Firestone MultiSeason Gen 02 Review

Leave a comment

While the Firestone MultiSeason Gen 02 has some notable limitations, in some performance areas, it still a great overall pick in its grand touring all season tire category. Let’s check this tire out in greater detail.

BMW 6 Series
MultiSeason Gen 02 looking cool on BMW 6 Series.

Main Takeaway Here

Overall, the Firestone MultiSeason Gen 02 shows impressive performance, specifically in:

  • Impressive overall handling, providing stable and responsive control.
  • Superior wet traction and effective aquaplaning resistance, ensuring safety and reliability in rainy conditions.
  • Excellent winter performance with notable snow traction and braking, validated by its 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake rating.

Despite its strengths, the tire requires some refinement, specifically in:

  • Longitudinal grip on dry roads, as it lacks in braking.
  • Noise comfort, where its very loud.
  • Tread longevity, with a faster wear rate due to its heavy construction and softer rubber.

Tread Structure

Let’s start by analyzing the directional tread design of the Firestone Multiseason Gen 02, that would greatly help us understand how it performs the way it does.

Firestone MultiSeason Gen 02
Firestone Multiseason Gen 02

Here, the lugs have voids within them that do not completely bisect, meaning the voids do not connect the V-shaped grooves to each other.

This although maintains the integrity of each lug for continuous contact with the road, it limits the hydroplaning resistance a little bit.

In addition to the voids, the tire tread includes numerous sipes of varying angles, which increase in complexity towards the central tread area.

And since this area is very crowded up, with interlocking lugs, and sipes, you get a great linear grip in both dry and wet conditions.

But more on that later.

Side Note: I posted a guide on how to know if your tires are directional, and their pros and cons here –

Sizes and their Specs

The tire comes in 14 to 18 inches rims. And these sizes have following specs.

Lost in a sea of all-season tires? Kickstart your search with my straightforward guide:

Overall Dry Performance

A tire’s performance on dry roads can be dissected into its ability to maintain traction, its stability during quick turns, and its steering sensitivity. Let’s explore these dimensions in detail.

Longitudinal Grip

For this tire, the key to its linear or straight-line grip lies in the design of its central tread footprint.

The reason is the lugs in this region are in maximum contact with the ground during straight rolling.

And yes, as a directional metric, the effectiveness of this grip is predominantly evaluated by the tire’s braking capabilities.

Now, the Firestone MultiSeason Gen 02 is below average here, and the primary reason behind its drawback here is its heavier weight particularly, and longitudinal notches.

These notches aligned longitudinally on the tread, don’t bite the road, as the tire brakes, and so they are just taking off the rubber here, compromising tire’s contact patch, negatively impacting grip.

Moreover, regarding weight, the tire is on the heavier side among its peers in its category. And this means it generates a greater momentum inertia, as the tire rolls, particularly at higher speeds, which requires more effort and time to get slowed down.

Both of these aspects, directly impact the tire’s braking. To give you an idea about its performance: The tire lacks to Toyo Celsius AS2 (another budget pick), by over 6 feet in braking distance tests, (on average).

Overall Handling

The overall handling of a tire is significantly influenced by two main factors: its lateral traction and steering response.

Now the lateral grip depends on shoulders (as they connect with the road more). And here the Firestone Gen 02 needs some improvement, given that its significantly voided up shoulder lugs, compromising its connectivity with the ground.

Though as the tire offers better steering feedback, it still offers pretty decent overall handling values.

I mean, I’ve tested almost all tires now coming in the grand touring category, and out of all, the Goodyear 4Seasons (review), ranks on top. And compared to this tire, the Firestone lacks by only 2 seconds, in handling lap time tests, on average, which is still pretty impressive.

Review Goodyear’s tire here:

So what’s making the steering good enough on MultiSeason tire?

Well, there are 3 aspects involved here, tire’s dual rubber compound, lighter weight, and rounded contact patch.

The tire basically has all lugs sitting on a secondary, stiffer rubber, which provides blocks with reinforced foundations, keeping their structural integrity.

Moreover, with lighter construction, there’s less weight pressure on all lugs, and that keeps them from flexing. And here rounded contact patch further adds to that.

This is because this contact patch is engineered to distribute the overall weight of the tire, more evenly, across its tread. Meaning each lugs gets to have less stress on its back, further resisting tread deformity.

This minimized bending of the tread blocks, doesn’t waste time in reshaping of the lugs, and that directly translates into faster response times, and with it, faster handling.

Fuel Efficiency

The relationship between fuel consumption and rolling resistance is significant. This resistance is primarily determined by two elements, the weight of the tire’s construction, and the composition of its tread.

The softer rubber of the tire, while beneficial for grip, leads to increased flexing of the tire’s lugs. This flexing causes more resistance as the tire rolls, which in turn requires more energy (and thus more fuel) for maneuverability.

Additionally, the weight of the tire is a crucial factor here as well.

The MultiSeason Gen 02 is heavier compared to some other tires in its class, due to a denser construction and additional layers in its build, which directly adds to the rolling resistance, lowering fuel efficiency.

Though, despite these factors, the tire still achieves an energy class C rating. This suggests that while it is not the most fuel-efficient option available, it still performs reasonably within certain efficiency standards.

But yes, overall you can find better tires out there, prioritizing fuel economy. One such tire is Dunlop Sport All Season (review).

In fact, the tire is the most fuel efficient (currently), and that’s the reason why I added it to my list of top grand touring tires. You can check out that list here:

For Your Info: “Energy Class C” in the context of tires refers to a classification within the European Union’s tire labeling system. This system rates tires based on three key performance characteristics: fuel efficiency, wet grip, and external rolling noise.

Wet Performance

The effectiveness of a tire in wet conditions can be determined by its overall wet grip, its steering response, and its capacity to prevent hydroplaning. Let’s analyze these aspects one by one.

Wet Traction

Wet traction is all about water clearance. And tires do that with the help of sipes and grooves.

Now grooves take out most of the water, and directly relates to hydroplaning, so I’d discuss it in the next section.

While sipes cater to residual water particles, where they act as small water containers, where the in-compressible liquid could go in.

Basically the moisture (left-over by grooves), coming between the tread and the road, is pressurized into those siping slits, and that way, part of the road gets further cleared.

Now, keeping things simple, think of them as sponges.

Having said that, the Firestone Gen 02 coming with ample interlocking (wave-like sipes), with multi-directional angles, (as those sipes sit on curved V-shaped lugs), provide wet grip from all angles.

This results in above average wet traction, where the tire offers very similar results compared to CrossClimate 2 ( lacking only by a feet in wet braking, and actually excelling by less than half a second in wet handling times, on average).

Though one thing to keep in mind about the steering with these tires, they tend to understeer, particularly when coming out of the corner.

Actually, tire’s on-center feedback needs to be improved, as that doesn’t convey you with actual traction values, post cornering.

Meaning you face a slight issue, straightening the car out, once out of the turn. Though it only happens when you push the tire to its limits.

Aquaplaning Resistance

Aquaplaning is basically the floating of the tire, and it happens when the tire’s grooves aren’t effective enough.

Now, with the Firestone MultiSeason Gen 02 benefiting from a well engineered directional tread pattern, I have no complaints with this tire here.

It efficiently expels water out, in all directions, where it’s rounded contact patch creates pressure points on the tread in a way, that water gets pushed out form the middle, towards shoulders, and gushes out of the tread quicker, relatively.

This not only allows for better float speeds, but also adds to overall wet traction.

Simply puts, this is because these grooves taking out more water at the start, leaves less for sipes to handle, improving their effectiveness further. And as already seen (in the above “wet traction” section), they are pretty effective on their own.

Winter Performance

Although the Firestone Gen 02 could improve its snow handling, it stands out as one of the best tires in its category for providing excellent acceleration and braking.

This is why the tire has earned the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake rating, (in addition to M+S). This rating signifies that the tire is at least 10% better in light snow acceleration compared to standard touring tires.

The tire’s V-shaped lugs play a crucial role. They effectively shovel snow backwards, creating forward momentum and acceleration.

Additionally, the tire excels in snow-to-snow contact. This is thanks to its numerous longitudinally aligned notches and curved voids, which act as in-groove biters.

These features capture and retain snow particles, enhancing traction through the “snowball effect,” where trapped snow in the voids adheres better to the ground.

Furthermore, the tire also performs impressively on icy terrains. Its numerous wave-like sipes, which vary in angles from the tire’s shoulders to its central area, contribute to above-average performance in its category.

Side Note: Interestingly, the overall performance of the MultiSeason Gen 02 is very similar to that of the Toyo Celsius AS2 (review).

Noise Comfort

Road noise originates from a combination of factors, including the sounds a tire makes while rolling over different road surfaces. And here, air plays a significant role. Let me explain.

So, as the tire rotates, air particles, primarily entering through the shoulder area, collide with the tread walls, creating noise.

And in the case of the Firestone MultiSeason Gen 02, there’s a consistent, albeit minor, tread hum and cavity resonance.

This background noise, while noticeable, can actually help mask subtle shifts in sound frequency, making it less intrusive to the ear.

And yes, considering the tire’s heavily siped design, this level of noise is quite minimal, still.

So you can put it like this, while compared to its direct competitors, the Firestone is relatively louder, the overall noise level is not overly disruptive.

Tread Longevity

Evaluating tire longevity requires considering various factors, including tread depth, rolling resistance, and the materials used in construction.

And considering all, it can be seen why the Firestone MultiSeason Gen 02, unfortunately, falls below average in terms of tread longevity.

A significant factor affecting this is its considerable weight.

Being one of the heaviest tires in its category, it exerts more pressure on the lugs during contact with the road, leading to increased wear.

Additionally, the tire’s relatively softer rubber compound contributes to this issue further.

I mean, the combination of the tire’s weight and pliable rubber results in greater bending of the lugs (as the tire maneuvers), causing wear, and heat, lowering tread life further.

So overall, this tire is only able to give you up to 35k miles, at best, throughout its life, and yes, it also doesn’t offer any treadwear mileage warranty.

To Recap

Concluding, the Firestone MultiSeason Gen’s performance varies significantly, and the final decision hinges on your unique driving requirements and conditions.

On dry roads, it offers impressive handling and steering feedback, but falls short in longitudinal grip due to its heavier weight and tread design.

Its wet performance is appreciable though, with excellent traction and aquaplaning resistance.

And yes, the tire also shines in winter conditions, with effective snow traction and braking, earning a 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake rating.

However, noise comfort is a concern, with a consistent tread hum and cavity resonance, although it’s not overly disruptive.

But the most significant drawback is its lacking tread longevity.

Leave a Comment