Hankook Optimo H724 Review

Hankook Optimo H724 Review

  • Dry 90%
  • Wet 90%
  • Snow 75%
  • Comfort 90%
  • Noise 80%
  • Treadwear 85%
  • Overall 85%
The Hankook Optimo H724 is one of my favorite all-season tires. I had the chance to test drive a 1968 Cadillac DeVille at a vintage car show a couple of months ago. The car was fitted with a set of white-walled Hankook Optimo H724 tires. As expected from a Cadillac, the ride was pretty good. But the tires gave the Cadillac competent handling and an eerily silent ride.
My test car for this Hankook Optimo H724 review is not a pimp-mobile like the vintage Caddy. It is a humble and mundane 2014 Hyundai Accent fitted with stock 14-inch wheels and Hankook Optimo H724 tires. These are the OEM tires of the Accent and the owner decided to purchase the same set when the tires needed replacement.

He told me the Hankook tires were virtually problem-free. The old tires lasted 47,000 trouble-free miles so it was only natural for him to stick with the Hankook’s. He praised the tires for their long treadwear, low price, and driving comfort. But I wanted to know more. I got the keys to the Hyundai Accent and I drove to the nearest highway.

Hankook Optimo H724 Review: Features

The Hankook Optimo H724 is an all-season touring tire designed for subcompact and compact cars, midsize sedans, and small crossovers. It remains to be a favorite simply because it offers elevated levels of comfort and dry performance at a lower price.
This Hankook tire is not as cheap as Chinese-made tires, but it is a bit less expensive than comparable all-season tires from Bridgestone or Goodyear. Want proof? The 14-inch Hankook Optimo H724 tires fitted to my test car were only around $55 per piece, while the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus (which is a comparable all-season touring tire) costs almost twice as that.

The tire is equipped with a tread design that was designed using advanced pitch design technology. It has something to do with the arrangements of the sipes on the tread to minimize the fluctuations of tire roar on a variety of road surfaces. The tire was constructed using single strand bead wire and a high hardness bead filler to enhance the ride and durability.

Hankook Optimo H724 Review: Test Drive

It’s been a while since I last drove a manual-equipped modern car. The Hyundai Accent is one of the popular choices in the subcompact category not only because it is cheaper than other variants, it actually drives like a more expensive car. It has the composure and ride of a midsize sedan, and it handles better than other small cars. However, the engine is a bit of a letdown and the manual stick is a bit finicky to slot in gear.

Dry Traction

In terms of dry traction, I have nothing bad to report about the Hankook Optimo H724. The tires were more than adequate for the size and weight of the Accent. I never felt the tires were hunting for grip as I sped aggressively on a tight and winding right-hand corner.

The tires also felt good as I drove at high speed on the freeway. If the Accent was fitted with bigger wheels and wider tires, I think the handling will be many times better, but that’s just me. Who needs bigger and sportier wheels if you don’t care about high-speed stability and handling?

Wet Traction

The Hankook Optimo H724 tires were also impressive on wet patches of road. I felt the traction went down by just a tiny bit as I drove a bit aggressively on the wet highway, but nothing too grave to give it a low score. Given the narrow 175/65/R14 configuration of the tires in my test car, I would have to say that the tires felt impressive even when the roads turned slippery.

Snow Traction

There was no time for me to test the Hankook Optimo H724 tires in the snow. However, the owner told me had no problems with the tires on light snow. Traction and grip were present even on snow-covered roads, but don’t expect the tires to acquit themselves when the road turns to an icy slush. The new Hankook tires were installed a month before the start of the snow season so the owner had plenty of time to play with these tires in winter conditions.

Comfort

Despite the lackluster motor and the clunky gear changes, the Hyundai Accent is a comfortable car to drive around town. I guess the ride comfort had a lot to do with the Hankook Optimo H724. The tires remained unperturbed even when rolling over coarse road surfaces. On the highway, the tires were in their element as the car simply wafted over road undulations.

Noise

I find it rare for cheap tires to deliver a perfect balance of handling, comfort, and road noise. It seems the Hankook Optimo H724 managed to deliver in all aspects.

The tires were silent on city roads and they were whisper-quiet on the highway as well. However, you will hear a bit of tire roar at higher than average speeds, but it is not enough to distract you from the driving experience.

If you drive your car like a true law-abiding citizen, you will be impressed with both the comfort and ride silence of the Hankook Optimo H724 tires.

Treadwear

Like I previously mentioned above, the old Hankook tires on my test car lasted approximately 47,000 miles. That’s not bad considering the price and performance of the tires.

The Hankook Optimo H724 tires fitted to my test car were relatively new and fresh as a daisy with almost no signs of visible treadwear during my test.

It is nice to know that an affordable set of all-season tires can have impressive wear characteristics since most cheap tires will ultimately fail in this regard.

Conclusion

Now you know the reason why the Hankook Optimo H724 is one of my favorite all-season touring tires. It is hard to ignore the entry-level price, but it is easy to overlook the multifaceted capabilities of this tire. If your needs a basic all-season tire, you can’t go wrong with the Hankook Optimo H724.

Primewell Valera Touring II Review

Primewell Valera Touring II Review

  • Dry 75%
  • Wet 70%
  • Snow 65%
  • Comfort 80%
  • Noise 70%
  • Treadwear 75%
  • Overall 74%
The Primewell Valera Touring II is an all-season tire that offers advanced features for a lower price. The Valera Touring II is probably one of the most economical and affordable choices for an all-season tire that doesn’t have a Chinese badge. This tire is also backed by an impressive 50,000-mile limited warranty and is specifically designed to fulfill the needs of compact cars and small crossovers.

I find it hard to believe that a complete set of four Primewell Valera Touring II tires will only start at less than $200. I am hoping the price is not an indication of the quality and performance of the Valera Touring II since other Chinese-made tires (with a funny name) might cost a bit more.

For this review of the Primewell Valera Touring II, I was able to acquire a 2010 Toyota RAV 4 with the 3.5-liter V6 motor and 5-speed automatic transmission. I’ve always felt the four-banger was inadequate for the task at hand since the V6 engine of the RAV 4 is more powerful, much smoother, and has better fuel economy on the highway. However, my test car has obviously seen better days. I’m just thankful the engine and the suspension is in great shape, save for some squeaking noises in the rear.

The owner of the RAV 4 was kind enough to lend me the car for an entire day. The CUV was fitted with stock 17-inch wheels wrapped in relatively fresh Primewell Valera Touring II tires.

Primewell Valera Touring II Review: Features

The Primewell Valera Touring II is an all-season touring tire designed for driving comfort. If you have sporty apprehensions when choosing a tire, you better look elsewhere. This tire is ideal for bone stock compact cars and CUVs that demand nothing much than all-season driving comfort and low tread wear.

The tire is equipped with a series of circumferential and lateral grooves with multiple sipes to provide good traction on dry, wet, and mild snowy roads. The tire shoulders are equipped with stable pattern blocks and transverse grooves to improve the handling and responsiveness of your vehicle.

The variable-pitch tread design is responsible for the hushed and comfortable ride. Finally, the Valera Touring II is manufactured using an advanced tread compound that offers good all-weather traction with lower tread wear.

Primewell Valera Touring II Review: Test Drive

I always start with a fresh mindset whenever I’m testing tires. There is no use comparing a touring tire with the grip and handling capabilities of an ultra-high performance summer tire. I also consider the capabilities of the automobile. It is foolish to expect magnificent handling from a family-oriented SUV. My neutral mindset allows me to test the tire in its natural element.

Dry Traction

The Primewell Valera Touring II has good traction on dry roads. The tires were also calm and composed at higher speeds. Straight-line driving feels normal, but everything changes if you start to drive aggressively. Even with larger and wider 17-inch wheels, I can feel the front tires squirm for grip if you push the RAV 4 hard in a corner. I guess this has something to do with the heavier and bulkier V6 engine, but the tires are obviously not designed for performance driving. Drive it like a saint, however, and you’re going to be okay.

Wet Traction

Traction on wet roads is admirable, but it’s not stellar by any means. The Primewell Valera Touring II remained composed as I drove the RAV 4 over water puddles filled with wet sand and dirt. I felt a sense of nervousness from the steering and rear wheels as I sped on the wet highway, but it wasn’t much to complain about since I was traveling at a higher speed that time.

Snow Traction

Snow traction was average at best. The Primewell Valera Touring II were able to deliver confidence as I drove over wet and icy roads. The owner told me the tires are adequate for light winter driving, but it is best to avoid roads that are completely covered in snow. I think that’s fair enough given the low price of the tires.

Comfort

Comfort is primarily the strongest asset of the Primewell Valera Touring II. After all, it is a proper touring tire designed for highway driving. The RAV 4 rolled smoothly on the freeway and remained composed even on sections that were covered in harsh concrete. Driving the RAV 4 in the city was also a revelation as the tires remained comfortable even as the roads turned from bad to worst.

Noise

This is where things get a bit confusing. The Primewell Valera Touring II tires were silent at low speeds. Tire roar was more evident as the speed rises. In short, the tires were comfy and silent at low speeds, but there is a bit more road noise as you cruise on the highway. I don’t mind a bit of road noise since I am not driving a Bentley or Rolls Royce, but if you’re a stickler for this kind of stuff, you will probably be disappointed.

Treadwear

Touring tires are generally very good in terms of low tread wear, and the same can be said for the Primewell Valera Touring II. The tires fitted to my test car were still fresh and were only about a couple of months old and the treads were still properly thick with minimal signs of wear. This is good news especially if you consider the low price of the tires.

Conclusion

I honestly think the Primewell Valera II is a solid choice for a cheap touring tire. If you’re the type of driver who doesn’t mind about sporty performance in a set of tires then the Valera Touring II should be included in your shortlist.

But for what it’s worth, the road noise is a bit of an issue since touring tires are supposed to be hushed on the highway. There are better touring tires for the money, but I bet only a few of them can go head-to-head with the Primewell Valera Touring II in terms of price.

Primewell PS830/850 Review

Primewell PS830/850 Review

  • Dry 60%
  • Wet 55%
  • Snow 50%
  • Comfort 75%
  • Noise 60%
  • Treadwear 55%
  • Overall 59%
There is a lot of confusion regarding the differences between the Primewell PS830 and PS850 touring tires. Both tires are basically the same since they have the same symmetrical tread design (although the PS850 has a more aggressive set of treads), and both tires are classified as all-season touring tires.

According to Primewell’s official website, the PS830 and PS850 was replaced by the new PS880 and PS870. The Primewell PS880 is a high-performance summer tire while the PS870 is a standard performance summer tire.

This review will focus on the Primewell PS830. I was lucky enough to obtain a 2014 Chevrolet Sonic LS hatchback with the 1.8-liter motor and 6-speed automatic transmission. My test vehicle was fitted with stock 15-inch wheels and Primewell PS830 tires. I think this is a good match for the naturally-aspirated motor of my test car.

The owner of the Chevrolet Sonic is a city dweller. He does most of his driving in the city, and he rarely goes to the highway. If need be, he uses his Toyota 4Runner for those long highway jaunts. He bought the Sonic used 2 years ago and has been his daily driver ever since. The Primewell PS830 tires were almost a year old, and it shows. There were evident signs of wear on all four corners of the vehicle.

Primewell PS830 Review: Features

I have to be honest. I heard a lot of not-so-good things about the Primewell PS830, even before this review. Most of it had something to do with rapid tread wear, road noise, and poor durability. Maybe this is the reason why Primewell redesigned and re-engineered their new line of tires since their old lineup had terrible reviews.

The Primewell PS830 is equipped with four main circumferential grooves with sturdy shoulder blocks. The design is meant to deliver exceptional driving stability and all-weather traction. The Primewell PS830 is an all-season touring tire and offers good traction on wet or icy roads as well. But the most compelling reason for buying the Primewell PS830/PS850 is the price. You can buy a set of four tires for less than $350, and that’s not a bad deal at all.

Primewell PS830 Review: Test Drive

This will be my first time to drive the Chevrolet Sonic in general. I have always thought this car had the looks and appeal of a sporty sub-compact, but the interior was a bit of a letdown as it was filled with cut-rate plastics and materials. The car simply felt cheaper than the price.

But for city driving, this car makes a lot of sense. It was honestly fun to drive and the handling was superb for a small car. But in this review, I simply felt the tires were a big letdown considering the handling prowess of the Sonic. I have more details below.

Dry Traction

Is it that the base naturally aspirated motor is too powerful for the Primewell PS830/PS850 tires? I seriously doubt it. But the tires were squealing for grip as I drove towards a moderately fast corner. There was absolutely no drama, but you can feel the front tires struggling for grip as the steering wheel tugged lightly from left to right.

In hard, straight-line acceleration the tires will squirm for grip at the slightest provocation of sand and dirt on smooth tarmac. But get it up to cruising speed and everything settles down. It is not the best tire in terms of dry traction, but it’s not the worst either.

Wet Traction

Let’s just say that wet traction is okay as long as you don’t push the car to the limit. Like I said, the chassis of the Sonic felt more capable than the tires. The result is the suspension also feels sub-par when the car is hushed, and this is more evident when you’re on a wet highway. As long as you maintain average speeds and avoid any sudden maneuvers on wet roads, you’re going to be fine. But I wish it offered more than this.

Snow Traction

There was no time to test the tires in the snow, but I would honestly stay away from light snow as much as possible if my car was fitted with the Primewell PS830 tires. Since wet traction is a bit sub-par, what would you expect if you were to drive it on snow? I asked the owner about this and he had the same opinion. The car was okay on very light snow, but everything turns to butter once the snow piles up on the road.

Comfort

If there is anything besides the price that the Primewell PS830/PS850 can claim, it would have to be driving comfort. The tires felt comfy on both city streets and smooth highway roads. The tires also silenced the nasty humps and thumps as you drive over nasty expansion joints on concrete roads. The sudden jolt of hitting a pothole was also made bearable courtesy of the PS830 tires.

Noise

Sadly, that’s about it. The Primewell PS830/PS850 tires were noisy on the highway especially at higher than average speeds but were muffled at slow speeds. This is a bit confusing since the tires also emitted a noticeable roar at speeds below 40mph. I have driven cars with cheap tires that were more refined than the Primewell PS830/850.

Treadwear

Considering the Primewell PS830 tires on my test car were almost a year old and were only used in the confines of the city, I can honestly say the wear characteristics of the tires was mediocre at best. There are reports the tires will last for only 14,000 or 15,000 miles before needing to be replaced, which speaks volumes about the wear characteristics of the tires.

Conclusion

If you want a cheap touring tire, you are better off with the newer Primewell PS870 and PS880. The Primewell PS830/PS850 offers good value for money at the expense of handling and driving satisfaction.

Falken Sincera SN201 A/S Review

Falken Sincera SN201 A/S Review

  • Dry 75%
  • Wet 75%
  • Snow 80%
  • Comfort 90%
  • Noise 75%
  • Overall 79%

I was fortunate to obtain a test drive to review the all-new Falken Sincera SN201 all-season touring tire. This tire is designed for compact cars and midsize sedans. It was launched together with the Falken Ziex CT60 A/S (a touring tire for modern crossovers) during the latter part of 2017.

The Falken Sincera SN201A/S is a tire that delivers credible all-season performance with better traction and grip on light snow. The tire is backed by a solid 65,000-mile limited tread life warranty and is available in 14” to 18” diameters.

There is no doubt the Sincera SN201 A/S is meant to fulfill the needs of the most popular compacts and sedans on the road like the Ford Focus, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Elantra, and the Nissan Altima. It has a rather conservative symmetrical tread design but it is equipped with angled tread grooves that allow the tire to maintain a decent level of grip on snow-covered roads. I think this is the perfect tire to exploit the demands of the coming winter season.

If you have to change the tires in your compact or midsize sedan but you don’t need dedicated performance of proper winter tires, you should definitely take a closer look at the Falken Sincera SN201. This review will reveal all the marvelous facets (and minor shortcomings) of the Sincera SN201 so you can get an idea of how this tire feels on the road.

Falken Sincera SN201 A/S Review: Features

I took a look at the features of the Falken Sincera SN201 A/S and it didn’t take long for me to discern that the tire is designed for winter performance above everything else. It’s like a touring tire sprinkled with the DNA of a winter tire to provide excellent performance in any kind of weather.

The tire has a high sipe density on the face of the tread to enhance all-weather traction and grip. It has four circumferential grooves to effectively disperse water to improve traction on wet roads. The tire is also engineered with a solid center rib to deliver better handling and stability when you’re cruising down the highway.

Like I mentioned above, the Sincera SN201 A/S is equipped with unique angled tread grooves, which are like miniature versions of the tread grooves that you can find in an all-terrain tire. This will enhance grip on slippery or icy roads while providing additional biting edges on dry or wet roads.

The Falken Sincera SN201 A/S is also offered at a friendly price so it won’t make your wallet empty.

Falken Sincera SN201 A/S Review: Test Drive

I spent a reasonable amount of driving time behind the wheel of a 2015 Honda Accord Sport. The car was fitted with the stock 18-inch wheels and brand new Falken Sincera SN201 A/S.

Dry Traction

The Falken Sincera SN201 A/S is not a high-performance tire so I wasn’t expecting much in terms of traction on dry roads. However, the tires had excellent adhesion even as I was navigating over dirt-covered roads. The steering also felt responsive while braking was excellent given the heft of my test car.

The tires also felt good at higher than average highway speeds. I didn’t get the sense that the tires were breaking traction as I approached a fast corner. But if you push a bit more you will hear the tires grasping for grip as they try to find themuch-needed traction to obey my ham-fisted steering inputs. Braking was also good enough as roads were covered in sand and loose dirt.

Overall, not bad for a touring tire. Although I wish the tires had more to offer in terms dry performance, the levels of traction were perfect for normal day-to-day driving.

Wet Traction

The Accord felt magnificent on the highway as I piloted over slippery wet roads. It’s almost the same story with how the tires performed in the dry: it felt good at low or average speeds but you will need to be more alert as your speed rises. Water puddles were no problem with the Falken Sincera SN201 A/S. The tires simply glided over them without losing traction.

Snow Traction

Falken’s unique design for the Sincera SN201 A/S paid off in the snow. The tires felt at home even when traversing over two or three inches of snow. The tires were able to stop my Accord on slippery surfaces without much fuss or drama. I felt that the tires had a bit more grip compared to other touring variants and the car felt more stable even when the roads were covered with slush.

Comfort

The Falken Sincera SN201 A/S is primarily a touring tire at heart so I was expecting a lot of road comfort on cruising speeds. Despite the hybrid DNA of a winter tire, the Sincera SN201 A/S rolled comfortably over minor road undulations. Deep potholes and craters will still emit a loud thump but nothing too distracting to merit a concerned look on your face (unless you go over the really deep ones).

Noise

I figured out that there will be some compromises along the way since it is difficult to mend the benefits of two different tires in a single affordable package. The Falken Sincera SN201 A/S is not what you would call totally hushed on the highway since it still rolls a bit more quietly than a performance tire. However, you can expect a bit more tire roar over rough concrete surfaces, especially at higher speeds.

Treadwear

The Falken Sincera SN201 A/S tires fitted to my test car were still new so I can’t say much in terms of tread wear at this point. Falken says the tires will still offer impressive wear characteristics but we will need to do more testing to confirm if the Sincera SN201 A/S scores high in terms of value.

Conclusion

The Falken Sincera SN201 A/S is a worthy choice for car owners looking for an all-season touring tire that offers a higher level of performance in the snow.