- Very good dry and wet handling
- Excellent braking performance in dry and wet conditions
- Durable tread compound
- Low price
- Lackluster snow performance
- A bit harsh on sports coupes
Hello and welcome to my Falken Azenis FK450 review.
There are always chills in my body when I get to test high-performance tires. It’s simple – I love spirited driving through the corners. If you’re like me, you probably already know that high-performance tires offer much more precise handling characteristics, better grip in the corners, and much better handling. If you drive a sports coupe or sports sedan, chances are you need a high-performance tire.
Most of these tires are engineered to work only in the summer, but there are tires like the Falken Azenis FK450, which promises all-season driving. If that’s true, this is the only tire you should ever need if you own a sportier vehicle, but things are not so simple most of the time. All-season tires do offer better traction in snow, but most of the time at the expense of lesser precision and steering feel.
Falken even goes as far as to say that the Azenis FK450 offers ultra-high performance all year round, something that I am eager to put through my rigorous testing. But first of all, let’s take a look at all the technologies Falken incorporated in this product.
Falken Azenis FK450 Overview
This is one seriously engineered tire. It’s specifically designed to meet the standards of sports coupes and sedans, such as BMW 3 Series and 4 Series, Lexus IS and RC, and Audi A4 and A5. In other words, a tire for people who like driving, but still want a reliable choice on every occasion. It is available in 48 different sizes, ranging from 16”-20”.
To achieve all of that, the Azenis FK450 is equipped with the exclusive Tension Control Technology (TCT) process, that according to Falken provides “excellent balance of handling, high-speed stability, and confident all-weather traction”. The slightly rounded sculpted-rib edges further help the tire to prevent hydroplaning and enhance wet traction, while also improving feel behind the steering when and high-speed stability.
Falken didn’t stop here though. The 4D Nano Design improves tread flexibility and adhesion, the Tension Control Technology provides a more flexible middle sidewall for better shock absorption and rigid outer tread for better stability, Tapered Notched Grooves for better performance in the snow, Vertical Tread Notches that help minimizing loss of traction when changing direction quickly, Wide Shoulder Blocks for higher cornering speeds etc.
It’s really a mouthful to even tell you about everything that Falken incorporated in this tire, so I’ll try to sum it up in a few words – it promises high-performance driving in the corners, excellent high-speed stability, all-season traction, and even comfortable and quiet ride. That’s a very tall order, to be honest, so let’s start with the testing and see if this tire has what it got to be worthy of your car.
Falken Azenis FK450 Review
Treadwear and Durability
Falken promises above average durability for the Azenis FK450. High-performance tires are notoriously bad in this regard, but in my testing, and from what I can see on the internet, this tire has very long-lasting performance. It wears down significantly less when compared to tires in the same price range, and it is even comparable to tires in the premium category. Sure, it may not be on the level of touring tires, but if you consider the performance on offer, this is a tire that’s very, very durable.
Dry Traction and Grip
More durable tread compound can often worsen the driving characteristics of a tire, but that’s not the case here. The Azenis FK450 provides excellent traction on dry pavement and it’s a real blast to drive in the hot summer days. I will not go as far to say that it’s better than a Michelin Pilot, but it comes really close in the feel I had through the steering wheel. You can also expect very short braking distances with a set of these tires and excellent stability at higher speeds. A great all-round showing in this category.
Wet Traction and Grip
Being an all-season tire, the Falken Azenis FK450 must offer good traction in the wet too. In my testing it showed admirable performance when it rained – it’s not the best wet tire out there, but it’s still capable of high speeds in the corners. It also brakes really well and resists hydroplaning like the best wet tires out there. Another unexpected great showing, especially considering the price.
Snow Traction and Braking Performance
We’ve come to the area where it’s a no-go for this tire. Sure, Falken calls it all-season, but driving in the snow is not its gusto. To be honest, it can provide the driver with a minimal amount of traction when the need arises, like in sudden snow or ice on the road, but I would strongly suggest you buy winter tire if you live in an area where it snows frequently.
In cold weather, without snow underneath, the Azenis FK450 is admirable and has adequate grip, but it can’t compare to a proper winter tire in this category as well. It’s simple – it becomes too hard when the temperatures dip below zero, which translates in less grip and traction.
Comfort & Noise
Falken really tried to make this tire as comfortable as possible in this category, and they succeeded to a point. The Azenis FK450 is more comfortable than high-performance tires in its price range, but it will not unsettle the best premium tires in this category. It is adequate at absorbing bumps if your vehicle has a bit softer suspension, but if it’s a full-blown racer, you might find it too harsh. Noise is well-suppressed at lower speeds, but you may hear the tire roar at higher highway speeds, notably if your vehicle doesn’t have a lot of sound insulation.
As with almost every tire in their range, Falken tried to make this tire a combination of things, such as high-performance handling, all-season traction, comfort, and durability. They succeeded in some categories – the handling is very good for the price in dry and wet conditions, and tread wear is not very pronounced. However, snow performance is lackluster, and comfort is not like in the best premium competitors. Still, considering the price, the Falken Azenis FK450 is worth a second look.
Thanks for reading and I hope you found this Falken Azenis FK450 review helpful. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.