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.
Ten premium and mid-range brands of tyre show us what they can – and can’t – do in Autozeitung’s 2021 summer tyre test. This year the German motoring publication looks at size 225/40 R18, which is a dimension suited to around 60 vehicle models – including the new Seat Leon, which served as test vehicle.
The days are getting longer and the air outside less bitingly cold. Summer is on its way, and this also means that tyre testers have emerged from hibernation. The first comparative evaluation we’ve seen for the warmer months of 2021 comes from German car magazine Gute Fahrt, which tested the tyre size 245/40 R18 Y.
In December 2020 French group UTAC CERAM announced that it was buying British test specialists Millbrook, which also owns well-known tyre test centres such as Test World in Finland. The plan is to merge the two companies, creating “a market-leading group in vehicle testing, vehicle type approval and emerging technologies for autonomous, connected and electric vehicles”.
In addition to taking the honours in the Auto Express all-season tyre test here in the UK, the Continental AllSeasonContact is the top-performing all-season tyre in the latest tyre test from Slovakian car magazine Autozurnal. The publication rated the AllSeasonContact ‘very good’ in its joint test of winter and all-season tyres. The Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 gave the strongest winter tyre performance and Autozurnal also rewarded it with a ‘very good’ rating.
Introducing its 2020 all-season tyre test, Auto Bild Allrad comments that these particular products weren’t always highly regarded. Their reputation was tarnished with allegations of compromise; rather than a true alternative to summer or winter tyres, they were viewed as a choice best suited to drivers who demanded little from their tyres. In the words of the specialist 4×4 and SUV magazine, an all-season tyre “used to be a bad summer tyre and then, in the second half of the year, a bad winter tyre.” But its current test shows that the story is very different today.
When it comes to tyre testing, the Germans are in a class of their own. During the last few months, the country’s magazines and motoring clubs (together with their Austrian & Swiss counterparts) have put a total of 197 winter and all-season tyres through their paces. As many of the tested products are available here in Blighty, UK drivers also benefit from this methodical approach to finding the right tyre.
Finnish prosecutors have decided to press charges against six former members of the Nokian Tyres plc board as well as past president & chief executive officer Ari Lehtoranta; all were associated with the company in the period between 2015 and 2016. It additionally intends to impose a corporate fine upon the company, to a maximum of 850,000 euros. The prosecutor has also decided to press charges for suspected abuse of insider information against four persons who were employees of Nokian Tyres in 2015. In a statement supplied to Nasdaq Helsinki yesterday, Nokian Tyres stresses that “all persons charged deny their involvement in any criminal activity”
All-season tyres are growing in popularity, and suppliers of budget brands from the Far East account for a good share of sales within this segment. This trend has led some to ask whether budget all-season tyres are a good choice for motoring throughout the entire year.
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.
Drivers who like to push their cars may benefit more than most from winter tyres during the colder months. But which tyre is right for the job? In order to find out, Auto Bild Sportscars fitted a dozen brands of winter rubber to a VW Golf GTI.
An absence of alps, frequent sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfalls make winter tyres a hard sell in the UK. And just as our football fans’ capacity to brave the cold has earned them bemused respect throughout Europe, the average British motorist is content to soldier on with summer tyres even when the mercury drops. But for those who decide to invest in a set of dedicated winter tyres, it’s worth making sure you know what you’re getting.
Tyre Reviews has made the newly released Goodyear Vector 4Season Gen-3 its 2020 All Season 17” Test winner. Putting nine all-season tyres in size 225/45 R17 through their paces at Goodyear’s testing facilities in Finnish Lapland and the south of France, tester Jonathan Benson gave additional recommendations to four further tyres: Hankook’s Kinergy 4S2 (second place) and the Continental AllSeasonContact (third) were given the review website’s Highly Recommended rating, while the Bridgestone Weather Control A005 (fourth) and Michelin CrossClimate+ (fifth) were Recommended. The weighting of different conditions is particularly relevant to all-season tyre tests, given the promise of functionality in a wide range of climate and road surface conditions. Tyre Reviews opted to award overall scores based on 30 per cent wet, 25 per cent dry, 25 per cent snow, 10 per cent noise and comfort, and 10 per cent rolling resistance. See below for the Tyre Reviews video of the 2020 All Season 17” test, and for additional comments on each of the nine tyres tested.