Welcome to the review of Sunfull SF-888 tyre review. Sunfull is an unknown brand in all parts of the world except for China. These tyres where what where equipped with the replacement of the Toyota Yaris. Yes, unfortunately the Yaris has gone to a new owner who needed it more than myself. This story and the review to come later.
Cheaply priced products are generally not as good as those made by companies with established brand names and a higher price. In terms of tyres it is no different but many regard them as consumables and despite their relatively high cost most don’t care about the differences, although they can be life or death many don’t believe that there is any difference between them. Of course as motorcycle owners know due to our connection with the bike that they can make a significant difference to the handling, durability hence safety and longevity. I’ve already discovered that cheap car tyres and those from unknown manufacturers are different from an established brand. That said the Sunfull SF-888 are the top range tyre from the Sunfull.
The Sunfull SF-888 (205-55-16) came with the replacement car I bought and you can bet that I had no idea who the manufacturer was or read any honest or detailed reviews on these tyres. There are lots of reasons why but I decided to post a in-depth review on the SF-888 so there is at least one decent review on the tyres. To most the SF-888 will be the replacement for worn and probably ancient tyres that have been used on the car since new or last purchased. Due to the price the target market for the SF-888 are buyers are those wanting cheap tyres or those who have always bought cheap tyres, so bear that in mind when you are reading any sort of reviews.
The description for the Sunfull SF-888 is Ultra High performance and Asymmetrical Pattern tyre according to the manufacturer or PR packages. Ultra-high performance description is a bit of a dubious description as you can guess. The only facts are that the SF-888 are W speed rated which means up to 270 Kph or 160 Miles per hour. The SF-888 load rating is goes between 82 – 102 which is fairly high but clearly in the ball park of a car under 2 ton vehicle that’s not an SUV. The SF-888 has a quality rating 280-AA-A according to the manufacturer, the wear rating of 280 is pretty low but a least the traction codes are AA which means they are technically quite grippy. So the branding on the SF-888 claim Ultra-high performance and according to the side wall it’s a High performance tyre but certainly not ‘Ultra’ as it’s not Z rated.
Sunfull SF-888 build quality: The SF-888 looks like a decently built tyre with a nice tread pattern. The tread pattern is indeed asymmetrical so they can only be fitted in one direction on the car and in the correct orientation to the tread design. This means that it has to say ‘Outside’ on the front of the tyre. Due to the rating I expect the SF-888 life span of less than 28,000km and would not be surprised if less. In terms of durability they look decent enough to handle a nail or some rocky roads without disintegrating. That said there is some chipping on one of the tyres…
The Sunfull SF-888 ride quality is easy to describe. They feel harder as new tyres than the soft feel you get with other new tyres. As they wear over time I think they feel even harder on the road. The SF-888 tyres are not noisy but not quiet either and to be completely honest not that noisier than regular tyres and maybe that’s the point. The rolling distance of these tyres is not impressive indicating their inherent grip levels. Furthermore these tyres do not provide a smooth ride even with a car equipped with ‘comfortable’ suspension settings but overall it’s not too bad. Aka if your car has urban friendly comfortable suspension these will make the ride harsher. If car is quiet on OEM tyres then these will be noisier but not that much more. That said these are ‘sports’ orientated ‘Ultra high performance’ tyres…
Sunfull SF-888 handling is easy to describe. They grip and telegraph generated G-force and certainly don’t sequel when going faster than you would normally go. This is great as it indicates tyres actually gripping. SF-888 dry grip is best described as very good but does tend to loose grip without too much provocation especially at normal tyre inflation and from a standing start. Arguably more obvious in front wheel drive cars but possible worse in rear wheel drives. Wet weather performance on the SF-888 can be described as good at normal speeds that grip well and no noticeable aquaplaning in normal rain storms. They feel secure on the road at legal speeds.
Notes: Tested with lower pressures the ride was OK. When tested at the recommended vehicle pressures the difference was notable by a firmer ride and increased grip to the point that understeer was notably higher which indicated that the rubber and tread pattern was clearly grip orientated. They are gripper than the same car equipped with non-ultra high performance tyres.
Are the Sunfull SF-888 any good and are they worth buying? the answer is yes but as a short term replacement – say if your selling your car with a new set of tyres. Regardless they do work quite well and if purchased at the going rate of around $150-200 AUD over the internet they are not cheap and I don’t think they will last as long. Are they as good as more expensive tyres with the same ‘Ultra High performance’ branding? – I don’t think I’ll bother finding out as I prefer quiet and smoother ride quality in my cars. Conclusion: No I won’t be getting the Sunfull SF-888 again as there are better cheaper and probably quieter tyres on offer.
Update: February 2020: After riding in a Corolla that was equipped with tyres from a well known brand, that is Goodyear and model SP Sport it was clear that the Sunfull SF-888 tyres I had were not particularly good. The SF-888 that I had still had tread on them but on closer inspection, like actually touching them it was clear that the rubber had harden. This also explained why I had a wheel balance problem on one of them and that wet weather grip was not particularly noteworthy. The difference was notable hence I have got rid of them for a decent branded tyre. A new review and comparison is coming in April 2020.