2015 Auto Review Summer Tyre Test

Test Summary
Best tyre for dry roadsPirelli P Zero
Best tyre for wet roadsContinental Sport Contact 5
The best tyre overallContinental Sport Contact 5
The lowest fuel usePirelli Cinturato P7 Blue
The most comfortableMichelin Primacy 3
Nokian Hakka Blue
Pirelli Cinturato P7 Blue
The toughest tyrePirelli P Zero
The Russians always put on an interesting tyre test. Usually, their tyre tests crun big, ultra high performance tyres on powerful cars, and give an excellent account of just how each tyre feels on the limit. This time, it's a little bit different.

Testing "touring / high performance" tyres in 225/45 R17 on an Audi A3 Saloon, Auto Review have tried to test eight of the latest non-ultra high performance tyres, and included a Pirelli P Zero as a benchmark ultra high performance tyre. While this is a great idea in theory, the entry from Continental and Hankook are classified as ultra high performance, so the inclusion of the "extra" Pirelli seems a little confusing. Still, it gives us a nice mixed tyre test, and allows each tyre to highlight its strengths.

As usual, the tyres get a good workout, covering all the normal dry and wet tests you can expect, along with an added "shock / impact" test. For this test, the magazine run the car into a 45 degree, curb sized steel block at increasing speeds until the tyre fails. Unsurprisingly, the results from this destructive test shows rough correlation between the lighter, more comfortable, low rolling resistance tyres failing earlier than the less comfortable, sportier tyres.

The difference between the UHP Pirelli P Zero and the rest? As you'd expect, the P Zero is the tyre to have fitted if you're after the ultimate driving experience, and the equally as sporty Continental Sport Contact 5 isn't far behind. The best premium touring tyre, the Michelin Primacy 3 trades a little of that sporty feel for higher levels of comfort, lower noise and better fuel economy.

Full Results

Continental Sport Contact 51st: Continental Sport Contact 5
Total: 99.2 / Dry: 18 / Wet: 49 / Comfort: 8 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Toughness: 8 / Overall: 9.2
Positive: Strong wet and dry grip
Negative: Lack of comfort
Overall: While the Sport Contact 5 was bettered in the the aquaplaning tests by Hankook and Nokian, the Continental proved to be the wet master, with good traction, the best braking and the quickest time on wet roads. Confirming its remarkable blend of qualities, the Continental also had the shortest stopping distance in the dry, and was one of the second fastest time in dry handling. It didn't look as though the tyre wore badly either, so they haven't compromised wear for grip! Negative point, not the most comfortable or quiet tyres on test, but that was balanced with a good impact resistance.

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Pirelli P Zero2nd: Pirelli P Zero
Total: 99 / Dry: 19 / Wet: 46 / Comfort: 8 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Toughness: 10 / Overall: 9
Positive: Dry handling, strong sidewalls, wet grip
Negative: Poor comfort, low resistance to aquaplaning
Overall: The only UHP tyre included (we're not sure we agree, the Conti is a UHP tyre), Auto Review included it to highlight the differences between touring and performance tyres. Naturally, the P Zero had a performance bias. It had the highest rolling resistance, one of the lowest levels of comfort and the strongest sidewall, but in the wet and dry tests it was trading places with the Continental for top spot. For the ultimate lap time, the testers would pick the P Zero as not only was it the fastest, it offered the best subjective feel too with the fastest reactions to steering.

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Michelin Primacy 33rd: Michelin Primacy 3
Total: 96.8 / Dry: 16 / Wet: 45 / Comfort: 10 / Rolling Resistance: 9 / Toughness: 8 / Overall: 8.8
Positive: Strong wet and dry grip, good dry braking, comfortable
Negative: Sluggish steering in the dry
Overall: Excellent wet performance, but slightly sluggish steering in the dry. Good wet and dry braking. Quiet and comfortable tyres, and with a mid pack impact test score the Michelin Primacy 3 is a well balanced, safe, comfortable tyres with a low rolling resistance.

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Hankook Ventus S1 evo24th: Hankook Ventus S1 evo2
Total: 94.7 / Dry: 17 / Wet: 47 / Comfort: 8 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Toughness: 7 / Overall: 8.7
Positive: High resistance to aquaplaning, good wet and dry grip, good price
Negative: Lack of comfort, weak sidewalls
Overall: Every year Hankook tyres are getting better and better, and with the Korean company now OE on cars like the Mercedes Benz S Class, the 'big 6' tyre companies really need to watch out. The Ventus S1 EVO 2 is strong in the wet and dry, scoring particularly well in the aquaplaning tests. In the dry, the Hankook has a nice balance of safety with strong braking and stable high speed maneuvers. Negative points? Not the best comfort on test, or shock resistance, but a low price wins it back some points.

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Nokian Hakka Blue5th: Nokian Hakka Blue
Total: 93.6 / Dry: 15 / Wet: 45 / Comfort: 10 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Toughness: 8 / Overall: 8.6
Positive: High resistance to aquaplaning, good wet grip, comfortable
Negative: Dry grip
Overall: The Nokian has the second best aquaplaning resistance, and an all round strong wet performance, but isn't quite a match for the best in the dry. The tyre offers good comfort, shock resistance and rolling resistance

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Pirelli Cinturato P7 Blue6th: Pirelli Cinturato P7 Blue
Total: 90.4 / Dry: 16 / Wet: 40 / Comfort: 10 / Rolling Resistance: 10 / Toughness: 6 / Overall: 8.4
Positive: Good wet grip, low rolling resistance, comfortable
Negative: Low resistance to aquaplaning, weak sidewalls
Overall: Low rolling resistance combined with excellent wet braking and grip and very high comfort. Average dry performance, low aquaplaning resistance and low shock resistance.

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Toyo Proxes CF27th: Toyo Proxes CF2
Total: 91.3 / Dry: 15 / Wet: 42 / Comfort: 9 / Rolling Resistance: 8 / Toughness: 9 / Overall: 8.3
Positive: Strong sidewalls, comfortable, good price
Negative: Dry grip, average wet grip
Overall: Excellent shock resistance, good dry braking and handling, but a weak wet formance and average comfort leaves Toyo sixth. Well priced.

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Bridgestone Turanza T0018th: Bridgestone Turanza T001
Total: 86.8 / Dry: 15 / Wet: 40 / Comfort: 8 / Rolling Resistance: 8 / Toughness: 8 / Overall: 7.8
Positive: Resistance to aquaplaning
Negative: Wet grip, dry braking, poor comfort
Overall: Bridgestones reputation has been somewhat saved by Dunlop, as the Bridgestone T001 proved to be average in nearly all areas. Slow in the dry and wet, the only good result was in the aquaplaning test. Despite being loud and uncomfortable, the Bridgestone also failed early in the impact test. Not good value for money.

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Dunlop SP Sport LM7049th: Dunlop SP Sport LM704
Total: 64.8 / Dry: 15 / Wet: 20 / Comfort: 9 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Toughness: 9 / Overall: 5.8
Positive: Price, strong sidewall
Negative: Extremely low wet grip, low resistance to aquaplaning, high rolling resistance
Overall: Not available in the UK market, Auto Review found the Dunlop LM704's dangerous thanks to a shocking performance in the wet. OK for hot climates with pot holed roads that don't see rain. No where else.

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