Sumitomo HTR Z III Max Performance Summer Tire Review

Sumitomo HTR Z III Max Performance Summer Tire Review

HTR Z III is the Sumitomo’s 3rd Generation max performance summer tire. These are the entry level budget tires meant for sports sedans and coupes. Z3 replaced HTR Z II with an improved technology and better tread design to deliver better performance in dry and wet conditions. Here is the detailed review of their performance and comparison with other max performance summer tires.

Summary of the Review

HTR Z III with asymmetrical tread design enhanced by silica compound gives an excellent dry traction and steering control. It also has good wet grip but only second best to Dunlop in our wet track analysis. The tire is comfortable on bumps and has low road noise. Overall, Z3 is a top budget performance summer tire and really good choice for cars like Mustang, M3, and others.

Dry Performance

Traction, Steering and Cornering

Sumitomo HTRZ III tireA more of a traditional tread pattern is used in Z III, which is certainly different from the V shaped tread pattern Sumitomo used with the HTR Z II. And a lot of new tech is also introduced into the tread itself.

Z3 has an asymmetrical tread design with large outside shoulder and 3 inner ribs enhanced by the silica compound. The combination of asymmetrical design with silica compound gives it a good dry traction and high speed cornering stability.

Z3’s steering is quite responsive and gives a lot of front wheel feedback to the driver. Though steering feels a bit firm but many people likes that because it gives a more sporty feeling.

In summer, Z3 would give you the performance which spirited drivers want from their drive. Also, at under $100 a piece, they are a steal. Even if you are not a spirited driver and have been using touring tires before, you should certainly try these out for an enhanced driving experience.

Dry Track Lap and Braking Test: HTR Z III vs Dunlop Sport Maxx vs Hankook Ventus vs Kumho Ecsta

HTR Z3 vs Sport Maxx TT vs Ventus V12 EVO K110 vs Ecsta LE Sport Dry Track Test Results Chart
Data Source: Tire Rack

Tire Rack compared the above mentioned summer tires in their 0.3 mile track. According to test results, Z3 was the fastest with the lap time of 30.78 sec. The second best was Dunlop Sport Maxx by just over 1/10th of a second. Kumho Ecsta and Hankook Ventus followed by 3/10 and 8/10 sec difference respectively.

Results show that Sumitomo clearly has a better dry handling and traction in the league of budget performance summer tires.

The braking test was quite close to call. Dunlop had the shortest braking distance and Sumitomo had the longest, but the difference is very minor of only about 2 feet. Moreover, stopping distance of 86 feet is considered good and above acceptable standards.

Wet Performance

Traction, Steering and Cornering

HTRZ III top view

HTR Z3 has wide circumferential grooves to evacuate water which provides good wet traction and hydroplaning resistance. It also has a good steering response in wet, but it just lacks that ultimate grip. There is a possibility of over steer when cornering at high speed on this tire in wet conditions. So, you should be more careful and don’t try to push this tire to the traction limit.

Wet Track Lap and Braking Test: HTR Z III vs Dunlop Sport Maxx vs Hankook Ventus vs Kumho Ecsta

HTR Z III vs Sport Maxx TT vs Ventus V12 EVO K110 vs Ecsta LE Sport Wet Track Test Results Chart
Data Source: Tire Rack

Dunlop recorded the best time in wet track testing. Sumitomo was the second best followed by Kumho and Hankook respectively. Dunlop’s Sport Maxx TT clearly has better traction and cornering stability in wet conditions. Z3, as discussed above, is good in wet conditions but doesn’t really match the grip that Sport Maxx TT provides.

In Braking Sumitomo again had the longest braking distance with a difference of about 4 feet. Again, the wet braking distance of Z3 is still considered good by industry standards.

Winter Performance

These are summer tires and should not be used in Freezing temperatures and snowy conditions.

But, these tires can certainly be driven in mild winter, probably above 40 degrees, but you need to be smart about it. Since these are max performance summer tires, they need some heat to put their maximum traction and grip on the road. After 4 – 5 miles in winter these tires could have enough heat to grip better. The distance mentioned is just a rough estimate and could vary according to the temperature and road conditions.

Comfort & Noise

HTRZ III has a good comfort level to it. The sidewalls are not that stiff and do a good job at softening the edges of sharp bumps and expansion joints.

The noise levels are also minimal in the cabin. Sumitomo has done a good job here by broadening the tire sound which essentially disguises it.

Tread Life & Warranty

Sumitomo claims that extra ribbing on ZIII reduces the irregular wear of the tire. Most of the consumers have reported a tread life of about 30K – 35K miles. The tread life is not bad considering the price point and performance of this tire.

Sumitomo doesn’t provide any mileage warranty but there is a standard 6 year workmanship warranty.

Sumitomo HTR Z III vs Michelin Pilot Sport

Is it worth spending about $300+ more on Michelin’s premium summer tires instead of budget tire like Z3? The answer is it depends, and here are the few important pointers for you to decide.

  • Horsepower: If you are driving a less than 500 hp car like Mustang then Z3 can surely give you the same performance as Super Sport. And, it would be more comfortable and less noisy. The difference would be seen in super cars where tires need more grip, rolling resistance etc. So, in cars like Ferrari, Z06 Pilot Super Sport will give you much better performance than Z3.
  • Track Days: Z3 is designed for street performance with comfort, wet traction in mind. It is not a track day tire. If you take your Porche with Z3 tires to the track, you would surely be disappointed. Super Sport or Pilot Sport 4s, on the other hand, can give you really good performance on the track as well. They are designed for ultimate performance.
  • Tread Life: Michelin’s high performance tires excel in about everything. Both Super Sport & Sport 4s tires have good tread life with 45,000 mileage warranty. Whereas, Z3 could give you around 30,000 miles without any warranty.

Specifications

Rim SizeTire Size RangeSpeed RatingLoad IndexUTQG
17"205/50 - 275/40Y87 - 98300 AA A
18"215/35 - 295/30Y84 - 103300 AA A
19"225/35 - 285/35 Y88 - 101300 AA A
20"235/35 - 285/30Y90 - 102300 AA A

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