Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Sumitomo HTR Sport H/P

Note: The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz R350
Miles Driven on Tires: 800
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City
Driving Style: Average
Sumitomo HTR Sport H/P
Follow-Up Review: 32,000 miles on tires
April 30, 2012
The Sumitomo HTR had woefully unresponsive steering when new, which only improved marginally after maybe 2.5-5k treadwear (note that this tire has a relatively deep tread). Worst of all these tires have developed excessive road noise (after 20k). The only good marks I would honestly give these tires are wet traction and treadwear. These tires may be better suited to lite pickups and compact SUV's but beware large SUV and crossover owners. Then again, these tires may just not mate well to the R350's suspension and steering design. Meanwhile awaiting delivery of Duinlop Sport Signatures...
Initial Review: 800 miles on tires
March 12, 2010

Replaced OEM Continental 4x4 Contacts. Sumitomo is ill-suited for R350's combination of weight (5,000 lb) and suspension/chassis/handling characteristics. Sumitomos borders on UNSAFE! Sheer lack of steering response @ hwy speeds! Slightest steering correction (follows ruts like any fresh tire) results in (1) momentary delay, followed by (2) front end dive/veer, then (3) excessive rear kick-out/sway. And all this despite recent alignment. W/ 30 yrs experience driving both hi-performance and family European vehicles, I can reasonably conclude that the Sumitomo's lack of sidewall stiffness and slight added weight (37 lb vs 35 lb for Continental 4x4) mate poorly to weight/chassis/suspension combination of R350. I agree w/ other noted respondents and family friends that the OEM Continentals have below average tread life. But in retrospect, the OEM Continentals exhibited a very good combination of sidewall stiffness, grip, and ride quality, which understandably can be difficult to satisfy in 5,000 lb crossover vehicle. I'm very concerned over the Sumitomos; so much so that I have swapped vehicles w/ my wife. I will monitor the tires, and if they do not improve following a reasonable break-in period (say 1,000-1,500 mi), I will have to replace them, despite hurting my pocketbook.

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