225/45R17

ACE/ARBÖ/GTÜ 2021: Summer Tire Test R17

The German magazine announced the results of its next tire test, and again you could hardly name the winner in advance.

List of models tested:

One of the things that make the season of summer tests 2021 interesting is that the winners are oftentimes not the acclaimed market leaders but the brands that usually stay in the background. First it was Kumho that surpassed 52 competitors in an Auto Bild test, then a Maxxis model was announced as the best by Vi Bilägare magazine, and now first place in the test conducted by Europe’s top motoring association is scored by the inexpensive Nexen N’Fera Sport SU2.

The ACE test involved tires in size 225/45 R17, which are more and more often used in Europe as the original equipment for compact cars, such as Volkswagen Golf. Saying that Nexen won due to the absence of strong rivals is out of the question, because the test also included tires from premium brands, such as Continental PremiumContact 6, Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 2, and Michelin Primacy 4.

Test track in Jeversen
The tests were performed at the test track in Jeversen, a little town in Lower Saxony not far from Hanover, also known as the Contidrom, one of the largest tire test facilities in Europe. Source: arboe.at

On dry pavement, as is usually the case, the differences in the tires’ performance were minimal, the best braking characteristics being shown by Continental, which, when braking from 100 km/h, stopped the car after 34.5 meters. At the same time, the braking distance of the tires that came last — Goodyear and Maxxis — was 36 and 36.1 meters respectively, which still allowed them to score a high number of points. But then again, even though the difference can indeed seem to be insignificant, the remaining speed of the car driving on the Goodyear or the Maxxis tires will still be in fact over 20 km/h.

After the dry handling test, the experts noted that the tires did vary in their behavior — for example, the Maxxis model demonstrated very quick and precise handling response, while the Nokian model was slightly prone to oversteer. On a wet track, the differences in the tires’ performance were more significant, first place in the braking test scored by the Michelin tire, whose stopping distance when braking from 100 km/h was 48 meters. Even the Continental tire, which came second, needed two meters more, while the worst result was demonstrated by the Maxxis tires, which were only able to stop the VW Golf after 56.9 meters. Therefore, the remaining speed amounted to almost 40 km/h.

The tires were tested using two Volkswagen Golfs 8th generation.
The tires were tested using two Volkswagen Golfs 8th generation. Source: arboe.at

In the hydroplaning resistance test, the balance of powers changed, and the best tires were recognized to be Maxxis, while the Laufenn tires from Korea’s Hankook were losing grip already at 70.5 km/h. The Maxxis tire also showed the best results in the wet lateral stability test, and it was only the long braking distance that stopped it from becoming the absolute winner in these circumstances. The best handling response on wet pavement was demonstrated by the premium Continental and Michelin models, while the Laufenn and BFGoodrich tires were clearly prone to understeer and showed poor resistance to lateral skid.

Test discipline: hydroplaning resistance.
Test discipline: hydroplaning resistance. Source: arboe.at

The noise was measured outside the car, with Goodyear (which received high points for quietness from the Vi Bilägare experts as well) scoring first place, and the Continental model being the loudest. At 50 km/h, the difference between the two tires was 2dB(A), while at 80 km/h it reached 3.3dB(A). The rolling resistance test yet again confirmed that environmental performance and wet grip are essentially conflicting and mutually cancelling characteristics, and the Maxxis model, which had excellent hydroplaning resistance, showed only average results in this discipline, while the Michelin model, which quickly loses grip when it hits a puddle, scored first place.

The noise outside the car was measured, which also matters from the environmental standpoint.
The noise outside the car was measured, which also matters from the environmental standpoint. Source: arboe.at

What makes the ACE test different from many others is that it also takes into account the price of the tire, which helped the Nexen model to come out the winner in the final standings, because it was the second-least-expensive tire on test. At the same time, one must note that all the rivals of Nexen showed good results, and even the tire that came last (and this time around it unexpectedly was the relatively new Goodyear model, which had poor hydroplaning resistance) got a «Recommended» verdict.

Summer tire test summary ACE/ARBÖ/GTÜ, 2021. Places 1–7. Click to enlarge.
Summer tire test summary ACE/ARBÖ/GTÜ, 2021. Places 1–7. Click to enlarge.

1st place: Nexen / N'Fera Sport

Quick Take
79 44
  • This tire replaced Nexen / N'Fera SU1
  • Available Sizes in Line: 44
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi A3 8Y [2020 .. 2022]
    • • Porsche Panamera 971 Restyling [2020 .. 2022]
    • • Volkswagen Golf Mk8 [2019 .. 2022]
    • • Seat Leon KL [2020 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Nexen N'Fera Sport

  • Short braking distance and good handling response on dry and wet pavement
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Good price/quality ratio
  • High rolling resistance
  • Highly recommended

 

2nd place: Nokian / Wetproof

Quick Take
82 49
Price/Quality Wet Performance Dry Performance Comfort Handling Treadwear
  • Available Sizes in Line: 75
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Nokian Wetproof

  • Short braking distance and good handling response on dry and wet pavement
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Increased noise emission
  • Highly recommended

 

3rd place: Falken / Azenis FK510

Quick Take
81 62
Price/Quality Wet Performance Dry Performance Comfort Treadwear Handling Snow/Ice Performance
  • This tire replaced ⛔ Falken / FK453
  • Available Sizes in Line: 203
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi A1 GB [2018 .. 2021]
    • • Toyota Mirai II [2021 .. 2021]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, Oceania
Falken Azenis FK510

  • Short braking distance on wet pavement
  • Increased noise emission
  • Highly recommended

 

3th place: Maxxis / Premitra 5 HP5

Quick Take
77 43
Dry Performance Wet Performance Handling Comfort Treadwear
  • Year Released: 2015
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+, Oceania
Maxxis Premitra 5 HP5

  • Great handling response in the wet
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Good price/quality ratio
  • Long braking distance on wet pavement
  • High noise emission
  • Highly recommended

 

4th place: Michelin / Primacy 4

Quick Take
85 66
Comfort Dry Performance Wet Performance Price/Quality Handling Treadwear
  • Year Released: 2017
  • Regions for sale: Mexico, Central & South America, Europe, Russia+, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Oceania
Michelin Primacy 4

  • Short braking distance and good handling response on dry and wet pavement
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Poor resistance to lateral hydroplaning
  • High price
  • Highly recommended

 

5th place: Continental / PremiumContact 6

Quick Take
89 72

Continental PremiumContact 6

Dry Performance Price/Quality Wet Performance Handling Comfort Treadwear
  • This tire replaced Continental / ContiPremiumContact 5
  • Available Sizes in Line: 263
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Toyota C-HR Facelift [2019 .. 2021]
    • • Mercedes-Benz C-Class Br205 [2015 .. 2021]
    • • BMW 3 Series VII (G20/G21) [2018 .. 2021]
    • • BMW 5 Series VII (G30/G31) Facelift [2020 .. 2021]
    • • Mazda CX-5 KF [2016 .. 2021]
    • • Ford Kuga III [2020 .. 2021]
    • • Renault Koleos II (CMF-CD) [2016 .. 2021]
    • • Subaru Forester SK [2018 .. 2021]
    • • Renault Megane IV (9A) [2016 .. 2021]
    • • Volvo XC40 [2017 .. 2021]
    • • Skoda Superb 3V Restyling [2020 .. 2021]
    • • Volvo V60 Cross Country II [2018 .. 2021]
    • • Mercedes-Benz X-Class D23 [2017 .. 2021]
    • • Audi A6 C8 [2018 .. 2021]
    • • Volvo S60 III [2019 .. 2021]
    • • Renault Alaskan D23 [2016 .. 2021]
    • • Volvo V60 II [2018 .. 2021]
    • • Jaguar I-Pace [2018 .. 2021]
    • • Ford Fiesta VII [2017 .. 2021]
    • • Ford Mustang Mach-E [2020 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, Japan, Oceania
Continental PremiumContact 6

  • Short braking distance and good handling response on dry and wet pavement
  • High noise emission
  • Low lateral hydroplaning resistance
  • High price
  • Recommended

 

5th place: Laufenn / S FIT EQ+

Quick Take
65 46
Handling Price/Quality Dry Performance
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+, Middle East, North Africa
Laufenn S FIT EQ+

  • Short braking distance on wet and dry pavement
  • Low price
  • Prone to understeer and poor lateral stability on wet pavement
  • Increased noise emission
  • Recommended

 

6th place: BFGoodrich / Advantage

Quick Take
71 43
Comfort Handling Price/Quality Dry Performance Wet Performance
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe
BFGoodrich Advantage

  • Short braking distance on wet pavement
  • Low hydroplaning resistance
  • Prone to understeer and poor lateral stability on wet pavement
  • Increased noise emission
  • Recommended

 

7th place: Goodyear / EfficientGrip Performance 2

Quick Take
85 65

Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 2

Price/Quality Wet Performance Comfort Dry Performance Handling Treadwear
  • This tire replaced Goodyear / EfficientGrip Performance
  • Available Sizes in Line: 62
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Toyota Yaris Cross XP210 [2020 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe, China, Southeast Asia
Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 2

  • Great handling response in the wet
  • Low noise emission
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Low hydroplaning resistance
  • Recommended

Price