BF Goodrich Advantage Control vs Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3

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The Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 is a crossover touring tire designed for heavier vehicles, while the BF Goodrich Advantage Control comes in grand touring all season category and suits coupes and sedans best. Let’s see what both tires have to offer for you.

Dodge Challenger
W (speed) rated sizes of BFG do great on Dodge Challenger.

Being a tire engineer, my testings with these tires show that the Advantage Control has a upper hand in the dry braking and cornering department. Moreover, it also offers a better overall “snow” traction. The Scorpion AS Plus 3, on the other hand, stands out in wet traction, ice handling, and offers a quieter driving experience.

Layout of Tread Pattern

Starting with the Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3, the tire features an asymmetric tread design.

Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3
Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 has multi-directional biters, especially on its middle most rib.

It makes 4 longitudinal channels, and out of them, the outer two are properly interconnected with each other.

Though as its central most rib is continuous running, the inner two circumferential grooves don’t join up.

And that combined with it’s packed up outer shoulders, the tire does face some issues regarding efficient water clearing, though its still better than its comparison as you’d see.

Biters wise, the tire is pretty great, where all ribs have a ton of in-groove notches, and a mixture of linear and wave-like siping, providing superb wet grip.

While it’s streamlined shoulders with off-set edges and a mix of lateral and longitudinal (slanted) siping provide decent handling in winter conditions.

Internally, the tire comes with 2 ply polyester with 2 nylon cap plies, with 2 steel belts in between them, which is a pretty typical construction model, for all season tires. Though it’s heavier than its counterpart.

Moving towards the BF Goodrich tire, you get a very different structure.

Advantage Control's tread
BF Goodrich Advantage Control offers foundational supports underneath all its ribs.

All its internal ribs are continuous running, where there aren’t any prominent groove separating them.

This although offers great road connectivity, ends up facing some challenges in wet and winter environments.

Moreover, they also affect hydroplaning resistance, with their less effective, lateral dispersion of water.

But since shoulder blocks have proper voids, that doesn’t go for its outer circumferential channels.

These shoulders have very streamlined linear/lateral tread elements, while the 3 middle ribs come with slightly interlocking siping, and notches facing both sideways directions.

Talking about the tire’s internal build, although it features 2 ply polyester and 2 steel belts, just like the Pirelli, it only has a single lighter nylon cap ply.

This allows it to have lighter weight, which has a lot of benefits, as you’d see in the upcoming sections, though you do get slightly less durability, comparatively.

Wheel Sizes

These are the sizes available for both tires, and their specs.

SpecsBF Goodrich Advantage ControlPirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3
Rim Size (inches)14 to 2017 to 22
Speed RatingsH, V, WT, H, V
Load RatingsSL, XLSL, XL
Tread Depth (/32″)10.5 to 11.511 (all sizes)
Weight Range (lbs)17 to 3229 to 42
Tread Warranty75k miles (H),
65k miles (V & W)
70k miles
UTQG Rating700 B A800 A A
Both tires don’t come with 3pmsf winter ratings/certifications.

Fuel and Tread Efficiency

When examining fuel and tread consumption, rolling resistance emerges as one of the main contributors. And this resistance then depends on the tire’s rubber composition, design, overall structural weight, and of course, grip.

The grip component is straightforward: with the BFG coming with a higher speed rating, it’s logical that it induces a more significant frictional forces between the tread and the road, leading to increased fuel consumption.

However, its fuel economy still remains comparable to the Pirelli. I mean there’s not going to be a significant difference in overall mpg readings, going from one tire to another.

This similarity arises from Advantage Control’s design, which includes a single-ply lightweight construction, an optimal tread depth, and fortified lug bases.These elements work together, reducing overall lug flexing, thereby conserving energy.

On the other side, the Pirelli, although weighs more, its stiffer rubber, doesn’t allow its lugs to flex a lot too.

So it’s stiffer rubber provides you with just as great tread longevity as the BFG. And it makes sense why there’s not much of a difference between their treadwear warranties, with Pirelli giving out 70k miles for all its sizes, while the BFG provides 75k miles for sizes with an H speed rating and 65k miles for those rated V and W.

(Note: There’s a direct correlation between speed rating and rolling resistance.)

Ride Comfort

The comfort of a ride is deeply connected to a tire’s proficiency in mitigating road irregularities. And the overall smoothness of the ride, primarily determined by the tire’s rubber blend and its overall inner/outer construction.

In this context, both tires offers similar performance, and end up with same scores, as concluded form my subjective testing with them.

In case of Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3, the tire offers a smooth driving experience due to its it’s additional cap ply in its internal structure, which basically gives more room for bumps to settle down.

Whereas the BF Goodrich Advantage although comes with stiffer nylon cap ply, offers a softer and deeper tread, providing you with just as great overall impact comfort performance.

Highway Performance

Both tires excel in several key areas, where they offer pretty comparable braking and handling efficacy.

Let take a look at them both, one by one.

Dry Braking

Dry braking is closely related to a tire’s directional grip. And in this aspect, the BF Goodrich Advantage Control takes the lead, registering an average of 1 foot shorter braking distances in tests.

So what makes it better here?

Well, this has to do with it’s more streamlined rib design, featuring continuous running 5 ribs (comprising 2 shoulder columns and 3 central ones). Such a design ensures consistent rubber-to-road contact, yielding enhanced longitudinal traction.

On the other side, the Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 although offers more biters, which provide decent gripping values, they also have a drawback, as with more tread features, the tire loses potential rubber area, that could have been in contact with the road.

Moreover, the tire is also heavier in comparison, and with a more bulky construction it creates greater inertia/momentum (particularly at high speeds), which is more difficult to stop, relatively speaking.

Dry Cornering

The efficiency of cornering largely hinges on the tire’s shoulders and sidewalls, as these are in maximum contact with the road during turns. This dynamic can be explained by centripetal force, where the weight (on the tire), wants to go opposite to the orientation of the turn.

Now, both tires here, with their compacted shoulder blocks, offer pretty decent overall lateral grip.

But since the Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 falls short in terms of its steering responsiveness, the overall handling is seen better on its counterpart.

Pirelli’s bulkier build basically makes it more susceptible to understeer, whereas the lighter BF Goodrich Advantage Control, equipped with a durable rubber blend and a spirally wound nylon cap ply, emerges as the superior choice, when it comes to overall handling.

Wet Traction

Wet traction is predominantly determined by a tire’s tread and its ability to disperse water, which largely hinges on grooves and sipes.

Grooves play a primary role, directing the bulk of water away from its channels, while sipes come in later.

These siping slits act as tiny water containers, where their flexing draws in water particles, which are subsequently expelled out, as the tire rolls over.

In this context, the Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 stands out, with it’s more advanced siping structure.

It’s sipes come with the combination of interlocking and linear patterns, resulting in exceptional wet traction.

And they have less water to clean, to begin with. I mean as it’s grooves (which connect laterally with the circumferential channels), provide better water evacuation, they already alleviate a lot of burden off of it’s sipes.

And although the tire has a relatively harder rubber, these sipes still stay flexible due to their varied structure.

On the other hand, the BF Goodrich Advantage Control although features a lot of biters/siping too, they are all laterally oriented, so they can’t offer wet grip in all directions, like the Pirelli.

For example, with extreme concerning, it’s linear lateral sipes tend to get stiffer, which basically affects the sipes’ suction efficacy, reducing the tire’s overall wet performance.

Furthermore, since the ribs on the BFG’s tire are continuously running, lateral water evacuation is constrained, and that of course places more reliance on its sipes.

Winter Performance

In evaluating the winter performance of an all-season tire, we primarily focus on 3 essential criteria:

  • Acceleration of the tire.
  • Handling, emphasizing steering responsiveness.
  • Performance across various terrains, giving particular attention to soft snow and icy conditions.

Now looking at all of these factors, I can tell you that the Pirelli’s tire excels on icy terrains, overall, while the BFG shines in snow conditions.

The Advantage Control’s superior snow grip basically comes form it’s thicker siping slits, (particularly designed to capture snow particles).

These sipes joining up with the laterally oriented notches, provide you with a more effective snow-to-snow contact (which is a big deal, since snow tends to adhere better to itself than to tire tread).

On the other side, the Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 provides you with superior ice grip and handling, thanks to it’s more biting rubber.

It’s asymmetric tread pattern, interspersed with several in-groove notches, multi-directional biters and a mixture of both linear and interlocking sipes, all are helping it greatly, as they provide a more adequate bite on slick icy surfaces.

Side Note: Neither tire is a top performer in winter conditions, and so its better that you find the ones with 3-peak mountain snowflake ratings (missing in both tires here). Just go to the home page and check out all season tires.

Road Noise Mitigation

Regarding noise levels, the BFG Advantage Control is somewhat louder in comparison.

And here the primary culprit is the tire’s distinct and more spacious tread design, particularly in it’s shoulders area.

I mean, if you consider its tread design again (by scrolling up to its construction section), you’d note that it’s shoulders are more voided up.

But why that matters? Well air is the primary source of overall noise, and it enters through shoulders (for the most part).

That’s why Pirelli with more closed up voids, restrict more air entry, allowing for a quieter ride.

Though it still emits a lot of growling sounds, which makes sense since it comes with a ton of biters.

Take Home Points

In essence, each tire displays particular advantages and points for enhancement under various conditions. Allow me to elaborate.

The BF Goodrich Advantage Control excels in the following:

  • Dry braking, due to its streamlined rib design and consistent rubber-to-road contact.
  • Dry cornering, because of its lighter build and superior handling dynamics.
  • Snow performance, thanks to its thicker siping slits designed for effective snow-to-snow contact.

While the Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 takes the lead in:

  • Wet traction, as a result of its advanced siping structure.
  • Ice grip and handling, courtesy of its biting rubber and asymmetric tread pattern.
  • Quieter ride, due to its more closed-up shoulder voids, reducing air noise entry.

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