Westlake tires are perhaps the best Low-Cost tire brand. In the US market, cheap tires continue to emerge. And most of these are total garbage. On wet and snowy surfaces, they don’t work well. They also don’t last very long and aren’t particularly quiet and comfortable. The major issue is that you can’t know which brand is good and which is not. Especially since nobody tests these tires it’s nearly impossible to know the fake ones. But good for you because we do. In the US, we want to cover every tire brand you can buy.
This will include the economic ones. One such economy tire brand is the Westlake. This model emerges from China. It is marketed under the umbrella of Zhongce Rubber Company. This rubber company in 2019 was the tenth largest tire manufacturer in the world. Yes, you heard right, this Chinese tire brand is now in the Top 10 list of the largest tire makers. Each year, they continue to sell more products.
However, it’s in china that the company sells most of its products. Since people are buying vehicles at an increasing rate, the market there has an increasing need for tires. Another interesting fact is that Zhongce has its R&D department. We give them a pass at this because most cheap brands coming from China don’t have that. And the final result ends up on the tires being unsafe on most surfaces. On a positive note, you won’t experience that with Westlake tires. Even though its parent company doesn’t use the newest and most advanced technologies, but at least it tests the tires in various conditions.
But one might ask how Westlake tires, the Chinese company compare to premium competition from the US, Germany, Japan, and France? Well, in this review of Westlake tires, we will try to answer that question with precision. And to do that, we will review most products from this Chinese company. Every tire manufacturer has its advantages and disadvantages, and so we will describe to you the advantages and disadvantages of Westlake’s as well.
Buying Guide for Westlake Tires
Advantages of Westlake Tires
For daily driving, they perform quite well
All Westlake tires perform well at normal speeds. On dry roads, they work very well, and on wet roads, they work better than other cheap tires.
Westlake Tires have a Long tread life
You won’t find another low-cost option that lasts this long while a premium tire will last even longer.
Westlake tires are comfortable and quiet
Most tires designed by Westlake will give you a comfortable and quiet driving experience.
Disadvantages of Westlake Tires
They have bad wet traction when pushed hard
In rainy conditions, you wouldn’t want to push these tires very hard. They aren’t too safe on the edge of grip even though they perform well at normal speeds.
Westlake tires offer bad snow and ice traction
For harsh wintry conditions, Westlake still doesn’t have a reliable tire.
Westlake Tires Review
1. Westlake RP18 Tire
In Westlake’s range, the RP18 is the entry-level tire. The Westlake RP18 is a touring all-season tire that has been designed for small city cars, compact cars, mid-size sedans, minivans, and even some crossovers. The Westlake Company engineered these tires in many popular sizes. The sizes range from 13-inch wheel diameter to 16-inch wheel diameter. On the tire, Westlake is also kind enough to provide us with a lot of information. For example, to reduce road noise and provide a comfortable ride, they used a variable pitch tread pattern. Then, for all-season capabilities, the RP18 tire also features angled grooves and siping. These optimized grooves are for enhanced contact patch. And they are equipped with four circumferential grooves for better hydroplaning resistance.
But one might wonder how all this means in the real world. Well, it depends on which tires you are comparing the Westlake RP18 to. The tire performs very well against other cheap tire brands. This tire brand has better dry traction and to the driver’s inputs, it reacts faster. Moreover, the stopping distances for the Westlake RP18 are shorter, and at higher speeds, the tire feels safer.
On wet surfaces, the same difference remains. The performance of the RP18 is slightly better than its direct competitors, i.e., the tires for competitors that are priced equally. Again, the handling of the Westlake RP18 is better, and the stopping distances for the Westlake RP18 are shorter. The RP18 doesn’t perform particularly well for snow, but not a lot of cheap tires do as it does for snow. However, when you compare the Westlake RP18 tire to tires from renowned tire makers, where your money goes becomes clear. On dry surfaces, there is a recognizable difference in traction and grip, but where you can feel the biggest discrepancy is on its wet pavement.
In simple terms, in the rain, the Westlake RP18 doesn’t perform well if you push it too hard. At the limit, the tire becomes nervous, and keeping the vehicle from spinning even an experienced driver will have a problem. There is no doubt that a premium tire will perform much better. Though, the Westlake RP18 performs just fine In terms of comfort. Even over some large potholes, the ride quality is very smooth, and there is not much tread noise in the Westlake RP18 tire. Although, some users report that as the tire wears down, it becomes noisier. Also, the Westlake RP18 tire comes with a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is quite high for the price.
2. Westlake SU318 Tires
This is another excellent tire from Westlake. The Westlake SU318 is a touring all-season tire designed for SUVs and CUVs. The Westlake Company offers the tire in different sizes that range from 15-inch wheel diameter to 22-inch wheel diameter. Thus, older models inclusive, this tire cover most crossovers and SUVs. This also goes for the T, H, and V-speed ratings. But one might wonder about the performance of the Westlake SU318. Well, there is no difference with the performance of the RP18.
Ultimately, the Westlake SU318 performs better than its low-cost rival tires. This is so on both over dry and wet surfaces. However, to the premium competition, it also can’t come even close. Nonetheless, this tire performs pretty well on dry surfaces that you’re driving needs will be satisfied. The steering of the Westlake SU318 feels responsive, and the level of traction and grip is quite good. Moreover, at higher speeds, the tire provides good stability.
The SU318 performs well for daily driving in rainy conditions. But still, you are advised not to push it too hard. At the edge, the tire feels slightly nervous and your vehicle might spin. The same thing goes for snow traction, which in our honest opinion is pretty bad. The Westlake SU318 is also equipped with redeeming features, though. The ride quality of the Westlake SU318 is very smooth, and on the highway, there is not much noise. The 50,000-mile treadwear warranty of the Westlake SU318 is excellent for the category and even comparable to some higher-cost options. The Treadlife of this Westlake model should be the same.
2. Westlake SL309 Tire
For drivers of commercial vehicles, the Westlake SL309 is an interesting tire. The Westlake SL309 features heavy-duty construction. On the other end, it also comes with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is not usual in this category. Again, it won’t win against any premium competitor in terms of performance. However, when compared with most low-cost options, it fares better. Moreover, you will never tell me this is a cheap tire on dry roads.
The stability of the Westlake SL309 is very good, also, for daily driving, the cornering grip is excellent. The braking distances of the Westlake SL309 aren’t very long. Traction is good at regular speeds in rainy conditions. However, if you push the tires hard, you will experience irregular behavior, which in commercial vehicles and trucks it doesn’t happen often. Snow and ice traction of the Westlake SL309 aren’t its forte though. Under load, the SL309 behaves well, thanks to the robust construction.
4. Westlake SA07 Tire
With performance credentials, The Westlake SA07 is an all-season touring tire. This Westlake model is available in 16-inch to 20-inch wheel diameter. This means that this tire fits mid-size sedans, performance sedans, and executive sedans. Ultimately, the driving experience of the Westlake SA07 is by far the best you’ll have in a Westlake tire lineup.
The steering responsiveness of the Westlake SA07 is top-notch, and for daily driving, there are ample grip and traction. The highway stability of the Westlake SA07 is excellent as well. On the wet pavement, the tire suffers a bit but overall performs better than its closest competitors. However, in harsh wintry conditions, we wouldn’t use this tire since it lacks reliable traction. Even though the tire remains quiet on the highway, the ride is a bit stiff.
5. Westlake SL369
The Westlake SL369 is one of the best Westlake’s all-terrain tire lineups. The Westlake SL369 comes with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty. This is quite excellent for the category and especially considering the price. The Westlake SL369 tire also provides excellent off-road traction, especially over hardpacked surfaces. Over dry surfaces, on-road performance is quite good, but on wet surfaces, there is nothing to write home about. But on a positive note, the tire provides good traction on unpacked snow.
Westlake produces some of the best low-cost tires on the market right now. We recommend these Westlake tires to you. They are among our top choice even though they are not from renowned manufacturers. The Westlake tires perform better across all conditions. Westlake is a good brand if you need to save money.