Most drivers aren’t really interested in engaging driving experience – they just want a dependable and safe traveling companion. However, there are people that enjoy driving, and the last time we’ve checked, the faster you go, the more enjoyable it is. Driving enthusiasts seem to always search for more performance, both in a straight line and in the turns. The former requires engine tuning, while the latter can be as easy as replacing your tires. Like for example replacing your grand-touring tires with ultra-high-performance ones.
The Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTZ is an ultra-high-performance tire that is all-season rated, and one that you can use to replace your comfort-oriented tires. Of course, by migrating from grand-touring tires to the Tiger Paw GTZ you will experience much better handling, but what will happen if you’ve already owned sporty tires in the first place? Well, things aren’t as straightforward. For example, if you owned tires from the Michelin Pilot Series, you might experience a downgrade in terms of performance, which is expected given the price of the Uniroyal. That said, if you’re on a budget, the Tiger Paw GTZ is one of the best choices for all-season ultra-high-performance tires, specifically if you mostly care about dry grip, braking, and traction.
The Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTZ is a tire aimed at driving enthusiasts or owners of sporty sedans and sporty coupes such as BMW 3-Series and 4-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, C-Class Coupe, and A-Class Sedan, Audi A4 and A5, Lexus IS and RC, Infiniti Q50, and Q60, and Acura ILX and TLX. Thanks to the availability of bigger and smaller sizes, the GTZ can also be useful for owners of bigger sporty sedans and coupes such as BMW 5-Series and 6-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, E-Class Coupe, Audi A6 and A7, Lexus GS and LC, and for hot hatches like the Volkswagen GTI, Ford Focus RS, etc. In other words, if you own a fast-ish vehicle, the Uniroyal will fit like a glove. That said, if you own extremely sporty versions of the same vehicles, like the BMW M3 and Lexus IS-F, you might look elsewhere – the Uniroyal is still an all-season tire, which limits its performance a bit when compared to summer tires.
This tire is available in sizes ranging from 15-20 inches in diameter, and V and W speed ratings. It is very reasonably priced – a set of these tires will cost much less than the same type from companies like Michelin, Bridgestone, and Goodyear.
With all that said, is the Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTZ worthy of your mighty vehicle? You will find out in our detailed review down below, where we cover every aspect of a tire. Before we do that, though, let’s see what the manufacturer has to say about the GTZ.
What are the features of the Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTZ?
The Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTZ is designed to offer high-performance driving for driving enthusiasts, paired with all-season capability, including light snow. These traits were impossible in the ultra-high-performance sector in the past, but today seem to be the norm. At least in the marketing materials, that is.
To achieve these things, the Tiger Paw GTZ is made of optimized all-season tread compound that works in a wider temperature range than summer tires. The compound is molded into a symmetric tread pattern that according to Uniroyal helps for easier rotation and balanced wear. Like most ultra-high-performance tires, the Tiger Paw GTZ has a solid center rib that improves the on-center feel and makes the handling more responsive as well.
Wet driving is covered with four wide circumferential grooves and lateral notches that help to channel the water out of the tire. This not only improves traction and grip, but it also limits hydroplaning in very rainy weather. In addition to that, the independent shoulder blocks and intermediate ribs create biting edges that further improve traction in slippery conditions, such as in light snow.
As expected, the internal construction of the tire has two wide, steel belts on top of a single-ply, polyester casing, helped by a spirally wound nylon reinforcement. These not only make the whole tire more durable, but they also improve handling and high-speed stability.
What are the maintenance indicators?
The Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTZ doesn’t have any exotic indicators that make life easier for the owner, but they still come with the usual indicator bars that sit between the tread of the tire. These indicators can’t be seen from a distance when the tire is new, but they start to appear as the tread wears down. When the tread is worn down to 2/32″ or when the indicator bars are flushed with the tread of the tire, the tire is worn out and should be replaced. Take your vehicle to your local Uniroyal tire retailer for an inspection and have them measure the remaining tread with a tread depth gauge.
But the question is, when will this happen? Well, the Tiger Paw GTZ doesn’t have any treadwear warranty, unlike most of its competitors (the Tiger Paw GTZ 2 does have 50,000-mile treadwear warranty though). That can be a very big hurdle to overcome for some buyers as no one wants premature tire wear. A quick search on the internet will reveal that these tires resist tire wear well, but they’re still not exceptional. Still, you should easily get 30,000-miles from the tread, which is adequate for the price.
Is it good for off-road driving?
Is your sporty sedan or coupe good for off-road driving? Of course not! These tires are only meant to be used on the street and on the highway. Suffice to say, they lack the structure and tread depth for serious off-road driving, and even for some very light off-roading.
That said, they can be used on gravel roads, but please do that with caution – grip and traction will be severely limited, and the tire can also be damaged from stones. That said, this is not a disadvantage to the Uniroyal – every ultra-high-performance tire will struggle for off-roading.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
Better handling in dry conditions the single most important reason why people buy ultra-high-performance tires. Luckily, the Tiger Paw GTZ will satisfy the needs of most buyers who want better handling abilities, especially given the lower price point when compared to premium competitors. Of course, those that want maximum grip in the corners will be better served by the Michelin Pilot’s of the world, but for the usual driver of sporty coupes and sedans, the Uniroyal will suffice.
But let’s start from the beginning. The Tiger Paw GTZ is very responsive tire, reacting almost immediately when you turn the steering wheel. On top of that, the responsiveness is joined by a very good immediate grip, and excellent grip through the corner.
The tire is also very good at transferring the power down to the road, even on more powerful vehicles, and there’s nothing negative to report on the braking performance. Overall, a very good showing that demands respect.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
Sadly, not as good as the dry handling. The Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTZ is not bad in the rain – far from it, but its competitors are much better. Simply put, the tire lacks the hydroplaning resistance of the best ultra-high-performance tires right now, which becomes obvious in very heavy rain.
On top of that, traction is only marginal, and grip is limited during very hard cornering. On damp roads, the situation is a little bit better, but still not exceptional. Honestly, we expected a much better showing from the Tiger Paw GTZ in this area.
With that being said, how is it in snowy roads?
Unlike summer ultra-high-performance tires, the Tiger Paw GTZ can be used in near-freezing temperatures, which dramatically enhances its usability. Thanks to the advanced all-season tread compound, the Uniroyal gives the driver a lot of confidence in near-freezing conditions, but only if the pavement is dry.
These tires won’t give you much traction and grip in snowy conditions, while the braking performance will be marginal. Again, its similarly-priced competitors are better in this regard. In other words, if you live in areas with harsh winters, you will be better served by a set of high-performance winter tires.
Is it comfortable and refined?
To our surprise, the Tiger Paw GTZ is very comfortable over bumps, especially given the fact that it’s a sporty tire. On top of that, noise is well suppressed, even at higher speeds. This becomes increasingly important for owners of premium sedans, who want to match the performance of their vehicles with comfort.
You can see more Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTZ review here: videos created by Suburban Tire Auto Repair Centers
Should I buy the Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTZ?
Well, it depends on what you need. Today, there are a lot of options in the budget ultra-high-performance category that honestly give much better performance in wet conditions.
On top of that, Uniroyal already launched the successor Tiger Paw GTZ All-Season 2, a tire that’s much better in almost every regard. Still, if you come across a good discount at your local tire retailer, the Tiger Paw GTZ might do a good job if you’re only interested in dry handling.
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