First Drive: Yokohama Introduces New Geolandar A/T G015

Mar. 18, 2016 By Jim Brightly, KF7SCT
A few of the shorter two-door Wranglers maintained traction while lifting a tire or two. After he lifted the tire, the driver said he thought he was going over backward.

Bustling with anticipation for the 50th Annual Easter Jeep Safari, Moab, was already filling up with with excited visitors a week before the start of the Safari. Many were aftermarket manufacturers getting an early start at the Spanish Trail venue. Yokohama told us they chose this time so that the introduction wouldn’t interfere with the Safari.

Since the Geolandar A/T G015 tire is a combination all-weather and all-terrain tire designed for pickups (full- and mid-size) and SUVs of all sizes, an off-road trail and an extended highway trip were needed for a full test. That’s why Moab is an ideal location for this location—trails of all ratings abound and are readily and easily accessed.

All lined up at Sorrel River Resort, the new Wrangler Sport models were two- and four-door models, and we were asked to pick our mount for the day.

Dan Mick— the famous long-time Moab legend—and his son Richard were our guides for the day in the outback. Dan owns and operates a well-known four-wheeling tour service. He knows the Moab trails and their stories like no one else in town and kept us entertained via radio throughout the day.

Rather than staying in town for the entire event, Yokohama set us up at Sorrel River Resort. The resort is located about 20 miles upriver from Moab on the road to Grand Junction, which provided nearly 50 miles of highway testing for noise and traction. Both proved to be excellent—very low road noise and quite high pavement traction.

We lined up at the Sorrel River Resort prior to hitting the road for the 20-mile trip into Moab. All these Wranglers are rentals—perhaps you noticed the side decals—from Canyonlands Jeep Adventures. They’re all Sport models and are restricted from the more challenging trails. The tires exhibited excellent highway manners with no noise and good traction.

As soon as we were all off the pavement—Dan Mick picked Fins and Things (rated 4) for the off-road testing—we shifted all nine Wrangler Sports into low range for the upcoming challenges. I drove the red Unlimited in number 1 position with Dan Mick giving directions.

The Yokohama team also picked an excellent guide for our test drive. Dan Mick—for whom Mickey’s Hot Tub was named—has been a four-wheeling fanatic and off-road tour guide for more than three decades. A legend in his own time, Dan and his son Richard led us to a fantastic trail—Fins and Things. Rated a 4 on a 10-point scale, Fins and Things provides sand, slick rock, steep climbs, and sharp drop-offs. In other words, almost anything you’ll encounter on a modest desert exploration trip short of rock crawling.

With improved traction in snow and rain, the Geolandar A/T G015 is an impressive combination tire for all Jeep models, giving good mileage and no highway noise while still providing very good traction in modest off-road situations. They are available in outline white letters (OWL) or with plane black sidewalls.

This gives you a good view of the tread pattern both on the tire and in the dirt. The Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 LT285/70R17 tires did quite well on the mixed sand and slick rock surfaces.

Remember, the Geolandar A/T G015 tire is designed primarily for pickups and SUVs, but it will work well on Wranglers also, especially if the Wranglers are used mostly for modest off-road expeditions and daily drivers. The all-terrain tire is engineered for durability and is intended to improve traction for SUVs on any surface and in any weather condition, including snow. The G015 meets the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s severe snow service criterion and is stamped with the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol. According to Yokohama’s literature, the tire’s exclusive orange oil compound and advanced tread is designed to combine to provide superior handling and road grip.

Several of the Fins and Things’ obstacles followed each other in quick succession like these two short climbs. I believe this area was called the roller coaster.

At each trailhead inside the combination county/state/BLM park, we found signs like this one showing the trail and regulations for the park. There are several excellent dry camping areas within the park for those who want to spend the evenings close to the trails.

“The Geolandar A/T G015 delivers outstanding traction in any condition, both on road and off,” said Andrew Briggs, senior director of tire business planning, product planning and sales operations. “It’s the toughest and most versatile Geolandar yet and it’s built to last, providing some of the best mileage in the industry.”

Fins and Things had several steep but short hill climbs such as this one; excellent training ground for inexperienced media drivers—challenging but not really dangerous.

Yokohama notes that the Geolandar A/T G015’s updated size lineup now covers 96 percent of the market for today’s full- and mid-sized pickups and SUVs. Its limited tread-wear warranties are 60,000 miles for P/E-metric and 50,000 miles for LT-metric sizes.

As we climbed hill after hill the crests opened up more and more scenic vistas. Absolutely beautiful country.

Available for shipping on April 1, 2016, the G015 will be offered in 60 LT and P/E metric sizes with more sizes coming along in future months. The tire we evaluated in Moab was an LT285/70R17, about half with outlined white letters (OWL) and the remainder without OWL.

The Jeeps on which the test tires were mounted were new Wrangler Sport models, two- and four-door models. The red Unlimited Sport I drove (with Dan Mick as my passenger) had less than 200 miles on the clock. Sport models do without lockers, without low gears, and have 2.79:1 low range gears, so they were an excellent choice for the all-terrain tire testing—traction was due to tire and not gears. They’d all received a modest lift of between one and two inches to accommodate the 32-inch Yokohama Geolandars.

What goes up must come down. We also drove over some abrupt downhills sections on Fins and Things, proving the grip of the tire on the Utah slickrock.

Because tire prices vary so widely depending on where they are purchased—and our space limitations—we can’t provide prices for the Geolandar A/T G015 at this time. Go to for a full list of size availability and prices. Newsletter
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