Mastercraft Tires Review: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated June 10, 2022

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Looking for a budget-friendly set of tires? The wealth of options means you’re spoiled for choices. Go for Lexani if you want super-cheap tires whose performance matches their price. Waterfall is another option. Their Eco Dynamic PCR is one of the best low-cost, all-season tires out there.

Mastercraft Tires Review

Mastercraft is different from both these brands. Its tires aren’t as inexpensive as their counterparts from Lexani. Nor is Mastercraft a one-trick pony like Waterfall, whose best-seller (the Eco Dynamic PCR) is the primary reason people who know about this brand know about this brand.

Instead, Mastercraft has developed a reputation for crafting top-quality tires for passenger cars, SUVs, and light trucks on a budget. You may get a mixed bag of reviews when you search online, but an overwhelming majority of users are satisfied with their purchase of these tires.

Which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Mastercraft is a subsidiary brand of Cooper and both share manufacturing materials and facilities. This allows Mastercraft to come up with the same sought-after features that Cooper tires possess, but at a price most people can afford to pay.

Here are the best Mastercraft tires currently on the market

#1. Mastercraft A/S IV – Best Overall

Mastercraft AS IV

The Mastercraft A/S IV is an all-season budget-friendly tire designed for midsize sedans, subcompacts, compacts, and small crossovers.

The combination of an all-weather tread pattern and gripping edges provide it with adequate protection on dry or wet roads. Wide circumferential grooves do a pretty good job of evacuating water from beneath the tire’s footprint, ensuring responsive handling on damp roads.

Noise on the highway won’t bother you too much. The variable size treads would make sure of that. Also, the A/S IV is surprisingly quiet at slow speeds, even for a tire that doesn’t cost much. That said, the tire does start producing a noticeable roar as soon as you accelerate to highway speeds.

In terms of comfort, you won’t feel minor road undulations in the cabin. The A/S IV seems to have an uncanny ability to smoothen minor road imperfections without giving you a taste of them. But it tends to hump and thump when rolling over potholes and other major road irregularities.

The average driver won’t have any complaints about its traction in wet conditions. Sure, this tire isn’t among the best tires for rain, but its wet performance is pretty good for the price. Braking distances are on the shorter side too, but it’s still recommended to drive slow when it’s slippery out there.

Overall, this tire doesn’t have any features that would let you mistake it for a Michelin Premier A/S, Continental TrueContact, or Bridgestone Turanza Quieetrack. But for everyday driving, it is one of the best budget tires available right now.

Pros

  • Comes with white sidewalls
  • Brilliant dry traction and handling
  • Good ride comfort in normal conditions

Cons

  • Average traction in snow and ice

#2. Mastercraft Courser AXT2 – Best All-Terrain Tire

Mastercraft Courser AXT2

The Mastercraft Courser AXT2 is an all-terrain tire with an aggressive and rugged tread design. This tire is designed to provide supreme traction and handling in all off-road conditions, including mud, dirt, sand, and gravel. Despite that, its asking price won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Tread blocks with Stone Armor Ribs between them provide adequate protection against punctures and rocks. Jagger cleats inside the tread area and alternating shoulder scallops improve traction and grip on loose surfaces, such as mud, dirt, and sand.

The M+S rating means this tire should do well on snow. To achieve that, Mastercraft has provided its tread area with biting edges around the blocks. The biting edges should keep the tire stable on hard-packed snow, while also helping it with traction on water-logged roads.

Its performance over wet and slippery roads is more than decent for an AT tire. The biting edges give this tire all the grip it needs to not struggle too much in the corners. Braking distances are also on the shorter side, and its aquaplaning resistance is pretty good, too.

In terms of comfort and refinement, the Courser AXT2 has the uncanny ability to soften the initial blow as it rolls over a bump. That said, those of you in the cabin won’t be entirely isolated from the vibrations that will follow. But despite that, they will be easy to tolerate.

All in all, the Mastercraft Courser AXT has got everything to meet your expectations in light to moderate off-road conditions. It has plenty of well-controlled manners, as well as the grip and traction that doesn’t let this tire struggle on mud, gravel, sand, and light snow.

Pros

  • Provides plenty of grip and traction
  • M+S rating means it should do well in mud and snow
  • Noise levels are on the lower side
  • Evacuates water pretty quickly
    warranty

Cons

  • Not for rock crawling

#3. Mastercraft Courser HTR – Best All-Season Tire

Mastercraft Courser HTR

The Mastercraft Courser HTR is an all-season touring tire designed to provide reliable year-round traction to all types of SUVs and pickups.

It is important to remember that the Courser HTR and HTR Plus aren’t the same. The former is made for light trucks and SUVs. The latter is designed for sporty trucks as well as SUVs. The HTR Plus is a better option for anyone looking for plus-size fitments.

A glance at the sizes both tires are available in would help you understand this point better. The HTR is available in multiple 15 – 17 inch sizes. All have the S-speed rating. Whereas with the HTR Plus, Mastercraft offers a range of 18 and 20-inch sizes, with all of them carrying a T-speed rating.

The reason we’re recommending HTR and not the HTR Plus has nothing to do with both tires’ performance. Nor does it say that the HTR is better than HTR Plus. It’s just that this tire is available at a more budget-friendly price than its successor, attracting a wide range of customers.

An all-season tread compound with an asymmetric tread pattern increases the HTR’s traction on dry pavement. Four circumferential grooves, multiple added sipes, and see-through grooves take this tire’s grip on wet surfaces to the next level. Wet traction is one of the strengths of this model.

Multiple shoulder slots and an optimized tread pattern bring road noise down to a bearable level. They also help this tire provide a quiet ride, much quieter than most budget touring tires out there. And to further sweeten the deal, Mastercraft is backing this tire with a 50,000-mile tread warranty.

Pros

  • Superb dry and wet traction
  • Noise-free and smooth ride
  • Above-average treadlife
    resistance

Cons

  • Treadlife warranty is on the shorter side

#4. Mastercraft Strategy – Best Touring Tire

Mastercraft Strategy

The Mastercraft Strategy is an entry-level all-season touring tire that offers reliable grip and traction all year round regardless of the weather conditions.

An all-season tread compound combines with the asymmetric tread pattern to deliver confident wet and dry traction. The tread pattern features a 5-rib design that lends this tire stability at high speeds. And the fact that it carries an M+S rating means it can perform admirably on mud and snow.

Mastercraft went out of its way to extend this tire’s treadlife. It did that by optimizing the Strategy’s tread pattern and providing it with a notched center rib. The computer-optimized tread design provides an added benefit of reduced road noise and enhanced ride quality.

Hydroplaning resistance is also above-average with this tire. Four circumferential grooves, innumerable sipes around the tread area and multiple lateral grooves don’t let water accumulate in the tire’s footprint for long, increasing the Strategy’s grip on wet and snow-covered roads.

Deep snow traction is almost non-existent. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise given that this tire is meant for everyday driving. As long as you keep it to the tarmac, there’s an excellent chance the Strategy will outlast its 65,000 miles wear warranty. The warranty is above-average for a tire in this price range.

Pros

  • Ensures even tread wear
  • Excellent performance on wet roads
  • Above-average wear warranty

Cons

  • Poor traction in deep snow

#5. Mastercraft LSR Grand Touring – Best Grand Touring Tire

Mastercraft LSR Grand Touring

The Mastercraft LSR Grand Touring is made for those sedan, coupe, minivan, SUV or crossover drivers who want year-round traction but not at the cost of ride quality. Its asking price and above-average warranty further endear the LSR Grand Touring to potential customers.

Mastercraft has equipped this tire with a silica and carbon black tread compound. This tire’s tread has a unique symmetrical pattern which you normally don’t get to see on grand touring tires. Still, it offers brilliant traction on dry and wet traction, while also reducing rolling resistance.

The LSR Grand Touring comes with a 4- or 5-rib design, depending on its speed rating. This design helps the tire stay stable at high speeds. Multiple lateral and circumferential grooves are also on offer, reducing the risk of hydroplaning while also ensuring reliable wet traction.

Steering responsiveness is very good too. A closely pack row of shoulder blocks make sure of that. And the cornering stiffness on offer is good enough to resist deformation while the vehicle corners at high speeds. You can thus count on the LSR Grand Touring to retain its original shape for long.

Any complaints about this tire’s warranty aren’t justified. The 80,000-mile treadlife warranty is among the longest we have seen from any grand touring tire. Let alone a budget-friendly model like the LSR Grand Touring whose asking price doesn’t cost you to rob a bank.

Pros

  • Highly responsiveness performanc
  • Great treadlife warranty
  • Drives quietly and comfortably

Cons

  • Can do with a bit more winter traction

#6. Mastercraft Glacier Trex – Best Winter Tire

Mastercraft Glacier Trex Tire Review

The Glacier Trex is a severe-weather-rated tire for SUVs and passenger vehicles. It’s one of the few reliable winter tires that don’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Given that it’s a dedicated winter tire, it makes sense to start with its tread. It boasts a directional tread pattern that allows it to offer exceptional grip and traction on hard snow. But it isn’t fair to solely credit the tread pattern for this tire’s outstanding performance in icy conditions.

Its Winter Compound Technology plays an equally important part in making the Glacier Trex a dedicated winter tire. The technology helps the tire’s rubber stay flexible in poor weather conditions, ensuring the tire offers a safer winter driving experience.

Its Snow Groove Technology keeps the tire stable on snow-laden roads. The technology has a very interesting working mechanism. The technology locks the snow into the tread, pitting snow against snow to get better traction.

You might want to note that this tire is studdable. This means you can stick tiny metal studs past its tread area for added traction on packed snow and ice. Just make sure to know your state’s highway laws before inserting the studs – multiple states prohibit the use of studded tires on public roads.  

Then come the lateral and circumferential grooves that work in tandem to resist hydroplaning. The grooves work by eliminating water, mud, and slush from beneath this tire’s footprint. This ensures that the tire’s contact with the road stays intact at all times.

Warranty is equally superb. The Glacier Trex’s wear-warranty covers it for the first 2/32’’ of wear. Mastercraft also backs this tire with a 45-day test-drive warranty. You also get a manufacturer mileage warranty for defects in workmanship and materials under ‘normal and reasonable’ use.

Pros

  • Exceptional snow traction
  • Above-average wet performanc
  • Brilliant traction and grip

Cons

  • Isn’t quiet

#7. Mastercraft Stratus H/T – Best Highway Tire for Trucks

Mastercraft Stratus HT

Are you an owner of older pickup or SUV? Looking for a tire that is very cheap but offers stable handling characteristics? In that case, the Stratus H/T might be an excellent option.

There are many things about this tire that regular highway drivers would appreciate. Its clean and evenly patterned tread design lengthens tire life by improving wear. A 50,000-mile treadlife warranty gives you all the assurance that you may need to believe in this.

Rainy season won’t disturb this tire’s performance. Wide center grooves force water out of the tire, emptying its tread area within minutes regardless of rainfall amounts. You won’t have to park your pickup truck in the garage unless the roads outside are waterlogged.

Its M+S (mud plus snow) rating and sipes guarantee that this tire won’t slip on wet roads. Mastercraft has inserted the sipes through the tire tread to help this tire offer above-average traction in wet and wintry conditions, including light snow and ice.

The Mastercraft Stratus H/T doesn’t produce much noise either. It has ‘quiet ride’ grooves that minimize the airflow area between the tread blocks. This reduces the passage of air and, by extension, the amount of noise the tire will produce on the road.

Pros

  • M+S Rated
  • Offers quiet ride
  • Supreme wet weather traction
  • Handles well on dry roads

Cons

  • Isn’t robust enough for off-roading

Mastercraft Tires Buying Guide

In this section of our Mastercraft tires review, we’re going to highlight the positive aspects as well as drawbacks of Mastercraft tires. We’ll start by highlighting what sets these tires apart from their competitors. Next, we’ll turn our attention to potential deal-breaking factors.

Why Buy Mastercraft Tires?

Here are the positive aspects of Mastercraft tires:

1)   Competitive pricing

Mastercraft tires prove that the maxim ‘you get what you pay for’ isn’t always true. These tires provide you everything you get from their premium counterparts (excellent dry and wet performance, long warranties, large number of sizes, and more) at a fraction of the price.

That isn’t to say that these tires are super cheap. A comparison of these tires with their well-off counterparts reveals that their asking prices are $20 – $40 lower. This makes Mastercraft tires a good choice if you’ve a bit more cash to spend on brand new tires.

2)   Superb warranty

Warranty is the main point of differentiation between Mastercraft and other cheap tires. Need proof? Take the example of Road Hugger. Road Hugger is another budget tire brand. It backs its tires with 40,000 – 60,000-mile warranties, depending on model and speed rating.

Mastercraft, on the contrary, offers 80,000-mile warranties on some models, which is not at all bad considering that these tires are nowhere near expensive.

3)   Excellent handling

Poor handling is a no-go area for Mastercraft tires. Their asymmetrical tread patterns, high-quality tread compounds and sturdy internal structures help improve vehicle stability in all conditions. Treads come equipped with sipes, grooves and edges to resist hydroplaning and provide grip in wet weather.

This makes Mastercraft tires a great choice for drivers drive on their fair share of water- and snow-affected roads. Poor handling can jeopardize a vehicle’s stability in wet conditions, potentially putting the driver’s and the passenger’s life in danger.

4)   Comfortable ride

Comfortable and quiet ride is one thing that almost all Mastercraft tires have in common. Almost all the products we reviewed above use soft materials that absorb and dampen vibrations emanating from the road, increasing the ride quality for the passengers.

Why Not Buy Mastercraft Tires?

Here are the negative aspects of Mastercraft tires:

1)   Not for performance driving

Mastercraft tires lag well behind premium manufacturers for performance driving. Push them too hard, and you risk jeopardizing your vehicle’s stability. The braking distances, which get longer on wet roads, also make these tires a poor choice for performance driving.

2)   News of manufacturing faults

In 2019, Cooper recalled more than 400,000 tires from its Cooper, Mastercraft, Hercules and Mastercraft brands over reports the tires developed sidewall bulges that could lead to tire failure. While the issue was sorted out amicably back then, concern remains.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the common queries people have about Mastercraft tires:

Who makes Mastercraft tires?

Cooper Tire & Rubber makes Mastercraft tires at its facilities located across the world. Both the brands also share technologies and materials used for tire making.

What is the rating of Mastercraft tires?

Mastercraft tires are highly rated by their users. Comfortable ride quality, above-average warranties and competitive pricing have allowed these tires to build a solid reputation in the budget segment of the $102 billion worth tire market in the US.

Are Mastercraft tires noisy?

Mastercraft tires are nowhere near noisy. The Mastercraft Stratus H/T comes with ‘quiet ride’ grooves that minimize the airflow area between the tread blocks. This reduces the passage of air and, by extension, the amount of noise the tire will produce on the road.

Are Mastercraft Stratus AS tires good in snow?

The Mastercraft Stratus AS performs admirably in mild wintry conditions. If you’re looking for a dedicated Mastercraft snow tire, check out the Glacier Trex. This studdable tire will give your tire all the traction and grip it needs to stay stable on snow-laden roads.

Are Mastercraft tires better than Cooper?

Mastercraft tires are as good as Cooper’s. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given that both tires share the manufacturing facilities, materials and technologies. Cooper and Mastercraft tires thus boast the same performance features and high quality riding.

Are Mastercraft tires made in China?

Mastercraft tires are made in various facilities located in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and North America.

Conclusion

Looking for budget-friendly tires? Don’t want to compromise on performance? You cannot go wrong with Mastercraft tires. These tires boast admirable dry and wet performance, above-average warranty and the same performance feature that you get in Cooper tires.

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