No matter the driving input you do, it needs to be delivered to the road through your tires which means that no matter how good your car is, a set of low-quality tires is not going to cut it. In this comparison, we are not going into the premium tire sphere, but we also aren’t going to scrap the bottom of the barrel. As such, we are going to focus on two tire brands that most people believe are somewhere in the middle.
In this Falken vs Sumitomo tires comparison, we are first going to introduce you to both brands and their respective tire families after which we are going to square them off in regards to performance, price, warranty, and availability of options. In the end, we will tell you why one brand is better than the other and which brand you should go for.
What's In This Guide?
As far as exponential growth is concerned, the Falken tire company can serve as a perfect example. The company was founded back in 1983 which is not that long ago considering that many prominent tire companies out there are more than 100 years old. What is even more impressive is that Falken managed to enter the US market only two years after it was approved by the US Department Of Transportation in 1985.
Less than 5 years later, Falken was already doing business on more than 4 continents which is mostly because Falken is owned by Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd, a company that traces its roots hundreds of years past. Sumitomo is a company with well-established supply chains and logistical infrastructure which made Falken’s expansion a breeze.
Outside the world of great business ventures, Falken offers all kinds of tires for all kinds of vehicles. They thrive in the more affordable segment of the tire market but aren’t the cheapest by any means. They also enjoy taking part in various motorsport events around the world, even taking part in 24h of Nurburgring with Team Falken Motorsports Racecar which finished 9th overall for the 2022 event.
Falken is a company with vast resources, one that hopes to become a major player in the tire industry. As far as the current pace at which the company grows is anything to go by, Falken will be one of the greats soon enough!
Falken Tire Families
Now it’s time to introduce what makes Falken special in the tire realm by going a bit more in-depth about all the tire families Falken offers. Falken used to be a performance-oriented brand but is now offering all kinds of tires for a wide variety of environments.
The Falken AZENIS lineup of tires is what Falken believes is the perfect performance tire. These come in summer tire form mostly and are available for passenger cars, SUVs, CUVs, minivans, coupes, and sports cars. The AZENIS lineup is one of those that defined the Falken brand entirely and earned it its spot on the global performance tire market which is arguably the most competitive tire segment there is.
For example, the Falken AZENIS FK510 represents what AZENIS tires are all about as it offers a very well-rounded performance spectrum in all kinds of environments, except for the snow. This tire is able to maintain traction well while also being responsive with lots of driver feedback.
If you live in a country such as the UK, one where the weather changes constantly and you can never be too sure if you are going to end up with torrential rain or bright blue skies, the best tire you can go for is an all-weather tire as are those found in the Falken ESPIA family. There are only two models within this lineup, one is made for passenger cars while the other is made for SUVs.
These are well-balanced when it comes to the performance-to-versatility ratio as they can deliver good performance in the dry, in the wet, and in mild to moderate snow. They are not going to be able to match a dedicated summer tire for performance, or a dedicated snow tire for snow traction, but are a decent mix of both.
The Falken EUROWINTER tire is a result of Falken trying to cater to the European market by designing a winter tire that was designed specifically for European driving conditions. These are designed for stability on the highway, comfort, quietness, and good snow traction which are exactly what you’d expect from a Europe-oriented winter tire.
Currently, there is only one model you can go for and it is called the EUROWINTER HS01. These are available for passenger cars only.
With five standalone models, the Falken PRO family of tires is one of the more successful and popular families Falken offers as these are all-season tires designed with touring in mind. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes which means that they can fit passenger cars, SUVs, CUVs, and trucks.
The two most popular options are likely the Falken PRO G4 AS which is designed for sports cars and performance sedans while the Falken PRO G5 CSV is designed for crossovers and SUVs. Both try to combine great touring-tire characteristics with a slight emphasis on performance.
The Falken SINCERA family offers touring tires, all of which are comfortable, refined, and long-lasting which makes these some of the best tires Falken makes. The Falken SINCERA SN250 is somewhere in the middle between a touring tire and a performance tire while the Falken Sincera SN110 Ecorun is a really quiet and refined touring tire.
These can be had for passenger cars mostly, but the SINCERA SN250 A/S is designed both for passenger cars and trucks/CUVs/SUVs.
The WINTERPEAK family is where the best Falken winter tires can be found as these are incredibly versatile. They are fairly quiet, well-poised, and controlled, but also offer leaps of traction in snowy and icy conditions. Furthermore, these can also be equipped with dedicated ice studs which is by far the best option to go for if you want the best ice traction you can get.
Off-roading is something Falken also loves being a part of which is why they came out with the WILDPEAK off-road tires family. As such, these are designed to go on SUVs, trucks, CUVs, and even some dedicated machines such as ATVs and UTVs. What makes the Falken WILDPEAK M/T and the Falken WILDPEAK A/T3W great is that both are amazingly capable grabby off-road tires, but are quieter than some touring tires are.
Even though you can find some really comfortable tires in the Falken WILDPEAK family, the Falken RUBITREK family is better for those occasional off-roaders as these tires are more all-terrain tires than they are off-roading tires. This means that these will offer a more balanced performance across various terrains and are better commuter tires than anything from the WILDPEAK line of tires.
The Falken ZIEX family offers a single all-season performance tire model called the Falken ZIEX ZE960 which is designed mostly for sporty compact sedans. This tries aims to be a jack-of-all-trades type of tire as it offers decent performance in all environments which means that it does not excel in anything in particular.
The Sumitomo company was founded back in the early 17th century, but it didn’t engage in the tire business before 1909 when the Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd company was founded as the tire branch of the large Sumitomo conglomerate which deals in everything. The company was founded by a monk called Masamoto Sumitomo who is known for his more profound approach toward business.
This was immediately noticeable with Sumitomo tires as the company tried its best to make high-quality tires that look like they belong in the premium segment. However, the main benefits Sumitomo tires offer are value, longevity, and amazing warranty coverages which are also better than most premium tires.
Sumitomo also likes to take part in various motorsport and lifestyle events globally which did help them become fairly large players in the global tire industry. Sure, the name Sumitomo does not ring too many bells to those who aren’t interested in tires, but those who are invested in the tire realm, certainly do know that Sumitomo is a force to be reckoned with.
Nowadays, we can easily say that Sumitomo belongs in the company of some of the most promising tire brands on the market.
Sumitomo Tire Families
Sumitomo currently offers six different tire families that are designed for performance, touring, winter, all-season, and off-road tires with one additional tire family that acts as a mixture between touring tires and performance tires.
The Sumitomo HTR family of tires is designed for performance above everything else which makes these the best performance tires with a Sumitomo stamp. It is true that they only offer two models, both of which are designed for passenger cars and sports cars first, but the Sumitomo HTR A/S PO2 and the PO3 are designed for some SUVs as well.
The Sumitomo HTR Z III is a tire designed for true performance handling which means that this is a summer tire only. On the other hand, the A/S PO2 is an all-season tire.
Sumitomo HTR Enhance
As far as Sumitomo all-season tires are concerned, the HTR Enhance is the family to go for. These are some of the more popular Sumitomo tires which can be fitted to both passenger cars and SUVs/trucks. The Sumitomo HTR Enhance L/X tire is available in five different sizes (15-19 inches) and with four speed ratings.
The best thing about these tires is that some come with an industry-leading 90,000-mile warranty which is not something you can often see in this price range.
The Sumitomo Touring line of tires is as the name might suggest intended for touring tires. There are two tire models within this lineup, one is designed for SUVs and trucks while the other one is designed for passenger cars. The Sumitomo Touring LS is an all-season touring tire that aims to offer dependable performance in all types of environments but isn’t on par with dedicated performance tires.
Sumitomo Tour Plus
The Sumitomo Tour Plus family of tires is the aforementioned family of tires aimed to strike a perfect balance between a touring tire and a performance tire. The Sumitomo Tour Plus LS offers amazing traction in both dry and wet environments and is more a performance tire than it is a touring tire. This tire is designed for passenger cars and the T speed-rated model comes with a 90,000-mile warranty.
The Encounter family of tires represents what Sumitomo believes is a perfect off-road tire family. As is the case with all the other Sumitomo tires, the Encounter family also isn’t the most expensive but is backed with everything you need for perfect off-roading traction and durability. The Sumitomo Encounter AT tire comes with a 3PMSF rating and is backed by a 60,000-mile warranty.
Sumitomo Ice Edge
To round up our list of Sumitomo tire families, we are also going to mention the Sumitomo Ice Edge winter tire family. These are available for both passenger cars and SUVs/CUVs/trucks with the important 3PMSF rating. Moreover, these can also be equipped with studs which makes them perfect for ice driving.
Differences Between Falken And Sumitomo Tires
As far as performance is concerned, these two brands are incredibly similar. Both brands offer tires with strong center ribs and a wide shoulder block design which makes their performance tires handle really well. Sumitomo makes better performance tires for cars with a higher center of gravity but Falken does have the upper advantage in the passenger car department due to the Azenis family offering more variety.
Off-roading is where these two are also really closely matched. The Falken WILDPEAK and RUBITREK families offer a more comfortable off-roading experience while the Sumitomo Encounter family offers a more technologically advanced tire that is better in the snow and is more durable.
Touring tires are where Falken is trailing a bit behind Sumitomo as Sumitomo makes quieter tires while Falken touring tires are a bit better in the performance realm. Winter tires are not what makes these two brands special as they offer a very limited number of models, but Sumitomo has more tires with the 3PMSF rating.
Price and Warranty
Price is where these two are almost identical and can trade punches forever, but the warranty is where Sumitomo takes the lead as some of their tires come with a 90,000-mile warranty which is rather impressive. Moreover, Sumitomo offers longer warranty coverages on their off-roading tires which are usually known to come with shorter warranty coverages in general.
Availability Of Options
Falken offers more tire families, but many of them only offer one or two models only. Sumitomo on the other hand offers fewer tire families, most of which offer 3-5 different models. As far as sizing goes, both brands offer all the usual (15-19) which the exception of performance tires which can be had up to 22-inches with both.
Advantages Of Falken
- Slightly Better Performance Tires
- A Dedicated All-Terrain Tire Family
- More Comfortable Off-Road Tires
- More Tire Families
Advantages Of Sumitomo
- Better SUV/truck Performance Tires
- Quieter Touring Tires
- More Durable Off-Road Tires
- A Better Warranty
Which Brand To Choose?
At the end of our Falken vs Sumitomo tires comparison, we can easily say that these two are really closely matched. However, if you care about warranty, off-road tire durability, and SUV performance tires, go for Sumitomo.
On the other hand, if you want more comfortable off-road tires, better passenger car performance tires, and all-terrain tires, then go for Falken.