Top 6 Best Quality "Budget Tires" That Cost PHP7,000 or Less (A Comprehensive Guide)
Are you on a tight budget? And do you need to buy new tires ASAP? The good news is there are a handful of affordable budget tires that are available in the market today. These tires cost PHP7,000 (or less), but they come from brands that have proven their value for a long time. Note that "cheap" doesn't always mean low quality when it comes to tires. The trick here is to know which ones offer good quality without the scary price tag.
Here are the top six best tires (and brands) that you should buy for your vehicle. Keep in mind these are not fixed prices since their figures go up depending on their sizes.
Established in 1942 in Korea under the name Heung-A-Tire Company, the Nexen Tire Company is the first recognized Korean tire company in 1956. It started to create and focus on radial tires by forming an alliance with OHTSU Tire & Rubber in 1985. This company has been around for 60 years already, and continues to expand and develop--and even innovate--tires.
In 2003, Nexen Tire opened a second manufacturing plant in 2003 focusing on performance tires. A third manufacturing plant was established in 2007 to help increase its output.
Nexen has won Red Dot Awards for its "Green Hive" tire, and was honored in the design concept category for three consecutive years now. It is also included in the Best Passenger Car Tire Segment list (based on owner satisfaction) of J.D. Powers' Best and Worst Tire Manufacturers of 2017
Best Budget Tires
- Nexen XL ROADIAN HP is great for dry performance, good for wet performance, and excellent in handling. It's ideal for street sport trucks, SUVs and pickups. Costs PHP7,000 per tire.
- Nexen NBlue HD Plus is good for passenger cars. Costs PHP3,000 per tire.
- Nexan NBlue 94V N-BLUE HD offers excellent dry and wet performance. Costs PHP5,300 per tire.
Things to watch out for: In some cases, Nexen’s sidewalls are prone to cracking.
Think premium brand Bridgestone doesn't sell good-quality budget tires? Then you probably haven't met the Bridgestone Ecopia.
The name Ecopia is taken from the words Ecology and Utopia. It's considered one of the best low-rolling resistance tires in the market today. This eco-friendly tire uses nano particle technology to prevent overheating, and reduces energy loss as it rolls along. This helps reduce fuel consumption by as much as 7 percent.
Not only does the Ecopia improve vehicle fuel efficiency, it also helps the environment by reducing carbon emissions. It's one of the four tires often used by Auto Manufacturers in the U.S. for their cars in order to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.
Best Budget Tire
- Bridgestone Ecopia EP300 offers great fuel efficiency plus "superior wet grip and extended wear life." Costs PHP4,510 per tire.
4. Giti Tire
Giti Tire, whose roots go back to 1951, is a Singapore-based tire company with a distribution market of more than 130 countries.
It entered China in 1993, and established a joint venture with Anhui Tire Factory. Currently, it has seven Chinese manufacturing plants that produce around 140,000 tires each day. All of them undergo a strict and extensive quality control process, and the tires are stamped with a bar code to record each step of the procedure. What's more, all of them are x-rayed and tested for internal inconsistencies and possible damages.
As of 2017, Giti is ranked as the #11 tire manufacturing company in the world based on revenue.
Best Budget Tires
- GT Champiro GTX is perfect for Light Truck & SUV use. Great at preventing aquaplaning, they also reduce noise, and provide excellent grip on wet and dry roads. Costs PHP4,200 per tire.
- GT Radial Champiro ECO is for passenger cars. Provides excellent grip on wet and dry roads, and maintains handling and braking properties at the highest level. Costs PHP5,000 per tire.
- GT Radial Maxmiler is excellent for sport riding. It offers good handling and cornering, with enhanced responsive steering. Perfect for SUVs. Costs PHP5,500 per tire.
This Japanese company has been around since 1945, and has no plans of stopping. Originally named Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd., it began its U.S. operations (July 1966) in California, and distributed commercial tires during the same time. It further expanded its U.S. production facility to Mt. Vernon in 1998.
Today, Toyo continues to increase its tire production, and specializes in creating replacement tires for nearly all models and makes of vehicles available today. Mazda is one of the car manufacturers that uses Toyo tires in its models.
Here's a side note: Consumer Report lists one of its brands--the 800 Ultra--as one of the most "highly-rated" tires with the best overall rolling resistance today. It's the only non-premium tire brand to be included in this most coveted list.
Best Budget Tire
- Toyo DRB (185/55 R16) is an ultra-high performance tire that offers excellent wet and dry handling and braking. It’s also designed for good ride comfort. Costs PHP5,800 per tire.
Kumho, or formerly known as the Samyang Tire Co., Ltd., was established in South Korea in 1960. The first-ever tire it produced was in 1961, and in 1963, it merged with UNI Royal in the U.S. It broke records in 1976, producing more than one million tires per year as a manufacturer based in Korea.
Kumho ranked ninth in the world tire industry in 2003, and in 2007, began supplying original equipment truck tires for Mercedes-Benz. In 2013, Kumho became the original equipment supplier for the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. This is the first time that a Korean tire manufacturer was able to penetrate this luxury model.
Best Budget Tire
- Kumho Ecsta LE Sport KU39 (225/45R18) if you want a mid-range performance tire with very firm grip in both dry and wet roads. And the best part is that it's also quiet. Costs PHP5,500 per tire.
Based in Tokyo Japan, the Yokohama Rubber Company, Limited was founded in October 1917 as a joint venture between Yokohama Cable Manufacturing and B.F. Goodrich. It expanded its base to the U.S. in 1969 as Yokohama Tire Corporation.
Known for producing race-winning motor sport tires, Yokohama has been participating and sponsoring many racing championships and sports teams like the NBA teams San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics. It was the official tire partner of the now-defunct American Le Mans Series and is the official supplier of the Macau Grand Prix Formula 3 race.
Best Budget Tires
- Yokohama BluEarth ES32 offers high rigidity and tough, anti uneven wear. Good tire for you if want a mid-range comfort-oriented passenger car tire with enhanced wet and dry grip. Costs PHP5,000 per tire.
- Yokohama Advan Fleva V701 (225/45R18 95W) is a high-performance tire that offers exceptional handling and braking in dry and wet conditions. It also reduces tire noise and enhances ride quietness. Costs PHP5,850 per tire.
Things to watch out for: Some Yokohamas tend to get noisier as they age.
Tips and Reminders
- Here's a warning for many budget tires: they tend to lessen their grip as they wear out. Always inspect your tires and replace them when you see early signs of wear-and-tear.
- The best place to buy these tires cheap is actually in Banawe. Shops like GTD, Ben's, and Crown Service Center carry Bridgestone, Yokohama, Nankang, Westlake, among many others.
- Prioritize wet grip strength, since we experience heavy rains in the country annually. Tires with an "A" rating indicate "good" wet-weather performance. Or ask a reputable tire seller for recommendations.
- Many smaller tires (16-inches and below) have price differences that are minimal for budget brands and premium/popular brands. If that's the case, then choose the latter one, instead.
- Half of a tire's life depends on how you maintain and drive it, so make sure to keep your tires properly balanced and aligned to maximize its shelf life.
- If you don't need a lot of traction in your car, don't choose AT tires--just buy the HT ones, instead. They are usually cheaper and quieter too.
- Buy budget tires specifically designed and manufactured for the Asian market.
- The downside of older, low-rolling resistance tires such as Nexen and Bridgestone Ecopia is their reduced grip ability specially when taking corners. They may also wear out more rapidly.
- Hankook, which was founded in 1941 under the name "The Chosun Tire Company" in South Korea, can also be a decent choice if you want somewhere in the middle-to-high price range. This brand has already received four Red Dot Awards for International Design awards. It is also included in the Best Passenger Car Tire Segment and Best Truck/Utility Tire Segment (based on owner satisfaction) of J.D. Powers' Best and Worst Tire Manufacturers of 2017 alongside Nexen, Kumho, Yokohama, and Toyo.
- Achilles, which is an Indonesian brand established in 2012, also has a huge following among many Filipino drivers today. Its 2233 model (which costs around PHP3,300) is very popular, and many would swear by the Achilles Desert Hawk (which costs about PHP5,500) for their SUVs like the Montero and Fortuner. Still, we didn't include this brand on our list because it has been consistently getting mixed reviews from consumers. Many say they do very well on the track, with good handling as its best feature. However, some of its tires can get noisy when driven on the highway, and their grip loosens significantly as they age. Whatever the case, it's up to you if you want to give this brand a try--or not.
Allow us to give you a warning: It's not advisable to buy cheap tires from disreputable sources. Choose only brands that have good and consistent track records over a long period of time.
Tires are extremely important--enough for your life (and other people's lives) to depend on them. So don't risk buying cheap, poorly-made ones, especially if you know you can afford them. It's always best to go with the premium, more reputable tire brands like Goodyear, Bridgestone, Continental, or Michelin. Unfortunately, they often come with more expensive price tags, but are still worth it in the end.