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Auto Express unveils its road SUV tyre comparison test

The British magazine Auto Express has published a new test of 8 tyres which specifically equip road SUVs in the size 235 50 R18. A tyre comparison test to discover which one is the most suitable for on-road driving with a SUV.

Road SUV tyre test:Auto Express has compared tyres for SUVs in wet conditions

A new test on tyres designed for road SUVs which has also taken noise inside the vehicle into account. © Dennis-Auto Express

SUV tyres tested

Designed to satisfy the performances required for this type of vehicle, similar to a 4x4, the eight tyres tested by Auto Express were chosen in the best selling size in the SUV category, i.e. 235/50 R18:

  • Continental PremiumContact 6
  • Cooper Zeon 4XS Sport
  • Dunlop Sport Maxx RT 2
  • Falken Azenis FK510 SUV
  • Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5
  • Hankook Ventus S1 evo2 SUV
  • Michelin Primacy 4
  • Nokian Powerproof

Different SUV models were used to decide between the tyres in competition: Audi Q3, BMW X3, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mercedes GLA and Volvo XC70. The performances of each tyre were evaluated on the road only, on a track in the USA and another in Germany.

Indeed, the selected tyres are designed for road use and not for venturing off-road.

The magazine has based its ranking on scores obtained for several performance criteria: dry handling, wet handling (rated from A to G), rolling resistance (rating A to G) and the price. As for the external rolling noise and cabin noise rating, it is given in decibels, the lowest number being the best performance.

SUV tyre test: Auto Express has evaluated the noise inside the vehicle

© Dennis-Auto Express

After the UHP tyres test conducted by the magazine evo, here are the results from a test conducted by another British review, Auto Express, on tyres for road SUVs.

SUV tyre test: opinion on the Michelin and Cooper

Arriving 7th equal in the Auto Express ranking, the Michelin Primacy 4 and Cooper Zeon 4XS Sport tyres deliver a mixed performance.

The Michelin Primacy 4 tyre has a very good rolling resistance taking 2nd place for this criterion whereas it is not as good in wet handling tests where it finishes last. However, its slightly high price leaves it in eighth place for this aspect.

The Cooper Zeon 4XS Sport was not at its best in terms of rolling resistance and cabin noise since it finished respectively 8th and 7th. However, it takes 1st place for its price, cheaper that that of its competitors and it came second in wet cornering tests.

Michelin Primacy 4: the new reference for safety?

SUV tyre test: opinion on the Hankook Ventus S1 evo2 SUV

The Hankook Ventus S1 evo2 SUV is faultless in the straight aquaplaning test and the low noise inside the cabin was also much appreciated during the assessment. Although reassuring in wet conditions, it delivers weak grip on dry roads.

SUV tyre test: opinion on the Continental PremiumContact 6

The Continental PremiumContact 6 offers good savings thanks to a low rolling resistance and as a result, it takes first place for this criterion. It performs efficiently on dry roads but slides towards the bottom of the ranking following wet handling tests.

Sport and comfort with Continental’s new PremiumContact 6

SUV tyre test: Auto Express has evaluated handling when driving with different tyres

© Dennis - Auto Express

SUV tyre test: opinion on the Goodyear and Dunlop

In wet handling tests, the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 delivers excellent performance as well as in aquaplaning tests on the straight and when cornering. It is also reasonably quiet when driving. However, it is less efficient for fuel savings. Indeed, it finishes 7th in the ranking for rolling resistance and has a relatively high price tag.

The Dunlop Sport Maxx RT 2 SUV delivers good all-round performance in the different tests, although it never finishes first in a category. Its strengths are its handling in aquaplaning conditions, wet and dry braking performance, where it takes second place for both. 

Dunlop launches the SUV version of its Sport Maxx RT 2 tyre

SUV tyre test: opinion on theFalken Azenis FK510 SUV

Auto Express recommends the Falken Azenis FK510 SUV tyre for its impressive results during dry and wet tests. In addition to a good steering feel, the tyre takes 1st place in dry handling and dry braking tests. In wet handling tests, in a straight line and when cornering, it achieves good results: 2nd and 3rd. The Falken tyre has a very low rolling noise, allowing it to take 2nd place for this criterion in the ranking. Its weak point? Tests in aquaplaning conditions push it back to 6th place.

SUV tyre test: opinion on the Nokian Powerproof

Auto Express has voted for the Nokian Powerproof as the tyre which delivers the best balanced performance. It finishes first in wet handling tests: on a straight line, when cornering and braking. It takes third place for the same criteria in dry conditions. The rolling noise it generates is bothersome for ride comfort.

Nokian announces the SUV version of its new Powerproof and Wetproof tyres

We were at the presentation of the new Nokian Powerproof UHP summer tyre



Nokian Powerproof


Falken Azenis FK510 SUV


Dunlop Sport Maxx RT 2 SUV


Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5


Continental PremiumContact 6


Hankook Ventus S1 evo2 SUV


Cooper Zeon 4XS Sport


Michelin Primacy 4



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