Goodyear is one of the most prominent and most successful tire companies to ever do business while Sumitomo is comparably many times smaller and is only known to people who are invested in the world of tires. Many can immediately come to a conclusion about which brand is going to win, but not everything is as you’d expect.
You can consider this article to be a representation of what you get when opting for a premium brand over a more affordable brand. As such, in this article, we are going in-depth about Sumitomo vs Goodyear, who makes better tires, and why one is better than the other.
The Sumitomo group is one of the oldest companies in the history of Japan as it traces its roots back to 1615. However, the company didn’t engage in tire manufacturing up until 1909 when the Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd was founded. A man called Masamoto Sumitomo was the company’s founder which is why the company bears his name.
This visionary man was a Buddhist monk who approached business dealings in a much more profound way compared to most businessmen. This sure did transfer to most Sumitomo tire models that tend to be constructed as well as some premium tires. Precision engineering, high levels of quality, and a longstanding reputation for value are what make Sumitomo what it is today.
The company is mostly known for making passenger car, SUV, and truck tires. As far as tire types are concerned, they are mostly known for their touring tires. Sumitomo is also keen on being present at many reputable motorsport events, either as a sponsor or by participating in certain race championships such as the 24h of Nurburgring.
All in all, Sumitomo is far from being one of the most well-known tire brands on the market, but those who know a thing or two about tires know that Sumitomo truly offers exceptional value and industry-leading warranty coverage.
Sumitomo Tire Families
Sumitomo is one of those brands that like having a few well-developed and marketable tire families instead of offering a dozen different tire families that would just confuse an uninitiated buyer. As such, we are going to list the six current Sumitomo tire families which represent the vast majority of all tires that Sumitomo offers.
The Sumitomo HTR family of tires is designed to provide a premium performance without costing a fortune. There are only two tires in this family, but Sumitomo believes that that is just about right for 99% of buyers. The first one is the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 all-season performance tire designed to go on passenger cars of many makings.
It is designed to last a really long time, yet to also offer class-leading traction in both wet and dry. The Sumitomo HTR Z III is even more limited as it is only designed for larger performance-oriented sedans and coupes. It is a quiet summer tire with lots of traction, but it falls short when it comes to snow.
Sumitomo HTR Enhance
The Sumitomo HTR Enhance family of tires is comprised of three different tire models. The first one is the Sumitomo HTR Enhance L/X designed for passenger cars. With a 90,000-mile warranty, it is one of the longest-lasting tires in general, not just in the budget segment. You can also buy some CUV-specific HTR Enhance models such as the CX2.
All in all, the HTR Enhance is a line of all-season tires that aim to offer the best grand-touring experience you can get. They tend to be refined and offer lots of traction, both of which are not commonly seen on budget-friendly tires.
The Sumitomo Touring family of tires does what it says in the name – it is a touring tire family that differs from the HRT Enhance because it isn’t as “premium” as the HTR Enhance. You can buy two models from this family, one is designed for SUVs and trucks while the Sumitomo Touring LS is designed for passenger cars such as coupes, minivans, and even some CUVs.
Sumitomo Tour Plus
The Sumitomo Tour Plus is another line of touring tires that offers a slightly more performance-oriented approach which means that you can consider these as a bridge between touring tires and performance tires. Once again, you can only choose between two different tire models.
The Sumitomo Tour Plus LS is designed for passenger cars and is an all-season tire that hopes to be many things to many men. What’s even more outstanding is the fact that the T-speed-rated model also comes with a 90,000-mile warranty.
The Encounter family of tires is designed for SUVs and trucks and it comprises three different models. All three of them are focused on refinement, and longevity, and are also capable of maintaining traction in all kinds of environments. The most popular tire is the Sumitomo Encounter AT which offers a 3PMSF certification and has impressive self-cleaning capabilities.
These are also the tires you want if you like off-roading, but do be aware that these aren’t full-on off-road tires.
Sumitomo Ice Edge
Finally, we come to the Sumitomo Ice Edge family of tires which is the Sumitomo winter family line of tires. These also come with the ever-important 3PMSF rating and are designed both for passenger cars and SUVs. Furthermore, they can also be studded which makes them perfect for ice driving.
A man called Frank Seiberling founded the Goodyear tire company back in 1989 in Akron, Oho. The name Goodyear harks back to the first man that managed to vulcanize rubber, Charles Goodyear. The Goodyear company is one of the most prominent, most successful, best-known, and most innovative tire companies in history.
Goodyear was the first company to manufacture a tubeless tire. It was also the company that equipped the iconic Ford Model T when it left the first Ford factory. As such, they managed to become the largest tie company in the world in the 1930s. The 1940s saw Goodyear invent the very first nylon tire, the 1960s saw Goodyear make its one billionth tire.
Goodyear is also heavily invested in motorsports, more so than most other brands on the market as they both race various racing teams and sponsor a bunch of events. Today, Goodyear is not the largest tire company out there, but they are still in the top five.
All in all, it is a brand that needs little to no introduction, and that is for a very good reason.
Goodyear Tire Families
Goodyear offers tires for everything with wheels which means that you can buy Goodyear tires for cars, SUVs, trucks, airplanes, military vehicles, vans, commercial trucks, RVs, bicycles, UTVs, ATVs, and motorcycles. However, we are going to focus on passenger car, truck, SUV, and CUV tires as these are the bread and butter of the Goodyear tire range.
The Goodyear Eagle family of tires is likely one of the more famous tire families in the entire industry. These tires are designed to offer class-leading traction for all types of cars including the world’s most illustrious supercars and hypercars. This family consists of the famous Eagle F1, Eagle LS-2, Eagle Sport, Eagle NCT, Eagle GR, Eagle RS, and a few more lesser-known variants.
The great thing about these tires is that even though they are dedicated ultra-performance tires, they are still able to offer a comfortable day-to-day experience without much road noise and can also last a really long time.
Although the Eagle family of tires is arguably the best-known family, the Goodyear Assurance line is likely the best. The Assurance line represents what Goodyear believes is what a grand touring tire should feel like as these are buttery soft while also being capable in all kinds of environments. They are designed to fit all types of cars and also come with long warranty coverages.
The Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max is designed with fuel efficiency in mind while the Goodyear Assurance Max Life is designed with longevity in mind. Both are backed by an 85,000-mile warranty which is impressive, but nothing compared to some Sumitomo models, especially when you compare the price. Be that as it may, every other variable is confidently in Goodyear’s corner.
Goodyear Ultra Grip
The Goodyear Ultra Grip family of tires is designed to maximize winter traction above everything else which means that these tires are perfect for those who own twitchy high horsepower cars that need taming. They are designed to withstand ice-cold temperatures without losing their flexibility and are also available for all types of cars including passenger cars, CUVs, SUVs, and trucks.
The most popular Ultra Grip models are the Ultra Grip Ice, Ultra Grip WRT, and Ultra Grip GW2/3.
Goodyear Winter Command
The Winter Command family of tires differs from the Goodyear Ultra Grip family because it offers studdable tires which are by far the best types of tires to buy for ice-covered roads. These are designed for year-long winter conditions and aren’t available in nearly as many variants and sizes as the Goodyear Ultra Grip family.
As far as off-road royalty tires are concerned, the Goodyear Wrangler might just as well be the single most well-rounded and capable off-road tire family on the market. There are more than 20 different variants and subvariants for all types of terrains and environments. The most popular ones are the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure for its all-terrain prowess while the Goodyear Wrangler SR-A is also an immensely capable off-road tire, but is also extremely comfortable.
With so many variants and subvariants, it is impossible to find a tire that fits your particular style of driving. This is what makes this family of tires as successful as they are.
Goodyear Efficient Grip & Excellence
The Goodyear Efficient Grip and the Goodyear Excellence families of tires are designed primarily to be touring tires but are also really capable when it comes to performance and efficiency. The Efficient Grip family is somewhat of a bridge point between the Eagle Series and the Assurance series while the Excellence family of tires is what you might call a premium grand touring tire.
The Goodyear Fierce family of tires is designed to be a bridge between off-road tires and touring tires which is certainly not something you see every day. However, if you own a modern-day SUV/truck, and you want to use it for both occasional strolls off the pavement and as your comfortable and quiet daily driver, this is the type of tire you want.
Finally, the Frontera family of tires is also intended for SUVs, trucks, and CUVs, but cares for little else besides comfort, refinement, quietness, and smoothness. These tires are perfect for luxury SUVs as they complement the classic SUV driving experience with buttery smooth comfort and immense traction.
Differences Between Sumitomo And Goodyear
In the world of performance tires, it is extremely difficult to compete with a brand like Goodyear because Goodyear offers dozens upon dozens of different performance, ultra-performance, touring/performance, and even slick tires, all of which are amazing at what they do. Sumitomo does make really capable tires for its price point, but Goodyear is on a completely different level.
Off-roading is where Goodyear wipes the floor with Sumitomo as the only semi-off-road tire that can be founded in the Sumitomo Encounter family. Even though some of these are really well-rounded and fairly capable tires off-road, the Goodyear Wrangler family of tires is way better. Winter tires are also better with Goodyear, but Sumitomo does offer really capable winter tires as well.
Finally, we come to touring tires where Sumitomo actually has a fighting chance because they offer so many different touring tires, some of which are on par with Goodyear. However, if we compare the very best touring tires from Goodyear against the very best touring tires from Sumitomo, we once again conclude that Goodyear is in a different league.
Availability and Options
This is where Goodyear takes it with ease because only the Goodyear Wrangler family of tires is twice as big as all Sumitomo car tires combined. Be that as it may, Sumitomo covers a wide range of markets and car types, but Goodyear is a global brand with more facilities, more marketing, more models, more families, and more sizes in general.
Price and Warranty
Sumitomo lives in the affordable tire market whereas Goodyear lives at the very top as their tires cost a lot of money. This means that you can buy a set of some Sumitomo tires for the same price you would have to pay for two Goodyear tires.
Warranty is surprisingly better with Sumitomo as some of their tires offer a 90,000-mile warranty coverage which is unheard of in the tire industry, especially from a brand that costs as little as Sumitomo does. Goodyear does offer higher minimum warranty coverage, but it falls short at the top end.
Advantages of Sumitomo
- Better Warranty Coverage
- Competitive Touring Tires
Advantages Of Goodyear
- Better Performance Tires
- Industry-leading Touring Tires
- Better Winter Tires
- Better Off-road Tires
- More Options and Sizes
Which Brand To Choose?
At the end of our Sumitomo vs Goodyear comparison, we can easily conclude that Goodyear is the better brand in all possible aspects except the price and the warranty coverage. However, the price gap between some comparable models is so big that actually makes sense.