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The Azenis FK453 is the flagship ultra-high performance tire of the Falken brand. It is classified as a summer tire for premium sedans and sports coupes. This latest generation promises to improve tread wear and riding comfort without compromising traction on dry and wet roads.
However, it is easy to mistake the Falken Azenis FK453 for the Pirelli P Zero since they have similarly identical tread designs. But compared to the Pirelli, the Falken is not as expensive. You can buy a whole set of Azenis FK453 tires for almost half the price of a set of P Zero tires.
In this Falken Azenis FK453 review, I intend to find out if this flagship tire has more to offer than just its low price. It might look like a clone of a more expensive brand, but I bet that Falken ensure the Azenis tire deliver traction, grip, stability, and control that premium sedans and sports coupes require.
I had at my disposal a 2013 Audi A4 2.0T Premium with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger and CVT transmission. The car had the optional 18-inch dynamic 10-spoke wheels and Falken Azenis FK453 tires. The tires have been used for approximately 1,000 miles, which is enough to give me an idea on the wear characteristics of the tire.
The Falken Azenis FK453 is constructed using a silica-enriched compound to deliver impressive traction and grip on wet and dry pavement. The tire is equipped with three wide circumferential grooves that are engineered to quickly dissipate water on the treads to deliver maximum grip on slippery road conditions.
The Falken Azenis FK453 features an asymmetric variable tread design with larger shoulder blocks on the outside of the tire. This will provide better cornering grip, enhanced stability, and improved handling while minimizing road noise.
The rigid carcass is further reinforced by layers of nylon to improve high-speed stability and overall durability. Falken also claims the Azenis FK453 is designed to deliver higher levels of comfort with minimal tire roar.
Back in the not so olden’ days of motoring, I used to prefer the Audi A4 over the BMW 3-Series, most specifically when Audi adopted the Bauhaus-inspired design motif on their new cars, even though I was completely aware the BMW is a better driver’s car.
In my book, the Audi A4 in Premium trim is perfect for the attributes of the Falken Azenis FK453 since I am expecting the tires to have tons of traction while still remaining comfortable and quiet for a luxury cruise on the highway.
My test car is the humble FWD variant but it behaved like a well-sorted machine equipped with Quattro all-wheel drive. The tires had tremendous amounts of traction on dry roads. I was able to attack a corner more aggressively despite the presence of mild understeer.
I got on the highway to test the high-speed capabilities of the tire and I am happy to report that I never felt the tires lose traction even when the roads were littered with coarse sand and dirt. Braking was also admirable as I was able to stop the vehicle from high-speed without any hesitation from the tires.
I wasn’t able to fully exploit the capabilities of the Falken Azenis FK453 on a wet highway, although I was able to do a couple of high-speed runs and panic braking scenarios on a deserted piece of wet tarmac. The tires were a bit overwhelmed as I pressed hard on the brake pedal but the braking distance was still admirable despite the presence of muddy soil and water on the wet tarmac.
The Falken Azenis FK453 is a high-performance summer tire. It is not designed to cope with mild snow on colder climates. For the purpose of fairness, I will not include the snow rating of this tire in my final assessment at the end of this review.
The Audi A4’s suspension is tuned more towards sportiness than luxury. The ride comfort is not plush, but it isn’t overly firm either. The Falken Azenis FK453 gave the Audi a compliant ride on the highway but it behaved in a different manner in the urban driving environment. The tires and the suspension felt a bit busy on pockmarked roads and you can also feel the tires working hard to quell the unwanted motions caused by rough patches of concrete.
The Falken Azenis FK453 tires were silent at moderate speeds but you will definitely hear a bit more tire roar as you approach higher speeds. I also found out the tire roar was relative to smoothness of road surface. On smooth asphalt the tires were whisper-quiet, but they were a bit more talkative over poorly paved concrete roads. However, everything was calm and quiet as I drove on city roads at low speeds.
My Audi A4 test car is a vehicle with a lot of miles under its belt. The Falken Azenis FK453 tires were installed about 2 months ago and have racked up approximately 1,000 or so miles before my test drive. Upon close inspection, the tires had visible signs of wear but nothing too bothersome to merit concern. The owner doesn’t agree with me, however. He was a bit displeased to find wear on a relatively new set of tires considering the fact he does most of his driving within the confines of the city.
I’ll have to say the Falken Azenis FK453 is still commendable despite not being as comfortable as a touring tire. It has the traction and grip of a summer tire on wet and dry roads while it still maintains acceptable levels of comfort for the occasional highway jaunts.
But I bet the primary reason that most people look for the Falken Azenis FK453 is the price. If that is the case, then you won’t be disappointed at all. This tire offers superior value over other lesser-known or Chinese brands.