It's priced like a sedate all-season tire, but reviews say the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 is worthy of your performance car, although experts disagree over whether it deserves to be called an ultra-high-performance tire. On wet and dry roads, the Sumitomo has beaten the pricier Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S (*Est. $175) in an expert test at TireRack.com. However, experts there don't include the Sumitomo in their recent performance all-season test, won by the Yokohama Avid Envigor (*Est. $140). The Sumitomo and Yokohama run neck-and-neck in another respected test.
However, TireRack.com experts disagree that the Sumitomo can compete with top-rated ultra-performance tires like the Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position (*Est. $185). Although the lower-speed versions of the Sumitomo tire (H- and V-rated) win the older TireRack.com test, the higher-speed, W-rated version finishes last in another. TireRack.com testers find the W-rated Sumitomo noisier, less comfortable and slipperier on wet roads than established ultra-performance tires, including the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season (*Est. $150). Whichever speed rating you choose, winter grip is not a Sumitomo strong suit. Although the W-rated version gets decent traction on snow and ice in one top test, owners who post reviews at TireRack.com find it slipperier than the Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position, Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S or Continental ExtremeContact DWS.
ConsumerReports.org tests the W-rated version of the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 alongside 16 of its rivals, to judge which are the best performers with the most pleasant ride and longest tread life. TireRack.com runs separate expert tests on the H/V-rated versions and the higher-speed, W-rated version, judging each against several of its peers. Customers at TireRack.com also rate each version separately, and SaferCar.gov lists government-mandated traction, heat-resistance and tread-wear ratings.
The Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (the W speed-rated version) is one of 17 ultra-high-performance all-season tires rated by ConsumerReports.org. Each tire is tested on wet, dry, snowy and icy surfaces, with ratings for ride quality, noise, rolling resistance and tread life.
Review: Ultra High Performance All-season Tire Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
2. Tire Rack
The H- and V-rated Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 ties for first place in this expert test with the Yokohama Avid Envigor, beating the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S and Firestone Precision Sport with better grip on both wet and dry roads.
Review: Testing New High Performance All-Season Tires, Editors of TireRack.com, May 28, 2010
3. Tire Rack
When editors pit the W-rated Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 against other ultra-high-performance all-season tires, the Sumitomo finishes last. It lags behind the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season, Dunlop SP Sport Signature and Yokohama Avid Envigor, with more tread noise, a harsher ride over bumps, more slipping on the wet track, and less confidence on the dry track.
Review: Finding the 'Ultra' in Ultra High Performance All-Season Tires, Editors of TireRack.com, July 26, 2010
4. Tire Rack
Again, the H- and V-rated versions of the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 fare better against their peers than the higher-performance W-rated version. Owners at TireRack.com rate the H- and V-rated versions fifth-best among high-performance all-season tires, while the W-rated version (listed separately) falls to 16th place among ultra-high-performance tires. Both rate very well in every category except snow and ice traction, where other tires do better.
Review: Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (H and V), Contributors to TireRack.com
The federal government rates traction on wet pavement, heat resistance and tread wear for most tires on the market. The Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 earns the highest ratings of A for heat resistance and AA for traction (the traction rating falls to A for sizes 60 and 65), but its tread-wear rating of 360 isn't as good as some pricier performance all-season tires.
Review: Tire Rating Lookup, Editors of SaferCar.gov