Yokohama YK-HTX Review

Yokohama YK-HTX Review

  • Dry 95%
  • Wet 90%
  • Snow 80%
  • Comfort 90%
  • Noise 90%
  • Treadwear 85%
  • Overall 90%
At first glance, the Yokohama YK-HTX may look like an all-terrain tire, what with the rugged and aggressive tread design. In truth, the tire is similar to a hybrid between a highway-terrain and all-terrain tire. This may look good on paper, but how does it behave on a real road?

I managed to grab hold of a 2012 Ford Explorer Limited AWD equipped with stock 20-inch wheels and Yokohama YK-HTX tires. I was excited to begin the review because the sun was out and it seemed like a great day for a test drive.

You can say what you want about the Ford Explorer. Some people might say the Explorer has become too refined or too classy to tackle extreme off-road terrain, but I don’t agree with them. You don’t buy an Explorer to go off-roading, much in the same way you buy a dual-core laptop for gaming. In fact, the vehicle is still highly competent in mild off-road driving but is much more refined than the original.

The owner of my test vehicle is an adventurous guy in his late forties. He loves the Explorer but is planning to upgrade to a bigger truck in the near future. He told me that he tows a 23-foot RV, a boat, and a cargo trailer on any given day in his Ford Explorer. He purchased the Yokohama YK-HTX tires about 5 months ago and was so satisfied with the performance and longevity of the tires that from then onwards, he swore to only buy tires from the Yokohama brand.

It seems we have a big fan of the Yokohama YK-HTX. Let’s see if the tires can turn me into a believer as well.

You can say what you want about the Ford Explorer. Some people might say the Explorer has become too refined or too classy to tackle extreme off-road terrain, but I don’t agree with them. You don’t buy an Explorer to go off-roading, much in the same way you buy a dual-core laptop for gaming. In fact, the vehicle is still highly competent in mild off-road driving but is much more refined than the original.

The owner of my test vehicle is an adventurous guy in his late forties. He loves the Explorer but is planning to upgrade to a bigger truck in the near future. He told me that he tows a 23-foot RV, a boat, and a cargo trailer on any given day in his Ford Explorer. He purchased the Yokohama YK-HTX tires about 5 months ago and was so satisfied with the performance and longevity of the tires that from then onwards, he swore to only buy tires from the Yokohama brand.

It seems we have a big fan of the Yokohama YK-HTX. Let’s see if the tires can turn me into a believer as well.

Yokohama YK-HTX Review: Features

In my opinion, the Yokohama YK-HTX is the brand’s attempt to make a more rugged highway-terrain tire. Manufactured using a silica-enriched compound mixed with Orange Oil technology, the tire is rated to deliver excellent all-season traction even on light snow. The treads are equipped with multi-sipe blocks that provide more biting edges for high levels of traction on snowy or slippery roads and loose gravel.
The tire was also developed with Triple 3D sipes that change shape as the tire wears down. This will ensure that the tire will continue to have biting edges even if the tread wears off. The optimized sidewall construction and adaptive shoulder blocks are all designed to enhance the stability of the tire to give you sure-footed handling. The shoulder blocks are designed to form a continuous outer rib to reduce tire roar at higher speeds.

The Orange Oil and silica compound will also reduce the rolling resistance to maximize the wear characteristics of the tire. The treads were also designed with an optimized contact patch to promote even wear.

The Yokohama YK-HTX is available in 15” to 22” diameters and is applicable to rugged crossover vehicles, SUVs, and pickup trucks.

Yokohama YK-HTX Review: Test Drive

My test vehicle was equipped with large 20-inch wheels so I was expecting the ride to be a bit jiggly. I hopped in and drove into the warm sunlight to get a feel for the vehicle before the actual test.

Dry Traction

It is hard to fault the Yokohama YK-HTX tires in terms of dry traction. The steering felt planted and precise while the vehicle was calm and composed as I sped on the bone-dry highway. The tires felt relentless as I took a detour to some badly paved roads peppered with loose rocks, sand, and dry soil. I got back on smooth tarmac and continued my journey with nary a complaint.

I never felt the tires break traction even as I was coaxing the SUV to attack a moderately tight corner at speed. Of course, you will feel the tires squirm for grip if you are insistent with your throttle inputs, but I was not driving a sporty sedan, so what’s the point?

Wet Traction

The roads were a bit damp as I was on my way home to deliver the SUV back to its owner. I didn’t get a chance to test the tires at top speed on wet roads, but the performance was satisfactory overall. What I did notice was the steering remained tight and precise even on slippery wet tarmac. It seems the 3D-designed sipes and the Orange Oil compound worked wonders to elevate the wet driving performance of the tires.

Snow Traction

There was no way for me to test the tires in snow. I asked the owner about this and he was in awe of the tire’s ability to tackle ice and light snow. He was supposed to buy a separate set of snow tires for his SUV but it was totally unnecessary. The Yokohama YK-HTX tires were more than enough for anything lower than 2-inches of snow.

Comfort

The Ford Explorer had a decently comfy ride, and the tires were a big part of the overall refinement of the vehicle. Even the owner can attest to the fact that the Yokohama’s were more comfy than his old set of tires. Large potholes and moon-size craters will still make themselves felt inside the cabin but it wasn’t too much to upset the composure of the vehicle.

Noise

You would probably think the Yokohama YK-HTX will be a bit talkative given the aggressive nature of the treads, but this was not the case. The adaptive shoulder blocks with continuous outer ribs did their job well to suppress tire roar at speed. The tires were also whisper silent on city streets. However, there will be some tire roar if you’re really pushing it on the highway, but it still sounds a bit muted compared to other highway-terrain tires.

Treadwear

The Yokohama YK-HTX tires on my test vehicle are not what you would consider brand new, but the treads were still relatively fresh at the time of this writing. That is pretty impressive for a tire that carries the weight of a large SUV.

Conclusion

The Yokohama YK-HTX tires are not the cheapest or most affordable highway terrain tires you can buy, but it performs admirably on both wet and dry roads with no penalties to ride comfort and wear.

Yokohama Geolandar G055 Review

Yokohama Geolandar G055 Review

  • Dry 85%
  • Wet 80%
  • Snow 70%
  • Comfort 90%
  • Noise 85%
  • Treadwear 85%
  • Overall 84%

In my humble opinion, the Yokohama Geolandar G055 is a brilliant choice for street-based crossover vehicles and SUVs. It’s a common fact that you don’t buy a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 to go off-roading in the same way that you don’t wear running sneakers to the corporate office. Fitting all-terrain tires to an SUV that doesn’t go off-roading for most of the time is just a terrible waste of money.

In my humble opinion, the Yokohama Geolandar G055 is a brilliant choice for street-based crossover vehicles and SUVs. It’s a common fact that you don’t buy a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 to go off-roading in the same way that you don’t wear running sneakers to the corporate office. Fitting all-terrain tires to an SUV that doesn’t go off-roading for most of the time is just a terrible waste of money.

However, the argument will be a bit different if you drive a pickup truck or dedicated off-road vehicle. If your SUV or truck is the type of vehicle equipped with lift and leveling kits and chunky wheels, you’ll need the Geolandar A/T G015 for that and NOT the Geolandar G055.

In this review of the Yokohama Geolandar G055, I was excited to find out if this all-season highway-terrain tire can deliver spirited handling and excellent traction despite the rugged genepool. It’s a known fact the Geolandar family of tires from Yokohama are known for their rugged performance and are designed for the adventurous car owner. Let’s see if the tires managed to inject some refinement into the mix, shall we?

Yokohama Geolandar G055 Review: Features

The Yokohama Geolandar G055 is manufactured using Yokohama’s proprietary Orange Oil and Silica Compound. For those who are not familiar with this technology, Orange Oil will improve the tire in terms of all-season grip, fuel economy, and treadlife. My only caveat about this technology is the price. The Geolandar G055 starts at $130 to $140 each, which is at the higher end of the price scale.

But the price is relative since the tire is engineered to deliver better performance than other highway terrain tires. The tire is equipped with four main circumferential zigzag grooves to enhance water evacuation and prevent hydroplaning on slippery wet roads. The treads have transition grooves and notch sipes to create biting edges on wet or snow-covered roads.

Excellent handing is assured courtesy of the full nylon cover that extends across the belts of the tire. This feature will improve high-speed stability and enhanced handling for a more spirited driving experience. The tire is also engineered to deliver a smoother and quieter ride courtesy of the integrated shoulders and the optimized tread profile.

Yokohama Geolandar G055 Review: Test Drive

My test vehicle for this Yokohama Geolandar G055 review is a 2010 Subaru Forester 2.5XT. Yes, it’s the one with the turbocharged 2.5-liter Flat-4 that churns out 224 horsepower via a 4-speed automatic and standard all-wheel drive. The Forester was equipped with standard 17-inch wheels and Yokohama Geolandar G055 tires that were acquired six months ago.

I am a huge fan of the Subaru Forester. This is a true sporty crossover that is equipped to handle a bit of off-road driving. I didn’t get a chance to go all out off-roading in this baby, but I managed to wring out the turbocharged motor to the upper limits of the rev limiter.

Dry Traction

I was in awe on how the Subaru Forester managed the twisting roads with minimal body roll. The tires were perfectly in sync with the sporting nature of my test vehicle.

However, I have a single minor complaint: the tires felt a bit stiff when I was turning the wheel to coax the nose of the Forester inside a winding curve. It was almost as if the tires were hesitant to obey my steering commands on fast corners. But in high-speed straight-line driving, the tires felt magnificent.

I may be nitpicking here, but if you’re a sporty driver in an equally sporting SUV then you might be disappointed with the Geolandar G055. In all fairness, the braking was excellent on dry roads.

Wet Traction

It will all depend on the surface conditions and speed. If the roads are merely damp, you can attack the road at higher speeds without compromising the composure and braking of the vehicle. The tires offered average levels of traction and grip on mildly wet roads. But on soaking wet asphalt and tarmac, the tires have a tendency to break traction as you push hard on the pedal or as you aggressively turn the wheel.

Snow Traction

The Yokohama Geolandar G055 are not any better in the snow than in the wet. The tires are only applicable for light snow and nothing else. You better prepare yourself if the roads are covered with sleet or ice because the tires will have a hard time biting the slippery surface.

Comfort

Ride comfort is one of the strongest attributes of the Yokohama Geolandar G055. If you’re the average type of driver, I guess this is all you need to know. Who cares about handling or cornering if the ride is bumpy and uncomfortable, right? You’ll be glad to know the tires were extremely comfortable on the highway, and they’re not bad on pockmarked city roads, either.

Noise

Tire roar and road noise were kept to the bare minimum. The road noise will get a bit louder as you build-up speed on the highway, but it’s not as bad as you might think. If you do a lot of city driving, the tires will not disappoint even on rough concrete or coarse tarmac.

Treadwear

The wear characteristics of the Yokohama Geolandar G055 i9s on the higher-than-average side. The tires on my test vehicle were purchased six months ago and they still looked pretty decent. I gave the tires a closer inspection to search for indications of advanced wear and I found nothing to arouse suspicion.

Conclusion

The Yokohama Geolandar G055 is a sterling choice for owners of sporty crossovers, minivans, and sport-utility vehicles that spend most of their driving on paved roads. There is a rugged nature to the tires that can be a boon when the going gets rough, but this inherent ruggedness is considered a handicap if you demand sporty handling and control.

Primewell Valera H/T Review

Primewell Valera H/T Review

  • Dry 75%
  • Wet 70%
  • Snow 60%
  • Comfort 85%
  • Noise 70%
  • Treadwear 75%
  • Overall 74%
I had a hard time searching for a test car fitted with the Primewell Valera H/T tires for this review. However, as luck would have it, my cousin’s neighbor was selling their 2013 Honda CR-V LX. I was interested at first, so I headed down there and gave it a go. The CR-V was in mint condition, but the paint job was a dreary silver hue. I started to lose interest in the car, but that was before the tires caught my eye.

Lo and behold! The CR-V was fitted with Primewell Valera H/T tires! I figured the car was perfect for my test drive, so I informed the owner that I was going to test the car and review the tires. In return, I promised to find them a buyer that is willing to give their CR-V a new home.

The owner of the 2013 CR-V was a lanky guy in his early 50s and had with silver-gray hair, which is strangely the same hue as the paint in his Honda. He had the Primewell Valera H/T tires fitted more than 5 months ago. He chose the Primewell brand mainly due to the low price since he was planning to sell the car in a couple of months to make room for a new RAM pickup truck.

We shook hands and off I went. I also promised to fill the CR-V with gas as a gesture for his kindness. I went to the nearest gas station and prepared to test the Primewell Valera H/T tires by checking the air pressure. It was a nice day and the sun was out. This is going to be a great review.

Primewell Valera H/T review: Features

The Primewell Valera H/T tires are not designed for sporty driving. These are all-season tires with a tread design that is tuned for quiet, comfortable, and silent highway driving. The Primewell Valera H/T is equipped with a symmetrical tread design with four circumferential ribs. This design will ensure excellent handling and a smooth ride.

The tread block design is also designed with active noise canceling technology to deliver silent performance in all types of roads. The open slotted shoulder design will also ensure great handling in both wet and dry roads.

The Primewell Valera H/T is applicable to small and midsize crossovers, sport-utility vehicles, and 4x4 pickup trucks. It is sold in 15” to 20” diameters.

Primewell Valera H/T review: Test Drive

My 2013 Honda CR-V is the LX model equipped with AWD and a five-speed automatic transmission. The Primewell Valera H/T tires were not what you would call brand new since there were already signs of wear on all four tires. The owner specifically told me that his only complaint about the tires were the rapid tread wear. The CR-V has accumulated about 4,200 miles since the tires were replaced.

Dry Traction

I have nothing bad to say about the dry performance of the Primewell Valera H/T, but it seems the traction is proportional to how fast you’re going. At slow or moderate highway speeds, dry traction was excellent. But if you push it to the upper reaches of the speed limit, I felt a slight loss of traction and steering feel. It is basically the same in the wet.

But who am I to complain? If I was looking for high-speed traction and stability, why would I install a set of highway terrain all-season tires like the Primewell Valera H/T?

Wet Traction

Like I previously mentioned above, traction in the wet is proportional to the speed the vehicle is traveling. The Primewell Valera H/T tires offered adequate amounts of grip on wet roads, but only at slow or moderate speeds. If you push the car past the speed limit, you will need to grasp the steering wheel with both hands.

Snow Traction

I had no chance to test the Primewell Valera H/T tires in the snow, but the owner told me the tires were fine as long as you’re not driving on roads covered with more than two inches of snow. The open slotted shoulder design of the Primewell Valera H/T gave it the ability to travel over icy or snow-covered roads, but don’t expect the tires to perform similarly to proper snow tires.

Comfort

When it comes to driving comfort, it is hard to fault the Primewell Valera H/T. The ride remained supple and comfortable even on poorly-maintained city roads. Highway driving was a revelation as the Primewell Valera H/T tires were in their true element as long as you pay attention to the speed limit.

Noise

The Primewell Valera H/T tires are one of the most affordable highway terrain tires that you can buy. But relatively cheap tires have one thing in common: excessive road noise and poor tread wear. In this regard, the Primewell Valera H/T tires fitted to my test car were not what you would call hushed or silent. Road noise was more evident as you approached highway speeds, but the tires were thankfully a bit more silent if you drive at slow or average speeds.

Treadwear

The Primwell Valera H/T in my test car were fading a bit faster than the usual. It’s nothing bad, but cheap tires do have a tendency to wear quicker than the more expensive variety. But the logic here is you can basically buy 2 sets of Valera H/T tires and still pay less money if you were to purchase a more expensive set of rollers.

Conclusion

The Primewell Valera H/T is a good choice for daily driven crossovers and SUVs. It is not the best tire when it comes to road noise and treadwear but it makes for it in terms of comfort and all-season handling. For the price, I can see no reason why you shouldn’t try a set of Primewell Valera H/T for your crossover or SUV.

Kumho Crugen HT51 Review

Kumho Crugen HT51 Review

  • Dry 95%
  • Wet 90%
  • Snow 70%
  • Comfort 85%
  • Noise 95%
  • Treadwear 80%
  • Overall 86%
What could be a better way to start this Kumho Crugen HT51 review rather than introducing my test car. It’s a 2009 Chevrolet Suburban LT1 SUV! Yes, it’s got loads of space, acres upon acres of comfort, and a terrific gas-guzzling 5.3-liter V8 motor. God bless America!

My Suburban is equipped with the 17-inch factory wheels and Kumho Crugen HT51 tires. These tires are designed for economical, quiet, and comfortable cruising, all of which are perfect attributes for the hulky Suburban.

The Kumho Crugen HT51 is an all-season highway tire designed for pickup trucks and midsize or full-size SUVs. This tire is available in 15” to 18” wheels and can also be used on plus-size aftermarket wheels.

However, the Kumho Crugen HT51 is geared more towards comfort and long tread wear rather than all-out traction and grip. It’s a training sneaker instead of running shoes. It’s a mid-spec laptop and not an aggressive gaming machine. You catch my drift.

If you have a sporty SUV and you want a highway tire that prioritizes sportiness and grip over tread wear or comfort than you should take a look at the Kumho Crugen Premium KL33. That’s the right tire for your SUV or truck.

But if what you want is a good mid-spec highway tire that can probably perform better or last longer than the factory rollers fitted in your SUV, you should definitely check out the Kumho Crugen HT51.

In this review, I was fortunate enough to acquire a true American V8-powered SUV in the form of the Chevy Suburban. It was equipped with Kumho Crugen HT51 tires in mint condition. Let’s see how the tire fares on all categories.

Kumho Crugen HT51 review: Features

The Kumho Crugen HT51 is engineered with a stiff center block to improve the straight-line performance of your SUV. This feature will make the steering more responsive while enhancing the stability of your vehicle. This also means you get more grip and traction on wet and dry roads.

Engineered using an all-season tread compound, this tire comes with a symmetrical tread design with a unique geometric block layout on the tread. This design will presumably increase the tread life of the tire without sacrificing traction and grip.

You will find four wide circumferential grooves with a zigzag design that improves wet weather performance. The grooves are also designed to increase the biting surface of the tire so that you can drive over mild snow without compromising traction and vehicle control.

What particularly stands out is the new sidewall design. This gives the tire a more dynamic and energetic vibe. But looks should take a backseat over all-weather performance, right? Let’s see how the Kumho Crugen HT51 performs in real-life driving conditions.

Kumho Crugen HT51 review: Test Drive

Dry Traction

Let me give it to you straight since this is a critical part of our review. The Kumho Crugen HT51 is not particularly stellar in terms of dry traction. It’s not pretty bad, but sporting apprehensions inside a big and hulky SUV will only serve to water down your confidence with these tires. Traction was acceptable and it felt magnificent on the highway since this tire is designed for straight-line driving at higher than average speeds, but that’s about it.

Push it hard and you will feel the tires squirm for grip, even at moderately aggressive speeds. Weirdly enough, I felt the tires performed a bit better on wet roads.

Wet Traction

Like I said, the Kumho Crugen HT51 was calm and composed on wet roads, even in strong rains. This might have to do with the water-evacuating properties of the 3D-designed tread since the Suburban simply glided over the water puddles on the highway.

Of course, if you push it a bit hard then you can probably expect a slight loss of traction. I’m not an idiot to push the Suburban above 80 or 90mph on the rain-drenched pavement, but all in all, the Crugen HT51 was a revelation on wet roads.

Snow Traction

Pity there was no chance for me to test the Kumho Crugen HT51 on snow, but I heard good things about this tire on icy or slushed roads. I talked to my pals at the tire dealership and the manager had a neighbor who bought the Crugen HT51 for his pickup truck. He took the truck to Detroit last December and he had no problems with the snow performance of the tires. Of course, we’re talking about very light to light snow here.

Comfort

Well, what can I say? The Chevy Suburban is a comfortable vehicle. It makes you feel like you are driving while sitting on a sofa. The Kumho Crugen HT51 felt good on the highway and it gave dollops of comfort even when harassed by crude expansion joints on concrete roads. The tires were also comfortable in city driving. It made potholes feel smaller than the actual craters that you see while driving.

Noise

The same can be said for the road noise. The Kumho Crugen HT51 was silent as a Tibetan monk on the highway. It also felt refined in urban driving even as the tires were navigating over badly-engineered city roads.

Treadwear

The Kumho Crugen HT51 tires fitted on my test car were still relatively fresh. But I had no doubts on tread wear since Kumho designed the HT51 to have a long service life. It is also important to note that the tires are backed by Kumho’s sterling 45,000-mile to 70,000-mile limited warranty.

Conclusion

In this review, the Kumho Crugen HT51 tires lived up to the promise of comfort and refinement at a friendly price. For an all-season tire, this is not bad at all. Traction in the dry was a bit middling but the tire can more than make up for it in straight-line highway cruising. It was also comfortable and quiet on varied road surfaces. Perhaps the biggest consideration is the price. You can get four of these tires for less than $500. And since Kumho designed the Crugen HT51 to last for many thousands of miles, that’s great value right there.