Don't buy an SUV without knowing how much tyres cost - Find out here

Arvind · Feb 19, 2022 12:00 PM

Don't buy an SUV without knowing how much tyres cost - Find out here 01

Most modern small and mid-sized SUVs are superbly practical, great looking, and thanks to modern platforms and powertrains – offer an almost sedan-like driving experience.

Also, given many SUVs also share the same powertrains that may feature in sedans, maintenance costs are largely similar too.

Don't buy an SUV without knowing how much tyres cost - Find out here 02

However, one crucial difference in maintenance costs between SUVs and sedans are tyres. Replacing SUV tyres can cost up to 30-50 percent more than a sedan car, and this can catch many first time SUV owners by surprise.

Why are SUV tyres more expensive than sedan tyres?

Don't buy an SUV without knowing how much tyres cost - Find out here 01

The 2022 Honda Civic and CR-V both have 18-inch tyres, but the SUV tyres can cost substantially more to replace.

Well, the simplest explanation for this is their size. SUV tyres are typically larger because they have to fit wheel rims with larger diameters and wider cross-sections.

Besides that, SUV tyres also have to be tougher structurally to take on rough roads/surfaces, which means thicker and stronger sidewalls as well as more internal reinforcement.

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However, whilst they must be strong and sturdy, SUV tyres also need to be compliant and quiet (to achieve good comfort levels) and offer good traction, hence they also require unique rubber compounds that are designed to offer these contrasting features.

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SUV tyres typically have stronger inner structures to withstand the forces of going off-road

These are some of the reasons why SUV tyres are substantially more expensive than sedan tyres. 

Also read: Looking for best value-for-money tyres? Here are our picks

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Sedan and hatchback tyres are smaller, cheaper and there are more options in the market to choose from

How expensive are SUV tyres when compared to sedan tyres?

Let us compare similarly sized SUV and sedan/hatchback models across different brands, segments and price categories, starting with the sedans:

Sedan tyre prices
Model Tyre size Price range (RM) / tyre
Perodua Myvi 1.5 AV 185/55R15 170-230
Honda Accord 1.5L TC-P 235/45R18 360-440
Mercedes-Benz C200 225/45R18 380-640

Now for SUVs of the same corresponding brand:

SUV tyre prices
Model  Tyre size Price range (RM) / tyre
Perodua Ativa 205/60R17 440-480
Honda CR-V 1.5L TC-P 235/60R18 540-610
Mercedes-Benz GLC200 255/45R20 880-1,280

In all cases, the larger sized SUV tyres are priced between 40 to 100 percent more than the tyres of their sedan counterparts. 

Here are a few other examples:

Tyre prices for popular SUVs
Model Tyre size Price range (RM) / tyre
Honda HR-V 1.8L RS 225/50R18 290-440
Proton X50 1.5L Premium 215/55R18 290-490
Proton X70 1.5L Premium X 225/55R19 550-950
Subaru XV 2.0i-P 225/60R17 300-550
Subaru Forester 2.0i-S Eyesight 225/55R18 340-540
Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8G 215/60R17 290-420
Toyota RAV4 2.5L 225/60R18 340-520
Hyundai Kona 2.0L Active 235/45R18 250-520
BMW X1 sDrive20i M Sport 225/50R18 280-500
Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 AMG Line 235/50R19 600-900

Price range is given based on manufacturer supplied tyres or other brands of similar quality.

From the table, we can see that changing the tyres of a Proton X50 is as expensive as changing the tyres of a BMW X1, despite the X1 costing double the sticker price of the X50.

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Given its size, Proton X50 tyres cost as much to replace as those for a BMW X1

Also note, unlike a sedan which may have up to 10 brands catering to one tyres size. 

An SUV owner may have half those options, and would typically have to choose between tyres from notable manufacturers such as Michelin, Goodyear, Bridgestone, Toyo and Continental.

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Notwithstanding, there are cheaper tyres but we recommend properly researching these tyres before installing them on your car. If in doubt, always replace the same model tyres that came with your vehicle. 

Also read: Michelin, Continental, Bridgestone, Goodyear? Which are the most preferred tyre brands in Malaysia?

How can I stretch the lifespan of my car's tyres?

These simple steps will greatly improve how long your SUV tyres last and ensure your SUV keeps driving and performing safely and smoothly.

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  • Regularly check your tyre pressures, at least once every 2 weeks. Low or irregular pressure increases tyre wear and tear. 
  • Rotate your tyres and get an alignment service done at least once every 6 months. This will reduce wear and tear and ensure better drivability. 
  • After a few years, inspect and replace worn suspension components as this too can cause increased tyre wear and damage.

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Perhaps most importantly, if you're looking into buying an SUV, consider if you can comfortably afford to change your tyres.

Tyres are a major safety component of your vehicle and not something you want to skimp on. 

Also read: Here's the top tyre choices for 13- to 17-inches in 2020!

Arvind

Senior Writer

Arvind can't remember a time when he didn't wheel around a HotWheels car. This love evolved into an interest in Tamiya and RC cars and finally the real deal 1:1 scale stuff. Passion finally lead to formal training in Mechanical Engineering. Instead of the bigger picture, he obsesses with the final drive ratio and spring rates of cars and spends the weekends wondering why a Perodua Myvi is so fast.

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