Pros / Every tire has a 45-day road test period.
Cons / The performance options per size are very limited.
Verdict / General Tire is an affordable tire brand with average tread-life warranties and limited performance options per size, but the road test period is good.
Founded in 1915 alongside four other major tire manufacturers in Akron, Ohio, General Tire was purchased by the German tire brand, Continental in the late 1980's. To evaluate the best tire brands, I compared the prices, available options and tread-mile warranties on the most common tire sizes for sedans, SUVs and trucks. From this evaluation, General Tire emerged as a generally average brand to fit the rather bland name. However, the 45-day road test period stands out against most of the competitors' 30-day road test periods. That said, its parent company, Continental, offers 60-days to test out new tires.
General Tire's sedan sized tires cost an average of $95 per tire. This is about $6 cheaper than the market average for the same size tire. The SUV tire size averages about $151 per tire. Only Cooper and Hankook have better priced SUV tires. For the common truck sizes, General Tire averaged $173 per tire. This is the lowest average price for a truck tire. However, with relatively few truck tire options to fit common sizes, some brands with more variety have more affordable options.
General Tire's tread-life warranty covers 19 tire series. This is about average and doesn’t cover winter tires. The best tread-life warranty, covering the AltiMAX, has a mileage of 75,000 miles. The average warranty has about 57,000 expected miles. By comparison, most tire brands' best tread-life mileage is about 83,500 miles with an overall average of 56,000 miles.
The performance options with General Tire are underwhelming. Each rim size had below-average options. The 15-inch rim averaged just two options; the 16-inch rim averaged four options; and the 17-inch rim averaged three options. By comparison, most brands had at least four, seven and five options, respectively. To put it simply, General Tire typically has an all-season tire and a winter tire to fit your vehicle's wheels, but not many options beyond that.
The truck tire options are also below average with an average of three options. One common truck size, 245/70R17, had seven performance options. This was the most options General Tire had for any of the tires I researched. By comparison, the best brands had twice as many options fitting this same size tire. However, other truck tire sizes were often only two or three. One size, 215/85R16, had no options at all.
In many ways, General Tire is a middling tire brand. The tires aren't expensive, but they aren't the most affordable either. The tread-life warranties show the tires are expected to last, but they aren't eye-popping warranties either. The biggest issue is the lack of performance options. If you enter a tire size in the search tool and there's only one or two options, you're less likely to find the tire to fit your performance needs.