The General German Automobile Club (ADAC) has tested 30 summer tyres in two different sizes. The best known tyres are not necessarily the most highly recommended.

By Published On: 8 June 2021Categories: Tyre reviews1205 words6.1 min read
ADAC compared 30 summer tyres in two sizes for its summer tyre test
ADAC compared 30 summer tyres in two sizes for its summer tyre test. © ADAC 2018

A meticulous testing methodology  

The prestigious General German Automobile Club, ADAC, has published the results of its much anticipated annual summer tyre test. As usual, two sizes were chosen and 30 tyres put through their paces.

There were 6 tests for each tyre, conducted in various test centres, including Continental’s Contidrom test facility in Hanover and one of Bridgestone’s test centres in Italy. The final rating was calculated from the test results and then adjusted to give more weight to the most important performance criteria for summer tyres. As such, performance in wet conditions accounted for 40% of the final rating, while performance in dry conditions and tyre life each accounted for 20%. Finally, noise and rolling resistance each made up 10% of the final rating. The high speed test was not included in the final rating calculation. In ADAC’s rating, the best tyres are those with the lowest scores.

14-inch tyres: mid-range brands make an impression

In the 175/65 R14 size, fourteen tyres were tested on a Ford Fiesta. Notably absent in this category were Bridgestone, Hankook and Michelin, whose tyres were considered to be at the end of their life cycle. Therefore, the final test line-up was as follows:

The 14-inch test results were surprising: only two tyres obtained the “good” rating, neither of which were “premium” brands. The Falken Sincera SN832 achieved the highest rating in this comparison. ADAC found it to be a well-balanced tyre, delivering good performance in all areas relating to safety and particularly in dry conditions. In 2nd position was a similar tyre, the Semperit Comfort-Life 2, which despite being slightly less efficient in dry conditions, displayed good performance in the wet.

Following behind, 11 tyres were considered to be “satisfactory”. The Dunlop Street Response 2, ranked 3rd and also considered to offer well-balanced performance, just missed out on the higher rating due to weaknesses in the wet. Joint 4th, the Kleber Dynaxer HP3 and Vredestein T-trac 2 performed well in wear tests and the latter also in rolling resistance tests.

In this test, the Apollo Amazer 4G Eco came top for rolling resistance and delivered good performance in the dry. But once again, its weaknesses in the wet prevented it from ranking higher. With the same rating, the Pirelli Cinturato P1 Verde and Pneumant Summer ST2 had the same overall strengths and weaknesses. Together, these three tyres took 6th place in the ranking.

In 9th place, the Continental ContiPremiumContact 5 delivered the best performance in wet conditions and was not far from the highest rating for dry performance. But it was let down by a high wear rate, preventing it from dominating the 14-inch test.

10th, the Goodyear EfficientGrip Compact tyre suffered a little in the wet but performed best in wear tests, as did the Fulda EcoControl, which was 11th in the ranking. The Firestone MultiHawk 2 had the worst score for fuel consumption but delivered good dry performance and better ride comfort than its competitors. 13th, the Maxxis Mecotra 3 was the best in the dry but took second-to-last place due to its poor performance in wet conditions.

The only tyre to be rated “adequate”, was the Sava Perfecta, which had the weakest result for wet performance, explaining how it finished in 14th place, despite good results in other tests.

Falken Sincera SN832 Ecorun 1st
Semperit Comfort-Life 2 2nd
Dunlop Street Response 2 3rd
Kleber Dynaxer HP 3 4th=
Vredestein T-trac 2 4th=
Apollo Amazer 4G Eco 6th=
Pirelli Cinturato P1 Verde 6th=
Pneumant Summer ST2 6th=
Continental ContiPremiumContact 5 9th
Goodyear EfficientGrip Compact 10th
Fulda EcoControl 11th
Firestone Multihawk 2 12th
Maxxis Mecotra 3 13th
Sava Perfecta 14th

16-inch tyres: a few surprises but Michelin leads the way

In the 205/55 R16 size, ADAC tested 16 summer tyres on a Volkswagen Golf VII. This time, Michelin, Bridgestone and Hankook were present, even though the first two did not provide their latest tyres (which at the time of the test had not yet been released). Here are the contenders:

Six tyres achieve the “good” rating. In first place, the Michelin Primacy 3, recently replaced by the Primacy 4, dominated the test. It received top marks in the wear tests and delivered strong performance in both wet and dry conditions.

Just behind, Bridgestone, Continental and Firestone shared 2nd place. The Bridgestone Turanza T001 Evo, whose replacement was released at the beginning of this year, had no weaknesses according to ADAC. The Continental ContiPremiumContact 5, was the best tyre for rolling resistance, and the Firestone Roadhawk equalled the Michelin tyre for dry performance.

In 5th place, the Hankook Ventus Prime 3 K125 got top marks on dry roads and delivered a very balanced performance, just like the Semperit Speed-Life 2 with which it shares the same score.

Eight tyres then follow with the “satisfactory” rating. The ESA Tecar Spirit 5 HP and Pirelli Cinturato P7 Blue were penalised for their shortcomings in wet conditions, despite good results on dry roads and in wear tests. They tied for 7th place with the Kumho Ecsta HS51, which just missed out on a “good” rating due to slight weaknesses in dry conditions.

The Fulda Ecocontrol HP, in 10th place, delivered good performance in terms of wear, rolling resistance and comfort but failed to convince in dry and wet performance tests.

Three tyres shared 11th place. The Giti Premium H1 was good in terms of rolling resistance but relatively weak in dry and wet conditions and with a slightly high wear rate. The Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance, performed well in dry conditions and for rolling resistance, but also suffered from a high wear rate. Finally, the Nexen N’blue HD Plus had the worst rating for fuel consumption.

14th, the Cooper Zeon CS8 had the poorest scores in wet and dry performance tests but managed to achieve the “satisfactory” rating.

Two tyres were rated “adequate” after being downgraded for not passing the ADAC high speed test. They finished 15th equal, having successfully passed a similar, but less demanding test. These tyres are the Ecosis Infini, which was relatively weak on wet and dry roads but had a low rolling resistance, and the Vredestein Sportrac 5, which despite good wear, the best score for rolling resistance and the 2nd best result in dry conditions, was unable to compensate for its weaknesses in wet conditions.

Michelin Primacy 3 1th
Bridgestone Turanza T001 Evo 2nd=
Continental ContiPremiumContact 5 2nd=
Firestone Roadhawk 2nd=
Hankook Ventus Prime 3 K125 5th=
Semperit Speed-Life 2 5th=
ESA Tecar Spirit 5 HP 7th=
Kumho Ecsta HS51 7th=
Pirelli Cinturato P7 Blue 7th=
Fulda Ecocontrol HP 10th
Giti Premium H1 11th=
Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 11th=
Nexen N’blue HD Plus 11th=
Cooper Zeon CS8 14th
Infinity Ecosis 15th=
Vredestein Sportrac 5 15th=

Find the full test results (in German) on the ADAC website.

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