Yokohama tires offer good quality rubber for all sorts of vehicles. All of its brands do everything well, but they’re not exceptional in any one single aspect, as you'll discover in this review. It has genuine eco-friendly credentials too, thanks to tires that are 80% petroleum-free, and the company has reduced CO2 emissions during manufacturing as well as eliminating CFC use. Some of its tires even use oils derived from orange peel, ensuring a smaller environmental footprint.
In this Yokohama tires review, we look at all its ranges, what they’re best suited for and how they stack up when compared to the best tire brands from across America. We also bring together user reviews and expert opinion to assess each range.
1. Yokohama Advan Fleva: Ultra-high performance
- Price: From $100 to $432
- 30-day trial
- Silica-infused compound
- Solid center and outer rib
- 2 in 1 Contrasting Pitch
- Relatively inexpensive
- Exceptional dry stopping
- Good tread life
- Wet braking could be better
- Stiff ride
There are eight tires in the Advan range to cater for passenger and performance/competition cars, with a run-flat and all-season option for the more practically minded.
The Advan Fleva is the pick of the range, and is a premier, ultra-high-performance tire designed for both passenger and performance cars. The Fleva has excellent grip, stops very well in dry conditions, is highly resistant to hydroplaning and it doesn’t fare too badly in wet braking conditions either. The tread mileage is good too, but it doesn't come with a warranty. Overall, a good tire made better by its competitive price.
2. Yokohama BluEarth Winter: Winter tires
- Price: From $117 to $206
- 30 day trial
- Wide slanted groove and directional thread
- Silica locked compound
- Triple 3D sipes
- Snow savvy
- Breaks very well on ice
- Hydroplane resistant
- Doesn’t perform as well in drier conditions
The BluEarth range was designed specifically by Yokohama to be lightweight and aerodynamic, and therefore efficient. This environmentally conscious tire has evolved into a single concept, the BluEarth Winter v905, and it even outperforms Yokohama's own range of winter-centric tires, Iceguard.
The v905 is targeted at sports or performance cars and is excellent in the snow, particularly when it comes to stopping on ice, which is very reassuring when the mercury drops below freezing. Unfortunately, they’re rather average once the last of the frost has melted away, though they do stop well in standard dry conditions too.
3. Yokohama Geolander A/T G015: Truck and SUV tires
- Price: $104 to $292
- Up to 60k miles warranty
- 30-day trial
- Enduro Compound for durability
- Circumferential grooves
- Edgetec grooves
- Great in the snow and ice
- Long-lasting tread
- Rolling resistance is poor
- Wet braking is not a strong point
The Yokohama Geolander range comes in seven different versions, ranging from fully-fledged rock-climbers to ones that can handle asphalt and mud. Pick of the bunch are the all-terrain Yokohama Geolander A/T G015 tires designed for on- and off-road use. They are superb in the winter; a safe bet in snow and ice braking but not so good in the wet. However, this is fairly common with this type of tire, so not a significant negative.
They’re surprisingly quiet, give a decent ride, and are easy on the wallet at the point of sale. On the downside the rolling resistance is a bit of an issue and this could make them an expensive option over a long period of time – it has a 60,000 predicated tread life – but all in all, a good tire for the price. You'll be satisfied, but might want to take a closer look at the costs going forward.
Other Yokohama tires to consider
The Yokohama Iceguard gets a bit of a short deal. It’s excellent at doing what it's supposed to do, i.e. going over snow and ice, but is average in normal conditions, which is pretty much the norm for snow tires. Perhaps the handling isn’t as sharp as some of its contemporaries, but it’s a competent bit of kit.
The Avid Ascent all-season tourer is well-priced and may last you for as long as you own the car. It has 100,000 miles estimated tread life, 85,000 of which are under warranty. It’s an all-round good bet, even if it doesn’t necessarily excel at any one thing, apart from not wearing out. A good budget pick, although not as cheap as Nexen tires.
The Advan A052 is also worth a mention because it's a road-legal sports/performance tire, although perhaps its sporty character is a bit too much for the day-to-day motorist. Firstly, it’s no good in heavy rain, doesn’t wear well and is pricey to boot. However, it’s a great tire when used in anger in the right conditions, is grippy (even in the moderate wet), forgiving, and most owners say they would buy them again.
Yokohama tires: User reviews
JD Power puts Yokahama fifth in the Passenger Car category in its Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study behind winners, Michelin, Pirelli 2nd Continental 3rd and Goodyear 4th. In the other three classes, Performance Sport, Luxury and Truck Utility Yokohama lags behind the top five.
According to Consumer Reports, Yokohama comes a rather lowly eighth on the Tire Brand Report Card: Michelin came first with 71% ahead of Continental 70%, General 69%, Pirelli 66%, Goodyear 65%, with Nexen and Bridgestone on 65%.
Overall - Should you buy Yokohama tires?
Yokohama makes competent tires that do a good job. However, other manufacturers do the same, but just that little better and, at times, for less. But it’s a shrewd outfit. Yokohama’s involvement in road-racing derived Motorsport is a great way of gathering data for improving the road stock and keeping the brand fresh in the eyes of potential, high-end, buyers.
As it stands, it has some way to go before they’ll worry the top three tire companies, but they are still a force to be reckoned with, especially when it comes to addressing environmental concerns and providing innovative solutions to reduce its carbon footprint. Yokohama is also growing fast, so it deserves more than a cursory nod to ‘watch this space’. This is a company that’s getting there. For more on cars, here's our guide to the best auto insurance right now.
Yokohama Tires: Company history
Yokohama tires was founded in 1917 with American rubber company BF Goodrich. In 1969 the Yokohama Tire Corporation was established in the USA where it currently has two manufacturing plants, one in Salem, Virginia and as of 2015, a second plant in West Point, Mississippi, reflecting steady growth in both tire manufacture and business. The head office is still in Tokyo, Japan, but Yokohama has offices and plants worldwide manufacturing other rubber goods such as conveyor belts, water-proof materials and adhesives.
To save energy Yokohama has developed tires that are 80% petroleum-free. It’s done this by switching from heavy oil to natural gas and has eliminated the use of CFCs and trichloroethane in the manufacturing process, reducing CO2 emissions. Some Yokohama tires, such as the Advan ENV-R1, are manufactured with modified rubber compounds with a processing oil derived from orange peel, a by-product of the fruit juice process. However, these innovations come at a price, the orange-oil tire costs about 30% more but, as the manufacturer is keen to point out, the cost to the environment is much lower.
Yokohama manufactures six tire brands: Advan, Avid, BluEarth, Geolander, Iceguard and Parada, in the non-commercial vehicle sector they cater for Passenger Car, Performance Car, SUV and Crossover, trucks and minivans for summer, all-season, winter and road.