235/55R18

Teknikens Värld 2021: Summer Tire Test R18

The Swedish experts conducted a comparative test of SUV tires with an 18-inch fitting diameter.

List of models tested:

The SUVs have traveled a long way; from brutal off-road machines, they gradually turned into comfortable vehicles for city streets, and, paradoxically, many modern SUV owners rarely, if at all, go off-road. The tire makers also adapted to the changes in the automotive market, and the new test performed by Teknikens Värld compared SUV and crossover tires mainly designed to be used on paved city roads. In view of this fact, the Swedes opted out of testing the tires in the dirt or evaluating their self-cleansing capabilities (from clay, for example), and generally, the requirements were the same as applied to passenger tires, i.e. the key factor was the driving safety on wet and dry pavement. In addition, the experts evaluated noise emission fuel efficiency, and, as always, tires with the best-balanced performance were announced as the winners.

The braking tests were conducted in the Swedish towns of Björkvik and Gislaved using a Volvo XC40, the first place by this parameter being scored by the Continental model, which was the quickest to stop the car both on wet and dry pavement. The differences between the tires may seem not as significant, but in reality the braking distance ensured by the BFGoodrich tire was shorter than that of Yokohama’s by a length of an average car. The Yokohama model came last on dry pavement as well; another tire that demonstrated poor braking performance was the budget Trazano from China’s large tire maker ZC Rubber.

 

In the straight hydroplaning resistance test, the scatter of the results, demonstrated by the tires, turned out to be surprisingly large; first place was scored by the Pirelli model with a threshold of 79.3 km/h, which TV rated as «exceptionally good». Last place was scored by the Yokohama model, which «floated» already at 65.6 km/h, and the experts noted that such scatter usually occurs when the test involves tires deliberately taken from different categories. At the same time, if we are to compare the two extreme results to the rest of the tires, which all stayed within the range of 3.4 km/h, we will see that Pirelli demonstrated an uncommonly good result, and Yokohama — uncommonly bad. We must also mention that, contrary to the popular belief that deeper grooves ensure stronger hydroplaning resistance, in reality this is not necessarily the case: the Pirelli model has a tread 2mm shallower than that of the Yokohama model — 6.75mm versus 8.75mm.

The handling response was only evaluated on wet pavement, and the TV experts noted that the tires differed considerably — while the Michelin model demonstrated well-balanced performance and ensured excellent traction, the behavior of Trazano was described as «totally appalling». The experts also added that Volvo would never pick up the tires, which score last places, as original equipment, and the differences between the members of the test once again prove that you can dramatically improve your car’s handling response just by changing your tires. First place was rather easily scored by the Michelin model, which, as was already said, ensures excellent grip in any situation, while the Trazano tire is prone to skidding both on front and rear wheels. The test involved measuring the lap time, and, in addition to that, the experts made their subjective evaluations.

 

The Swedes also traditionally conduct the so-called elk test, which helps to establish how the tires will behave in the event of bypassing a sudden obstacle. The bigger, and, more importantly, the heavier the car, the harder it will be for the tires to stay on the desired trajectory. TV has been running these tests for decades, and the main condition remains the same — the rear wheels are not supposed to lose contact with the road surface. What came as a surprise this year was the fact that all the tires coped with the task. However, this does not mean that all of these tires are equally safe. The best tire in this respect was recognized to be the Continental model, which ensured the optimum stability and handling response, followed by BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Michelin, and Nexen, whose behavior was similar to that of the leader’s, yet, at the same time, which were incapable of withstanding the such speeds and loads. The last places were scored by the Trazano and Yokohama tires, which could only pass this test at a speed of 73 km/h, i.e. their lagging behind the Continental model with its 78 km/h result was rather significant.

In the ride comfort test, the maximum points were scored by Michelin and Goodyear, and, while the Primacy 4 has the best road holding ability, the EfficientGrip SUV turned out to be the best shock absorber and the quietest tire on test. The Pirelli tire also did not arouse any gripes, while the Bridgestone model was rated as noisy, and the Continental tire did not demonstrate as much stability as, for example, the Michelin model. Last place was scored by the Trazano model, about which the TV experts said that this was the worst tire they ever tested. According to them, these tires were incapable of shock absorption whatsoever, the noise was loud on all types of surfaces, and their road holding ability left much to be desired.

The last part of the test was environmental performance, and, although usually tire manufacturers have a hard time combining low rolling resistance with a strong wet grip, the test showed that the creators of the Michelin Primacy 4 did succeed in that. Last place was scored by the Goodyear tire, which also has the worst score for fuel efficiency by the EU label, which is E (to compare, the Michelin model refers to Class A). According to the TV experts’ calculations, the difference in fuel consumption between the Michelin and the Goodyear models can amount up to 7.5%, which is a substantial figure for tires of one and the same category. It is also worth mentioning that not so long ago the company introduced a new crossover tire — Goodyear EfficientGrip 2 SUV — but at the time of the test it was not yet available.

Verdict

In the final standings, the best tire was the Michelin Primacy 4 that did not show any weak sides, successfully combining strong wet grip and low rolling resistance, while second place was scored by the Continental PremiumContact 6, which also performed quite well in most of the disciplines, was quick to stop the car on dry and wet pavement alike, and showed excellent results in the elk test. At the same time, unlike the Michelin, the tires from the German brand demonstrated increased rolling resistance. Bronze was scored by the Bridgestone Turanza T005, and TV noted that this was a pleasant surprise because tires from this Japanese brand were unable to score high places in tire tests for many years. The Turanza T005 pleased the experts with the absence of any prominent issues, and its braking performance was a highlight.

The fourth line was shared by the BFGoodrich Advantage SUV and the Pirelli P Zero (PZ4). In connection with the BFGoodrich model, the experts noted that it ensured excellent grip, but they fall behind the competition in terms of ride comfort, while the Pirelli model had outstanding hydroplaning resistance, but its only weak point was the strong rolling resistance. Then comes the Nexen N’Fera Sport SUV model, which showed generally good results, for the sole exception of increased fuel consumption, followed by the first-generation Goodyear EfficientGrip SUV, which has already been replaced by a new model in the brand’s range. The Goodyear model was noted for excellent riding comfort, but fell short of the competition in terms of traction; it also had the highest rolling resistance.

The next three models showed obviously weak results, and eighth place was scored by the Kumho Crugen HP71, which had insufficient braking performance and road holding ability, while ninth place was scored by the Yokohama Geolandar SUV G055, which had poor wet grip and low ride comfort.

The worst tire on test was recognized to be the Trazano SU318, with which the experts did not find a single strong side. «Trazano is produced by China’s largest tire manufacturer, which, doubtlessly, has all the necessary resources to make tires with at least an adequate performance — the TV experts noted. — For some reason, however, this is not the case. The Trazano and Michelin tires are both round and black, but this is where the similarities end.»

Test results

1st 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
  • Excellent tire without any prominent issues
  • This tire successfully combines low rolling resistance and strong wet grip, which are conflicting parameters.

2nd 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
  • Great result in the elk test
  • Excellent traction and short braking distance in any conditions
  • High rolling resistance

3rd place: Bridgestone / Turanza T005
Quick Take
83 67

Bridgestone Turanza T005

Price/Quality Dry Performance Handling Wet Performance Comfort Treadwear
  • This tire has run-flat model:
  • Available Sizes in Line: 233
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi A7 4G9 [2018 .. 2020]
    • • Volkswagen Tiguan
    • • Volkswagen Caddy IV [2020 .. 2021]
    • • Skoda Superb
    • • Volkswagen Transporter
    • • Jeep Renegade
    • • Renault Captur
    • • Nissan Juke
    • • Ford Kuga
    • • Nissan Micra
    • • Volkswagen T-Roc [2017 .. 2021]
    • • BMW 1 Series
    • • BMW 3 Series
    • • BMW 8 Series
    • • MINI Clubman
    • • Audi A6
    • • Audi A3
    • • Audi SQ2 GA [2019 .. 2021]
    • • Audi A1
    • • Audi A4
    • • Audi A5
    • • Mercedes-Benz S-Class
    • • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    • • Mercedes-Benz A-Class
    • • Mercedes-Benz B-Class
    • • Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: North America, Central & South America, Europe, Russia+, China, Southeast Asia, Oceania
Bridgestone Turanza T005
  • Absence of any prominent issues and invariably good results in all of the disciplines
  • Good braking efficiency

4th place: BFGoodrich / Advantage SUV
Quick Take
78 34

BFGoodrich Advantage SUV

  • This tire replaced ⛔ BFGoodrich / g-Grip SUV
  • Available Sizes in Line: 23
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe
BFGoodrich Advantage SUV
  • Good braking efficiency
  • Good result in the elk test
  • Low riding comfort

5th place: Pirelli / P Zero PZ4
Quick Take
80 61
Dry Performance Handling Wet Performance Comfort Treadwear
  • This tire replaced Pirelli / P Zero
  • Available Sizes in Line: 287
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • BMW 8 Series G14/G15/G16 [2018 .. 2022]
    • • McLaren
    • • Hyundai Kona OS facelift [2020 .. 2022]
    • • Acura NSX NC1 [2016 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, East Asia
Pirelli P Zero PZ4
  • Short braking distance on dry pavement
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Great riding comfort
  • High rolling resistance

6th place: Nexen / N'Fera Sport SUV
Quick Take
N/A 29
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Nexen N'Fera Sport SUV
  • Good braking efficiency
  • Good result in the elk test
  • Insufficient handling response in the wet
  • High rolling resistance

7th place: Goodyear / EfficientGrip SUV
Quick Take
77 35
Price/Quality Handling Dry Performance Comfort Wet Performance Treadwear
  • This tire has been replaced by Goodyear / EfficientGrip 2 SUV
  • Available Sizes in Line: 47
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi Q3
    • • Honda CR-V
    • • Jeep Renegade BU [2014 .. 2020]
    • • Land Rover Range Rover Evoque L538 Restyling [2015 .. 2018]
    • • Nissan Qashqai
    • • Nissan X-Trail
    • • Land Rover Range Rover Evoque L538 [2011 .. 2015]
    • • Nissan Pickup D22 [2004 .. 2017]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2011
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Oceania
Goodyear EfficientGrip SUV
  • Great riding comfort
  • Grip on a par with the leaders of the test
  • Very high rolling resistance on test

8th place: Kumho / Crugen HP71
Quick Take
76 27
Dry Performance Wet Performance Handling Comfort Treadwear Snow/Ice Performance
  • Available Sizes in Line: 63
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Nissan Pathfinder IV Facelift [2017 .. 2022]
    • • Kia
    • • Hyundai
  • Year Released: 2017
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada
Kumho Crugen HP71
  • Relatively weak grip and a long braking distance on wet and dry pavement
  • Insufficient handling response in the wet
  • Increased rolling resistance

9th place: Yokohama / Geolandar G055
Quick Take
72 33
Dry Performance Comfort Handling Treadwear Snow/Ice Performance Price/Quality Wet Performance
  • This tire has been replaced by Yokohama / Geolandar CV G058
  • Available Sizes in Line: 32
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Jeep Cherokee
    • • Jeep Compass MP [2017 .. 2022]
  • Year Released: 2015
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Oceania
Yokohama Geolandar G055
  • Long braking distance on wet and dry pavements
  • Bad handling response in the wet
  • Poor hydroplaning resistance

10th place: Trazano / SU318 H/T
Quick Take
N/A 22
  • Available Sizes in Line: 60
  • Year Released: 2017
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Trazano SU318 H/T
  • Long braking distance on wet and dry pavements
  • Frankly poor handling response on wet pavement (the tire was fined 10 points due to such a poor result)
  • Low hydroplaning resistance
  • Low riding comfort

Price