Welcome to PriusChat

We'd love to have you join our community and participate in the conversation! Sign up for FREE today.

Sign Up

Yokohama AVID Ascend Review

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Fuel Economy' started by F8L, Mar 21, 2012.

Social Buttons

  1. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,739
    Likes Received:
    3,759
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    **Update**
    New testing and new tires on the market have been proven better in terms of shear handling and handling predictability, wet traction and ride comfort as well as fuel efficiency. I do not recommend these tires.

    I recently purchased a brand new 2012 Prius Three and within 50 miles i decided i didn't like the OE tires (Yokohama AVID S33D). With a bit of help from Yokohama and America's Tire Company i received a credit for the S33D and I purchased the brand new AVID Ascend. This tire became available March 2012 so it was difficult to find any information on them. The only information I could find was The Yokohama press release and their Ascend brochure. Because I liked my last tire so much, the Yokohama dB Super E-Spec. I figured I'd give this new tire a shot and see if it is a worthwhile investment for the PriusChat community.

    [​IMG]
    Like the dB Super E-Spec tire, the Ascend features a unique blend of orange oil in place of the typical petroleum product. This is supposed to aid in lowering rolling resistance as well as promote predictable grip on the road. Yokohama originally explored the use of orange oil in their ADVAN race car tires. For more info on orange oil and how it relates to Yokohama tires: Yokohama Tire Corporation

    From TireRack.com


    Tire Specs (195/65/15 89T)
    Yokohama AVID Ascend (Grand Touring All-Season)
    UTQG=800 A B, 51psi, 12/32, 21lbs, 828 $86

    My initial impression of the Ascend tire was how tight they felt as compared to the S33D. The GenIII Prius is new to me as is the mushy suspension but these new tires felt like they sported a much more substantial sidewall. It is a fairly quiet and smooth riding tire but not a whole lot different than the S33D but not near as smooth and quiet as my 17" MXM4 tires. I drove for the first day at the Prius manufacture pressure spec (35/33), as I try and do with all new tires, and the ride was very comfortable and quiet. Pretty underwhelming for someone who gets really excited at the prospect of new tires. However, at least I didn't observe anything negative as I usually do when trying a new tire, especially at low air pressure settings.

    Northern California was hit with quite a bit of rain during this time so I didn't get to do any real testing except typical wet weather observations like light handling, hydroplane resistance etc.. Because they were new tires and the weather was bad I decided to play around with air pressure. I knew I wasn't going to get max mpg or the best handling at 35/33psi so I bumped the pressure up to sidewall max of 51psi. I then took a trip around the corner to the store. :eek: these things are like rocks at that pressure! I started hearing creaks and rattles that I had never heard before and feeling every road surface imperfection was not what I was after. When I got home I reduced the pressure to 46/44psi and left it like that for a few days. The ride was better but still a bit bumpy and in all honesty it didn't feel like it was handling any better than at 35/33psi which is odd compared to all of my 185/65/15 tires. With those narrower tires, air pressure over 35/33 made a big difference in overall feel and handling.
    This week I reduced the pressure to 42/40psi and I cold not tell a difference in handling but the ride is a bit more cushy so I am happy for now.

    During this time I was not trying to drive for high mpg so I cannot make any comments on mpg or gliding differences.


    Noise: The Ascend is about equal to the S33D but if i had to choose a winner i would say the Ascend is the quieter of the two. It is the quietest tire i have driven on in some time with exception to the Primacy MXM4. The Ascend is even quieter than my dB Super E-Spec (185/65/15) tires but i am comparing a new tire with 12/32 tread to a tire with less than 5/32. Over smooth surfaces and rough surfaces the tire is pretty quiet although you can definitely tell when road surfaces change! I'm not wowed by this tire in terms of noise but neither am I unhappy with them. They are just ok.

    *Update*
    After 10,000 miles or so and swapping back and forth between other tires I would judge these tires to be average in noise. They are louder than the Energy Saver A/S 195/65/15 but not terribly so. I was wrong about my comparison with the Primacy MXM4 215/45/17. The Ascend 195/65/15 is definitely quieter. Keep in mind the size difference here.

    Handling: I was actually kind of shocked how well these tires hug the road. I would put them somewhere between my 185/65/15 dB Super E-Specs and my 215/45/17 Primacy MXM4s. I realize these tires are wider than the former but they grip much more like the later. The S33D wasn't too bad in the handling department but the Ascend feels much tighter and more responsive despite the deeper tread. Keep in mind these tires are not broken in yet so traction should be less now than after they fully break-in. Freeway attitude is smooth and the tires respond well to steering input. Steering feels pretty vague and almost video game-like in that there is a small lag time between input and reaction. The car felt like that with the S33D as well so I think it has to do with the factory suspension more than anything. Coming from my GenII with a lot of suspension mods the stock GenIII feels like a boat vs. a go cart.

    *Update*
    After comparing my car with no suspension modes to another car with PPP lowering springs, PPP rear sway bar and Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires, I am even more impressed with the Ascend tires. They feel more crisp and respond faster to steering input. Driving the same route with both cars, however, I did notice the Ascends tend to tramline more. The Ascends did have higher air pressure 42/40 vs 36/34 but the Ascends don't seem to change much until you get over 46psi.


    Traction: It's rather hard to judge traction in a car that cannot spin the tires but in terms of lateral grip through corners the car is solid with nary a squeal when pressed hard into a corner. I drove pretty hard into a long curved on ramp an I kept expecting to hear tire squeal or feel the car sliding but it never happened. I continued to accelerate through the curve but nothing happened. I was at what I felt should have been the limits of this tire in this size but I entered the highway feeling like I could have pushed it even harder. I have a feeling that with a few suspension mods I would be more than happy with the cornering ability of this tire without having to go to 17s or 18s. Sure the handling would be even better with the larger wheels but I don't think most people would need to go much faster though a similar curve. :)

    *Update*
    Now that we have had a bit of real rain I am pretty impressed with these tires regarding wet traction. They continue to hug the curves despite wet roads. Hydroplaning resistance is good as expected with 11/32+ tread depth. I have yet to try panic stopping in the wet though. I'm always carrying stuff in the hatch and don't want everything to come flying forward during such a test. I have never tried to push them hard in wet conditions.

    *Update 2*
    TireRack.com recently tested these tires and found the wet traction to be quite bad compared to other tires in the class. For rainy areas I would NOT recommend this tire at all. There was a 28' stopping distance difference between it and the ProContact with EcoPlus!

    Mileage: I cannot comment definitively on fuel mileage just yet as the tires are still breaking in. They currently have less than 1000miles on them and I personally feel they need a little more than that before I can make a proper assessment. I have only had one good opportunity to test MPG on the new car and tires due to the bad weather. I drove using no hypermiling tricks other than 5mph below the speed limit of 65mph. Even though my commute features 99% highway driving and an 1,150ft. elevation change I ended the 107mile drive at 56.2mpg. Not too bad for 54deg F temps, a new car (2000miles or so) and new tires. I would not claim these tires will rank in the top 4 most fuel efficient but for a tire with 12/32 tread depth and an 85,000 mile warranty it could easily outcompete the Energy Saver A/S (9/32 tread and 65,000mile warranty) in terms of shear economics if it lasts as long as Yokohama says it will.

    *Update 1*
    Fuel economy seems to be on par with the OEM tires. I cannot really tell much of a difference. This week we are supposed to have rain-free weather with temps in the 70s which is similar to what we experienced the first week I had to OEM tires. I'm still struggling to get 50+mpg calculated but I think this has more to do with my commute and the weather we have been having than the tires. The OEM tires were difficult to achieve 50+mpg calculated as well.

    *Update 2*
    Now that summer is here my mpg has skyrocketed to high 50s. My best tank thus far was 59mpg. I am able to pull 60+mpg trips but it is difficult to maintain full tanks higher than 58mpg (indicated). If I had a nice flat commute I'm sure I could pull 60mpg tanks with these tires. While I still feel the Energy Saver A/S is about 3mpg better, these tires are still pretty good and keep you within OE tire mpg range with the added benefit of lower price, better handling and much longer tread wear.

    Appearance: It's a pretty average looking tire. It's not ugly nor does it look sexy and stylish like some of the Nitto or other race-inspired tires. look at the pics and you be the judge.

    Price: The price of the Ascend is comparable to other premium LRR offerings like the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max and Michelin Energy Saver A/S (if you get the $70 rebate). It's not expensive but it is not as cheap as the Continental ProContact with EcoPlus which is a segment leader. Because neither Yokohama nor Continental offer regular rebates they may be a bit more expensive than offerings from Bridgestone who often offers a $70 rebate. That doesn't mean you shouldn't consider these other tires. It may mean you just have to plan ahead and wait until someone like Discount Tire Direct is running a special. They also offer free shipping which TireRack does not! Because this is a very long lived tire and the mpg is on par with the OE tires, your total cost per mile is quite low. It appears the only tire with a lower cost per mile is the Energy Saver A/S or possibly the Kumho Eco tire with its cheap price and 100,000 mile warranty as well as the Michelin Defender due to its 90,000 mile warranty.

    Summary: I may not be wowed by these tires like I was with the Primacy MXM4 but I am definitely happy with the purchase. Unlike the MXM4 I am thrilled with the mpg and I expect it to only get better whereas the MXM4 never got better. For someone looking for a tire that offers the utmost in sustainability, as far as tires go, then look into the AVID Ascend. If you want a mid-priced tire that offers good gas mileage, great dry traction, a huge variety of sizes and a very long tread wear warranty then this is your tire. If you want a tire with wet traction then avoid them!!!

    **Summary Update**
    I traded these tires in after approx. 11k miles for a set of Energy Saver A/S tires.
    New testing and new tires on the market have been proven better in terms of shear handling and handling predictability. I do not recommend these tires.
    JMD, dj7u, plam0ne and 5 others like this.
  2. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,739
    Likes Received:
    3,759
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    Grr can a mod please fix my title. Darn auto correct changed my word from Ascend to Ascent.
  3. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,171
    Likes Received:
    434
    Location:
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    OK, how do these compare to my Primacy MXV4?
  4. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,739
    Likes Received:
    3,759
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A


    I think your tires were quieter. I never tried to test the handling on your car so I don't know how they would compare. Next time you come over we can hit the same on ramp since it is only a couple of blocks away. :D
  5. SuperchargedMR2

    SuperchargedMR2 Diehard Rams Fan

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    138
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Interesting comments but I have one question. You are comparing 2 different sizes between the Yokohama Ascend 195/65R15 & the Michelin Primacy MXM4 215/45R17? I would expect the Michelin to handle much better, hard to compare 2 different sizes of 2 different tires. :confused:
  6. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,739
    Likes Received:
    3,759
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A


    Because I have no references for the 195/65/15 besides the OE S33D. I added references to the MXM4 because despite it being a much lower profile tire it was quieter than the Ascend. It is common for a low profile tire to generate more noise. My reason for comparing the Ascend's handling to the MXM4 is because the total traction when pushed hard into a corner is much closer to the MXM4 than any 185/65/15 tire I have tried. It was that big of a difference. Of course the 215/45/17 offers more traction but I was pretty amazed at how well the 195/65/15 did. Does that make sense? My final reason for the comparison is that the Ascend is offered in sizes up to 18" which would put it in direct competition with the MXM4 for some Prius owners.
    1 person likes this.
  7. SuperchargedMR2

    SuperchargedMR2 Diehard Rams Fan

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    138
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III


    That helps, thanks for the clarification! :D
  8. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,171
    Likes Received:
    434
    Location:
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I just received these in 175/65/15 today for a different car. All I can say is that these sidewalls feel extremely soft, much softer than the H-rated Primacy MXV4 tires. These are definitely not performance tires at all.
  9. SuperchargedMR2

    SuperchargedMR2 Diehard Rams Fan

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    138
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III


    So they are good for the Prius? :D Maybe these are a good choice for the Prius to help with ride quality when using a lower profile tire in a 16" or 17" size.
  10. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,739
    Likes Received:
    3,759
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    I don't think you can use sidewall flexibility when deflated as a good indicator of tire performance. From an efficiency standpoint the Energy Saver A/S also has a soft sidewall and it performs just fine and is extremely efficient.

    If you are looking for an autocross tire then you should probably stay away from this tire or any other LRR long-wear tire. If you want an efficient, long-wearing safe tire then these are not a bad choice. Since these are they main attributes that most Prius owners are looking for I think it's a decent choice.
  11. alfon

    alfon Active Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,249
    Likes Received:
    188
    Location:
    seaside, oregon
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    When I replaced the factory avid tires with Michelin Energy
    Saver I immediately noticed a 2-3 mpg gain. Even though
    the factory Avid tires had over 10,000 miles on them so
    they were well broken in.
  12. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,739
    Likes Received:
    3,759
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A


    That makes sense because the Energy Saver A/S is the highest mpg tire we know of and it only has a tread depth of 9/32 when new and has a lower tread warranty. It's a tough tire to beat if you need a jack of all trades sort of tire. Without the $70 rebate, however, it doesn't always make the most financial sense. That being said, if I didn't have to stick with Yokohama I may have purchased the Energy Saver instead.
  13. Hank101

    Hank101 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    SC
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I have a friend at a local tire store, and out of curiosity, asked about the best deal on a trade for Michelin Energy Savers - made an offer I could not refuse. Just traded tires (stock Avid S33D for Michelin E/S). I have owned several sets of Energy Savers on my TDI with positive results.

    Traded stock tires + $130.00 (including rebate), my stock tires had only 1800 miles. Very good deal IMHO.

    The ES ride much firmer on the Prius than they did on the TDI, and firmer than the Avid's on the Prius for the same psi. I ran 50 psi on the TDI, 40/38 on the Prius with stock Avid's. The ES were intolerable at the same 40/38, producing highway speed shudder/vibration, "micro-bounce", but +2 mpg immediately. I have dropped pressure down to 37/35 and the city ride feels much improved, I will verify mpg on my daily 70 mile commute, over the next couple of days.
    2 people like this.
  14. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,739
    Likes Received:
    3,759
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    I added a few updates now that they are fully broken in.
  15. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,739
    Likes Received:
    3,759
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    I'm starting to really like these tires!

    The weather has turned instantly warm (80-90degrees) over the last few days and my mpg is starting to really pick up. The tires feel solid and roll quite nicely. The ride is quieter now too. I think most of the noise I have been hearing is from wind and not the tires themselves. My ability to achieve high mpg tanks is within the realm of my GenII with super LRR tires and maybe a smidge above when driving at freeway speeds. I was never able to achieve over 57mpg in my GenII without doing some low speed driving down rural roads with lots of long glides. Today I jumped on the freeway and drove 216 miles to the Norcal Prius Meet and back at 60mph and pulled 59.6mpg with an average indicated speed of 52mph! I'm impressed. I thought these tires may hurt mpg compared to the OEM units but mpg doesn't appear to be severely impacted. :)

    Attached Files:

  16. jellybug

    jellybug Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    I
    Considering that Michelin has a $70 Rebate on their Energy Saver tires, would you still pick the Yokohama's over the E/S's? I'm looking at an ending price of $382 for the Michelins and $416 for the Yokohama's. My main concern is that the E/S's aren't going to be great with handling and when winter hits I want at least some performance to get us through these midwest winters. Thanks!
  17. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,739
    Likes Received:
    3,759
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A


    I don't have much seat time with the Energy Saver A/S but from what I know right now I would go with the Yokohamas if you want a little better handling and a longer tread life. I would go with the Energy Saver A/S if you wanted better mpg. The Yokohamas also have much greater tread depth which may make them better for snow.

    *update* No. I like the Energy Saver A/S better.
  18. alfon

    alfon Active Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,249
    Likes Received:
    188
    Location:
    seaside, oregon
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III



    I have 60,000 miles on the energy saver tires, I run
    all 4 with max sidewall pressure of 44 psi.

    Looks like I have at least another 10,000 miles of tread life
    which would make them a 70,000 miles tire.

    I am sure if I did the math even with just a true 2 mpg increase
    the tires have came close to paying for themselves.
  19. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    18,739
    Likes Received:
    3,759
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A


    Now imagine would you would get out of a tire rated for 80,000 or 100,000. Wayne Gerdes gets 100,000+ out of tires rated for 65,000.

    The tread wear rating is an estimated lifetime rating for the tire in average driving conditions. Like fuel economy, there are going to be cases where people get much less mileage before the tread is worn down and some people will get much more out of the same tire.
  20. Oboedroid

    Oboedroid New Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Oregon
    Your Vehicle Year:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A



    Hi, thanks for this review! I just ordered and installed a set of the Yoko Ascends yesterday. I'm so far pleased with them, but I've only driven a few hundred miles. I'm coming from a set of Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S which were past the wear lines a little bit and VERY loud. So these are a nice change, as they're providing good comfort, low noise and nice handling as well as the lowered resistance. I just have a few questions for you now that yours have had some time to break in.

    How many miles do you have on them? Have you noticed a difference in the ride quality / road noise? Mine are definitely quieter, but are still pretty loud over bad road imperfections. I'm starting to actually think that the noise is due to my car itself and not the tires though...I have a 2006 Corolla, so I'm sure there's not much insulation in it to begin with...

    What psi have you settled on using? The place that installed my tires actually filled them up to 40psi, which I was happy about because I tend to run them at a minimum of 40 for mpgs. The ride though was really not that much better than the old exaltos. I lowered them to 32psi (warm) and it was much smoother and quieter (obviously) but the resistance was worse (duh)...I've noticed that these tires seem to be really sensitive to high psi. Possibly because they have such long treadlife that they're made with harder rubber which really ruins the ride quality at the higher psis? Maybe? Anyway, have you noticed a difference in road noise/ride quality/mpgs since breaking them in? I did see your more recent post of 59mps on that one trip.....so does sound like they're doing pretty well. What psi are you running them at and are you happy with it?

    Any info will help!

    THANKS!
Similar Threads: Yokohama AVID
Forum Title Date
Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum Tire decision - Continental Purecontact vs Yokohama Avid Ascend Mar 6, 2014
Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum Tire decision - Continental Purecontact vs Yokohama Avid Ascend Mar 6, 2014
Private Sales WTB one Yokohama Avid S33 tire Nov 26, 2013
Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting Should I get Michilen Energy Saver A/S or Yokohama Avid Ascends? Sep 15, 2013
Gen III 2010+ Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubles Yokohama Avid S33D is a directional tire? Apr 9, 2013