while driving a
(195/45 R16 H) on
a combination of roads
Summary. Strong points: safe braking both in the dry and in the wet, effective road holding in the rain, including good resistance to aquaplaning.
Weaknesses: very expensive, limited sporty attitude.
Other features: honest in the dry, fair comfort with tolerable noise, normal wear, not bad the fuel consumption.
Unfortunately, too little experience in the snow to make up my own opinion about this.
On balance, satisfied with the purchase, so far.
And if you want to know something more, let's read below!
Bought brand new to fit our second car, an old glorious Ford Fiesta 5th generation, 5-doors, 1,250 cc, 55 kW, these Bridgestone Weather Control A005 195/45 R16H replaced both worn Petlas Velox Sport PT711 (195/45R16V, summer, I reviewed on August 8, 2019) and old Dunlop SP Winter Response (175/65 R14T, winter).
We live in a little country town northern in Italy, at the edge of the plain, near lovely hills and ancient cities; so we used to drive in combination of roads, including plain or hilly country roads, city routes, ring roads, highways and on occasion motorways, covering however short mileage (less than 10,000 km/year). The climate of our own region is characterized mostly by good weather alternated with some rainy days, not rarely characterized by heavy precipitations; in winter there are also some foggy, frosty days, but snowfalls are usually rare. On that basis, we chose to try these four-season, that promised a good compromise between summer and winter tires.
After two years, I can say that the first valuable strength of these tires is actually the effective breaking grip, both in the dry and in the wet, comparable to that I would expect from a reliable summer tire (and that I didn't just take me for granted by a four-season). In particular, the braking system of our car is maintained in full efficiency and these tires comply well with them, by transferring with good precision the stopping power to the roadbed, giving the feeling the car is always firmly in contact with the ground while decelerating, even in case of uneven ground. So I noted no appreciable breaking decline compared to the previous summer tires at all, and eventually some improvement compared to the old winter tires, especially in the wet.
Apart breaking, in the dry the dynamic performance of these tires are fairly good, although with poor sporty attitude. At cruise speed or little more the driving is quiet and cornering doesn't concern, as the car moves where I want it, while the robust sidewalls (the A005 are "XL" by default) improve the feeling of stability, taking at the same time no much away from the comfort. In this regard, these tires are somewhat noisy, but I find the pitch not so much annoying, after all.
Conversely, I get few satisfaction whenever I look for a bit of sportiness on dry grounds, for example trying to ride spirited on our funny hilly roads. This is because of both suboptimal subjective handling and road feedback as the gas is pushed on. In particular, by increasing the speed, road feedback seems me to get somewhat muffled in the straight, becoming conversely some edgy and a bit nervous in the corners, where in addition the car tend to oversteer a little. This behavior, I didn't observe with the previous tires, tend to intensify in summer, as temperature increases. However, it should be noted that this feature affects mostly my subjective feeling, yet without impairing car stability. In particular, the tendency to oversteer in the dry occurs progressively, is well predictable and easy to compensate, whereas road feedback remains always sufficient to understand when the car is about to approach the limit.
Changing the subject, I must actually deserve a special mention to the behavior of these A005 in the rain, that is in my opinion the second, very interesting strong point of these tires.
I already said about the fully satisfying wet braking, effective and precise. In addition, these A005 don't lose out even in challenging conditions, like braking on heavy wet asphalt, wet cobblestone or track made slippy by wet foliage.
Moreover, on wet asphalt, handling gets more funny, steering neutral and road feedback more confident, giving the feeling to get at any time the precise state of the current ground-tire connection. By pushing the car to test its limit while cornering in the wet, the loss of lateral grip occurs gradually and well predictable, with no surprises.
Last but not least, despite the large footprint of our tires, I could appreciate a reassuring resistance to aquaplaning as on occasion I happen to cross without problems some unexpected, relatively deep puddles at a speed well higher than the fateful 70 - 80 km/h...
Because of only trivial snow falls occurred the last years in our region, I've unfortunately no adequate experience with these A005 in the snow, to have a reliable opinion about that. Likewise, I haven't encountered really heavy icy roads or ice storms, so far. However, in winter I often run foggy roads covered by frost. In that conditions I used to drive very careful and only a couple of times I tried to test handling by speeding up in some roundabouts. That said, I find both breaking and road holding satisfying also in such conditions, as I ever had the feeling to have full control of the car.
As regards economic balance, one must consider, first of all, the expensive selling price of these tires. Nevertheless, we bought them with the hope that this noble Japanese premium brand could offer us a bit more quality, compared to cheaper options.
On the other hand, since we fitted these tires, fuel consumption declined appreciably: despite my tendency to spirited driving (on the contrary my wife drives more slowly), I noted some improvement in the milage covered with a tank of gas, compared to both the previous summer and winter tires.
Finally, I don't calculate precisely the wear of these tires. However, after two years, almost 20.000 km, a certain wear is noticeable. Nevertheless, I don't appreciate any detectable loss of performance so far, and there are still several millimeters of available tread. As we travel few km per season, I think these tires will last at least three more years.
In conclusion, to date these Bridgestone A005 have substantially well suited our needs, especially as regards safety concern and performance in the wet.
With the limitation that I cannot say nothing about snow driving with these tires so far, on balance, I'd most probably buy them again and I'd recommend them to those that have requirements similar to ours, but are also willing to take in to account a not light purchase price.