While car enthusiasts are often on the same page when talking about a specific performance variable or automotive technology, this universality is nowhere to be seen when it comes to the multi-faceted topic of tires. Ask a few car guys about their opinion on tire brands and you will get as many different reviews!
That is why we decided to help clear the air. For this review, we will be providing our take on Westlake Tires.
Westlake is one of the subsidiaries of the Chinese rubber giant, Zhongce Rubber Group, which has the privilege of being the country’s largest tire manufacturer. In fact, they recently managed to break into the Top 10 tire companies of the world, having an established presence in major markets including North America.
Formed in 1958 in Hangzhou, this company has been able to develop a huge market base owing to its reputation for making cheap but reliable tires.
Westlake deals in a range of tire categories including passenger cars, off-road vehicles, agricultural tires, trucks, ATV, etc.
Where are Westlake tires made?
Westlake has expanded to a total of 9 manufacturing plants based in both China and Thailand. Their tires are produced and supplied from these sites to their immense distribution network that has its roots in 120+ countries around the globe.
Are Westlake Tires Good?
Coming to the real question now. We will start off with what customers think of the brand in general. Westlake customers are mainly impressed by their cost-effective pricing, which they claim is a worthy investment when it comes to the quality of tires.
This is pretty much true in our opinion. We understand that Chinese brands are usually highly unreliable and do not have a stable product but Westlake takes a different approach to tire manufacturing.
Unlike most Chinese brands, it not only invests in Research and Development but also has dedicated testing rigs that simulate different working conditions. The tires are thoroughly tested before they hit the market, which makes them somewhat reliable.
Regarding the quality, they definitely are not as good as the top-notch brands but for their price, they do present a good deal.
However, it is not all good as well. There are negative experiences out there stemming from manufacturing errors, performance-killers, and a higher tendency to fail.
We will be touching upon each of these factors in the following section where we review some of Westlake’s most popular tire models.
Westlake’s Most Popular Tire Models
Westlake SA07 Performance Radial Tire
The SA-07 is one of the most popular tires by Westlake. Meant for passenger cars, it features an all-season built that is suitable for city drivers with occasional highway tours. It is backed by a 45,000-mile warranty and comes in a 16”-20” size range.
The symmetric treads are meant to provide a stable grip in wet and snowy conditions, which it does but not as good as other tires in its competition. The compound and tread pattern provide a sturdy grip on highways and during turning.
The sidewalls, however, are said to be a bit prone to tearing under extreme conditions, which might be something to look out for.
Overall, the SA07 is a good bargain if you ask us, as the performance, warranty, and price are all remarkable.
Westlake RP18 Touring Radial Tire
The RP18 is a budget tire for smaller vehicles, covering the 13”-16” category. This all-season radial tire is designed for touring and urban spaces, sporting a decent quality tread and compound.
The tire features four circumferential grooves and lateral grooves for a sound road grip and adequate dirt/water evacuation. This can sometimes lead to a noisy drive, which this model is somewhat known for, but not always.
To balance this out is a nice grip in wet conditions and even slightly snowy seasons.
Like the SA07, its 45,000-mile warranty is a huge benefit that, when combined with the relatively cheaper price, makes it a good pick for those mainly driving around the city.
Westlake SL369 Off-Road Radial Tire
The Westlake SL369 is for off-roading thrill-seekers. It comes with a 40,000-mile warranty and boasts a deep groove built with switchback tread blocks.
These features enhance its road grip and provide the strength to travel in rough, rocky conditions.
The variable pitch patterns along with siping inhibit loud noise production along with improving braking performance, which is essential when driving off the road. It allows this tire to perform unfazed on unpacked snowy roads as well.
The downsides are low traction on wet and muddy surfaces, which are to be avoided if you are using this product.
Westlake SU318 Touring Radial Tire
The Westlake SU318 is engineered for the CUV and SUV rider, developed mainly for smooth, quality touring on urban roads. It is backed by an impressive 50,000-mile warranty, which is no joke when it comes to mid-priced all-season tires.
It gets its responsiveness from the unique CAD-designed lateral siping as well as serrated tread blocks.
Its traction-friendly tread pattern also promotes better handling and cornering and does not let water stay inside it for long when driving on wet roads.
Like other models, however, this tire gives some trouble when traveling on snow, often spinning or not responding as a good tire should.
For the SUV/CUV owner, it can provide a good experience as long as they live in a warm area and do not travel farther away very often.
Westlake Customer Reviews
Westlake has become a popular brand, surpassing other Chinese brands by far. Customers have a lot to say about their experience, both positive and negative. We will provide a summary of both sides of the page so you can choose for yourself whether this brand is for you or not.
Positive Westlake Customer Reviews
The biggest upside of Westlake, as per user experience, is the price-quality combination. Westlake tires have acceptable performance and they do not wear out as easily as other Chinese brands and are also much cheaper than high-end products.
In addition, customers are happy with their touring collection as it lasts for a decent amount of time without any significant dip in handling or road grip.
They also look good on the car, which is a factor to consider if you are sensitive to car looks.
Negative Westlake Customer Reviews
Westlake tires are high quality and affordable but they are definitely nowhere near the elites.
Sure, traction, braking, and durability are good but you still need to keep an eye open for untimely wear and loss of grip, which is not the case with those who spend on top-tier brands.
Moreover, as highlighted above, Westlake tires seem to have a consistent issue with snowy and muddy tracks, which is a normal condition in some parts of the world.
The special tread patterns and siping are not able to provide the extra bit of grip and evacuation in these terrains.
Finally, some customers also complain about the noise these tires create. Again, it is not comparable to cheap brands but they are also not as quiet as the top-of-the-line picks.
Our Final Thoughts on Westlake
We have listed down the positives and negatives of Westlake and also shared a review of some of their most popular tire models.
In our opinion, Westlake is an ideal brand for the middle-class car owner who likes to keep it simple – no excessive adventuring and a hard-earned budget.
If the majority of your miles are on a city road or a highway, you should consider Westlake a good bargain that gets you going for a decent amount of miles without huge compromises on performance and safety.
Westlake is not suited to you if you are into off-roading or live in rough or wet terrain, in which case it is best to just stay away from these tires and invest in a better, high-quality brand.