- Excellent treadwear warranty
- Brilliant hydroplaning resistance
- Above-average cornering grip
- Available at a budget asking price
- Not usable in heavy snow
- Responsiveness could be better
High-performance tires tick various boxes. They are much better at handling than factory-installed touring tires. Their traction, handling, and braking/acceleration are second to none. And you can trust them to offer the same ride quality as grand-touring tires.
One such tire is the Firestone Firehawk AS. This all-season, high-performance tire was initially built for sport coupes and sedans. It was aimed at drivers who want high responsiveness and sporty handling, but not at the cost of comfort or ride quality.
That isn’t to say that this tire won’t work for drivers of hatchbacks. I’ve seen people using it with their Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI. But I would not count on it for more powerful vehicles like Focus RS, Golf R, or Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Firestone Firehawk AS. We’ll have a look at this tire’s performance in dry, wet, and snowy conditions. You’ll also get to know how it performed when I took it for off-roading.
What are the features of Firestone Firehawk AS?
The Firestone Firehawk AS is a high-performance tire, so it makes sense to start with its handling and responsiveness. This tire boasts deep tread channels that help it retain its sporty performance throughout its tread life. That’s something I cannot say about most high-performance tires.
Next comes its excellent performance on wet roads. The newer version of this tire has 20% more biting edges than its predecessor, helping it offer better control on wet roads. The increased number of edges kept hydroplaning at bay as I drove this tire through heavy rainy conditions.
An asymmetric tread design not only improves traction in dry and wet conditions. It also gives way to even tire wear (crucial for balanced vehicle handling). The tread’s design also contributes to large tread blocks on the outside edge, ensuring a massive contact area with the road.
Another thing that impressed me about the tire is its strength. Part of the credit for that goes to its 1- or 2-ply polyester casing (smaller sizes have 1-ply polyester casting). But you cannot ignore the importance of high-tensile steel belts for lending ruggedness to the tire.
Is there anything missing on the features front? There is. I’d have liked this tire more had it come with at least one maintenance indicator. In the absence of which, you have no choice but to use the penny test to determine how much tread depth is remaining.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
The Firehawk AS offers better handling on dry tarmac than the best grand-touring tires. Still, it trails the best all-season high-performance tires in this regard. You cannot expect it to be as stable on dry, paved roads as those from Goodyear, Bridgestone, and Michelin.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Firehawk AS is a budget-friendly alternative to premium high-performance tires, like the Goodyear Eagle GT. Having driven both, I have no doubts in my mind that the Firehawk AS feels bulkier and less responsive of the two tires.
Similar is the case with its steering input, which doesn’t directly transfer to the ground like in the best all-season high-performance tires I’ve driven. Neither does this tire respond excellently to abrupt changes in direction. Plus, its sidewall isn’t as stiff, especially during hard cornering.
Traction is unquestionably better, but you can still hear that squeak as you apply sudden brakes at high speed. Fortunately, the side-to-side grip is top-notch – I never faced any problem while cornering at high speeds, while the braking performance won’t give you any jitters, either.
All in all, if you’re an average driver, the Firehawk AS’s dry performance won’t trouble you. But serious enthusiasts would do well to consider alternatives.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
In terms of wet performance, the Firehawk AS is pretty solid.
I was happily surprised with its performance in heavy rain, especially with how it kept hydroplaning at an arm’s length. Braking is also solid, while traction is above-par for the category. It also provided good grip in damp conditions, something you can’t say about most budget-friendly high-performance tires.
In short, you’d have to try hard to find faults with this tire’s wet performance. That isn’t to say that it’s the best in its class in wet traction. Sure, you can always go out and buy models offering better traction, but such tires would weigh more heavily on your pocket.
How is it over snow?
Compared with its predecessor, which had 20% fewer biting edges, the Firehawk AS offers excellent snow traction. The extra biting edges successfully shorten the braking distance in light-snowy conditions. What they fail to do, though, is make this tire ideal for snow-laden roads.
That is something you can say about almost every other tire in this price range. While most of them can hold their own in light snow, they struggle for traction in frigid weather.
Having said that, as long as you don’t live in an area covered in snow during the winter months, the Firehawk AS will provide decent-enough traction and grip in colder conditions.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Firestone has pulled out all the stops to provide the Firehawk AS with a comfortable design.
As it rolled over potholes and medium-size bumps, I couldn’t help but admire how comfy this tire is. It is also pretty quiet, and the absence of noise becomes easy to notice on premium models. I’m talking about cars or 4x4s that come with built-in sound insulation. With the aid of the Firehawk AS, such luxury vehicles could easily keep road noise at a minimum.
All of this is to say that the Firehawk AS can compete – or even beat – some of the best all-season, high-performance tires in the sound department.
Is it good for off-roading?
No, the Firestone Firehawk AS shouldn’t be driven in off-road conditions. It isn’t designed for those conditions, even though you can fit it to an SUV or crossover.
This tire’s tread pattern is only designed to deliver a comfortable, quiet on-road performance. Neither its sidewall nor the tread area is designed for puncture resistance. This makes both of them vulnerable to deflation and staking when driven over off-road terrain.
If you still want to fit your 4WD with this high-performance tire, make sure to drive to the conditions. The Firehawk AS will be an excellent option for any 4WD with zero off-road exposure. With above-par comfort and minimal noise, it could make your 4WD ride highly enjoyable.
Is Firestone Firehawk AS ideal for sporty driving?
The Firehawk AS will deliver average sporty performance, for as long as its treadlife lasts.
Unlike tires made for sporty driving, this model’s steering input isn’t directly transferred to the road, and it also struggles while responding to abrupt changes in direction.
All in all, it hasn’t got much to excite serious enthusiasts.
Firestone Firehawk AS Warranty
I was happy to note that Firestone has backed the Firehawk AS with a 50-000 mile treadwear warranty. This sets the bar incredibly high for other all-season, high-performance tires, most of whom struggle to match the warranty. In fact, I’ve seen costlier models offering less warranty.
Firestone further sweetens the deal by throwing in a 90-day ‘buy and try’ warranty. If you aren’t satisfied with the tire’s performance during the first three months of purchase, you have the option to get an exchange or a full refund.
Firestone Firehawk AS: Is it worth the money?
The Firestone Firehawk AS comes with a competitive price tag, but it hasn’t cut any corners to keep the asking price low. Its price starts from $126.99.
Even when you consider that this is the price for the smallest size (15-inch), the amount seems pretty reasonable. When you compare the same size with premium brands, the tire looks a steal.
Should I buy the Firestone Firehawk AS?
If you’re upgrading from a grand-touring set of tires, you’d find plenty to like about the Firehawk AS. Not least the fact that its asking price won’t blow a hole in your pocket. The tire’s comfort, quietness, and above-average warranty will also make it an exciting option for you.
However, if you’re hoping to get your hands on the best all-season high-performance tire, there are much better options out there. The Firehawk AS lags almost all counterparts when it comes to sheer performance.
What Vehicles Will the Firestone Firehawk AS Fit?
Here’s a sample of models that the Firestone Firehawk AS will fit:
- Audi A3, A4, A6, TT
- BMW 3-Series, 1-Series, 2-Series
- Buick Regal, Lacrosse
- Chevy Aveo, Cavalier, Cruze, Sonic, Cobalt, Monte Carlo, Camaro
- Chrysler PT Cruiser, Sebring
- Dodge Avenger, Charger, Challenger, Stratus, Dart, Caliber
- Ford Focus, Mustang, Taurus, Five Hundred, Fusion
- Honda Accord, Civic
- Hyundai Elantra, Sonata, Genesis, Azera
- Kia Soul, Optima, Forte, Amanti
- Mazda 626, Mazda3, Mazda6, RX-7, Mazda5
- Mitsubishi Eclipse, Galant
- Nissan Altima, Sentra, Maxima, 370Z
- Pontiac Grand Am, Firebird, Grand Prix, Sunfire, G6, Bonneville
- Subaru Impreza, Legacy, WRX
- Toyota Corolla, Camry, Prius, Avalon
- Volkswagen Golf, New Beetle, Passat
Tire Sizes for Firestone Firehawk AS?
- 185/55R15 82V BW
- 195/60R15 88H BW
- 195/65R15 91H BW
- 195/50R16 84V BW
- 195/55R16 87V BW
- 205/55R16 91H BW
- 205/60R16 92H BW
- 215/55R16 97V XL BW
- 215/60R16 95V BW
- 205/50R17 93V XL BW
- 215/45R17 91V XL BW
- 215/50R17 95V XL BW
- 215/55R17 94V BW
- 225/45R17 94V XL BW
- 225/50R17 98V XL BW
- 225/55R17 97V BW
- 235/45R17 97V XL BW
- 235/55R17 99V BW
- 215/55R18 95H BW
- 225/45R18 95V XL BW
- 225/50R18 95V BW
- 235/50R18 97V BW
- 235/55R18 100V BW
- 245/40R18 97V XL BW
- 245/45R18 100V XL BW
- 245/40R19 98V XL BW
- 245/45R19 98V BW
- 245/50R19 105V XL BW
- 245/45R20 103V XL BW
- 275/40R20 106V XL BW
List of Firestone Tire Reviews