The Advan family of ultra high performance tires were created for the discerning car owner who wants the ultimate in traction and grip. For the record, the Yokohama Advan Sport A/S is the only all-season tire in the Advan lineup. All the other offerings are summer tires that are geared towards superior handling with little regard to treadwear or ride comfort.
But the Yokohama Advan Sport A/S begs to differ. This tire was created to fulfill the demands of sporty luxury cars and high-performance vehicles. The tire should not only be good in dry and wet weather driving, but it will need to be comfortable, silent, and refined as well.
In this Yokohama Advan Sport A/S review, I was looking to find out if Yokohama was successful in creating a tire that doesn’t compromise ride comfort for outright sportiness. For this, I was looking for a bone-stock high-performance vehicle, preferably a BMW or an Audi, or maybe a Cadillac CTS-V.
As luck would have it, I was able to acquire a stock 2011 Subaru WRX STI with, you guessed it, stock 18-inch wheels. Save for the cold air intake and gorgeous floor liners, everything was left untouched by the judicious owner of my test vehicle. He bought the Yokohama Advan Sport A/S tires just a couple of months ago to replace the balding Bridgestone’s. He chose the Advan Sport A/S because of the price and the purported ride comfort of the tires.
Was Yokohama successful in merging the talents of a touring tire and summer tire? That was the question in my mind as I pressed the clutch and engaged first gear to begin my test drive and review.
According to Yokohama, the Advan Sport A/S is designed for the ultimate drive. The asymmetrical tread design with multiple wavy sipes are there to ensure excellent all-season traction, grip, and handing. The tire has four lateral serpentine grooves to quickly evacuate water and slush from the face of the tread to maintain consistent grip, handling, and control.
Upon first glance, you will quickly notice the extra-large performance shoulder blocks that are designed to enhance the cornering abilities of your vehicle. The 2-in-1 large blocks are designed to maximize the block stiffness and increase the lateral stability of the tire to improve handling.
But this tire should also be about ride comfort and a silent ride, so Yokohama designed the treads to have a 4-pitch tread variation to reduce the pattern noise as the tire rolls on the pavement. The tire is manufactured with an advanced all-season compound and optimized contact patch to promote long wear over the life of the tire.
I learned to drive in a manual car but I usually spend most of my time behind an automatic. The clutch pedal of the WRX STI is not what you would call light, but it does take a bit of effort to successfully engage a gear, especially if you’re crashing to the gates. Luckily for me, traffic was particularly light so I got the chance to stretch the legs of my test vehicle without walking away with a sore foot.
I have nothing to complain about when it comes to the dry traction of the Yokohama Advan Sport A/S. The tires felt they can take on more power and more abuse from my ham-fisted driving. Drive slowly and the tires will give you a sense of security. Press hard on the gas pedal and the tires come to life to heighten the experience even further. Coupled with the quick reflexes of my test vehicle, it seems the tires are a perfect match for the stock nature of my Subaru WRX STI. Turn the wheel and the nose follows with nary a complaint from the tires, even if you are chasing the apex on a slippery corner. This is the type of tire that is perfect for sporty drivers.
It was raining at the beginning of my review so I got the chance to get acquainted with the wet performance of the Yokohama Advan Sport A/S. As expected from an ultra-high performance all-season tire, I never felt the tires were skipping a beat as I sped on the wet highway. Credit also goes to the phenomenal symmetrical all-wheel drive of my test vehicle because the car simply felt relentless as I attacked wet corners with a heavy-than-usual right foot. My clunky gear changes were of no help at this point, but the car was simply too good that my infantile driving style didn’t really matter.
Due to time constraints, I wasn’t able to test the tires in the snow. The owner upgraded to a set of snow tires over the winter season so the car can cope with deeper patches of snow and thick ice. However, he did get the chance to drive the car in snowy weather for a fair amount of time with the Yokohama Advan Sport A/S and he was quick to reckon the snow performance was marginal. It wasn’t bad, but it’s not too good for a UHP tire, either.
Surprisingly enough, the Yokohama Advan Sport A/S was able to give my test vehicle a more refined and comfy ride. The Subaru WRX STI is not a luxury car by any means, but for what it’s worth, the tires were decently comfortable on smooth patches of road. The tires were also reassuring as I tackled craters and potholes in the road. All I can say is the Advan Sport A/S is one of the most comfortable ultra-high performance tires that I have ever tested.
But what really surprised me about the Yokohama Advan Sport A/S is the low levels of road noise and tire roar. I was expecting the tires to be a bit noisy since it was designed for sporty driving, but it wasn’t what I expected it to be. Tire roar was kept to a bare minimum at average speeds and it was just a tinge louder as I was approaching the triple digit mark.
The Yokohama Advan Sport A/S on my test vehicle were only installed just a couple of months ago. The tires have traveled for only 700 or 800 miles so it was only natural for the tires to be still fresh during my test drive. I found no signs of abnormal wear or tear on all the tires in my test vehicle.
The best part about the Yokohama Advan Sport A/S is the price. It starts at approximately $120 to $130 each and that’s really not bad for a multifaceted and multi-talented ultra-high performance tire, don’t you agree?
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Alvin Reyes has expertise in automotive evaluation. He collaborated with famous newspapers and is still making efforts in tire review for DrivingPress.com