Pros: Price; Safety ratings; Quick stopping ability
Cons: Hard to find
Tire manufacturing is a competitive business and there are dozens of brand names, tread types, and mileage ratings to select from. A few months ago, I went on a tire shopping trip, determined to replace my worn- out Goodyear tires that came with my car when I purchased it. I looked and looked, finally choosing a tire brand that few people have likely heard about. The tires I chose are Futura Touring HR Tires, a tire designed for performance.
My car has tires that are a little larger than other cars. The set of Futura I purchased are P225/60R16, but this style of tire can be purchased in sizes as small as P185/60R14. My tires (the largest size available in this style) are designed to be mounted on rims measuring between six and eight inches in width, while the smallest available size fits rims measuring between five and six and one- half inches in width. Each Futura Touring HR tire has a diameter that ranges from 22.76 inches on the small end to 26.66 inches on the high end.
Futura Touring HR tires are designed to sustain speeds up to 118 miles per hour. The different sizes of this type of tire vary in weight from 17.8 pounds to 23.6 pounds. The ones I bought- the P225/60R16- weigh in at the upper end of that scale.
This type of tire can be purchased either with black or white walls. The tires feature a polyester cord radial design that the manufacturer claims helps increase the life of the tires.
With the tread, Futura makes these tires with four ribs and the tread itself features parallelogram- shaped figures arranged in alternating directions. The edges of the tires have a slightly different tread pattern that is designed to grip the road, making it easier to control your vehicle in harsh weather conditions.
These tires are priced competitively and they are less expensive than many of the better- known name brands. I purchased my four tires at a cost of $59.99 per tire, with a mail- in rebate of $10 per tire. Comparable tires made by, say, BF Goodrich cost at least $20 more per tire.
Purchasing new tires is something a vehicle owner must do every few years to keep his/her car or truck in top performing shape. My tires on my car were thoroughly worn when I decided to go shopping for new tires several months ago. The tread was worn off in some areas and the back end of my car would often slide sideways just a little bit when I made a sharp turn on a rainy street. It was high time I bit the bullet and purchased a new set of tires so I set out on a mission to find the best deal on a good set of tires that I knew I could rely on.
In the past, I have used the internet to lookup data on tires and to inquire on purchasing, but this time I decided to go shopping at a store. I happened to be at a Pep Boys Automotive shop one day, getting some new brake pads, when I decided the time was right to shop for tires. I was already getting the brakes replaced so I figured they could just go ahead and replace the tires at the same time, saving myself from having to make another trip. I walked over and started to compare tires and I finally selected Futura HR Touring tires.
The reason many people have not heard of Futura before is because Futura is actually a product of the Cooper Tire Company. Also, this brand of tires is manufactured exclusively for Pep Boys Automotive shops. Cooper has obviously entered into a deal with Pep Boys to make a tire solely for sale at these stores. This is part of the reason why the prices are lower than the competition, since Pep Boys buys these tires in greater bulk. The other reason the tires are cheaper is because Futura Tires do not have any significant advertising budget. We have all seen ads for Firestone, BF Goodrich, Goodyear, Michelin, and other popular manufacturers, but Cooper doesnt actively advertise Futura. This helps to keep the prices of the tires low.
Even though these tires are less expensive, they still deliver when it comes to safety and performance. The UTQG rating of these tires (Uniform Tire Quality Grading- a government measure) is an impressive 400-AA. What this means is that this style of tire has a tread wear rating that is four times the standard (100 being the base, and this one is 400, which is four times greater). The AA part of the rating is a measure of traction and heat resistance. The possible ratings for traction are AA, A, B, and C, with AA rated at the top and C at the bottom. This is an indicator of how quickly the tires can come to a complete stop on wet pavement. Once again, these tires have a rating of A that places them toward the top. The final A in the rating is for temperature and it measures how well a tire can handle high levels of heat. Ratings range from A to C, with A being the best. Here, again, Futura Touring HR tires rank high, with an A rating that signifies the high ability of these tires to resist the generation of heat and to dissipate heat.
Statistics are nice and they make us feel good, but the real measure of performance comes from ones own personal use. When I first got these tires, I tested them for good traction and for stopping ability by making some sharp turns and by pressing the brake quickly when coming off the interstate highway. With cornering, these tires earn a grade of B+. They seem to grip well, but not as tightly as some of the more expensive tires designed for sports cars. With stopping, though, these tires earn an A grade. They stopped quickly and firmly, decelerating my speed in a very short amount of time with a sudden halt that was firm without getting too forceful on the body.
Checking out the ratings on these tires and comparing them to others, Futura Touring HR rank better in almost every category than the competition. The only tire that constantly ranks higher is Michelin. But the style of Michelin tires that performs better also costs twice as much. So, you pay double but you end up with a tire that isnt necessarily twice as good. Compared to other well- known names like Firestone and BF Goodrich, Futura Touring HR tires rank higher in almost every test and safety measurement, easily making them worth consideration when buying new tires.
Handling a vehicle is made much easier when you have a set of reliable tires. Im the type of person who is always looking for a bargain, but there are some things where I will not skimp on quality. Frankly, I cannot understand why anyone would trust their life to some of the cheap tires sold in the marketplace. Some of these tires cost as little as $25 or $30 each and they carry a mileage rating of only 30,000 or 40,000 miles. They cost less, but the reduction in quality isnt worth the money saved.
Futura Touring HR tires make a good investment for your car. They are less expensive, yes. But the quality ratings are just as good if not better than the majority of tires on the market, giving the owner a good financial deal and the peace of mind that comes with reliable tires. They are sold only at Pep Boys, so if you want to check them out, you need to have a Pep Boys location in your area. If you do, and you are in the market for new tires, then I suggest you give Futura Touring HR tires a try. They are good, solid, reliable tires from the folks at Cooper Tire and Rubber.