There is one thing that car owners hate the most, and that’s expensive tires. That’s especially true for those that opt for very large rims when they buy a car. I know, those wheels look fantastic, but when you need to replace the tires, it’s a nightmare. So, there is a good life hack for you – don’t buy a car with large wheels if you aren’t prepared to pay for tires.
Or, you can do what millions of other Americans do and purchase inexpensive tires, just like Achilles. These products look similarly on the outside to premium ones and even have similar tread patterns. Naturally, the buyers immediately think that the tire will perform the same if it has the same tread pattern. However, common people don’t understand tires, which is why you shouldn’t believe Amazon reviews on that matter.
One of the brands that I face the most when people ask me about new tires is Achilles. Unlike some new-born “manufacturers” that just import products from China, Achilles is actually a company with a bit of history. They produce tires in Indonesia, which is probably a better place than China?
Moreover, the brand is owned by Indonesian PT Multistrada Arah Sarana (MASA). The company is actually the largest tire manufacturer in its country and has factories scattered across 460 acres. In other words, it’s a serious company that does production and development in-house. In the past, they worked with Continental and Pirelli, but now they are on their own.
Which begs the question – are Achilles tires any good? Well, in this case, the answer is not straightforward. They have some advantages, but also some glaring disadvantages. Obviously, some people are prepared to close their eyes to the latter, especially given the low prices.
Nevertheless, we always value tires on safety. In our opinion, safety is always the number one priority with tires, and the cost should come last. There is a reason why premium tires cost that much. The Michelin’s and Bridgestone’s of the world will keep your family safe, but also other traffic participants. They simply work as advertised.
With that said, let’s see if Achilles tires work as the manufacturer leads us to believe.
Top 5 Best Achilles Tires Review
1. Achilles ATR Sport 2
Best Performance Tires
The ATR Sport 2 features a “magnificent triangle compound,” so it must be good, right? Well, on dry roads, the tire surprises with excellent traction and grip. Cornering is a breeze – you can really push these tires hard. The stopping distances are also short, and high-speed stability is commendable.
The tire works well on damp roads as well. It suffers a bit more in very heavy rain, but it’s still completely safe. Since it’s a summer tire, it won’t work in freezing conditions, snow, and ice.
In terms of durability, the ATR Sport 2 is good, but certainly not exceptional. It should last you for two seasons if you drive normally but push it hard and tread life quickly deteriorates. Fortunately, the manufacturer provides a 35,000-mile treadwear warranty;
2. Achilles ATR-K Economist
Best Touring Tires
Achilles markets the ATR-K Economist as a high-performance tire, but in reality, it’s designed for compact vehicles, mid-size sedans, and minivans. You will get good dry handling with this tire, better than most cheap tires. It is also very quiet and comfortable, at least initially.
Wet traction is also okay, although the tire feels a bit nervous at the limit. Snow and ice traction are a no-go, though. The tread compound might be all-season, but this tire isn’t a good choice for wintry conditions. I would definitely consider replacing it with a set of winter tires.
In terms of durability, this tire will last you only for two seasons, which seems very low. Now, sure, you also pay much less in the first place, but you also lose performance. Achilles provides a 35,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is on the low side.
3. Achilles Desert Hawk H/T 2
Best SUV Tires
The Desert Hawk H/T2 is a regular all-season highway tire for SUVs, crossovers, and trucks. The company markets it as a “superior performance” tire for the highway. In reality, the tire provides good but not exceptional performance.
On dry roads, it works pretty well and provides good high-speed stability. However, it can struggle in very wet conditions, especially in the corners. Snow and ice traction are pretty bad, though, especially when compared to premium tires.
In terms of longevity, the Desert Hawk fares pretty well, actually. It comes with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which means it should last you for 2 seasons.
4. Achilles Multivan
Best Light-Truck and Commercial Tires
According to the manufacturer, the Multivan provides comfort, durability, and high resistance against sidewall cutting and scuffing. This is a tire designed primarily for commercial vehicles, though, such as vans and trucks.
In terms of performance, you shouldn’t expect miracles. Traction on dry roads is very good, but rainy conditions aren’t its forte. Also, snow and ice traction are much lower than what you’d get from premium tires.
Fortunately, the tire is very comfortable, even when loaded to the max, and provides good highway stability. Achilles doesn’t provide any treadwear warranty, but that’s normal for a commercial tire. That said, the company only provides one LT-metric size.
5. Achilles Winter 101
Best Winter Tires
The Winter 101 is the only winter tire from the company. It works well over snow, both light and deep. Sure, it doesn’t compare to the best premium winter tires, but I think you’ll be completely satisfied with the performance. There is even some ice traction, albeit nothing to write home about.
The tire struggles on dry and wet roads, though. Performance is sub-par, especially when compared to premium tires. It’s not unsafe, but you will definitely notice a difference. Besides, the Achilles Winter 101 doesn’t have an amazing treadlife. You should be lucky if you get two seasons out of it.
Achilles Tires Review: Buying Guide
Achilles uses its own designs, which is better than borrowing cheap Chinese tread patterns and rubber compounds. However, the company doesn’t have the R&D power of premium companies and even some budget companies, like General Tire or Kumho. It’s actually far behind those companies.
In reality, Achilles is a brand for people that really want to save on tires. Compared to brands like Lionhart, Achilles tires do work better, especially on wet roads, and also last longer. However, we still recommend going for premium tires for the best possible driving experience.
1. Achilles Tires Positive Aspects
Very low prices
Achilles tires cost three to four times less than premium tires. For some people, that’s a viable difference, especially for larger wheels. Now, of course, the quality of materials and engineering will be lower. Nonetheless, I know that many people are prepared to have a lesser tire when it means they pay less.
Safe handling in dry conditions
Each of Achilles’s products works excellently on dry roads. Truthfully, that’s a feature of most modern tires, even the cheapest. However, Achilles tires still work better than most cheap brands. The traction levels are higher, there is more grip in the corners, and the stopping distances are shorter. For dry places, these tires are actually very usable.
2. Achilles Tires Negative Aspects
Many tire buyers don’t understand this, but cheap tires don’t last very long. On average, the last half, and even three times less than premium tires. In other words, you’re getting what you’re paying for.
Wet and snow traction
Achilles tires don’t work tremendously well in rainy conditions. Some models are better than others, but overall, the premium competition fares much better. Moreover, there is no all-season tire from Achilles that I can recommend for harsh wintry conditions.
When I purchase tires, Achilles is not even in my top 10 as a brand. That’s because I know the price difference is smaller in the long run. These tires might be cheap, but they will last only for two seasons, which means you’ll need to replace them sooner. Meanwhile, your premium tires will work just fine. Additionally, you won’t be able to experience the high-quality driving experience of premium tires.
Still, at least when you compare them to other cheap tires, Achilles products work better in almost every condition. So, if you really want to save money, you can put this brand on your shortlist.