Its that time again, when my tiers are worn out and they need to be replaced. This time around, I thought I’d try some cheaper tires because I simply drive my car to and from work and really don’t need anything special. I stumbled upon a number of cheap brands and most of those had really bad reputations. But then I found these MuchoMacho tires under the brand Cosmo.
I really don’t know much about this brand. It says on their site that Cosmo was founded in 1994, but I don’t know if it was ever a real independent company or if it was created as a brand for a marketing exercise from the large tire conglomerate Tire Group International. But who cares at the end of the day.
My last tires before this were a set of Firestone Indy 500’s, and that was a great tire. Summer only and geared for high performance. I even have a set of those for my Firebird and autocrossed them in the rain where they did great. So, these MuchoMachos have a tough act to follow.
These tires, even though labeled as UHP (Ultra High Performance) are not in the same performance league as the Firestones. These tiers are an all-season tire and my first impression of them was that they have a much softer sidewall and the overall dry traction is much lower. But I suppose this can be expected with a tire like this.
In the past few days, we have had a ton of rain. Today, the rain broke and I took the tires, equipped on my 350z, through the mostly damp mountain roads here in central Pennsylvania and, I report, I’m impressed. This tire held up well to my extremely spirited driving through sharp hairpins, broken pavement, and fast stretches.
I think one of the most impressive things about this tire, other than its price, was how well it did on the damp pavement. A lot of cheap tires, including the Nitto NT05 200tw street tire (not that cheap) and Nankang NS-2R 120tw race tire I have had in the past did absolutely horrible in the wet. This tire performed extremely well and I was able to push the car without the white-knuckle experience that those other tires brought.
The softer sidewalls of these tires also smoothed out parts of my route that have broken pavement and the tread did well to provide traction through the mud and gravel that was washed onto the road.
My final thoughts on this tire is that its an unbelievable bargain. My size, which is 245/45R18, only cost $67 dollars from Walmart. I have no idea how long they will last, but so far I’m impressed with the balance of traction and smoothness they have. They are going to be great on my highway commute and were also fantastic through the mountains. They are not going to give you a podium finish at a race, but I don’t think I could ask for more; especially with a price like this.
I hope Cosmo comes out with a more race oriented summer-only tire in the future with stiffer sidewalls. These MuchoMachos are already popular in the drift community, but how great would it be if they came out with a motorsport oriented tire in this price range.
Side note: I saw a article by TheDrive that negatively talked about this tire without any testing whatsoever. I think this is very unfair their conclusion was made by the old axiom “you get what you pay for”. I think what James Gilboy, the author of that article, might not understand is things like economies of scale, foreign labor costs, and trying to get into a market – all of which can lead to a diamond-in-the-rough deal like this. He also says “Yes, that’s a real product from a real American manufacturer”, but I believe these tires are made in Thailand.