Several models of compact SUV are delivered from the factory on 215/50 R18 tyres, and German motoring magazine Gute Fahrt has chosen this size for its 2020 summer tyre test. It looked at eight premium and mid-range tyres, fitting these to a VW T-Roc for testing. The test team benchmarked the eight contenders against the T-Roc’s factory-fitted tyres.
Safety-important braking tests were accompanied by other measurements of performance in wet and dry conditions. The testers also looked at fuel economy (rolling resistance), comfort and noise.
Test winner: Goodyear
The testers declared the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 their pick of the bunch. This “great all-rounder with superior qualities in the wet” delivered strong performance in almost every test category, with rolling resistance the only discipline with merely ‘satisfactory’ performance. Gute Fahrt rewarded the Goodyear tyre’s efforts by rating it Very Good+. It was the only tyre to gain the magazine’s top rating.
Four recommended tyres
Two further tyres came close. The testers said the Continental ContiSport Contact 5 was “good and reliable, as usual”. They rated this runner-up tyre Very Good thanks to its excellent performance in braking and handling tests. Rounding off the podium, the Falken Azenis KK510 SUV received a Very Good- rating. Gute Fahrt called the Falken tyre “the surprise of this test” and a product that “cheekily challenges the premium brands”. They added that the Falken brand is separating itself from the mid-range tyre makers with “increasing clarity”.
Good & satisfactory
Gute Fahrt gave the top three tyres its recommendation along with a fourth tyre, the Nokian Wetproof. It rated the Nokian tyre Good+; it performed particularly well in dry braking and rolling resistance tests.
Following in fifth and sixth places were the Pirelli Cinturato P7 and Vredestein Ultrac Satin. Gute Fahrt rated both Good-. The Pirelli tyre delivered a pleasing result in the longitudinal aquaplaning test and a very acceptable wet braking distance. Rolling resistance was low as well. The Vredestein gave a solid result in most disciplines.
The testers rated two tyres Satisfactory-. Despite acceptable performance in most disciplines, they marked seventh-placed Yokohama BluEarth RV-02 TL down for its results in the two aquaplaning tests. Gute Fahrt handed the wooden spoon to the Toyo Proxes CF2 SUV, which gave the poorest performance of the eight tyres in both braking tests.
OE tyres not best in every area
Gute Fahrt tested a VW T-Roc model that came from the factory on Bridgestone Turanza T001 tyres. The test team used these as their benchmark when comparing the eight tyre brands.
Original equipment tyres are specifically developed for the vehicle model they’re fitted to, and in theory they should be the tyres best suited to this vehicle. Indeed, Gute Fahrt recommends the Turanza T001 (the predecessor tyre to the current Turanza T005) as a well-balanced good performing tyre. That said, being tailor made for a vehicle doesn’t mean unbeatable performance in every area.
For example, when looking at Gute Fahrt’s wet braking test (when braking from 100 to 10 km/h), the Bridgestone tyre finished in 7th place from nine tyres. When fitted with its original equipment tyres, the T-Roc was still travelling at 21.44 km/h by the time the top-performing Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 had reached its target terminal speed.