Toyo Extensa HP II Review: Excellent Handling for the Price

Toyo Extensa HP II

Pros

  • Responsive handling and excellent directional stability
  • High levels of grip and traction
  • Quiet and comfortable for a high-performance tire
  • Budget price

Cons

  • Worse wet traction than other high-performance tires
  • Not the best choice for very powerful vehicles

The first thing that comes on people’s minds when you say the word “tuning” is power. And that’s understandable – extracting more power from your car will genuinely make the driving experience more fun and more enjoyable. However, tuning your engine can be expensive and more importantly, it will make your car less safe if you don’t upgrade other components. Like the tires, for example. Most cars are offered with touring tires from the factory, which aren’t the happiest choice for fast driving. Enter the Toyo Extensa HP II – a high-performance all-season tire that might be one of the best choices for upgrading your OEM tires. See why in this detailed Toyo Extensa HP II review.

Toyo is not a newcomer in the high-performance category. As a matter of fact, their portfolio consists of highly popular tires that you can often see in drag and drift competitions across the world. Known for their excellent grip and traction, Toyo tires are always in the Top 5 tires in their respective categories. The Extensa HP II is a different animal, though. It is not the highest-performing sports tire by any stretch of the imagination, but it comes at a price that’s lower than even some touring tires. It is also all-season, which means that you can use it throughout the year, especially if you live in areas with mild winters.

Available in sizes ranging from 15-22 inches, the Toyo can be fitted to a variety of different vehicles, from hot hatch cars to ultra-high-performance supercars. In my opinion, though, I think that it fits smaller sporty cars best. It is cheap, offers enough traction and grip for an elevated driving experience, and it is usable in most conditions. Read on to find out how it handles different scenarios in more detail.

Toyo Extensa HP II Tire Overview

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The Toyo Extensa HP II is a high-performance all-season tire with unidirectional tread pattern for strong all-season grip and traction and modern good looks. Despite the focus on grip, the HP II has full-depth multi-wave sipes that improve grip on wet and snowy roads and help the tire resist hydroplaning. On top of that, the tread design provides a smooth and quiet ride, something that you don’t often associate with high-performance tires. The single-cut and double-cut tread tapers also improve braking performance, providing up to 31-feet better results than its predecessor.

The silica-enriched tread compound also helps the Toyo achieve high levels of grip in dry and damp conditions, giving a lot of confidence to push forward. The 45,000-mile treadwear warranty is also surprising for a tire in this category, in a good way, of course. Combined with the lower price point and a seemingly infinite list of different sizes available, this makes the Toyo one of the best tires when it comes to costs for every owner of a sporty vehicle.

Toyo Extensa HP II Detailed Review

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Treadwear and Durability

High-performance tires are notorious for their accelerated tread wear, especially if driven to the limits. The Toyo Extensa HP II is different in this regard. It comes with an outstanding 45,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is one of the best in the category. It is also very durable in real-life – owners around the world are extremely satisfied with how much the Toyo lasts. You can genuinely expect around 30,000-miles between replacement, which is nothing short of astonishing.

Dry Traction and Grip

Compared to touring tires, the Toyo Extensa HP II offers significant advantages in terms of straight-line stability, traction, responsiveness, and grip. You can immediately feel that after replacing your old tires. The car instantly feels more responsive in the corners, almost like driving a go-kart. Toyo really knows how to make tires that communicate with the driver.

High-speed stability is also exemplary – your vehicle will be easier to keep into line and less prone to moving from one side to another, even when you bump into a pothole. Traction is also great – you can accelerate much harder without any hint of tire squeal, while braking performance is one of the best in the category. On top of that, the grip is pretty good at higher speeds, especially on lighter vehicles.

That said, some premium high-performance tires provide even better driving experience in almost every area, but they tend to cost a lot more when compared to the Extensa HP II. That’s why, if you own a high-performing car, I would still recommend going for a better (and more expensive) set of tires. If you own a small sporty hatchback or just want a set of tires that will perform better than the OEM touring tires, then you’re in for a treat!

Wet Traction

The Toyo Extensa HP II is better than most touring tires in wet conditions, but it falls short when compared to other high-performance tires, and especially summer tires. The tread pattern does a good job of limiting hydroplaning, even under heavy rain, while the silica-enriched tread compound really helps with grip in damp conditions. However, more powerful cars might struggle for traction under hard acceleration in wet conditions, especially those that have only two driven wheels. Side-to-side movement is limited, though, which means that you can still have a lot of fun in the wet with less powerful vehicles.

Snow Traction and Braking Performance

Being an all-season tire, the Extensa HP II works in colder conditions as well. Sure, grip and traction become more limited as the temperature falls, but the Toyo is much better than summer tires in that regard. Snow traction is another story, nonetheless. While the Extensa HP II might be usable in light snow, that’s only true if you’re cautious while driving. Use these tires only if the winters in your area are mild – otherwise, replace them with a set of good high-performance winter tires!

Comfort & Noise

The biggest surprise I had with the Extensa HP II was in the comfort department. While you will certainly experience a degradation in comfort and increase in noise compared to touring tires, these are still very good for the category they belong to. The ride quality is good, especially on the highway, while noise is almost non-existent at urban speeds.

Toyo Extensa HP II Review: Conclusion

The Toyo Extensa HP II is definitely not the best high-performance all-season tire. However, if you consider the price in the equation, it might be the most cost-effective option. It still provides ample grip and traction for most drivers, especially if you only drive on the street and never use them on track. On top of that, the Toyo is also very durable for a high-performance tire, and it works in colder temperatures as well. For drivers of smaller hot-hatch vehicles or anyone that wants better traction then what their OEM touring tires offer, the Toyo is one of the smartest choices on the market!

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