Comparative tests typically evaluate the way tyres perform day-to-day, and the wider environmental impact of tyre use doesn’t get much of a look-in. German motoring association ADAC is rectifying this by examining tyres’ contribution to the problem of microplastic emissions. It looked at almost 100 products in total.
Déjà vu aplenty in this year’s Auto Express all-season tyre test. The publication returned to the 205/55R16 size it last looked at in 2019, and the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 that participated in the test two years ago was back as a contender in 2021. Same tester, same tyre, same size. But this is where the similarities end; whereas the Hankook tyre finished seventh in the 2019 test, this year it won.
If you have the impression that we’re seeing more tyre tests these days and they’re appearing more frequently, you’re not mistaken. There are several reasons for this. One is the increasing popularity of all-season tyres. Secondly, tyre manufacturers are increasingly commissioning comparative tests of their own products alongside the competition. The third reason is that tests are often tweaked and presented to the public more than once. This was the case with the most recent winter test from German publication auto motor und sport (ams); it wasn’t long before two suspiciously similar – but not identical – doppelgangers appeared.
Apollo Tyres expresses pride in its Vredestein brand’s podium finishes in Auto Bild’s annual Tyre Manufacturer of the Year awards. The leading German car magazine awarded Vredestein joint second in the winter tyre category and joint third place in the all-season category.
After conducting no less than five comparative evaluations for various Auto Bild titles, testing specialists Dierk Möller and Henning Klipp possess a solid understanding of which all-season and winter tyres are worth recommending, and which aren’t. Auto Bild has presented a summary of Möller and Klipp’s testing for the current season in its 42/2021 issue and at the same time has named its leading manufacturers in the all-season and winter categories. Three brands occupy the podium’s upper step.
Performance car magazine Auto Bild Sportscars has evaluated a dozen brands in its 2021 winter tyre test, and also looked at an all-season tyre and a summer tyre for comparative purposes. It chose the front axle size 225/45 R18 and rear size 245/40 R18, testing these on a Mercedes C-Class for performance in dry, wet and snowy conditions.
The results of comparative tyre tests are a familiar site on the pages of Tyrepress.com during the autumn, with numerous motoring associations and publications releasing the results of their all-season and winter tests at this time of year. Hankook was present in many of these and victorious in two, the Auto Bild Sportscars winter test and Auto Bild Allrad all-season evaluation. UK site Tyre Reviews also gave the Hankook entrant is editor’s recommendation, exclaiming that the brand seems “to be on a roll at the moment.”
The practice of pairing wide rear tyres with a narrower size on the front axle is a common one for modern performance cars as this configuration provides good traction and cornering on dry roads, more even levels of wear – and it looks good. But is a mixed fitment advantageous in the colder months? Do the wider rear tyres really deliver more traction on icy and snowy roads and reduce the risk of oversteer? German publication Sportauto has sought to answer such questions by comparing mixed fitment winter tyres with a non-mixed setup.
According to Auto Bild Allrad, winter tyres continue to improve in regards to their performance – but are also becoming pricier. The specialist SUV and 4×4 publication thus asks whether these products are worth buying. In order to provide an answer, it tested ten premium, value and budget tyres in size 235/55 R18. What Auto Bild Allrad found is that it is still possible to get “good performance at a fair price” when buying winter tyres. It rated the two best-scoring performers as ‘exemplary’ products and named them this year’s joint winners.
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.
Giti Tire has heralded the ‘good’ rating awarded to its new GT Radial Winterpro2 in the 2021 Auto Motor und Sport (AM&S) winter tyre test. The test pitted ten tyre brands from the premium and mid-range against each other in an all-round tyre of winter tyre performances. The WinterPro2 scored well in all tests, with especially good results in braking on dry, wet and snowy surfaces. The magazine also praised the tyre for ‘its comfortable ride properties [and] a firm and good grip on both wet and dry roads’.
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.
Dunlop is a winner twice over in the latest winter tyres tests conducted by German motoring association ADAC, taking first place in both the 195/65 R15 T and 225/50 R17 V categories. The Dunlop tyres were two of five products that ADAC rated as ‘good’, as were two tyres from sister brand Goodyear.
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.
In the preamble to its latest tyre test, Auto Bild Allrad comments that the “future belongs to all-season tyres” and notes the evolution of these products into a true alternative to dedicated summer or winter tyres. This year, the German magazine for 4×4 and SUV enthusiasts tested ten brands of all-season tyre in size 215/65 R17. Victory was claimed by the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 X, a tyre that Auto Bild’s testers declared an “exemplary compromise” for safe driving in all weather conditions.