The budget tire market seems to get more crowded each year, especially after the Chinese manufacturers started producing new brands at a rapid pace. And, more often than not, these tires don’t offer safe handling, and some of them are dangerous to drive on the road.
Fortunately, Mastercraft isn’t one of those brands. Its tires aren’t as cheap as models from Lionhart or Lexani, but they are an obvious step forward in terms of performance and durability. If you ask me, I would never put Chinese tires on my car, at least right now. And, I would put Mastercraft’s if I was on a budget.
Now, sure, Mastercraft tires might be expensive for some people, still, but come on! The difference for a set of tires might be $40 to $50, while the return will be invaluable. There is no price on safety, and many people learn that the hard way (sadly).
Moreover, Mastercraft operates under the umbrella of Cooper tires, a well-renowned American company that also produces its own, more expensive tires.
Sure, Cooper products are better in every regard, but you probably knew that already. What you want to learn is how good are Mastercraft tires, and I’m going to tell you just that in this review.
To answer that question, I’ll give you my five favorite products from the company, together with a short review. Then, we will talk about the complete lineup of Mastercraft tires, and about the positives and negatives of owning these tires.
Top 5 Best Mastercraft Tires Review
Best Grand-Touring Tire
The LSR Grand Touring is one of the newest additions in Mastercraft’s lineup, and it immediately caught my attention. The T-Speed rated models of this tire come with an outstanding 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, while V/H-rated comes with 60,000-miles and W-rated with 50,000-miles. That is pretty amazing for the price.
Moreover, the tire performs safely on dry and wet roads, especially when you take the price into consideration. Moreover, the tire is quiet and comfortable enough on the street and highway. That said, don’t expect to have fun behind the wheel – the LSR Grand Touring isn’t very responsive. Also, the snow traction is below average for the category.
Best Performance Tire
The Avenger G/T is designed to give owners of old muscle cars a retro-designed performance option. And, at least in the looks department, the tire fully succeeds – just look at those white sidewalls.
The Avenger G/T isn’t bad in the corners, either. Handling is controllable and precise, and there are enough grip and traction for spirited driving. Also, the tire comes with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is great for the price.
That said, the Avenger G/T isn’t that impressive on rainy days, and it’s also not the best option for driving on snow.
Best Highway Tire for SUVs and Trucks
The Stratus H/T is an excellent option for owners of older SUVs and pickup trucks. The tire is very cheap, yet it offers stable handling characteristics, short braking distances, and a quiet and comfortable ride. Moreover, the treadlife is excellent – the Stratus comes with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty.
With that said, even though it’s a highway all-season tire, the Stratus H/T isn’t the best choice for off-road surfaces – it lacks traction, and it doesn’t seem robust enough.
Best Winter Tire
The Glacier Trex is a studdable winter tire that works amazingly well in harsh wintry conditions. Performance on snow is excellent for the price and becomes even better with the studs attached. The same applies to ice traction, which is excellent when studded. Also, the Glacier Trex performs well in heavy rain, thanks to the prominent tread pattern.
That said, the Glacier Trex lags behind the competition on dry and wet surfaces, where it doesn’t handle as sweetly, and it also has longer braking distances.
Best Commercial Tire
Even some premium commercial tires don’t come with a treadwear warranty, yet Mastercraft provides 50,000-miles on its Courser HXT model. The company even succeeded in making a safe and reliable tire on dry and wet surfaces. That said, snow traction could be further improved.
Mastercraft Tires Review: Buying Guide
Mastercraft has a very detailed portfolio of tires for passenger cars. Its most famous models are the touring and grand-touring ones, which are available in many popular sizes. These tires are primarily aimed at owners of compact cars, mid-size sedans, minivans, crossovers, and similar vehicles.
The company also has many SUV and truck tires under its portfolio. Mastercraft offers touring and grand-touring tires for SUVs and crossovers, highway tires for SUVs and trucks, and all-terrain and mud-terrain tires for off-road purposes.
Mastercraft also offers performance-oriented tires for SUVs and passenger cars. However, these tires aren’t really aimed at track driving. Instead, they focus on offering a more responsive and grippy ride on the street.
Ultimately, Mastercraft has tires with all-season and winter tread compounds in its portfolio. The company doesn’t offer summer compounds, but that’s understandable given the price point. Moreover, buyers in this segment almost always purchase all-season tires.
1. Mastercraft Tires Positive Aspects
Mastercraft tires aren’t the cheapest option on the market. Nonetheless, they are still widely available and much less expensive than premium tires.
And, in my book at least, that’s a good thing. Paying a little extra in tires is absolutely worth it. Mastercraft tires are overall much safer than competitors like Lionhart and Lexani, yet they cost just a tad more.
Very Safe Drive on Dry Roads
If your daily driving routine covers mostly dry weather, you should be completely satisfied with how Mastercraft tires perform. While the tires aren’t sporty by any stretch of the imagination, they still provide the driver with respectable cornering stability, responsive steering, and good handling.
Meanwhile, the braking distances are also sufficiently short, which is an important thing to know the next time you need to do a panic stop. Overall, Mastercraft tires fair very well in dry conditions, and I wholeheartedly recommend them for those conditions.
Usable in Rainy Days
Most cheap tires suffer in rainy conditions to the point of being unusable. Fortunately, Mastercraft tires are safe to drive in these conditions. Sure, the premium competition offers even better traction and braking, but considering the price, Mastercraft tires are pretty good.
The hydroplaning resistance of most Mastercraft models is very good, while traction is sufficient for confident cornering and braking.
Long Treadlife and Excellent Treadwear Warranties
One of the main advantages of Mastercraft tires compared to other cheap competitors is treadlife. In this regard, some tires from the company come close to premium tires. This means that you will save money when you purchase the tires, but also while you use them.
On average, the company offers a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, while some models come with up to 80,000-mile treadwear warranty. That’s a premium-tire territory, mind you, and very impressive given the price of the tires.
Fairly Comfortable and Quiet
Most Mastercraft tires are also reasonably comfortable and quiet. Now, sure, the premium competition is quieter still, especially at highway speeds, but Mastercraft tires aren’t too far behind. Besides, in terms of ride quality, they are closer still.
2. Mastercraft Tires Negative Aspects
Lags behind premium brands for performance driving. You can feel safe behind the wheel of a car with Mastercraft tires. They handle well and brake accordingly. However, you won’t get too far if you push them very hard. I wouldn’t consider Mastercraft tires for performance driving – they give much earlier than premium tires.
Moreover, the braking distances are also longer, especially on wet roads. You wouldn’t notice that while driving on the street, but it’s there. So, if you want the best possible handling and braking for your car, you should be prepared to pay more. For example, Cooper, the parent company of Mastercraft, offers much higher-quality tires.
I often ask the question, “how low in terms of price can you go before risking safety?” Well, it seems that Mastercraft is the correct answer. The company seems to have found the recipe for cheap, yet safe and reliable tires.
Unquestionably, you can go even lower, but those tires start to show limitations in the most important quality of a tire – safety. So, yes, I recommend Mastercraft tires for drivers on a budget, provided you don’t expect miracles.