Not all campervans are ponderous wheeled boxes that slow traffic. Van-based vehicles such as VW’s facelifted Transporter 6.1 deliver driving dynamics approaching those of saloons and SUVs – and demand tyres that are up to the job. Specialist publication Promobil put the new VW T6.1 through its paces fitted with eight brands of size 235/55 R17 tyre – all reinforced ‘C’ (for commercial) models – and found a clear winner.
Test winner – highly recommendable
Michelin Primacy 4
Strengths: With the shortest braking distances in both wet and dry conditions, plus low rolling resistance and tyre/road noise, the Michelin tyre was “unbeatable”.
Weaknesses: A sensitivity towards aquaplaning during heavy rain, particularly on rutted surfaces. The most expensive tyre that Promobil tested.
4 recommendable tyres
Continental PremiumContact 6
Strengths: A comfortable and, thanks to its self-seal capability, particularly quiet tyre for vehicle occupants. Very short stopping distances in the wet.
Weaknesses: Light reverberation after quick lane changes.
Falken Azenis FK510 SUV
Strengths: Very high safety reserves when negotiating curves on wet and dry surfaces. Low internal and external tyre/road noise.
Weaknesses: Weak during quick lane changes, sluggish steering characteristics.
Promobil named the Falken Azenis FK510 its price-performance winner. The publication says that when setting aside “tolerable weaknesses in dynamics and efficiency,” the Falken tyre offers a mostly easy to control tyre with decent safety reserves – at “a very reasonable price.”
Bridgestone Turanza T005
Strengths: Predominantly safe driving characteristics on wet and dry road surfaces, shortest braking distance in the dry, very low rolling resistance.
Weaknesses: Unpleasant whistling noise during gentle cornering when fitted to the T6.1.
Nokian Wetproof SUV
Strengths: Balanced wet and dry performance, grippy when cornering in the wet.
Weaknesses: Minor weaknesses in longitudinal aquaplaning test, steering somewhat sluggish.
3 tyres ‘still’ recommendable
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5
Strengths: A mostly very balanced tyre on wet and dry surfaces, excellent aquaplaning safety.
Weaknesses: Somewhat lengthy stopping distance in the wet, raised rolling resistance.
Maxxis Premitra 5
Strengths: Convincing in safety-related test disciplines.
Weaknesses: Sluggish steering response, light weaknesses during quick lane changes, tyre/road noise issues and raised rolling resistance.
Sava Intensa UHP 2
Strengths: Comfortable and, on dry roads, mainly a safe and balanced tyre with low rolling resistance.
Weaknesses: Long braking distances and minor handling deficits on wet asphalt.