German magazine Auto Bild has tested and compared 10 tyres for SUVs and 4x4s in the size 255/55 R18. Dry, wet, gravel, sand, grass… Discover the best tyres for this type of vehicle capable of driving on all surfaces.

By Published On: 4 June 2021Categories: Tyre reviews579 words3 min read
Auto Bild SUV and 4x4 tyre test
4×4 and SUV summer tyre test: Auto Bild compares tyres for 4x4s on the BMW X5. © Auto Bild – Anuscha Sonntag

10 tyres tested on all surfaces

After its huge test of 50 summer tyres for sporty sedans, Auto Bild is back with a more restricted comparison test in terms of the tyres selected, but no less qualitative. This time, the German magazine has tested 10 tyres for SUV and 4×4 all-wheel drive vehicles. The selected size, 255/55 R18, is approved for the BMW X5 test vehicle, but also for other 4x4s such as the Mercedes GLE, the Audi Q7 or the Volkswagen Touareg. For this test, the German magazine has focused on three surfaces on which 4X4s can drive: dry roads, wet roads and off road tracks.

The best 2020 4×4 and SUV tyres according to Auto Bild?

Best tyres for 4x4s and SUVs? +
1 – Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV (exemplary) Best tyre in almost all categories Price
2 – Dunlop Sport Maxx RT 2 SUV (exemplary) Short braking distance and sporty on-road handling Fuel consumption
3 – Vredestein Ultrac Vorti (exemplary) Best price / performance ratio and low fuel consumption Average grip on gravel
4 – Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 SUV (good) Dynamic on-road handling and precise steering Average handling on grass
5 – Pirelli Scorpion Verde (good) Stable handling, safe behaviour and good comfort Off-road handling
6 – Barum Bravuris 5HM (satisfactory) Off-road traction and low fuel consumption Understeers during dry handling and long wet braking distance
6 – Maxxis Victra Sport VS5 SUV (satisfactory) High aquaplaning resistance, good dry handling Long braking and lack of precision in the wet
8 – Cooper Zeon 4XS Sport (satisfactory) Good dry handling and high grip on sand and gravel Limited aquaplaning resistance and long wet braking distances
8 – Nokian Powerproof SUV (satisfactory) Good aquaplaning resistance and low fuel consumption Long wet braking distances and average off-road performance
10 – Lexani LX-Thirty (not recommended) Price Long braking distances and understeer

The more expensive, the better the tyre?

As is often the case in comparison tests, Michelin is the most expensive tyre of those tested. In general, it is justified and this latest test is no exception to the rule. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV is by far the most efficient tyre. Auto Bild even underlines the fact that it dominates all other tyres, in all of the test categories. Yet, you still have to be able or even want to pay as much.

The Dunlop Sport Maxx RT 2 SUV and Vredestein Ultrac Satin tyres also figure in the Top 3 of this comparison test. The first is exemplary with its dynamic handling at the expense of high fuel consumption. The second offers the best price / performance ratio for the German magazine, particularly thanks to its balanced performance and a low rolling resistance.

Auto Bild 4x4 and SUV summer tyre test in mud
© Auto Bild – Anuscha Sonntag

The Pirelli Scorpion Verde and Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 SUV tyres are considered to be “good”, but start to show their limits when driving off-road. These two tyres belong to the previous generation, and undoubtedly when their range is renewed they will finish higher in this ranking established by Auto Bild.

At the bottom of this ranking; the Lexani LX-Thirty, a  sub-brand of the South Korean tyre manufacturer Nexen. It is the only tyre of those tested that is “not recommended and for good reason: in wet conditions, it requires 22 metres more than the Michelin tyre to come to a standstill. No other tyre is worse, which obliges Auto Bild to relegate this tyre.

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