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The United States market is seeing an ongoing influx of inexpensive tire options. However, the vast majority of them are complete and utter nonsense. They are not extremely quiet or comfy, and they do not operate very well on surfaces that are snowy or damp. They also do not last very long. The issue is that you are unable to determine for certain which brand is of high quality and which is not. It’s quite unlikely, especially considering that nobody actually tests these tires.
Well, we do! We wish to discuss every brand of tire that is sold in the United States, from the most expensive to the most affordable. One of these brands is called Westlake, and it originates in China. In point of fact, it is a subsidiary of Zhongce Rubber Company, which, as of 2019, was ranked as the tenth largest tire manufacturer in the entire globe. Yes, you read that correctly, guys: a Chinese tire company has made it into the Top 10 list of the world’s top tire manufactures, and they continue to increase their annual volume of sales.
However, China accounts for the majority of the company’s brand sales. This is due to the fact that an increasing number of people are purchasing vehicles, which in turn creates an increased demand for tires in that market. One of the things that makes Zhongce a more fascinating company is the fact that it has its own research and development department. The majority of less expensive brands that originate in China do not have this, and as a consequence, the tires are hazardous to use on the majority of surfaces.
The good news is that you won’t have to worry about that with Westlake tires. Even though its parent firm doesn’t make use of the most recent and cutting-edge technologies, at least the tires are put through a variety of tests in a variety of environments.
But how do Westlake tires stack up against the premium alternatives offered by companies based in the United States, Germany, Japan, and France? In my evaluation of Westlake tires, I’m going to work hard to provide an answer to that very question.
In order to accomplish this, I will review the majority of the products produced by the Chinese company, as well as provide you with my thoughts regarding the products as a whole. I’ll give you Westlake’s in addition to those that are unique to any other tire manufacturer’s offerings: benefits and drawbacks. Let’s get down to business without further ado, shall we?
Top 5 Westlake Tires Review
1. Westlake RP18
The RP18 is the lowest priced tire in the range that Westlake offers. This tire is a touring all-season tire that was designed to be used on small city cars, compact automobiles, mid-size sedans, minivans, and even certain crossover vehicles. The manufacturer makes the tire available in a wide variety of common sizes, ranging from a wheel diameter of 13 inches all the way up to a wheel diameter of 16 inches.
Additionally, Westlake is good enough to supply us with a great deal of information regarding the tire. For instance, they used a tread pattern with varying pitch in order to lessen the impact of the road noise and make the ride more comfortable. The tire also has optimized grooves for an expanded contact patch, angled grooves and siping for all-season capabilities, and four circumferential grooves for improved resistance to hydroplaning. All of these elements contribute to the tire’s overall performance.
However, how can any of that apply to the world that actually exists? It really depends on which other tires you use as a benchmark for the RP18. In comparison to other low-cost brands, this tire actually performs quite admirably. It has superior traction when driving on dry surfaces and responds more quickly to the inputs of the driver. Additionally, the stopping distances are reduced, and the tire provides a sense of increased security at higher speeds.
When applied to moist surfaces, the difference is still present. The performance of the RP18 is marginally superior to that of its direct competitors, which are defined as tires that have the same price point. Once again, the handling is significantly improved, and the stopping distances are significantly reduced. Regarding its performance in the snow, the RP18 does not do exceptionally well, but then again, not many budget tires do.
It is, however, abundantly evident where your money goes when you evaluate the RP18 in comparison to tires produced by well-known manufacturers. Although there is a discernible difference in traction and grip on dry terrain, the greatest disparity in the two characteristics is experienced when driving on wet pavement.
To put it another way, if you ask too much of the RP18 in wet conditions, it won’t perform very well. When the tire is pushed to its limit, it exhibits a jittery behavior, and even a skilled driver will have difficulty preventing the vehicle from spinning out of control. There is no question that a premium tire will deliver significantly superior performance.
On the other hand, the Westlake RP18 performs admirably in terms of its level of comfort. Even if there are a few significant potholes in the road, the ride quality is really smooth, and there is not much tread noise. However, there have been reports from a few customers that the tire gets noisier as it gets older. In addition, the treadwear warranty covers 45,000 miles, which is an exceptionally long period considering the cost.
- An inexpensive tire that has very strong dry traction and grip.
- High degree of riding comfort
- On the freeway, it doesn’t produce an excessive amount of noise.
- Compares favorably to comparable inexpensive tires in terms of its performance in the rain.
- Still a long distance behind well-known brands in terms of traction on dry and wet surfaces
- The traction on snow cannot be relied upon.
- Can potentially get more noisy as time passes.
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2. Westlake SU318
Westlake’s touring all-season tire for SUVs and CUVs is designated by the model number SU318. The manufacturer makes the tire available in a wide variety of common sizes, ranging from a wheel diameter of 15 inches all the way up to a wheel diameter of 22 inches. As a result, this tire is suitable for the vast majority of crossovers and SUVs, including more mature versions. The T, H, and V speed classifications all function in the same manner.
But what about its overall functionality? To tell you the truth, it’s the same old story as with the RP18. Overall, the SU318 outperforms its lower-priced competitors when it comes to performance on both dry and rainy terrain. However, it cannot even come close to competing with the expensive options available.
Despite this, I was content with the way in which this tire handled itself on dry surfaces. The steering has a decent feeling of responsiveness, and the level of traction and grip is satisfactory. In addition, the tire maintains a high level of stability even when traveling at higher speeds.
The SU318 delivers satisfactory performance for day-to-day driving in wet weather. Despite this, you shouldn’t put too much pressure on it. At the very edge, the tire has a jittery feeling, and your vehicle could spin out of control. The same is true for snow traction, which is, to be perfectly honest, pretty poor.
The SU318 does have some redeeming qualities, despite its flaws. When traveling at highway speeds, the ride is fairly smooth, and there is not a lot of road noise. In addition, the treadwear warranty covers 50,000 miles, which is above average for the category and even on pace with other alternatives that cost far more. The treadlife shouldn’t change at all.
- Excellent treadlife for the price
- Very good performance on dry pavement
- Smooth ride quality
- Quiet on the highway
- When pushed in damp conditions, experiences feelings of nervousness.
- Insufficiently dependable on snow and ice
- However, premium competitors are pulling ahead in terms of dry traction and grip.
3. Westlake SL309
For drivers of commercial vehicles, Westlake offers an unusual option in the form of the SL309 tire. Not only does it have a build that is heavy-duty, but it also comes with a treadwear warranty that is 40,000 miles long, which is not something that is typically found in this category.
Again, in terms of performance, it is not going to be able to beat any premium competition. However, it performs better than the vast majority of choices available at a low cost. Furthermore, on dry roads, you will never be able to tell that this tire is a budget option. The braking distances are not particularly lengthy, the cornering grip is excellent for daily driving, and the stability of the vehicle is extremely good.
When driving at normal speeds, you won’t have any trouble maintaining traction in wet situations. However, if you put a lot of force on the tires, you will notice some strange behavior, which is not something that typically occurs in trucks and other commercial vehicles. Traction on snow and ice is not one of its strong suits, however.
The SL309’s most impressive quality is that, because to its sturdy build, it performs admirably even when subjected to a heavy load.
- A good option for towing, hauling, and commercial applications
- Tough and durable construction
- Long treadwear warranty
- Very good stability on dry roads
- Snow and ice traction are below average
- Could be even better in wet conditions
4. Westlake SA07
The SA07 is a high-performance all-season touring tire that can handle a variety of terrains. This type is compatible with mid-size cars, performance sedans, and executive sedans, and it comes with wheel diameters ranging from 16 inches to 20 inches.
The whole driving experience that you will have with a Westlake tire is by far the greatest that you can have. The immediacy of the steering is of the highest caliber, and there is sufficient grip and traction for everyday driving. Additionally, the steadiness of the highway is great.
Although it may not perform quite as well in wet conditions as its closest rivals, the tire is still superior in general performance. In spite of this, I would not recommend using this tire in severe wintry conditions because it does not provide reliable traction. Additionally, the ride is somewhat harsh, despite the tire’s ability to keep a quiet profile on the highway.
- The most responsive Westlake tire
- Very good grip and traction on dry surfaces
- Wet traction is better than other low-cost competitors
- An excellent 45,000-mile treadwear warranty for the price
- Non-reliable snow traction
- Overall performance is far behind the premium competition
5. Westlake SL369
The SL369 is Westlake’s offering in the category of all-terrain tires. It comes with a warranty that covers treadwear for 40,000 miles, which is great for the category and particularly impressive when taking into account the cost. Additionally, the tire has good traction when used off-road, particularly on ground that are hardpacked.
On-road performance is satisfactory when compared to dry roads, but there is nothing particularly noteworthy to report when compared to wet surfaces. Fortunately, the tire has adequate traction on snow that has not been compacted down.
- Excellent traction on hardpacked surfaces
- Good stability on dry roads
- Good traction on unpacked snow
- A very tough and durable compound
- An outstanding 40,000-mile treadwear warranty for the price
- Doesn’t work well on wet surfaces
- Might suffer in deep mud
Westlake Tires Review: Buying Guide
1. Westlake Tires Positive Aspects
Perform well for daily driving
All Westlake tires perform admirably at speeds in the usual range. On dry roads, they perform exceptionally well, and on wet roads, they perform far better than other inexpensive tires.
There is no other low-cost alternative that will last as long, even if you get quality tires, which will last much longer.
Comfortable and quiet
The majority of Westlake tires deliver a smooth and peaceful ride for vehicles on the road.
2. Westlake Tires Negative Aspects
Wet traction when pushed hard
In wet situations, you shouldn’t put too much pressure on these tires because they can easily hydroplane. They operate admirably at normal speeds, but on the limit of their grip, they are not very safe.
Snow and ice traction
The company Westlake still does not have a tire that can perform reliably in severe winter conditions.
At the moment, Westlake manufactures some of the finest inexpensive tires that can be found on the market. Even still, I wouldn’t put them at the top of my list, especially given the fact that tires made by more reputable manufacturers perform better in a wider range of environments. However, Westlake is a fantastic brand to consider purchasing if you are truly trying to cut costs.