- CREDIT: Continental

Budget vs Premium Tires: A Sobering Reality Check

Cheap tires are better on the wallet, but maybe not so much for your safety

4y ago

For the record, I am NOT standing here wagging my finger at everyone saying you should all buy expensive tires. Trust me, when I'm standing in an America's Tire looking for replacements for my Kia Rio's tires, and I'm looking at $40 ones vs $80 ones, you can bet your butt there's a 99% chance I'm getting the $40 tires.

Regardless, as expected, there's a pretty big difference in quality between cheap and expensive tires, and Jonathan Benson of Tyre Reviews is here to show us exactly what that looks like when applied to an actual moving car. Honestly the information provided here shouldn't come as a huge shock to anyone, but it's pretty interesting to see the different factors at work.

For the test, Benson used a set of Continental Sports Contact 6s vs a set of Rotalla RU01 S-Paces (the budget tire):

The results pretty much speak for thsemselves. Not only is the car harder to control while drifting with the bidget tires (not an everyday occurance on the roads, I hope), but the braking distance on the cheaper set is, well...not ideal.

Benson admits that the two sets of tires are not as different as he initially thought, but with a price difference of $325, that extra braking distance could be the difference between "Whew!" and "Oh no." Of course, this information isn't exactly shocking; you get what you pay for, and that's no different in the world of automobile tires.

Or, you know, people can just get off their phones and actually pay attention to the road while driving, but all snarkiness aside, I understand that accidents happen regardless of attention, and having the right equipment can make all the difference in the world!




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Comments (9)

  • Cheap tyres sometimes do not balance properly which is bloody annoying

      4 years ago
  • You shouldn't skimp on things that keep you from the ground, beds, shoes, chairs, but especially tyres.

      4 years ago
  • I live in the US and can say the cheaper tyres on my car are terrible, especially in the wet. I never look at the price and buy the best tyres I can get my hands on. After all my life depends on them.

      4 years ago
  • I run my Rio on Pirelli P1s.

    The trip is superb, but the cost is $1000+ for the set

      4 years ago
    • Kia Rio and superb in the same sentence?? Nice little runabout, but superb?

        4 years ago
    • If you buy a new SLI one you will be surprised. 103kw light weight body and very grippy Pirrellis makes for a fun drive

        4 years ago
  • Maybe in the UK, but to be sold here in the USA they have to pass exactly the same safety tests as the name brand tires.

      4 years ago
    • while a budget tire may pass a safety test, they are still inferior and will not stop as fast, or provide the same traction for emergency maneuvers. Yes, you can get the cheap tire and yes, it is safe....but it's not AS safe. Just like some cars...

      Read more
        4 years ago
    • That’s a ridiculous argument. As safe? They are absolutely as safe. That’s the entire point of the tests.

        4 years ago