Starfire Solarus AS Review

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So what the big deal with the new Starfire Solarus AS? Well, its engineered to deliver on performance without compromising on affordability, and this tire is about to become your trusted companion on the road, especially when it comes to having a great steering response times. Let’s check this boy in more details.

Starfire Solarus AS
Starfire Solarus AS

Tire Sizes

The Starfire Solarus AS’s sizes come with following specifications.

  • Available sizes: 14 to 18 inches
  • Speed ratings: H, T and V only.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • UTQG: 520AA.
  • Tread depth range: Although they market 10/32″, all sizes actualy have 9/32″ and a few 9.5/32″.
  • Treadwear warranty: 50k miles.

Learn about speed rating here:

Learn about load range/rating here:

Tread Design

Starfire Solarus AS comes with a 5 rib design. Let’s start form its middle section.

Starfire Solarus AS
The central most rib is made continuous to give the tire great braking efficacy.

So here you get 3 continuous running ribs, where the central most has a very minimalist structure.

This rib only has wave liking siping, which is also full depth.

The surrounding ribs carry more tread features.

Besides having similar siping pattern (as seen on the middle most rib), it also has notches facing the shoulder blocks, and joining up with the extra sipes.

Speaking of shoulders, the lugs there again have limited tread features, where you just see rectilinear siping.

And the additional rib you see with these shoulder lugs basically offer noise reducing properties, I talked about them in the “on-road noise” section below.

Dry Performance

Evaluating a tire’s performance on dry roads typically revolves around two fundamental factors: grip and handling.

Grip, also referred to as directional grip, indicates how well a tire can brake and accelerate, while handling represents the tire’s ability to navigate corners efficiently, and relay steering feedback.

Let’s explore what the Starfire Solarus AS brings to the table in terms of these factors.

Directional Grip

When it comes to directional grip, the tire’s ability to form rubber to road contact is judged the most. Where I mean, how well the central area of the rubber is meeting the road is very crucial here.

Basically the central region is what gets the most weight pressure as the tire rolls “straight”, and here the Starfire Solarus AS excels notably.

This boy is basically equipped with streamlined ribs which arranged longitudinally, enhancing rubber-to-road contact and friction.

Because of this, the tire offers pretty great braking efficacy comparatively. (BTW stopping distance is how you measure directional grip).

Dry Handling

When it comes to handling, focus shifts to the shoulder lugs, since they endure the highest pressure of weight on them, as the tire turns (which is due to inertia).

And here, the Starfire Solarus AS is a wise choice, no doubt about that.

The tire comes with very compacted up shoulder lugs which ensure superior road contact during cornering. And that paired with quicker steering response (due to its stiffer tread composition), you get pretty great traction values (measured with lateral g forces).

Basically with a firmer tread, the lug flexing is minimized, and so better under and over steering balance is achieved.

Tread Life

Analyzing tread life involves looking at several factors such as tread depth, how much resistance it offers while rolling, and its overall material composition.

Now figuring out which tire will last the longest can be a bit tricky, but with Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG), you get a lot of help.

Even though this rating isn’t perfect for comparing tires from different brands, it’s pretty reliable when comparing the ones coming under same company.

Having said that, the well-known Cooper tire, the AT3 4S has a UTQG of 600, while the Starfire Solarus AS (which is also another Cooper brand), has a UTQG of 520, showing that it’s tread life is not so great.

Basically, this rating means the Starfire might last up to 5 times longer than a standard tire, which is lower than Cooper AT3, which lasts about 6 times as long compared to the same standard tire.

So being all season, its tread life is lower compared to an all terrain tire.

Winter Performance

The winter performance analysis of the Starfire Solarus AS reveals some notable deficiencies, and it makes sense why it notably lacks the 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake certification, (which signifies excellent winter grip).

This deficiency mainly stems from its insufficient biting edges, which are critical for maintaining a solid grip on snowy roads.

Although it has notches on its outer middle ribs pointing outward, it doesn’t capture enough snow particles to form snow to snow contact.

Basically snow tends to adhere better to itself than to rubber, so if the tire traps more snow particles in its tread voids, it would do better.

So Solarus All Season with missing this feature doesn’t offer the best traction on snowy surfaces.

Moreover, its harder rubber is also not so thermally adaptive, meaning its rubber become stiffer with freezing temperatures (and with it the little biters the tire has lose their efficacy).

Side Note: One of the best all season tire for snow is the Crossclimate 2, review it here:

Fuel Consumption

Fuel efficiency is closely linked to rolling resistance. That’s why tires with higher rolling resistance, (usually due to being heavier and having a softer tread), tend to use more fuel.

This concept helps understand why the Starfire Solarus AS is quite fuel-efficient, thanks to its sleek design and somewhat shallow tread depth (compared to other all season tires out there).

This design prevents the tire’s lugs from moving too much during braking, speeding up, or turning, saving energy that would usually be lost through lug distortion.

Basically, a softer tread means the blocks would bend more, and reshaping them back requires energy.

Wet Traction

Wet performance consists of two main factors: the tire’s wet grip and its ability to resist hydroplaning. Let’s examine these aspects more closely.

Wet Grip

The wet grip of a tire is determined by its tread design and the effectiveness of its sipes. And unfortunately, the Solarus AS falls short in this area, offering somewhat disappointing performance.

The tire lacks the new gen rubber blend, which commonly combines silica and innovative tread technology. This predominately restricts the flexibility of the tire’s tread, which is an essential feature for achieving optimal wet grip.

Basically most of the grip comes form sipes, which suck up the water particles, allowing rubber to grip on the relatively dried up surface.

But if these siping slits are not flexible, they won’t be able to produce a good enough suction power, and the girp gets compromised.

Moreover, the tire is also not so great at effectively escape water on a larger scale (mostly lacking curved aquaplaning performance).


Hydroplaning, a situation where the tire loses road contact and skims over water, greatly affects the wet traction of a tire.

Here a thin layer of water comes in between the rubber and the road, and the connection is lost.

To counteract this, treads incorporate grooves to create channels for water to escape.

But with continuous running central rib, and compacted up surrounding ones, the tire isn’t able to effective throw water out sideways.

But yes, it dos offer good enough float speeds when it comes to straight aqua tests.

If you’re not familiar with “float speeds”, it denotes the maximum speed at which a tire can maintain road contact without skimming over the water surface, or “floating”.

Road Noise

Road noise is produced when air particles hit the trad walls. And since air mostly comes in through shoulders, tires incorporate various shoulder features to block air flow.

In case of Starfire Solarus AS, the tire is equipped with additional shoulder ribs, basically blocking the lateral tread voids of the shoulder blocks.

This design, involving connector ribs near the shoulder blocks, not only stabilizes handling but also curtails noise by limiting air flow. So you can say, noise is cut down at the source.

Furthermore, the little air that still manages to come in, is handled by the tires variable pitch technology, where lugs produce varied tones as the air molecules hit them. And those cancel out each other further dampening the noise levels.


Tire’s durability mostly comes form its internal structure. So let’s check it out.

The Starfire Solarus All Season is built with two layers of polyester casing, forming a sturdy 2-ply sidewall, (which is bascially the backbone of the tire).

This frame is further strengthened by two steel belts and wrapped with a polyamide layer, enhancing its overall toughness.

Now keep in mind that while many all-season tires have a similar construction, the Solarus AS still distinguishes itself with a more rigid inner frame.

So overall, the tire isn’t so bad durability wise.

Ride Comfort

Ride comfort is largely determined by a tire’s ability to smooth out road bumps, and its influenced by the tire’s internal and external makeup.

What I mean by that is, generally, tires with softer structures offer a smoother ride, and so it makes sense why the Starfire Solarus AS lacks here.

It’s stiffer rubber compound is basically not able to soak up the bumps effectively.

Though its still not that bad as the tire comes with a softer inner cap ply to cushion bumps.

To Conclude

So what did we learn about this tire? Well let me break it down for you guys.

The Starfire Solarus AS is great when it comes to the following.

  • Dry Road Performance: It offers remarkable grip and directional handling, making driving on dry roads a stable and controlled experience.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Its design promotes good fuel economy, offering users great value over the lifespan of the tire.

But it needs improvements in the following areas.

  • Wet and Winter Traction: The tire struggles to provide optimal traction during wet and snowy conditions, mainly due to a lack of sufficient flexibility and biting edges.
  • Ride Comfort: Due to its firm tread rubber composition aimed at enhancing durability, the tire compromises somewhat on ride comfort, not offering a plush ride experience.
  • Tread life: It’s UTQG shows that it’s tread is going to wear out pretty fast.

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