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- Safe to drive on dry roads
- Provides some traction on snow
- Very cheap to buy (unusual for a Goodyear product)
- Excellent treadwear warranty for the price
- Dry handling and braking are way behind the class average
- Wet handling doesn’t feel surefooted and safe
- Very long wet braking distances
- The treadlife on the tires is very short
- Some owners report balancing issues!
- Loud on the highway and not overly comfortable
At our website, we are always proponents of purchasing high-quality tires. Why? Well, because they are much safer than cheap tires. There are circumstances where the difference between premium and cheap tire is literally the difference between life and death. You simply can’t put a price on road safety. For that reason, we strongly recommend purchasing tires from well-known and reputable manufacturers.
Well, if you go by that rule, there is a very good tire deal at Walmart. It is called the Viva 3, and it’s a passenger all-season tire manufactured by Goodyear, in the USA. Yes, a truly American tire at a price that’s close to Chinese tires. Sounds too good to be true? Of course. Going cheap with tires is almost never a good solution, even when they come from a reputable manufacturer. And, at least in North America, Goodyear is “the” tire company.
Honestly, the price of the Viva 3 caught me by surprise. It’s by far the cheapest product in Goodyear’s lineup. For example, let’s have a look at the popular 205/55R16 size. In Walmart, you can find the Viva 3 in this size for only $65. On the other hand, Assurance All-Season, the cheapest touring tire from Goodyear, costs $94.99 at Tire Rack. For a set of four tires, you will save $120. Cool, huh?
It’s just that it’s not. The Assurance All-Season might be budget-friendly, but it still employs many modern Goodyear technologies. Viva 3, on the other hand, has none. Zero. Instead, Goodyear made an exclusive deal with Walmart to sell the Viva 3 there. Actually, the tire is designed with Walmart’s customers in mind – people with tighter budgets.
And, trust me, I understand people that are on a tight budget. Replacing tires every 3-4 years can be costly for most families, which is why tires like the Viva 3 look very promising. The problem with the Viva 3, though, is that it will probably be more expensive in the long run.
Simply put, higher-quality tread compounds provide the driver with better performance, but they also last longer. Much longer. There is a reason why Goodyear’s Assurance WeatherReady costs $143.99 for the same 205/55R16 size as the aforementioned Viva 3 and Assurance All-Season. It’s simply in another league in terms of handling, braking, and wear.
So, what does that mean for the Viva 3? Is it really that bad? Well, you will have the answer to your questions in my detailed Goodyear Viva 3 review. Down below, I’ll cover the overall performance of the Viva 3, including dry and wet handling and braking, snow traction and braking, comfort levels, and treadlife. Prepare yourself for a bumpy ride. Literally.
Oh, yes, before we do that, let’s see what features Goodyear utilized in the Viva 3 to make it stand out. Or to be cheap. Or, if you want it simpler, let’s have a look at the marketing speech.
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What are the features of the Goodyear Viva 3?
The Goodyear Viva 3 is a passenger all-season tire designed for owners of compact cars, mid-size sedans, and minivans. Walmart offers the tire in a wide range of sizes, starting from 14-inch wheel diameter and up to 18-inch wheel diameter. With these sizes, the retailer covers many older vehicles, which definitely points at which owners Walmart aims.
Meanwhile, according to Goodyear, Viva 3 is a value all-season tire that provides comfort and control. On Walmart’s website, on the other hand, you’ll find that the Viva 3 has confident handling and quiet ride. And that it provides all-season traction and long-lasting treadwear at an attractive price.
Goodyear doesn’t specify the type of the tread compound, which is the single most important thing for traction, grip, and braking. Anyway, the tread pattern features four wide circumferential grooves, which has become the industry standard by now. These grooves channel large amounts of water through the lateral grooves of the tire, which improves hydroplaning resistance and traction in rainy conditions.
Meanwhile, the tread also features stable shoulder blocks, which improve cornering grip and stability on dry roads. Interestingly, Goodyear utilized zig-zag sipes on the tread blocks. These sipes increase the number of biting edges for better snow traction, and they also help when driving on ice. You can find the same sipes, mostly on winter tires.
The tread pattern on the Viva 3 is also optimized for noise performance. Also, the sidewall is vertically serrated, which definitely improves the look of the tire. I’ll go as far as to say that it looks better than most offerings from Goodyear in the all-season category, at least from the side.
What are the maintenance indicators?
Goodyear utilized the industry-standard tread wear indicators (TWI’s) on the Viva 3. These indicators help the driver monitor the tread depth more easily and notify him/her when the tires need to be replaced.
That’s because wet traction becomes worse with time. As the tread wears down, the grooves on the tire become shallower, which limits the tire’s hydroplaning capabilities.
On passenger all-season tires, the minimum tread depth for driving in wet conditions is considered 2/32-inch, or 1.6 mm for the metric folks.
When the tread depth reaches that point, it is considered unsafe to drive on wet surfaces, and you should immediately replace the whole set.
The treadwear indicators can help you tell when the tread reached the 2/32-inch threshold. They are essentially narrow rubber bars that sit recessed in the circumferential grooves of the tire.
As the tread wears down, the TWI’s will become more visible. When the tread reaches the 2/32-inch threshold, they will be completely flush with the surface.
Now, Walmart and Goodyear provide a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty on the Viva 3. For the price, that’s pretty amazing. For example, the 30% more expensive Assurance All-Season has only a 5,000-mile longer treadwear warranty.
However, most owners aren’t satisfied with the treadlife of the tire. On average, they report a treadlife of around 30,000-miles, which is way below the warranty. That’s also way below the class average – passenger all-season tires usually last twice as long.
Which brings me back to the price. Remember the Goodyear Assurance All-Season that I mentioned that’s 50% more expensive? Well, that tire will last twice as long, or 100%. So, in the long run, the Assurance All-Season will be cheaper than the Viva 3.
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
I must say that Viva 3 performs better than some cheap Chinese tires that recently appeared on the market. The handling isn’t half bad, and the braking distances are okay.
However, by paying only $20 to $30 more for a tire, you can get superior performance. Push the Viva 3 over the limit, and it will quickly understeer. Moreover, the braking distances are still a step behind the competition, including Goodyear’s own Assurance All-Season.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
The difference between the Viva 3 and the Assurance All-Season widens on wet pavement. While the tire is good for dry roads, I can’t say the same for wet roads.
Simply put, the Goodyear Viva 3 doesn’t feel surefooted when it rains. The handling is dangerous at times, the tires slide more easily if you open the throttle, and the braking distances are way too long.
Want a safer tire for wet conditions? There are a plethora of options on Tire Rack and Discount Tire that are slightly more expensive, yet offer much better wet traction.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
To my surprise, the Goodyear Viva 3 wasn’t bad over snow, probably due to the multiple zig-zag sipes. The traction is okay for the price, and the braking distances aren’t very long for an all-season tire. Now, sure, the Viva 3 isn’t class-leading – you can get much better snow traction and braking. It’s only good for the price.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
The Goodyear Viva 3 isn’t designed for off-road driving. Not only it lacks enough traction on slippery surfaces, but but the tread on the tire can also get easily damaged.
Is it comfortable and refined?
The ride quality that the Viva 3 provides isn’t very smooth, especially when you hit a bump. Moreover, the tire exhibits a lot of tread noise, especially at highway speeds.
Should I buy the Goodyear Viva 3?
Well, in my opinion, you shouldn’t. Viva 3 has simply too many compromises, especially when it comes to safety. I know the price is very attractive for some buyers, but keep in mind that this tire won’t last very long, which defeats the purpose of the lower price.
Now, sure, you can find even worse tires on the market, but that doesn’t redeem the Viva 3. The tire is flawed in many ways, and there is no escaping that. Goodyear’s own Assurance All-Season is simply a much better buy, at around %50 higher price.
5 thoughts on “Goodyear Viva 3 Review: Is This Really a “Goodyear” Tire?”
“Walmart and Goodyear provide a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty on the Viva 3. However, most owners aren’t satisfied with the treadlife of the tire. On average, they report a treadlife of around 30,000-miles, which is way below the warranty.”
Well, the great thing about a treadwear warranty is that you take the tires back to Walmart if they wear out early. As long as your car has a good alignment (the wear isn’t due to mis-alignment) and you’ve rotated the tires on schedule (this is free at Walmart with the service package purchased for each tire), you have a treadwear warranty. You get that pro-rated toward the purchase of replacement tires. If your Viva 3 tires wear out in just 30,000 miles, you get about 40-45% of the purchase price credited toward replacement tires.
I called Walmart and asked about the Prorate policy on the viva 3 and was told that they did not have that policy.
Interesting. I ran Vivas on my Dodge mini van and loved them. I was driving over 50,000 miles a year and they lasted 60,000. I had great luck in the snow and slush and they were fine in the rain. I have them on my Edge, my daughter’s M3 and have run them on other work cars. I’ve been happy with them.
On August 10 , 2022 Walmart of WIlmington, NC Store# 04065 refused to Honor the 235/60R18 VIVA3 Warranty 60,000 Mile. Walmart informed me my tires would not meet NC Sate Inspections and I neeed to have it changed. I informed them of the Warranty and they would not give me the warranty. They used the “Rough Terrain” and “The Manager has to be here and he was not at Walmart” A Total of 55184 Miles were driven on each 2 of these tires meaning 36808 were not used out of the 60000 Mile Warranty. I called Goodyear Customer Relations and the representative informed me customers were having problems with Walmart validating Goodyear Warranty . If you run into this problem call Goodyear at 800-997-8890 and ask for Customer Relations where you start a Claim # . From here Goodyear represents you for defense against Walmart not validatiung their Goodyear Tire Warrany.
On 09/27/2022 I had a sudden sidewall explosion on one of my VIVA 3s at 65 mph. The tire(s) had 23,212 miles on them. I made it to the shoulder and changed to the mini-spare. I drove directly to WALMART to have the tire replaced with the warranty road hazard etc.. They told me WALMART no longer carries GOODYEAR VIVA 3 TIRES. There was none available in the warehouse or any other Walmart in the SF Bay area. They replaced the exploded tire with a new NEXEN-NPRZA-5. different tread design, less wear so slightly larger tire. made in Korea. probably a good tire. Now I’m driving with one tire that doesn’t match.