Yokohama BluEarth-4S AW21: the all season tyre tested in extreme winter conditions
The development of all season tyres clearly responds to a growing need among a certain type of drivers. Well aware of this, tyre manufacturer Yokohama has joined the fray with this newcomer we tested in a hostile environment.
Above all, a compromise
First of all, it is worth pointing out that an all season tyre is not a miracle product, capable of shining in all circumstances. This tyre must be considered as a good all-rounder that can be used throughout the year and can deal with snow, ice, rain and dry conditions.
Developed on the basis of a technical compromise, it is logically not as good as a summer tyre during the summer months, and cannot compete with a winter tyre in cold conditions. However, if you only encounter snow occasionally, or go skiing once a year, or you drive in regions with changing weather conditions, then the all season tyre is likely to meet your needs.
The 4 season tyre has long been neglected by several tyre manufacturers, but has earned its reputation thanks to the launch of certain flagship tyres such as the Michelin CrossClimate or the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2. But new technologies have also allowed manufacturers to propose more relevant tyres, in line with market needs.
The Yokohama BluEarth-4S AW21 all season tyre, which we are presenting today, is positioned as a product with an intermediate orientation, reflecting an attractive price positioning without compromising the performances proposed. Remember that tyre manufacturer Yokohama specialises in high performance products, where technical expertise is at the heart of discussions. Therefore, there is no risk that the Japanese brand chose to overlook any significant development work.
An icy initial contact
To discover this all season tyre, we travelled to the north of Sweden, near the Arctic Circle. A place where this category of tyre should never be driven given that driving conditions are too extreme for its design: temperatures below -20°C, large quantities of snow, ice, etc.
We have already had the opportunity to test all season tyres in such conditions, but to be honest, only a few have managed to impress us. Traction and braking performance are usually satisfactory and enough to obtain the 3PMSF winter certification, but the limits usually appear during lateral grip phases.
On snow covered surfaces, the Yokohama tyre delivers good traction and grip in these situations. A characteristic usually found with market leaders and which is a guarantee of quality.
But the BluEarth-4S AW21 is surprising with the lateral grip it delivers. In this register, it reminds us of the Nokian Weatherproof which remember, is a leader in the field. Without offering the confidence a real winter tyre gives on snow, this tyre is responsive, progressive and never unpredictable. Over and above the real performances, driving feeling is decisive with this type of tyre since it is intended for drivers which are not necessarily familiar with driving on snow. With this newcomer, the Yokohama brand provides a good technical demonstration showing us the positive effects of opening its Nordic test centre 5 years ago.
As usual, we will check these impressions with test results.