Recently myself and Widoww had a chance to participate in a dealer event put on by Sailun Tires. Before agreeing to participate in this event I told evo_soul I didn’t know much about Sailun Tires and that honestly my expectations of them were pretty low seeing how all the other Chinese tires we have here are pieces of crap. It seems like Sailun themselves realizes that people in North America have a negative view of Chinese tires… so to help show they are different they invited owners of tire dealerships from all over Canada to participate in this event.
This was a full day event which took place at Toronto Motorsports Park (Cayuga). The event consisted of an information session which spoke about the tire industry in Canada and then actual tire testing. The tire tests consisted of slalom tests… braking tests… and full circuit tracking of the tires. We were supposed to drive the cars on public streets but due to time constraints, traffic(???) and poor weather that part was scrapped.
So basically what happened was they had a collection of Infiniti G37x sedans which different brands of tires bolted on to them. We would drive each brand of tire thru each individual test and then report back on how we felt about each tire.
The tires that were used as part of this test were:
- Sailun Z4+ Atrezzo AS
- Bridgestone Potenza G019
- Continental ExtremeContact DWS
All of these tires are considered high performance all-season tires.
Surprisingly the Sailun representative admitted that he wasn’t trying to say Sailun made the best tires in the world. He claimed they were trying to say that they give similar performance to the major brands while offering them at a much lower cost. And to paraphrase his words… “Why pay more when you can get virtually the same features in a tire that cost half as much?” He challenged us to tell if there was a big difference… and in his opinion it didn’t make sense to pay more for major brand tires if you can’t tell the difference.
That being said… I was actually really surprised by how well the Sailuns performed. I was expecting them to be crappy… but they were actually really good. In general my opinions on all the various tests were the same. The Sailun’s performed as well or better than the Continental DWS tires… but they were pretty close in all of the tests. The Bridgestones surprisingly were CRAP!!!
The Sailun Tires had stiffer sidewalls than the other tires which allowed them to handle the best while still being comfortable. In the slalom test they were the easiest tires to get around the pylons quickly… and during the braking test they gave you a lot of confidence and good feedback. Lapping the entire Cayuga track… the Sailun tires once again felt the best and gave you the confidence to push hard. And everybody was pushing the Infiniti G37’s REALLY HARD. Infact you will see a picture below where smoke was coming out from the brakes of the cars!
The Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires also did really well in my opinion and were just a bit softer than the Sailuns. So while you could still push… you had to ease up just a little bit to keep control thru the slaloms and lapping the track. Braking was good as well… just a bit less feel than the Sailuns.
Now the Bridgestone Potenza G019’s were COMPLETE CRAP! This surprised me because I’ve used Bridgestone tires before and they’ve always seem to be great performance tires… infact in my opinion they would sacrifice a bit of comfort to give you and edge in performance. But these G019’s that were part of the test were horrible! The tire was so soft that the car felt like it was constantly squirming. You had to navigate the slalom at much slower speeds… and on the track the car was darting all over the place and was hard to control. Infact these were the only tires in which the car felt like it was going to spin out of control while lapping (and we drove the same with all the brands of tires). Even during the braking test… you had to fight the car to stay in a straight line! You had no confidence at all pushing these Bridgestones… and it’s not like the other brands of tires sacrificed comfort to get their performance. I was really surprised and disappointed by these Bridgestone tires.
Final thoughts on this event… the Sailun Atrezzo Z4+ AS performed as well or better than the Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires in all the tests we participated in that day. And the Sailuns were WAAAAAAAAAY better than the Bridgestone G019’s. And considering that the Sailun’s cost half as much as the other tires… it’s hard not to see these tires as a good deal. Personally, I do not have long term experience with these Sailun tires… but with my short term experience… I would have no problems recommending these tires to people who are looking for a cost-friendly set of performance all-season tires.