South-Korean tire manufacturers were initially considered low-quality, but today companies like Hankook and Kumho compete with the big guns. In recent years, a new tire company from South-Korea emerged, and it is called Nexen.
When Nexen entered the North-American market, people also viewed it with suspicion. And, I don’t blame them – cheap tires are often dangerous for the safety of the passengers and other traffic participants.
The thing is, though, Nexen isn’t one of those manufacturers. Actually, the company was established in 1942, and by now, it developed into a fully-featured tire conglomerate. And, the best thing about Nexen is that it continually tries to improve its product lineup with upgrades and new designs.
Moreover, the company is present on the most popular and trusted online tire retailers, unlike other new cheap tire brands. Of course, to win the hearts of drivers worldwide, Nexen competes with budget-priced tires.
Nexen’s models are still significantly cheaper than premium competitors, such as Michelin, Bridgestone, Pirelli, Goodyear, and Continental, and cheaper than Hankook. Most of the time, going cheaper means getting much worse performance, though, which is why I decided to have a more detailed look at Nexen.
In my Nexen tires review, I’ll give you my five favorite tires from the company. Subsequently, you can also read my short buying guide on Nexen tires, where we will discuss the positives and negatives of owning them.
So, without further ado, let’s see what you get when purchasing Nexen.
1. Nexen Aria AH7
Best All-Season Touring Tire
Nexen’s most popular product is the Aria AH7, a standard touring all-season tire developed for drivers of compact cars, mid-size sedans, and crossovers.
The AH7 handles everyday tasks with aplomb – it’s safe on every type of surface, including dry, wet, and snowy. Moreover, the ride quality is very pleasing, and there is not much noise on the highway.
Nexen even provides an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is simply exceptional for the price.
2. Nexen Roadian GTX
Best SUV and Crossover Touring Tire
The Roadian GTX is designed for larger crossovers and SUVs, but also for pickup trucks. Nexen provides a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty on this tire, which is as good as you can get for this price.
Moreover, the Roadian GTX performs well on dry roads, with responsive handling and grippy cornering. Meanwhile, the passengers will be happy with the smooth ride and quiet rolling.
That said, while the hydroplaning resistance is good, braking on wet and snowy surfaces could be further improved.
3. Nexen Roadian AT Pro RA8
Best All-Terrain Tire
Nexen’s all-terrain tire works amazingly well on hardpacked surfaces – it provides excellent traction, while the casing is strong and durable. Most amateur drivers will be satisfied with the traction in mud, but rock-crawling is too much to ask.
On the road, the Roadian AT Pro RA8 performs admirably, with good dry and wet traction, and a comfortable ride. Moreover, Nexen provides a great 50,000-mile treadwear warranty for the price.
4. Nexen Winguard Sport 2
Best Winter Tire
Considering the price, Winguard Sport 2 is one of the best winter tires on the market. Not only it feels planted on snowy and icy surfaces, but it also works well on the dry handling course.
Wet handling and braking are also good, but I would like to see improvements in the hydroplaning resistance. On a more positive note, the Winguard Sport 2 is the most durable winter tire on the market, regardless of price.
5. Nexen N Fera SU1
Best Ultra-High-Performance Tire
Apart from the sub-par treadlife, the NFera SU1 is a commendable ultra-high-performance summer tire. Spirited drivers will be happy with the level of grip on offer, and also with the responsiveness of the tire. Also, the NFera SU1 surprised me with how comfortable it is on uneven roads. Finally, Nexen also provides a 25,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is rare in this segment.
Nexen Tires Review: Buying Guide
Like every other serious tire manufacturer, Nexen has a detailed portfolio of tires. Its most popular models are the all-season touring tires, but the company also offers performance-oriented alternatives for drivers of more powerful sedans and coupes.
Furthermore, Nexen also plays big on SUV, truck, and crossover tires, which is important because these vehicles are the most popular on the market today. Meanwhile, the company also produces high-performance tires for use on street and track, which are also popular within the enthusiast community.
Lastly, Nexen offers summer, all-season, and winter tread compound in its lineup, including studdable winter tires. That’s not something you see in other budget-oriented manufacturers, which is another big plus for the company.
1. Nexen Tires Positive Aspects
Advanced R&D Center
Nexen plays big on research and development. Unlike other budget-oriented companies, which often borrow the designs from premium manufacturers, Nexen has enough muscle to design, develop, and produce the tires in-house.
And these things are very important. Nexen takes its time to test the tires for thousands of miles before putting them on the market. Oh, and these tests are also very rigorous, with a lot of stress put on the tires.
For you, this means that you’re getting a well-developed product that will allow you to drive your car peacefully and without worries.
High-Tech Tread Compounds
Nexen uses in-house-developed tread compounds that utilize high-quality materials. This translates into much better on-road performance, and not just on dry roads.
A great tread compound also helps tremendously on wet surfaces, and even over snow. Tread patterns are always secondary when it comes to performance.
Meanwhile, a well-developed and advanced tread compound also means the treadlife will be longer, without adverse effect on handling and braking.
Completely Safe and Comfortable for Daily Driving
The excellent performance of most Nexen tires should come as no surprise. The company prides itself on having tires that perform as advertised, or to a very high level.
There is no single Nexen tire that is dangerous to drive on dry roads, and most of the tires also perform excellently on wet surfaces.
Meanwhile, Nexen also puts a big focus on improving comfort. Most of Nexen’s tires I tried offer a plush ride and aren’t very loud on the highway.
So, yes, you will probably be satisfied with how the tires handle the road, especially for normal daily driving.
Long Treadlife and Treadwear Warranties
Few things are worse than buying very cheap tires, only to replace them after 20,000-miles. That defeats the purpose of the lower price, doesn’t it?
Well, Nexen tires won’t wear down quickly. The treadlife of these tires is on the level of products from Hankook, Cooper Tire, General Tire, and Kumho. This means that you will probably get around 4-5 years of usage before the tires are completely useless for driving on wet roads.
Moreover, Nexen also isn’t shy about offering long treadwear warranties. On some models, like the Aria AH7, for example, Nexen provides an exceptional 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is on par with premium tires in the same category.
Nexen tires are much cheaper than the premium competition, up to 30%. Moreover, most models from the company are also slightly cheaper than other wallet-friendly alternatives, such as Cooper Tire and General Tire.
2. Nexen Tires Negative Aspects
Still not on the level on premium competitors. Nexen makes excellent tires; there is no doubt about it. However, its tires still can’t compete with the best in each category.
You might not be able to feel that, but Nexen tires usually lag behind the best tires in pure numbers. Some tires are closer to the premium competition, and some are further away, but generally, they are behind.
Now, don’t let this change your mind – the differences aren’t very big, and most of them are only measurable on the track. However, you will probably get better tires if you pay that 30% more.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t put Nexen tires in your shortlist. The South-Korean company produces excellent tires that satisfy the industry standards and offer a completely safe driving experience, at a lower price point.
Moreover, Nexen tires are also very durable, which means that they are an excellent option for long-distance cruising, unlike other cheap tire brands. Overall, I was pleased with every Nexen tire I tried, and I think that you should give them a chance.