Have you ever wished your passenger car to be a tad more responsive and enjoyable to drive? Well, there is an easy remedy for that, and it’s called performance tires.
Most cars come with touring all-season or grand-touring all-season tires from the factory. These are designed with comfort and longevity in mind, rather than responsiveness and cornering grip.
Fortunately, you can keep those things mostly intact while also injecting fun-to-drive characteristics with a set of high-performance all-season tires.
One such tire is the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02, a low-cost offering that competes in a hotly-contested category. Given its price point, it’s an enticing option for buyers, but is it any good? That’s precisely what you’re going to find out in my detailed Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 review, where I’ll cover every aspect of the tire.
- What are the features of the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02?
- What are the maintenance indicators?
- How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
- How is it over wet and slippery roads?
- With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
- Is it suitable for off-road driving?
- Is it comfortable and refined?
- Should I buy the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02?
What are the features of the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02?
Sumitomo used a silica-enhanced all-season tread compound in the HTR A/S P02. It’s a reasonably advanced compound for the price, which should provide good traction in dry, wet, and snowy conditions.
The rubber compound is molded in an asymmetric tread pattern with notched shoulder blocks for increased wet traction and outboard circumferential ribs for better dry stability. Furthermore, Sumitomo included many water-evacuation channels, and wide-angle central tread slots, and 3D sipes for increased snow traction.
What are the maintenance indicators?
The Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 comes with the industry-standard tread wear indicators (TWI’s). These are narrow rubber bars that sit recessed into the tire. When the tread depth comes down to 2/32-inch, the lowest law-permitted depth for an all-season tire, the bars will be flush with the surface of the tire.
Fortunately, the treadlife of Sumitomo’s high-performance all-season tire is very good. Owners are consistently satisfied with tires from the Japanese manufacturer, and the HTR A/S P02 is no exception to the rule.
Besides, the tiremaker covers H- and V-speed rated models with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty and W-speed rated models with a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty. Considering the price, the warranties are impressive.
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
High-performance all-season tires usually provide a slight advantage over grand-touring tires in drivability and steering feel. With that said, I was pleasantly surprised with the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 in that regard.
After driving only a few miles, I could tell that the Japanese tiremaker focused on delivering a satisfying drive. I enjoyed the tire at lower and higher speeds, almost like I would’ve enjoyed an ultra-high-performance tire. And believe me, this is very high praise – regular high-performance tires usually don’t offer that much involvement.
It all starts with the directness. The HTR A/S P02 is eager to respond to the steering input, turning immediately into the corner. Besides, the response is linear, meaning the tires continue to communicate with the driver mid-corner and when accelerating out of it. And, what surprised me the most, the tire doesn’t feel unnatural like some ultra-sensitive performance tires. You’ll be enjoying the Sumitomo in the corners – I’m sure of it.
But what about grip and traction? Well, I was again pleasantly surprised with the results. The HTR A/S P02 holds itself with the best high-performance all-season tires, even the premium models. Cornering grip is sufficient for daily driving, even when you want to attack some corner faster. There is also enough longitudinal traction for brisk acceleration.
What impresses the most, given the price of the tire, is braking. The stopping distances are consistently shorter than the competition, and I’m not talking only cheap tires here. Moreover, the HTR A/S P02 is safe and under braking and easy to control.
So, I didn’t believe I would say this, but the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 is among the best high-performance all-season tires in terms of the driving experience. What’s even more impressive is that it’s cheaper than most competitors, making it a great buy for people that enjoy driving.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
Most budget-oriented tires usually falter either in dry or wet pavement. Those that perform well in dry conditions usually lose breath in the rain, and vice versa.
Not the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02, though. The Japanese tire is one of the best in the rain in its price range, and it even compares favorably to some premium models.
In terms of longitudinal traction, it’s not the most impressive around, but it still holds itself well. The stopping distances are slightly longer than the premium competition, and you might experience a slight loss of traction when accelerating hard.
However, the cornering grip is excellent. The HTR A/S P02 is still easy to throw around in the rain, providing the driver with high levels of grip. Even more impressive, the tires hold well at the limit, slipping through all fours and without any hint of oversteer.
Heavy rain is also not an issue for the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02. The hydroplaning resistance is excellent, meaning you can drive at normal speeds without losing traction or steering. Thanks to the grippy tread compound, there is also ample traction on damp surfaces.
Overall, the HTR A/S P02 is an excellent wet tire for the price. It works well across the range, and more importantly, it instills confidence in the driver. Ultimately, you’ll be able to continue to enjoy driving in the rain, something that I can’t say for most tires.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
When testing the Sumitomo in dry and wet conditions and getting excellent results, I thought to myself: this tire must be really bad in wintry conditions. To my surprise, though, the tire performs better than similarly-priced competitors, and it even beats some premium tires.
On snowy surfaces, there is enough traction to keep you in line, provided you drive carefully. Longitudinal traction is very good for an all-season tire, and there is enough cornering grip for safe driving. Sure, a proper winter tire will be much better, but considering the category, the Sumitomo is among the best.
In terms of braking on snow, the HTR A/S P02 beats its direct competitors, especially tires that are equally-priced. The differences aren’t very big, though. And more importantly, a proper winter tire will still give you much shorter stopping distances on snowy surfaces.
The differences are even bigger on ice since the tire isn’t exactly designed for those conditions. You will experience quick loss of traction, almost no grip in the corners, and longer stopping distances.
Overall, though, the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 performs as well as it can. You shouldn’t expect miracles from an all-season tire in the winter, and the same is true for this one. Compared to its peers, though, it performs slightly better, despite the lower price point.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
Absolutely not. This model isn’t designed with off-roading in mind and doesn’t provide sufficient traction. Moreover, the tread compound isn’t tough enough, and sharp objects can easily puncture the casing.
Is it comfortable and refined?
When looking for performance tires, shoppers usually expect slightly worse comfort overall. And, they should, since these tires always sacrifice comfort for performance. So, how does the HTR A/S P02 perform in that regard?
Well, for starters, there is a noticeable tread growl. It’s not overly intrusive, but it’s still there. What I noticed is premium cars, such as the Lexus IS, Audi A4, and BMW 3 Series, cover that noise better. However, if you own a regular compact car, you might hear the tread growl more.
The ride quality is also a bit stiffer than what you’d expect from a touring or grand-touring tire. Compared to those models, you’ll feel smaller imperfections more easily inside, but still to a normal degree. However, you’ll feel larger imperfections much more than you would in a touring tire, both as vibrations and thumping noise.
Overall, though, the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 is still within class limits when it comes to comfort. I wouldn’t say I had a problem with how comfortable the tire is, both in urban scenarios and on the highway. It’s not a comfortable tire, sure, but it’s not bad either.
You can see more Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 review here: Videos created by TBC BRANDS
Should I buy the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02?
The Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 has no in-your-face disadvantages. It’s slightly less comfortable than I would’ve liked, but it’s still not uncomfortable. More importantly, it does everything else right. On dry roads, it provides the driver with a responsive and grippy experience, making the experience much more enjoyable.
Furthermore, the rain performance is excellent, apart from the slightly lower longitudinal acceleration traction. Snow traction and braking are surprisingly good, too. In addition, the treadlife is very good, and Sumitomo covers it with an excellent treadwear warranty.
When you add the budget-oriented price to the equation, you get one of the most accomplished high-performance all-season tires on the market. You should definitely put this one on your shortlist.