Proudly made in the USA with American-engineering at a decent price, it’s one of a handful of value-brands still made in America
Starfire Tires is a sub-brand of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. First launched in 1994 (they’ve been around longer than you think) Cooper Tires first manufactured Starfire tires in the United States before ceasing N. American production in 2008, switching to their Asian factories. While Cooper initially switched from American to Asian-made for their Starfire brand, in recent years, it looks like most Solarus sold in big box stores, like their Solarus AP, AS, and HT, are, once again, made in the United States. You still might find an older (or, newer) batch of Starfire tires made in China.
Here’s a closeup of a Starfire tire. Notice the country of origin.
Since then, Cooper Tires markets Starfire tires as “American Engineered & Tested” emphasizing, although they’re specifically for North American Roads with DOT approval. Starfires tires leverages its United States-based research and development to make a tire that the American driver will enjoy at a value price, at least that’s the plan.
Are Starfire tires any good?
Starfire tires are mostly sold byatPepboys, Walmart and other independent tire shops. Their lineup includes.
- Solarus AP – Light Truck/ SUV Highway All-season tire
- Solarus HT- All season SUV, CUV, and pickup trucks
- Solarus AS- All-season passenger
- SF340- All-season for coupes, sedans, smaller SUV’s, and light trucks (Superseded by Solarus AP)
- RS-C 2.0- All-season passenger (Superseded by Solarus AP)
- SF-710- All-Terrain SUV (Aus)
- SF-810- Highway SUV (Aus)
- RS-V66- Light truck tires (Aus)
- WR- Performance tire (Aus)
The Solarus AS is Starfire’s flagship tire, an all-season performance tire for passenger cars and crossover vehicles at a value price point. AS’s replace the SF340 and RS-C. The AS is supposed to cover 81 percent of the passenger touring market. The Solarus AS is advertised as having a smooth ride, controlled handling, and good in wet, dry, and winter conditions.
From the dozens of reviews I’ve read on Pepboys.com, SimpleTire, and Mavis, the consensus is the Solarus AS is an OK tire at best. A star performer on perfect roads, the Solarus AS does most city and highway driving OK. Where the Solarus AS shows its weak points is the loud ride, slightly louder than other value brands like Kumho, Hankook and Nankang. Several commenters have noted they don’t last as long as they wanted to, citing what looks like a thin side-rib construction.
According to D9silver, “So far, I noticed they pull into all the cracks on the roads, they are pretty loud, and you can see, when on a road force balancing machine, that they are not the best quality tires visually by looking around the outside edge of these tires. The deformities can’t really been felt though, as in any kind of bumpity-bump manner while driving or anything like that, so that part isn’t “too” bad. These Starfire Solarus AS 235-45-18 tires really aren’t anything to brag about, but we will see how well they do in the rain at least. “
The Solarus HT is an all-season tire for SUVs, CUVs, and Pickup trucks. HTs are supposed to last long, provide good wet and snow traction, and a quiet ride.
Reading reviews, the Solarus HT delivers on being smooth, quiet, long-lasting, and good looking.
According to Mark on Walmart.com, “I love that this is a Cooper tire. I put them on my son’s Sequoia. They ride well and look good. My wife has Cooper evolution touring tires. I was happy to find out these tires were made by the same maker. Made in the USA at a great price!”
The Solarus AP tire is for SUVs, Trucks, and Crossovers that frequently go on dirt roads, the occasional off-beaten path,but, still do a lot of freeway driving.
According to reviews, the Starfire AP mostly delivers on being a long-lasting, durable, quiet, and delivering a smooth ride, on-and-off road. Purchasers are happy to find out that Starfires are made in the United States.
Marc said, “I needed one tire to replace a ruined Sears tire. With no Sears tire centers left within 100 miles, I opted to order this tire from Walmart.com. It shipped VERY quickly, and its a heck of a nice tire at a great price. I’d buy 4 of these in a heartbeat if I needed them. Be aware – Walmart Auto centers are closed! That surprised me, but a local garage did the install for $15.”
After reading several reviews, finding out where Starfires are from, and, considering Starfires long history in the United States, it’s safe to say that, with Starfires, you get what you pay for, and more. The Solarus AS is filling a lot of shoes, so while AS’s might be good around town and on the freeway, don’t expect for AS’s not to squeal if you push them too hard.
Starfires are good tires considering how much value you get for the price. And, since they are American-made, you know you’re keeping your spending dollars in the United States.
Keep in mind, while some of these Starfire tires in the videos below are discontinued (evidenced by most saying Solarus tires are made in China,) they showcase the brand and quality you can expect.