Firestone Firehawk AS Review & Rating

by Firestone

  • Dry 90% 90%
  • Wet 85% 85%
  • Snow 65% 65%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Noise 75% 75%
  • Treadwear 85% 85%
  • Overall 80% 80%

Firestone Firehawk AS is the novelty of 2016, this tire is fit for all-season use, it has excellent performance, and it replaced the long-time lineup favorite, Firehawk Wide Oval AS. This tire is specially designed for those that have sedans and sport coupes, so from Firehawk AS you can expect lots of improvements for some areas compared to the original models of this brand.

Firestone is famous for using a compound fit for all-season tires, and this compound contains Long Link Carbon, and asymmetric pattern of the tread – resulting in better dry, wet, and snowy roads. Also, they included the sipes of full depth, and the grooves all around the tread, for better performance of the tires with time. In fact, the full-depth sipes are a nice addition, because they make the handling and traction much better with this model.

Additionally, there is another great novelty here too; the tread channels. They improve the grip during wet road driving, and also reduce the hydroplaning risks.

And what about biting edges? In Firestone Firehawk AS there are 20% more of them, compared to the original, Wide Oval AS, and this should give better results in terms of acceleration and braking, as well as snow roads traction. This also might be somewhat ok for those that live in quite wintery conditions, but still don’t forget that this tire is “all-season” and not a primary ‘winter choice’!

Inside the tire, there are two, high-tensile belts of steel, wrapped as a spiral, together with nylon for more durability, strength, and impoved durability of speed. Also, Firestone announced and released many sizes, between 15-20 inches, and with H or V speed rate (depends on the size you choose first). And, all of the sizes have a great warranty of 50.000 mile tread.

Firestone Firehawk AS Review: Features

As Firestone claimed, the Firehawk AS has great sport performance, and is all-season too, so snow and wet handling are incredibly improved. This is an important thing, especially for all-season tires of high-performance, and lately, most brands fail to deliver for braking and snow traction, sort of.

Firestone Firehawk AS wanted to achieve all these things, and maintain the sport performance with deep-tread features as long as the treadlife lasts. Further, the new model has equipment with channels for better water evacuating, and better wet road control, as well as less hydroplaning during rainy days. The newer model Firehawk AS also brags with 20% more biting edges (great for snow performance).

As majority of the Firestone high-end tires, Firehawk AS has the Long Link Carbon compound for tread, shaped in an asymmetric design of a tread. Exactly this compound can give a much better traction, grip, and durability, if we compare this to the previous model.

Internally, the construction of Firestone Firehawk AS has either 1 or 2-ply casing of polyester and this may vary depending on the size you choose (smaller ones have the 1-ply casing). As it is expected for this tire category, Firehawk AS has extra-strengthening with high-tensile, wide belts of steel that have spiral-wrapped ply casing of nylon.

With such a design, the handling responsiveness is improved, and the high-speed stability as well (even with extreme cornering).

Firestone Firehawk AS Review: Performance

Off-road

Definitely not. Firestone Firehawk AS is designed for regular roads, so off-road is out of the question. You will do good on gravel surfaces, but even then, grand-tour tires have better traction score. Our advice: do not use such tires for off-road!

Dry road

The answer here is vague. All in all, if Firestone Firehawk AS is compared to other prestigeous all-season tires, it excells over them, and compared to competitors, Firestone has the best tires of this category. This tire is a great novelty for all those who need upgrading the vehicle handling.

Let’s say you owned Goodyear Eagle GT, and you need something cheaper, but still good? Well, in this case you won’t be too impressed with the performance of Firestone, because it might feel a bit heavier or a bit less responsive for the drive. We have to mention that the input for steering does not have a direct transfer to the ground, as other tires do. Firehawk AS also does not have fast responding when you change the direction. And, during very hard cornering, the sidewall is not very stiff (this is mostly seen in heavy vehicles).

The traction is allright, but still there is some sound like a squeal, but this is noticed on heavier or more powerful vehicles. With this in mind, the grip ‘side-to-side’ is great, and it means you can be stady when you corner with high speeds. Further, the braking is quite solid as well.

Overall, average drivers will be more than just fine with Firestone Firehawk AS, but those that are driving enthusiasts will not be pleased with the performance.

Wet road

Since Firestone Firehawk AS tire is an all-season, it means its design is primarily for wet surfaces. This is confirmed – even in heavy rain, the results were great, and there was an amazing hydroplaning resistance. The braking is solid, as we mentioned, and the traction is solid and adequate. Firehawk AS also has ok grip during damp weather conditions.

Overall, for wet roads, this tire is good, and there are even much better ones on the market, but they are more pricey as well. 

Snow road

The Firestone Firehawk AS has excellent snow traction, if compared with the previous model, and this is a result of the 20% of biting edges. In fact, they do make traction better, and shorten the braking distance, but still these things don’t make a tire super-fit for snowy streets. If you compare this with all-season, grand-tour tires, then Firehawk AS has much weaker braking performance, and traction.

To be honest, not just the tires of Firestone, but most of this category are not a great fit for snowy weather. If you live somewhere with no snow during the winter months, Firehawk AS will be good for gripping and traction on cold weather days.

Comfort

Firestone have really dedicated a lot of their attention toward creating the design of comfort, along the sport performance (but they didn’t create a top notch handling champ this time). Over bumps, Firehawk AS is comfy, at least normal level comfy.

This tire is also quiet, and this is very noticeable on some premium type models that have great insulation of sound anyway. In the sound category, Firehawk AS in fact can enter the competition with other high-performance, all-season tires, or even beat some of them!

Treadlife & Warranty

The great thing about Firestone is that they offer a 50.000 miles (or 5 years)  in the warranty, and this applies througout the whole lifespan of the tire. The workmanship and materials are warranted here, and there is free replacement only in the first 3 years. Also, you will get an exclusive 30-day guarantee for “buy-and-try”. If you choose this option, and you are still not satisfied with the tires, you can be refunded or exchange the tires for another model.

Durability

The good durability of Firestone Firehawk AS is due to the Long Link Carbon tread with a tread design of asymmetry pattern. Of course, this creates a great grip, and good traction, so durability is much improved due to it as well.

The tire was tested in both wet and dry conditions, with the same speed for both options. At the end of the testing, there were no strange marks, which is great!  This only proves that Firehawk has quite a promising durability ahead.

Maintenance of Firestone Firehawk AS

There aren’t many precise maintenance indicators for Firestone Firehawk AS, and Firestone as a brand did not share much on this online. However, they made a suggestion; use the ‘penny test’ which is very popular, and that is one great way to see how much of the depth is still left. Prior this test, just remember that the legal tread depth limit is 2/32”, and if there is less depth than this, the wet performance will bemuch worse.

Another thing is the great tread warranty. Firestone Firehawk AS has a treadwear warranty for 50.000 miles, and this is excellent for an all-season tire. And, more expensive competitors offer a shorter warranty, despite their prices!

When it comes to everyday usage, the Firestone Firehawk AS will certainly last you 4 years, or around 40.000 miles. But, if you want to use this tire on tracks, expect the treadlife to become shorter. Honestly, this tire is not designed for tracks in the first place. And, if you intend to do this, opt for an utmost and extra high-performing tire (sometimes even max-performance ones work too).

Conclusion

A decent tire that might not be good for snow and ice roads, but it certainly excells on dry roads, because it is all-season after all. Great dry and wet traction.

Comfort is good for the price. Not much noise as well, so the ride is quite comfy.

Overall, this is a very solid quality tire, and certainly one of the better ones in the AS category.

Pros

  • Good cornering and good dry road traction
  • Much better performance on wet surfaces
  • Good treadlife
  • Hydroplaning resistance
  • Quiet and comfy

Cons

  • Not good for extremely snowy and icy conditions (winter performance is not the strong characteristic of this tire, so it is definitely not meant for deep snow or ice surfaces)
  • Not extremely responsive as other great brands for this category
  • Limited grip and traction (compared to top brand tires)