Sumitomo HTR Z III Tire Review and Rating (2022)

Last Updated July 8, 2022

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Dry
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Wet
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Snow
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Comfort
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Noise
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Treadwear
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Pros

  • Surprisingly quiet
  • Marvelous lateral grip
  • Decent aquaplaning resistance
  • Budget-oriented

Cons

  • Tread life is not the best
  • Not suited for smaller cars

The top spot for the best ultra-high-performance tires is reserved for brands like Michelin or Pirelli. Despite that, some budget-friendly options are out there, like the HTR Z III from Sumitomo. 

Don’t take this the wrong way, but the HTR Z III cannot compete with the Pilot Sport or the P Zero. What it lacks in performance makes up with a lower price, making it a good option for people on a budget.

Sumitomo claims that the HTR Z III is a summer tire capable of delivering superb performance in wet and dry conditions.

The rubber compound is enriched with silica and works with the asymmetric tread design to deliver on its promise. In addition to that, the shoulder blocks are bigger, and the 5-rib pattern is there to aid in that. All of this is responsible for delivering superb traction on dry roads.

Sumitomo HTR Z III Tire Review

To improve the grip in the corners and responsiveness, Sumitomo made the HTR Z III with larger shoulder blocks. The center rib is stiffened up, which not only aids with cornering, it improves the stability at higher speeds. The sidewall is also beefed up, which will prevent it from flexing under heavy cornering. 

Sumitomo didn’t forget about wet performance and designed the tread to help keep water away from the blocks. The circumferential grooves along with the lateral ones should help achieve that. As a result, the aquaplaning resistance is supposed to be improved as well. 

How does it behave on dry tarmac?

The HTR Z III delivers on Sumitomo’s promise and provides excellent performance on dry tarmac.

In a straight line, the tire is stable, meaning that the center rib is doing its job. The tread design also helps a lot, combined with the shoulder blocks. When you drive on a twisty road, the HTR Z III is even more impressive. The levels of grip are phenomenal, to a point where the overall experience is transformed. Another aspect that helps with the grip is the reinforced sidewall. You can push it as hard as you want, and it won’t flex as much as some of the other models in this class.

The responsiveness is also impressive, along with the feedback. As soon as you turn the steering wheel, the HTR Z III changes direction without any delay. When you push hard, you rely on the feedback from the tires to know how much more you can push. The good news is that the tire will provide plenty of feedback, so you’ll know what each one is doing.

How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?

The HTR Z III is equally impressive on wet and slippery roads, especially when it comes to cornering.

Driving on the straights is no a problem for this tire. The center rib offers the same stability, and the lateral and circumferential grooves help with water channeling. As a result, you get excellent stability and aquaplaning resistance.

When it comes to cornering, the HTR Z III is an absolute blast to drive. You can drive pretty aggressively, and the tire will grip to the surface. Once it gives away, it is effortless to control, and you can get back on track without spinning out. Add the relatively short braking distances, and you are looking at some good times around a track.

How is it over snow?

The HTR Z III is a summer tire, so the performance on snow is non-existent. Sumitomo designed the rubber compound to work optimally in warm weather. It means that even at lower temperatures with no snow, the tire will not be as good as it would in the summer. 

Is it comfortable and refined?

I was surprised to find that the HTR Z III is very quiet and decently comfortable. With most ultra-high-performance tires, the comfort takes a hit, which is not the case here.

Honestly speaking, the comfort isn’t comparable to a touring tire. You can still feel that the HTR Z III is oriented towards performance. The ride is a bit bumpy but not as harsh as with other tires.

When it comes to noise levels, the tire is a champ and is one of the quietest ones in this class. You could even start to compare it with some of the more expensive models. Around town, at slower speeds, the HTR Z III is quiet, regardless of the type of surface. You will start to hear the roar at higher speeds, but it won’t be as intrusive as you think. 

Is it good for off-roading?

When it comes to off-roading, the HTR Z III is not the tire you’ll want. As an ultra-high-performance tire, as long as you go off-road, the experience will not be good.

For some tires, I mention that a short drive on a dirt road may be fine. I can say the same for the HTR Z III, and you could drive in those scenarios. The problem is that this is the type of tire that can get damaged pretty quickly in those cases.

To sum things up – stick it to the roads.

Is the Sumitomo HTR Z III ideal for sporty driving?

The HTR Z III is an excellent tire for sporty driving, especially when compared with rivals from the same class.

In terms of the performance, there isn’t too much to critique. The HTR Z III has an excellent grip on dry tarmac, and combined with the straight-line stability; it’s an excellent option for sporty driving. The wet performance is also impressive, along with the super aquaplaning resistance.

For sporty driving, the two things that tire manufacturers sometimes overlook are responsiveness and feedback. The good news is that the HTR Z III responds quickly to any input and provides plenty of information through the steering wheel.

It is a tire that you can even take on a track and have a good time ripping through the corners.

Should I buy the Sumitomo HTR Z III?

The HTR Z III is a tire that I can recommend, but it’s not a tire for everybody. 

First of all, it is a summer tire, meaning that if you live in a colder area and have winters, then it’s not for you.

If you want a tire that doesn’t come with a premium price tag and can deliver excellent performance, then this is the one for you. With superb dry and wet stability, combined with plenty of grip in the corners, there’s hardly anything to fault. The razor-sharp handling and talkative nature make the HTR Z III a favorite among driving enthusiasts.

As a bonus, you get some decently comfortable ride for an ultra-high-performance tire. The best feature about it is the surprisingly low noise levels.

Sumitomo HTR Z III Warranty

And this is where the HTR Z III disappoints slightly. It is an ultra-high-performance tire, so don’t expect to get and treadwear warranty. I can understand that, and the other tires that have this warranty are usually more expensive.

As for the rest, it’s more or less as you’d expect. Material and workmanship guarantee is up to 6 years, while uniformity goes only for the first 1/32 inch of treadwear.

Sumitomo HTR Z III Pricing: Is it worth the money?

The HTR Z III is worth the money, as long as you know it’s a summer ultra-high-performance tire. The price starts from a little under $90, which is not a lot when you consider what you get.

As an ultra-high-performance tire, it will offer excellent performance in wet and dry conditions. High-speed stability and cornering grip are all that the HTR Z III is about. In addition to that, the driving dynamics are excellent, completing the package.

An unexpected addition to the list of positive things is the comfort and low noise levels.

The biggest downside is the lack of treadwear warranty and that some owners have reported that it is not a long-lasting tire. I know it’s not designed for longevity as a touring tire, but some may outlast it.

Conclusion

Refined tires with excellent performance are hard to find. Ultra-high-performance tires that are decently comfortable and quiet are even rarer. If you are looking for this combo, then the HTR Z III is a tire you should check out. 

Sumitomo managed to deliver on most promises and designed a tire that combined performance and comfort. While it’s not the most comfortable one, if you are on the market for this kind of tire, a smooth ride won’t be a priority for you.

One thing to keep in mind is that ultra-high-performance tires tend to have a shorter lifespan. The more you push it, the quicker you’ll reach the end of the tread.

Overall, the HTR Z III is an excellent tire that can put a smile on any enthusiast’s face.

What Vehicles Will the Sumitomo HTR Z III Fit?

  • Acura Integra
  • Audi S4, S8, TT Roadster, RS6, A4
  • BMW 3, 5 series
  • Cadillac Seville STS
  • Chevrolet Corvette, Camaro, Cobalt
  • Ford Mustang GT, Focus
  • Honda Civic, Accord, S2000
  • Infiniti G35
  • Lexus IS, ES, GS
  • Mazda RX-8, 3, 6
  • Mercedes-Benz S, C class
  • Mini Cooper
  • Nissan Sentra, 300ZX, Altima SE-R, 350Z
  • Pontiac GTO, Trans Am
  • Porsche 911, Boxster, Cayman
  • Subaru Impreza WRX, Legacy
  • Toyota Camry, Matrix, Corolla, GT-86
  • Volkswagen Passat, Phaeton, Golf, GTi, Jetta

Unfortunately, the HTR Z III ranges from 17 to 22 inches, so the list of models that the tire can be fitted on is slightly reduced. Despite that, there are still plenty of cars that can, and the list above contains a part of them.

Tire Sizes for Sumitomo HTR Z III

17″

  • 215/60R17
  • 205/50R17
  • 215/45R17
  • 225/45R17
  • 235/45R17
  • 245/45R17
  • 245/40R17
  • 255/40R17
  • 275/40R17

18″

  • 235/50R18
  • 225/45R18
  • 245/45R18
  • 255/45R18
  • 225/40R18
  • 235/40R18
  • 245/40R18
  • 255/35R18
  • 265/35R18

19″

  • 245/35R19
  • 255/35R19
  • 275/30R19

20″

  • 245/35R20
  • 255/35R20
  • 275/30R20
  • 285/30R20

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