Yokohama Avid Ascend Review & Rating
- Cornering grip
- Quiet riding tire
- Tread life
- Wet traction
- Deep snow and ice handling
With today’s new tires you have the benefit of getting the latest and greatest in tire technology, and the all-new Avid Ascend from Yokohama includes just that. Designed for all types of coupes, sedans, minivans and crossovers, the Ascend is known for being the first mass produced BluEarth marked touring all-season tire to use Orange Oil technology in their tread compound.
Sounds pretty impressive, but what does all that tech talk really mean? Well, BluEarth is Yokohama’s line of tires that are identified as being environmentally-friendly in their tread makeup. With an emphasis on the environment today, this lets drivers know that they are getting a tire that is doing its part to help reduce CO2 emissions and protect the earth.
Yokohama’s use of Orange Oil technology, which is a resin that is taken from orange oil, is a non-petroleum based ingredient. According to engineers from Yokohama the compound “helps create a tighter bond between natural and synthetic rubber at the molecular level.” The results help the tire deliver increased traction, cornering performance, fuel efficiency and tread life.
Launched last year, this tire is available in a range of 15-18 inch sizes and priced lower to fit the budget-conscious driver.
Dry traction is outstanding on the Yokohama Ascend. They drive smoothly at low or high speeds, while gripping the pavement securely. Braking and acceleration are very good on dry road surfaces as well. The tread also features a lower rolling resistance for enhanced fuel economy, something that can be helpful to many drivers today.
Wet traction is an area that could be improved upon in our opinion While adequate, it just didn’t do as well as other tires like the Continental PureContact or the Nitto Motivo. The tires tend to spin during acceleration from a stop when the roads are wet. As for hydroplaning, despite the level of traction, this tire delivers very good hydroplane resistance.
Cornering – Steering
Driving into the corners on this tire can be a lot of fun, especially when the pavement is dry. One of the advantages of Orange Oil in the compound is that as the rubber heats up when cornering, the heat makes the rubber more soft and pliable. What that really means is that it creates added stickiness and grip. I’ll leave that to you in terms of how that will affect your driving enjoyment.
Wet cornering is adequate for most drivers . We found no big issues with losing control or traction. That said, for more spirited driving we would like to see higher speed cornering grip improved just a bit as it lags behind a few other top models in its class.
Steering response is excellent when driving on this model. The continuous center rib and larger outside shoulder blocks quicken the response and add a more confident feeling on road. The tire simply goes where it’s pointed without putting up a fuss.
Since this is an all-season tire you can expect decent winter weather performance driving on this tire. Actually, it performs quite competently on light snow covered road surfaces. It doesn’t spin upon accelerating unless you’re on the gas too hard, and stops confidently in most conditions.
Naturally, driving in deep snow or on ice covered surfaces is going to be a different story. Since this is not a winter tire you will want to use caution and take it a bit easier.
Ride Comfort – Road Noise
As a touring tire the Ascend provides the kind of smooth ride and comfort level you would expect in this category. We would rank it close to the ride quality provided by the Michelin Primacy MXV4. It’s just a hair more firm than the Michelin, but very good overall.
Whether around town or on the highway one thing you will find very little of is road noise. These are among the more quiet tires in this class regardless of the type of road you are traveling on.
One of the pleasant surprises on this tire is the exceptional tread life you’ll find. With a wear rating of 800 on T-speed rated sizes and 740 on H & V-speed rated tires, the Ascend is designed to give upwards of 85,000 miles from the tread.
A big reason why it provides longer treadwear is due in part to the 3-D Adaptive Sipes that create a more rigid tread block. What this does is that it prevents the blocks from flexing too much, which allows the tire to better resist wear, while also increasing fuel efficiency by providing a lower rolling resistance.
Yokohama does provide a pretty good warranty on the Ascend. It runs 85,000 miles for T-speed rated tires, 75,000 miles for H-speed rated sizes and 65,000 miles for V-rated models. They also give you 30 days to try out the tires and if you don’t like them you can refund or exchange them.