Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus Review: It’s All About Comfort and Fuel Economy

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  • Excellent high-speed stability
  • Very good traction and grip on dry tarmac
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance and wet traction
  • Quiet on the highway and comfortable over bumps
  • Outstanding treadlife
  • Excellent treadwear warranty
  • Improves fuel efficiency
  • Light-snow traction is below average
  • Abysmal traction over ice

Fuel economy and CO2 emissions seem to be the biggest concern of car manufacturers nowadays. Buyers don’t only want these things, but authorities also impose them. And, achieving excellent fuel economy while also providing drivers with high levels of performance often seems like a very daunting task.

Fortunately, tire manufacturers started utilizing environmentally-friendly technologies in their products. With them, they try to improve the fuel economy further and lower the emissions on any car, without sacrificing performance. Now, that’s something that sounds too good to be accurate, but trust me, some companies managed to do just that.

One of those companies is certainly Bridgestone. If you didn’t already know, the Japanese company is the largest tire manufacturer in the world, going head-to-head with Michelin. Oh, and that’s an accolade that they achieved producing hi-tech tires that are known for safety, performance, minimal environmental impact, and durability.

The Ecopia H/L 422 Plus is one of their best-selling tires worldwide, primarily because it shares those qualities. It is a grand-touring all-season tire that goes head-to-head with other premium tires in its category. As expected, Bridgestone made this tire available in many sizes, ranging from 15-inch wheel diameter to 18-inch wheel diameter.

With these sizes, Bridgestone covers a large portion of the car market. That said, the Ecopia 422 Plus is mostly suited to drivers of compact cars, mid-size sedans, minivans, and small crossovers. According to Bridgestone, you can use this tire on coupes as well. However, that might be misleading to some enthusiast drivers. In other words, if you care about performance, I suggest avoiding this tire – it’s not designed for ultimate handling and high cornering speeds.

Apart from that, the Ecopia 422 Plus looks like a very accomplished grand-touring tire. The Japanese manufacturer utilized many of its hi-tech features on this product, so we should expect excellent performance in almost every area. Moreover, the company offers one of the best warranties in the grand-touring category at 70,000-miles treadwear.

But how does this tire handle the real world? The previous model, the Ecopia 422 was already one of the best grand-touring tires for drivers that wanted a peaceful ride, improved fuel economy, and year-round safety, so it will be interesting to see where are the main improvements of the new model.

According to Bridgestone, the Ecopia H/L 422 Plus provides an industry-leading coverage of sizes, new fitments, and a longer limited treadwear warranty when compared to the predecessor.

Also, they claim that this SUV, sedan, and minivan tire is engineered for fuel efficiency, dependable all-season performance, confident handling, comfortable ride, and long-lasting performance.

To achieve these things, Bridgestone utilized an improved all-season tread compound when compared to the predecessor. Now, the Ecopia 422 Plus utilizes Bridgestone’s advanced NanoPro-Tech (Nanostructure-Oriented Properties Control Technology).

This technology promises to reduce rolling resistance and improve fuel economy, without sacrificing dry, wet, and wintertime traction. For the driver, this means less energy loss and safer driving down the road.

Like most grand-touring tires from Bridgestone, the tread compound is molded into a symmetric tread pattern that combines notched shoulders and intermediate ribs with independent center blocks for dry road tracking, stability, and traction. Special care was also put into minimizing the noise coming from the tread pattern.

Hydroplaning resistance and wet traction, handling, and braking are covered with four wide circumferential grooves that help the water flow beneath the footprint of the tire. Furthermore, the notches and sipes across the tread pattern increase the biting edges needed for improved snow traction.

The internal construction of the Ecopia 422 Plus is standard for the category. The twin steel belts are reinforced by spirally wrapped nylon on top of a polyester casing. This construction improves the ride quality of the tire, while also improving durability.

Bridgestone also employed its Fuel Saver compound in the sidewalls of the tire. This material reduces the weight of the tire, which positively affects fuel economy and emissions.

Please note, though, that not every available size comes with the Ecopia technology. Most sizes are marked as Eco-Product. Differences between these models should be minimal, though, both in terms of economy and fuel efficiency.

Bridgestone Ecopia HL 422 Plus Review

What are the maintenance indicators?

Like almost every other Bridgestone passenger tire, the Ecopia 422 Plus has indicator bars built into the tread, which can help the owner track how much tread there is left on the tire easily.

The position of these indicators is between the tread blocks of the tire, more precisely inside the circumferential grooves. They are not easily visible when the tire is new, but you should still be able to notice them upon close inspection.

According to Bridgestone, the minimum tread depth of the Ecopia 422 Plus is 2/32 inch. When the tread is worn down to this point, it means that the tire won’t provide the driver with safe driving experience over wet surfaces, and especially when it rains heavily.

When the tread is worn down to that point (2/32 inch), the tread indicators will be completely flush with the tire. Naturally, I recommend replacing the tires before this happens, as the wet traction will already be limited.

Fortunately, that won’t happen soon after you install the tires. The Ecopia 422 Plus has one of the most extended treadwear warranties in the category at 70,000-miles. That is impressive for a grand-touring tire, even though Bridgestone already offers an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty on the Turanza QuietTrack.

Apart from the treadwear warranty, many owners of the Ecopia 422 Plus are delighted with the treadlife of their tires.

How does it behave on dry tarmac?

The Ecopia 422 Plus is by no means impressive when it comes to handling, but that’s the case with most grand-touring all-season tires. For ultimate cornering speeds and performance, you should look elsewhere.

That being said, when you compare Bridgestone’s grand-touring tire to its closest competitors, we can safely say that it’s one of the best in the category. I was especially surprised by the responsiveness and high-speed stability – this tire feels good behind the wheel.

Furthermore, the Ecopia 422 Plus provides the driver with very good grip in the corners, and excellent traction for hard acceleration. The braking distances are also very short, which is perhaps one of the most critical areas for safety.

Overall, the tire is entirely safe on dry roads and easily among the best all-season grand-touring tires right now. That is impressive for a tire that also offers eco-friendly credentials.

How is it over wet and slippery roads?

Bridgestone Ecopia HL 422 Plus Review

The four circumferential grooves definitely help the Ecopia 422 Plus achieve excellent hydroplaning resistance. Even in very heavy rain, the tire doesn’t feel like it loses contact with the road.

Moreover, handling in wet conditions is very good, traction levels are very high, and braking distances are short. Driving at higher speeds in rainy conditions also feels very safe.

With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?

Bridgestone tried to improve the light-snow traction of the predecessor by employing a higher number of sipes and biting edges.

However, I’m still not impressed with the performance here. That’s probably due to the design of the sipes. Many tire manufacturers started employing zig-zag sipes in their all-season tires, which significantly improve traction over snow.

The Ecopia 422 Plus is usable over light snow, but only in a pinch. For extreme wintry conditions, especially when ice appears on the road, I wouldn’t trust this tire.

Is it good for off-road driving?

Even though the Ecopia 422 Plus can be installed on some crossovers and SUVs, it doesn’t mean that you can use it for off-roading.

You can drive over dirt and gravel in a pinch, but I strongly recommend against covering many miles in those conditions. Also, driving over mud is entirely out of the question – this tire simply doesn’t have enough tread depth or biting edges for that surface.

And, on top of everything else, you can easily damage the tread compound of the Ecopia 422 Plus with extensive off-road use.

Is it comfortable and refined?

If you care about comfort, then the Ecopia 422 Plus certainly won’t disappoint you. The ride quality is excellent over uneven surfaces and large bumps. Moreover, there is not much noise coming from the tires, even when driving over rough pavement.

You can see more Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus Review here: Video created by HILLYARD’S RIM LIONS

Should I buy the Bridgestone Dueler Ecopia H/L 422 Plus?

Well, the only reason you shouldn’t buy this tire is the below-average snow traction. So, if you live in areas with very harsh wintry conditions, you should probably look elsewhere.

If not, then you can put the Ecopia 422 Plus on your shortlist. The tire offers very safe ride over dry and wet surfaces, smooth ride quality, quiet rolling on the highway, and very long treadlife. Moreover, the low-rolling-resistance technology really improves the fuel economy on any vehicle!

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