General AltiMax RT43 Review & Rating
- Dry 95% 95%
- Wet 90% 90%
- Snow 80% 80%
- Comfort 85% 85%
- Noise 90% 90%
- Treadwear 85% 85%
- Overall 88% 88%
In the bad old days, the phrase “you get what you pay for” was the gold standard when purchasing new tires. With not many manufacturers in the market, those who were already there abused their monopoly and kept an artificial price difference between the premium and budget models.
However, as our review of the General Altimax RT43 shows, the entry of new manufacturers has forced even giants like General to lower down the prices of their goods. The reduction in asking prices, however, hasn’t come at the cost of quality.
Instead, as suggested by the availability of the General Altimax RT43 in multiple size ranges and its other premium features, it’s the market pressure and not the cutting of corners which is the reason behind previously high-end models now available in a budget.
General Altimax RT43 Review: Features
Whether you own a mid-size sedan, a compact crossover or even a sporty coupe, the availability of General Altimax RT43 in sizes ranging from 13 to 20 inches in diameter means that there is a size available of you. After settling this very crucial matter, let’s look at some other notable features of this tire.
Low Surface Abrasion Technology
The presence of this technology allows the RT43 to experience less tread distortion as it rolls on the road. That, in turn, decreases the surface abrasion suffered by the tire and it also plays its part in increasing the tire’s tread life.
In plain English, whatever we said above means that this tire would make minimal noise and therefore result in a comfortable riding experience. Also, by experiencing less resistance from the road, the shelf life of the tire would also increase.
Twin Cushion Silica Tread Compound
Put simply, the twin Cushion Silica Tread Compound owes its performance to two layers. First, it has a high-density upper layer which makes this tire your companion for all seasons by providing it with better traction throughout the year.
Supplementing the upper layer is the low-density foundation compound lying beneath it. To enhance your riding experience, it absorbs vibrations coming off the road. So you can easily put a cup of tea on your moving car’s dashboard without worrying about it spilling over and messing your clothes.
Advanced dual tread compound
According to General, it used a combination of independent tread blocks and one continuous center rib to mold this compound into a symmetric tread design. Such an arrangement allows these tires to resist off-road bumps and absorb them with ease. Though it didn’t stop at that.
Rather, its manufacturer claims that the compound has been provided with sound wave suppression technology which, as the name implies, keep the noise level to a minimal. So you won’t hear the screeching of tires even when driving on a newly polished road.
Replacement tire monitor (RTM)
Patented by General Tire technology, the Replacement Tire Monitor (RTM) is something you don’t normally see in budget tires. Capable of doing exactly what its name implies, it will provide you with the status of the tire and would warn you beforehand when it needs replacement.
In case you were wondering, this monitor does the same by showing a “Replacement Tire Monitor” inscription on the circumferential rib of the tire. If this indicator is shown three times in as many seconds, it means your tire is new. Otherwise, it might be time to replace it.
Visual Alignment Indicator (VAM)
Apart from making sure that its owners know when it’s time to replace the General Altimax RT43, General made sure that they are also aware when it needs realignment. And that’s where the Visual Alignment Indicator comes to the rescue of your tire.
This indicator makes its appearance on the circumference of the tire in the form of two additional sipes on the tire’s opposite shoulder blocks. If these sipes are not perfectly aligned (one side above/below the other), then it’s time to have your wheels realigned.
Tread Wear Indicator Bars
In case you weren’t paying attention until now, the best thing about the two indicators mentioned prior to this one is that they help make your tire last longer. Which is what this indicator does as well, though it isn’t capable of doing that on its own as it provides help to the Replacement Tire Monitor.
With the passage of time and the reduction in tread depth of your tire, the Replacement Tire Monitors won’t be much visible. Just before the minimum tread depth is reached, the Tread Wear Indicator will send a signal to the Replacement Tire Indicator. That, in turn, will tell the latter to change its inscription to “Replace Tire”.
General Altimax RT43 Review: Test Drive
Although they are important, most people think of features as academic things which have no value in real life. If you feel like being one of those – and value practical experience over abstract knowledge – you might find it good to know that to test how it performs in real-life conditions, we took a test drive of the General Altimax RT43 tire.
Here’s how it performed:
Treadwear and Durability
Ask users of other high-performance tires, and they might warn you that you shouldn’t expect tires like the General Altimax RT43 to last longer, especially if you’re fond of driving them to the limit. Their warning, however, doesn’t apply here for two specific reasons.
First, since this tire comes with low surface abrasion technology, it is designed to move while reducing tread ware at the same time. Such a life choice saves the traction of this tire from getting adversely affected – thereby increasing its shelf life.
Second, to further put your mind to ease, General provides two types of warranties with this tire. Provided you get a T-rated General Altimax RT43, a limited 75,000-mile warranty will accompany the tire to your doorstep. Or if it is the H-rated tire which attracts your attention, you’d get a 65,000-mile warranty on the same.
Assuming most readers of this article won’t be the residents of Northern Alaska or the North Pole itself, it is the dry performance of their tire which would concern them the most. Fortunately for all of them, the General Altimax RT43 performs exceptionally well in dry conditions.
It comes with a smart contoured design which allows this tire to suss-out off-road vibrations coming from bumps and speed breakers. Also, with the contours complementing the road shape, this tire maintains close contact with the gavel to maintain the most optimal friction at all times.
On top of that, you can also make sure this tire gives brilliant tire performance at all times by tinkering with its Visual Alignment Indicators. These are a cluster of sipes which are evenly spaced on each tire, and which you can check after every thousand kilometers to ensure that the tires’ wear is even.
Wet Performance and Snow & Ice
During our review of the General Altimax RT43, we found it performing admirably in rainy and wet conditions. It maintains the same traction on wet roads it does on the dry ones, thereby allowing you to apply brakes and turn corners with confidence.
As for its performance in snow and ice, that’s one area where we found the performance of this tire suffering a lot. Its superior traction and firm grip might get you through if you’re being careful and have experience of driving on snowy roads.
Still, since it isn’t an ice-designated tire, drivers with little experience might find it difficult to control its movement on roads which are under layers of snow. Therefore we recommend that you look for other options if blizzards are a norm in your side of the woods.
Noise and Comfort
At the cost of sounding technical, the “Sound Suppression Technology” patented by General goes a long way in making this tire as quiet as possible. Even when the tire is worn out and needing replacement – as that’s when most tires are at their loudest, the RT43 would still make minimum noise.
Furthermore, to make your ride as comfortable as possible, the twin cushion silica tread compound which is the backbone of this tire and reinforces its sturdiness goes a long way. With its low- and high-density rubber tread layers, it enables the tire to overlook impact from the road bumps.
That they don’t transmit the impact of road bumps to the person sitting in the vehicle doesn’t mean that the rubber tread layers aren’t doing their job. Rather, they absorb the vibrations to let you enjoy a comfy and smooth ride.
General Altimax RT43 Review: Conclusion
There you have it; a complete, honest and unbiased review of the General Altimax RT43 tire. It is designed for dry weather conditions but further sweetens the deal by performing admirably on wet roads too. As long as you aren’t going to use it in snowy conditions, we see no reason why this tire isn’t worthy of your hard-earned money.
- Sound suppression technology
- Vibration-free and comfy ride
- Available in a budget
- Not recommended to be driven on snowy roads