After selecting the 20 best-performing tyres in wet and snow braking tests from a starting field of 50 candidates, Auto Bild has subjected the finalists to further evaluations of their capabilities in a range of situations. As well as looking at how each tyre influences handling and braking in dry, wet and snowy conditions, the publication’s test team examined rolling resistance, mileage, tyre-road noise and cost factors. Here’s what they found.
All-season tyres have found favour with tyre testers in recent years, but Auto Bild points out that most tests focus on tyres for small and compact cars. To address a dearth of testing for sporty mid-sized saloons, the German motoring publication has evaluated 32 tyre models in size 225/50 R17. In Auto Bild tradition, the testers performed wet and dry braking tests to pare down the field of candidates to a shortlist of the 16 top performers. They then subjected the finalists to various tests in dry, wet and snowy conditions and also evaluated characteristics such as rolling resistance, mileage potential and price-performance ratio.
No big surprises in the 20 tyres that made it into the final of this year’s Auto Bild winter test. The shortlist reads like a who’s who of the tyre industry, starting with the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 as the tyre delivering the shortest combined stopping distance (from 80 km/h in wet conditions and 50 km/h on snow) during the first round of testing. Following closely on the Bridgestone tyre’s heels were the Dunlop Winter Sport 5, Hankook Winter I*Cept RS² and Continental WinterContact TS 870.
The chief executive officer of Michelin’s Europe North Region has spoken out against “cheap products from Asia and their dumping prices.” In an interview with German newspaper Bild, Anish K. Taneja, who also serves as the president of the German Rubber Manufacturers Association (wdk), emphasised that tyres such as these are not environmentally sustainable, nor are they sustainable for consumers or for local jobs.
While anyone prioritising ride comfort above every other factor should steer clear of low profile, higher rim diameter tyres, motorists who want a more dynamic driving experience certainly benefit from a couple of extra inches and a flatter sidewall. Auto Bild has tested 15 size 235/35 R19 tyres suitable for sporty compact cars such as the VW Golf GTI, Audi S3 and Seat Leon Cupra.
The market for classic car tyres is a small but profitable one, with some vehicle owners prepared to pay three or four times the price of a regular tyre for a fitment that looks the part. Several major tyre brands now offer classic lines; these are either past products brought up to date with modern compounds and/or construction or newly-developed tyres featuring period treads. But how do these tyres compare with modern standard tyres? To find out, Auto Bild Klassik has tested three classic tyres – the Michelin XAS, Vredestein Sprint Classic and Dunlop Sport Classic – against four modern counterparts.
With starting fields of more than 50 tyres and two rounds of product evaluation, Auto Bild’s tyre tests count amongst the most thorough and authoritative in the business. Kumho is therefore justifiably proud that its Ecsta HS51 achieved outright victory in the Auto Bild 2021 summer tyre test.
Anyone who’s ever suggested that motoring magazines favour the same two or three brands in their tyre tests will be quietened by the results of the Auto Bild 2021 summer tyre test. The biggest names in the business needed to clear space on the top step of the winners’ podium for an ambitious competitor, while the runner-up Continental tyre was given a run for its money by its lower-priced sibling Semperit.
We’ll have to wait another fortnight to learn the winner of this year’s Auto Bild summer tyre test, but the motoring magazine has let the names of the finalists out of the bag. Of the more than 50 tyre brands that Auto Bild looked at – this year in size 205/55 R16 91V – just 20 remain for further, more intensive testing following the qualifying round. Hankook’s candidate tops the shortlist after achieving the best stopping distances in both the wet and dry braking tests.
Auto Bild managed to publish its 2020 all-season tyre test more or less on time despite the lockdown affecting many parts of Europe during the spring. The German motoring publication looked at 32 brands of all-season tyres and evaluated 14 of these in greater depth following a preliminary knock-out round of braking tests. One of the 14 candidates making it through to the finals is a product we’d seen neither hide nor hair of beforehand – the Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF. In contrast to the Cinturato All Season and Cinturato All Season Plus, no retailer appears to stock this particular model. And as we’ve learned, it looks as if this will remain the case.
The tyre test team at Auto Bild has been busy of late. In addition to recommending the best car, SUV and high-performance tyres for the coming winter, the German publication has taken a look at all-season tyres. It fitted 32 brands of size 205/55 R16 tyre to a VW Golf, and after an elimination round of wet and dry braking tests evaluated the 14 top performers in wet, dry and snow conditions. Five of the candidates received Auto Bild’s top ‘exemplary’ rating and were considered every bit as good as summer or winter tyres.
Goodyear’s new Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 sealed two more test victories for the manufacturer that has more all-season test wins than any other. German magazine Auto Bild and British website Tyre Reviews made the tyre their number one in their most recent tests for the rapidly expanding segment. “It’s great to see wins with the Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 product so soon after its launch into the market. We are particularly thrilled to be recognized by prestigious publications such as Auto Bild and Tyre Reviews,” said Mike Rytokoski, chief marketing officer for Goodyear Europe.
The latest issue of Auto Bild warns motorists not to buy a pig in a poke. Instead of trusting in blind luck, test results should guide tyre purchases. To help in this area the motoring publication has now shared the outcome of its 2020 winter tyre test. This evaluation of size 245/45 R18 tyres for executive cars (Auto Bild used a BMW 5 Series for testing) compares the 20 best performers from an initial field of 51 tyre brands subjected to wet and snow braking tests. Six of the brands received Auto Bild’s top ‘exemplary’ rating.
Tyre tests published in the run-up to summer show that the majority of mainstream tyres available in the UK are of a high or very high standard. Europe’s major car magazines and motoring associations recommended most products during the recent spate of testing. Of the 134 individual tyres put through their paces, only a handful weren’t recommended or were found to have serious issues. A further 13 were deemed merely ‘adequate’ or were conditionally recommended.
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.