes when dry, how well it performs in wet weather, how well it grips snow, how long it lasts, how durable it is, and how comfortable it is.
In conclusion, I’ll address a subject that’s posed very frequently: “Is it really worth the money to buy the Starfire Solarus AS?” Continue reading to find out!
What are the features of the Starfire Solarus AS?
small cars, minivans, mid-size sedans, and small crossovers are the target vehicles for the touring all-season tire known as the Starfire Solarus AS.
The manufacturer did an excellent job of offering all of the most sought-after dimensions in this category. Wheel diameter options for the Solarus AS include 15 inches, 16 inches, 17 inches, and 18 inches.
According to the manufacturer, the Solarus AS was developed to offer drivers outstanding traction in a variety of weather conditions, including wet, dry, and wintry ones. This is something that we frequently hear in this industry.
In order for the company to accomplish those goals, they utilized a high-tech all-season tread compound that was then shaped into an asymmetric tread pattern.
The middle rib of the Solarus AS is wide and sturdy, which contributes to the board’s improved responsiveness and high-speed stability.
Additionally, the tire has four circumferential grooves that help channel water via the precisely positioned, deep, and wide lateral grooves. This helps the tire perform better in wet conditions.
The tire has a number of sipes on each tread block so that it can provide improved traction and braking performance in the snow. Having said that, I was unable to locate zig-zag or waved sipes, both of which offer a greater number of biting edges and are of tremendous use in severe, icy circumstances.
The final component of the tire’s internal design is a spiral nylon overwrap that is placed over the steel belts. This provides the tire with greater high-speed performance as well as improved riding quality.
The tread design of the Solarus AS does not feature anything particularly groundbreaking, but it also does not feature anything seriously problematic. When taking into consideration the cost, the rather average touring all-season performance of the tire is not surprising.
What are the maintenance indicators?
In spite of the significantly lower price point, Starfire continues to use the Tread Wear Indicators (TWI) that are standard across the industry on its products. The Solarus AS is not an exception to this rule.
Because they show the owner how much tread is still on the tire, these indicators are critical to the safety of the vehicle. Even the greatest tires will perform poorly on wet conditions if they do not have appropriate tread depth, and they will become unsuitable for driving on snow and ice if they do not have sufficient tread depth.
Indicators of treadwear are made up of thin rubber bars that are embedded in the grooves that go around the tire’s circumference. You won’t have any trouble spotting them on any of the Starfire Solarus AS photos. The tread wears down with time, bringing the rubber bars into greater visibility and bringing them closer to the surface.
When the tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch, the thin rubber bars will be perfectly flush with the tread pattern. When this occurs, you should immediately get new tires put on the vehicle. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of driving on tires that have significantly reduced wet traction and braking ability.
The treadlife of the Solarus AS isn’t very outstanding, at least not when compared to that of premium tires. Now that we get that out of the way… The treadwear warranty that comes with the tire from Starfire is only good for 50,000 miles, which is significantly less than the typical 65,000 to 80,000 mile treadwear warranties that come with more expensive tires.
On the bright side, the Solarus AS costs approximately half as much as those tires, which indicates that at the very least, your pocketbook won’t suffer in the long term as a result of your decision. Nevertheless, it is clear that the corporation needs to reduce expenses in this area in order to keep the price at its current level.
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
To tell you the truth, I didn’t have high hopes for the Solarus AS, and it didn’t even quite meet those expectations. Because the tire does not deliver exceptional levels of grip and traction, driving in an aggressive manner is not something that should be considered.
Regarding the manner in which I was responded to, I did not feel let down in any way, but I also cannot say that I was content. However, it seems like the high-speed stability is great, at least as long as you don’t go over the posted speed limit.
The performance on dry roads appears to be acceptable for the asking price overall. Nevertheless, if you ask me, there is no price that can be put on one’s own safety.
As a result, if you want the most secure handling possible and the shortest possible stopping distances, I continue to believe that the more expensive touring tires are the superior answer.
For example, the CS5 Grand Touring from Cooper Tire is one of the company’s outstanding touring tires, and its performance will be far superior than that of the Solarus AS.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
When it is raining, there is a greater gap between the performance of premium tires and the Solarus AS. You are still obtaining decent hydroplaning resistance and predictable handling at the allowed speeds when you use the inexpensive tire. The tire is not risky.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t drive the Solarus AS too aggressively in wet circumstances because of its AWD system. The tire will work just fine for driving at a moderate pace, but it won’t be up to the task of withstanding more furious driving through the turns.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
On both dry and wet terrain, the Solarus AS may be relied on, but when it comes to snow, you should go elsewhere. Even in mild snow, traction is extremely poor, handling can be erratic at times, and stopping distances are far more than expected.
Although even the greatest all-season tires are not ideal for driving on light snow, they are still a significant improvement over the Solarus AS. Due to this factor, I will not be recommending this tire to motorists who reside in regions that experience extremely severe winter weather.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
The Starfire Solarus AS is not the most suitable option for off-road driving, despite the fact that it is offered in several crossover body styles. There will be a significant reduction in traction, even on hardpacked conditions. In addition, the tread compound doesn’t look like it’s very durable, thus off-roading might quickly cause it to become damaged.
Is it comfortable and refined?
In this respect, the Solarus AS is a pleasant and unexpected discovery. The tire offers a high level of comfort when traveling over rough terrain, to the point that it can even absorb larger bumps. Even when traveling at highway speeds, noise is not a concern. On the other hand, I can’t say for certain that the tire will continue to be silent when the tread goes away. In my experience up until this point, I’ve found that low-priced tires typically get noisier as their lifespan progresses.
More Starfire Solarus AS Review films have been produced by Pete’s Tire Barns and may be viewed on this page.
Should I buy the Starfire Solarus AS?
Even though it comes at a somewhat cheaper price range, the Solarus AS promises to deliver features and technology developed by Cooper Tire. However, the findings make it very evident that items manufactured by Cooper have an advantage, particularly with regard to how well they work in snow and rainy conditions.
However, this does not imply that the Solarus AS is a poor tire; in fact, it continues to perform admirably on both dry and wet pavement for everyday driving, and it provides a very comfortable ride.
Nevertheless, I can’t say that I would suggest it without some reservations. When it comes to safety, which is the aspect that I consider to be the most important when evaluating tires, it does not compare favorably to the premium competition.
Nevertheless, you should consider putting it on your shortlist, especially if your finances are extremely constrained. In any other case, mid-range and premium tires are by far the superior choices.