Yokohama Avid Ascend LX vs Continental TrueContact Tour

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The Yokohama Avid Ascend LX and the Continental TrueContact Tour are both esteemed contenders in the standard touring all-season tire category, each offering a unique blend of features and benefits. Let’s find a better fit for you here.

TrueContact on Kia
TrueContact on Kia Carnival.

Key Takeaway

So overall it all comes down to this. The Continental TrueContact Tour (review) is better at:

  • Wet Gripping: Thanks to its dense, multi-directional sipes and effective groove design.
  • Hydroplaning Resistance: Superior due to its interconnected circumferential grooves.
  • Winter Traction: Enhanced biters and X-shaped grooves facilitate better snow adherence.
  • Overall Dry Performance: Including superior straight-line grip and handling.

For Your Info: I’ve rated TrueContact at the very top in my list of best standard touring all-season tires.

Whereas the Yokohama Avid Ascend LX has the upper hand in terms of:

  • Wear Resistance: Owing to a stiffer rubber compound and lighter construction.
  • Tread Life: Slightly higher mileage warranty, indicating longer durability.
  • Noise Reduction: Produces a quieter ride, merging easily with ambient background noise.

Sizes Info

SpecsYokohama LXContinental TrueContact
Wheel Size15 to 18 inches15 to 19 inches
Speed RatingsT, H, VT, H, V
Load RatingsSL, XLSL, XL
Tread Depth11/32″11/32″
Weight Range18 to 30 lbs16 to 32 lbs
Warranty85k milesUp to 80k miles
UTQG Rating600 to 800 A A800 AA

Wear Resistance

In the context of tread longevity, the Continental tire performs admirably due to its durable silica-based tread rubber, which provides excellent wear resistance.

But overall, its still not able to outperform the Yokohama’s tire here.

And the distinction in tread life between these two tires primarily hinges on three factors: tread depth, the composition of the tread compound, and the overall weight of the tire’s construction.

So, what gives the Yokohama Avid Ascend LX an edge in this regard? Well let’s look at the factors.

Yokohama Avid Ascend LX
Yokohama Avid Ascend LX

Now sure, both tires have similar tread depth (across all their sizes), but the Avid Ascend LX benefits from a stiffer rubber compound and a lighter construction. This results in reduced stress on the tire lugs as the tire rolls, enhancing its overall lifespan.

Though the overall difference between the two tires is not a lot. And it becomes pretty clear once you see their treadwear warranties.

I mean, the Yokohama offers a slightly higher mileage warranty of 85,000 miles, which is just 5k greater than the TrueContact tire.

Side Note: For those prioritizing tread life, it’s important to note that the Michelin Defender 2 (review) is a leader among standard touring tires (where both these boys belong to, here).

Overall Dry Performance

I will explore the three critical elements of dry performance: dry grip, handling, and steering response, each in detail.

Straight-Line Grip

The effectiveness of a tire’s straight-line or directional grip is primarily assessed through braking distances, and is largely dependent on the tire’s central region.

If you’re wondering why central region, its because this area makes the most contact with the ground, while the tire rolls straight.

In this context, both tested tires showcase similar braking efficacy, as evidenced by their negligible stopping distance differences (on my averaged tests).

Though if we are splitting hairs, you should know that the TrueContact Tour gets to have the upper hand here.

Continental TrueContact Tour
Continental TrueContact Tour

Now sure the tire features relatively more voided up tread pattern with its X-shaped grooves (on its central 2 ribs) which technically should lower grip by reducing contact patch, the opposite happens here.

I mean these voids act as in-groove notches, actually providing this tire with the needed bite.

Moreover, the tire’s construction incorporating a relatively lighter (single ply polyester casing) structure keeps its momentum inertia lower, resulting with a more responsive and easier to decelerate experience.

In contrast, the Yokohama Avid Ascend LX falls short by over three feet in average braking distance. Despite its continuous central rib, which ensures steady rubber-to-road contact, the tire’s fewer biting edges do not provide as effective grip as the Continental’s tire design.

Overall Handling

Handling is a better measure of overall tire’s performance on dry roads. This is because this metric looks at everything, including braking, lateral traction, and overall steering response.

But why is that? Well to understand it, consider following 3 phases of cornering.

  • Entry Phase: Where tires have to slow down (showcasing braking performance).
  • Mid-Cornering: Where tires need to have ample lateral grip and steering responsiveness.
  • Exit Phase: Where tires need to have good enough acceleration.

Needless to say, all these phases directly add to overall handling times, where the Continental provides better results, showcasing a whole second faster laps on average.

Thanks to its superior braking capabilities, as previously detailed, this tire enters corners faster. Plus, it also offers a more tangible sense of grip during the mid-cornering phase, enhancing driver confidence and control.

Furthermore, its heavier steering feel, compared to others, provides a more robust on-center sensation, aiding in its performance during the exit phase.

By on-center, I mean it just straightens out faster out of the corner, ready to accelerate. And this is exactly what affects the overall handling times (the most) on Yokohama Avid Ascend LX.

Though its worth noting that the tire does offer just as great mid-corner feedback, comparatively (as my slalom tests indicate).

Noise Reduction

The generation of noise in tires is mainly due to the interaction between air particles and the tread walls. Given this, the Continental TrueContact’s more voided structure explains its relatively louder ride.

On the other hand, the Avid Ascend LX stands out as a quieter option, producing only a faint hum that easily merges with ambient background noise.

This quieter performance is largely attributed to the tire’s advanced variable pitch pattern.

Basically, this design creates a variety of contact points for air particles on the tire lugs, producing a range of sound frequencies that tend to neutralize each other, effectively reducing noise.

I talked about it in greater details here:

Wet Gripping

In wet conditions, a tire’s performance hinges significantly on its ability to effectively disperse water from the tread, a capability that’s largely depends on the design and functionality of the tire’s sipes and grooves.

But why these design elements are crucial here?

Well because grooves primarily handle the bulk of water evacuation, while sipes, the small slits in the tread, play a crucial role thereafter.

These sipes create areas of negative pressure that help draw in water particles, enhancing wet traction. And their effectiveness depends on their flexibility, (necessary for generating sufficient suction).

With this understanding, the advantage of the Continental TrueContact Tour in wet conditions becomes clear. The tire’s dense and intricately designed multi-directional sipes maintain their flexibility, even under the stress of aggressive cornering.

The Avid Ascend LX on the other hand, doesn’t offer good enough siping structure.

I mean sure its sipes provide adequate performance during braking in wet conditions, they tend to become less flexible during cornering (hampering their water clearing abilities).

Hydroplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning happens when water builds up under the tire tread, preventing contact with the road surface, leading to a loss of traction and causing the tire to essentially “float” or hydroplane.

And this happens when grooves aren’t effective enough, (since grooves are in charge of taking out majority of water, as already discussed in the wet traction section above).

Understanding this, it makes sense why out of both tires here, the TrueContact Tour takes the lead, showcasing superior float speeds (in both of my curved and straight running tests).

The tire achieves this through its well-designed interconnected circumferential grooves, which enable more effective water evacuation. I mean sure both tires offer 4 longitudinal channels, the ones on Continental are wider and joined up with each other (by the help of X-shaped grooves).

And with this tire taking out more water through its channels, there’s less left behind for sipes. Meaning this not only contributes to the Continental’s superior aquaplaning resistance but also its increased traction, making it a standout choice in wet conditions.

Winter Traction

While neither tire here features the 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rating, the overall performance is still seen better on the Continental’s tire.

In fact when it comes to winter performance, this tire leads its standard touring all-season category.

And its superior performance is all because of its enhanced biters which are adept at picking up and retaining snow particles. I am talking about its X-shaped on the central two ribs, in particular.

This design facilitates snow-to-snow contact, an important feature since snowflakes tend to adhere more effectively to each other than to rubber.

Moreover, as the tire offers relatively softer rubber composition these biters are also able to stay flexible in colder environments. Meaning the tire also does better when it comes to icy tracks (compared to Yokohama Avid Ascend LX).

I mean sure, since its not a all-weather tire, lacking optimal thermal adaptability, the TrueContact Tour is still aided by its +Silane additives. These additives prevent the biters from freezing too quickly, although this benefit is most pronounced in temperatures above 44 °F.

MPG Efficiency

Rolling resistance is a crucial factor in determining a tire’s impact on fuel economy, and both tires under consideration here show similar performance in this respect.

I mean there’s isn’t much of a difference in terms of rolling resistance and its effect on fuel efficiency for both these boys here.

The Yokohama tire is characterized by its stiffer rubber composition, along with more robust foundational supports beneath all lugs. This design reduces excessive bending of the lugs during maneuvering, which in turn minimizes energy loss through heat and deformation of the blocks.

On the other hand, the Continental TrueContact Tour benefits from various innovative technologies, including EcoPlus Technology and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) construction.

EcoPlus Technology is geared towards reducing CO2 emissions and incorporates specially formulated compounds to lower rolling resistance, thus boosting fuel efficiency. Finite Element Analysis, a sophisticated digital modeling method, is used to predict how a tire will react to real-world forces such as vibrations, temperature changes, and stress.

So, when it comes to fuel efficiency as indicated by MPG (miles per gallon) readings, there is no significant difference when switching from one of these tires to the other, at least not on my tests.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, it all comes down to this: choosing the better tire is not straightforward since each excels in various aspects.

The Continental TrueContact, with its more voided structure, generates more noise, but excels in wet conditions due to its superior siping and groove design, leading to enhanced hydroplaning resistance and winter traction.

Its lighter construction and unique tread design also provide an edge in dry performance, particularly in straight-line grip and overall handling.

In contrast, the Avid Ascend LX, benefiting from a stiffer rubber compound and lighter construction, demonstrates better wear resistance and offers slightly higher treadwear warranties.

Other than all this, both tires perform similarly in terms of rolling resistance and fuel efficiency, indicating no significant advantage for either in this aspect.

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