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ACE Lenkrad magazine compares 11 summer tyres for 18 inch wheels

ACE Lenkrad, the magazine of Auto Club Europa, has compared 11 summer tyres in size 235/45 ZR18 through various tests. And, the most expensive tyres are not necessarily the best.

Summer_tyre_test_ACE

ACE Lenkrad compared 18-inch summer tyres at Pirelli’s test centre in Italy. © ACE Lenkrad

A test conducted by an independent body

ACE Lenkrad is the official magazine of Auto Club Europa, Germany's second largest automobile club with more than 620,000 members. In its latest edition, the magazine has compared the following 11 summer tyres in the size 235/45 ZR18:

Continental PremiumContact 6

Falken Azenis FK510

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3

Hankook Ventus S1 Evo2 K117

Kumho Ecsta PS71

Maxxis Premitra 5

Michelin Primacy 3

Nokian zLine

Pirelli P Zero

Semperit Speed-Life 2

Vredestein Ultrac Satin

ACE Lenkrad conducted its tests with GTÜ, an independent body. The tyres were put through their paces at Pirelli’s test centre in Italy using two 280-hp Volkswagen Passats. The final ranking was calculated from the tyres' scores in 4 categories, each with a different weighting. Dry handling tests represent 32% of the final score, versus 42% for wet handling tests. “Environmental” tests constitute 16% of the score whereas price accounts for 11%.

ACE_Lenkrad_wet_surface_test

© ACE Lenkrad

Price isn’t everything

With some of the longest wet and dry braking distances of the tyres tested, the Vredestein Ultrac Satin failed to convince. Although it made up ground in handling tests on different surfaces, this was not enough to offset the tyre’s other results and its fairly expensive price (€634 for four - around £550).

The Semperit Speed-Life 2 did marginally better with a slightly shorter braking distance in dry conditions and a more reasonable price (at €562 a set - around £490). It also had the lowest rolling resistance of the tyres tested and the second best result in aquaplaning tests.

The Michelin Primacy 3, which has since been replaced by the Primacy 4, obtained fairly mediocre results despite sporting the highest price tag (€774 for 4 - around £675). The tyre was good in terms of noise and fuel consumption, and was described as comfortable by the ACE Lenkrad testers. However, it was less efficient in dry and wet handling tests. 

The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 which was slightly cheaper (€702 - around £610) displayed similar characteristics but offered slightly better performance in terms of aquaplaning resistance.

The Pirelli P Zero delivered better performance in dry conditions, both in terms of braking and handling. Despite performing well in wet handling tests – both straight line and cornering, where it obtained the best scores – the P Zero had the longest braking distance in wet conditions. Its high price, €730 for 4 tyres (around £630), also prevented it from ranking higher in this test.

Though inferior in the wet, the Maxxis Premitra 5 performed well in dry conditions, particularly in handling tests. It also comes at an unbeatable price: €362 for 4 tyres (around £315), roughly £70 less than the next-cheapest tyre.

At the opposite end of the price scale, the Continental PremiumContact 6 was the second most expensive tyre at €740 (around £645). A price which is nonetheless technically justified for this tyre, which performed very well in dry and wet tests and had the second shortest braking distance of the tyres tested. On the downside, it was less impressive in aquaplaning tests and proved to be a little noisier than average.

Very quiet, on the other hand, was the Hankook Ventus S1 Evo2 which was also the tyre with the shortest wet braking distance. Well balanced, this tyre had no real weak points apart from a slightly higher than average rolling resistance.

In third and second place respectively, the Nokian zLine and Kumho Ecsta PS71 both performed well in wet conditions. The Kumho tyre achieved the best results on this surface thanks to its good aquaplaning resistance. On the other hand, in dry conditions, this tyre was a little below average, while the Nokian zLine ranked amongst the best thanks to convincing results in dry handling tests. As for fuel consumption, the zLine proved more efficient than the Ecsta PS71, which had the highest rolling resistance of all the tyres in this test.

Overall test winner, the Falken Azenis FK510 was one of the best tyres in the wet with the shortest braking distance on this surface. It also performed well in aquaplaning resistance tests. If its dry braking distance was a bit on the long side, it made up for this in dry handling tests where it came out top. Its reasonable price - €554 for 4 tyres (around £480) – was the cherry on the cake for ACE Lenkrad.

Tyre

Ranking

Falken Azenis FK510

1

Kumho
Ecsta PS71

2

Nokian zLine

3

Hankook Ventus S1 evo2

4

Continental PremiumContact 6

5

Maxxis Premitra 5

6

Pirelli P Zero

7

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3

8

Michelin Primacy 3

9

Semperit Speed-Life 2

10

Vredestein Ultrac Satin

11

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