ADAC 2020: UHP Summer Tire Test - 225/40 R18

March 8, 2020
ADAC 2020: UHP Summer Tire Test - 225/40 R18

The choice of your tires can significantly affect your driving safety. The good news is that during the two summer tire tests, which were performed by the ADAC experts in sizes 235/55 R17 and 225/40 R18, most of the participants delivered quite a convincing performance.

Totally, 28 models were tested: 12 designed for SUVs and minivans, and 16 designed for golf-class passenger cars, which are covered in this article.

In 2020, ADAC first tested 18-inch tires. Recently, large wheels have become increasingly popular, and the size picked by the expert team — 225/40 R18 — is among the ten top bestselling sizes for summer tires.

Vehicle overview of the dimension 225/40 R18 Y
Manufacturer Model series
Audi A3
BMW 1, 2, 3, Z4
Ford C-Max, focus
Hyundai / Kia i30, Ceed
Mercedes A, B, C class, CLA, SLK
Opel Astra, Meriva, Zafira
Skoda Octavia, Superb
VW Golf, Jetta, Touran

Generally, the expert team was satisfied with the test results, for the sole exception of one of the Chinese brands. But even this tire model was able to avoid getting the «unsatisfactory» verdict.

List of summer models tested:

Results of the ADAC test 2020

Result summary. ADAC 225/40 R18 UHP Summer Tire Test 2020
Result summary. ADAC 225/40 R18 UHP Summer Tire Test 2020 (click to enlarge)

The leaders

The four models from Continental, Goodyear, Michelin, and Maxxis, which got a «Good» verdict from the experts, were recognized as the best «universal» tires of the ADAC test. They offer well-balanced performance both in the wet and in the dry, ensure crisp steering response, and long treadlife.

1st place: Continental PremiumContact 6
Quick Take
88 67

Continental PremiumContact 6

Dry Performance Price/Quality Wet Performance Handling Comfort Treadwear
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: Northern America, Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, Oceania
Continental PremiumContact 6

The tournament bracket of the ADAC summer tire test 2020 was headed by two models at once — Michelin Pilot Sport 4 and Continental PremiumContact 6 (2.1 points). In spite of the equal total scores, either of them is not without weak and strong sides of its own. For example, the PremiumContact 6, possessing excellent braking capabilities, is chiefly biased towards the perfect traction on wet pavement, yet at the same time it is rather noisy and is not as impressive in the dry as the Pilot Sport 4. Besides, the Michelin tires outperformed the Continental in terms of optimizing the fuel consumption.

1st place: Michelin Pilot Sport 4
Quick Take
84 52

Michelin Pilot Sport 4

Dry Performance Wet Performance Handling Treadwear Price/Quality Comfort
  • This tire replaced Michelin Pilot Sport 3 PS3
  • Available Sizes in Line: 20
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2015
  • Regions for sale: Eastern Asia, Americas, Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, Oceania
Michelin Pilot Sport 4

The third stair of the winners’ pedestal was also shared by two contestants. These are the tires Maxxis Victra Sport 5 and Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 (2.2 points), which, just as the leaders of the competition, showed good balance between wet and dry performance. While the capabilities shown by both models on wet pavement were virtually identical, on dry pavement the Goodyear model was a little bit better, while its rolling resistance was on a par with Michelin’s.

3rd place: Maxxis Victra Sport 5
Quick Take
72 31
Dry Performance Wet Performance Handling Comfort Treadwear
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Oceania
Maxxis Victra Sport 5

None of the four mentioned tires with a «Good» verdict has any issues with treadwear.

3rd place: Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5

Quick Take
86 52

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5

Dry Performance Wet Performance Handling Comfort Treadwear
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, Oceania
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5

The group of pursuers

5th place: Nexen N’Fera Sport
Quick Take
N/A 18
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
Nexen N'Fera Sport

Generally, the models from Korea’s Nexen fall short of scoring prize-winning places. It is obvious, however, that this tire maker is trying to somehow change the established order, and here is another surprise of the test — the fifth place scored by the summer model Nexen N’Fera Sport (2.6 points), which, by the way, having been presented in 2018, finally debuted in the comparative tests in 2020.

Furthermore, the Nexen tire showed the worst result in the lateral hydroplaning test.

6th place: Sava Intensa UHP 2

Quick Take
N/A 30
Treadwear Wet Performance Dry Performance Handling Comfort
  • Year Released: 2017
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
Sava Intensa UHP 2

The sixth line of the tournament bracket is again occupied by a tandem consisting of Sava Intensa UHP 2 and Vredestein Ultrac Vorti (2.7 points). These tires, just like the Nexen model, impressed the test group with good grip on dry pavement, and high treadwear, although their poor grip on wet pavement, which dropped because of weaker handling capabilities, for which stability and traction are crucial, led to devaluing the total score.
7th place: Vredestein Ultrac Vorti

Quick Take
81 28

Vredestein Ultrac Vorti

Dry Performance Wet Performance Comfort Handling Treadwear Price/Quality Snow/Ice Performance
  • Year Released: 2012
  • Regions for sale: Northern America, Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
Vredestein Ultrac Vorti

The eighth line of the tournament bracket was scored by the summer model Falken Azenis FK510 (2.9 points). With a rather strong grip on wet pavement, the ADAC experts mentioned its weak side as being relatively weak traction in the dry. Otherwise, no issues whatsoever.
8th place: Falken Azenis FK510

Quick Take
79 55
Dry Performance Handling Comfort Price/Quality Wet Performance Treadwear Snow/Ice Performance
  • This tire replaced Falken FK453
  • Available Sizes in Line: 68
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi A1 GB [2018 .. 2021]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: Northern America, Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, Oceania
Falken Azenis FK510

The ninth place was scored by nothing more nor less five tires with a common score of 3.0 points. While the praises and complaints, addressed to Bridgestone Potenza S001, were similar to those addressed to the Falken product, the noise comfort and the treadlife of the Bridgestone model proved to be slightly worse, which ultimately led to a lower line in the tournament bracket.
9th place: Bridgestone Potenza S001

Quick Take
70 36

Bridgestone Potenza S001

Dry Performance Handling Wet Performance Price/Quality Comfort Treadwear Snow/Ice Performance
  • Year Released: 2010
  • Regions for sale: Asia, Americas, Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, Africa, Oceania
Bridgestone Potenza S001

What failed the Kumho Ecsta PS71 model was its high noise emission, and relatively low treadlife, which also negatively affected Nokian Powerproof, Toyo Proxes Sport, and Pirelli P Zero. The latter was also failed by its increased fuel consumption.
10th place: Kumho Ecsta PS71

Quick Take
N/A 19
Dry Performance Wet Performance Treadwear Comfort Handling
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, Oceania
Kumho Ecsta PS71

By the way, the first two tests of the summer season 2020 were a complete and utter disaster for the members of the Pirelli P Zero series. In the elimination round of the large summer tire test 2020 from Auto Bild, the Pirelli P Zero model failed the qualifying round based on a combination of dry and wet braking, and thus did not even reach the final.

The tire maker’s spokespeople were in a haste to criticize Auto Bild, explaining such unsuccessful result scored by the Pirelli tire with the fact that, strangely, the test involved the 2007 version of P Zero. Such argument does not sound very convincing because both old and new versions of P Zero are generally available retail, and very often the salespeople even draw the buyers’ attention to such differences.

Pirelli P Zero (2016)
Pirelli P Zero (2016)

This ADAC test, however, did involve the P Zero (PZ4) tire of the 2016 model year, and, in spite of its highest grades in all of the dry disciplines, as well as decent performance in the wet, the tire only managed to come the ninth!

As for the 2019 model, Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 K127 (3.1 points), which made a flashy debut in the tests, the ADAC experts only put it on the fourteenth place. Its main limitations, which put such a great distance between this tire and so much as a hint at a prize place, are poor handling on wet pavement and high noise emission.

Its acoustic performance, as well as its weaker grip on wet pavement, did not leave to the Cooper Zeon CS Sport (3.3 points) a single chance to score a higher place in the tournament bracket. The fifteenth place.

All of the models scoring places from the fifth to fifteenth got a «Satisfactory» verdict.

The outsider?

The cheapest tire on test — Rotalla Setula S-Pace RU01 (3.6 points) — scored the last sixteenth place, but, probably, many readers will be surprised at its high scores for treadlife, fuel consumption, and dry braking.

Although its wet handling leaves much to be desired, in the other wet disciplines its grades were on a quite acceptable level. Therefore, if you don’t floor your car when driving over puddles, buying a set of these tires might quite be justified. The overall verdict is «Average», though.

Treadwear test

There is a popular opinion that the main downsides of UHP tires are their weak grip on wet surfaces and low resistance to wear. However, as we could see for ourselves, this is not entirely true — the results of the treadwear test elicited only four models that are going to «die» about 10000 kilometers earlier than the rest. These are the tires from Toyo, Kumho, Nokian, and Pirelli, which scored «Satisfactory» verdicts specifically because of their low treadwear.

Treadwear

Pirelli P Zero
25.500
Nokian Powerproof
27.900
Kumho Ecsta PS71
28.200
Toyo Proxes Sport
28.600
Bridgestone Potenza S001
33.400
Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 K127
33.700
Rotalla Setula S-Pace RU01
35.800
Maxxis Victra Sport 5
36.100
Vredestein Ultrac Vorti
36.100
Nexen N’Fera Sport
36.500
Sava Intensa UHP 2
36.800
Cooper Zeon CS Sport
38.200
Michelin Pilot Sport 4
38.200
Falken Azenis FK510
38.500
Continental PremiumContact 6
39.200
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5
39.600

Info! Expected mileage of summer UHP tires 225/40 R18, km.


The ADAC summer tire test 2020 became no exception in terms of the methodology of obtaining the data on expected mileage: the test road train covered 15000 kilometers, and, based on the resulting treadwear, the overall expected mileage was forecast.

Conclusion

In spite of the fact that virtually all of the summer tires involved in the ADAC test 2020 convinced the expert group of their reliability, when buying your new set of tires, you still need to know exactly which areas of performance are important specifically to you. If your personal preferences lie in the area of high or low treadwear, as it turned out, you do not need to overpay if you are making an informed choice.

Continued: the second ADAC 235/55 R17 tire test 2020.

Besides the ADAC tests, there are plenty of tests performed by other industry publications available on our website.

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