ASA is known as a manufacturer of highly-attractive yet inexpensive alloy wheels. But many regard them as cheap, inferior knock-offs of BBS wheels. Are ASA wheels good, or are they merely style over substance? In this ASA Wheels review, I’ll list all of the specs and features so you can decide if it is the right wheel for your vehicle.
ASA wheels aren’t bad. They provide your car with the look of an expensive brand such as BBS, OZ, Vossen, and others at a not too high price. As far as their quality goes, ASA wheels are good for regular driving. But are perhaps not suited for more challenging motoring like track or autocross.
Read on to learn more about ASA Wheels, including its specs and features.
Who Makes ASA Wheels?
Made in South Korea
ASA stands for Artisan Spirited Alloy. It has manufactured state-of-the-art alloy wheels since 1990. ASA wheels are made in Asia, particularly in South Korea.
These wheels are often compared with the BBS wheels, which have a similar design. Many thought that BBS manufactures wheels for ASA.
BBS Gave ASA Access to Their Designs
But it turns out that the German carmaker had licensed their designs to the Korean auto company. ASA had an agreement with BBS since about 1992. They have long been given access to their manufacturing processes and technical knowledge.
Among the First Alloy Wheel Manufacturers to Obtain ISO 9001 Certification
By 1994, ASA was among the first alloy wheel manufacturers to obtain ISO 9001 certification. In 1999, the company was awarded QS9000 certification. It is one of the highest standards of quality in the automotive industry.
Produces More Than 750,000 Original Equipment Wheels a Year
ASA produces more than 750,000 Original Equipment wheels a year for car manufacturers in Asia and Europe. They export to 51 countries worldwide and boost the total capacity to produce more than 1.2 million wheels annually.
Where Are ASA Wheels Made?
ASA has been manufactured in Asia since 1990. In association with BBS in Germany, they opened a facility in Jeywon, South Korea, in March 1992.
ASA Wheel Models
ASA certainly appears to have the credentials to back them up. But as far as the actual quality of their product is concerned, are ASA wheels good? Let’s see how consumers rate a few of them, including the following ASA wheel models:
- Type 8
AR1 is available in the following colors:
- Silver, and
- Titanium gunmetal.
The available rim diameters are:
- 17″, and
Optimized for durability and strength, it has a one-piece, motorsport-styled mesh spoke. Its rivets and a machined lip give it a modular look.
Classy and Sporty Look
Many consumers agree that the ASA AR1 looks good on their car. It provides them with a classy and sporty look. But they appear to be difficult to clean, especially the inner lip. They require constant maintenance to preserve their look.
Lighter Than OEM Wheels
However, the AR1 gives a magnificent appearance when properly maintained and cleaned. Another plus is that they are lighter than OEM wheels.
As for their quality, the AR1’s durability is inconsistent. Some drivers found them quite sturdy, keeping their finish for more than five years.
Others, however, have complained of cracked rims and the finish coming off within only six months to two years. Also, they seem particularly suited for winter driving. But they don’t hold up so well on gravel roads.
Rated 4.5 Out of 5 Stars
The consensus appears to be that AR1 wheels look great when first installed. But corrosion will set in in the long run. They require a high level of maintenance to keep them looking great. Unfortunately, they aren’t suitable for rough terrain—Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
The GT14 is silver-painted gloss gunmetal and machined with a black accent. Its available rim diameters are:
- 19″, and
Contemporary Yet Aggressive Look
Consumers appear to be satisfied with the ASA GT14 for the most part. They especially liked its contemporary yet aggressive look. But they also noted that it has pretty decent handling. Spacers stay on the wheels, and changeover is a cinch. Its inexpensive cost is also a great bonus.
Of course, there are still a few complaints. The width of the rim complies with the tire manufacturer’s recommendations. But more of the wheel lip seems to be exposed. This results in a higher likelihood of wheel damage from road irregularities.
To keep the lip from sticking out, one reviewer advises using 235/XXR18 tires rather than the usually recommended 225/45.
Rated 4.5 Out of 5 Stars
The thread so far among ASA wheels is their attractiveness. But in the case of the GT14, consumers also appreciate its decent performance and affordable price—Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
This ASA wheel is available in dark silver paint and machined with a black accent. The available rim diameters are:
- 19″, and
Sporty Design and Glossy Finish
People are attracted to the ASA GT14’s sporty design and glossy finish. But its performance as winter tires is what they are raving about. GT15 wheels provide great traction, handling, and stability for better riding comfort while driving in snowy weather.
Rated 5 Out of 5 Stars
Except for minor center cup issues, there don’t seem to be any major complaints. The GT15 delivers complete driver satisfaction—Rated 5 out of 5 stars.
4. Type 8
These are available in the following colors:
- Chrome-plated, and
- Silver-painted wheels.
The available rim diameters are:
- 15″, and
The chrome-plated wheel does not have a center cap. But it accepts an OE center cap, which is only available from the vehicle dealership.
Most consumers are very pleased with the ASA Type 8’s appearance and overall performance. They fit very well with Mercedes cars and are almost as good as real 8-hole Mercedes wheels.
Not Recommended As Primary Wheels
Some users felt that Type 8 is low quality and the paint finish is very thin. But they do agree that they were okay with their price. They are not recommended as primary wheels, but they most likely work better as winter wheels. Another complaint is that their lug bolts are very recessed.
Rated 5 Out of 5 Stars
The Type 8 is somehow one of the highest-rated ASA wheels despite a few issues. It has a stylish look, ideal for winter driving. They are also much more affordable than factory wheels—Rated 5 out of 5 stars.
Again, are ASA wheels any good? ASA wheels give your car a magnificent look similar to the look of expensive brands like BBS, Vossen, OZ, etc., at an affordable price. Aside from appearance, these wheels are also not bad for daily usage.
Are ASA Wheels BBS Knock-Offs?
BBS Gave ASA License to Their Technology and Manufacturing Process
Maybe, “knock-off” is a strong word. After all, it would seem to infer that ASA was stealing BBS designs. But as previously mentioned, BBS had given ASA license to their technology and manufacturing process. Suffice to say; BBS authorized ASA to manufacture a similar product.
Calling ASA wheels knock-offs would also imply that they are counterfeits. Again, this is not the case. So, if ASA wheels aren’t fakes, what exactly are they?
ASA wheels would appear to fall under the category of replica wheels. They are designed to be imitations of major OEM brands. Of course, replica wheels tend to be shady. Buyers usually can’t tell the difference between them and the actual wheel.
ASA Is a Legitimate Enterprise
This issue arises despite ASA being a legitimate enterprise and has always been open about being BBS-based. ASA can be more appropriately classified as an aftermarket manufacturer. They produce wheels that can fit multiple vehicles.
Many Satisfied Customers
In any case, can ASA wheels at least be considered an inferior copy of BBS wheels? In some aspects, maybe they are. They’re not a perfect product, but then again, what is? Despite certain faults, they do stand on their strengths. They have left many consumers satisfied with their efforts.
Affordable Alternative to Pricier Wheel Brands
Call them cheap knock-offs if you wish. But they exist as an affordable alternative to pricier wheel brands. They adhere to a certain level of quality control to deliver a good product in its own right.
What Are OEM Wheels?
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) is a company that produces equipment or components that another manufacturer may market. The original manufacturer makes OEM or factory-made wheels for their vehicles.
Major vehicle brands such as BBS, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mercedes, and Toyota would be considered OEM manufacturers.
What Are Replica Wheels?
A private third-party manufacturer makes Non-OEM wheels. They are designed to look exactly like real OEM wheels deliberately. That’s why they are referred to as replica wheels.
In essence, replica wheels are knock-offs. But they do not bear the OEM logo, nor is the Manufacturers Part Number (MPN) stamped in their inner barrel. But most of the consumers and businesses that are purchasing these wheels rarely know the difference.
A replica wheel may resemble an OEM wheel. But its quality and safety standards are usually drastically different.
Why Are Replica Wheels Being Sold?
Replica wheels are relatively easy to buy from an overseas manufacturer at a much lower price than factory original OEM wheels. These make them very profitable to sell.
The issue with replica wheels is that most people who buy them don’t realize it. Or, they think that they are just as good as OEM wheels. Compared to OEM wheels, the safety and quality of replica wheels are usually substandard.
Who Makes Replica Wheels?
Replica wheel production is a growing industry, primarily in China and Taiwan. Anyone traveling there can buy an exact duplicate of any OEM they want.
Unlike original factory wheels, most replica wheels are manufactured without going through little or no quality control process or inspection. Several incidents reported replica wheels that collapsed or broke down.
What Are Aftermarket Wheels?
An independent manufacturer manufactures aftermarket wheels. They are designed to fit a variety of vehicles. If the original manufacturer does not produce a wheel, it is considered an aftermarket wheel.
What Are the Benefits of Aftermarket Wheels?
Aftermarket wheels have several benefits, which include the following:
- Improved Vehicle Appearance
- Increased Vehicle Safety
- Higher Resale Value
- Affordable Investment
- Enhanced Maneuverability
1. Improved Vehicle Appearance
Choosing a new set of custom or aftermarket rims and wheels is a great way to update and customize the look of your car. It’s also among the best ways to make your car or vehicle stand out from the rest.
There is a multitude of wheel options that you can avail of. So you’re certain to find a set that is perfectly suited to your taste.
2. Increased Vehicle Safety
Installing a larger set of wheels and tires is safer since this would increase your car’s traction. It will improve its handling and stopping power. In essence, it will keep you safer and more secure when you’re out driving.
3. Higher Resale Value
Should you ever decide to put your car for sale, getting, a new set of rims may increase the chances of it getting sold. Giving your car a stunning look matching an expensive brand can make it more attractive to potential buyers. You may even end up selling it for more than its worth.
4. Affordable Investment
Investing in aftermarket wheels and tires isn’t very expensive. It all depends on the kind of rims that you want. You may even end up spending less than $1,000 for a complete set with new tires.
5. Enhanced Maneuverability
You don’t have to adjust to the limits of your car’s standard wheels. Instead, you can get a set of custom wheels that match how you want to drive. There is a range of wheels designed for various purposes, from off-roading to street racing.
Conclusion – ASA Wheels Review [Are They Good?]
ASA wheels are not at all bad. They provide your car with the look of an expensive brand such as BBS, OZ, Vossen, and others at a remarkably lower price.
As far as their quality goes, ASA wheels are okay for regular driving. But are perhaps not suited for more challenging motoring like track or autocross.
In terms of appearance, ASA produces the best-looking alloy wheels that you can buy at an affordable price. While their durability is somewhat inconsistent, they have excellent handling and traction. They are best utilized as winter wheels.
ASA wheels may not necessarily be as good as OEM wheels. But they are better than you may expect.