Cheap tires are nothing new – they existed ever since cars existed. However, in recent times, it seems like a new brand sprout out of nowhere. Some of them use already-developed Chinese designs, and honestly, you shouldn’t bother with them. Sure, they look enticing but might be very unsafe for driving in rainy conditions. Then, you have brands like Kelly Edge, which prides itself on working under the umbrella of Goodyear.
The thing is, Goodyear has a lot of brands under its portfolio. Does that mean that all of those tires are excellent? Well, if you think about it, of course not. Goodyear already has a lot of tires in its portfolio, most of which are pretty amazing. However, those products come at a premium cost since they perform at a very high level.
Surely, the most popular tire company in the US would also want to have cheaper and budget-focused tires in its portfolio. For that reason, Goodyear invests in developing other brands, like Kelly Edge and Douglas. These tires are specifically designed to be cheap, no need to cover that up. That’s actually the first thought of the engineers when they start designing the tires. Moreover, they are usually made of cheaper and not that advanced materials.
So, do you think Goodyear would want to hurt sales of its own tires by producing excellent cheap tires? Of course not! I don’t know how else to put this, but cheap tires usually suck. There is no getting over that fact. There is simply no cheap tire in the world that will perform as good as a premium one. Sorry guys and girls, but that’s the truth.
But what about the Kelly Edge A/S? Well, at least on paper, this tire looks quite good. It costs a lot less than premium tires, almost half the price. Moreover, it has a tread pattern that Goodyear already used before, so it should provide good performance. Now, of course, the tread pattern always plays second fiddle to the compound, which is much more important for grip and traction. However, we’ll give the Kelly Edge A/S the benefit of the doubt here.
To answer all your questions about this low-cost tire, I prepared a detailed review. Below, you can read my thoughts on how this product performs on dry and wet pavement, how it works in the winter, and how comfortable it is. Besides, we’ll also talk about the treadlife of the tire, since that’s a very important aspect among drivers in the US. So, does the Kelly Edge A/S suck, or does it deserve the place in your car? Let’s discuss it!
What are the features of the Kelly Edge A/S?
Curiously, you’ll find all the information on the Kelly Edge A/S on Goodyear’s website. There, the popular brand states that this is “a hardworking, quality tire with all-season traction for everyday driving.” That’s something we don’t hear a lot in premium tires. Like, what does “hardworking” really mean?
Anyway, the tire features a tread pattern that’s specifically designed to evacuate water and slush from the surface. As a result, the tire should perform admirably in rainy conditions. Moreover, the tire has biting tread block edges for increased traction in snowy conditions, which should help in winter driving. Meanwhile, the sturdy tread blocks ensure stable handling at higher speeds, but also for increased treadlife.
The internal construction of consists of dual steel belts and nylon reinforcement to stabilize the tire. This design is standard for the category, so nothing new here.
Overall, there is nothing that excites about the Kelly Edge A/S. It’s a simply-designed tire without any advanced technology. In that area, it resembles tires from over a decade ago, which might not be a very bad thing for a budget tire.
Kelly Edge offers the tire in multiple sizes, ranging from 14-inch wheel diameter to 17-inch wheel diameter. Also, Kelly Edge A/S comes in T, H, and V-speed ratings. With these dimensions and ratings, the manufacturer mostly covers sub-compact cars, compact cars, mid-size sedans, and minivans.
What are the maintenance indicators?
Kelly Edge uses the industry-standard tread wear indicators (TWI’s) on its all-season tire. These indicators can show the driver how much tread depth there is left on the tire. Thus, they are very important for safety since tread depth connects directly to wet and snow traction. Without sufficient depth, the tires won’t be able to channel water out of the contact patch, which hurts hydroplaning resistance.
The minimum legal tread depth for all-season tires in the US is 2/32-inch. When the tread depth reaches this point, you should immediately replace your tires. Otherwise, you risk losing traction on wet pavement, but also over snow. Naturally, I recommend replacing the tires even sooner if you want to keep them safe and reliable in all conditions.
The TWI’s can help you see when the depth reaches 2/32-inch. They are small rubber bars built into the tread, which can only be seen by a close inspection of the tire. As the tread wears down, the bars will become more visible. When the depth reaches 2/32-inch, the narrow rubber bars will be completely flush with the rest of the tread.
Fortunately, the Kelly Edge A/S comes with an excellent warranty for such a cheap tire. Goodyear provides a 55,000-miles treadwear warranty to protect you from premature wear. Compared to premium tires, that’s short for around 15,000-miles but still good for the price.
Don’t expect amazing treadlife, though. The Kelly Edge A/S will definitely wear faster than premium tires. Moreover, the rubber compound won’t survive as long. However, that’s something you should expect, given the low price of the tire.
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
The Kelly Edge A/S won’t impress you at first. Although the sidewalls seem sturdy and respond fast, the tire doesn’t communicate with you very well. It’s slightly dead at the center, hurts the steering feel. Honestly, though, it’s not like most passenger all-season tires feel good behind the wheel, so this is not a big issue.
In terms of grip and traction, the Kelly Edge A/S performs quite well for daily driving. It drives very safely at regular speeds around town, even if you push a little harder. It’s also good on the highway, especially in terms of stability. The stopping distances will be slightly longer than the premium competition, but nothing too bad.
Overall, the Kelly Edge A/S hides its price well on dry roads. It’s not a sporty tire by any stretch of the imagination, but still a competent one.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
The Kelly Edge A/S quickly loses its mojo on wet roads. It doesn’t perform as bad as some other cheap tires, but it’s still not reliable enough. In the corners, it feels like it loses traction sooner than on more expensive tires. There is also more wheel spin during hard acceleration, and the stopping distances are longer.
I think many buyers expect this kind of performance from cheap tires. However, I always find it hard to value safety and price in the same sentence. A premium tire with excellent wet traction will be much safer for your family but also for other traffic participants.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
Although Goodyear markets the Kelly Edge A/S as an all-season tire, it really only works through spring, summer, and fall. For winter driving, it will work only in places without frequent snow or ice.
If you encounter harsh wintry conditions, this tire isn’t the best choice. There is not enough grip and traction on snow-covered roads, which translates into unreliable handling and long stopping distances. Also, ice traction is even worse.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
Absolutely not. The tire doesn’t have enough tread pattern to provide you with good traction on slippery terrains. Moreover, sharp rocks can easily damage these tires and accelerate treadwear.
Is it comfortable and refined?
In terms of noise, I was surprised at how Kelly Edge A/S performed. It’s very quiet around town and doesn’t produce a lot of noise on the highway. You can do better, sure, but for the price, I was very satisfied.
I can’t say the same for the ride quality. The tires seem to bounce off the surface, which transmits more vibrations into the cabin than I’d like.
Should I buy the Kelly Edge A/S?
Well, that’s a question you will probably need to answer yourself since it depends on what you value. If you want a dirt-cheap tire for daily driving, then the Kelly Edge A/S is a very good choice. It drives well at regular speeds, it’s reasonably quiet, and should last you for at least three years.
However, if you want an advanced tire that will perform well in most conditions, then you should pay a bit more. Goodyear’s own tires are much better, but you will also have a better experience from General and Cooper.