No highly recommended tyres in AMS summer test

For its 2019 summer tyre test, Auto Motor und Sport (AMS) looked at 215/55 R17, a size favoured by compact SUVs. It tested 11 tyres on a VW T-Roc. What it found was a group of tyres that largely performed well, but failed to dazzle. None of the candidates received the German motoring publication’s top ‘highly recommended’ rating. The good news is, however, that no less than seven were ‘recommended’.

Test winner – Nokian Wetproof: The Nokian tyre delivered an impressive performance in disciplines that tested driving dynamics in dry and wet conditions. On the downside, it’s likely that high rolling resistance caused the Wetproof to miss out on being ‘highly recommended’; AMS shares that its performance here was “disappointing”. Steering response was also somewhat sluggish, and comfort levels could have been better. The Nokian Wetproof gained an overall score of 8.8 points from a possible total of ten.

Bridgestone Turanza T005: The runner-up tyre gave an above-average performance in all disciplines. Nevertheless, AMS noted a “light shortcoming” in its wet braking result.

Michelin Primacy 4: The Michelin tyre actually scored the same overall as the Turanza T005 (8.6 points), yet AMS ranked it below the Bridgestone tyre due to its wet performance. Commenting that “water is not its element”, the testers reported issues with grip and poor water drainage on wet surfaces. It outperformed the Turanza T005 in dry conditions and during environmental testing.

Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance: The Goodyear candidate finished the test with a total of 8.3 points, one of three tyres to do so. The motoring magazine’s sole significant criticism was that the EfficientGrip Performance lacked steering spontaneity on dry roads. It scored a very credible 8.8 points in the wet tests and also did well in the environmental category.

Pirelli Cinturato P7: With an overall score of 8.3 points, the Cinturato P7 did best in the wet, however it lost points for aquaplaning performance. AMS also found the Pirelli tyre “weak in dry braking”.

Hankook Ventus Prime³: Together with the Michelin Primacy 4, the Hankook tyre gained the most points for dry weather performance. However, its wet performance was “comparatively weak”, and the testers also commented on a sense of sluggishness when steering.

Continental PremiumContact 5: As is the case for the other ‘recommended’ tyres, the PremiumContact 5 was considered a safe and competent tyre overall. It gained the highest score in the wet test disciplines, which accounted for 50 per cent of the total score. But on dry asphalt it showed “weaknesses in braking and strong understeer with thin (safety) reserves.”

Falken Ziex ZE310 Ecorun: Given the slightly baffling rating of ‘still recommended’, the Ziex ZE310 Ecorun was praised for performing well in the wet and dry braking tests and for steering spontaneity in the dry. The tyre was held back from a better rating by indifferent resonant steering behaviour in the wet, strong understeer in the dry and “very high rolling resistance.”

Giti Premium H1: The Giti model delivered very good lateral control and handling in the dry as good ride comfort and low tyre/road noise. These positives were counterbalanced by weak braking performance, sluggish steering and a tendency to oversteer in the wet.

Nexen N’Blue HD Plus: Although the Nexen was considered an easy tyre to control on most fronts, the N’Blue HD Plus was let down by merely “satisfactory grip on wet and dry roads”. With a total score of 6.9 and below-average results in the wet, dry and environmental categories, the tyre was only rated ‘conditionally recommended’.

Toyo Proxes CF2 SUV: The same rating was given to the last-placed candidate. The Toyo tyre gave “acceptable performance” in the dry and was considered comfortable and quiet, yet testing revealed several shortcomings. AMS listed these as “weaknesses in aquaplaning” as well as “room for improvement” in wet grip. It achieved a total score of 6.5.

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