Westlake Tires Review and Buyer’s Guide

Westlake Tires Review and Buyer’s Guide

Shopping for tires that fit your budget can be difficult, because a good set of tires from many brands can cost over $500. When you experience a flat tire or need a replacement, most shoppers are not ready to shell out that kind of money. Plus, we know how replacing a set of tires almost always happens at the most inconvenient times.

Westlake Tires are a great choice if you need tires on a strict budget. While their tires don’t compete with premium brands like Goodyear, Sumitomo, or Firestone, Westlake tires are above-average in quality. The main goal of Westlake is to make sure that your vehicle has a set of tires at a fair price.

Westlake tires are marketed as mid-tier tires designed to act as replacements. For new sets or OEM tires, Westlake tires are generally not used. There is a stigma that a replacement tire is not worth the money, but Westlake tires prove that stigma wrong. By using low-cost but not low-quality Chinese rubber, the company can mass-produce above-average replacement tires for a bargain.

While Westlake Tires focuses on replacement tires for passenger cars, the company also has high-end tires for light trucks and sports cars. These tires can be found in their high-performance summer line and light truck line. So, while most Westlake tires are designed to act as replacements, the company has taken steps to enter the premium tire market.

Westlake Tires is a subsidiary of the Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company, which is China’s largest tire manufacturer. When you shop for a Westlake tire, you’re getting decades of innovation from one of China’s most reputable tire companies. If you’re curious about whether or not Westlake tires are right for you, read on. We’re going to go through everything you need to know about Westlake tires.

The History of Westlake Tires

Most people judge a tire by the way it looks and performs, but looking into the history of a tire company provides a full scope of the brand. When we look at a tire’s history, we discover how decades of innovation led to the product you’re looking at today.

Westlake Tires may be a new company, but there is more to their story. Coming into the market out of nowhere, many shoppers are curious about the quality of these tires. To understand Westlake’s story, and why their tires are reliable and efficient, we need to look at the Chinese company Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company.

The Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company was established in 1958 as the Hangzhou Rubber Factory. The factory was tasked with mass-producing tires for the growing needs of the Chinese population in the 1960s. From 1958 to 2011, the company maintained steady growth and overall success in its native market. In 2011, the Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company was recognized as the tenth-largest tire manufacturer in the world.

Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company decided to enter the global markets in 1972 when Westlake Tires began a partnership with Tireco to market and advertise their tire line. Growth was not exponential in the beginning, but today, Westlake Tires is a well-known company recognized for offering affordable tires with above-average quality.

Tireco acts as Westlake Tire’s primary retailer. All of Westlake’s tires are listed on their website, and Tireco handles most of the company’s marketing. Not only does this apply to the United States market, but Tireco and Westlake Tires maintain operations in Asia, Europe, and Australia.

What Sets Westlake Tires Apart

Westlake Tires may be a new company, but their tires have been able to gain ground in Western markets. When a mid-tier replacement tire can compete with the likes of Goodyear and Michelin, the company is doing something right. Let’s take some time to go through everything that sets Westlake tires apart.

High-quality Rubber

Not all tires are made equally, which means that you need to be careful when you consider your next set of tires. The rubber of a tire is crucial because it determines the lifespan and effectiveness of a tire. While Westlake tires may be mid-tier tires, their rubber comes from the Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company.

Being the tenth largest tire manufacturer on the planet, the Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company knows a thing or two about using premium rubber. Westlake Tires utilizes its facilities to get their tires at a low cost, and in return, shoppers benefit. Who said a high-quality tire couldn’t come at a bargain deal? Keep in mind, most Westlake Tires won’t directly compete with premium tires, so there is a bit of a tradeoff there.

Affordability

Shopping for adorable tires is stressful and overwhelming. Plenty of tire companies offer low-cost tires but cheaply made tires lead to regret when they need to be replaced less than a year later. When shopping for an affordable tire, you want to make sure it maintains at least average quality.

Westlake Tires provides affordable tires with better than average quality. While Westlake tires might not be premium tires, it doesn’t mean that they’re bad tires. Westlake Tires manufacturers several tires for light trucks and passenger cars, and each tire is significantly less expensive than premium tires that cost over $500 for a full set. For the price, it’s hard to beat Westlake Tires.

The price of Westlake Tires is low, but they don’t skimp out on the quality of their tires. Westlake Tires provide above-average longevity, and they don’t wear down rapidly. These tires may be made with cheap rubber, but they turned that rubber into a high performing tire that most shoppers can afford with ease.

Versatility

Not every tire works for every vehicle, which means that the brand you’re looking at needs to have a diverse tire selection. Companies with a diverse selection have different tires to fit different needs, which range from different tread patterns to different sizes. Westlake Tires does a great job making sure that there is a tire for the everyday driver.

Westlake Tires offers tires for off-road vehicles, touring vehicles, high-performance sports cars, and light trucks. Taking it a step further, Westlake tires come in a handful of different sizes to accommodate large or small rims. While many of Westlake’s tires come in a standard sizing based on your vehicle, you can always take a look to see if they have the size you need. Popular Westlake tire sizes include 15″ through 24″.

Westlake Tires are also easy to shop for. When you reference their website, you’ll notice that all you need to do is put in your vehicle’s information to find the right tire. In this day and age, a swift shopping experience makes all of the difference.

Warranty

The warranty that a tire comes with is important because it’s a good indicator of how long a tire will last. For example, with a 50,000-mile warranty, you can expect the tire to last at least 50,000 miles. In many cases, the mileage warranty serves as a benchmark, and tires last well beyond the warranty. If companies had to replace tires before their warranty period, there would be no profit. Therefore, the assurance that a company uses gives you some insight into how much confidence it has in its tires.

Westlake Tires offers two unique warranties. Their standard limited warranty comes on all of their tire models and applies to defects, not mileage. On Westlake tires, if you notice that the tire was missing a feature, and it contributed to the tire’s failure, you’re eligible for a prorated replacement. The warranty is in place for either five or six years, depending on the date you purchased it or the production date of the tire.

Along with their standard limited warranty, a few Westlake tires come with a standard limited mileage warranty. Westlake’s mileage warranty is diverse and ranges from 40,000 miles up to 50,000 miles. The Westlake SU318 is a light truck tire that comes with Westlake’s 50,000-mile warranty. The tire performs well, comes with a solid warranty, and costs less than competitors.

Westlake Tires Design Features

Not all tires are made equally, which means every brand offers a different approach to tire designs. Westlake Tires can make mid-tier tires that are designed like premium tires, so it’s essential to look at how the company cuts costs and maintains quality.

Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber

When you see a new tire company, there is a good chance that you will be skeptical. While this applies to other companies, Westlake Tires is a part of the reputable Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company, which sells $3.6 billion in tires every year. When you shop Westlake, you’re really shopping with one of the largest tire companies on the planet.

Durability

Durability is one of the first things you need to look at when shopping for tires. If a tire fails to be durable, it will end up costing you even more money. Chinese tire companies tend to carry a stigma of being poor in quality, but the manufacturing facilities of the Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company are state of the art.

Westlake Tires are built with high-quality rubber that holds up well against wear and tear. The rubber is reinforced with a black carbon coating that adds separation between the tire and road debris. For highway and off-road driving, this dramatically enhances the tire’s durability and lowers the risk of a blowout. Westlake Tires also feature a reinforced sidewall and ridged center rib that keeps the tire stable in most situations.

Westlake’s RP18 All-Season Radial tire is an excellent example of how durable a Westlake tire can be. Using a tubeless design and steel construction, the tire is resistant to both the elements and debris you can encounter out on the road. If you need a durable tire, you can always find one from Westlake Tires.

Comfort

Comfort is a design feature that a lot of shoppers tend to overlook. The quality of a tire can impact the quality of your vehicle’s ride, which means that tires may influence your vehicle’s suspension more than you think. Westlake tires are made with comfort in mind.

Westlake tires feature a ridged center rib that enhances your vehicle’s stability over harsh conditions. While the center rib increases the tire’s durability, the balance that it provides adds additional comfort. When the tire is faced with a pothole or uneven surface, it can recover quickly and mitigate the impact of the bumps.

Westlake tires also come with a block-tread design on a few of their products. The block-tread design is used by tire manufacturers to reduce the level of noise that a tire makes. For passengers, this makes the driving experience more comfortable and conversations more lively on the road.

Handling

The way a tire handles can make or break that tire. If a tire offers poor handling, the tire will wear down quickly, and it may cause danger to the driver. Westlake Tires understands the importance of proper handling, which is why they focus on several design features geared towards improved handling and safety.

Biting Edges

Biting edges are microscopic edges built into the sidewall and tread of a tire. These edges help a tire grab onto the road when traction becomes limited due to uneven surfaces like ice, rain, and snow. For off-road tires, biting edges are a must. Westlake Tires focuses on bringing biting edges into all of their all-season and light truck tires.

Cross sipes

Sipes help a tire disperse of water that gets in between the treads and the roads. When your tires can’t cut through the water properly, hydroplaning occurs. The dangers of hydroplaning include sliding in wet conditions and being unable to use your brakes to stop correctly. Westlake Tires uses a special cross sipe to reduce the chances of hydroplaning. The cross sipes work by creating a larger contact patch between the surface of the tire and the road. The larger surface area leads to more water displacement on the road.

Serrated Tread Patterns

Every tire company has its own unique tread patterns. Tread patterns help a tire dig into the ground for additional traction or hook onto the road for improved turning and cornering. Westlake Tires utilizes a unique serrated tread pattern to leverage more biting edges for improved traction.

Shoulder Blocks

Shoulder blocks improve a tire’s ability to effectively corner or make a sharp turn. Westlake Tires uses angled shoulder blocks for their high-performance summer tires to improve their cornering abilities. The angles on the shoulder blocks are precisely measured, using 3D imaging technology, to provide the best possible handling. 3D imaging allows Westlake to monitor and test a tire’s dimensions, tread, sipes, blocks, and performance

Sponsorships and Recognition

Westlake Tires has been working hard to develop relationships with organizations in the United States and around the world. For a company to build recognition, without winning races or events, they must win in the eyes of the public. Here is a look at a few steps that Westlake Tires took over the past decade to solidify their identity.

The San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres are a major league baseball team operating out of San Diego, and Westlake Tires is hoping that sponsoring the organization can increase brand recognition and respect in the San Diego area. The deal was completed in 2018 and began during the MLB’s 2019 season. The sponsorship gave Westlake Tires the ability to be present at Padres’ sporting events to promote their tires and mingle with the local fans.

All Thai Taxi

All Thai Taxi is a taxi company that operates in Bangkok, Thailand. The company has over 500 hybrid style taxis and continues to grow within their city. Westlake Tires saw the opportunity and began mass-producing their PR 18 all-season tire for the company. Westlake Tires also offers drivers of the company proper tire maintenance and repair training. By working with the Bangkok company, Westlake is proving that they can handle the needs of both everyday drivers and businesses.

The Tire Cologne Show

The Tire Cologne Show is an event that takes place in Cologne, Germany. At the event, tire manufacturers from around the world come to show off their high-end tires and innovations. Westlake’s presence at the event in 2018 was an excellent move for the company because it showed consumers that their tires could compete outside of the mid-tier market.

Best Selling Westlake Tires

Westlake Tires may be new to the market, but their tires have already developed a reputation among shoppers. Let’s take a look at a handful of the best-selling Westlake tires you can find.

Westlake SU318 All-Season Radial Tire

When shopping for an all-season tire, you want to be sure that the tire can get you through most situations. The Westlake SU318 All-Season Radial Tire is a great all-season choice that comes with exceptional longevity. The warranty covers your first 40,000 miles, but these tires last well beyond that marker. For the snow and ice, these tires provide exceptional handling and safety. Biting edges and cross sipes keep hydroplaning to a minimum, and if you take these tires off-road, the biting edges keep your vehicle dug into the ground. These tires are an excellent fit for touring cars from Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Ford, and many more.

Westlake SA07 All-Season Radial Tire

The Westlake SA07 All-Season Radial Tire is Westlake’s best selling SUV and crossover tire. The tire features deep sipes and thick treads that keep your vehicle from shifting in the rain or snow. When you have an SUV or crossover, safety is a priority, which is where these tires excel. For increased safety and traction, these tires utilize a silica-tread compound that reduces rolling resistance. Also, the Westlake SA07 All-Season Radial Tire is excellent at keeping noise to a minimum. For families, having a tire that keeps the noise down is a great way to help you bond during long hours in the car. For shoppers looking for an above-average SUV and crossover tire at a low price, this tire is a great choice.

Westlake SL396 All-Season Radial Tire

The Westlake SL396 All-Season Radial Tire is an actual pavement and off-road hybrid tire. The transition to off-road conditions that it provides is second to none, and the experience could even be called comfortable. These tires are made with deep sipes and treads that help your vehicle remain on the road during bouts of brutal weather, and they keep noise levels low. For shoppers looking for an off-road tire that doesn’t reduce ride quality on pavement, these tires are an excellent choice. Plus, not only do they perform well, but they can provide your SUV or crossover with an aggressive look and stance.

Westlake RP18 All-Season Radial Tire

The Westlake RP18 All-Season Radial Tire is Westlake’s most well-rounded tire. The tire can be fitted for sedans, coupes, SUVs, and crossovers. The benefits that this tire brings to the table are increased traction and noise reduction. For traction, the tire leverages deep sipes and angled shoulder blocks to enhance your vehicle’s ability to turn. For noise reduction, the tread pattern on this vehicle is symmetrical enough to create a smooth driving experience. Not only does this tire perform well, but it comes with a 45,000-mile warranty that reflects its longevity. If you need a hassle-free low-cost tire, the Westlake RP18 All-Season Radial Tire is a good option.

Westlake SL309 All-Season Radial Tire

The Westlake SL309 All-Season Radial Tire is Westlake’s best selling commercial-grade tire. While the tire is marketed towards light trucks, vans, SUVs, and crossovers, these tires also perform well on commercial vehicles. The reason that these tires hold up so well is due to their tubeless design. Lacking a tube, the tires are able to use a steel belt construction that reduces the chance of penetration or accelerated tread wear. In fact, these tires boast an impressive lifespan of over 40,000 miles. If you need a durable tire for commercial driving, these tires are a cost-effective option.

A List of Westlake Tires

High-Performance All-Season

Westlake SA07
Westlake SV308

Touring All-Season

WestLake RP18
Westlake SP06

Light Truck / SUV / Crossover

Westlake SL309
Westlake SL369
Westlake SU307
Westlake SU318