There are car owners that know what they’re doing when it comes to dressing up or modifying their rides. These are people I admire the most since they carefully think about each and every aspect of the mod before actually buying them. One such person is the owner of my test car for this Falken Azenis FK450 review.
The vehicle is a 2014 Dodge Challenger SXT. Yes, it’s the one with the 3.6-liter V6 motor. From that statement alone, it would be overkill to equip the car with an aggressive set of racing tires.
The owner upgraded from the stock 17-inch wheels to a quality set of aftermarket 18-inch rims. He paired the new wheels with a set of Falken Azenis FK450 tires since the Challenger is a daily driver. He also demanded a set of tires that will do well in the snow. It seems he made the right choice.
For starters, the Falken Azenis FK450 is an all-season high-performance tire with the sterling characteristics of a summer tire. This means the Azenis FK450 will provide the same level of adhesion whether on dry or wet roads.
Since the Challenger is a sedan, the owner also wanted some highway comfort. It wouldn’t hurt if the tires roiled silently, too. In this Falken Azenis FK50 review, you will find out why this is one of my favorite tires for sports coupes or high-performance sedans since it makes no compromises in terms of road adhesion and refinement.
The Falken Azenis FK450 is constructed with a 4D nano-designed tread compound that improves the flexibility and pliability of the rubber in both low and high temperatures. You need to understand the Azenis FK450 was also designed to handle winter driving in colder environments so the rubber will need to be flexible enough to cope with the changing weather.
The asymmetric rib with block hybrid tread design is responsible for improving the stability and handling of your ride. You will find supporting tread block bars between each tire block that minimizes squirming under hard cornering and acceleration. There are vertical notches integrated onto each tread block which serves to maintain contact with the road as you enter a tight corner. This tire is definitely engineered to improve the handling of your vehicle.
The Falken Azenis FK450 is equipped with wider shoulder blocks to further enhance cornering and steering feel. The sweeping tread grooves are designed to dissipate water to improve traction on wet roads while the tapered notched grooves provide additional biting edges on snowy or icy roads.
Enough about the specs and features. Time to do some driving.
I hopped onboard the Challenger and proceeded to immerse myself with the smooth power delivery of the 3.6-liter V6 motor and the capable 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Falken Azenis FK450 felt good on the sun-drenched tarmac. The traction and grip characteristics of this tire can definitely handle more power. The V6 motor was potent enough to accelerate the Challenger from zero to 60mph in about 7 seconds, but it wasn’t enough to overwhelm the Azenis FK450. Braking from a full stop was well-controlled as the tires didn’t have second thoughts once I pressed hard on the brake pedal.
The Falken Azenis FK450 allowed me to enter a corner at higher speed. It also enabled me to exit the corner at full throttle without the rear tires hunting for grip.
I had to deal with a bit of rain on the freeway but the roads dried up quickly as I approached the exit. I didn’t get the chance to exploit the wet capabilities of the Falken Azenis FK50, but I have to say the tires felt wonderfully composed on the rain-drenched highway with no issues of hydroplaning or wheel slip.
The snow performance of the Falken Azenis FK450 was a bit of a surprise. The tires felt magnificent in the snow, but only at low or lower than average speeds. You will also feel the tires hunt for traction if you decide to test them on more than 3 or 4-inches of snow. Overall, this is not bad considering the tires can also perform admirably on dry or wet roads.
The tires were comfortable in both city and highway driving. I would have to commend Dodge for the suspension tuning of the Challenger. The car had a premium ride similar to more expensive German sedans without the annoying tautness that you get on pockmarked roads. The Falken Azenis FK450 is not perfect when it comes to overall comfort but it is above par for the course.
I heard a bit more road noise as the Challenger was reaching triple-digit speeds, but that’s about it. The Falken Azenis FK450 has the road silence of a top-notch touring tire at cruising speeds, and that’s what really counts, right?
The Falken Azenis FK450 tires on my test car were fitted approximately two months ago, but the tires were still fresh upon inspection. The owner was wise enough to have the alignment checked immediately after fitting the new tires to avoid any issues with accelerated wear. Falken claims the tires have above average wear characteristics for the price, but there was no way for me to substantiate that claim since the tires were still relatively new.
It seems hybrid tires are all the rage these days. The Falken Azenis FK450 is the perfect example of a hybrid tire done right. It combines the merits of an all-season touring tire and the grip levels of a summer tire. Falken also made sure to give the tires an affordable price so it is within reach of the average consumer.
Now you know the reasons why I consider the Falken Azenis FK450 as one of my favorite high-performance tires. I had fun testing the Dodge Challenger but everything went well due to the fantastic capabilities of the Azenis FK450.