Tread pattern aesthetics. I’ve touched on this in a tire review or two over the years and noted that like the vehicles that ride on the tires, styling is important to customers. When talking about tires with fellow car people regularly, how a tire’s tread pattern looks can influence the purchasing decision. I’m here to say that the Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S+ should not be judged on what you see.
I’m saying that the ADVAN Sport A/S+ tread design is uninspiring, and this is its ONLY fault. In the past, I’ve tested and reviewed tires with sharp- or dynamic-looking patterns only to be disappointed in their mediocre handling of water or excessive NVH under normal driving conditions. What the Yokohama ADVAN does is wear efficiency and technology on its “sleeve,” and for that, they deserve to be considered.
Sized 225/40R18, my tire size ADVAN Sport A/S+ falls well within the average for midsize cars and performance-oriented versions of compact ones. A 40-profile tire has become typical, whereas it was considered ultra-low profile not that long ago. Such narrow sidewalls once equated to a stiff, often jarring ride in the name of performance and handling. Today’s tires need not suffer these unpleasantries, and the new ADVAN Sport A/S+’s engineered compliant firmness or firm compliance make it one of my favourite tires ever.
I’m a generally aggressive driver, meaning I expect immediate responsiveness from my car’s controls. The major influence on how my Golf reacts to steering or throttle inputs comes from the tires, as they must handle weight transfers and torque. The Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S+’s oversized outer shoulder blocks and optimized sidewalls manage these and other forces at play with sharpness without harshness. And this is key.
It had been a few years since I’d looked forward to driving my Golf Sportwagen as much. Call me whatever you’d like but with two young children on board, limited noise, vibration, and harness (NVH) are extremely important. And the ADVAN Sport A/S+’s four-pitch tread variation, designed to limit NVH and maintain a high level of comfort, performs flawlessly.
Longer road trips are less grueling, smoother, and easier to handle thanks to the tire’s ability to completely negate the pavement’s inherent rough surface. However, as I’ve said, I like to drive, as does my spouse. All comfort and no fun do make for a dull driving experience but once more, the Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S+ delivers.
As I noted in my opening story on these tires, wet driving performance is a true measure of a tire’s worth. Our climate conditions are evolving, meaning periods of intense rainfalls have become the norm. The possibility of hydroplaning is limited thanks to Yokohama’s silica-rich compound HS-2 Compound, “Z” grooves, and wavy sipes.
In the end, it is all these features and technologies built into the Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S+’s tread pattern that makes the latter look “average”. But do not be fooled, this ADVAN is an above-average all-season tire that is reasonably priced and that should find its way at or near the top of your shopping list.
The ADVAN Sport A/S+ is available in 65 different sizes from 16-inch to 21-inch diameters and is covered by a 90,000 km limited warranty.
Tire Review: Matt St-Pierre