For many drivers, tires are not something that much thought goes into. Even though a tire can be summed up as a circular piece of rubber, many different variations and brands are available. One of the most well-known brands is Yokohama tires, but are Yokohama tires good?
Yokohama is a top-quality tire made in the USA. They offer a wide range of tires to suit most customers’ needs, vehicle types, weather conditions, and terrain types. They are also a leading manufacturer of premium motor racing tires.
Taking a glance at the JD Power tire satisfaction survey over the past three years, we can see that Yokohama tires hover between slightly above average to slightly below average. Unless your car lives on the track, the minute difference between non-bargain bin tires will be imperceptible to most.
As with any other large tire brand, Yokohama provides a wide variety of tires for different environments. With so much choice, it can be overwhelming, but there are generally four main types of tires.
Going for all-season Yokohama tires should be a safe pick for most. A jack of all trades, all-season tires works well in most environments. Compared to dedicated summer tires, these tires won’t have as much grip. So, if performance is a must and you live in a constantly warm climate, consider summer tires instead.
Likewise, all-season tires will not handle snow or other rough terrains as well as winter tires. They will be good enough for mild winters, but these may not be the best choice in areas with constant snowfall.
That being said, for those drivers that don’t find themselves in the extremes, all-season tires are the best choice.
Despite the name, many will be able to use these tires in the spring and fall months. The rubber in summer tires is designed to work exceptionally well at temperatures above 45 degrees. The rubber compound is softer and provides the best grip in dry and even rainy conditions.
However, when the temperature gets cold, these tires will harden and become brittle. Cracks may form, and traction will most likely drop. Do not drive with these in winter weather.
On the complete opposite end of summer tires, are winter tires. In contrast, the rubber in winter tires is designed to perform best in temperatures under 45 degrees. They also have much deeper grooves than the other options. Some can also be studded for even more traction.
These tires are not a great choice for driving outside of winter. They will typically provide weaker fuel economy, poor grip, and more road noise.
Not all too different from winter tires, all-terrain tires also come with deep grooves for better traction in dirt and mud. The main difference will come from the rubber composition, with winter tires designed to work better in cold weather.
Yokohama tires are split up into different tire families to mirror the different types of tires. Each family of tires specializes in other situations. Here are some of the most popular Yokohama tires from each family.
The Advan Sport is part of Yokohama’s Advan line of performance tires. This max-performance summer tire is designed to excel in high-performance scenarios. The Advan Sport’s internal structure features two wide steel belts to help provide strength and resist deforming under heavy loads.
The asymmetric tread pattern features five prominent ribs, including circumferential grooves to allow water to flow through and resist hydroplaning. These should not be used in near-freezing temperatures or below as performance will degrade as with all summer tires.
Part of the Avid line of tires, the Yokohama Avid Touring-S is the family’s most popular tire. The Avid line is Yokohama’s general-purpose all-season tire lineup. As such, the Avid Touring-S is one of Yokohama’s most popular tires overall.
The tire makes use of Yokohama’s Tri-Plex tread compound to increase both tread life and traction. A symmetrical tread pattern with extra-wide shoulders provides reduced road noise as well as traction in rain and light snow.
An upgraded version known as the Avid Ascend GT is one of the brand’s most highly rated tires. The Ascend GT uses an all-new TriBLEND compound and asymmetric tread pattern for even more excellent traction on both dry and wet surfaces.
The Geolander A/T G015 represents Yokohama’s Geolander line of off-road tires. Produced with chip and tear-resistant tread polymer, the Geolander features an aggressive tread design. Deep grooves allow for optimum traction on any loose surface.
The tire also performs well enough to earn the tire industry’s severe snow service certification and three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol. The symbol denotes that these tires should work better than regular off-road tires in snowy conditions. However, the certification only tests acceleration traction in snow, not turning or braking. As such, a set of winter tires will still outperform these Geolander tires.
The iceGuard iG52c is one of Yokohama’s most popular winter tires. Featuring a dense tread pattern along with Absorptive Silica and Resin-Coated Shelled Microbubbles, the iceGuard reduces slippage in slushy and icy conditions. Deep lateral Slush Grooves work to efficiently drain slush and water away from the tire’s path.
For owners of light trucks, there is the iceGuard iG51v. Taking the same technology as the passenger car version, this tire has an even thicker and deeper tread pattern for even more peace of mind on snowy roads.
When looking at big tire brands, Yokohama tires are typically priced in the middle of the range. They are not the most expensive, but they aren’t the cheapest. Most will consider Yokohama tires to be priced relative to the quality they can deliver.
However, there will be many factors when looking at tire costs. More specialized tires will tend to cost more than regular all-season tires. This means that serious summer performance tires and rugged off-road tires will be noticeably more expensive due to their non-widespread use.
Additionally, larger and wider tire sizes within the same tire model will cost more.
So if you’ve recently purchased a car with larger wheels than your outgoing model, be prepared to spend a couple of extra dollars for the same brand of tires.
An example of this can be seen with the previously mentioned Avid Touring-S tires. Looking at the prices on TireRack, we can see that a 16” and 225 width tire cost around $115. Moving up to a 17” tire with the same width increases the price to about $141. Finally, increasing the width of that 17” to 235 increases the price slightly to about $149.
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