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2021 Summer tyre test: the best tyres for sedans and estate cars

Once again, the German (ADAC) and Swiss (TCS) automobile associations have joined forces to test and compare summer tyres. For this 2021 test, 17 models of tyres for sedans and estate cars were selected in the size 225/50 R17.

Summer tyre test: ADAC and TCS comparison for sedans and estate cars on wet roads

© ADAC

Test: the 17 best summer tyres for 2021 judged

After comparing 15 summer tyres in the size 205/55 R16 for city and compact cars, ADAC and the Swiss Touring Club have conducted a test of 17 summer tyres in another very popular size, 225/50 R17 compatible with many sedans, estate and family type vehicles. For this comparison test, the tyres were fitted on an Audi A4.

Although, for unknown reasons, Michelin did not take part in the latest 16-inch test, the French tyre manufacturer was present with its Primacy 4 alongside other summer tyres regularly seen in tests as well as other lesser known brands:

As is always the case in ADAC and TCS test, the focus was placed on the safety aspect of summer tyres, particularly in wet conditions which accounted for 40% of the overall score, 20% for dry performance, 20% for longevity and 10% for both noise and fuel consumption.

Summer tyre test: ADAC and TCS comparison for sedans and estate cars on dry roads

© ADAC

Test: only one summer tyre with unsatisfactory results

Although the Firestone Roadhawk proved to be satisfactory in the ADAC and TCS test in dry conditions, it was another story in wet conditions. The tests showed lower than average grip when the road was wet, whether for handling, accelerating or braking. An under performance which resulted in the tyre from the Bridgestone group brand being downgraded and obtaining the “mediocre” rating.

Test: summer tyres from sub-brands offer a good alternative

Several summer tyres from sub-brands of major groups ranked in the “satisfactory” category. Semperit, Barum and Viking, all three belonging to the Continental group, provided good and balanced performances in all test conditions. In particular, the Semperit Speed-Life 3 tyre delivered the shortest braking distances on wet surfaces while providing very good longevity, but was not as good in dry conditions.

Likewise, the Kleber Dynaxer HP4 (Michelin group), Sava Intensa UHP 2 (Goodyear) and Laufenn S-Fit EQ+ LK01 (Hankook) all provided a very good level of performance in dry conditions but were slightly less efficient in the wet while remaining safe on this surface.

The Giti GitiPremium H1 shared the same strengths on dry roads and the same difficulties on wet surfaces, particularly its braking performance, which was slightly long compared with the best summer tyres.

The Pirelli Cinturato P7 C2, the new version launched on the market last year, did not convince ADAC and TCS. While its performances were excellent in dry conditions, where it was the best summer tyre of the test, it did not provide the same performance level in wet conditions, with longer braking distances and poorer handling.

This was also the case for the Michelin Primacy 4 which shares the top of the ranking in dry conditions but had more difficulty particularly in aquaplaning and wet handling tests. Although ADAC and TCS have a problem with its high price, it compensated with the best longevity of the comparison test.

Esa+Tecar, a brand only available in Switzerland, provided good results particularly for longevity and in wet conditions, but at the expense of its average performances in dry conditions.

The Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2 and Nexen N’Fera Sport struggled a bit on the wet despite a good performance on dry roads.

Summer tyre test: braking comparison for sedans and estate cars

© ADAC

Test: the best balanced summer tyres at the top

The Bridgestone Turanza T005 excelled with its short braking distances, whether in dry or wet conditions, as well as its very precise handling. However, its longevity was the lowest of the tested Top 3.

With a very good price, the Kumho Ecsta PS71 proved to be exemplary according to ADAC and TCS drivers, particularly with its resistance to aquaplaning. Although a good performer in other comparisons in wet conditions, it reached its limit in dry conditions, without going over it: compared with other tyres, its handling was not as precise but nevertheless, it delivered a good level of performance, and in particular, short braking distances.

Very good in dry conditions, likewise in the wet, economical, precise handling, etc., the Continental Premium Contact 6 had all the winning qualities for this test. But, it is the Falken Azenis FK510 which takes first place in the ranking of the best 2021 summer tyres in the size 225/50 R17.

Its balance was impressive in both wet and dry conditions where in each test it was always one of the best summer tyres and its price is very competitive. It pays for this choice in the fuel consumption score which was slightly high for being in the leading pack but which allowed it to obtain the best results in wet conditions.

2021 Top 5 summer tyres 225/50 R17

                            +

          -

1 - Falken Azenis FK510

High performance in the dry and wet, price

Fuel consumption

2 - Continental PremiumCOntact 6

Very well balanced, fuel consumption

3 - Kumho Ecsta PS71

Braking distances, wet handling

Dry conditions

4 - Bridgestone Turanza T005

Braking, handling

Longevity

5 - Michelin Primacy 4

Dry conditions, longevity

Wet conditions

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