Tire Review: BF Goodrich g-force Comp 2 A/SA Performance All Season?

 In the interest of full disclosure, BF Goodrich invited me to Phoenix to test some of their new round black things. They flew me there, put me up in a posh room, fed me posh food, and gave me the opportunity to meet the infamous Judge Phil (but I won’t hold that against them).
I was, and remain, skeptical of the words “performance” and “all season” being used to describe the same tire. I’ve always been a summer tire/winter tire guy, and I probably always will be. So when BF Goodrich invited me out to test their new g-force Comp 2 A/S tire, I was eager to see whether or not the grip tradeoff would be worth it for moderate cold-weather use. I was curious to see if the ‘performance’ made them garbage in the cold or rain, and I wanted to see how they fared in warm dry conditions. Being in Arizona, the chances were quite low that we’d be testing them in any snow, even a light dusting, so that was out of the question, but really that’s not the point of this tire. So what is the point of this tire? Let’s find out together.

I might well have been the worst person that Hooniverse could have sent to this event. I am the worlds biggest tire geek, and do nothing but berate the type of mouth breathers that walk into a Tire Kingdom and ask “What do you have that’s cheap and fits my car? Cheap is more important than proper fit, mind you.” Those types of people include my parents, and that grates me to no end. The average person will spend more time researching what kind of clothes dryer to purchase than the rubber donuts that hold their 3000 pound rolling vehicular manslaughter machines to the road. Good tires could save your life, and more importantly, the lives of drivers around you. Is an all-season really going to be good enough to convince the tire-grinch?

Test 1: Stopping Distance

After a quick breakfast, everyone was split into three groups to separately evaluate the tire on a variety of cars in a variety of different disciplines. Braking tests, a wet handling course, and a dry handling course. My group was first up in the braking test section, and we were given a grouping of Audi A5s to test. First we were given a car shod with the BFG, and then we stepped into an identical car with Hankook’s Ventus Noble s1. Braking was tested in both wet and dry from 50 miles per hour. Distances were measured with an on-board v-box.
This test was interesting as it didn’t really feel like there was much difference between the two different sets of tires, but since we had the v-box measuring stopping distances for us, it was instantly apparent that we were stopping in shorter distances on the g-force Comp 2 A/S.
BFG 15
It was a pretty chilly morning, and the fog was pretty thick. Its certainly indicative of early spring weather in the desert. I know, because I live in the desert. Where a lot of performance tires, including the ones I have on my daily driver, are a bit harder and less compliant on cold mornings like this, it didn’t seem like the BFGs lost anything in the cold. They gripped pretty well in these stopping tests. So well, in fact, that I was told later by people who drove these BFG Audis at highway speed that the tires had actually turned on the rim after what amounts to literally hundreds of panic stops, and needed to be rebalanced.
At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters in a test like this is the numbers. This is just from my section of 12 drivers, but the BFG stopped an average of 8.5 feet shorter than the Hankook in the wet, and an average of 13 feet shorter in the dry. It’s obvious that the deceleration grip on the BFG is superior to that of the Hankook. Sure, that’s not the only metric on which tires are measured, but it’s a pretty important one. 13 feet could be the difference between stopping just short of an accident and burying your front bumper into the back seat of the unsuspecting Hyundai ahead of you on the highway. 

Test 2: Wet Handling Course

The next bit of the test was in a trio of 2015 Mustangs. No, they weren’t GTs, but the V6 model still sports 300 horses, so it could be worse. For this section, the Mustangs provided us a comparison between the BFG offering and competition from the Yokohama AVID ENVigor and the General Tire G-Max A/S 03.
The course fell a bit short of anything I’d call an autocross, being that it was maybe 20 seconds to traverse it at most, however, there were a few quick corners that showcased how the car felt in wet conditions. I have to admit, all three tires performed better than I’d expected here, as the course was quite wet in some places. It was obvious, and pretty much unanimous among all twelve of us in my group, that the General Tire offering placed a distant third. The G-Max was somewhat unpredictable, offering understeer into turns, and then oversteer once you got on the throttle out of the corner. Of course, this could be inherent in the rental-fleet spec Mustang chassis, but it was greatly exacerbated by this tire in the rain. Second place, unsurprisingly, was the Yokohama. The Yoke was a much better tire than the General, but still got a little squirrely under acceleration and hard cornering. There was not as much lateral grip, especially in the areas of standing water, as what the BFG offered. While the handling course runs were not timed, the seat-of-the-pants would guess at a second or more advantage in the BFG’s favor. That tire inspired more confidence, allowing me to get in and immediately feel quicker in all aspects of acceleration, deceleration, and lateral cornering. I’m not blowing any smoke, it was legitimately the best tire in the wet of the three tested.
This test was conducted at the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure, so maybe the other tires were optimized for higher pressures or something, but they definitely felt like they had more ‘wallow’ and sway under hard cornering. The body roll felt more exaggerated with the non-Goodrich tires, due likely to a combination of something called ‘tread squirm’ and something else called ‘sidewalls as flexible as cooked cup noodle’. Either way, the Mustangs felt much better and much more confident on the Comp 2.

Test 3: Dry Handling Course

The third test was in three identical-but-for-the-color Scion FRS, conducting a dry run of a separate but equally short handling course. The first thing I have to say is that ordering an FRS with an automatic transmission is a travesty, and anyone who does so should be thrown in the stocks and mocked for at least a week. These cars were abysmal to drive with an auto trans, and infuriating to attempt to drive quickly. The handling is close to sublime, reminding me a lot of my old 1983 Porsche 944 that I loved, but this transmission redefined the term “autotragic”.
BFG 10
In the dry, the performance gap between the three different tires was definitely narrowed, and all three did perform well for an all-season. Again it was consensus that the General was dead last. That tire just didn’t have the ultimate grip needed to come close to the others. It was less predictable, there was still more squirm and sidewall roll, and they just didn’t give the confidence needed to really push a car.
The Yokohama, again, fell into second place, giving a much better performance feel than the General, but still falling just a bit short of the g-force. There was a long sweeping left hand curve on this course that conspired to shove the Yokohama into an understeer situation that was difficult to recover from. It was much better in hard braking than the General, and similar to the BFG, but the Goodrich was just better, and more importantly, more consistent, everywhere else.
From run to run, the BFG held itself up quite well. It was a consistent and dependable level of cornering, and it always seemed to communicate when you were about to be pushing it just a bit too hard. It would let you know that you were about to understeer and to kindly let off the throttle a bit. There was something to the tire that just felt better.

Test 4: Highway Run

This was a boring test, so I won’t dwell on it too much. We were all trotted out onto the nearby interstate, drove about 15 miles, and then turned around and came back in the same car with a different tire on it. In my case I was in one of the Mustangs. There was a noticeable difference in road noise between the BFG and the Yokohama, with the Yokohama being a bit louder. I would guess that the difference was less than a handful of decibels, but because I got the opportunity to “back-to-back” the tires on the same car, it was noticeable. Expansion joint noise was the biggest difference, with more crash noise coming from the Yokos. If I’d had more than 10 minutes between the two cars, I’m not sure I’d have noticed. Take from that what you will.

Final Thoughts

Am I convinced? Would I buy an all season tire? No, probably not. If I needed to buy a performance all season, would I buy this one over the competition? You bet your sweet behind I would.
I don’t live in a place where I need that kind of thing. It snowed one time this winter, and as soon as the sun came out, the snow was gone from the roads. The ‘occasional light snow use’ capability of the BFG g-force Comp-2 A/S would be useless on my cars. Because my winters are consistently below freezing, however, I do install full “three peak mountain – snowflake” designated winter tires. I use super sticky summer tires in the summer, compliant and soft winter tires in the winter, and I like it that way. The Comp-2 A/S has come a lot closer to providing a performance all season, and it’d be great for a lot of people’s needs. If you want near-summer performance out of a tire you can use reliably all year long (and warrantied up to 45,000 miles), then this tire might just be for you. From what I’ve heard, it’s nearly as good as the class-leading Michelin Pilot Sport AS3 at a decent cost savings.
My conclusion is that this just isn’t the tire for me, but their Rival summer tire, however, I’ll get to that next week…
It is worth noting that the day I was on this launch, it did snow in Huntington Beach, California where our intrepid editor Glucker lives. If this global climate change thing keeps getting worse, perhaps these tires would be good for him. “light snow use”, after all.
Initial product launch of the BFGoodrich g-Force Comp-2 A/S begins in April. Pricing is not yet finalized, but expect each tire to cost about $160-$180 with a 45,000 mile treadwear warranty. The thing BFG is really stoked about in regard to this tire is the fact that they are offering it in a wide range of 59 sizes from 16″ to 20″ to fit everything from tuner cars and Europeans to vintage muscle cars and SUVs.
[Wet Audi Stop Test photo and Black Scion Handling photo provided by BF Goodrich. All others ©2015 Hooniverse/Bradley C. Brownell, All Rights Reserved.]

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  1. dmdukejr Avatar

    “So well, in fact, that I was told later by people who drove these BFG
    Audis at highway speed that the tires had actually turned on the rim
    after what amounts to literally hundreds of panic stops, and needed to
    be rebalanced.”
    Wouldn’t that rip the valve stem out?

    1. buzzboy7 Avatar

      The valve stem is attached to the rim only.

  2. buzzboy7 Avatar

    I have the Sport Comp2 on my car and I recommend it to many people. It drives great in the wet but is abysmal in the snow. Seeing that we don’t really get snow here, I couldn’t see paying 50$+ more per tire over there standard Sport Comp2.

    1. Andrew Avatar

      Me too, with a caveat. On longer drives in a car with less-than-ideal soundproofing (Honda, Mazda), they’re kind of loud. If I was commuting and the A/S is significantly quieter, that could be enough to sway me.

      1. buzzboy7 Avatar

        I’ve not noticed but only because I’ve got a loud exhaust.

  3. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    Also worth noting, I have the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires ready to go on my Wombat – can’t WAIT to get those things ruined with some burnouts
    Also also – the G Force rivals are pretty sweet

  4. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

    I have Conti Extreme DWS tires and love them. I’ve had them on three of my cars.
    I will agree with one thing this test proved, Hankook tires are crap and crap tires have devastating effects on your car’s performance.
    I run All-seasons year-round and have a set of winters in the shed. The reason being, I drive to places during the year that have remarkably inconsistent weather and sometimes that includes freak snow storms after 60-degree days (shoot, it’s snowing in NJ as i type this) and it isn’t always possible, or profitable to drive 800 miles with snow tires in the hatch.
    The new Michelin A/S3s would be an interesting comparo with these BFGs. My issue with BFGs was always wear. They prioritized sticky compounds over lifespan of the tire and that makes them even more expensive. The sad part was (in the Conti DWS case) that sacrifice didn’t pay off in performance as the Conti bested them in testing by TireRack.

  5. Kris_01 Avatar

    I am a firm believer in dedicated winter tires, and have a set of steelies for my snows. The other two thirds of the year sees my 98 Camry on Michelin Harmonies (195/70R14 for that smoother ride) and my Focus ZTW on 205/50R16 General G-Max AS-03.

  6. Andrew Avatar

    So am I right in understanding this is the same compound as the Sport Comp-2 but with better water evacuation? Color me interested as I love that tire’s wet grip – but not how it handles standing water.

    1. Bradley Brownell Avatar
      Bradley Brownell

      I’m no engineer, but I think the Comp-2 A/S is a different compound as well. They mentioned something about it having more silica than normal.

      1. Andrew Avatar

        I consider silica to be a magical substance, even if it’s just a fancy word for “sand!”

  7. Jason Connor Avatar

    Since Jeff noted I will as well. I have had the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3’s on for 13,000 miles thus far and I’m quite impressed with the performance and longevity. I previously had the Goodyear Eagle F1 A/S 2’s that Ford had on as factory equipment and with 3 track days and canyon driving they lasted 16,000 miles. They were amazingly sticky but the wear rate had me look elsewhere. The A/S 3’s are slightly more expensive than the Pilot Super Sports but for what they offer as a daily driver tire I am quite impressed with them.
    I have heard great things about the BFG Comp 2’s and was a consideration when I was looking for tires, but I’m a creature of habit and have had purchased Michelin’s for all replacement tires for about 10 years now and keep going back to them.

    1. Bradley Brownell Avatar
      Bradley Brownell

      I’m getting Pilot Sport Cup 2s to daily drive on. So that tells you what kind of person (and tire buyer) I am…

  8. nanoop Avatar

    This kind of “all-season” would make a very capable “summer” tire here…

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      I was thinking the same thing. For years, I’ve sworn to “Uniroyal Rainexpert” as summer tires – highly appropriately named and used, somewhat unfortunately – and Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 studs as winter tires.
      Kudos to the ‘verse for saying it as it is: “All season” and “tires” are three words that don’t mate well.

  9. Kazo Avatar

    I use summer tires year round on my SRT-4. More precisely, my car is equipped with Hankook Ventus V12 evo2 tires. I live in Houston, so it doesn’t often get below freezing. Luckily (or unluckily), my car came down with clutch problems in November and I’m just about done resolving those, so I didn’t do much driving in cold weather anyway.

  10. Cani Lupine Avatar
    Cani Lupine

    I run 13″ Civic VX wheels, so you can imagine there aren’t many options for 175/70/13 tires. The General Altimax RT43 seems to be a frontrunner in that size.

    1. ninjabortion Avatar

      I hate that smaller tires are going by the way side. 205/60 13 for my first gen rx-7 has nothing but race rubber, and 225/60 14 for my celica supra has literally 1 tire choice, bfg radial t/a’s, the worst tire ever. I stepped up to 16’s with 225/50 on the supra and am loving the tire choices, but those seem pricey compared to 17’s and don’t really get wider than 245/255.

  11. Scoutdude Avatar

    Being “all-season” is what would make them garbage in the rain, not the performance part. Max and Ultra High Performance tires typically do very well in the rain which is why I use them for 3 seasons on virtually all of my cars. For the winter I’m sold on the Conti ExtremeWinterContact as they don’t sacrafice wet weather grip for snow traction coming out far ahead in the wet in the last TireRack tests and matching or beating the competition in the snow.