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- Very good dry lateral grip, accompanied by short stopping distances
- Stable and planted cornering on wet tarmac
- Excellent braking, acceleration, and lateral grip in rainy conditions
- Best longitudinal snow traction among UHP all-season tires in the same price range
- Easy to drive on snow, thanks to the balanced handling and good lateral grip
- The tire is stiff but still very composed over bumpy roads, with little to no secondary motion
- Great overall performance for the price
- Noisy on coarse roads, particularly at highway speeds
- The treadwear warranty is lower than on its main rivals
- It is not as engaging to drive on dry roads as some of its rivals
Want the best-performing UHP all-season tire, and your budget is unlimited? Then, the intelligent choice would be to go for a premium tire from manufacturers like Continental, Bridgestone, Pirelli, and Michelin.
But most drivers, including owners of sporty vehicles, have a limited budget for new tires. Fortunately, the market today is saturated with near-premium UHP all-season tires. These products promise similar performance to premium tires while costing 10-25% less.
One of the most popular near-premium tiremakers globally is perhaps the Japanese Falken. As part of Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Falken belongs to one of the biggest tiremakers globally and is Sumitomo’s premium brand. In 2022, Falken launched its latest UHP all-season tire, the Azenis FK460 A/S, which aims to disrupt the industry with innovative technology and competitive pricing.
The new tire succeeds the Azenis FK450 A/S – a solid tire, but not very competitive in today’s landscape. So, the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S might not have big shoes to fill, but it will have difficulty competing against its rivals, including similarly-priced tires. Namely, BFGoodrich also recently launched the g-Force COMP-2 A/S Plus, Yokohama released the ADVAN Sport A/S+, while Vredestein competes with the excellent Hypertrac All Season.
Not to mention, the premium brands also have some fantastic UHP all-season tires that are hard to beat. Our favorite, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus, provides exceptional grip in all weather conditions, while the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 is very sharp and fun to drive. Bridgestone also launched the Potenza Sport AS just recently, and although we haven’t tested that tire, it should be leading the category in some metrics.
So, how does the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S fare in this segment crowded with excellent tires? Can it save you some money while offering near-class-leading grip, regardless of outside conditions? And crucially, is it worth your money?
Before we dive into answering those questions, it is essential to note that Falken is not a stranger to producing performance tires. In fact, it is one of the most popular brands among enthusiasts and a company with an extensive racing R&D department. So, the expectations were very high going into this review. Let’s see how it panned out!
What are the features of the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S?
The Azenis FK460 A/S features Falken’s sophisticated rubber compound with Advanced 4D Nano Technology, which aims to provide a high dry/wet grip without sacrificing treadlife. The compound is molded into an asymmetric tread pattern, designed to provide grip in dry and wet conditions, along with helpful traction over light snow.
Although the tread pattern looks pretty regular, it has some characteristics that set it apart from the competition. For instance, Falken incorporated interlocking sipes with an unusual design, which are there to improve snow traction while maintaining tread rigidity for responsive handling and stability on dry/wet roads.
Furthermore, the Azenis FK460 A/S has emerging grooves that ensure good wet traction throughout the tire’s lifespan. Many cheaper tires lack these emerging grooves and become dangerous to drive when the tread is worn out below 50% of its original depth.
Like most UHP all-season tires, the Azenis FK460 A/S has a high-grip chamfer on the edge of the tread, ensuring the performance-level grip drivers would expect from such a tire. In addition, these chamfers ensure precise and responsive steering, another essential aspect of UHP all-season tires.
The Azenis FK460 A/S also has a wide footprint, which enhances grip by maximizing the contact patch with the road. This, along with the four circumferential grooves and lateral voids for better water evacuation, should improve the wet traction of the Azenis FK460 A/S.
The internal construction of the Azenis FK460 A/S looks pretty stiff and includes two high-tensile steel belts and a reinforced two-ply polyester casing for added stiffness. In addition, like most UHP all-season tires, Falken utilized a polyamide cap ply that ensures high-speed stability and durability.
According to Falken, this internal configuration also makes the Azenis FK460 A/S suitable for modern electric vehicles. EVs are notorious for being very heavy and possessing amazing torque and power numbers, all of which put a lot of stress on the tire, so it’s good to see tiremakers doing something about that.
What are the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S’ maintenance indicators?
The Falken Azenis FK460 A/S has the industry-standard wear bars inside its circumferential grooves. These bars will be flush with the rest of the tread once it reaches 2/32 inches (1.6 mm), the lowest legal depth in most areas globally.
These wear bars are part of any tire today, even the cheapest Chinese tires. That is because they are legally required, so tiremakers must ensure they are incorporated into their designs. And while they can notify drivers when they need to replace the tires, the wear bars aren’t that useful.
For starters, the average driver rarely looks at the wear indicators, as they are not that apparent. Most people would ask a tire technician whether the tires need to be replaced, and some would continue wearing out the tires beyond the 2/32-inch depth, not knowing what the wear bars do.
And even if you know about the wear bars, they can only tell you when the tire reaches the minimum tread depth, which is considered the lowest for successful wet traction. But what about snow or slush? These wear bars are almost useless for seeing whether your tires will work in the upcoming winter.
Some tiremakers started including better wear indicators, which can notify drivers when the tire becomes unserviceable for driving in various conditions.
For example, Continental has utilized the letters D, W, and S on its ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus model, all visible when the tire is new. These letters are imprinted on one of the tire’s tread blocks, each with a different depth.
The letter S is the shallowest, meaning it will become invisible first. Once this happens, the tire is not serviceable over snow-covered roads. It’s the same with W for wet roads and D for dry roads. This approach makes it much easier for the driver to monitor the tread depth closely and is also a good UI design. It does not allow the driver to monitor for uneven wear, though.
You can overcome the limitations of various wear indicators by using a tread depth gauge. It is an inexpensive tool that you can use on various tire grooves, getting precise measurements up to the tenth of a millimeter. You can keep the tread depth gauge in your trunk or the cabin’s glovebox, as it takes almost no space.
What is the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S warranty?
Falken provides a 50,000-mile warranty on the Azenis FK460 A/S, one of the highest in the category and impressive for the price.
If we can trust that the tire will last as long as the warranty promises, you should get 3-4 years of driving in dry and wet conditions and 2-3 years in wintry conditions.
The Azenis FK460 A/S is a new tire launched last year, so real-world reviews of owners are still rare. Thus, we can’t comment on whether Falken’s UHP all-season tire will last as long as the manufacturer promises.
Falken’s closest rivals come with similar warranties. Notably, the Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S+ leads the pack with a 55,000-mile warranty on all sizes, while the BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S Plus and General G-MAX AS-05 have a 50,000-mile warranty.
Most premium UHP all-season tires also come with 50,000-mile warranties despite costing more than the Azenis FK460 A/S. The Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4, although the most expensive tire in the category, comes with a 45,000-mile warranty.
Therefore, as far as the warranty goes, the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S fares quite well against its rivals.
How does the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S behave on dry roads?
The Falken Azenis FK460 A/S is a fun tire to drive on a dry, twisty road. It offers excellent grip, particularly for the price, accompanied by quick and precise steering. There is an urgency to its steering and handling that few other UHP all-season tires can match; therefore, this behavior should suit spirited drivers who value lightning-fast responses.
Due to how it drives, the Azenis FK460 A/S feels very light on its feet and will make even a heavier vehicle feel lighter. That might not always be a good thing, as the tires disguise the vehicle’s actual weight, which is still there, mind you. Driving quickly, in fact, can be a bit challenging with this tire, as you will always need to be on the edge.
Still, this is a behavior we only felt on a closed circuit; on public roads, the Azenis FK460 A/S is precise enough, even when driving at 9/10s on a twisty road. Besides, the grip on offer is so good that you will have difficulty destabilizing your car. Indeed, the Azenis FK460 A/S provides higher lateral grip than most of its similarly-priced rivals, leading to dizzying speeds in the corners.
Falken’s UHP all-season tire also feels stable under cornering and provides some of the shortest stopping distances in the category. Sure, some premium rivals are even better under braking, but the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S is more than impressive for the price.
The acceleration traction is also there – the Azenis FK460 A/S won’t slip much when you push the pedal to the metal. Even when accelerating out of a corner, you will need to be deliberate with the throttle input to destabilize your car. Once the driven tires lose traction, though, they do it abruptly, requesting quick reflexes from the driver.
See a pattern here? Falken went the “fun-to-drive” route with the Azenis FK460 A/S, unlike most other UHP all-season tires in the same price range. For instance, the BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S Plus is much more stable in its behavior and feels more planted through the corners. However, it won’t dance with you and doesn’t feel nearly as responsive.
So, it all boils down to what you prefer. If you want to have a smile on your face every time you drive a twisty road, the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S is perhaps the best choice at the price it is offered. However, the BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S Plus and Vredestein Hypertrac All Season are better choices if you value stability and consistency.
How is the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S on wet and slippery roads?
The Azenis FK460 A/S provides some of the shortest stopping distances and best lateral grip on wet roads among similarly-priced UHP all-season tires. It is also very predictable at the limit, giving the driver a lot of time to catch the slide.
The super-quick steering makes things more challenging in rainy conditions, especially for amateur drivers. Namely, the handling might become twitchy and slightly uneasy because the front wheels react so quickly to the driver’s input.
However, once you get the hang of it, the Azenis FK460 A/S is enjoyable to drive on wet, twisty roads. It requires smaller and less deliberate inputs than other tires, i.e., you will need to turn the steering wheel more smoothly when entering a corner, but overall, it is not that hard to drive fast.
Besides, the lateral grip it offers is outstanding, better than most near-premium UHP all-season tires. You can attack corners at very high speeds when it rains without worrying about losing control of your vehicle, as the Azenis FK460 A/S also resists hydroplaning very well.
Moreover, the stopping distances are short, competing with the class-leading UHP all-season premium tires. We were also impressed by the acceleration traction on offer – the Azenis FK460 A/S speeds up without too much wheel spin.
Falken’s UHP all-season model shows why you would want such a tire in the first place. It offers much more grip than a touring or grand-touring all-season tire in wet conditions, meaning performance driving isn’t out of the question even when the weather goes foul.
With that being said, how is the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S on snowy roads?
The Falken Azenis FK460 A/S doesn’t push the boundaries regarding snow traction but still performs very well for a UHP all-season tire. It is surefooted in the corners, provides strong braking, and is generally balanced and easy to drive.
As we expected, the Azenis FK460 A/S won’t dethrone the snow king in the category, the ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus. Continental’s tire is a step above the competition regarding lateral grip, braking, and acceleration.
Still, remember that the Azenis FK460 A/S costs around 7-10% less than its German rival. Besides, it is a solid snow tire in its own right. It turns when you need it to, stops when you need it to, and won’t get stuck on light snow.
Compared to its similarly-priced opponents, the Azenis FK460 A/S is in the middle of the pack. Notably, the BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S Plus has slightly higher longitudinal traction and drives better in the corners, but the difference isn’t huge. Meanwhile, the Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S+ offers similar traction, while the General G-MAX AS-05 offers slightly less traction.
The critical takeaway here is that most near-premium UHP all-season tires are close when it comes to snow traction, and the differences won’t be noticeable on public roads. In other words, you will be well-served by all UHP all-season tires mentioned above on light snow.
However, you will still struggle to control your vehicle in deep snow and over ice with any UHP all-season tire. Therefore, if you live in an area with severe winters, investing in performance winter tires or just regular snow tires would be a good idea. These tires will give you a much higher snow grip, allowing you to drive faster while keeping your car in control. Not to mention, they provide much shorter stopping distances.
Is the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S suitable for off-road driving?
No, the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S is not suitable for off-road driving. You can use it on gravel to reach a particular destination close by, but not for prolonged periods.
However, it is the same story with every other UHP all-season model – these tires are just not designed for driving over uneven terrain.
For starters, their casings are not made to be tough, meaning sharp stones could pierce through the tread or sidewall quite easily. In addition, the minimal tread patterns of these tires lack the biting edges for successful off-road traction.
If you have an SUV or truck and use it for off-roading, Falken offers some excellent off-road-oriented tires. The mildest all-terrain tire from Falken is the WildPeak A/T Trail, which offers excellent gravel/dirt traction but is not designed for severe terrains.
Then comes Falken’s most popular all-terrain tire, the WildPeak A/T3W. This tire has a more aggressive tread pattern with deep grooves and works amazingly well in mud and over larger rocks. Lastly, the WildPeak M/T is an absolute off-road beast with outstanding traction on the harshest terrains, though at the expense of on-road grip and comfort.
Is the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S a run-flat tire?
No, the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S is not a run-flat tire. Unlike many of its competitors, though, Falken produces run-flat tires. Still, the company doesn’t have a UHP all-season run-flat tire on offer.
The closest thing you can get is the previous model, the Azenis FK450 A/S, which comes in a few run-flat sizes. That tire doesn’t perform as well as the Azenis FK460 A/S, though. You could also go for the Azenis FK510 RFT, a summer performance tire with excellent grip in dry and wet conditions, though unserviceable in winter conditions.
How are the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S’ road noise and comfort performance?
The Azenis FK460 A/S isn’t the most comfortable tire for your performance car. Still, considering the category and especially the super-quick steering, the ride is relatively smooth, and noise is not a big issue on the highway.
Notably, the stiff casing on the Azenis FK460 A/S produces more vibrations from the small undulations on the highway, but that is expected from a performance-oriented tire.
More importantly, thanks to the rigid casing, Falken’s UHP all-season tire goes over medium and large bumps with a solidity that few other tires can match. As a result, instead of the harshness, you get composure and refinement without the secondary movement common in touring or grand-touring tires.
The tread growl is also noticeable, but not more than other UHP all-season tires. For instance, the BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S Plus is even noisier on the highway. Besides, on modern performance sedans, tire noise is less of an issue because they have quite a lot of sound deadening that takes care of the added noise.
The bottom line is that Falken did a great job balancing driving enjoyment and comfort. Few drivers will be dissatisfied with the comfort this tire provides – the ride is smooth enough, and the noise produced doesn’t pierce through the years.
Should I buy the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S?
The Falken Azenis FK460 A/S is an excellent ultra-high-performance all-season tire. It provides the driver with a ton of thrills on a twisty road, a firm grip in dry and wet conditions, and a relatively smooth and quiet ride. Moreover, the price is very attractive, and the extended treadwear warranty ensures durability. For those reasons, you should put the Azenis FK460 A/S on your shortlist.
Sure, Falken’s UHP all-season tire isn’t without its faults. It is a bit too playful and nervous at the limit, but truthfully, drivers can only feel these disadvantages if they push the tire to its limits on the track. For driving on public roads, the Azenis FK460 A/S is one of the finest tires in its category you can get, especially at the price.
How Does the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S Compare Against its Rivals?
Before you hit that “Buy” button, you might want to check some of Falken’s competitors. The UHP all-season category has many other excellent tires. Some are cheaper than the Azenis FK460 A/S yet offer similar performance; others are more expensive and offer increased grip and drivability.
The first tire that comes to mind is the similarly-priced BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S Plus. It is a tire with excellent dry/wet/snow traction and provides better stability in the corners, though at the expense of playfulness.
Meanwhile, the Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S+ is more of a comfort-oriented tire. It is quieter than the Azenis FK460 A/S and more comfortable over bumps, though it can’t compete with dry/wet/snow grip or the driving experience.
Paying a bit more will allow you to enjoy the Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus, probably the best-performing UHP all-season tire at the moment. It is a model without significant disadvantages, with best-in-class dry/wet/snow grip and a relatively smooth/quiet ride.
The Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 is also an outstanding driver’s tire, with super-sharp steering and exceptional dry/wet grip, though it is more expensive than the Azenis FK460 A/S. Although we haven’t tested it yet, the Bridgestone Potenza Sport AS might also push the boundaries of the category regarding grip and durability.
What sizes does the Falken Azenis FK460 A/S come in?
The Falken Azenis FK460 A/S comes in 85 sizes, ranging from 17-inch to 22-inch wheel diameter, and up to a Y-speed rating. With all these dimensions on offer, Falken covers many different types of vehicles, including compact cars, mid-size sedans, performance sedans, luxury sedans, coupes, sports cars, muscle cars, supercars, performance EVs, and even some sporty crossovers/SUVs.
According to Falken, popular vehicle fitments are Audi S5, BMW M4, BMW X3M, Chevrolet Camaro SS, Chevrolet C8 Corvette, Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, Ford Mustang GT, Ford Mustang Mach-E GT, Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, Mercedes-Benz AMG C63S, Mercedes-Benz AMG GL63, Polestar 2, Porsche 911 Carrera S, Porsche Macan GTS, Subaru BRZ, Subaru WRX STI, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, Toyota GR86 and Toyota GR Supra.