“Quality” and “store-brand” don’t usually appear in the same sentence, but when it comes to tires, opting for a name-brand simply isn’t in the cards for most penny-pinching consumers. We get it — tires can be expensive! As long as they hold air, grip well, last a long time, and don’t break the bank, everything else is gravy.
This is where MotoMaster, one of the many brands under the Canadian Tire umbrella, shines. They’ve been busy since 2019, revamping its tire lineup with higher-quality options that won’t break the bank. Roughly in the last year and a half alone, MotoMaster introduced the Eliminator X-Trail and Winter Edge II, two new all-terrain and winter tire options, respectively, that aim for comparable performance to name brands at a lower price point.
Now, they’re turning their attention to the performance-oriented end of the market with the new — and appropriately named — Performance Edge all-season tire.
What’s so special about the MotoMaster Performance Edge?
Before we go on, we should note that the Performance Edge is not a dedicated summer tire, so don’t expect it to go up against heavy-hitters like the Hankook RS4 or Michelin’s Pilot Sport 4 S successor, the Pilot Sport 5. Instead, the Performance Edge is a 600TW-rated, ultra high-performance (UHP) all-season tire for a sporty daily driver — like a Mustang or a GTI — that’ll take you to work, run errands, and hold its own on the occasional Sunday morning rip along your favourite backroad.
Engineered with the help of Sailun, the Performance Edge features what MotoMaster calls Performance Control Technology (PCT). That’s essentially a buzzwordy way of saying this new tire uses a specialized rubber compound that supposedly balances ride comfort, grip and handling, and above all, consistent driving feel.
The Performance Edge also features a different tread design compared to MotoMaster’s other all-season offerings, the Hydra Edge and Hydra Edge Tour. The tread gets larger shoulder blocks, which according to MotoMaster, improve handling, stability, and braking under more spirited driving. MotoMaster also says the tread was specifically designed to minimize road noise, and with the four main tread channels and multiple sipes in each block, MotoMaster promises wet performance and braking distances on par with comparable name-brand all-seasons.
MotoMaster Performance Edge vs. its competitors
You’re probably wondering which comparable, name-brand tires MotoMaster is referring to. Unfortunately, they’re coy with the specifics, only going as far as calling out Michelin and Continental, but MotoMaster did put the Performance Edge through the wringer via its Road Rated program.
The program involves renting a race track, hiring drivers, bringing in various testing gear, and having an independent firm audit each run and result to ensure the testing conditions are consistent and conform to standards established beforehand. All tires are evaluated on their performance in wet and dry conditions, as well as fuel economy and on-road comfort. Winter tires are further tested on snow and ice performance, and all-terrain tires are assessed on their performance in wet and dry off-road conditions as well.
As for the Performance Edge, it seemingly held its own based on the results MotoMaster teased. It boasted best overall wet performance, and scored within two per cent of the best performers in dry conditions, on-road comfort, and fuel economy.
Our brief take
We sampled the Performance Edge on a closed course just outside of Toronto. Fitted on a fleet of Ford Mustangs equipped with the 2.3-litre turbo-four and 10-speed automatic transmission, we put these tires through the wringer ourselves.
We started the day with a small-scale autocross course. The layout and instructions were simple: launch the ‘Stang, keep it floored until the braking zone, then hard on the brakes for a full stop. Then, back on the gas into the first sweeper, thread the needle through a slalom followed by cranking the wheel hard left (or right) to mimic an emergency lane change, and finally, hard on the brakes for another full stop. We ran this course multiple times in the dry and wet, then finished off the day with paced laps around a full track.
We weren’t exactly gentle with these tires, and we came away pleasantly surprised.
MotoMaster wasn’t kidding about the Performance Edge’s consistency. Sure, the tires complained the more speed you carried into corners, but in the dry, we managed about five hard runs before the ‘Stangs pushed deeper into the braking zones and further out in the harder corners. In the wet, the tires continued to hold a line, bite well, and above all, perform consistently. As the sidewalls are somewhat soft, we noticed some sidewall-scrubbing on hard cornering, but that’s to be expected from an all-season tire.
Unfortunately, we can’t comment on the MotoMaster Performance Edge’s road manners, fuel economy, and longevity as our brief test took place on a closed course, but we hope to answer that with a more thorough long-term evaluation next year. That said, considering the price point for these tires, we came away impressed.
The MotoMaster Performance Edge will be available in Canadian Tire stores across the country in March 2024, starting at $149 each for a 205/55/16.