THE previous tires fitted on this 2008 Subaru Forester XT have definitely seen better days (but, then, aren’t we all?). The set of Yokohama Geolandar 225/55 R17 was still the original one that came with the car when it rolled off the showroom six years ago. It was the same set that toured Cordillera. It had taken the car from Manila to Caticlan via Mindoro. These trips come on top of the daily city slog it went through.
But as tough as the Geolandars had proven to be, they were also harsh-riding, a bit too noisy at higher speeds and were not that grippy. These last concerns are what the Saffiro SF6000, also available in the same 225/55 R17 size, addresses.
Saffiro, according to its literature, is a Los Angeles, US-based company that distributes tires in the States and internationally. It makes tires for trucks and buses, pickups and SUVs, and for passenger cars. It also has a line of high-performance rubbers.
The SF6000 isn’t as aggressive-looking as Saffiro’s high-performance models but its unidirectional tread pattern appears well suited for displacing water. The tire’s shoulders are also blocky and beefy—traits that work well for sporting crossovers like the Forester, which on occasion may see themselves tackling rougher terrain. In spirited driving, the SF6000 provides enough grip and feedback, ensuring (well, to a certain degree) that an exciting drive does not turn hairy.
But it’s the comfort level that the tire returns which is quite appreciated. The tire hushes road noise. It soaks in small ruts or washboard road surfaces so well that, suddenly, a six-year-old car feels more athletic and cushier. Now add a relatively affordable price tag to this list of advantages.
No doubt, the SF6000 is a recommended replacement for OE tires.