Tire Rack Inc.’s latest test set to define what makes a tire a good value. Is it all about price, or what a consumer gets for his or her money? Tire Rack tested three entry-level tires against what it considers one of “the best bang-for-your-buck” touring tires on the market — the General AltiMax RT43.
Here’s the lineup of tires tested. Tire Rack labels each of them a “grand touring all-season tire.”
General AltiMax RT43, 215/60R16 95H
Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum, 215/60R16 95V
Laufenn G Fit AS, 215/60R16 95H
Riken Raptor HR, 215/60R16 95H Tire Rack’s road test encompasses a six-mile loop that covers expressway, state highway and county roads, with both city and highway speeds on concrete and asphalt. The test track includes 90-degree corners, a five-cone slalom and simulated expressway ramps — in both wet and dry conditions.
And it was in the wet track testing where Tire Rack reported “incredible differences” in the tires’ capabilities. Here’s Tire Rack’s synopsis:
“The AltiMax RT43 was head and shoulders above the rest, lapping our track nearly a second and a half faster than the next-fastest Kumho, and stopping from 50 mph 20 feet shorter, as well. The outright abilities of the Ecsta LX Platinum were acceptable, but with front end grip that noticeably dominated the rear, this tire required some attention to keep the back end of the vehicle in line. Taking another noticeable step back brings us to the Raptor HR, which took some care to avoid overstepping the tire's modest limits. Front-end grip was just strong enough that it could overpower the rear tires during some maneuvers, so inputs needed to be slow and smooth to keep the car as balanced as possible. Trailing by a significant margin was the G Fit AS, a tire whose 180.8-foot 50-0 mph braking distance holds the dubious honor of being the longest of any tire we have tested, requiring almost 44 feet more than the General to perform the same feat. Whether braking, accelerating or turning on our test track, when driving on the Laufenn tires, the driver had to tiptoe and gently explore the meager capabilities.”
Here’s the conclusions from the testers, along with Tire Rack's combined subjective rating for each tire. (A higher number is better.)
General AltiMax RT43: “More than just a good value, a good tire.” Rating: 7.50
Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum: “A reasonable, wallet-friendly option.” Rating: 7.00
Laufenn G Fit AS: “Only a value if you don’t drive in the wet.” Rating: 5.62
Riken Raptor HR: “Not a bad tire, but there are better options out there.” Rating: 5.89
To see the full results from Tire Rack, click here.