As every year, Auto Bild has tested more than 50 summer tyres in the size 225/45 R17 to determine which one comes out top and is the best balanced. After a qualifying round, the best tyres battled it out in all conditions.

By Published On: 3 June 2021Categories: Tyre reviews2043 words10.6 min read
2019 Best summer tyres: Auto Bild magazine 2019 tyre test
What are the best summer tyres tested by Auto Bild? © Auto Bild

53 summer tyres in the qualifying round

Last year, Auto Bild compared 51 summer tyres in the size 195/65 R15. This time, the German magazine has gone a step further with 53 summer tyres tested in the size 225/45 R17:

Obviously Auto Bild did not extensively test all of these 53 tyres, but organised a qualifying round to bring this list down to 20 tyres. To compare them, the magazine put them through two braking tests; one test in dry conditions from 100 km/h, the other in wet conditions from 80 km/h to a standstill. And even if the difference between the best and the worst tyre is less than last year, 17.6 m in wet conditions and 8 m in dry conditions, it is still enough to differentiate between them. In dry conditions, the first tyre takes 34.2 m to stop whereas the last tyre needs 39.1 m, a difference of almost 5 m. In wet conditions, the first tyre has a stopping distance of 28.7 m versus 39.4 m for the worst tyre. A difference of almost 11 m!

In the end, the “leading” manufacturers all qualified for the next round whereas only a few “budget” brands managed to qualify:

  • Apollo Aspire XP
  • Bridgestone Turanza T005
  • Continental PremiumContact 6
  • Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2
  • Falken Azenis FK510
  • Firestone RoadHawk
  • Fulda SportControl 2
  • Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5
  • Hankook Ventus S1 evo3
  • Kenda Emera A1 KR 41
  • Kleber Dynaxer UHP
  • Kumho Ecsta PS71
  • Maxxis Premitra 5
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4
  • Nokian Wetproof
  • Pirelli P Zero
  • Sava Intensa UHP 2
  • Toyo Proxes Sport
  • Vredestein UltracVorti
  • Yokohama Advan Fleva V701

7 tyres rated “satisfactory”

Amongst the 20 tyres that passed the qualifying round, 7 obtained a conditional recommendation. Amongst them, the Kumho Ecsta PS71 offers good aquaplaning resistance and good dry handling. But its very low mileage and very high rolling resistance prevent it from gettinga higher score.

The big surprise for Auto Bild was the Kenda Emera A1 tyre which achieves the level of tyres accustomed to comparison tests. Its performances in braking tests are even impressive. In dry conditions, it takes 3rd place, at only 70 cm from the first tyre, whereas in wet conditions, it achieves an honourable 8th place, ahead of tyres from leading manufacturers. Good in aquaplaning tests, it tends to understeer during dry handling. But in this test, its main drawback is its price. Admittedly, it is one of the cheapest tyres in this test, but with its very poor wear, 26,000 kilometres less that the most durable tyre, as well as its very high rolling resistance does not make it a good value for money tyre, according to the magazine.

TheFirestoneRoadHawk, MaxxisPremitra HP5 and Kleber Dynaxer UHP tyres are well priced but their performance level is not above the others, except for rolling resistance. Their longevity is not extraordinary, and despite good performances in dry conditions for the first, they have an annoying tendency to understeer and a slow steering response in wet and dry conditions

Firestone launches its new tyre for compact cars and saloons: the Roadhawk © Firestone 2016

The Toyo Proxes Sport does not achieve the best results in braking tests on the different surfaces. It gradually reveals itself in handling tests with solid performances and a high level of comfort. Taking second place in the aquaplaning resistance test, it fails to convince Auto Bild with its low mileage and high rolling resistance.

If Auto Bild does not consider the Yokohama AdvanFleva V701 to be a bad tyre, it regrets its lack of balance for daily use. It is mainly its average performances in wet conditions that prevent it from ranking higher in this test. It proves to be most efficient in dry conditions, with in particular, short braking distances and a low rolling resistance.

© Yokohama 2016

7 tyres considered “good”

Like the Yokohama tyre, the Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2 loses ground with its lack of balance, particularly in wet conditions where it tends to understeer. But it is more efficient in dry conditions delivering short braking distances and dynamic handling. It has a high resistance to aquaplaning and also offers a good mileage performance.

If the Bridgestone Turanza T005 shares this high mileage with the Dunlop tyre, it is quite the opposite on the different surfaces. Its low resistance to aquaplaning and its average performances in dry conditions, where it tends to understeer, are offset by a very high level of performance in wet conditions. What emerges is its very sporty dynamic handling on this surface where it proves to be very efficient with short braking distances. Above all, this tyre has the lowest rolling resistance of the comparison test. Subjectively, Auto Bild also found this tyre very comfortable during handling tests.

© Bridgestone / Tom Joy

The German magazine shares the same analysis for the Apollo Aspire XP, admittedly not as sporty in wet conditions but still focused on energy savings. The Indian tyre manufacturer’s tyre is also attractively priced with a high level of performances and a high mileage to offer a good price / performance ratio.

The Vredestein UltracVorti is perhaps not as economical as its two previous competitors, but it is just as efficient in wet conditions. It is one of the best in dry conditions, particularly in handling tests on this surface.

The Sava Intensa UHP 2 is the best tyre to save moneyaccording to Auto Bild. Not only is it the cheapest of the 20 tyres tested, it is also one of those which has the highest longevity. This is why it has the lowest price for 1000 km according to the German magazine. On the performance side, it has a low rolling resistance, good braking distances and a good resistance to aquaplaning. Subjectively, it is also comfortable and quite efficient in dry conditions.

In terms of pure performance, the Pirelli P Zero is one of the best. 3rd in wet braking tests at 20 cm from the 1st and 4th in dry braking tests at 90 cm from the 1st, it is also the fastest on a dry track and 3rd on a wet track. Its precise steering with dynamic feedback delighted the Auto Bild drivers in all situations. But the problem is its price. It is one of the most expensive and it is not the most durable tyre with 18,000 km less than the best of the comparison test. Its rolling resistance, quite high compared with the others, also makes it a tyre with a low price / performance ratio. For this criterion, it is even the worst of the 20 tyres selected.

Pirelli already has more than 500 homologations with its “Perfect Fit” strategy © Pirelli

For its first appearance in a test, the Nokian WetProof, – which we tested at its launch, does reasonably well. If it is good in dry conditions, it reveals its true potential in wet conditions. Its braking distances are short but it is most efficient in handling tests, where it proves to be reassuring and precise. Auto Bild insists on the safe feeling with this tyre which delivered the best wet cornering performanceThe quietest tyre of the comparison test, it was slightly disappointing with its low resistance to aquaplaning, which prevents it from obtaining the higher rating.

6 exemplary tyres

The Fulda SportControl 2 delivers very good performances with a touch of sportiness. Offering excellent handling, it has short dry braking distances and a relatively good resistance to aquaplaning. Its low price, combined with its low rolling resistance and good longevity, gives it one of the best price / performance ratios, despite its average performance in wet conditions.

Yes, you need to pay the price for the Continental PremiumContact 6 which is one of the most expensive tyres in the line-up. But its mileage and very low rolling resistance makes it the tyre with the second best price / performance ratio. This allowed it to obtain the additional “economy specialist” rating from Auto Bild which underlines its well balanced performances on all surfaces and its short braking distances, despite its average results in aquaplaning tests. 

Continental PremiumContact 6 © Continental

If there are good performing tyres for which there is no need to pay the maximum price, then take a look at the Hankook and Falken tyres. They offer a very good price / performance ratio but also a relatively low price compared with the best tyres in this comparison test. The Hankook Ventus Prime evo3 is quite simply the tyre with the shortest braking distances in wet conditions. But, it also delivers a high level of performance in dry conditions where it provides precise steering and good feedback. The Falken Azenis FK510 is good in wet conditions, with a braking distance only 30 cm longer than the evo3, and the same as in dry conditions where it offers sporty handling and comfort. These two tyres also have good safety reserves, especially to combat aquaplaning.

The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 is the most expensive tyre of this comparison test. That said, it is also the tyre which has the lowest wear of the comparison test. But it is mainly thanks to its high performance on the different surfaces that it is one of the best summer tyres for 2019. It ranks 2nd for wet braking, at 10 cm from the 1st tyre, and has the same ranking for dry braking where it needs 50 cm more to come to a standstill than the 1st tyre. It also provides excellent handling on these surfaces with a specific mention for its steering precision. Auto Bild only regrets its subjective comfort which is average.

The next generation of UHP tyre arrives with the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5. © Goodyear

An established classic takes first place in the Auto Bild comparison test: the Michelin Pilot Sport 4, considered as being the best 2019 summer tyre. Although it is quite expensive and has a relatively high rolling resistance compared with the others, it has very low wear. It has the shortest dry braking distance and only needs 90 cm more than the best in wet conditions. On the track, it is the first in wet conditions and is only beaten by the P Zero in dry conditions. It is also the tyre with the highest resistance to aquaplaning. Auto Bild notes that subjectively, the Michelin tyre is the most comfortable and also underlines its low rolling noise. Above all, it is the dynamic feedback of the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 which is highlighted by the German magazine.

Pilot Sport 4 © Michelin
Tyre Rank Remarks + / –
Michelin Pilot Sport 4 1 Best tyre / high price
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 2 Most durable / high price
Falken Azenis FK510 3= Good in wet conditions / average mileage
Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 3= Better braking in wet conditions / average comfort
Continental PremiumContact 6 5 Very good price / performance ratio / average resistance to aquaplaning
Fulda SportControl 2 6 Average wet braking performance / good dry braking
Nokian Wetproof 7 Lowest rolling noise / low resistance to aquaplaning
Pirelli P Zero 8 Best dry handling / high price
Sava Intensa UHP 2 9 The cheapest / average dry braking
Apollo Aspire XP 10= Good price / performance ratio / understeering in dry conditions
Vredestein UltracVorti 10= Highest rolling resistance / good dry handling
Bridgestone Turanza T005 10= Lowest rolling resistance / high noise
Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2 13 Low comfort / good resistance to aquaplaning
Yokohama Advan Fleva V701 14 Low noise / average wet braking performance
Toyo Proxes Sport 15 Good comfort / high rolling resistance
Kleber Dynaxer UHP 16 Poor wet handling / good comfort
Maxxis Premitra HP5 17 Longest wet braking distance / good price performance ratio
Firestone RoadHawk 18 Poor dry handling but short braking distances
Kenda Emera A1 19 Short braking distances / low mileage
Kumho Ecsta PS71 20 Lowest wear / good resistance to aquaplaning

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