Autonavigator 2019 Summer Tire Test – 205/55 R16

The Hungarian publication Auto Navigator has published the results of a tire test that involved nine 205/55 R16 summer models, as well as six all-season models, worn summer and winter tires, and even a set of new winter tires.

Such a crossover test was made in order to highlight one more time not only the importance of using the right tire season-wise but also to reveal the dangers of using worn tires.

As is the custom with Auto Navigator, the summer tire test 2019 was carried out at the Hungaroring motorsport race track in Mogyoród, Hungary. As test cars, two Skoda Octavia were used.

The shift in the interest of the Auto Navigator experts towards size 205/55 R16 is explained by the fact that recently it has become the go-to size for the compact car segment. The previous years’ tests conducted by this publication were focused on size 195/65 R15 which was a best seller in Hungary.

List of models tested:

In addition to the nine summer models, the summer tire test curiously involved a mixed pool of tires designed for different seasons, and with different degrees of wear:

— winter tires were meant to demonstrate the necessity to timely replace the summer tires;

— worn-out tires were meant to remind yet again about the hazards of driving on used tires;

— five sets of fairly expensive all-season models were meant to put an end to the discussion and prove one more time the point that summer tires are still the best choice for summer weather conditions. In addition, this provided an opportunity to compare, within one and the same race track, all-season and summer tires in a new and used state.

List of all-season models tested:

Other peculiarities of the test

This would not have been a test from a Hungarian publication had its peculiarities simply ended with the list of the models tested.

The wet and dry tests were taken in different conditions. For example, on dry pavement the tires were tested at temperatures ranging from 15 to 24°C, whilst on watered pavement the tests were made at 12°C.

Another peculiarity lies in the fact that in order to determine the stability of tires on wet and dry pavements, different circular race tracks were used: the wet one had a greater radius, and, as a result, the speed of the car was slightly higher.

Disciplines

Braking

For the drivers that value, above all, the braking performance on dry pavement, the winner is Michelin Primacy 4, just as for the Auto Navigator experts. At the same time, the other summer tires on test did not show any significant differences. For example: Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance and Michelin CrossClimate+ only lost to the leader 0.1 and 0.2 meters respectively; the results demonstrated by Continental PremiumContact 6 and the all-season Bridgestone WeatherControl A005 stayed within the limits of a standard allowance (less than 0.4 meters).

Dry braking

Most of the tires allowed the car to come to a stop within 1 meter of the result shown by the best model on test — but quite alarming were the results of the four all-seasons tires that were in fact comparable to the braking performance delivered by the winter tires on test — and all this at a mere speed of 60 km/h! This is why it is so important to use specialized summer tires in the summertime, and not the compromise «all-season» option.

Wet braking

On wet pavement, the differences in braking performance were more considerable. For example, the best model turned out to be Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance but its closest pursuers Continental PremiumContact 6 and Bridgestone Turanza T005 lost to it as much as 0.7 meters. The results delivered by Michelin Primacy 4 and Hankook Kinergy Eco2 K435 stayed within the limits of 1 meter. The best of the all-season tires — Bridgestone Weather Control A005 — lost to the leader by 1.4 meters.

The worn and new winter tires, as well as most of the all-season models, have little to be proud of.

Cornering grip

Measuring the maximum cornering speed was particularly interesting because the used summer tires and the hard all-season Michelin CrossClimate+ showed the best results on dry pavement. On wet pavement, the first place was scored by Firestone Roadhawk.

Cornering grip

On the whole, the premium-class tires kept their peak speeds rather stable, while the cheaper models were far less predictable.

Environment

In the environment test, the palm of victory was taken by the Continental summer tires. At the same time, the all-season tire of the same manufacturer did everything to keep up as close as possible to the leader. Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance were desperate to steal the show but it only was able to score the third place. Still worse results were delivered by the four all-season models.

Wear

This year, Michelin Primacy 4 headed the final protocol of the wear resistance test but its edge over the competition was not as significant as it was in 2018.

The overall ranking

Summer Tire Test Summary Auto Navigator, 2019
205/55 R16 Summer Tire Test Summary Auto Navigator, 2019. Click to enlarge.

The winners pedestal of the Auto Navigator 2019 summer tire test is occupied by tires of premium brands. Namely, Michelin Primacy 4, Continental PremiumContact 6 and (once in a blue moon) the Bridgestone product presented by the Turanza T005 model  says the technical expert of TiresVote.com

The latter became the «dark horse» and a pleasant surprise from this Japanese tire maker in many tests of the current season.

Bridgestone Turanza T005 / Continental PremiumContact 6 / Michelin Primacy 4
 Bridgestone Turanza T005 / Continental PremiumContact 6 / Michelin Primacy 4

If we are to exclude the top three, the best price/quality ratio is delivered by Hankook Kinergy Eco2 K435 that occupied the fourth berth of the tournament bracket.

Hankook Kinergy Eco2 K435
Hankook Kinergy Eco2 K435

What is also interesting is the berth of the tournament bracket occupied by Davanti DX390. In spite of the relatively high fifth place, the experts could not say that they recommend this tire «with an easy heart». They explain this by the fact that the tires of this model manufactured at different times can have varying performance, and that they are not quite sure that the tires that will be available on the market will be as good as the ones that were sent to the test.

Davanti DX390
Davanti DX390

Continental AllSeasonContact, Michelin CrossClimate+ and Bridgestone Weather Control A005 together scored places from sixth to eighth. That is, their performance can be considered as acceptable both in the wet and in the dry. However, one must keep in mind their high wear (worse than average).

Continental AllSeasonContact / Michelin CrossClimate+ / Bridgestone Weather Control A005
Continental AllSeasonContact / Michelin CrossClimate+ / Bridgestone Weather Control A005

Almost equal final results were demonstrated by the summer tires Firestone Roadhawk and Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance, ninth and tenth places respectively. What is remarkable, is the fact that the less expensive Firestone outdid Goodyear at the finish line thanks to its better lateral grip.

Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance / Firestone Roadhawk
Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance / Firestone Roadhawk

By the results of all the test disciplines, two novelties of the summer season 2019 — Momo Outrun M20 (11th place) and Barum Bravuris 5HM (13th place) got a «satisfactory» verdict, just as the all-season tires Kleber Quadraxer 2 (12th place) and Vredestein Quatrac 5 (14th). What spoiled their final ranking was their relatively high wear.

Apollo Alnac 4G All Season, which stayed at the tail end in all of the test disciplines, got the well-deserved 15th berth in the final tournament bracket.

The next place was scored by the no-name winter tires that won in the previous comparative tests. It turned out, however, that the most dangerous ones were the used winter tires that fell just a little short of the used summer ones.

The Takeaway

Table

What conclusions can we make looking at the test results? Driving on used, as well as new winter tires, in the summertime, because you are too lazy to go to the tire service or cannot find the time for it, is the worst thing to do.

Choosing and using your tires is something that you must do responsibly, remembering that the health and life of other travelers depends on your choice.

Besides the Auto Navigator tests, there are plenty of tests done by other publications available on our website.

Search