Amigos, have you any experience with/opinion about, the following tire
brands that I never heard of. They are featured on a GroupOn 60% off
deal ($40 toward $100/tire). This would be for a '99 Nissan Maxima
and two I have heard of
If the less expensive, exotically-named tires are safe, I wouldn't
mind saving 60%, as the mechanic recently told me I should consider
Your input valued.
Hankook, Kumho, Toyo & Kelly are very common well known brands and have
been around for a long time. Our "main" vehicle has Kumho ecsta
somethings (It was fitted with Kumho something else when new but they
were typical new car lower quality versions) and another has Hankook.
If the Kelly is the old Kelly-Springfield, they're certainly not
"exotic" in the US...they go back to roughly 1900 altho have been
wholly-owned subsidiary of Goodyear since sometime in the 30s...
Hankook is Korean (I believe) and is a relatively recent entry into the
US market afaik; they are afaict somewhat of a lower-line.
Toyo I've heard but not certain of any background (and you can google as
well as I). The rest I've not heard of.
I deal (and business/family have for 60+ years) w/ a local shop and stay
w/ tried-and-true, personally, no outsider need apply...
The brand doesn't tell you much anymore. A lot of the noname brands as well as
the less expensive lines of recognizable brand names are made in China
(surprise, surprise). The DOT requires that tire meet certain minimum safety
standards, so I don't have any particular problem with a tire made in China,
especially if price is the primary factor.
Note: For everyone who points to the New Jersey importer that brought in tires
from China that were missing a required tyvek band and subsequently failed in
some circumstances, I'll just point to the Firestone problem with US
manufactured tires. S##t Happens.
What you may find is that some sizes are only made by a few
manufacturers. I found that to be the case with one of our vehicles.
Hankooks tend to ride a little hard but last a long time. Often Kumho
will have a comparable tire but with a better ride.
I typically get 48-50K out of Kelly brand (new 80K rated - not
re-treads) on a 4 door Chevy Impala. The ride is good and handling OK
considering the vehicle is a family car. Last set was $440 US for all
four, so middle of the road price wise. Could probably get 70-75K if I
lived in a warm dry climate but low treads in winter just don't work in
the freeze-thaw slushy mush we typically get in winter here (SW PA).
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