Stable inboard shoulders, large tread blocks, and stable road grips are the strongest quality assets people associate the G-MAX AS-05 with. And given that the model comes from the famous General label, its skyrocketed sales are not that hard to explain.
However, sales and popularity do not always translate to ultra-high-performance qualities in all seasons, which is why this tire was included in our COR wheels test for real-life testament. The tire review below will summarize what we have found.
In this review:
General G-MAX AS-05 Specifications & Features
|Tire Type||Ultra High Performance All-Season|
|Tire Size||16″ – 22″|
|Weight||17.0 LBS – 33.0 LBS|
|Load Index||83 – 107|
|Load Range||SL – XL|
|Speed Rating||– W: up to 168 mph|
As an ultra-high-performance tire, G-MAX AS-05 aims to please drivers of sporty coupes, sports cars, and performance sedans in terms of performance handling and optimal traction (snow included). Key features are as follows:
- Asymmetric, aggressive tread compounds with SmartGrip technology, combining all-around traction with sporty handling
- Stable tread blocks outboard pair with inboard shoulders to deliver better average grips and handling with high speed ratings.
- Prominent center ribs offer a solid feel on-center and, in turn, increase the steering’s responsiveness.
- Four circumferential grooves and high-silica layers reduce hydroplaning risks
- Block edges and tread sipes, strategically placed, offer more wintry biting edges
- Two-ply constructions for the sidewalls add more durability and handling accuracy, supported by high-strength, wide steel belts and polyamide reinforcement.
General G-MAX AS-05 Review & Performance Test Result
As part of the 2023 COR Wheels tire test, General G-MAX AS-05 tires were tested out on the 2022 Toyota Tacoma using the 245/40R18 tire size version.
1. Dry Performance: 8.8/10
Dry Traction: 8.9/10
Its dry traction was not exceptional but could definitely be considered good. With the ample groove and sipe support, G-MAX AS-05 faced no qualm gripping on the terrain the moment our steering wheel started turning.
Its slight rubber squeeze before entries felt reassuring instead of a thrown-off, and we even managed to squeeze out a bit more traction than intended by grinding the wheel down with more force than usual.
Blending into other vehicles from dry ramps was pleasant and straightforward; AS-05 had a good sense of condition awareness and hence, knew just where to stop when the strike started veering out of line.
As a result, sudden acceleration/deceleration from extreme high (75 MPH) or extreme low (20 MPH) did give us whiplashes but not wander near the danger zone, allowing us to thread the Tacoma into the ongoing traffic flow without experiencing or causing disruptions.
Tight or wide curves alike did not cause much of a grip loss. In fact, the center section seemed to perk up even better at narrower arcs, and anchored itself with much confidence at 40-50 MPH until we were back to straight-line driving.
Still, the too-dense tread blocks did tend to move around at turns when over-pushed; furthermore, our aggressive-driving members did not like how the lift throttle delivered much less feedback when engaged at sharp twisties. Hence, the wilder, more fun edges of spirited driving would not likely present themselves here.
Corner Stability: 8.7/10
Like dry traction, cornering stability did not perform that impressively – but still checked all the boxes of a good ultra-performance tire.
The on-center steering felt solid thanks to its strong center ribs, guiding the Toyota Tacoma into tighter hairpins and off-camber bends with enough balance of adventurous leanings and assuring stability.
At rugged road patches, we decided to deflate each tire a couple of PSI, and the results did not disappoint: its cornering grips grew even sharper, unfazed even at unannounced acceleration to 70 MPH mid-corner. Its sidewalls were as sturdy as the center rib; it did not cave downwards at harder cornering and rarely slipped when the pedals hit the ground.
What dampened our experience was the sloppy feel at decreasing-radius curves, resulting in an ominous thud that felt off-note compared to the rest of our uneventful ride.
Steering Response: 8.7/10
G-MAX AS-05 delivered accurate, prompt steering responses that felt just right or regular driving. Its communicative contact with the car’s suspension and braking system did not sway us in a bad way – even when we sometimes went a bit overboard with the wrist angles – and struck almost comically punctual.
Navigating S-curves, U-turns, or 90-degree intersections was not as smooth as we had hoped, admittedly – but still accurate enough to join other higher-end competitors among the top ranks. And despite a little lag after our inputs, the tire handled and gripped well at mid-corners.
The tires pulled us over quite fast whenever the leans went out of line, allowing our team members to try steering the car with only 3-4 fingers put on the wheel in favorable conditions. And even then, their snappy responsiveness still retained at 95-96% compared to normal circumstances, with only some small stutters that tittered at the very edges of the rubber materials.
2. Wet Performance: 8.5/10
Hydroplaning Resistance: 8.5/10
Hydroplaning was not much of an issue for us during our acceleration to 75 MPH. The high-silica layers made it harder for rainwater to linger on the tread – and even if they did, the wide circumferential grooves still did a good job redirecting their flow off the tread anyways.
Deeper puddles of more than 5 inches seemed to pose more problems. The intersection parts between the angled groove patterns and the sipes reduced channel widths against the higher water demands, making our car falter at speed rates beyond 60 MPH.
Flowing water mid-downpour also wore down the grooves over time due to constant pressure; we had to tone things down at 40 MPH to give the tire channels more time to process.
Wet Traction: 8.6/10
Though its hydroplaning-resisting qualities did not always perform at their peak, G-MAX AS-05 generally delivered good wet performance. Our tire-road connection was barely disrupted despite the thin water layers clinging under the contact patch; in fact, it seemed to even strengthen the more we accelerated (guaranteed it was below 60 MPH).
If there was one thing to complain about, the tread sipes did not cope well with cold temperatures. Stutters were constant and more obvious in cold wet than warm wet, so we must apply slightly more force than usual to compensate for the delays.
3. Winter/Snow Performance: 6.8/10
Light Snow Traction: 7.6/10
G-MAX AS-05 was not half-bad on snow for an all-season tire, although its performance admittedly felt lackluster compared to the brand’s advertisements.
We did expect smooth – or at least consistent – traction due to the inclusion of intertwining sipes and block edges. Turns out delays and jitters were more frequent than we thought, even at deliberately slow rates of 25-30 MPH.
The good news was that these delays did not bring in any real disaster rather than startling us from our seats; we could still keep things in control with the help of snow chains and firmer steering control around roadblocks. Braking was unexpectedly good considering the circumstances, allowing us to pull to a nice stop at less than 120 feet.
Deep Snow Traction: 6.6/10
The difference between 6 inches and 7 inches of snow was jarring. One moment, we could still tread surely but a bit slowly at 25-30 MPH through the snow blankets; but in the next, extra inches sent us straight into a flurry of stumbles.
Its grooves and sipes proved decently on wet and light snow but seemed to lose most of their power here, handling bumps and inconsistent snow packs pretty poorly. We had to keep things civilized at 20-23 MPH instead and avoid tight corners as much as we could.
Ice Traction: 6.3/10
Testing G-MAX AS-05 on ice was downright one of the worst experiments for our team.
Powerful as it was, the Toyota Tacoma could not hold much of its self-composure even at a driving rate as low as 20 MPH. Skiddings not only perked around the tire’s edge but now affected its center as well, making it extremely hard for us to dive into narrower corners. Straight-line driving with barely any turn or corner was the safest ice usage for this tire, it seemed.
4. Comfort Levels: 8/10
Ride Quality: 8.3/10
Nothing stellar in its ride quality, but it still managed enough manners to fall into the middle spectrum of our tests. The way it handled road imperfections was generally refined and polished, with only some occasional obvious jerks at sharp twists, narrow curves, or wet speeds beyond 60 MPH.
Stutters were common on challenging terrains but rarely lousy enough to cause violent throws. The only exception was ice and deep snow; there was no excuse for the tire’s horrible performance here.
Noise control was far from AS-05’s best highlights. The aggressive tread compounds might be at play here, which delivered better corner stability on dry pavements but sacrificed quiet rides in the process.
And it was hard to find a distinct pattern for these noises; they could be equally loud at 75 MPH or as low as 25 MPH. Our team members either had to learn how to tune them out as we rode further into the ride. We suggest you find aftermarket mufflers/resonators for your car.
5. Treadwear and Durability: 8/10
Despite the stable grooves and strong ribs, the tire’s durability held surprisingly below expectations.
We suspected the silica might have been at fault; it was great in aiding traction but did not handle changing temperatures on the contact patch very well. Overheating and freezes were very common in summer/winter alike, taking a toll on the tread’s lifespan.
The slight scratches at the edge of our consecutive 60-80 MPH acceleration were not enough to be considered treadwear, but they did deliver meaningful messages about the tire’s potential downgrade if ridden longer than 10 days.
G-MAX AS-05 Pros and Cons
Great in dry conditions
Decent on wet roads and light snow
The accurate response even at hairpins
Adequate braking distance
Hydroplaning often occurs in cold wet
Horrible composure on deep snow and ice
Frequent road noises
Tread design did not foster a good lifespan
G-MAX AS-05 Competitors & Alternatives
Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S+ and BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S PLUS are considered General G-MAX’s primary rivals.
- General G-MAX offered a pretty solid wet performance (compared to the rest of this group only) and sharp cornering in favorable weather. But its street noises were a major turn-off, and the tires did not always perform at their peak when handling speed imbalance.
- BFGoodrich delivers an impressive light snow grip with a type of athletic, composed feel that would be appreciated on highways. However, in critical situations, its steering did not feel urgent enough.
- Unlike the other two, Yokohama ADVAN rarely generated noises in most road conditions. Its bumpy wet performances could have enjoyed some major upgrades, though.
Although not really a class leader, the AS-05 delivered a good enough performance in dry and wet conditions. Even its light snow performance still enjoyed some perks, given good temperatures and consistent steering.
From our General G-MAX AS-05 tire review, it was on deep snow and ice that the tires suffered the most, worsened by the lackluster treadwear and underwhelming ride comfort. The tire would be a good friend with small cars or even minivans during regular driving in warm summer/mild winter, but not for trucks or anything beyond leisurely approaches.
|General G-MAX AS-05|
President & Automotive Expert at COR Wheels
Robert Herrera has been with COR Wheels for 17 years and has a great passion for the automotive industry. During his time at COR Wheels, he has driven and test-driven a variety of vehicles.