Sumitomo isn’t your average budget tire brand. It specializes in making quality all-season tires, especially for SUVs, crossovers, and trucks. And the pricing of Sumitomo tires helps it target the budget segment of the market. One which is unwilling or unable to opt for premium tires
Seems like nothing out of the ordinary? Here’s what truly distinguishes Sumitomo from other budget tire brands: The Japan-based manufacturer provides tires for various well-known brands across the globe. Dunlop and Falken are two of multiple brands Sumitomo has on its customer list.
What is more, despite churning out budget tires, Sumitomo has won multiple awards for their innovation. For instance, their proprietary 4D Nano Design Technology has earned plaudits from all and sundry. This technology reduces carbon emissions while also improving fuel efficiency and grip.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Sumitomo tires. We’ll kick things off by reviewing some of this brand’s best-selling models. Next, we’ll turn our attention to the pros and cons of Sumitomo tires before finishing this review by answering some common queries.
Let’s look at the Sumitomo tires currently on the market
#1. Sumitomo Ice Edge
The Sumitomo Ice Edge is a studable tire designed for passenger vehicles, crossovers, SUVs, and light trucks. This tire could easily withstand mild to harsh wintry conditions.
A soft silica tread compound deserves praise for the Ice Edge’s winter traction. The silica tread expands in wintry conditions to give the tire the grip that all-season or grand touring tires lack in similar situations. The quality of the rubber used also helps this tire dig in in slippery terrains.
Deep grooves and sipes across the tread block help this tire channel out water. For this reason, its hydroplaning resistance is superb, meaning the tire won’t let your vehicle go out of control while rolling through deep water puddles at highway speeds.
Considering that this is a budget tire, the presence of maintenance indicators surprised us. Industry-standard tread wear indicators (TWIs) help you monitor this tire’s depth. These are rubber bars engraved into the Ice Edge’s grooves. They will become more visible as the Ice Edge wears down.
Dry performance is average at best. The Ice Edge won’t deliver the best possible grip. Neither are its braking distances as short as those you get from its premium counterparts. That doesn’t mean the tire is unsafe to be driven on dry tarmac. It’s just that it won’t be the most responsive.
As for treadlife, the Ice Edge doesn’t have what it takes to compete with the best. A 20,000-miles life or about two winters is the best you can expect from it. Keep using this tire any longer and there’s a very good chance its snow traction would go south.
- Can withstand mild to harsh wintry condition
- Comes with tread-wear indicators
- Displays superb hydroplaning resistance
- Won’t last more than 2 winters
#2. HTR A/S P02
The Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 is a high-performance all-season tire. Its budget asking price makes it an affordable option for anyone without deep pockets.
Starting on a positive note, the HTR A/S P02 gives an excellent steering feel and responsiveness. Like its premium counterparts, this tire quickly responds to steering input, turning into the corner within seconds. At the same time, the response isn’t ultra-sensitive, meaning it won’t feel unnatural.
And what about grip and traction? Here too the HTR A/S P02 pleasantly surprises. The braking distances are many times shorter than the competition, while the cornering grip is more than sufficient, letting you attack the corners with all the ferociousness you have got.
Wet traction is also above-average. You can throw this tire around in the rain and it still would save you from any jitters by delivering high levels of grip. Best of all, the tire slips through at high speeds, not giving any hint of oversteer. Heavy rain won’t pose an issue either.
Road noise might be an issue. The HTR A/S P02 produces a continuous tread growl, which gets louder as you press the pedal harder. Its stiff tread compound might make the ride uncomfortably firm over road imperfections, forcing you to drive slowly in off-road conditions.
An impressive warranty life more than makes up for these shortcomings. This tire’s H- and V-speed rated models are backed with a 65,000-mile warranty, while the W-speed rate model has a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty. Both warranties are impressive given that it’s a budget tire.
- Best in-class steering responsiveness and feel
- Short braking distances in all conditions
- Excellent treadlife and treadwear warranty (for a value-priced tire)
- Gets louder at high speeds
#3. Touring LS
Here is another pocket-friendly model from Sumitomo. The Touring LS is an all-season tire that is less inclined towards performance. Instead, it concentrates more on being a dependable four-weather option for coupes, sedans, minivans, and crossovers.
A combination of all-season carbon black tread compound, symmetric tread pattern and computer optimized design helps deliver year-round traction. Aside from that, massive shoulder blocks (for an all-season tire) give this tire superb grip-ability in dry or wet conditions.
Four perimeter grooves reduce the risk of hydroplaning. They do that by providing any accumulated water particles all the space they need to evacuate this tire’s tread area. Thanks to the grooves, you can count on the Touring LS to keep you safe in heavy rain.
Sumitomo has a habit of supplementing its tire’s tread areas with grooves. The presence of this facility creates biting edges around the Touring LS, preventing it from slipping in wintry conditions. The biting edges also make this tire usable on thick snow surfaces.
Treadlife and durability is also above-average. Two steel belts and Sumitomo’s Jointless Nylon Band technology make sure of that. And a polyester cord body takes care of ride comfort. An 85,000 mile treadwear warranty is also on offer, a superb offering for a budget tire.
Road noise is the only thing that might keep some people from purchasing this tire. Innumerable reviews point out that it gets considerably loud at highway speeds. That is a glaring shortcoming for an all-season tire, as tires in this category generally tend to be quiet.
- Brilliant traction in all conditions
- Outstanding 85,000-mile tread warranty
- Provides excellent value for the money
- Road noise might trouble a few
#4. Ultra HTR Enhance L/X
Sumitomo bills the HTR Enhance L/X as an affordable, stylish looking, performance all-season tire. One that can provide you with dependable traction and handling year-round. At the time of writing, this tire is only available for sedans and coupes.
Treadwear is an area where this model shines. A robust all-season tread compound and an asymmetric five-rib tread pattern keeps uneven tread wear at bay. Siping around the tread block does the same, though it also boosts this tire’s traction on wet surfaces.
Ride quality is also comfortable. Additional width on its outside shoulder block, as well as internal steel belts and a jointless nylon cap ply, deserve credit for that. You’ll be able to get stable cornering and brilliant handling when riding at highway speeds.
That the Enhance L/X comes with an M+S logo should tell you all you need to know about its traction in muddy and snowy conditions. Still, this logo still stops someway short of the snowflake symbol, the official tire marking for dedicated winter tires.
Sumitomo delivers this tire in five sizes (15 – 19 inch) and four speed ratings. The H- and V-rated sizes are backed with a 70,000 mile treadwear warranty, while the T- and W- rated models have 90,000 and 50,000-mile warranties, respectively.
- Competitively priced for a performance all-season tire
- 90,000-mile warranty on some models
- Excellent dry traction and cornering grip
- Tread wears quickly
#5. HTR Z5
The Sumitomo HTR Z5 is the successor of the uber-famous HTR Z3. It is much better than its predecessor in ride comfort, dry braking, and wet handling. Sumitomo claims the tire matches the HTR Z3 in noise, which is a good thing since the HTR Z3 was virtually noise-free.
Accomplishing all this wasn’t easy. Engineers at the brand’s Japan-based manufacturing facility had to widen this tire’s grooves to enhance its water traction. They also widened its contact patch area and shoulder block, helping the HTR Z5 distribute pressure evenly.
The even distribution of pressure does two things: It prevents irregular wear while improving this tire’s handling performance. Both factors join their forces to increase their model’s treadlife, which explains why Sumitomo backs the Z5 with a lifetime usable tread replacement warranty.
Considering that it’s replacing the HTR Z3, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this tire is ultra-stable at high-speeds. Aside from that, a hard sidewall has visibly improved this tire’s cornering stiffness vis-à-vis over its predecessor, helping this tire stay on course during speedy turns.
Comparing this tire with other Sumitomo offerings will force you to think that it’s super-expensive. It is only when you juxtapose the HTR Z5’s price tag with premium tires in its category that you’d realize that this ultra-high-performance tire is available for a lot less money.
- Delivers solid wet traction
- Ultra-stable at high speeds
- Superb handling performance
- Average hydroplaning resistance
#6. Encounter AT
Most budget tire brands shy away from producing tires for difficult terrains. The likes of Achilles, Waterfall and Lexani have all focused their energies on all-season, high-performance and, in very few cases, winter tires. This has led people to believe that you can’t get all-terrain tires on a budget.
The Sumitomo Encounter AT shatters this myth. Here’s an all-terrain tire costing less than all-season models from Michelin and Continental. Still, it provides the off-road traction and the aggressive tread pattern that are hallmarks of premium AT tires.
Grip on wet surfaces is exemplary too. Lateral grooves and 3D sipes give this tire all the biting edges it needs to stay stable on slippery surfaces. And large grooves do just enough to evacuate any stranded water particles, minimizing the risk of hydroplaning.
Self-cleaning ability is also on offer. Its sidewall tread is low enough to give stones and rocks an easy way out of the tread. Aside from that, you get a 60,000 miles treadwear warranty and a lifetime material defect and quality replacement guarantee on this tire.
The only complaint some users have with this tire is road noise. It gets audibly louder at highway speeds, though the noise doesn’t produce the growl characteristic of AT tires in off-road conditions. Still, as long as you keep it on the highway, the noise won’t go anywhere.
- Self-cleaning ability
- 60,000 miles treadwear warranty
- Comes with the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol
- Road noise is noticeable
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are questions most people have about Sumitomo tires:
What is the best Sumitomo tire?
The HTR A/S P02 is the best Sumitomo tire for all-season driving. Its carbon black tread compound, multiple sipes around the tread area and extended treadwear warranties all make the A/S P02 one of the best budget options for year-round driving.
Who are Sumitomo tires made by?
Sumitomo tires are made by Sumitomo Rubber Industries Limited (SRI), one of the world’s most successful tire manufacturers. Various tire brands operate under Sumitomo’s umbrella, such as Dunlop, Falken and Ohtsu. Sumitomo tires are known for their affordable pricing and performance features.
Are Sumitomo tires Japanese?
Yes. Sumitomo tires are made by a Japanese tire manufacturer. They are manufactured in various facilities located in Japan and the US.