New tyres make a world of difference, and your existing tyres do not even have to have done 100,000km to make out the difference with a new set. Our Hyundai Creta is just under two years old having done 18,000km and the minute we swapped the OE rubber for Yokohama’s new RV-02 tyres the difference was immediate and instantly apparent – the ride became better, the noise levels dipped appreciably, and the overall handling took a step up.
These RV-02 tyres have just been launched and have been made specifically for the new breed of compact SUVs with a focus on on-road handling and ride comfort, twin aspects that these SUVs are expected to excel at. It’s a completely different focus from the on/off-road Geolanders that have impressed us in the past – tyres that we have used both on the road as well as in competition on the Desert Storm rally (the latter to podium-placing effect). One of the main talking points of the tyre is the construction, asymmetric pattern and strong inside shoulders that is claimed to reduce uneven wear and the consequent wobble. The pattern has two differently shapes sipes (the small grooves at the edge of the tyre going into the shoulder) which are claimed to reduce uneven tread wear and also disperse tyre noise. The former we will only be able to verify once we’ve done serious mileage on the tyres but on the noise front there is a definite reduction. On the noise (reduction) front the tyre construction also features noise suppressing grooves on the shoulder and grooves cut into the inner inside of the ribs.
Yokohamas have always impressed us with their handling and grip, be it in the wet or the dry, and the RV-02 is no different. Our Creta now has more confident front-end bite with better resistance to understeer along with less squeal when going hard round corners. We haven’t tested it in the wet but the four straight grooves are claimed to provide good hydroplaning resistance. The compound for Yokohama’s BluEarth tyres have two different types of silica that serve two (and previous diametrical functions) of reducing rolling resistance (and thus improve fuel economy) while also enhancing wet-weather braking.
We can tell you for a fact that these tyres do not feel like the typical low-rolling resistance tyres that slip, slide and squeal all over the place. Tyre technology is definitely improving by leaps and bounds and a final aspect of the tyres that we must mention is the so-called Orange Oil that is used to make the rubber more pliable and thus improving the contact with the road surface to improve braking performance. The tyres are available in 16 and 17-inch sizes in H, V and W ratings to suit the high-speed and load ratings of the modern breed of compact SUVs and the 7-seater MPVs like the Toyota Innova Crysta and Marazzo. We will be closely following these 16-inch tyres work in the long run, so watch out for periodic updates.