Table of Contents
- Dry 60%
- Wet 60%
- Snow 40%
- Comfort 70%
- Noise 70%
- Treadwear 70%
- There is no problem with noise levels
- Highway stability
- There is good resistance to aquaplaning
- There is a lot of room for improvement in handling
- Snow performance is scarce
Older drivers may remember a time when tire choices were pretty limited. You’d get a few tire options from a handful of manufacturers. Fortunately, the situation with available tires is different.
Despite premium brands offering cheaper options, midrange manufacturers are not uncommon to do the same.
In this case, Cooper Tire is a mid-range brand that started selling more affordable tires under the brand Starfire. Despite the fact that the brand has been around since 1994, most of us don’t pay too much attention to it.
Because there are so many tire options, it’s only natural to sort them according to their strengths. There are a lot more categories today than in the olden days, when there were only a few choices. Touring tires are the most commonly used among them. The tires you’d get if you want a safe, comfortable, and long-lasting tire. Touring tires are designed for people who do not need superior performance for driving them on tracks.
On paper, Starfire’s touring tire appears to be a good balance between decent performance and low price. Specifically designed for older cars and people who don’t want to spend too much on a new set of tires, the Solarus AS is an all-season touring tire.
Starfire Solarus AS features?
Don’t expect the latest and greatest technology from an already affordable brand. To ensure a low price, Starfire must make some cuts even though it can use some of Cooper’s technology. In other words, there are no specific features.
Solarus AS is designed with a rubber compound that should deliver performance in multiple weather conditions. Generally, all-season tires aren’t as problematic in the summer as they are in the winter. In light of the lack of information on the compound, I’m a bit skeptical about this tire’s performance in freezing temperatures.
Snow traction is another area where I’m not entirely convinced. The tire doesn’t have any specific pattern like zig-zag or wave like most of its competitors. Tires have traction on snow because of their biting performance.
Most budget-oriented tires have a similar tread design. Solarus AS features four circumferential grooves and lateral sipes molded into an asymmetric pattern. The purpose of these is to prevent aquaplaning by evacuating water from beneath the tire. By doing this, water is prevented from getting between the blocks and the road.
A central rib is responsible for stability and responsiveness. As claimed by Starfire, the Solarus AS should be very responsive and sharp even at higher speeds.
The internal construction should also improve stability. Touring tires usually have steel belts reinforced with nylon wrapping.
What is its behavior on dry tarmac?
I would not call the dry performance of the Solarus AS good, but it is decent.
Under everyday driving conditions, there is enough traction and grip for a safe driving experience. Normal driving means no aggressive acceleration or chugging the car into a corner at high speeds. A tire that is pushed even a little bit will lose grip.
As you may have guessed, the driving dynamics aren’t spectacular. If you turn the steering wheel, the tire will change direction, but it won’t be as sharp as an enthusiast would like.
The braking distances are far from what premium tires offer, and they barely meet safety standards.
Stability seems to be slightly better. When you consider the rest of the performance, this one is not that bad at higher speeds.
What is its behavior on slippery and wet roads?
With the Solarus AS, wet performance is barely safe, and there aren’t too many positives.
There will be enough traction and grip for normal driving, but not much more. The tire may become unpredictable if you go too fast. Aquaplaning resistance isn’t too bad, though. A starfire’s groove design does a decent job of evacuating water from under the tire. Even though it’s not as good as premium or mid-range models, it’s not bad either.
As a cheap tire, the Solarus AS has average braking distances.
Behavior on snow?
It seems that the Solarus AS tire is almost unusable in the winter due to its poor snow performance.
No matter how aggressively you accelerate or how smoothly, the tire will struggle to maintain traction. Also, there isn’t much cornering grip, so it’s easy to oversteer or understeer.
In addition, the all-season tire segment has one of the longest braking distances.
In spite of its M+S rating, this tire shouldn’t be used on snow.
Does it feel comfortable and refined?
In terms of comfort and noise, the Solarus AS excels.
It’s not as comfortable as some premium models, but considering the price, it’s not too bad. For a low price, it smooths out most of the road unevenness, resulting in a very comfortable ride.
In terms of noise levels, the situation is similar. Solarus AS is a touring tire, and it sounds like one. Although it’s decently quiet, it’s not industry-leading.
Solarus AS tires aren’t suitable for off-roading. Off-road performance is acceptable for most touring tires, but not for this one.
With the limited road performance of the Solarus AS, don’t expect anything special off-road from touring tires.
Can the Starfire Solarus AS handle sporty driving?
The Solarus AS’s performance on the road makes it unsuitable for sporty driving.
On the one hand, you have a tire with very limited grip and traction, which isn’t suitable for enthusiasts. In contrast, you have a tire that lacks quite a bit in the handling department. You should avoid sporty driving with the Solarus AS due to its poor responsiveness and limited steering wheel feedback.
Warranty for Starfire Solarus AS
Solarus AS’s warranty isn’t as bad as I expected. A 50,000-mile treadwear warranty is offered by Starfire, which isn’t too bad. I expected less or no warranty from a cheap tire.
Solarus AS is a pretty good deal when you consider the entire package. For a touring tire, the price starts at around $60.
With a relatively long treadwear warranty, you get decently comfortable touring tires.
Starfire Solarus AS Tire Buying guide video?
Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend the Solarus AS, but I wouldn’t avoid it either.
The Solarus AS tire’s performance isn’t the best, and if you want to have some fun, you’ll notice that it falls short in many aspects. The tire should be fine if you drive carefully, but even though I said it’s safe, it barely qualifies. If you push the tire beyond that, it will disappoint you.
There will be some positive things, though. For its price range, the Solarus AS is comfortable and quiet enough. Additionally, you get a treadwear warranty, similar to what mid-range models have.
Consider the tire, but don’t rely too heavily on it. Solarus AS could be a decent choice if you own a smaller car with limited power. You may need to practice driving more carefully if you decide to get it.
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