Top tier tire manufacturer BFGoodrich recently added an all-new model to its lineup of all-season tires. I just got my hands on a set of the new BFGoodrich Advantage Control tires and put over 1,500 miles on them. Here are my first impressions.
All-season tires are a jack of all trades and master of none. They’re made to tackle most conditions well enough, provide a compliant ride, and handle the corners with confidence. However, they don’t excel at one certain condition specifically. Because of their versatility, most new cars come with all-season tires, and most consumers purchase these as replacements. The question, then, was whether the BFGoodrich Advantage Control all-season tires were allstars?
New Tires, New Technology
The new BFGoodrich Advantage Control all-season tire debuted in March 2021. In looking at the company’s tire lineup, it appears to be the least performance-oriented all-season tire that the company offers. It slots below the iconic Advantage T/A radial, which has been on sale for 40 years.
This tire features the BFG’s Aqua-Flume technology and advanced all-season compounds for improved braking performance on wet roads. BFG even claims the tires will stop 8-feet shorter than the competition. The company states this technology displays a curvilinear groove system designed to evacuate water from under the contact patch. By doing so, consumers can expect all-season control in their daily driving.
Finally, the Michelin-owned tire maker says consumers will enjoy a more comfortable ride due to the next-generation g-Wedge Sidewall Stabilizer. This steadies the tire sidewall, allowing the Advantage Control tire to show crisp handling and provide a comfortable ride. So while they might not be the most high-performance tire in the all-season lineup, it doesn’t mean they’re a slouch.
Our 2007 Toyota Yaris liftback needed a new set of shoes, so I reached out to BFG for a set of these to test. Our subcompact Yaris wears custom 14″ wheels, and I shod them with 185/65R14 Advantage Control tires — the smallest size offered. However, the company makes them in a wide range of sizes all the way up to 245/50R20. Most are going to have an H or V tire speed rating (130 mph or 149 mph, respectively), with a few sizes carrying a W-rated (168 mph). My little 14s were specifically 185/65R14 86H. All Advantage Control tires have black sidewalls only.
One Tire For Many Conditions
All-season tires are sort of that one-size-fits-most kind of rolling stock. They blend a little bit of everything into one tire designed to perform well in most conditions. If we were to have tires for every condition, most people would have, at a minimum, two sets: summer and winter. But all-season tires let people drive year-round on one set, sometimes even in snow. All-season tires aren’t going to be as good as a summer tire in the dry or a winter tire in the snow, but they do good enough for most buyers most of the time.
BFGoodrich Advantage Control: Initial Impressions
Once the BFGoodrich Advantage Control tires were mounted and balanced, I daily-drove our Yaris for a couple of weeks around town. BFGoodrich advertises a smooth, quiet ride, and I would agree that these tires provide that.
Our Yaris is lowered on a stiffer suspension system, and I’m used to running either a firm summer tire with excellent grip or a soft winter tire with lots of road noise and flexy, marshmallow-like sidewalls. I definitely found the BFGoodrich Advantage Control tires more comfortable than the summer rubber and more responsive than the mushy winter rubber.
They are quiet and smooth too, especially on the highway. But there’s no better way to put an all-season tire through its paces than by doing a 1,500-mile road trip, so that’s exactly what we did.
Road Trip Performance
In August, my wife and I took the Yaris round-trip from Portland, Oregon to Santa Rosa, California. We did long Interstate stints, we had some spirited back-roads driving, and we really got a feel for the BFGoodrich Advantage Control tires.
My initial impressions were confirmed: they were comfortable cruisers on the highway and provided little road-noise, yet offered trustworthy stability in the corners. They tracked straight and true and never felt unbalanced or squirrely. At 10mm narrower than the previous tires I had, turning was easier and fuel economy was slightly improved.
I had the opportunity for some spirited canyon carving on this trip. While the BFGoodrich Advantage Control tires are not a substitute for a grippy summer-only tire in the twisties, I wasn’t disappointed by the amount of grip these provided.
Our Yaris rides on a stiffer high-performance suspension setup, complete with a rear sway bar; I’m used to a sticky 195/55R15 in a summer compound. But these tires didn’t disappoint in the road-holding department. No, the fat 65-series sidewalls are not as stiff as those on my previous 55-series summer tires, but they held the pavement better than I anticipated, especially on the exceptionally curvy Highway 29 north of Calistoga, California. Again, these aren’t intended to be summer tires, but for a 65-series all-season tire, I was impressed.
From a standstill, I noticed initial traction wasn’t as good as my last set of summer tires; I was able to break these free from a stop sign relatively easily and regularly versus my previous summer rubber. Perhaps I wasn’t used to having a narrower tire; maybe it’s just the less-sticky compound versus a dedicated summer tire. Regardless, it was noticeable.
The Absence of Aqua
Much of the western U.S. is in a fierce drought at the time of this writing, and regrettably, I haven’t had these tires in the rain to put the Aqua-Flume tech to the test. Rest assured, once the rains come to the Pacific Northwest — and they will — we’ll see how they handle the rain. I can confidently say these tires will be better in colder temps than a dedicated summer tire, which often loses grip below 45° F, and should be better in the rain as well. Keep in mind, these are not mud and snow (M+S) rated tires, so if you plan on driving in snow, you may want to look at a different tire.
New Country of Origin
BFGoodrich may be best known for its USA-made T/A radials or its off-road tires (although they’re trying some new things lately too). I own the manufacturer’s KM3 mud-terrain tires and KO2 all-terrain tires on two of my three four-wheel-drive rigs; all of those tires are made in the U.S.A. I expected the Advantage Controls to be domestically manufactured, too. However, the BFGoodrich Advantage Control tires are made in Indonesia. The company confirmed the tires are its first to be made there and are its only tires made in the country at present.
Regardless of the country of origin, BFGoodrich has been a trusted name in tires for over 150 years, and the BFGoodrich Advantage Control tires will likely continue this reputation. In fact, BFGoodrich has a long 75,000-mile, 6-year warranty on these tires, ensuring an extended life and continued trust in the brand.
I haven’t had a set of all-season tires for years. They typically don’t offer up the summer or winter traction I want. However, since our Yaris is now our only daily driver, it makes sense to run a tire that can be used year-round here in Portland. I won’t have to switch back and forth when the weather gets cold and rainy, either, which is a nice convenience. (We have 4WD vehicles with winter tires for snow.)
I’m happy with the BFG Advantage Control’s performance, looks, and warranty. If you’re looking for an all-season tire for your daily, these new BFGs will likely fit the bill for you as well.