2021 SPORTS TYRE TEST: 10 UHP TYRES COMPARED BY AUTO ZEITUNG
The German magazine Auto Zeitung has tested and compared the 10 best sports (UHP) tyres in the size 225/40 R18 fitted on the new Seat Leon 1.5 eTSI with 150 hp and compatible with many other compact and sporty saloon models.
Last year, Auto Zeitung compared 20 tyres in the size 225/50 R17. For this 2021 edition, the German magazine chose to test tyres with a larger diameter which means superior performance requirements. The 225/40 R18 size was chosen with a selection of 10 UHP (Ultra High Performance) tyres:
For this comparison, Auto Zeitung used a new Seat Leon 1.5 eTSI with 150 hp for its tests. The selected tyre size is also compatible with many compact and high-performance sedans such as the Audi A3, BMW 1, 2 and 3-Series, Fiat Tipo, Mercedes A-Class and CLA, Volkswagen Golf and Golf GTI, Volvo V40, V60 and many more.
Weaknesses in wet and dry conditions
Although all the selected tyres have an A rating for wet grip on the performance label, the difference is significant on this surface depending on the tyres. In this test, the difference is up to 9 metres between the tyres with the shortest and longest braking distances. This is the reason why the Dunlop, Nexen and Hankook tyres miss out on the Auto Zeitung recommendation.
While the Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 and Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2 tyres obtain good results in the dry with dynamic handling on this surface, the Nexen N’Fera Sport results are unsatisfactory in both wet and dry conditions, according to the magazine.
It is the same story for the Nokian Powerproof, although at ease in wet handling tests, and the Maxxis Victra Sport 5. They are relatively efficient in dry conditions, especially the Maxxis tyre which is a good alternative to the best tyres in the dry, but their braking distances are too long in wet conditions.
Top 5 with ultra high performance tyres
The Falken Azenis FK510 impressed Auto Zeitung with its very good price / quality ratio, particularly thanks to its high level of performance in the wet. This, however, is at the expense of its rolling resistance which is on the high side. The German magazine only regrets its slight lack of lateral control in corners, particularly in dry conditions.
In the dry, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 is the best with very short braking distances, safe and dynamic handling, despite a lack of precision when cornering, according to Auto Zeitung. Very good in wet conditions, it is mainly its aquaplaning performance that lags behind the best, without being dangerous in heavy rain.
Pirelli provides the best results in a segment where the Italian tyre manufacturer excels. The P Zero PZ4 is well-balanced delivering excellent results in wet conditions where its handling response is unrivalled despite a low resistance to aquaplaning.
The Continental PremiumContact 6 is on a par with the Michelin tyre in dry conditions, offering a safe ride and optimum braking performance. It provides a very high level of wet safety with short braking distances and a good resistance to aquaplaning.
Yet, unlike last year where it was particularly at ease and won the Auto Zeitung comparison test, its wet handling is less dynamic and its steering response slower than the best.
The best 2021 UHP tyre according to Auto Zeitung in the size 225/40 R18 is the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5. Excellent on both wet and dry surfaces, it is mainly its sporty driving feel and comfort that makes it the best tyre, according to the magazine. Add its relatively low rolling resistance to this, the Goodyear tyre is the best balanced and most efficient of all the tyres tested.
Top 5 UHP summer tyres
2021 Top 5 UHP summer tyres according to Auto Zeitung