Pirelli vs Yokohama: Which Tire is Better?

Tires are arguably the most important part of a vehicle. They’re the only part that touches the road, so it’s important to choose a tire from a quality brand. Today we’ll be comparing two popular tire brands: Pirelli vs Yokohama. Keep reading to learn about these two brands and find out which tire is better.

Pirelli vs Yokohama overview

Pirelli and Yokohama are two great tire brands with a long history of innovation. Pirelli was founded in Italy in 1872. Yokohama was founded in 1917 in Japan. So both companies have been around a long time and share a reputation for high-quality products.

Pirelli is known for making great tires for passenger vehicles and even Formula 1 cars. Yokohama also has a background in motor sports, which has helped the brand to develop tires that grip to racetracks and everyday roads alike. 

Pirelli Scorpion Verde

Pirelli specializes in tires for cars, SUVs, crossovers, small trucks, and motorcycles. Yokohama specializes in cars, SUVs, crossovers, and light trucks. Yokohama also makes tires for commercial trucks, buses, and construction vehicles, but we won’t spend much time talking about those.

Tire models

Let’s take a look at some of the popular model lines from Pirelli and Yokohama.

Pirelli models

Pirelli manufactures several popular models for summer, winter, and all-seasons. Here are some of the most popular Pirelli models.

P4 – The Pirelli P4 is a great four-season tire that offers superior traction in all kinds of weather. You’ll also get long-tread life (up to 90,000 miles) and above average fuel efficiency.

Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus

Cinturato P7 – The Cinturato P7 is a performance tire designed for sport coupes and sedans. The tire offers a combination of a smooth and quiet ride, great grip, and solid fuel economy. The P7 is available in all-seasons and summer versions. 

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All-Season

P Zero – The P Zero is an ultra high performance line of tires from Pirelli. These z-rated tires look great and offer superior handling. They’re also available in summer or all-season versions.

Pirelli P ZERO High Performance

Scorpion – The Scorpion model line is designed for light trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. There are several versions of the Scorpion, so you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs.

Pirelli Scorpion ATR

Yokohama models

AVID – AVID is the standard touring or passenger tire from Yokohama. Designed for drivers of sedans, coupes, crossovers, and minivans, the AVID offers a smooth and quiet ride in all seasons.

Yokohama AVID Ascend GT All-Season

ADVAN – The ADVAN is the performance line for either summer or all-seasons. There are many different models within the AVID line. They’re high performance tires for sedans, coupes, and even sport cars.

Yokohama ADVAN APEX

Geolander – The Geolander is Yokohama’s light truck and SUV tire line. With models designed for summer or all seasons, the Geolander provides great traction and a comfortable ride.

Yokohama GEOLANDAR X-CV 108W All-Season

Fuel efficiency

A vehicle’s tires can have a big impact on fuel efficiency. Studies have shown that 20%-30% of fuel consumption is tire related. Pirelli and Yokohama both make tires that can help you get the most miles per gallon. 

To see which is better, let’s compare two similar models, the Pirelli P Zero All Season Plus and the Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S. Tire Rack performed a test with these two tires on the same vehicle to compare miles per gallon.

The test found that Pirelli was about 2% more fuel efficient than Yokohama. That’s a difference of about 10 gallons per year, based on 15,000 miles of driving.

Longevity / tread life

The longevity of a tire will vary depending on the type of tire.  The tire’s warranty is a good indication of how long a tire is expected to last. The Yokohama warranties range from 25,000 miles to 85,000. Pirelli warranties range from 35,000 to 90,000. 

Pirelli Scorpion Zero

Be sure to check the warranty before you buy to get a good idea of how long your tires will last.  

Technology

The best tire brands are always working to build better technology into their products. The goal is usually for better traction, less noise, better fuel efficiency, or fewer flats. Here are some of the specific technologies from Yokohama and Pirelli.

Noise Reduction

Some Yokohama models have a unique “offset design and a five-block pitch sequence designed to reduce noise. Many Pirelli models use the “Pirelli Noise Canceling System”, which is basically foam added to the inner liner of the tire. 

Traction

The Yokohama AVID Ascend GT is an all-season tire that uses Yokohama TriBLEND material, which has higher silica content for better grip. The tire also has notched tread blocks to create better traction in light snow.

Pirelli Scorpion ATR on a Ford F150

Fuel efficiency

Pirelli gives some of their tires an “Ecoimpact” designation which means the tire was built with low rolling resistance compounds, which are meant to improve fuel efficiency.  

Puncture sealing

In the event of a puncture, Pirelli’s Seal Inside technology uses an adhesive sealant that coats the hole, allowing you to keep driving without losing air pressure.

Reputation/popularity

Yokohama and Pirelli have a great reputation, especially for performance tires. Part of that popularity is due to their use in motor sports over the years. In fact, Pirelli has been the sole supplier of Formula 1 tires since 2011.

Both brands make quality tires for SUVs and light trucks, but that’s not what either company is best known for.

Cost

The price of the tire depends on the brand and tire style. Performance tires typically cost more than standard all-season tires. 

We found that Pirelli tends to be more expensive than Yokohama when comparing similar models. 

Check Amazon for the most recent Pirelli or Yokohama prices.

Warranty

The length and terms of a warranty also varies between brands and models of tires. For comparison purposes, let’s look at the Pirelli P Zero All Season Plus and the Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S. The Pirelli P Zero All Season Plus has a 50,000 mile warranty, which is slightly less than the 55,000 warranty offered on the Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S. 

As mentioned earlier, the range for Yokohama warranties is 25,000 to 85,000. Pirelli warranties are anywhere from 35,000 to 90,000.

The warranties will often list what’s not covered. Here’s a partial list of things that aren’t covered under most warranties:

  • Damages caused by obstacles or debris
  • Improper inflation or repairs
  • Using a tire that is not the correct size
  • Improper mounting or balancing
  • Improper storage

Since warranty details vary by brand, you should familiarize yourself with the warranty of your specific tire, ideally before buying.

The final verdict

Both tires are great and you really can’t go wrong with either brand. Generally speaking, Pirelli is slightly more expensive, but offers better overall quality and longer warranties. If we had to pick one of the brands, it would be Pirelli. 

Yokohama’s are high-quality too. There are a ton of cars on the road with Yokohama tires and you’ll rarely hear a complaint. So if you see a good deal on either brand, go for it! 

Next we’ll answer some important questions related to tire buying…

How to read tire sizes

If you look on the sidewall of any tire, you’ll see a series of letters and numbers that indicate the type and size of tire. It looks confusing, but is actually pretty simple once you know what each letter or number refers to.

A closeup of the tire showing the size with the key components highlighted.
How to read a tire size

In the image above, you can see 225/65 R 17. Let’s break that down…

The first number is 225, which refers to the tire width in millimeters.

The number after the slash refers to the aspect ratio, which is the ratio between the tire height and width. In our example, the tire height is 65% of the width.

Next you’ll see a letter which describes the tire construction. The ‘R’ in our example means the tire layers are constructed radially (across the tire). Other letters you might see here are ‘D’ for diagonal construction or ‘RF’ for run flat construction.

Next we have the wheel diameter, in our case the 17 means the wheel has a 17” diameter.

You may also see tire sizes that start with a ‘P’ or some other letter. That means the tire is made within certain standards for different vehicles in the United States. The ’P’ is for passenger. You might also see ‘LT’ for light truck. If it doesn’t have a letter in the beginning, that just means the tire is metric, since the sizing originated in Europe.

Where to find the best prices on tires

It’s always a good idea to shop around when buying tires. Your options for buying tires fall into two main categories: in a store or online.

Tire stores 

There’s a variety of national brick and mortar tire chains, like Mavis, Tires Plus, or United Tire. These stores will almost always have a sale on some model of tire that will fit your vehicle. You may even find a special promotion, like buy three tires and get the fourth free.

Online

Line most things, tires can be purchased online and these days it’s easier than ever. Two of the main online tire shops are Tire Rack and Amazon. You can easily compare prices online and find some good deals. Plus you’ll typically find a larger selection than you would in a store. Keep reading for some online tire buying tips.

Tips for buying tires online

If you’re new to buying tires online, here are a few tips:

  1. Determine the right size tire for your vehicle. Most tire sites have a tool that will help you do this based on the year, make, and model of your vehicle.
  2. Shop around! There are a bunch of online tire retailers, so check a few to make sure you’re getting a good price
  3. Look for free shipping. Otherwise, shipping can be pretty expensive.
  4. Have the tires shipped directly to your installer. Most mechanics are happy to have tires shipped directly to them, but check ahead. You can then set up an appointment to have the installation completed.

Check out our online tire buying guide for more tips.

Wrapping Up

We hope you learned something from our comparison of Pirelli vs Yokohama.  You should now be able to make an informed decision on which tires to put on your vehicle. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know below.

Thanks for reading!

Frequently asked tire questions

How often should tires be replaced?

Depending on who you ask, your tires should be replaced whenever the treads wear down to 4/32” or as low as 2/32”.  You may have heard of the penny test as a way to determine if you need new tires. To perform the penny test, put a penny upside down in the ridges of your tire tread. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, then your treads have been worn down to 2/32” or less.

However, some will argue that a tire should be replaced even sooner. According to Tire Rack, the online tire retailer, “if rain and wet roads are a concern, you should consider replacing your tires when they reach approximately 4/32.” We tend to err on the side of caution and recommend replacing your tires whenever they’re worn down to 4/32”.

How often should tires be rotated?

You should rotate your tires every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Since you’ll also need your oil changed every 5,000 miles, it might make sense to have both services done at the same time. For a more detailed explanation, check out our guide to rotating tires.

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