Moottori: Summer Tire Test R16

Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli and Nokian are world-famous tire makers, whose product is the first to be featured in tests carried out by auto magazines and the first to be offered to customers in tire retailers. However, there are not only premium-segment tires out there. There is a whole lot of other products coming at a much more budget-friendly price.

While the first summer tire tests 2019 involved (and were won by) premium segment tires, the eighth test finally involved the tires belonging in the mid-price segment.

The fresh test conducted by the Finnish publication Moottori shows what the mid-price 205/55 R16 summer tires are about, and what the tire makers did in order to cut down the production costs. Many of the tested models represent the affiliate brands of the world’s largest tire makers mentioned in the beginning of this article.

For example, Semperit belongs to Germany’s Continental, Dayton — to Japan’s Bridgestone, and Kleber is part of the Michelin family. The American Goodyear stands behind the Polish budget-friendly Debica, while Nordman trade mark is the property of Finland’s Nokian, whose tires are essentially the replicas of outdated «premium» models of this tire maker.

List of models tested:

One of the advantages of the affiliate tire brands is that they use the time-tested technologies and even tread patterns of their respective parent brands. However, in the latter case one must be aware that even if the budget models do look exactly like their more expensive «ancestors», these are not necessarily the same tires: there is a large chance that both rubber compound and inside structure were altered and simplified in order to cut down the production costs.

At the same time, if the basic model was popular with the buyers and scored the leading positions in the tests, it does not necessarily mean that its low-budget «reincarnation» will perform poorly in terms of safety and comfort: generally, budget tires demonstrate quite acceptable performance.

Besides the affiliate tire brands, the Moottori summer tire test 2019 also involved relatively inexpensive models from Sumitomo, Maxxis, and Cooper, whose sales volumes are among the top-20 of the largest tire making companies. Particularly interesting were Sumitomo tires that debuted in the tests of European publications.

The price for the tires selected for the tests and bought online was in the range of 60–80 Euro. Of course, there are still less expensive summer tires out there but the members of the expert team decided to focus on the models which, in their opinion, were still capable of ensuring an adequate level of driving safety.

The Results of Moottori Summer Tire Test 2019

Dry pavement

The dry tests were carried out at the air temperature ranging from 23°C to 28°C. Before all the tires were run through the handling tests, the vehicle’s ESP was wisely deactivated, which made it possible to feel the full difference in the tires’ behavior at high speeds. The scores for handling were subjective based on the sensations of the test pilots.

The highest marks were scored by Kleber Dynaxer HP3 and Nokian Nordman SX2. The former provided quite a surprising ability to hold the road at highway speeds, while the latter provided quite a confident performance and great results in the «elk test».

Semperit Speed-Life 2 performed in this discipline just as well; at the same time, the expert team noted its crisp steering response and its ability to handle abrupt swerving maneuvers. The lateral grip of this tire proved to be slightly poorer than the results demonstrated by Nokian Nordman SX2.

Maxxis Premitra HP5 provided an average performance in most of the test disciplines, and this «average» behavior could not go unnoticed  says the technical expert of TiresVote.com.

The test team expected a more precise steering response, and therefore one of the main shortcomings of this model was named to be its inability to handle a quick swerving maneuver and get back to the original lane.

Emergency maneuvers also turned out to be too much of a challenge to Sumitomo BC100 but otherwise this model came close to the leaders in most of the test disciplines.

Dayton Touring 2 was noted for quite unexpected transitions from understeer to oversteer and generally performed slightly poorer than the Sumitomo model.

Dry Braking

 Semperit 
24.85m
Maxxis
24.86m
Debica
24.97m
Kleber
25.26m
Nordman
25.37m
Cooper
25.44m
Sumitomo
25.92m
Dayton
25.98m

Info! Dry braking in the range of 80–5 km/h.


The low points scored by Debica Presto HP and Cooper Zeon CS8 were due to their loss of traction during emergency braking. However, the latter proved to be the worst on dry pavement because the test team was dissatisfied with the lateral grip and the sudden oversteer that popped up during engine braking.

Wet surface

The temperature during the wet tests stayed within the range of 21°C — 28°C. The hydroplaning resistance tests were conducted at 7–8°C.

Wet Handling

 Maxxis 
57.7s
Semperit
57.7s
Nordman
58.0s
Debica
58.1s
Cooper
58.4s
Sumitomo
59.8s
Dayton
60.2s
Kleber
60.2s

Info! Lap time.


The top marks in the wet tests were scored by Debica Presto HP and Nokian Nordman SX2. Thanks to their predictable behavior at the traction limit, they are highly unlikely to make any unpleasant surprises to the drivers.

When it came to Maxxis Premitra HP5 and Semperit Speed-Life 2, the expert team of Moottori noted lack of steering response and the fact that these tires were prone to lose grip. And very suddenly, too.

Wet Braking

 Semperit 
27.8m
Maxxis
27.9m
Nordman
28.8m
Cooper
29.6m
Debica
29.7m
Sumitomo
30.1m
Kleber
30.1m
Dayton
30.7m

Info! Wet braking in the range of 80–5 km/h.


In the case of Cooper Zeon CS8 and Sumitomo BC100, there was no speaking about any decent traction on wet pavement, while Kleber Dynaxer HP3 performed even poorer: these tires turned out to be skid-prone, which is a considerable disadvantage.

Straight Hydroplaning

 Semperit 
86.5 km/h
Nordman
80.5 km/h
Debica
80.2 km/h
Dayton
80.1 km/h
Sumitomo
80.1 km/h
Kleber
80.0 km/h
Maxxis
80.0 km/h
Cooper
79.2 km/h

Info! Rate of grip loss.

Lateral Hydroplaning

 Semperit 
92.5 km/h
Nordman
92.1 km/h
Maxxis
88.1 km/h
Dayton
87.9 km/h
Sumitomo
86.7 km/h
Cooper
86.2 km/h
Debica
86.1 km/h
Kleber
85.8 km/h

Info! Rate of grip loss.

This summer tire test showed that the worst tire in terms of performing on a wet winding track was Dayton Touring 2. When driving on this tire, the test pilots had to always be on their guard because of the sudden transitions from understeer to oversteer.

Hydroplaning resistance is one of the most crucial features for summer tires. The best hydroplaning resistance on test was shown by Semperit Speed-Life 2 and Nokian Nordman SX2.

Other tests by Moottori

Fuel Consumption

 Maxxis 
7.87 kg/t
Kleber
7.93 kg/t
Semperit
8.29 kg/t
Dayton
8.40 kg/t
Nordman
8.51 kg/t
Sumitomo
8.65 kg/t
Debica
8.96 kg/t
Dayton
9.36 kg/t

Info! Rolling resistance.


Maxxis Premitra HP5 outdid its rivals in fuel efficiency. At the same time, it must be said that the range of results was quite narrow: switching from Maxxis to Cooper only increased the fuel consumption by 0.2 liters per 100 km.

Noise

 Cooper 
66.4 dB(A)
Kleber
66.5 dB(A)
Semperit
66.5 dB(A)
Debica
66.6 dB(A)
Dayton
66.9 dB(A)
Maxxis
67.1 dB(A)
Sumitomo
67.1 dB(A)
Nordman
67.3 dB(A)

Info! Interior noise.


Out of all the tested models, the best noise and riding comfort was provided by the American Cooper tires. The noisiest budget tire on test turned out to be Nokian Nordman SX2. The noise level was gauged by means of a special microphone installed inside the vehicle, at a speed of 50 km/h.

Test Results

Test results Moottori

Result summary

Positive: Short braking distances in the wet and in the dry. High hydroplaning resistance. Negative: Oversteer during engine braking.

Positive: Good handling on wet and dry pavement, including during abrupt maneuvers. High hydroplaning resistance. Negative: Excessive noise level.

Positive: Good handling on dry pavement. Short braking distances both in the wet and in the dry. Low rolling resistance. Negative: Relatively unstable behavior during the “elk test”. Excessive noise level.

Positive: Good handling both in the wet and in the dry. Short braking distance on dry pavement. Negative: Long braking distance on wet pavement. Low hydroplaning resistance. High rolling resistance.

Positive: Good handling on dry pavement. Low rolling resistance. Negative: Long braking distance and poor handling in the wet.

Positive: Acceptable safety level in the dry. Low noise. NegativePoor handling on dry pavement. Lack of traction in the wet. High rolling resistance.

Positive: None found. Negative: Long braking distances in the wet and in the dry. Weak grip on wet pavement (the rear axle is prone to skidding).

Positive: Good hydroplaning resistance. Negative: Long braking distance and insufficient handling in the wet.

In spite of their price, three out of eight tested models were able to score a «recommended» from the expert team. These are Semperit Speed-Life 2, Nokian Nordman SX2, and Maxxis Premitra HP5. The latter deserves a special mention because this year, just as before, it delivered confident performance, and the third place that it was able to score in the test conducted by Auto Zeitung being is another proof of that.

More often than not, Asian-made tires can only compete with their western rivals on dry pavement, losing significantly in the wet. However, Premitra HP5 with its great traction on wet pavement was still able to prove its claim for success with European drivers.

Results

We will note that the expert group used Nokian Hakka Blue 2 as a reference, and the results of the Moottori test 2019 clearly show that the difference between the products of various price brackets is still there, even though it is not as catastrophic as one might think.

For example, the Nordman SX2 model, which represents the mid-price range, for obvious reasons cannot be a rival to the main brand of this Finnish tire maker, yet it still behaves in a similar way in many respects and keeps up the vehicle’s handling performance, based on which, one can conclude that the «second line» tires are also worthy of trust and attention.