Lets get the elephant out of the room at the very beginning. Many years ago overseas manufacturing was fraught with poor quality products, lack of quality control and the only thing you benefitted from was a cheaper price.
As a result of lingering product quality issue many people believed that the most expensive product you could buy was the cheapest one because it never did the job correctly. Is that still true today?
Frankly as one of the leading tire testers in Canada, I can categorically say that the marked differential is no longer obvious.
Because of access to online research, sharing of information, and a desire to truly achieve the goal of satisfying the consumer, offshore brands are getting on par with their more expensive cousins and occasionally offering an overall better comparison. Of course, that all depends on what you are hoping to achieve.
Recently I ordered a set of Maxxis Bravo tires for my Jeep Grand Cherokee from Big O Tires. I wanted to see how the “lower” brand tires would perform.
Whilst I have no instrumentation to record data, the test is really subjective, but from someone who has a lot of experience racing cars and testing tires.
My first impressions were very positive. Simply changing a tired set of winter tires to a new tread and compound made a noticeable difference to car handling.
At the end of the day car handling translates in to consumer (driver) confidence. If the car does what you expect it to do after a desired input, then you are confident making decisions that could possibly save your life.
Immediately the tires showed me that they were well thought out and frankly on par with the competition. We use terms in tire testing like “crisp”, “soggy”, “wash out”, “responsive” etc. Frankly I can put all the positive nomenclature towards describing the Maxxis Bravo line.
The tire felt immediately crisp and responsive to my input. In an emergency lane change, that is what I would want to see. If the tire was soggy or washed out after the lane change, I would be correcting my inputs unnecessarily.
Similarly, the tire was very quiet on the road which leads to a more relaxed arrival at your destination on a long journey and has a lot to do with smart tread design.
If I pushed the car in the corners there was no feeling of “tread walk” which is the blocks literally bending over and not offering the same traction. As you might expect with the description so far, the car stopped positively in an emergency situation.
As yet, with our summer weather I have not been able to dry in the wet, but so far so good.
If I did have instrumentation and did a side by side test I would likely be able to show some differential between the Maxxis and a premium labeled brand, but would you be able to benefit from the differential?
So in the final analysis, I would suggest that it is indeed worth the risk to run a set of Maxxis tires on your car. Talk to your local Big O dealer about what tread and compound is going to sort your driving style and enjoy the security and comfort of running a set of Maxxis tires on your car.