Pros: Excellent wet/dry weather traction, Price, Longevity (thus far), Simple tread design.
Cons: Reduced gas mileage, Harsh ride for a touring tire
On my list of "Things I hate spending money on," buying new tires ranks right up there with buying overpriced gasoline, bottled water, and paying taxes. With that being said, when it comes time to buy new tires you'll always find me digging in the proverbial bargain basement at my local tire shop, searching for an inexpensive tire with all of the claimed attributes of its more expensive counterparts. Enter the Falken Sincera SN211, a tire that claims to be a comfortable touring tire while still offering maximum year-round performance: all for a fraction of the price of its better known competitors. The Falken Tire Corporation generally pumps out some impressive products, so I had high expectations from their new Sincera SN211.
About the Sincera SN211:
The Sincera SN211 is one of those "I can do it all" tires, being a performance/touring/all-season tire in one. The Sincera SN211 is made for a number of passenger vehicle applications ranging from small/ large sedans, mid-size coupes, to crossover (on-road) utility vehicles. Although Falken describes the SN211 as a "high performance touring tire" the Sincera SN211 is not available in the low profile sizes that many consumers demand for their high performance cars. Further, the Sincera SN211 is most readily available for small rim sizes between 14"-16." Though this tire does come in sizes that will fit 17" and 18" rims, the selection drops dramatically for rim diameters larger than 16."
According to Falken, the Sincera SN211 boasts four optimized circumferential grooves to maximize hydroplane resistance and a variable sipe depth design that helps reduce "tread block squirm" and promote long lasting wear uniformity.
Although the Sincera's 5-linear rib/4-groove tread pattern doesn't scream "economy," it's likely not a design anyone would want for their performance or luxury car. With that being said, the Sincera SN211 will look perfectly natural on most non-performance passenger cars/ small crossover utility vehicles. Having these tires mounted on a Toyota Corolla, I am perfectly fine with Falken's utilitarian approach to tread design.
Specs: Sincera SN211 Size 195/65/15's (specs will vary slightly depending on tire size).
Tread wear rating 720 (Falken's highest)
Temperature rating B
Traction rating A
Speed Rating T
Tread depth- 12/32"
Weight- 21 lbs
Maximum pressure- 44 psi.
Maximum load rating- 1279lbs.
Dry Traction and handling: A
I have my Sincera SN211's mounted to a set of 15" rims on a '08 Toyota Corolla, so it goes without saying that I wasn't expecting these tires to transform my economy car into a tire shredding performance machine. I was, however, pleasantly surprised with how much these tires have improved my Corolla's handling dynamics over the previous tires: a set of Goodyear Assurance Touring. The Sincera SN211's do an exceptional job keeping my Corolla glued to dry pavement with notable reductions in both body roll on twisty roads and wheel hop on rough road surfaces. Tire squeal has also been reduced dramatically versus the Good year Assurance's. In the 20K miles that I have had these on my Corolla, I don't recall ever hearing a peep of audible complaint while driving on the twisties- this is something that I have never been able to say about any tire mounted to a Corolla. Overall, the Sincera SN211s have lived up to their claim to better a car's handling performance.
Wet Traction: A
It's not easy finding a tire on the bargain rack that provides both good dry performance and good winter weather traction. The Falken Sincera SN211 is one of those rare exceptions. Even when driving in inclimate weather with notable ponding of water on the highway, I have never had any issues with these tires losing traction due to hydroplaning. This is especially important to me given my geographic location. I live in an area where every road is twisty and it is seemingly perpetually raining, so this added traction is much appreciated. The Sincera SN211's also provide good wet surface braking and smooth off-the-line acceleration on slick surfaces.
I am especially impressed with how quiet the Sincera SN211s are on the highway. Anyone who owns a Toyota Corolla with stock tires will have likely noticed some fairly obnoxious tire noise at highway speeds. Even when I switched over to the more expensive Assurance tires from Goodyear, tire noise was still an issue. The Falken Sincera SN211's are easily the quietest tires I have had on this car, demonstrating remarkable improvements in road noise at all speeds.
Gas Mileage: F
Usually when I get new tires gas mileage does drop a bit (likely due to more rolling resistance with new tread), but I have never experienced such a dramatic drop in fuel economy as I did when I switched over from the Goodyear's to the Falken's. My Corolla would consistently get 40 MPG on the highway before replacing my Goodyear's, however those fuel numbers dropped to a measly 33 MPG after switching to the Sincera SN211s. Having these on my Corolla for almost 20K miles now, I have never been able to achieve over 37 MPG, a feat that was once all too easy.
Ride Quality: C
Before purchasing the Falken Sincera SN211s I read many reviews complimenting this tire's ability to provide a soft and cozy ride. This, however, hasn't been the case in my experience with these on my '08 Corolla. Driving over rough road surfaces can be downright jarring (even for a softly sprung Corolla). If I didn't know better, I would guess these to have closer to a 50 series sidewall- they certainly don't boast the usual comfort associated with a Touring tire sporting a insanely tall 65 series sidewall.
I currently have a little over just over $20,000 miles on the Sincera SN211s and they still are at a tread depth of 10/32" with uniform wear across every tire. This is especially impressive, again, because of my geographic location. With so much driving on twisty pothole-riddled roads, I would expect a less linear wear pattern, not to mention ch more wear. If these tires continue to wear at their current rate, I'm confident that I won't have to take advantage of the 80,000 mile warranty the Falken provides these tires.
Price and warranty: A
Prices for the Sincera SN211 vary greatly from store to store and from size-size. In most applications the Sincera SN211s won't set you back more than $100 per tire, unless you have 17" or 18" rims. While these aren't the absolute cheapest tires on the rack, the Sincera SN211 represents a lot of bang for the buck. I paid a mere $72 each for these tires at Sears in size 195/65/15s, which was a good $30 cheaper than what I paid for the less qualified Goodyear Assurance's. As mentioned, Falken provides the Sincera with an excellent 80,000-mile limited warranty (to the remaining 2/32" of tread depth).
Though the Sincera SN211s aren't exactly the most comfortable tire on the market nor have they done any favors in the gas mileage department, these tires decidedly represent a good value in this class. The Sincera offers excellent dry and wet weather traction, great handling manners, a quiet ride, and a price tag that's hard to beat considering said attributes. If you are on the market for a set of new tires for your family sedan/wagon/economy car/ coupe/crossover, the Sincera SN211's make an excellent and long-lasting choice.
A special thanks to Scmrak for adding this tire to our database!