When it comes to buying tires, one big question that springs to mind is which brand to pick from? Most people that are knowledgeable about tires have their favorite brand, usually one of the bigger companies like Michelin, Bridgestone, or Continental. But what about a smaller like Yokohama?
When it comes to Yokohama vs Continental tires you might be thinking; “why even bother? Continental is so much bigger it is obviously better.” Though Continental is bigger and, in some ways, better, you might be surprised how well Yokohama holds up when it comes to affordability and fuel economy.
Yokohama was founded on the 13th of October 1917, as The Yokohama Rubber Company Limited, a Japanese tire manufacturer. The company is currently based in Tokyo and started as a joint venture between Yokohama Cable Manufacturing and B.F. Goodrich.
By 1969 the company expanded by the foundation of the Yokohama Tire Corporation which operates in the United States. Yokohama’s most successful product is the ADVAN tire family. The tire became so popular that Yokohama used its ADVAN tire for brand marketing in Japan.
Today Yokohama is known for its aftermarket sport tires. Through its 100-plus years of experience, they have focused on the sport tire corner of the market with great success. Additionally, Yokohama has a heavy focus on economical tires which are also affordable.
Yokohama’s Tire Families
Yokohama puts a lot of emphasis in their performance tire family, the Advan. If you want a relatively lower priced tire that provides high speed performance, they are a good bet. Yokohama prides itself when it comes to fuel efficiency in the Avid tire line.
The Advan tire line is what brought Yokohama into the spotlight. There are several models in the line which provide the customer a wide range of choices so that they can have a race-ready tire in any condition.
The four tires in the Avid tire line are the direct competition for the majority of Continental’s tires as it is focused on providing long-lasting performance, comfort, and efficiency in all types of driving conditions.
With 7 Geolander tires, customers have a huge pick of off-road and all-terrain tires to choose from. From the sleek GEOLANDAR CV G058 to the aggressive GEOLANDAR X-MT, you will find what you need for your adventure time.
Iceguards are Yokohama’s main winter tire line. The line consists of four tires with the main differences being the size of the vehicle they are used on and longevity. All of the Iceguard tires are studless.
The Parade is specifically designed for the American market as it is built for pickups, SUVs, and modern muscle cars. It features an aggressive tread pattern which provides better handling and a quiet ride while also lasting a long time.
The Bluearth tire line consists of three tires and is Yokohama’s second winter tire line. As odd as it might seem to have two winter tire lines there is a good reason for it. The tire line’s aim is to provide performance in snowy and icy conditions while also incorporating a fuel-saving construction in order to minimize the impact on the environment.
Continental is some 50 years older than Yokohama as it was founded in 1871, making it the oldest tire company in the world. Based in Hanover, Germany, you can expect good quality tires from Continental. At first, the company was known as a rubber manufacturer, but by 1898 it became well known as a tire brand.
The company achieved notoriety from its continental plain tread tire which performed better than most other tires at the time, which was a big step into the tire world. A few years later in 1904, Continental took another major step when they were the first company in the world to produce grooved tires.
Continental was very successful for many years, but this would prove to be a problem. Between the years of 2004 and 2008, the company overextended with a massive expansion campaign. The overextension left the company vulnerable to a hostile takeover.
A competing company by the name of Schaeffler AG bought out the majority of shares in Continental and the company was restructured. Today, Schaeffler AG still holds the majority of shares at 46%. Though this was bad for some of the higher-ups at Continental, there have been some improvements.
Continental is now one of the leading companies when it comes to tire technology. Not only does Continental focus on quiet and comfortable tires, they are also dedicated to a cleaner and greener tire industry. As a testament to this goal, Continental is the first company to have developed and tested a new form of tread polymer.
The tread polymer is made from all-natural dandelion rubber, which completely eliminates the need for rubber trees. Dandelion rubber is a massive leap forward because rubber trees are a difficult crop to grow. They need a very specific tropical climate which is limited. Thus, many native species are at risk due to deforestation to make room for rubber trees.
Dandelions on the other hand can grow in areas where pretty much nothing else can grow. Dandelion crops can also be harvested quickly, as opposed to rubber trees which take years to grow before they can be harvested.
Though Continental is still in the early stages of the dandelion experiment, there is great potential to change the tire and rubber industry as a whole.
Continental’s Tire Families
Continental’s main focus is luxury and comfort coupled with all-season performance and long-lasting tires and all of their tire families have these traits. With Continental being the oldest Tire company in the world, they have many options to pick from.
Rather than separating the tires up by tire families, I have split them up into four categories: ultra-high-performance, touring, all-terrain, and winter. Under each of these sections, I have listed some of the more popular tire lines to help you pick the right tire for you.
There are twelve tires in the Ultra-High-Performance line. These tires deliver maximum performance for your needs and your vehicle, whatever that may be. These tires can be fitted to sports cars and passenger vehicles, to SUVs and light trucks.
these tires are also made for different weather situations from summer tires to all seasons. No winter tires here and it should be noted that there are three all-season tires out of the twelve. Most of these tires have four stars or higher.
This tire has a cool-looking tread and a five-star rating. The ExtremeContac DWS06 Plus can be used on passenger cars, crossovers, and SUVs all year round with responsive handling, better grip on wet roads, and extended tread life. The tire comes with a 50,000-mile limited warranty, a 60 day trial period, and a three-year roadside assistance plan.
The ExtremeContact Sport is designed for sport and passenger cars, and summertime usage only. It gives more responsive handling, and better grip on wet and dry roads, but due to the tire compound, the mileage for the limited warranty is lower at only 30,000-miles. It does, however, come with a 60-day trial and a three-year roadside assistance plan.
Touring tires are Continental’s main target market. Their touring tires are designed to provide an exceptionally comfortable ride while also delivering reliable all-season traction, superior responsive handling, and improved roll resistance.
Continental’s touring tires also have a higher speed rating than most other tires and will more than likely have an asymmetrical tread pattern. If you want the best day to day tire for all-seasons, continental is the right place to go.
The CrossContact LX25 is one of Continental’s premium all-season touring tires which can be fitted on Crossovers, light trucks, and SUVs. The tire comes with Continental’s standard 60-day trial and 3-year roadside assistance plan and a 70,000-mile limited warranty.
The tire also comes with two of Continental’s technologies, the EcoPlus for fuel savings and the quickview indicators.
The PureContact LS is similar to the CrossContact LX25 but with an emphasis on luxury. Fitting passenger cars and crossovers, the PureContact LS has a Limited mileage warranty of 70,000 miles, the 60-day trial and 3-year road assistance plan.
It also has the EcoPlus and QuickView Indicator technologies. This tire is a bit quieter than the PureContact so if you have a crossover this might be a better option.
Though the TrueContact Tour might seem like a copy of the above two it is not. It has the same two base technologies however it is built to last even longer. This can be seen with the limited warranty as it covers the tire for up to 80,000 miles.
The tier is available on all vehicles that sport rims ranging from 15 to 19 inches. Because the tire compound is a little tougher and the side wall a little taller, the handling is a little less responsive than the Cross and Pure Contacts, however, this is a worthwhile trade for the extra mileage.
Continental only has two all-terrain tires, the TerrainContact A/T being their flagship all-terrain tire. Though there is a limited selection, there is no lack of quality.
Designed for crossovers, SUVs and light trucks the TerrainContact™ A/T is a premium all-season all-terrain tire. The tire features TractionPlus™ Technology, which provides improved traction and durability, better grip on wet roads, and quiet road noise, all the while having the durability to conquer dirt, gravel, and grass.
The tire also comes with a 60,000-mile warranty which is quite large for all-terrain tires. As usual, the tire also comes with the 60-day trial period and a 3-year roadside assistance plan.
When it comes to winter conditions, tires are crucial. After all, they are the only thing keeping you attached to the road and facing the right direction. There are three tires to pick from when it comes to winter tires in the Continental brand, the VikingContact 7, however, takes the cake.
The VikingContact™ 7 is a premium winter tire for passenger cars, crossovers, SUVs, and light trucks. Featuring Continental’s PolarPlus Technology, the tire provides flexible tread in cold temperatures, better grip in winter conditions, and shorter stopping distances on snow and ice-covered roads.
Officially the tire sports the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol for severe winter conditions which means it has been tested by an outside governing body. As with most winter tires, it does not come with a limited warranty, however, it still has the 60-day trial and the 3-year roadside assistance plan.
Differences Between Yokohama and Continental
The main difference is that the two companies have different target markets within the tire world. Yokohama focuses on aftermarket performance tires for racing and off-roading. Continental, on the other hand, focuses mainly on providing performance and comfort all season round for day-to-day driving.
Advantages of Yokohama
- Good after market performance tires
- Good after markets off roading tires
- Average prices are lower
- Some good option for lowering the environmental impact of tires
Advantages of Continental
- Excellent day to day tires
- Superior levels of comfort
- Superior levels of noise reduction
- Superior all-weather handling
Which Brand to Choose
Picking between these two brands really comes down to what you need out of your tires. If you are looking for an off-roading tire, you will have more options at Yokohama, especially for more rugged terrain. This being said, if the all-terrain tires are comparable, Continental will probably be better.
Performance tires are also up in the air. Continental doesn’t make many full racing tires where Yokohama does, however, where they are comparable Continental will most likely have the better performing tires, whereas Yokohama will be cheaper.
Winter tire Continental comes out on top in performance. However, Yokohama once again has many options, including their “greener” tires and they are mostly cheaper.
One area where there is a clear winner is the day-to-day tire. The Continental Touring tires are above and beyond superior to Yokohama’s Avid tire line. They simply have more choices that have been refined over many years to give you the best performance.
Finally, Continental is pushing the tire industry into a cleaner, greener future. though Yokohama is also involved in this aspect with their Bluearth tire line, it does not compare to Continental’s dandelion rubber research.