Toyo tyres have once again been voted number one brand overall by Tire Review Magazine's annual Tire Brand Study of North American tire dealers:
#1 Brand Overall
Whilst this may be a bit of self-promotion - a brand voted for by the dealers who carry it - it's an interesting talking point. Toyo are, generally speaking, not a trips-off-the-tongue brand name. Ask people to name a tyre brand and you'll get Michelin, Pirelli, BFGoodrich, Dunlop, Firestone/Bridgestone - brands like that. Less frequently you'll get Yokohama, Avon and Uniroyal but it's not often someone will offer up Toyo as a brand they'd choose. In fact, some large internet stores like TireRack don't even carry Toyo.
Which is strange really, because despite the shameless self-promotion of "Number One Brand Overall", Toyo really do make reasonable tyres. They have a broad range to suit most cars, varying from wet-weather to road and track or sports tyres. In my limited and anecdotal evidence, Toyo are regarded, by those who use them as just plain good. I've driven many rental cars with Toyo's, and I had a set on one of my cars a while back. I found them to be a good quality, affordable brand. I prefer Yokohama now, but that's personal preference.
In the end of course, it's because Toyo are a less well-known brand that they need to publicise these sorts of awards - to try to become more mainstream. So next time you're in the market for a new set of rubber, give them a try - I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.