In its 2019 summer tyre comparison test, Auto Bild has compared 10 tyres for SUVs in the size 225/55 R17 by fitting them on a BMW X3 and testing them in different road and off-road conditions.

By Published On: 4 June 2021Categories: Tyre reviews904 words4.6 min read
The German magazine has compared the best SUV tyres by fitting them on a BMW X3
The German magazine has compared the best SUV tyres by fitting them on a BMW X3 © Auto Bild

Cheap high performance tyres

If Auto Bild is accustomed to “large scale” tests with more than fifty tyres, the German magazine also knows how to take a more sober approach. In its latest test, it has focused on tyres for SUVs such as the Volkswagen TiguanFord KugaAudi Q3Toyota Rav4Kia SportageHyundai TucsonMitsubishi OutlanderMazda CX-5Nissan QashqaiX-Trail Mercedes GLA and Jeep Renegade.

10 tyres were chosen in the size 225/55 R17, including one from the Taiwanese brand CST (Cheng Shin Tire), parent company of Maxxis, also in this test line-up:

For this comparison test, the German magazine decided to put the tyres through a series of tests in urban driving conditions (wet roads, dry roads), but also off-road in conditions which a SUV may be confronted with (grass, mud, gravel, etc.).

Cheaper but not necessarily efficient

It is by far the cheapest tyre of the comparison test, less than half the price of the most expensive summer tyre. But, it is also the only tyre “not recommended” by Auto Bild. The CST Medallion MD-A1 failed to convince the German magazine who regrets its significant shortcomings in wet conditions. It also has an annoying tendency to understeer in all conditions. More importantly, a vehicle fitted with a tyre from the Taiwanese tyre manufacturer takes time to come to a standstill. In dry conditions, its braking distance is 3.5 metres longer than the best tyres while this distance is 13 metres in wet conditions.

If the Cooper Zeon CS8 manages to obtain the “conditionally recommended” rating, it has some weaknesses particularly in terms of wet braking where stopping distances are longer than its competitors. Its poor lateral grip and slow steering response in wet weather do not compensate its good all-terrain characteristics.

Considered “good”, the Nexen N’Fera RU1 SUV provides a high level of performance in both wet and dry conditions. It also delivers high traction on sand and gravel. However, its wet braking distances are too long for the German magazine.

With the same rating, the Toyo Proxes Sport does not convince with its long braking distances in wet conditions and average steering precision. Nevertheless, this tyre delivers precise handling on sand slopes and gravel and has a high resistance to aquaplaning.

Six tyres considered “exemplary”

Without any major faults compromising safety, Auto Bild has given its best rating to more than half of the tyres tested. 

With excellent handling in all environments, the BridgestoneTuranza T005 is a good tyre in all driving conditions. Although slightly below its competitors for grass traction, it is mainly its high price which prevents it from ranking higher despite having the lowest rolling resistance of the comparison test.

Unlike the brand from its parent company CST, the Maxxis Premitra HP5 is efficient on both wet and dry roads but also off the beaten track. Above all, its low price does not prevent it from delivering a high level of safety and in particular, a high aquaplaning resistance where it is the best. It is also at ease on mud, where it finishes 2nd in the traction test.

Taking second place on the podium, the new Nokian Powerproof, the Hankook Ventus Prime 3 and the Continental Premium Contact 6 where finally it is not possible to distinguish between them. Each tyre delivers a very high level of performance on the road and shows no real weaknesses. Only the high price of the Continental tyre or the increased noise levels of the Nokian Powerproof are mentioned by Auto Bild who consider these points to be minor. However, these three tyres seem to be specialised.

The Continental Premium Contact 6 has the shortest dry braking distances and is 2nd in wet braking tests, likewise for handling tests on these surfaces. Its performance is slightly down in off-road tests. The Hankook Ventus Prime 3 has short braking distances and offers the best price / performance ratio of the comparison test. It also handles well on grass and gravel. The Nokian Powerproof has slightly longer braking distances but compensates with superb results in handling tests, particularly in wet conditions where it is the best. It also provides very good handling on gravel and is perfectly at ease on grass.

Best tyre for the 2019 SUV edition according to Auto Bild, the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 shows no weaknesses. On the contrary, it has the shortest wet braking distance and finishes 2nd in dry conditions. In handling tests, it finishes 2nd in both wet and dry conditions. It also has high off-road performance, particularly on grass where it delivers the best traction of the 10 tyres tested. 

Tyre Ranking Remarks
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 1 Excellent on-road handling performance, good off-road
Continental Premium Contact 6 2= Excellent on-road handling
Hankook Ventus Prime 3 K125 2= Best price / quality ratio.
Nokian Powerproof 2= Good on all surfaces, high noise
Maxxis Premitra HP5 5 Very good on-road and low price
Bridgestone Turanza T005 6 Good handling on all surfaces and low rolling resistance
Toyo Proxes Sport 7 Good in dry conditions, long braking distance
Nexen N’Fera RU1 SUV 8 Long wet braking distances, good grip on gravel
Cooper Zeon CS8 9 Good off-road, poor wet handling
CST Medallion MD-A1 10 Braking distances much too long

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