Performance at an ‘astonishing level’ – Auto Bild Allrad tests all-season SUV tyres

It was a victory for Goodyear in the all-season SUV tyre test published by Auto Bild Allrad this month. The publication voted the Vector 4Seasons SUV Gen-2 the winner of its six-tyre comparative evaluation, honouring the Goodyear rubber with the only ‘exemplary’ rating of the test.

Size 235/60 R18 107 V was selected for testing, which was carried out using an Audi Q5. The six tyres – Goodyear Vector 4Seasons SUV Gen-2, Hankook Kinergy 4S, Mastersteel All Weather, Michelin CrossClimate SUV, Nokian Weatherproof SUV and Vredestein Quartic 5 – were evaluated alongside two 235/60 R18 all-terrain tyres, the General Tire Grabber AT³ and Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015; all eight are 3PMSF and M+S marked.

The only criticism the Auto Bild testers levelled against the Vector 4Seasons SUV Gen-2 was its high price. When subtracting pain induced by the hip pocket nerve, they recommended Goodyear tyre for its well-balanced driving characteristics on wet and snow-covered surfaces and its good aquaplaning safety, as well as low tyre/road noise.

While only one tyre gained an ‘exemplary’ rating, four were considered ‘good’.

Runner-up tyre the CrossClimate SUV lost points for a “prolonged braking distance on snow.” Otherwise there was little to complain about – Auto Bild Allrad commented that the Michelin tyre was “almost as good as a summer tyre on dry roads” and also delivered good wet weather performance and low rolling resistance.

Third place was shared by the Nokian Weatherproof SUV and Vredestein Quatrac 5. The first of these impressed with its short braking distance on snow-covered and wet road surfaces as well as good aquaplaning safety, while the second through its good grip on wet road surfaces, short braking distance in the wet and respectable snow performance. The Auto Bild Allrad testers were less enthusiastic with the Weatherproof SUV’s “prolonged braking distance on dry road surfaces, reduced lateral control on snow” as well as the Quatrac 5’s tyre/road noise and aquaplaning safety.

The fourth tyre to finish with a ‘good’ rating was the fifth-placed Hankook Kinergy 4S. Auto Bild Allrad wrote that the Hankook tyre has a “particularly comfortable ride, good aquaplaning safety, affordable price.” On the other side of the coin, they found the Kinergy 4S was not a particularly quiet tyre, nor was its braking distance on snow or in the dry especially impressive.

It is only a few short years since ‘Made in China’ served as bywords for poor tyre performance, yet readers who assumed the Mastersteel tyre would confirm this stereotype were in for a disappointment. Although the Mastersteel All Weather finished sixth out of six, it gained a rating of ‘satisfactory’ and displayed no major deficits. Its performance on snow was almost on par with some of the big-name brands, and in the wet and dry the All Weather was “was clearly, but not dramatically, behind the brand-name tyres.” The testers commented that “the Chinese are evidently learning.” Overall, they considered the all-season SUV tyres’ performance at an “astonishing level.”

As for the pair of M+S and 3PMSF-marked A/T tyres tested alongside the six, the Auto Bild Allrad rated the Yokohama tyre as ‘conditionally recommended’ and gave the General Tire product a ‘not recommended’ rating as both had “heavy disadvantages on the road,” primarily in the wet.

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