This sounds like a moot question. Let’s figure it out right now! Now, a brief review of the pros:
- Attractive treadwear warranty given the low price
- Does well on dry roads
- Demonstrates some grip and traction in snow
- Cheaper than most Goodyear tires
And the cons:
- Lower than average dry handling and braking
- Lack of balance on wet roads and long wet braking distance
- Shorter than average treadlife
- Poor general balancing
- Loud on the highway and not overly comfortable
The choice of a high quality tire is literally a life-and-death issue. It is that quality makes all the difference in the world when it comes to road safety. It is a case when you can make just one little mistake, and the consequences can be fatal. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that you buy tires from manufacturers with a well-deserved reputation.
What makes Viva 3 really attractive is that it is manufactured by Goodyear – a reputable and conscientious manufacturer known in the USA and elsewhere. Another goodie is that it is much more affordable than other Goodyear tires. However, it is a well-known fact that you get what you pay for. There are good reasons to be suspicious about cheap products, even those produced by renowned manufacturers. Trading your and your loved ones’ safety for a cheapie would not be a fair exchange!
In terms of price, Viva 3 looks like the most affordable option in the Goodyear’s lineup: you pay $65 for a 205/55R16 tire, while for Assurance All-Season you would normally have paid $95. If you buy all four tires, you pay $240 instead of $380. Looks like quite a saving, doesn’t it? Yes, it does. But is it that?
In this context, even the Assurance All-Season appears to be budget-friendly, plus it employs some advanced technologies and solutions. Viva 3 does not. The unbelievably low price is thanks to Goodyear’s deal with Walmart, which has given Goodyear the right to sell their tires there. Walmart is a notoriously attractive market for people with limited budgets, so what Goodyear did was just tailored the Viva 3 tire to the tight-budget Walmart audience.
This is just the right case to say “if you buy cheaply, you pay dearly.” Many of those who have purchased Viva 3 have found themselves buying new tires every 2 to 3 years and actually paying more. Yes, Viva 3 does look like a budget-friendly investment. But only on a short-term basis.
High quality and therefore more expensive tires demonstrate much better characteristics and last much longer. In this context, buying Goodyear’s Assurance WeatherReady at $144 of the same size would be a better option. It is just a different category in terms of grip, wet driving, braking, steering and, finally, treadlife.
This is no recommendation or advertisement. This post is there to describe the tire’s basic characteristics, and it is up to you to decide what is better for you and why. It contains some details concerning general performance, comfort levels, handling, safety, structure, etc.
- About Goodyear
- What is so special about the Goodyear Viva 3?
- Is it maintenance-friendly?
- What is its dry road performance?
- What is its wet and slippery road performance?
- Does it do well in snow?
- How good is its off-road performance?
- What is the comfort level?
- Would it be a worthwhile investment?
Goodyear has been around for about a century, so it has had a lot of time to make a name. It boasts a huge portfolio of tire types, including all-season, winter, touring, racing, off-road, etc. Here you can find a variety of options depending on the type and size of your vehicle, driving experience and budget. The Viva 3 is a new tight-budget option, which, as some say, pars with many expensive tires in the most important aspects (traction, handling, etc.)
What is so special about the Goodyear Viva 3?
The Goodyear Viva 3 is an all-season tire intended for small and medium-size cars and minivans. There are several types of vehicles, which the Viva 3 cann suit, such as, to name a few:
- Ford (Fiesta, Focus, Taurus)
- Chevrolet Malibu
- Honda (Accord, Civic, CR-V)
- Toyota (Camry, Corola, RAV4)
- Nissan Altima
There are a wide variety of size options ranging from 14-inches to 18-inches in diameter. This makes the lineup suitable for vehicles of various ages, including some old ones. This sounds like an attraction for some categories of buyers, and Walmart is not hesitating to include this factor in its marketing strategy.
Goodyear and Walmart present Viva 3 as an all-season tire boasting attractive comfort, traction, handling, noise, treadwear, etc. characteristics combined with the alluring price. However, there is little data on the compound – a decisive factor for braking, traction and grip. The tread pattern is quite so standard: there are four circumferential grooves with smaller lateral grooves. These give the Viva 3 an advantage in terms of hydroplaning and wet traction, as the pattern takes a lot of water and increases the resistance.
The robust and stable shoulder blocks contribute to balance on dry roads and cornering grip. Snow traction is achieved with the help of tread block zig-zag sipes, as they create a good number of biting edges. This also explains relative stability on ice. This characteristic is common to winter tires.
The tread pattern is characterized by the vertically serrated sidewall, which adds to the tire’s functionality and aesthetic value. Consequently, the Viva 3 is a little ahead of its Goodyear all-season counterparts in terms of good looks. Finally, the pattern improves the tire’s noise characteristics.
Is it maintenance-friendly?
The Viva 3 uses the industry-standard TWI’s (tread wear indicators). These are narrow rubber bars, which are placed inside the circumferential grooves. As the tires wear down, they become more visible. This makes it possible for drivers to keep track of the tread depth. It is clearly visible when the wear reaches the critical point and it is time to replace the tires. To drive safely in on rainy days, it is necessary that the tread depth be at least 2/32 inch (1.6 mm). Even if just one tire of your set has reached this point, please, replace the whole set right away.
With the Viva 3, tread wear is also observable through wet traction: it gets visibly worse even before the tires wear out. The hydroplaning capability plummets, and some drivers choose to replace the tires even before the TWIs become fully flush with the tire surface.
It is also noteworthy that Goodyear and Walmart provide an incredibly long warranty on the Viva 3 (60,000 miles), given its low price. Meanwhile, the Assurance All-Season, which goes for a 30% higher price, has a 65,000-mile warranty. However, most drivers say that the actual treadlife is much shorter and rarely exceeds 30,000 miles. This is twice shorter than stated by the companies and, definitely, downright lame for a passenger all-season tire. The Goodyear Assurance All-Season does live up to the stated 65,000 mile warranty, so, being more expensive on a short-term basis, it is definitely less costly on a long-term basis than Viva 3.
What is its dry road performance?
Many drivers say that the tire is generally good on a dry tarmac. The handling and braking distances seem to be quite okay too. Many users find this attractive and make their choice.
At the same time, paying extra $30 for a tire can give you much greater benefits. The Viva 3 will not stand a chance against those in steering or handling even on a dry road, to say nothing of wet road performance. The braking distances are not quite so good either, as compared to many slightly more expensive options.
What is its wet and slippery road performance?
A simple comparison reveals a great difference in wet and slippery road performance reveals a huge discrepancy between the Viva 3 and the Assurance All-Season. While it succeeds on dry surfaces, it fails on wet ones in many aspects.
You cannot expect sufficient balance from the Viva 3 on a rainy day. Lack of hydroplaning resistance makes driving uncomfortable and even dangerous, especially when it has worn down a little. The braking distance gets dangerously long.
Every driver should place safety first. Unless you live in a barren or desert region, you will not be okay with Viva 3. In this case, buying a slightly expensive one on Tire Rack and Discount Tire would be a wiser decision.
Does it do well in snow?
Thanks to the zig-zag sipes, the Goodwear Viva 3 tire does pretty good in snow. Many drivers report good traction and surprisingly short braking distances (at least for the price), even shorter than those in many all-season tires.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
The Goodyear Viva 3 is an all-season passenger tire, and it is not intended for off-roading. Its pattern does not provide sufficient traction on wet and muddy roads. Second, the material is quite vulnerable, so too much physical impact can damage the thread.
What is the comfort level?
Although both Goodyear and Walmart stress the tire’s comfortable feel, most drivers say no. It is not really smooth or quiet, which is quite observable on bumpy roads and at high speed: the noise can be debilitating.
Would it be a worthwhile investment?
Well, an investment implies more than just a purchase. Rather, it is kind of tactics, which should help achieve stable earnings in a long-term perspective. It takes some analysis and consideration and weighing all pros and cons to make an effective investment.
Given the information above, buying Viva 3 is not the right thing to do. The low price is a positive thing, and the tire does have some advantages, but not more than you pay for. It does not last as long as it is stated to, does not do well on wet roads, and, worse still, can make your ride dangerous. The drawbacks outweigh the advantages, and one day you will find that you would have paid less if you had bought a better tire at a slightly higher price. For example, buying Goodyear’s Assurance All-Season, which is 50% more expensive, would be a wiser thing to do.