I’ll buy 5 tires lickety-split. TireRack has 2 tires that seem suitable to my demands (ahem): Kumho Solus TA11 and Hankook Kinergy ST. Consumer Reports gives the former a 61 (the top-rated tire gets a 70, so 61’s in the recommended tranche), doesn’t rate the Hankook. '87 Toyota pickup, 2WD, long-bed, 195/75R14. I don’t drive fast or much anymore, or heavily loaded.
No more than you drive the weather will get them before the tread is gone. I would just get the cheapest tires I could find locally .
Tire Rack seems to give it a good review, should do the job just fine, my parents now just get whatever Costco has for a good price.
Several years ago I brought a used car that had some version of Kumho Solus tires. I found them unremarkable. Not good, not bad.
For the way you drive I would visit the local tire shop and get 4 of the least expensive tires they have.
Is that the size recommended on the sticker in the door jamb or owners manual? (Don’t blindly follow the size on its present tires.)
There may be more choices if you go up and down a bit. Say, 205 or 185 instead of 195, or 70 or 80 instead of 75. Some might have more of a “truck” appearance than others.
I agree with the others. A seldom-used pickup that doesn’t get driven in snow or used for off-road adventures can easily get away with cheapo tires. I had the cheapest tires I could find on my '88 because it rarely even got driven in the rain, much less snow or dirt. I knew they’d age out long before I wore them out no matter how awful their treadlife rating might be.
You might want to look into a used tire place. I ended up with mud grips on my old toypta truck.Worked out well as I could spin regular tires with ease on a rain soaked street.
I am going to go against the grain. I wouldn’t buy by price alone. You may not drive the truck much, but when you do, the tires are your only connection to the earth.
I agree, I might buy lower price tires, but not lowest price tires. Those Kumhos are the kind I might get, instead of the cheapest never-heard-of-them-before tires.
I put some house brand tires on an GMC Sonoma that I did not drive much . They were just fine and did not cost much at all .
When we had a Mazda with 13" wheels we just went to discount tire and picked up what they had in all season tires with a decent warranty.
Wife’s Sonata came with those tires. The car had 20K Miles when we bought it. I have replaced them with the same and they work fine. Nothing special. We are in southern CA so can’t comment on snow/rain performance.
Not surprising since Kumho’s are made in Korea. We bought a set of Crugen HP71’s recently for my wife’s Tucson. I made a joke about how the vehicle and the tires matched.
I know what the numbers mean technically, but what do they mean in terms of performance, efficiency, etc?
The size by itself doesn’t mean much more than the physical dimensions.
There are other things on the sidewall of tires that designate different things. You can read about the more important ones here: Tire Rack: Tire Tech
And if you have a specific question, ask! We’ll do our best to answer.
But to answer the question you seem to be asking: On every vehicle sold in the US, there is a sticker called the vehicle tire placard that delineates what the vehicle manufacturer specified for tire size and the specified inflation pressure for that size. Since 2008, the placard is located on the driver’s doorframe, but older models could a also be found in the glove box, on other doorframes, on the fuel filler door, or in the glove box.
The tire size on the placard will fit on the vehicle as it came from the factory and has enough load carrying capacity at the pressure indicated. If you want to deviate from that, you have to be very careful to understand want you are doing - not for the faint of heart.
Check the service description and UTQG for the tires. They are pretty much equal, except the Solus tires have a bit better temperature rating in the UTQG. In the user ratings, the Hankook tires rate better than the Kumho in all categories but wet traction. It isn’t clear to me how the user ratings can be compared because most users don’t have both tires. Based on the ratings from DOT and users, I’d go with the Hankook Kinergy tires.
The 3 digit number before the slash is how wide the tire is in millimeters.
The 2 digit number after the slash is the aspect ratio, which is probably easier to view as being how high the tire is as a percentage of the width. So, 205/65 would be 205 mm wide and the height would be 65% of that, or 133.25mm tall.
Where the numbers get important is if you get a tire that’s a different width from stock. If you keep the same aspect ratio, then the tire will be either taller or shorter than stock depending on whether it’s wider or narrower than stock. And the problem with that is that you throw your speedometer off because now the overall diameter of the wheel/tire is different from stock, and the speedo is calibrated assuming stock diameter.
So knowing all of that you can figure out tire dimensions accurately. All other things being equal, a wider tire will have a larger contact patch and therefore more grip, but might be more prone to hydroplaning. A taller tire will have more flexibility in the sidewall which will give you a more comfortable ride, but worse handling.
The trouble is that all things are not equal. The narrower contact patch might well have more grip if the tire’s materials give it more grip. The wider tire might be more resistant to hydroplaning if it’s water channels are better than the narrower one. The taller tire might have its sidewalls stiffened relative to the shorter tire which will decrease comfort and increase handling.
The only real reason to futz with the numbers is if you’re swapping wheels or if your stock tire size is not available in the tire you want. Then you use the numbers to figure out if the tire you’re considering will work on your setup.
The number after the R is the wheel diameter - that has to remain constant in your tires unless you change wheels.
very limited experience with Hankook- but the only set I ever had was on a 2006 E-350, and I had two separate tread before 20,000 miles and replaced the other 2 before they could. I haven’t bought that brand since.
I have Hankook tires on our 2018 Ford Fiesta and they seem to do well in all circumstances. Of course I agree will Eddo , bad experience with a brand will keep me from purchasing that brand again.
I can understand the concern, but–on the other hand–it would take the OP a few decades to drive 20k miles. For a 1987 truck that is rarely driven, I think that those Kumhos might be decent-enough.