Do you necessarily have to go for a tire from a premium brand or can you also use a tire from a cheaper brand in the summer? AutoWeek tested twenty tires and answers that question.

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The summer tire season is about to begin, while the tire market is in a turbulent period. New brands are constantly entering the market and prices are under pressure from last year's overcapacity and unsold tires.

Tire buyers can take advantage of this, because full warehouses and overcapacity cause falling prices and sometimes strange situations. For example, the average merchant price of the premium brand Goodyear, calculated by us, is below that of the B and C brands (Dunlop and Fulda) from the same group. So it is always worth comparing the prices.

Always ask the tire dealer or Internet service providers about the total price including mounting and balancing, because prices vary considerably in this type of service in particular. Summer tires in size 245/45 R 18 are assumed for this test.

Always ask for the price of tires including mounting and balancing. (Photo: 123RF)

Newcomers in the top twenty

As every year, we start this summer tire test with an extensive brake test. Before that, we subjected the fifty tires we bought from universal dealers to a braking test on the huge ATP test site in Papenburg, Germany.

In the emergency stop on dry surfaces, the tires must show what they have to offer in terms of safety reserves. Only the twenty best performing tires qualified through the extensive dynamic tests and the cost check.

In the top twenty, in addition to the tires of the expensive premium manufacturers, tires of affordable B and C brands also ended. For the first time in the final: the newcomers from Laufenn and Zeetex.

Driving on dry surfaces

A braking distance of just over 30 meters was unthinkable a few years ago. The tires with the best safety reserves are produced by Michelin and even the Zeetex tires, which surprisingly managed to get to the final, have convincing figures.

Braking distance at 100 km / h (in meters)

  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4 100 Y: 32.1
  • Nokian Powerproof 100 Y: 32.9
  • Continental PremiumContact 6 100 Y: 33.2
  • Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 100 Y: 33.2
  • Nexen N'Fera Sport 100 Y: 33.2
  • Vredestein Ultrac Vorti 100 Y: 33.4
  • Bridgestone Potenza S001 100 Y: 33.5
  • Laufenn S Fit EQ + 100 Y: 34.0
  • Kleber Dynaxer UHP 100 Y: 34.1
  • Fulda SportControl 2 100 Y: 34.2
  • Dunlop Sportmaxx RT 2 100 Y: 34.3
  • Firestone Roadhawk 100 Y: 34.3
  • Apollo Aspire XP 100 Y: 34.7
  • HankookVertus S1 eco3 100 Y: 34.7
  • Maxxis Victra Sport 5 100 Y: 34.8
  • Kumho Ecsta PS71 100 Y: 34.9
  • Toyo Proxes Sport 100 Y: 35.4
  • Uniroyal RainSport 3 100 Y: 35.7
  • Falken Azenis FK510 100 Y: 36.0
  • Zeetex HP 2000 vfm 100 Y: 36.0

Driving on dry surfaces

Precise steering behavior, perfect driving dynamics: the Vredestein Ultrac Vorti and Continental and Michelin tires deliver impressive performance on dry surfaces. However, the Zeetex tires have to throw in the towel on a fast ride.

Maximum cornering speed (in km / h)

  • Vredestein: 117.0
  • Continental: 116.8
  • Michelin: 116.4
  • Maxxis: 116.3
  • Goodyear: 116.2
  • Hankook: 116.2
  • Laufenn: 116.1
  • Nokian: 115.9
  • Apollo: 115.4
  • Firestone: 115.4
  • Nexes: 115.4
  • Bridgestone: 115.3
  • Fulda: 115.0
  • Toyo: 114.9
  • Falken: 114.8
  • Dunlop: 114.6
  • Kumho: 114.3
  • Kleber: 114.2
  • Uniroyal: 113.7
  • Sea Tex: 112.5

Striking success for Laufenn

The B brand of the successful Korean tire manufacturer Hankook managed to surprise with good performance. The brand new Laufenn S Fit EQ + finished in thirteenth place, with the designation 'good'.

Next week more about the performance of the above mentioned tires, but on wet surfaces.

The full test was in AutoWeek number 14