It isn’t usually great news when there’s a name of a colour associated with a tyre. These ‘environmentally friendly’ compounds usually take away from the basic purpose of a tyre – provide loads of grip. When Yokohama rang us and offered to swap the OEM fitted Firestone tyres for the BluEarth RV-02, I wasn’t sure what to expect. An afternoon spent at the tyre shop sorted out figment for the 17-inch alloys, the only exception being the space-saving spare. But, we decided to let that pass, since we had a perfectly good spare anyway.
Right from the word go, there was an obvious difference with the new set of tyres. I have lived with the Firestones for the better part of ten thousand kilometres and the drop in tyre noise from the BluEarth was immediately noticeable. Just to make sure, I clocked a few extra kilometres on the wildly varying surfaces that streets in Mumbai offer. On some occasions, even with the windows down. The BluEarth certainly makes for a quieter ride and although I have no exact figures, it makes for a slightly softer ride too.
With that established, it was time to head out for a drive to our favourite set of twisties. Unlike other tyres with an environment focus, the BluEarth RV-02 managed to deliver similar levels of grip as earlier. In fact, the only real difference was the reduced tyre squeal during hard cornering. Combine this with the fact that there was a marginal bump in fuel efficiency (roughly five percent) as well and there is little that Yokohama seems to have missed. In fact, the Japanese manufacturer promises better performance even in the wet. It will be interesting to see how puncture resistant this construction is and what they are like off-road when slapped on a four-wheel-drive. But for now, with a price tag of `11,186, the BluEarth RV-02 seems like a great alternative when you go shopping for a new set of shoes for your SUV.