This year, for its annual tyre test, AutoZeitung decided to shake things up a bit. As well as the traditional selection of summer tyres, the German magazine opted to add some all-season tyres into the mix. The following summer tyres, for medium-sized vehicles, were tested in size 225/45 R17:
In total, 9 tyres were selected for this comparison and fitted to a 150 hp Seat Leon SC 1.4 TSI. All were put through a series of 13 tests in dry and wet conditions at 20°C. There were 150 points up for grabs for each surface, with a maximum final score of 300 points.
Price, a good indicator of performance
For summer tyres, the results were unsurprising, leading to the conclusion that you get what you pay for. The two cheapest tyres – the Giti Sport S1 at €290 (£255) for four and the Hankook Ventus Prime 3 K125 at €310 (£273) – lagged behind their competitors. Although still good tyres, their performance in wet conditions was more similar to that of all-season tyres than to the best summer tyres. However, it’s worth noting that the Ventus Prime 3 K125 was the second best tyre in dry conditions with a braking distance of 36.7 metres from 100 km/h (62 mph), compared to the Giti Sport S1 tyre’s 38.1 metres in the same conditions.
Performing better but still a bit behind the top three, the Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance achieved top marks in dry conditions and in rolling resistance tests but was let down by its results in wet conditions. The tyre had the longest wet braking distance (56.6 m from 100 km/h) preventing it from taking a higher place in the overall ranking.
In third place, the Falken Azenis FK 510 made a noteworthy entrance in this year’s test and was awarded the “highly recommended” rating by AutoZeitung. According to the German magazine, this tyre’s balanced performance at the relatively low price of €330 (£290) for 4 tyres, made it a serious contender.
Also “highly recommended” by AutoZeitung, the Continental PremiumContact 6 justifies its price of €450 (£397) for 4 by its high performance. It had the shortest braking distance in wet conditions, needing 49.1 meters to stop from 100 km/h. According to the magazine, the tyre has some room for improvement in terms of ride comfort, but its safe handling and speed in corners make it one of the top performers.
At the same price, Michelin’s Pilot Sport 4 took the top spot in this test with 280 out of a possible 300 points. It was described as fast with precise high speed handling and notably scored 149/150 for tests conducted in wet conditions. The tyre’s wet braking distance was a close second to the Continental PremiumContact 6 at 49.4 metres. In dry conditions, it delivered the shortest braking distance: 35.4 metres from 100 km/h. The tyre’s only down side was its rolling resistance, which was the highest of all the tyres tested.
All-season tyres: a good compromise but quite expensive
Despite being (rightly) considered as a compromise choice, all-season tyres are nevertheless safe in summer conditions. Although they couldn’t compete in the dry, taking up to 4 metres longer to stop than the last-place summer tyre, they came into their own in wet conditions. The Michelin CrossClimate + and the Continental AllSeasonContact both had a wet braking distance of 50.9 metres from 100 km/h, better than the Hankook, Giti and Goodyear summer tyres. The Vector 4Seasons Gen-2 took only 49.1 metres to come to a stop, the same as the Continental PremiumContact 6, which was the top summer tyre in this category.
However, the all-season tyres performed less well at high speed. AutoZeitung noted that the ESP kicked in on certain corners in the wet and the ABS in dry conditions. Another downside is the higher price of this type of tyre. At around €500 (£440) for 4 tyres, they are €50 more expensive on average than the first-place summer tyre.
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