Compared to some OEM options, the Starfire Solarus AS tire costs half as much, but are they worth the cost savings?
Earlier this month I rented a 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport S for a little over a week to enjoy day trips with my family to California’s most scenic locations. Shod on each corner were Starfire Solarus AS tires. A subsidiary of Cooper Tires, Starfire tires, while actually good tires, is not an OEM option for the Rogue Sport. And, with 40,000-ish miles showing on the odometer, it’s fair to say these Starfire Solarus AS tires were put on recently.
Based on reviews I’ve read online and experiencing the performance and ride quality these tires delivered, I’m confident saying that Starfire Solarus AS tires are great tires and should be an option when it comes time to replacing your worn out OEM ones.
First, here are some terrible photos, taken hastily the night before turning the Rogue Sport in, of the Solarus ASs in question. These are 215/65/16s with the Nissan Rogue Sport’s center dash reading around 37 PSI, about 2-3 PSI above what’s recommended by Nissan.
According to this used car listing, it looks like the OEM option for Nissan Rogue Sports are Yokohama Geolander G055G All-seasons, which makes sense considering the Rouge Sport is made in Japan, is really a re-badged Nissan Qashqi, (itself a model not (really) made for the United States market.)
A quick google reveals Yohohama Geolanders cost around $170 apiece. That’s nearly $700 when you include tax, a good chunk of change for a Rogue Sport owner.
Compare that to Starfire Solarus AS tires at just $85 apiece if you buy them from Walmart. At around $370 for all four after taxes, that price difference is worthwhile IF they perform just as good.
How do Starfire Solarus AS tires perform?
If you told me these Solarus AS tires were twice as expensive and a premium brand, based on my experience, I would’ve believed you.
Here’s how Starfire advertises the Solarus AS.
First, there’s the road noise, or lack thereof. I live in and drove this Nissan Rogue Sport on some properly ****ty roads. If you know the city of Merced, Merced County, and Highway 99 (named most dangerous roadway in 2018) all roads around here are full of potholes and held together by a patchwork of temporary asphalt fill-in repairs.
While you can chalk up most road noise to inferior interior insulation, poor suspension engineering, and thin sidewalls, you can’t engineer out bad tire noise. These Solarus AS tires were exceptionally quiet on smooth roads and crumby roads.
Then there’s the confidence-inspiring grip. Whereas Nissan’s Chassis Control takes most of the credit for making me feel like a cornering pro, if I have poor tires, no amount of torque vectoring can cure poor grip. With four adults and all our belongings, the Rouge Sport was definitely near the 900 pound payload capacity. And, even though I hucked and chucked the Rouge Sport around every bendy corner up to Yosemite and around San Francisco, a lot of the times well above the recommended speed limit, the Solarus AS tires made nary a whimper of tire squeal.
But don’t take my word for it. Pepboys seems to be the place you’ll find these at, and the landing page for the Solarus AS is filled with helpful reviews, many that echo my sentiments.
The most critical review comes from a Solarus AS shopper replacing their 235 45 18 Pirelli Cinturato P7 Pluses. According to this shopper,
So far, I noticed that 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.
Keep in mind Cinturato P7 plus tires cost around $170, so yeah, they better be more quiet than these $85 dollar ones.
And, if you read my previous blog on Starfire tires, as a Cooper subsidiary, these Solarus AS are made in the US of A. 🇺🇸
So, if you’re looking for an affordable tire option for your sedan or crossover, don’t sweat pulling the trigger on some Starfire Solarus AS tires.