Which? awards latest ‘best buy’ ratings, reveals label ignorance
Which? magazine published its latest ranking of summer tyres in its April edition. Testing 14” and 16” sizes, the magazine gave rankings to 26 tyre models in total, ranking them out of five for dry and wet braking and handling, wet grip on straights and bends, noise, fuel consumption and wear. It also discussed the impact of energy labels, to be placed on passenger car tyres from November, with a Which?-conducted survey suggesting that most people have yet to hear about the tyre label – the magazine spoke to 1,291 members of the public and 2,742 Which? members and “nine out of 10… weren’t aware of the scheme”. In addition to this, the consumer advice magazine said that “only half the people…who were aware…were able to identify the three ratings that will be included.”
In better news for tyre labelling, Which? said that seven in 10 people “said it would influence their buying decision”. Therefore, it seems likely that those dealers and retailers that take the time to explain the tyre label to customers have the chance to engage with their customers in discussing their product. However, echoing sentiments shared with some member s of the tyre industry, the Which? survey also revealed that the choice of ratings carried by the tyre label could be viewed as a weakness by the consumer; “91 per cent of drivers… classed tyre wear as an important rating, while 64 per cent said noise was important.”
In the test itself, which focused on the supermini size, 165/70 R14T, and the medium family size, 205/55 R16V, gave no “don’t buy” ratings. Its “best buy” stamp was applied to Continental’s EcoContact 5, Michelin’s Energy Saver and Pirelli’s Cinturato P1 in the smaller category. In the 16” size, Conti’s Premium Contact 5, Dunlop’s SP Sport FastResponse and Goodyear’s OptiGrip were awarded top marks.
Michelin pleased to receive accolade
Michelin’s Steve Dolby, product marketing manager, commented on the results: “This is a great test result for us and reinforces the balance of performance philosophy that we employ in the design of all our tyres where no one area of performance should negatively affect another.
“It is also interesting that the Which? test focused on criteria that will appear on tyre labels when the legislation comes into effect later this year. This should help consumers make more informed decisions when purchasing tyres, based on important considerations like safety and the environment.”