Toyo Versado Noir Review

Toyo Versado Noir Review

  • Dry 90%
  • Wet 90%
  • Snow 80%
  • Comfort 95%
  • Noise 90%
  • Treadwear 95%
  • Overall 90%

The Toyo Versado Noir is a premium all-season touring tire designed specifically for luxury or sporty sedans and coupes, with particular emphasis on ‘touring’ rather than pure sporting apprehensions. This tire is reputably quiet and smooth on all road surfaces while offering fantastic tread wear for the price. This review of the Toyo Versado Noir will try to prove just that.

Talking about price, the Toyo Versado Noir is not exactly what you would call dirt cheap. My test car was equipped with 17-inch wheels and the Toyo tires fitted cost approximately $125 each. The price is still not bad considering the reputation of Toyo tires in the motorsports industry, but there are cheaper variants that can undercut the Versado Noir in terms of price.

I had the privilege to test drive a 2009 Lexus GS350 equipped with the standard 303-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 motor. I know this car is geared more towards cosseting the driver rather than making your hairs stand from end to end, so I was confident to take full advantage of the touring capabilities of the Toyo Versado Noir.

The owner of my fine Lexus test car is an engineer in his early 50s. He also owns a Nissan 350Z and a Chevrolet Silverado truck that he utilizes to haul his construction equipment. The Lexus actually belongs to the wife, but they are planning to sell the car for a more fuel-efficient compact in the coming months.

Toyo Versado Noir Review: Features

The Toyo Versado Noir is engineered with a rather bland asymmetric tread design with a more rigid outside tread. This will serve to stabilize the blocks for improved handling, better wear, and a quiet and stable ride.

This tire is equipped with a higher density of sipes on the inside tread that provides more biting edges for enhanced traction on mild snow. Constructed using an improved silica compound to promote better traction on dry and wet roads, this compound is also formulated to resist wear while improving the fuel efficiency of your ride.

The Toyo Versado Noir is also equipped with an array of multi-wave sipes that will also serve to improve traction while reducing road noise at speed.

Toyo Versado Noir Review: Test Drive

I like the Lexus GS350 because it behaves like a true German sedan but is a thousand times more reliable than a Merc or Audi. I got in and grabbed some breakfast before proceeding to test the tires on a mixture of city and highway driving.

Dry Traction

The Toyo Versado Noir is not an ultra-high performance tire that offers endless amounts of grip on a dry road. The tires offered admirable performance in the dry but are not what you would call stellar. It feels rather fine in the city, but the numb steering of the Lexus will make you feel a bit tense on the highway, especially as the speedometer needle climbs to triple digit numbers.

In all fairness, the Lexus is not a sports car, and the Toyo Versado Noir is a proper touring tire after all. But I think there are other touring tires that can outperform the Versado Noir when it comes to traction and overall performance on dry roads.

Wet Traction

The first part of my test drive consisted of driving over rain-drenched roads in crippling traffic. By the time I was on the freeway, the roads dried up and the sun was up again. However, I didn’t feel any loss of traction on slightly damp roads. The owner of the Lexus agreed with me on this point. He felt confident at speed even when driving in the rain. In fact, he even told me that his old tires were nothing compared to the Toyo Versado Noir in the wet.

Snow Traction

The owner of the Lexus also told me that the Toyo Versado Noir was commendable in cold weather. The tires can cope with a bit of ice and snow but that’s about it. Anything more than 2-inches of snow will prove to be a challenge.

Comfort

There is doubt the Lexus GS350 is a refined and comfortable cruiser. It’s a Lexus! It’s what supposed to do! In this regard, I felt that the Toyo Versado Noir is a perfect fit for the Lexus GS350. The tires felt very comfortable on the highway and it traversed over minor undulations without making unnecessary noises. City driving was also pleasant since the tires can cope well with harsh tarmac and moderate-sized potholes.

Noise

I have nothing untoward to say about road noise, either. The Toyo Versado Noir simply rolled silently whether creeping over traffic or blasting on the highway. In fact, this tire scores high in terms of refinement since it is one of the most silent tires I have tested in this category. The conservative nature of the tread design might look a bit bland, but the purpose of it all was to create a tire that can give you dollops of comfort and silence without compromising traction and grip.

Treadwear

The Toyo Versado Noir tires fitted to my Lexus test car were more than six months old but the tires were showing minimal signs of tread wear. The owner of the Lexus was particularly pleased with the wear characteristics of the tires since he bought a set for less than $500, which is reasonable compared to other touring tires from well-known brands. This is a tire that is meant to last a long time. In fact, it comes with a 75,000-mile limited warranty and a 500-mile or 45-days trial offer. If you’re not satisfied with the tires, simply send them back.

Conclusion

I was not particularly impressed with the Toyo Versado Noir in terms of dry traction, but it makes up for it in comfort, road noise, and stellar tread wear.

This tire is perfect for midsize luxury sedans, compacts, and even small crossovers since it is available in 15” to 18” diameters.

If your car deserves a tire that delivers advanced levels of comfort and balanced wet and dry performance, the Toyo Versado Noir deserves to be in your shortlist.

Toyo Proxes 4 Plus Review

Toyo Proxes 4 Plus Review

  • Dry 95%
  • Wet 85%
  • Snow 65%
  • Comfort 90%
  • Noise 80%
  • Treadwear 80%
  • Overall 86%

I was fortunate enough to acquire a 2007 Honda S2000 for this Toyo Proxes 4 Plus review. My test car happens to be the second generation model S2000 fitted with the bigger and more powerful F22C1 2.2-liter inline-four.

Since the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus is an ultra-high performance all-season tire, I naturally needed a sports car to take advantage of the capabilities of the tires. But the Proxes 4 Plus II is not just about outright performance. In fact, Toyo claims that this tire can deliver surprising levels of comfort along with a quiet ride. Toyo also engineered the tire to have a long tread life.

It sounds too good to be true, right? Here is a high-performance tire with the DNA of a touring tire. I wonder if there were any compromises in terms of all-weather performance considering the fact that it is hard to get all the nice attributes of a summer and touring tire in an affordable package. That’s what I intend to find out in this Toyo Proxes 4 Plus Review.

In terms of price, the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus is in the average price range. My Honda S2000 came fitted with stock 17-inch wheels and the owner told me the tires cost approximately $125 each. That’s a pretty good bargain if you’ll ask me. It’s not as cheap as other brands, but you have to understand that you are buying an ultra-high performance tire with all-season capabilities.

Toyo Proxes 4 Plus Review: Features

Unsurprisingly enough, the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus is engineered with an asymmetrical tread design. The inside tread has wide grooves with a higher number of sipes to enhance traction on the wet and in the snow while improving the braking performance of your sports car.

The outside tread is a different story. There are wider ribs and a closed shoulder design that improves vehicle stability while allowing you to corner harder at higher speeds.

This tire was constructed using a high-grip silica compound to deliver impressive braking performance and excellent handling on wet and dry pavement. The special formula of the tread compound was also formulated to produce a longer tread life.

While the tread design looks bland from my point of view, I was hoping that Toyo was kind enough to give the tire a more aggressive or sportier tread design, but you can’t have it all, right?

Toyo Proxes 4 Plus Review: Test Drive

I’m a huge fan of Japanese sports cars, and the Honda S2000 is one of my favorites. In street racing culture, you are presumed to be the king of all Honda cars if you show up in a tuned S2000. My test vehicle is bone stock except for the addition of an APC cold air intake kit to replace the restrictive air filter and airbox.

Dry Traction

Would you believe it was raining when I took the Honda S2000 for a test drive? There I was in a sprightly Japanese convertible and the weather decided to take a turn for the worst. This gave me more than enough time to assess the wet capabilities of the car, but more on that later.

The roads were still a bit damp when I was on my way to return the car, but I presumed they were dry enough to test the capabilities of the tires in the dry.

Of course, I tried to wring out every ounce of power from the motor before changing gears whenever the roads were clear. I explored the upper reaches of the lofty 8,200 rpm rev range while smiling like a loon since the tires were definitely equipped for the task.

Traction and grip were admirable despite the damp nature of the roads. I was able to throw the S2000 into a sweeping left corner without feeling the tires break traction.

Wet Traction

I was driving mostly in the rain (what a bummer) so I had more than enough time to assess the wet performance of the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus. The tires were still gripping hard despite my wobbly steering movements and I never felt the car aquaplaning on the slightest hint of a puddle.

Snow Traction

There was no time for me to test the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus in the snow, and the owner has no idea on how the tires performed in cold weather. However, the tire guys at the local tire depot told me that the Proxes Plus 4 offered acceptable levels of traction and grip, but only on very light snow. That’s good to know since Toyo is marketing this tire as an all-season derivative.

Comfort

The Honda S2000 is not what you would call a comfortable car, especially when driven in the city. The stiff nature of the suspension can also be blamed for this, but the car manages to settle down on the highway. This is where the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus truly shines. It manages to deliver acceptable levels of comfort without robbing the driver of actual road feel.

Noise

The Toyo Proxes 4 Plus was also pretty silent as the little Honda cruised on the highway. This is high praise indeed since the Honda S2000 was not designed to have Lexus-like levels of noise, vibration, and harshness. Even the owner of the car agreed with me since his old tires emitted more tire roar compared to the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus.

Treadwear

The Toyo Proxes 4 Plus tires on my Honda were approximately eight months old and had roughly 6,000 miles under its belt. The tires were already showing signs of wear, but this is normal given the mileage acquired during that time. This is good enough given the affordable price of the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus, and it is certainly good value since each tire is backed by a 45,000-mile to 50,000-mile warranty.

Conclusion

It seems the Toyo Proxes 4 Plus lives up to the promise of offering high levels of all-season traction and grip while still remaining comfortable and silent enough for the daily drive. This is truly an ultra-high performance tire that has the amenable qualities of a proper touring tire.

Toyo Open Country A/T II Review

Toyo Open Country A/T II Review

  • Dry 90%
  • Wet 80%
  • Snow 70%
  • Comfort 80%
  • Noise 75%
  • Treadwear 80%
  • Overall 84%

Can an all-terrain tire roll as smoothly and quietly as a tire with highway treads? That was the big question I was looking to answer in this Toyo Open Country A/T II Review.

I am not particularly favorable of large trucks and sport-utility vehicles. I find them too big and too complicated for my city-based lifestyle. I have nothing against these behemoths. In fact, I appreciate the macho and rugged appeal of pickup trucks, and I admire the space and cargo carrying capabilities of large SUVs.

If I were to have a truck, I would most certainly choose all-terrain over highway-terrain tires. Chunkier tires will enhance the go-anywhere capabilities of your Silverado, RAM, or F-150 while making them look more aggressive on all sides.

My test vehicle for this Toyo Open Country A/T II review is a 2014 Ford F-150 STX 4-door SuperCab. The rig is equipped with a lift kit, aftermarket off-road suspension, and the 302-horsepower 3.7-liter EcoBoost V6. The truck is also fitted with 20-inch wheels and Toyo Open Country A/T tires. In short, the truck means business.

The owner of the badass F-150 is an off-road enthusiast who does a lot of highway driving on a daily basis. He particularly chose the Toyo Open Country A/T because of two main factors: cost and on-road capabilities. The looks alone will leave no doubts about the off-road capabilities of the tire, but is it also capable to silently and comfortably cruise on the highway? Not all tires designed for all-terrain driving can boast that claim, and that’s what I’m here to find out.

Mind you, the Toyo Open Country A/T tires fitted on my test vehicle were not exactly cheap, but they cost less than variants from Michelin or Bridgestone. A 20-inch Open Country A/T II from Toyo will set you back about $340 a piece. Of course, you will pay less if your truck or SUV is fitted with smaller diameter stock OEM wheels.

Toyo Open Country A/T II Review: Features

Toyo claims unparalleled versatility with the Toyo Open Country A/T II. They did it by combining a wear-resistant tread compound with an open tread block design. The tire has deep tread grooves with specially-designed stone-ejecting blocks to offer superior off-road performance and durability.

The tire is engineered with tie bars between the tread blocks that improves wet and dry braking while helping to reduce irregular tire wear. If this sounds like the features of a highway tire then you’re right. The Toyo Open Country A/T II is a highway tire in disguise since it rolls silently while offering impressive off-road capabilities.

The Toyo Open Country A/T II is available in three shoulder designs. You can choose P-Metric, LT-Metric, and Xtreme sizes in 15” to 22” diameters for a wide array of applications.

Toyo Open Country A/T II Review: Test Drive

Since I am not exactly an off-road type of driver, I had no plans to test the Toyo Open Country A/T tires on challenging terrain. I was more particular about the on-road behavior of the tire. However, the owner of the F-150 brought me to a rough country road near the end of our test drive. This gave me the chance to discover all the fascinating merits of the tires.

Dry Traction

I have nothing bad to report when it comes to dry traction since I never felt the tires skipped a beat. Whether you’re on the highway or traversing over rough patches of terrain, the Toyo Open Country A/T II tires will give you the confidence to forge ahead. But not on deep mud or anything that will resemble thick slush.

Wet Traction

Wet traction was admirable. In fact, it was pretty good. But don’t expect the Toyo Open Country A/T II to grip like an ultra-high performance tire in the wet, particularly at above average speeds. It also performed well on loose, damp soil peppered with sharp rocks and wet sand.

Snow Traction

I didn’t get the chance to test the Toyo Open Country A/T II in the snow, but the owner told me the tires can handle inches of snow with no problems at all. Deep snow will prove challenging but it still offers a modicum of grip so you can inch forward without feeling the tires losing traction.

Comfort

I was pleasantly surprised about the ride comfort of the Toyo Open Country A/T II tires. It can also be attributed to the magnificent off-road suspension fitted to my ride, but the tires were compliant on all types of road surfaces, whether on-road or off-road. But this tire is not the best in terms of comfort, and I think the Kumho Road Venture AT51 still offers better on-road comfort overall.

Noise

Toyo made good on the promise of lesser tire roar in the Open Country A/T II. The tires rolled silently on city streets and they managed to remain muffled as I sped on the freeway. Due to the lifted nature of my test vehicle, I wasn’t brave enough to climb to silly speeds, but the tires were quiet enough on moderate speeds to merit a high score.

Treadwear

The Toyo Open Country A/T II tires fitted on the F-150 were purchased three months ago. At the time of this writing, the tires have accumulated an estimated 1,200 miles. The owner of my badass test vehicle had nothing bad to say about the durability of the tires, either. He’s never had a flat or a puncture, and he never had cuts or abrasions on the tires.

Conclusion

I was impressed with the on-road and off-road capabilities of the Toyo Open Country A/T II. I guess this tire is one of the reasons why some people are still apprehensive in purchasing a cheaper set of all-terrain tires from a relatively unknown brand.

Yes, the Toyo Open Country A/T II commands a higher price but it delivers on all fronts. It now belongs in my shortlist as one of the best all-terrain tires for trucks and SUVs.

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.