Are Sumitomo Tires Good?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Customers often ask me about the Sumitomo brand. The tires are often very attractively priced, but many drivers are not as familiar with this brand as they are with some of the traditional names like Goodyear and Michelin. Are they really a great value, or are they too good of a price to be true?

How is Sumitomo pronounced?

This one stumps many people, however the pronunciation is actually easier than it looks at first glance. I find that breaking it in half makes it much easier. "Sumi" is pronounced pretty much how it looks: soo-me. It rhymes with Zoomy. Then the second half, "tomo" rhymes with Romo.

Where do they come from?

Sumitomo is a Japanese company. They're part of the Sumitomo Group, which has many diverse businesses under its umbrella. Sumitomo manufactures in a number of Asian countries, including Thailand, China and Japan.

Are they good?

Yes, Sumitomo makes a good tire. Like any manufacturer, Sumitomo makes a number of different models to fit different driving styles and customer needs. Are you in the market for high performance handling and excellent wet and dry traction? Try the Sumitomo HTR Z III. Do you need something a little bit sporty, but with the ability to handle cold weather and some light snow? Sumitomo's HTR A/S P01 might fit your needs. As long as you choose a tire that suits your application and driving style, they offer a very good combination of quality and value.

Why haven't I heard of them before?

You probably have and don't know it. Sumitomo builds tires for other brands as well. The most notable is Dunlop, which is one of the oldest names in the business. They do not do as much marketing of their own tire brand compared to many of the other brands. So while they fly a little bit under the radar, they have plenty of expertise in building tires.

Take a look at all offerings available from Sumitomo.

Comments on Are Sumitomo Tires Good?

Saturday, August 9, 2014 by rick hillier:
purchased set of Tour Plus LST (date code 3MMR1012) within less than 2 years I have to replace 2. 1st was shoulder separation at interstate speed, luckily it was on rear. 2nd just found 2 mos.later which was a bulge size. 1st tire that was pro-rated $25.00, was an insult. now with 2nd similar, I'm taking back to Kieth Pearson Toyota for removal/replacement. Must be a bad batch for most reviews show very positive. I have to disagree, 2 changes in Fla. heat in mid summer (at 60yrs old) was not fun(could have had heat stroke or a heart attack!)
Thursday, November 6, 2014 by Michael:
On 6/28/12 I bought Sumitomo Touring LSV STV58 tires (70K mile) and was just told yesterday that my tires are down to 4/32 tread and it's time to think about a new set. Well considering that I only have about 30K miles on those 70K rated tires, I'd say something is not right about Sumitomo.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 by ben@tirerack:
Michael this illustrates the classic problems with treadlife warranties. First, they tend to be optimistic. Not just these Sumitomos but many brands/models. They assume a higher percentage of highway miles than most of us actually do, and they assume perfect alignment, inflation, and rotation.

Second, most tire places, including us, recommend replacing tires at 4/32 tread. Manufacturer warranties are based on running a tire down to 2/32" tread depth which is the legal minimum. Given that tire wear slows down the lower the tread depth is, you can go many miles after 4/32, but with increasingly poor traction in bad weather.

With that said, Sumitomo has revised the mileage warranty on the LSV from the original 65,000 to 55,000 this year, which is probably more realistic.
Friday, February 6, 2015 by Jay:
I bought two Sumitomo tour tires in October of 2013 and today I was told that I should replace them since they are worn down. They have only 17k miles on them. I'm not happy. I do mostly local driving. Can anyone recommend me a tire?
Friday, February 13, 2015 by Michael:
Sumitomo are basically terrible tires. I got 22K out of mine even with perfect alignment, tire pressure, and 5K rotations and balance. You GET what you pay for.
Monday, March 30, 2015 by DEBORAH:
Not sure how they will last, just bought them this weekend but my Mazda 3 is quieter than with any other tire. I would say with all my new cars, 25K seems to be the life with normal driving. I had Yokohamas on most but they last horribly and Goodyear eagles the same even Michelins. I do put names on my new cars though.

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