7 ‘exemplary’ tyres in Auto Bild summer test
After eliminating 30 tyres from its 2020 summer tyre test in a preliminary wet and dry braking round, Auto Bild scrutinised the remaining 20 more closely. The findings are now out, and the motoring publication is very happy with more than a third of the tested candidates. First place in test was shared by two tyres.
Size 245/45 R18 100Y tyres in brands covering (alphabetically at least) Apollo to Zeetex were fitted to a BMW 5 Series for evaluation by seasoned Auto Bild testers Dierk Möller and Henning Klipp. They looked at the tyres’ performance in wet and dry conditions, as well as cost-related factors.
The winner is Continental. And Goodyear. Auto Bild awarded both the PremiumContact 6 and Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 the coveted first place. It additionally named the Continental tyre its ‘Eco Champion’ due to its good mileage potential.
Möller and Klipp lauded the PremiumContact 6’s “balanced, top-notch driving behaviour, dynamic handling with steering precision and short braking distances.”
The Goodyear tyre gained similar praise. Auto Bild described it as a “sports tyre with dynamic handling characteristics on wet and dry surfaces, precise steering and short braking distances. Mileage was good as well.
The winning tyres were two of seven tyres to gain the ‘exemplary’ rating.
Third place went to the Michelin Pilot Sport 4. The testers found this to be a very sporty tyre with “precise steering characteristics and exemplary driving dynamics”. The Pilot Sport 4 also delivered the shortest braking distances and good aquaplaning safety. The only minus that Möller and Klipp noted was the Michelin tyre’s high purchase price.
The Vredestein Ultrac Vorti gave good grip and excellent handling on dry and wet surfaces. Auto Bild also reports that this fourth-placed tyre offers precise steering behaviour and aquaplaning safety – all at a fair price. Rolling resistance was, admittedly, on the high side.
Sibling tyre the Apollo Aspire XP finished fifth and gave balanced, high performance potential and good handling characteristics, short braking distances and good mileage. Auto Bild considers the tyre good value for money too.
Finishing the test sixth, the Nexen N’Fera Sport provided safe driving behaviour and short braking distances both in the wet and dry. Auto Bild also commended the tyre’s ride comfort and noise levels, but noted its higher rolling resistance.
The testers were impressed with the Falken Azenis FK510. Möller and Klipp report “very stable handling qualities and short wet braking distances” as well as good mileage potential and low drive-by noise. They opine that the Falken tyre represents “very good” value for money.
Three tyres were rated “good”
The Nokian Powerproof finished the test in eighth place and delivered “convincingly good handling qualities and short braking distances on wet and dry road surfaces” as well as precise steering behaviour. Mileage potential was only average, however.
Auto Bild considered the Firestone Roadhawk an affordable brand-name tyre with balanced driving behaviour in the wet and dry as well as good aquaplaning safety. But again, mileage potential was only average.
The Fulda Sport Control 2 shares ninth place with the Firestone tyre. The testers said it provides “stable driving characteristics” in the wet as well as short braking distances in the dry, good comfort levels and the lowest rolling resistance of the 20 tested tyres. On the downside, Auto Bild thought the Fulda tyre’s mileage potential poor and its price on the high side.
Six ‘satisfactory’ tyres
The Bridgestone Potenza S001 is, says Auto Bild, a “wet specialist”, very well-balanced with safe handling characteristics, good aquaplaning safety reserves and short braking distances. It had to settle for 11th place, however, due to its poor mileage potential and high rolling resistance.
Auto Bild awarded 12th place to the Hankook Ventus S1 Evo3 and commended the tyre for its convincing driving performance and short driving distances on wet and dry surfaces – at a “fair” price. The testers marked the Ventus S1 Evo3 down for its “limited” mileage potential.
Laufenn, Hankook’s second tyre brand, occupied 13th place. Auto Bild described the S Fit EQ+ as a tyre with “sporty handling qualities and good delay on dry surfaces” as well as low rolling resistance. Möller and Klipp detected understeer in the wet, however, and mileage potential was only average.
Finishing in 14th place, the Dunlop SportMaxx RT2 offered “good reserves of safety when aquaplaning, short dry braking distances and low rolling resistance.” But a couple of issues were noticed in wet conditions, namely understeer and extended braking distances.
The Kleber Dynaxer UHP delivered short braking distances in dry conditions as well as high mileage potential and low rolling resistance, at an affordable price. On the other side of the coin, Möller and Klipp weren’t so impressed by the Kleber’s grip and lateral control on both wet and dry surfaces.
With a name like RainSport 3 you’d expect strong performance in the wet. But this Uniroyal tyre failed to deliver here, with Auto Bild drawing attention to its understeer and delayed steering response on wet roads. Positive characteristics include good mileage potential and low rolling resistance.
Four ‘conditionally recommended’ tyres
Kumho found itself in 17th place, with its Ecsta PS71 offering convincing wet weather performance, including short braking distances and aquaplaning safety. But Auto Bild experienced understeer when testing the Kumho tyre in the dry, as well as limited mileage potential and high rolling resistance.
The Maxxis Victra Sport 5 gave dynamic handling behaviour and good aquaplaning safety reserves as well as short braking distances on dry surfaces. Yet braking distances were high in the wet and the Maxxis tyre’s steering response was delayed. Mileage potential was also low.
Auto Bild gave the Toyo Proxes Sport the thumbs-up for its short braking distances in the wet and dry as well as its good reserves of safety when aquaplaning. Sounds all well and good, but the testers also reported understeer in the wet, stodgy steering behaviour and limited mileage potential.
Zeetex, the “surprise” inclusion in the second round of testing, finished 20th tyre from 20. Möller and Klipp commended the HP 2000 VFM’s short braking distances in the wet and dry and its low rolling resistance, not to mention a low purchase price. But the testers experienced understeer in both wet and dry conditions, low reserves of safety when aquaplaning as well as limited mileage potential.
Summing up this year’s summer tyre test, Dierk Möller and Henning Klipp stressed that “exemplary tyres needn’t always be expensive.” The testers pointed out that five of the seven tyres to gain this rating are available “at a fair price.”