Tire shoppers often find themselves in need of new tires when money is tight. When you’re on a budget, spending hundreds of dollars a tire on a set of four tires from Michelin or Bridgestone might not be an option! That’s where Westlake Tires comes in. Westlake makes affordable replacement tires for a wide range of vehicles.
We wrote this article to help you know what to expect – and what not to expect – when buying Westlake Tires.
About the Westlake Tires Brand
Westlake Tires is a budget tire brand that provides serviceable replacement tires for passenger vehicles. If you’re pinching pennies & need to replace your tires, they provide a good alternative to used tires.
Who Makes Westlake Tires?
They’re manufactured by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company makes the tires at their high-tech manufacturing facility in Hangzhou, China. The tires are sold under the Westlake Tires banner throughout the United States, Canada, and recently, Mexico.
Hangzhou Zhonce isn’t some rinky-dink operation – they claim to be the tenth-largest tire manufacturer in the world, and produce affordable tires across five different brands for a wide variety of vehicles.
In fact, Hangzhou Zhonce sold almost $10 billion in tires in 2020 – and they’re poised to sell even more with a recent expansion of their distributor network to Portugal and Spain.
What kind of tires does Westlake specialize in?
Westlake’s tires don’t have any position in the marketplace of premium tires – and they aren’t made for use on brand-new vehicles either. Instead, they’re used as cost-conscious replacements for worn or damaged tires.
Westlake sells affordability-oriented tires for drivers who need a no-frills replacement for their tires that’ll work for everyday driving and act as a reliable choice to “get the job done”. It offers tires for cars, minivans, light trucks, full-size vans, SUV’s and CUV’s among other vehicle types.
Three of their most popular tires include the SU318 All-Season Tire for SUV’s, the RP18 tire for passenger cars & smaller crossovers, and the SA07 for performance passenger tires at a reasonable price.
Are Westlake Tires Good?
Why choose these tires? There are a few considerations you should make before buying any tire. Here’s the breakdown of the most important ones.
How much do Westlake Tires Cost?
A full set of four new premium tires can cost well over $800, and that’s not always affordable for the average consumer. This leaves drivers considering options like re-treaded or used tires, which aren’t ideal. Re-treaded tires often end up costing drivers more in the long run – they need to be replaced more often and are more likely to fail & cause an accident.
Westlake’s tires are sold at different prices by various retailers who carry their products, but the overall positioning is clear – they typically cost around half of what you’d pay for a tire from Michelin, Bridgestone, or another premium brand.
Some of this difference owes to the “Brand Name Premium” – i.e. people will pay more for brands they recognize. However, in this case, it’s mostly quality & performance differences that drive
How Long Do Westlake Tires Last?
Westlake Tires aren’t made to survive as long as tires from companies like Bridgestone, Cooper, or Michelin – but they’re still meaningfully better than similar alternatives – other budget tire brands and re-treaded tires don’t match up to Westlake’s quality.
It’s difficult to say exactly how long a given tire or tire model will last, but a good rule of thumb is to pick the most similar tire from Michelin or Bridgestone and multiply that tire’s warranty by 2/3 or .66.
As an example, If Bridgestone sells a comparably-positioned tire with a 60,000 mile warranty, you’ll likely be fine for 40,000 miles on the Westlake equivalent. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, and you could always drive over a nail or otherwise suddenly damage your tires, but it’ll give you a rough expectation for treadlife.
If you need a tire warranty – look elsewhere. You’ll typically be out of luck with Westlake – but that also means they can sell tires more cheaply! Tradeoffs abound in the budget tire market – and that’s one of them.
How Well Do They Drive?
Looking beyond how long they last, tires need to “drive well”. This is a category in which Westlake is only average – their tires have some modern features but they’re anything but cutting-edge. If you need the best performing tires, you probably already know that you won’t find them at Westlake.
That said, we were pleasantly surprised by ride comfort while doing our research on their tires. Road noise & vibration were lower than expected for what the tires cost.
How Do They Behave On Snowy or Wet Roads?
Adverse weather conditions are where tires are put to the hardest tests. Unfortunately, Discount tires like Westlakes tend not to above their price in this category – handling rain, snow, & sleet with ease isn’t their forte.
If you want confidence while driving during a downpour, it’s probably wise to pay up for higher-end tires. Affordable tires tend to handle rain significantly worse than their pricier counterparts, and Westlake Tires are no exception.
Hangzhou Zhongce doesn’t do much R&D when developing their tires – they’re a lot closer to what you might call an “Imitation Brand” – and that comes with implied quality & consistency issues. In general, however, if you’re buying tires on a tight budget, you could do a lot worse than Westlake.
Our Westlake Tire Reviews:
Westlake RP18 Radial Tire
Westlake Tires is a budget tire brand that’s manufactured in Hangzhou, China with the goal of providing affordable replacement tires for budget-conscious consumers.
Don’t let the nation of origin confuse you, though – the Westlake RP18 tire is a great value & offer a lot of durability for the dollars you’ll spend on it.
Westlake SU318 Radial H/T
The SU318 Radial H/T is Westlake Tires‘ all-season touring model, created for SUVs and CUVs. Westlake offers the tire in many popular sizes, ranging from 15-inch wheel diameter to 22-inch wheel diameter.
This makes it perfect for most SUV’s and crossovers – even older models that trend towards smaller wheels.