The best sports summer tires 2020 were identified by the experts of the German motoring publication Auto Motor und Sport. The right to claim the first prize in the comparative test was disputed by eleven sets of tires in size 225/45 R18 that were anonymously bought retail.
This size fits not only the BMW 3 series, which was used as a test car, but also Alfa Giulia, Audi A4, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Mercedes, including the C-class, Nissan Leaf and Juke, Peugeot 3008, Seat Alhambra, Skoda Octavia, and Suzuki SX-4.
It is also important to remember that the abovementioned car makes promise the ultimate driving pleasure, using only the best tires as original equipment, and the AMS test was meant to demonstrate, which of the UHP tires, in addition to the expectable driving dynamics, ensure the optimum level of safety, the best riding comfort, and the best possible performance.
List of UHP summer models tested:
- Bridgestone Turanza T005
- Continental PremiumContact 6
- Falken Azenis FK510
- Giti GitiSport S1
- Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5
- Maxxis Victra Sport 5
- Michelin Pilot Sport 4
- Nexen N’Fera Sport
- Nokian Powerproof
- Pirelli P Zero (2016)
- Toyo Proxes Sport
In accordance with the program, all the summer tires were subjected to a number of tests on dry and wet surfaces, which served to rate their braking efficiency, handling capabilities, lateral stability, and hydroplaning resistance, as well as ride comfort, cabin noise, and fuel efficiency.
The performance by all the tires on dry pavement (weight 40%) turned out to be virtually commensurable, while their performance on wet pavement (50% weight in summing up the results) sometimes varied considerably.
Specifically, the Giti tire model showed the worst «wet» results, which led to devaluation of its total score: its braking distance turned out to be more than three meters longer than the one demonstrated by the leader in this discipline, while the difference in the lateral grip when cornering amounted to 0.8 m/c2. As the technical expert of Shina Guide explains, it is these seemingly insignificant variations in the tire’s performance that ultimately make all the difference between «oops» and «everything’s OK» during the emergency.
The top three includes the tires that met the demanding requirements posed by the test experts, ensured the highest possible level of safety, and demonstrated crisp steering response.
The victory was scored by the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 (117 Euro), which came to replace the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 model in 2019.
Outstanding performance on all kinds of surfaces. The winner of the test.
- Pros: Predictable behavior and great handling response in the wet, high hydroplaning resistance, short braking distance on dry pavement, great riding comfort, low cabin noise.
- Cons: Slightly reduced maneuverability and dry handling response (in comparison to the best models in respective test disciplines), minor limitations in dry traction, increased rolling resistance.
2nd place — Michelin Pilot Sport 4, the most expensive model on test (176 Euro)
The shortest stopping distance in the dry. High resistance to straight hydroplaning.
- Pros: prominently strong grip both on wet and dry pavements, high hydroplaning resistance, the shortest dry stopping distance on test.
- Cons: No prominent limitations detected, for the sole exception of the increased rolling resistance.
Hey, and what about the price?
3rd place — Continental PremiumContact 6 (153 Euro)
Excellent handling and crisp steering response on dry pavement.
- Pros: An extremely well-balanced summer model with virtually no limitations in either safety level or driving dynamics. Its predictable behavior and crisp steering response totally match the requirements posed by the sports BMW, used as the test car.
- Cons: The hydroplaning resistance is not as high as that ensured by the tires scoring higher positions in the tournament bracket; increased rolling resistance and external noise.
4th place — Pirelli P Zero PZ4 (140 Euro)
Premium sports tires with strong sides on dry pavement.
- Pros: Smooth ride and low noise; very good stability and very strong grip during dry cornering. This model also ensures good traction on wet pavement, albeit at lower speeds.
- Cons: Low hydroplaning point, narrow oversteer area, relatively weak steering response, increased rolling resistance.
5th place — Maxxis Victra Sport 5 (99 Euro)
Relatively inexpensive tires that deliver a surprisingly good performance.
- Pros: Modest, yet still well-balanced performance both in the wet and in the dry.
- Cons: Slightly compromised braking performance as compared to the best tires on test; increased rolling resistance.
In this test of summer tires, the Maxxis Victra Sport 5 model came out the winner in terms of the price/quality ratio.
6th place — Bridgestone Turanza T005 (134 Euro)
- This tire has run-flat model:
- Available Sizes in Line: 219
Original Equipment (OE) tires
- Year Released: 2018
- Regions for sale: Americas, Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, Middle East & North Africa, Oceania
Comfortable tires with a high fuel saving potential.
- Pros: Confidence-inspiring behavior on wet pavement, crisp handling response in the dry, the lowest rolling resistance on test, outstanding fuel efficiency, low cabin noise, smooth ride.
- Cons: Relatively weak braking performance on wet pavement, the highest external noise on test.
7th place — Nokian Powerproof (124 Euro)
Medium segment tires with insufficient grip on wet pavement.
- Pros: Short braking distance on dry pavement, low rolling resistance.
- Cons: Lack of steering precision on wet pavement, weak straight and lateral hydroplaning resistance, high external noise, low riding comfort.
8th place — Falken Azenis FK510 (116 Euro)
Inexpensive tires with average performance, yet without any prominent drawbacks.
- Pros: Short braking distance on dry pavement, well-balanced performance.
- Cons: Weak traction and lateral stability on wet pavement, average hydroplaning resistance, weak stability during high-speed cornering.
9th place — Nexen N’Fera Sport (99 Euro)
Very quiet and comfortable tires with limited wet performance.
- Pros: Very short braking distance on dry pavement, the most comfortable ride and the lowest cabin noise on test.
- Cons: Very weak traction in the wet, poor hydroplaning resistance, increased rolling resistance.
10th place — Toyo Proxes Sport (108 Euro)
Tires that, in spite of their sporty feel, fall short of their rivals.
- Pros: High hydroplaning resistance, both straight and lateral; crisp steering response and great handling capabilities on dry pavement.
- Cons: High level of external noise, high rolling resistance, delayed steering response in the dry, weak braking efficiency, weak handling and lateral stability on wet pavement.
11th place — Giti GitiSport S1 (101 Euro)
Tires, whose braking performance on wet pavement raises questions.
- Pros: Confident behavior and consistent handling on dry pavement, low external noise.
- Cons: Extremely poor traction on wet surface, which ultimately led to the lowest position in the tournament bracket of this test by Auto Motor und Sport