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Featured: 11 of the best tyres for the 2018 summer

With summer quickly approaching, and tyre test season in full swing, here are 11 of the best summer tyres for 2018.

The first five tyres are ultra high performance / maximum performance summer tyres, usually found in 18 inches and above and have an emphasis on sporty handling and driving enjoyment along with safety criteria such as wet braking.

The next six tyres are premium touring summer tyres which are more often fitted to less sporty cars in smaller wheel sizes, and instead of having a focus on driving dynamics look more to provide higher comfort levels, lower noise and low fuel use, while retaining all of the key safety performances.

This video does not cover any all season or winter tyres options, so if you feel like you might need a tyre to work year round, including in snow and ice, check out our "best tyre type for winter driving" video first.

2018 AMS Summer UHP Tyre Test

The 2018 Auto Motor Und Sport (AMS) summer performance tyre test uses an Audi A3 to test eleven 225/45 R17 tyre patterns.

As in previous years, AMS have included subjective handling data in their testing, which is important to help us understand how a tyre feels. Even with this extra element of testing the winning tyre was no surprise - the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 takes its eighth win out of eight tests thanks to a dominant performance in the dry and wet.

2018 Test World Summer Tyre Test

It's rare you find tyre tests specifically scoring subjective handling qualities as it's a very difficult thing for tyre testers to quantify, but this latest tyre test from the Finish publication Test World scores the tyres subjective behaviour out of a possible ten points in both the dry and wet. This is particularly interesting if you're not worried about that final 0.1 seconds of dry lap time, but do rate the subjective qualities of a tyre such as steering feel, feedback and car balance.

This test covers sixteen 225/45 R17 UHP tyre patterns using an Audi A3 - perhaps not the last word in dynamic handling but it is still an insight to the tyres we don't usually get.

Thanks to the explosion in SUV type vehicles, tyre companies are feverishly updating their SUV and 4x4 product lines. To see which manufacturer is currently doing the best job, Auto Bild Allrad have tested eight of the latest patterns in the large 265/60 R18 size.

This year Auto Bild have covered both 19 and 20" UHP tyres, and while we've covered the 20" test already, we delayed covering the 19" test for a few weeks.

In those few weeks, Sport Auto Magazine released their 19" tyre test, and it uses exactly the same 245/35 R19 and 265/35 R19 tyres, on the same BMW M2, and tests the same six UHP tyres at the same location.

The logical question would be why publish this version of the test, as the results should be exactly the same? Well, they're not. Whether it be down to driving style, test parameters or just the weather on the day, Sport Auto and Auto Bild have managed to come up with two different test results using the same vehicle and tyres, proving just how close the very best tyres on the market are.

There's a lot of tyres in the 2018 Auto Bild 195/65 R15 test, so we'll keep the intro as short as possible and let the data do the talking.

It's worth keeping in mind, the twenty tyres chosen for this test have been through a 51 tyre wet and dry braking pretest. This means the tyres included in this test are some of the best tyres available on the market, had Auto Bild included some of the worst tyres in the pretest, the gap between the best and the worst tyres overall would have been much larger.

The latest trend of combining two tyre tests into a single result seems to be continuing, with the brilliant German publication Sport Auto combining six ultra high performance tyres and three track day tyres into a single test!

Using a BMW M2, Sport Auto used the M2 OE sizes of 245/35 R19 front and 265/35 R19 rear, and objectively tested wet and dry performances while also scoring the subjective handling and feel of a tyre.

As you would expect, the track day tyres dominated in the dry, were the weakest in the wet, and generally had the highest rolling resistance and were the nosiest. Some of the road tyres were surprisingly close to the track day rubber during dry testing, and they were leagues ahead in the wet testing.

Read on for the full results!

2018 is setting up to be an excellent year for tyre testing, with the epic German publication Auto Bild already delivering three excellent tests. Of the three, this 20" tyre test is perhaps the most interesting of the trio.

For this investigation, Auto Bild have bought eight 245/30 R20 tyre patterns and placed them through the usual array of wet and dry tests using a Mercedes E Class.

While the internet favourite Michelin Pilot Sport 4S takes its traditional top spot, there is a strange result for the Continental Sport Contact 6, a great result for the ten year old Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 (not 3!), and Bridgestone make a return to tests with the old Potenza S001.

Read on for the full results!

Every year Auto Bild test over fifty tyres in wet and dry braking test to decide which twenty tyres make it through to the full summer tyre test. In 2018 they have used the popular 195/65 R15 summer touring tyre size.

The spread of dry braking results was higher than usual this year. The best dry braking tyre on test, the Hankook, stopped the car from 62mph in 34.5 metres, and the worse 42.4 metres. This 7.9 metre difference might not sound like a huge amount, but it is the difference of stopping or hitting an object at around 26 mph!

The spread in the wet was even larger. The Bridgestone was best in the wet, stopping the car from 50 mph in 34.3 metres, where as the worst tyre on test took a massive 17.6 metres further, totaling 51.9 metres. That's over 4 car lengths further and a huge residual speed at time of accident.

Michelin Road 5 - First Ride

If you've owned a motorbike in the past 16 years, chances are you'll have been recommended the Michelin Pilot Road range of sports touring tyres. Launched in 2002, the Pilot Road has been category defining with almost every update, and is famed for having the best blend of wet grip and longevity in its class.

Michelin Road 5

In 2018 Michelin have launched the update to the Pilot Road 4, and they've dropped the "Pilot". The new tyre, the Michelin Road 5, promises to extend Michelins dominance of the sector by further improving dry grip, stability, wet grip, and performance over the tread life.

In 2018, German test body ADAC have tested sixteen 205/55 R16 summer tyres, and fourteen tyres in the smaller 175/65 R14 size.

In this 205/55 R16 test, premium manufacturers take the top three places. Michelin lead the way, having the lowest wear on test and proving to be excellent in the dry, Bridgestone have a surprisingly strong performance in the wet to score second place overall, and Continental have a very balanced showing for the last of the podium spots.

The first tyre test of 2018 is rather unique. German publication Auto Zeitung have tested six summer tyres and three all season tyres all in the same test, and while it's going to make the Tyre Reviews version of the result at the bottom of this page read slightly wonky, it's a really interesting way of comparing the dry and wet performances of the two tyre types.

Keep in mind, the nine tyres were only tested in the dry and wet, there was no snow or ice testing to highlight the all season tyres year-round abilities. This means this test should just be looked at to see how the all season tyres compare to the summer tyres in summer conditions, rather than making a purchase decision for year-round motoring.

Will a track day tyre kill you if you try and use it year round? Can a semi slick tyre, intended for life on track, generate any grip at freezing temperatures?

To try and ask this question I fitted a set of the excellent Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s to an E92 BMW M3, and drove on them across winter.

Watch the video for the full findings!

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to ask below, or on the YouTube page!

Everyone knows tyre performance changes with wear, with the biggest change in tyre performance coming from all season and winter tyres in snowy and icy conditions.

The drop in performance can be so vast after 4mm that certain countries where "three peak mountain and snowflake" tyres are a legal requirement for winter driving, they can lose their legality after 4mm, meaning you only get to use half of your tyres tread.

Should this be the case? Michelin have been making alot of noise recently regarding the negative impact of having to scrap a tyre with half its tread life remaining, and their arguments are compelling. Not only are you costing the customer more, but you're also causing a much higher negative environmental impact by doubling natural resourse usage and doubling waste.

The Continental WinterContact TS860 SThe replacement to the hugely successful Continental WinterContact TS850 P ultra high performance winter tyre has been launched!
Unfortunately we're not due to be driving on the new Continental WinterContact TS860 S until early 2018, so for now here's the Continental press release. Keep an eye on Tyre Reviews into 2018 for our first impressions.

The 2017 Auto Express all season tyre test is a wonderful mix of eight 205/55 R16 all season tyres, the Dunlop Sport BluResponse summer tyre and the Continental WinterContact TS860 winter tyre.

A new feature for 2017 is wet testing at over, and under the magic 7c mark the tyre manufacturers recommend we change our tyres at.

If you're one of the many SUV / 4x4 owners in the UK, the chances are you're on a regular summer tyre which will offer very little performance on surfaces as simple wet grass or loose dirt.

With normal 4x4 tyres being designed almost entirely for on-road useage, what happens if you need to use your 4x4 on a surface that isn't tarmac or concrete? Turning up at the shooting club in your £100,000 Range Rover only to get stuck in the grassy car park would result in many jokes at your expense in the pub, or getting stuck down a muddy trail near a fishing lake could result in your day of leisure being wasted trying to get your vehicle mobile again.

2017 All Season Tyre Test

The 2017 Auto Bild all season tyre test has tested ten 205/55 R16 all season tyres touring tyres, using a VW Golf. This is also the first test to include the new Continental AllSeasonContact tyre.

The German publication Auto Zeitung have just published their 2017 all season tyre test, and it might be the most UK relevant tyre test we've ever seen.

First, they're testing in the most popular 205/55 R16 size using a FWD Audi A3, which represents a large slice of our car market. Then, they've managed to include ten all season patterns, which is more than most all season tyre tests manage, but the icing on the cake is the winter tyre included for reference is the multiple award winning Continental WinterContact TS 860.

The 2017 Auto Bild All Season Tyre Test puts eight 225/50 R17 all season tyres through the usual dry, wet and snow testing, and includes a reference summer and winter tyre for benchmarks.

The two all season heavyweights of the industry, the Michelin CrossClimate and the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2, trade results to tie overall in first place. As each of these all season tyres approaches year round motoring in different ways, we'll concentrate on the top two places for this write up.

The Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure is the latest 50/50 on-road off-road tyre from Goodyear. Available in 27 sizes between 15-19", the new All-Terrain has been designed to fit vehicles such as the Land Rover Defender, Jeep Wrangler, Mercedes G-Class, Toyota Hilux, Toyota Land Cruiser and Volkswagen Amarok.

Goodyear Wrangler All Terrain Adventure

2017 Track Day Tyre Test

The German publication Auto Bild have just tested five 235/35 R19 track day tyres using a Ford Focus ST, and included a "normal" maximum performance road tyre as comparison.

2017 Track Day Tyre Test

Given the location of the test (Continentals proving grounds in Texas), and the performance of the included road tyre, we're going to assuming the tyre was the Continental Sport Contact 6, and it demonstrates just how good road tyres have become!

Michelin have officially launched the replacement to the "internet's favourite tyre". The new Michelin Pilot Sport 4S betters the Michelin Pilot Super Sport in every measurable category, and looks to extend its dominance over its rivals in the maximum performance tyre sector.

The New Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

As with the Pilot Super Sport, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S is only available in larger sizes and aimed at high performance vehicles. At launch it is offered in 19" and above, with the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 covering the 16" to 18" fitment.

Launched at the Thermal Club in Palm Springs, Michelin gave Tyre Reviews an early opportunity to drive on the new tyre, covering road and track driving on various vehicles.

Michelin have recently announced a mid life update of the extremely successful Michelin CrossClimate, the Michelin CrossClimate+

The new Michelin CrossClimate+

Launched in March 2015, the CrossClimate was the first of a new breed of all season tyres. Traditionally all season tyres start life as a winter tyre, and have the balance of performance moved slightly towards dry and wet running. While this leaves traditional all season tyres excellent on snow and ice, other performance qualities suffer, especially dry braking.

The CrossClimate started life as a summer tyre, and was gifted winter abilities. While this means it isn't quite as good as traditional all season tyres in extreme winter conditions, it is still more than enough for anything the UK winter has to offer, while retaining the dry and wet performance of a dedicated summer tyre.

Continental tyres have just released their latest tyre, the new Continental PremiumContact 6. The new PremiumContact 6 replaces both the PremiumContact 5 and the SportContact 5, unifying the comfort and efficiency of the PremiumContact range, with the high performance, steering precision and grip of the SportContact.

The New Continental PremiumContact 6

The Continental SportContact 6 still exists for maximum performance in 19" and above, and the EcoContact 5 in 16" and below. The PremiumContact 6 will be available in 16" - 21", and offer a blend of performance and comfort to rival the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 and Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3.