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2020 ADAC SUV summer tyre test: between safety and longevity

Like every other year, the German ADAC, in partnership with the Swiss Touring Club, has compared current summer tyres on safety and longevity. The automobile associations have compared 12 tyres in the size 235/55 R17 suitable for use on SUVs or vans.

Summer tyres test for SUVs: grip in wet conditions

New tests on 12 summer tyres conducted by ADAC and TCS. What are the results? © ADAC

12 SUV tyres tested

Last year, ADAC and TCS decided to test tyres in the size 215/65 R16C, specifically for vans. After fairly average results for most of the tyres tested, the two organisations wanted to test passenger car tyres in a size also approved for the same vehicle, a Volkswagen T6 in the size 235/55 R17 103W.

This size is also suitable for medium-sized SUVs, vans for private use, and even high performance vehicles: Audi A7, Q3, Ford Kuga (test vehicle), S-Max, Jaguar XF, Mercedes S-Class, V-Class, Volvo S60, V60, XC60, Volkswagen Tiguan and T6.

The following tyres were tested:

The test include 6 categories: dry handling, wet handling, noise, fuel consumption; wear and rolling resistance with the first 2 categories accounting for 60% of the final score.

Summer tyre comparison test: fitting tyres for SUVs

© ADAC

One tyre fails the test

While almost half of the van tyres tested last year were “not recommended”, only the Laufenn S-Fit EQ falls wide of the mark. The fault was performances which were way below ADAC standards in wet conditions, even although the tyre is good in all other categories. The Hankook sub-brand has just launched its replacement, the S-Fit EQ+.

Tyres between performance and longevity

Wet braking tests are the most meaningful when comparing this year’s review with the one conducted on van tyres last year: this year the Maxxis Premitra 5 had the longest braking distance on this surface, requiring 41 metres to brake from 80 to 20 km/h. But compared with last year’s winner, the Apollo Altrust and its 47 metres, its braking distance is even shorter.

This is undoubtedly a guarantee of safety which prevails over longevity. Between 34,500 km and 48,300 km this year compared with tyres which can last up to 81,000 km for certain van versions.

So, safety or longevity for drivers who have this type of vehicle? At least the choice exists. The 3 longest wearing tyres of this comparison test, the Semperit Speed-Life 2 SUV, the Esa+Tecar Spirit Pro and the Continental Eco Contact 6, miss the “highly recommended” rating due to their weak performances in wet conditions.

They are copied by the Kleber Dynaxer HP 3 and Yokohama BluEarth RV-02 which show the same weaknesses on wet surfaces while the Hankook Ventus Prime 3 and Kumho Ecsta HS51 are less efficient in dry conditions.

SUV summer tyres test: comparison of tyres in dry conditions

© ADAC

Four tyres highly recommended

Without any real weaknesses, the Maxxis Premitra 5 and Pirelli Cinturato P7 tyres obtain the same final score and tie for 3rd place in the ranking. They both obtain very similar results in wet conditions, for fuel consumption and for noise. If the Pirelli tyre is better in dry conditions, the Maxxis tyre comes very close with its slightly longer wear life.

The Bridgestone Turanza T005 takes 2nd place with a very balanced performance. Always highly ranked in all categories, it shows no weaknesses but is never the best in a specific area.

And finally, Michelin wins. The Primacy 4 is the only tyre with a wear life , it is even the best tyre of the comparison test.

2020 ADAC and TCS SUV tyre test ranking

The best summer tyre for SUV

+

-

1 - Michelin Primacy 4 (highly recommended)

Excellent wet performance and low wear

None

2 - Bridgestone Turanza T005 (highly recommended)

Best performance balance and low fuel consumption

None

3 - Maxxis Premitra 5 (highly recommended)

Good performance balance

Braking in wet conditions

3 - Pirelli Cinturato P7 (highly recommended)

Very good dry performance

Relatively high wear

5 - Hankook Ventus Prime 3 (recommended)

Good wet performance

Relatively weak in dry conditions

5 - Semperit Speed-Life 2 SUV (recommended)

Low wear

Slightly weak wet performance

5 - Yokohama BluEarth RV-02 (recommended)

Low noise

Slightly high fuel consumption

8 - Continental Eco Contact 6 (recommended)

Low fuel consumption and low wear

Relatively weak wet performance

8 - Esa+Tecar Spirit Pro (recommended)

Very low wear

Relatively weak wet performance

10 - Kumho Ecsta HS51 (recommended)

Very good wet performance

Relatively weak dry performance and high wear

11 - Kleber Dynaxer HP 3 (recommended)

Low fuel consumption

Relatively weak wet performance and noisy

12 - Laufenn S-Fit EQ (not recommended)

Good tyre in dry conditions

Performance not recommended in the wet

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