Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 H457 Review

Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 H457 Review

  • Dry 90%
  • Wet 80%
  • Snow 70%
  • Comfort 90%
  • Noise 80%
  • Treadwear 90%
  • Overall 84%
If you compare the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 with the Hankook Ventus Noble2, the latter is an ultra-high performance tire with the genes of a touring tire. However, the Ventus V2 Concept2 is a bit different since it prioritizes sporty handling over comfort and road silence.

I wanted to find out if the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 is able to offer a sporty driving experience despite the friendly price tag. The tire starts at below $70 each and a full set of four tires will only cost below $300. Considering the sporty and aggressive tread design of the tire, this is probably one of the best all-season tires when it comes to value for money.

My test car for this review is a 2008 Infiniti G35 sedan. While the previous model G20 was simply an improved version of the Nissan Sentra, the Infiniti G35 begs to differ. It is a true sports sedan that offers a roomy cabin and decently comfortable ride.

My test car came fitted with bone stock 17-inch wheels and Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 tires. However, the tires were more than a year old and have seen their fair share of abuse from the owner. There were signs of tread wear on all four corners of the vehicle. Let’s see if the tires are still capable of giving me a sporty drive despite the age of both the tires and my test vehicle.

Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 Review: Features

The Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 is a sporty tire for sport sedans and sport coupes. The tire is equipped with a solid center rib block with a 3D point effect on the block edge to deliver excellent handling and braking on wet and dry roads.

The treads are blessed with an optimal profile design that provides an even contact patch on the road. This means the tires will offer better high-speed stability while minimizing deformation on the shoulder and center patch. The shoulders of the tire are further enhanced with noise care blocks to suppress road noise and tire roar.

The tire is also equipped with four wide straight grooves and a V-shaped pattern design to improve traction, grip, and water evacuation on wet roads. The tire also came with an uneven wear protection system so you can easily check the presence of abnormal wear on the face of the treads.

Constructed using a longer mileage carbon compound to improve wet grip with lower rolling resistance, this is a performance tire with the wear characteristics of a touring tire.

Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 Review: Test Drive

My test car might be old, but it still felt tight as a drum. I also think the design has aged gracefully despite the onslaught of new cars with a funkier exterior profile. I guess this will be my first time behind the wheel of the Infiniti G35 so I was a bit excited as well. I got the keys and drove off to acquaint myself with the characteristics and behavior of the car.

Dry Traction

You have to remember the tires in my test car are more than a year old, but traction and grip on dry roads were still impressive. I did find the steering to be a bit talkative on the highway but this can be attributed to the steering system of the Infiniti G35.

If you push it harder you will feel the tires squirm as they hunt for much-needed grip and the rear of the car has a tendency to slide out if you are not careful with your steering or throttle inputs.

Overall, the tires were okay in the dry. But if you demand more, you better get a better set of summer tires.

Wet Traction

I only got to the drive in the wet upon returning the car to the owner. There was nothing dramatic as I sped on a wet highway, and the braking was unaffected by the slippery nature of the road. I did feel the ABS system kick-in as I pressed hard on the brake pedal, but the tires were able to bring the car to a halt without much fuss.

Snow Traction

I didn’t have the chance to test the tires on snowy roads. However, the owner of the car was more than willing to share his experience when he drove the car in the snow.

The Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 performed well on light snow, but you better slow down if the roads are completely covered in ice or more than 2-inches of snow. In fact, he had to purchase a separate set of snow tires when the winter season was in full swing.

Comfort

It is hard to fault the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 in terms of riding comfort. I am aware the Infiniti G35 is a sports sedan, but it behaves very much like a luxury car on the highway. In my opinion, the Hankook Ventus Noble2 is a more comfortable alternative if what you really want is a comfortable all-season performance tire.

Noise

I also noticed the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 were a bit noisier on the highway, but this can be attributed to the age of the tires. Road noise and tire roar is not really that bad, but they are easily noticeable at higher than average speeds or when traversing over rough patches of road.

Treadwear

The wear characteristics of the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 was impressive given the age of the tires fitted to my test car. The owner made sure to have the steering and suspension components checked before fitting the tires more than a year ago, and it shows. The tread wear was evenly distributed across the contact patch of the tires, and there were no signs of cuts or damage on the treads. It is hard to find a better set of low rolling resistance tires at this price range.

Conclusion

Do you need a sporty set of all-season tires but is short on cash? Take a closer look at the Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2. This is the type of tire that delivers optimum all-season performance with the style of a more expensive set of rubber.

Hankook Optimo H426 Review

Hankook Optimo H426 Review

  • Dry 85%
  • Wet 80%
  • Snow 75%
  • Comfort 80%
  • Noise 80%
  • Treadwear 80%
  • Overall 82%
The Hankook Optimo H426 is a premium all-season tire designed for passenger cars and small crossovers. It is designed to offer elevated levels of comfort and ride silence without compromising wet and dry traction. In this review of the Hankook Optimo H426, I wanted to find out if this tire offers more than just a comfortable ride. Hankook made it clear the Optimo H426 is geared more towards comfort rather than sporty driving even though it is equipped with a sporty-looking tread design.
My test car for this review is a 2016 Volkswagen Jetta equipped with the turbocharged 1.4-liter four-banger and 6-speed automatic transmission. The owner of the Jetta was thinking about selling the car to make room in the garage for a family-oriented SUV. The car is still relatively new and came fitted with stock 15-inch wheels and three-month-old Hankook Optimo H426 tires.

I’ve always liked Volkswagens since they are more refined than comparable Japanese or Korean cars. But are the Hankook Optimo H426 tires a good match for the refinement of the Jetta?

Kumho Ecsta PA31 Review: Features

The Hankook Optimo H426 is designed to be marginally better than the entry-level Optimo H724 all-season tires. The Optimo H426 is also priced a bit more than the H724 but it comes with a sportier-looking set of treads to improve the styling of your ride.
The Hankook Optimo H426 is equipped with a computer-optimized tread pattern that is designed to deliver enhanced handling on dry and wet roads. It has four circumferential grooves to assist water displacement and prevent hydroplaning. The tire is also equipped with rib type shoulder blocks to further improve handling and grip on wet roads. The tire also benefits from a diamond-shaped block design to improve the all-season capabilities of your ride.

Kumho Ecsta PA31 Review: Test Drive

The Volkswagen Jetta offers the creature comforts of a larger sedan. If not for the dull steering, the car would have been more enjoyable to drive. But since the Hankook Optimo H426 are geared more towards riding comfort, I felt the tires were a perfect match for the capabilities of my test car.

Dry Traction

I have nothing bad to say about the dry traction of the Hankook Optimo H426. But if you’re the sporty type of driver, you will find the dry traction to be a bit lackluster especially as you pile on the speed. But if you drive normally at average speeds, the tires won’t disappoint.

However, I did feel the rear tires sliding a bit as I approached a tight corner at speed. In fairness to the tires, I was applying abrupt steering corrections during the turn, but everything was sorted out as I applied more throttle pressure. Again, if you want a sporty type of tire, this is not for you.

Wet Traction

Weirdly enough, I felt the tires were in their element as I cruised quietly on a wet highway. It started to rain in the middle of the day so I had to content myself with an open stretch of highway as I was thinking about a nice place to grab some lunch. The tires remained composed even as I pushed the throttle pedal to gain more speed. The steering remained precise and I never felt the tires skip a beat even in the presence of water puddles and loose dirt.

Snow Traction

I had the chance to test the Hankook Optimo H426 on snowy roads. True to the all-season nature of the tires, traction and grip were marginal as long as you don’t push it.

On light snow, the tires felt the same like you were traversing over wet roads. But if the roads are covered with thicker patches of snow, it is best to get a set of proper snow tires.

The owner of the Jetta told me the tires were more than capable on icy conditions but anything with more than 2-inches of snow should be avoided as much as possible.

Comfort

When it comes to riding comfort, it is hard to criticize the Hankook Optimo H426 tires. This is due in large part to the base tread compound utilized in the construction of the tire.

The tread compound is designed to absorb shock to deliver better riding comfort. I drove the Jetta over a mixture of pockmarked city roads and smooth highway, and the ride remained smooth and comfortable all throughout my short journey. This might have something to do with the overall refinement of the VW Jetta, but the tires certainly played a large part when it comes to riding comfort.

Noise

I have nothing bad to say about the noise levels of the tires, either. The Hankook Optimo H426 tires had the same low levels of road noise as the Optimo H724.

I only heard some tire roar as I approached silly speeds on the highway, but it wasn’t much. The tires were also quiet in the city. I was expecting this level of refinement from the Optimo H724 and I wasn’t disappointed at all!

Treadwear

The Hankook Optimo H724 tires fitted to my test car were still new and had no visible signs of accelerated wear. I talked to my favorite tire dealer about this and they told me the cheaper Optimo H426 has a tendency to last longer than the Optimo H724, though not by much. I guess this has something to do with the elevated levels of grip, but the wear characteristics of the Optimo H426 is on the average side of the spectrum.

Conclusion

The Hankook Optimo H426 is a solid contender for an all-season tire. It managed to ride comfortably and silently while still performing well on wet and dry roads.

Falken Sincera SN201 A/S Review

Falken Sincera SN201 A/S Review

  • Dry 75%
  • Wet 75%
  • Snow 80%
  • Comfort 90%
  • Noise 75%
  • Overall 79%

I was fortunate to obtain a test drive to review the all-new Falken Sincera SN201 all-season touring tire. This tire is designed for compact cars and midsize sedans. It was launched together with the Falken Ziex CT60 A/S (a touring tire for modern crossovers) during the latter part of 2017.

The Falken Sincera SN201A/S is a tire that delivers credible all-season performance with better traction and grip on light snow. The tire is backed by a solid 65,000-mile limited tread life warranty and is available in 14” to 18” diameters.

There is no doubt the Sincera SN201 A/S is meant to fulfill the needs of the most popular compacts and sedans on the road like the Ford Focus, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Elantra, and the Nissan Altima. It has a rather conservative symmetrical tread design but it is equipped with angled tread grooves that allow the tire to maintain a decent level of grip on snow-covered roads. I think this is the perfect tire to exploit the demands of the coming winter season.

If you have to change the tires in your compact or midsize sedan but you don’t need dedicated performance of proper winter tires, you should definitely take a closer look at the Falken Sincera SN201. This review will reveal all the marvelous facets (and minor shortcomings) of the Sincera SN201 so you can get an idea of how this tire feels on the road.

Falken Sincera SN201 A/S Review: Features

I took a look at the features of the Falken Sincera SN201 A/S and it didn’t take long for me to discern that the tire is designed for winter performance above everything else. It’s like a touring tire sprinkled with the DNA of a winter tire to provide excellent performance in any kind of weather.

The tire has a high sipe density on the face of the tread to enhance all-weather traction and grip. It has four circumferential grooves to effectively disperse water to improve traction on wet roads. The tire is also engineered with a solid center rib to deliver better handling and stability when you’re cruising down the highway.

Like I mentioned above, the Sincera SN201 A/S is equipped with unique angled tread grooves, which are like miniature versions of the tread grooves that you can find in an all-terrain tire. This will enhance grip on slippery or icy roads while providing additional biting edges on dry or wet roads.

The Falken Sincera SN201 A/S is also offered at a friendly price so it won’t make your wallet empty.

Falken Sincera SN201 A/S Review: Test Drive

I spent a reasonable amount of driving time behind the wheel of a 2015 Honda Accord Sport. The car was fitted with the stock 18-inch wheels and brand new Falken Sincera SN201 A/S.

Dry Traction

The Falken Sincera SN201 A/S is not a high-performance tire so I wasn’t expecting much in terms of traction on dry roads. However, the tires had excellent adhesion even as I was navigating over dirt-covered roads. The steering also felt responsive while braking was excellent given the heft of my test car.

The tires also felt good at higher than average highway speeds. I didn’t get the sense that the tires were breaking traction as I approached a fast corner. But if you push a bit more you will hear the tires grasping for grip as they try to find themuch-needed traction to obey my ham-fisted steering inputs. Braking was also good enough as roads were covered in sand and loose dirt.

Overall, not bad for a touring tire. Although I wish the tires had more to offer in terms dry performance, the levels of traction were perfect for normal day-to-day driving.

Wet Traction

The Accord felt magnificent on the highway as I piloted over slippery wet roads. It’s almost the same story with how the tires performed in the dry: it felt good at low or average speeds but you will need to be more alert as your speed rises. Water puddles were no problem with the Falken Sincera SN201 A/S. The tires simply glided over them without losing traction.

Snow Traction

Falken’s unique design for the Sincera SN201 A/S paid off in the snow. The tires felt at home even when traversing over two or three inches of snow. The tires were able to stop my Accord on slippery surfaces without much fuss or drama. I felt that the tires had a bit more grip compared to other touring variants and the car felt more stable even when the roads were covered with slush.

Comfort

The Falken Sincera SN201 A/S is primarily a touring tire at heart so I was expecting a lot of road comfort on cruising speeds. Despite the hybrid DNA of a winter tire, the Sincera SN201 A/S rolled comfortably over minor road undulations. Deep potholes and craters will still emit a loud thump but nothing too distracting to merit a concerned look on your face (unless you go over the really deep ones).

Noise

I figured out that there will be some compromises along the way since it is difficult to mend the benefits of two different tires in a single affordable package. The Falken Sincera SN201 A/S is not what you would call totally hushed on the highway since it still rolls a bit more quietly than a performance tire. However, you can expect a bit more tire roar over rough concrete surfaces, especially at higher speeds.

Treadwear

The Falken Sincera SN201 A/S tires fitted to my test car were still new so I can’t say much in terms of tread wear at this point. Falken says the tires will still offer impressive wear characteristics but we will need to do more testing to confirm if the Sincera SN201 A/S scores high in terms of value.

Conclusion

The Falken Sincera SN201 A/S is a worthy choice for car owners looking for an all-season touring tire that offers a higher level of performance in the snow.

Toyo Extensa A/S Review

Toyo Extensa A/S Review

  • Dry 90%
  • Wet 80%
  • Snow 70%
  • Comfort 90%
  • Noise 75%
  • Treadwear 85%
  • Overall 83%

Toyo tires are not only about ultra-high performance variants for sports cars. The Toyo Extensa A/S is designed for normal passenger cars, sedans, sports coupes, small crossovers, and minivans. Call it vanilla, if you will. This tire is available in 13” to 18” diameters and is the entry-level choice in Toyo’s lineup of high-quality all-season tires.

My first experience with Toyo tires was about ten years ago. I got chance to drive a mildly-tuned Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII equipped with Toyo Proxes tires. Well, what can I say besides the fact that the Evo handled like a dream! The Toyo tires offered splendid performance on the track, and they performed better than other tires being tested at that event.

My test car for this Toyo Extensa A/S review is a 2011 Honda Accord EX Coupe fitted with stock 17-inch wheels. The Toyo tires were fitted about 7 months ago and have racked approximately 3,500-miles prior to my test drive. Since the Toyo Extensa A/S is an all-season touring tire, it would only be fitting to examine the tread wear and ride quality of the tire.

I am also interested in the cold-weather performance of this tire. The owner of the Accord is originally from North Dacota, and we had a lengthy chat about the Toyo Extensa A/S tires and cars in general. He also owns a Subaru WRX and Toyota Tacoma since he loves to go off-roading as well. It’s nice to meet a fellow car nut!

Toyo Extensa A/S Review: Features

The Toyo Extensa A/S is engineered with a symmetric tread design. The optimized center block is equipped with variable-pitch angle grooves to enhance road contact while offering a comfortable ride.

The tire features four wide circumferential grooves with variable-pitch channels to enhance traction and grip in the wet. Toyo also equipped with this tire with multi-wave sipes on the tread to effectively provide maximum grip on snow-covered roads.

While the Toyo Extensa A/S is not designed for sporty performance, the shoulder rib is designed to improve vehicle stability while minimizing wear. The all-season tread compound guarantees balanced performance and a quiet ride.

Toyo Extensa A/S Review: Test Drive

I have driven many variants of the Honda Accord, including the coupe. In my opinion, this car is much better as a sedan, but in coupe guise, the Accord somehow manages to give the driver a sporting feel. Let’s see how the Toyo Extensa A/S performs under varied driving conditions.

Dry Traction

I immediately headed to the highway after firing up the 190-horsepower engine. The weather was a bit cloudy and there were rain clouds on the horizon, but I took advantage of the hot tarmac to get a better feel of the dry performance of the Toyo Extensa A/S.

On average speeds, it is entirely civilized. You can even call it dull. Traction and grip were ever present, but it behaves differently once the speed piles up.

On higher than average speeds, you would wish you had more grip to play with, especially if you like attacking corners like the late Colin McRae. I immediately felt that the Accord Coupe needed a sportier set of rubber, even with the standard 5-speed automatic tranny.

Wet Traction

Remember about those rain clouds that I was talking about earlier? They poured hard as I was on my way to grab lunch. I drove around for thirty minutes more to get a feel for the wet capabilities of the Toyo Extensa A/S, although my stomach was growling at that time.

Wet traction was admirable given the conservative nature of the tires. I sped up a little to get a better feel for the high-speed traction in the wet. Everything feels nice and tight as long as you don’t execute abrupt maneuvers at speed. However, I wish the tires had more grip. But if you drive sanely, you won’t have a problem with the wet performance of the Toyo Extensa A/S.

Snow Traction

The owner of the Accord told me about his experiences with the Toyo Extensa A/S in cold weather. He said the tires were average in terms of snow traction and grip, and you can expect to arrive safely as long as the roads are not covered in ice or 2-inches of snow.

Comfort

What the Toyo Extensa A/S lacks in wet and dry grip, it more than makes up for it in ride comfort. My test car was a smooth operator, which is typical of the Accord. The tires were simply gliding on the highway, and they were comfy in the urban environment as well.

Noise

I can happily report the Toyo Extensa A/S were one of the quietest tires that I tested so far. The 2011 Accord is not particularly known for having Mercedes-levels of NVH tuning, but the tires simply rolled with minimal tire roar, even if you drive at moderately higher speeds.

Treadwear

The owner of the Accord was pleased with the wear characteristics of the Toyo Extensa A/S. He’s had the tires for 3,500 miles and there were no signs of accelerated wear and tear on the tread surface. This is not bad especially if you consider the tires cost less than $110 each. Mind you, you can buy a much cheaper set of all-season tires for less money, but probably none of them has the pedigree and reputation of the Toyo brand.

Oh, before I forget, let me just say that the Toyo Extensa A/S is backed by a 50,000-mile to 65,000-mile warranty. Each tire also comes with a No Regrets 500-mile or 45-day trial. If you are not satisfied with the performance of the tire, simply send them back, no questions asked.

Conclusion

In my book, the Toyo Extensa A/S offers good value for money. Like I said, there are much cheaper brands out there, but why would you entrust the safety and comfort of your ride to the lowest bidder?

The Extensa A/S offers balanced levels of traction and grip. This is good enough for everyday-driven compacts and sedans. I wanted it to offer more grip, but I was enamored with the comfort and low road noise of the Toyo Extensa A/S.