Overview: Uniroyal is a mid-range brand owned by Michelin in the US and Continental in Europe. Its tyres are notoriously good in wet conditions, using innovative features like Shark Skin Technology, though they are also more expensive than many rival mid-range brands. Our favourite Uniroyal car tyre is the RainExpert 5.
Searching for a set of tyres that offer the performance of top-end brands without the premium price tag can be tricky. Rather than wasting time hopping from one website to another, you can use our tyre review series to find out everything you need to know in one place, cutting out the noise.
Formerly the United States Rubber Company, Uniroyal was founded in 1892 and has been owned by premium brand Michelin since 1990 in the US. In the European market, it is owned by Continental. Before the acquisition, it was already a highly successful tyre company; now, it benefits from shared expertise with two of the biggest and best brands.
Several consumer tests have named Uniroyal a “best buy”, and its tyres have won prestigious awards over the years, including the RainSport 3, which earned a Red Dot Design Award due to its precision and impressive functionality in challenging road conditions.
From unique Shark Skin Technology to Self-Supporting Runflat, there are plenty of reasons to choose Uniroyal tyres - especially if you want consistent performance during the many rainy days we see here in the UK.
To help you decide whether Uniroyal is the right brand for you, we’ve gathered data from everyday drivers and industry professionals to create this in-depth review, including:
Why Choose Tyres from Uniroyal?
Uniroyal is one of the oldest tyre manufacturers in the world. It has been making its iconic rain tyres for over 50 years, so it knows a thing or two about how to impress drivers and keep them coming back. It’s the ideal brand if you believe you shouldn’t have to compromise on performance just because there’s water on the road.
Over the years, Uniroyal has made several revolutionary breakthroughs in tyre technology, such as the discovery that using a zig-zag tread pattern significantly boosts performance and prevents skidding, making tyres safer than ever.
Another good example is the brand’s incorporation of unique Shark Skin Technology (SST), which replicates the texture of shark skin. Using bionics to mimic the animal’s dermal scales, Uniroyal has developed tyres that prevent liquid turbulence (a fancy way of saying they reduce the risk of aquaplaning) and quickly expel water while significantly reducing wet braking distances.
Many of Uniroyal’s tyres also come with Self-Supporting Runflat Technology, which keeps them going longer if they sustain a small puncture. This is just one of the ways Uniroyal prioritises safety in the design of its tyres. Despite being affordable, they are also packed with features that add value.
Since Uniroyal is part of the Continental Group, it benefits from the expertise of its engineers in Hanover and over 1000 scientists, developers and engineers across the US and Europe. This makes Uniroyal a great value mid-range brand - you can get tyres that have benefitted from premium expertise without the inflated price tag.
Although Uniroyal specialises in wet weather tyres, it has a range of products to suit different requirements, including all-terrain and all-season, so your choice won’t be limited if you make a purchase.
Design Features of Uniroyal Tyres
Uniroyal tyre features vary depending on what the tyre is designed for but may include:
Zig-zag tread grooves - for enhanced traction and snow handling performance.
Aqua-twist sipes - accelerate the evacuation of water for dependable grip.
Shark Skin Technology - prevents aquaplaning and reduces wet braking distances.
Advanced tread compound - for an extended tyre life.
Self-Supporting Runflat - allows you to maintain control and keep driving when you get a puncture.
Flexible tread blocks - increases the area in which forces are transmitted to the road for better cornering grip.
Flow-optimised asymmetrical tread structure - for strong grip in wet conditions.
What Uniroyal Tyres Are Available?
Uniroyal has many tyres suitable for different purposes and vehicle categories.
Uniroyal Tyres for Cars
RainSport 5 - this ultra-high-performance tyre offers best-in-class wet performance and an extended tread life.
RainSport 2 - top-performance handling and braking no matter the weather.
RainSport 3 - sporty performance no matter the weather, with excellent grip when cornering.
RainSport 3 SSR - a runflat tyre designed for sporty performance.
RainExpert - excels in wet weather, delivering consistently high performance.
RainExpert 3 - designed for compact and mid-range vehicles and SUVs, this tyre has enhanced fuel economy and aquaplaning resistance.
Rallye 4x4 Street - a 4x4 tyre for maximum driving pleasure, with excellent handling on light off-road terrain.
Rallye 380 - designed for medium and high-class passenger cars, this tyre delivers strong all-round performance.
AllSeasonExpert 2 - delivers exceptional safety and reliability all year, with precise steering and handling.
WinterExpert - offers enhanced fuel economy and excellent snow traction.
Uniroyal Tyres for Vans and Trucks
RainMax - a first-generation summer tyre with solid performance in all weathers.
RainMax 3 - a safe and economical summer tyre that excels on wet roads.
RainMax 2 - a summer tyre optimised for greater fuel efficiency and higher mileage.
SnowMax 2 - a great winter tyre offering outstanding value for money.
SnowMax 3 - tackles the winter head on, providing longlasting stability and safety.
AllSeasonMax - ideal for year-round performance.
Best Uniroyal Summer Car Tyre
Uniroyal RainExpert 5
The RainExpert 5 is a comfortable summer tyre with increased mileage thanks to a new tread compound and optimised design. This compound also reduces road noise, making every drive pleasant. These qualities, combined with its notoriously impressive wet grip, make the RainExpert 5 excellent value for money.
In the AutoBild 2023 Best SUV Tyres Test, the RainExpert 5 had an overall rating of “good”, demonstrating top off-road performance, low rolling resistance and excellent safety. Drivers have given it 4.8 out of 5 stars on Tyre Seeker based on 16 reviews, with outstanding scores for wet grip and braking (96% each), buy again (95%) and value (94%).
Best Uniroyal All-Season Car Tyre
Uniroyal AllSeasonExpert 2
The AllSeasonExpert 2 uses geometric blocks and multi-functional sipes to deliver superb grip come rain or shine. The tyre’s design allows it to compress snow for reliable braking performance in the winter, and using Shark Skin Technology ensures a reduced risk of aquaplaning. Overall, it’s a reliable all-rounder with an extended tread life.
In 2021, AutoBild ranked the AllSeasonExpert 2 17th of 34 all-season tyres. It has a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 on Tyre Seeker based on 19 reviews, with solid scores for value, at 91%, and buy again, at 92%.
Best Uniroyal Van Tyre
Uniroyal RainMax 3
The RainMax 3 is a popular choice for van and commercial vehicle drivers for several reasons - it has improved fuel efficiency compared to its predecessors and offers impressive stability, resulting in refined vehicle handling. The optimised tread geometry reduces rolling resistance, and the tyre feels capable in both wet and dry conditions, making it ideal for summer driving.
Drivers on Tyre Seeker have awarded the RainMax 3 a rating of 4.1 stars out of 5 based on seven reviews, with high scores for buy again (91%), comfort (99%) and dry grip (100%). On Blackcircles.com, it fares even better, earning 4.6 stars based on 28 reviews.
Best High-Performance Uniroyal Tyre
Uniroyal RainSport 5
If you’re looking for a high-performance tyre that delivers exceptional value for money, look no further than the RainSport 5. Given its affordable price tag, this tyre excels across the board with an extended tread life - making it more cost-effective - excellent handling and safe driving even on wet roads. It doesn’t offer the performance levels of a premium sports tyre, but it still packs a punch, making it a solid choice for budget-conscious drivers.
On Tyre Seeker, the RainSport 5 has a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 based on 413 reviews, scoring 90% in the buy again category and 89% for value. Tyre Reviews also ranked it 80th out of 142 summer ultra-high-performance tyres, which is impressive when you consider its low price. It beat three mid-range rivals: the Yokohama S Drive, Hankook Ventus R and Toyo T1R.
Are Uniroyal Tyres Any Good? Full Review
Uniroyal has over a century of tyre-making experience and is supported by the expertise and research capacity of its parent companies, Michelin and Continental, two of the best premium brands on the market. These facts, coupled with the brand’s affordability, make it a good choice for budget-conscious drivers looking for reliable, safe performance no matter the weather.
There’s no denying it: this country has a lot of rainfall. It stands to reason, then, that you’d want a set of tyres designed to cope with excess water on the roads. Uniroyal is the only brand explicitly focusing on delivering exceptional wet weather performance, allowing it to develop unique features like Shark Skin Technology. For this reason, Uniroyal tyres often outperform rivals in wet weather tests - the RainExpert 5, for example, had the second-best straight aquaplaning resistance in the AutoBild 2023 Best SUV Tyre Test, beating premium rivals including Pirelli, Bridgestone and Goodyear.
When TheTireLab compared the RainExpert 3 with Avon’s ZV7 - another tyre with strong wet weather performance - Uniroyal came out on top with a score of 60% versus Avon’s 53%. However, the two brands are generally closely matched in terms of performance. The key difference is price; Avon sits towards the cheaper end of the mid-range segment, while Uniroyal is slightly more expensive, which is worth considering when choosing your next set of tyres.
The influence of Uniroyal’s parent company, Continental, can be seen in its ultra-high-performance tyres, which come with a range of flashy features and are rated highly by drivers. The RainSport 3 SSR has 4.7 stars on Tyre Seeker, the RainSport 3 has 4.6 stars, and the RainSport 5 has 4.5 stars, with many reviewers commenting on the excellent value and safety of the tyres.
Uniroyal tyres also come with a limited warranty, covering defects in workmanship and material for the life of the original usable tread. Cheaper mid-range brands offer similar performance levels (such as Avon), so it’s definitely worth shopping around if price is one of your main concerns. Overall, though, Uniroyal is a great choice if you want a set of tyres that can handle heavy downpours, benefitting from the expertise of a premium brand without the eye-watering price tag.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who manufactures Uniroyal tyres?
Is Uniroyal a good tyre brand?
Uniroyal is a well-known and trusted tyre brand. Although it occupies the upper-mid-range segment, it benefits from the know-how of its premium parent company, allowing it to create tyres that offer excellent all-round performance. Based on 72 reviews for Uniroyal Tiger Paw, 89% of drivers said they would purchase Uniroyal tyres again because of their reliable handling, long tread life and stability.
Which is better, Hankook or Uniroyal?
Hankook and Uniroyal are both mid-range brands. According to TheTireLab, Hankook’s summer tyres are rated slightly higher than Uniroyal’s, with 76% compared to 69%. Hankook has also won more awards than Uniroyal, including at the 2023 Auto Express Product of the Year Awards and the AutoBild summer tyre test, where the Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 took the top prize. For more information, read our full Hankook tyre review.
What Tyre Brands Are Similar To Uniroyal?
Other mid-range brands include:
Find the Right Tyres with WhoCanFixMyCar
At WhoCanFixMyCar, we’re here to help you find the perfect tyres, whether your priority is performance, price, or a balance between the two. We have a range of brands from budget to premium and a network of mobile and garage fitters to help you find your next set of tyres.
Not sure Uniroyal tyres are right for you? Check out one of our other tyre review guides.
More tyre guides: