The Yokohama Tornante is a performance tire designed for all-season driving. It is the perfect performance-oriented alternative to a touring tire while still having confident handling and traction on slippery roads. The tire is also backed by an 85,000-mile limited treadwear warranty to prove that it can outlast the competition as well.
I was looking forward to driving a sporty compact car for this review of the Yokohama Tornante, and my prayers were answered. I got hold of a 2013 Mazda 3 hatchback equipped with 17-inch aftermarket wheels and Yokohama Tornante tires. The owner of the Mazda is a young fellow in his early thirties and was actually having problems with the check engine light in his ride.
I brought the car over to my buddy who was obsessed with deciphering the check engine codes on OBD-II equipped vehicles. It only took a couple of minutes to determine the cause of the fault: it was a bad MAF sensor. No wonder the Mazda was having intermittent hiccups during ide.
I was driving shotgun with the owner of the Mazda 3 on our way to purchase a brand new MAF sensor. After the new sensor was installed, the engine purred like it was revitalized from the inside-out. No more hesitation, no more hiccups on idle. The owner was so happy that he agreed to loan me his car over the course of the weekend.
The Yokohama Tornante might look ordinary from the outside, but it has the DNA of a proper sporty tire. The tire was manufactured utilizing a blend of advanced silica and Orange Oil Compound to bring out the best in the rubber. The compound is formulated for a longer treadlife, low road noise, and competent all-season performance.
The tire is equipped with four deep circumferential grooves with sweeping cross grooves to quickly channel water away from the face of the tread. The asymmetrical tread design features wider outer blocks to elevate traction and grip in the dry. The inner blocks are designed with an increased groove area to improve traction on wet and snow-covered pavements.
The inner blocks are equipped with cross supporting tread blocks that work in unison like a continuous shoulder block to deliver excellent grip and handing in all-season driving. The tire is also equipped with constant contact ribs that increases contact with the road to deliver precise steering and better handling.
Furthermore, the Orange Oil Compound in the Yokohama Tornante is the most durable tire compound that Yokohama has ever created but it has less rolling resistance to increase the tread life and fuel economy of the vehicle as well.
I’m a huge fan of the Mazda 3. I am particularly fond of relatively small and agile compact cars that can handle like a sports car. While my Mazda 3 is bone stock except for the wheels, you will feel the car come alive from the moment you disengage the parking brake and step on the gas pedal.
I was impressed with the amount of traction on dry roads. The Yokohama Tornante tires will give you the feeling that it can take more power and more abuse from engine and the driver respectively. Initial turn-in was crisp and sharp, and braking distances were relatively short given the speed that I was driving before I stabbed the brake pedal. The steering was spot-on and the chassis felt it can certainly handle more power.
Wet performance was also pretty impressive, to say the least. The steering was still responsive on wet pavement even as I applied abrupt changes in direction. Braking performance was virtually the same in the dry, and that’s really impressive. I encountered no problems as I applied firm gas pedal pressure on rain-soaked tarmac. My test vehicle was able to successfully navigate a slippery left-hand corner at moderate speed without feeling the tires hunting for traction.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to drive the car in the snow. The owner of the Mazda 3 told me the tires were decently able to conquer mild snow. If you throw in a bit of ice or sleet, you are in for challenge.
The Mazda 3 is not really known for its supreme ride comfort. However, the Yokohama Tornante gave my test vehicle a smooth and well-controlled ride. The tires were comfortable in the city despite the presence of jarring potholes and road undulations. The tires were also calm on the highway and it allowed me to enjoy some driving music as I drove home after the test drive.
There was no need for me to pump up the stereo volume as I sped on coarse patches of tarmac. The Yokohama Tornante tires were surprisingly muted at high speeds. But the tire roar was still there, although it wasn’t annoying as before. The owner of the Mazda can attest to that fact. This was par for the course unless I compare the Mazda 3 to the NVH tuning of a Mercedes S-class.
The Yokohama Tornante tires in my test vehicle were purchased over 5 or 6 months ago but the tires were still good as new. I found mild traces of wear on the front tires compared to the rear. I contacted the owner about this, and he told me he forgot to have the tires rotated. He said the tires have been used for approximately 3,000 miles prior to my review and have not been rotated ever since.
Searching for a quality set of all-season performance tires for your car, crossover, or minivan? Consider the Yokohama Tornante. The tires were more than adequate on dry or wet roads and delivered the type of riding comfort that will make you think your car is rolling on a set of more expensive rubber.
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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