205/55R16

Test World 2021: Large Summer Tire Test R16

In the new test by Finland’s Test World, the victory was disputed by 14 contestants, the main sensation having been made by cheap tires from Chinese brands.

List of models tested:

This year, for obvious reasons, Test World was a little bit late in conducting its traditional big test of summer tires, yet the event finally did take place, and not without a couple of surprises.

The tires were tested using two Volkswagen Golfs.
The tires were tested using two Volkswagen Golfs.

The test involved 14 summer tire models from various price segments, and what made it different was the fact that the braking tests were performed in four temperature modes (the lowest temperature being +1°C) on two types of road surfaces. TW already shared about how tires react to temperature changes, the best tires in the final standings being Continental, Michelin, and, unexpectedly, Linglong, which were the quickest to bring the car to a standstill at relatively low temperatures. At the same time, the Nokian tires, which are positioned as «tires for the northern summer», did not show any outstanding results, which became yet another surprise (the tables show the mean value calculated after all the test runs).

However, Nokian redeemed itself in the wet handling test, where it received high subjective scores (the lap time was taken into account) due to its stable and reliable behavior. The experts were also impressed by the Goodyear, Kumho, and Michelin models, while issues were found with the Cooper tires, as well as CST from Taiwan’s Maxxis and Westlake from China’s ZC Rubber.

 

According to the TW experts, the best dry handling response is ensured by the Continental, Goodyear, Michelin, and, again, the Nokian tires — the tires of the Finnish brand were obviously lucky that the test was performed in relatively warm weather. Last place was scored by the Cooper tire, which lost to all of the competitors at once, because it can easily lose grip both on the front and rear axle.

The hydroplaning resistance was measured on a layer of water 10mm deep. The best tire in this respect was again the Nokian model, even though it must be mentioned that Sava, which came second, lost it by only 0.1 km/h. The worst tires here were Hankook and Goodyear, from which one could expect much better results.

 

In the cabin noise test, all the tires scored high points (8 or 9). Also, the rolling resistance was measured, the best tire in the final standings being the Michelin Primacy 4, which did not have any prominent issues whatsoever, combining optimum handling response in any conditions with good fuel efficiency. Falling only a little behind the leader, the Continental PremiumContact 6 came second — this tire was slightly prone to oversteer on wet pavement, but, considering its excellent grip, this was not much of a problem. On dry pavement, this tire could handle the most complicated of emergency maneuvers, and it lost to the Michelin model because of its high rolling resistance that automatically increases fuel consumption.

Bronze this time around was scored by the Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance 2, which has a very short braking distance and ensures reliable handling response without loss of grip in any conditions. On the whole, this tire could have scored even more points, had it not been for its weak hydroplaning resistance.

Test World 2021 wet braking

The fourth line of the tournament bracket was sensationally occupied by the Linglong Sport Master model, which demonstrated excellent braking performance on all types of surfaces in any weather conditions. Its handling response was also quite decent, even though the experts did note that the tires were a bit slow to react to the driver’s actions during an emergency maneuver. In addition, this tire has poor hydroplaning resistance. The same number of points as the Linglong tire was scored by the considerably more expensive Nokian Hakka Blue 2, whose braking performance declines as the temperature drops, meaning, this tire would not be the best choice for spring and autumn. On the other hand, the Nokian model demonstrated good handling response and lateral stability, which helped the tire tackle emergency maneuvers, as well as high hydroplaning resistance.

Then comes another economy-class tire from a Chinese manufacturer — the Sentury Qirin 990 (in the TW tables, it is named «Landsail» due to the «dual branding» concept utilized by the manufacturer). This model demonstrated good straight grip on wet and dry pavement alike, but it had issues with lateral stability, which slightly compromises handling response. Sentury also has a somewhat delayed steering response, combined with unstable grip during emergency maneuvers. One of its strong sides is low rolling resistance. Sixth place was scored by the Bridgestone Turanza T005, which — and this was yet another little sensation — lost to two cheap tires from Chinese brands at once. The Bridgestone tire had good lateral stability, nice handling capabilities, and crisp steering response, but it demonstrated a relatively long braking distance on wet pavement, which grew even longer as the temperature dropped.

Test World 2021 Dry surface

The Bridgestone model was followed by Sava Intensa HP2, one of Goodyear subsidiaries, which demonstrated average performance and occupied an appropriate place in the final standings. According to the experts, the Sava model has a generally acceptable handling performance, but on wet pavement the steering response was somewhat delayed, and on dry pavement there is a danger of abrupt loss of grip on the rear axle. The Toyo Proxes Comfort model ensured better lateral stability in the wet, which resulted in a better lap time, but the grip tended to disappear abruptly and without warning. The tire was prone to the same effect, although to a smaller degree, on dry pavement, where it also had a long braking distance.

The Hankook Ventus Prime3 scored only tenth place, and this is not the result that we have grown accustomed to over the recent years in regard to this brand. At the same time, the Hankook tire demonstrated an adequate performance in most of the disciplines, but was failed by very weak hydroplaning resistance. The same number of points was scored by the Westlake ZuperEco Z-107, whose hydroplaning resistance, on the contrary, was particularly good, yet at the same time the tire was incapable of ensuring a decent wet handling response, and demonstrated long braking distances in all of the offered conditions. Its handling response in the dry is a little bit better, but there is a risk of grip loss on the rear axle during an emergency maneuver.

The Kumho Ecsta HS51 could not rise above the 12th line, due to the fact that it was temperature-sensitive, and demonstrated the worst dry performance of all the tested tires. On the plus side, the Kumho model has good handling response and good lateral stability, but this alone was not enough for it to make as much as the middle lines of the tournament bracket. The 13th place was scored by the Cooper Zeon CS8 tire, which easily loses grip on both wet and dry pavement, due to which it cannot adequately tackle emergency maneuvers, while the last line was occupied by the CST Medallion MD-A1, which, believe it or not, was the most expensive tire on test. This CST tire has poor lateral stability on wet pavement, which results in unsatisfactory handling performance, and the grip is lost at the slightest increase of the load. On dry pavement, the situation is a little bit better, and the tires stay in contact with the road surface even during emergency maneuvers, but TW still does not recommend buying them.

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
  • Well-balanced performance
  • Reliable behavior without any unpleasant surprises in any conditions
  • Short braking distance in any conditions
  • Low noise emission
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Excellent

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
  • Good handling performance on wet pavement (although slightly prone to oversteer)
  • Good handling performance on dry pavement, including during emergency maneuvers
  • Very high rolling resistance
  • Good

3rd place: Goodyear / EfficientGrip Performance 2
Quick Take
85 65

Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 2

Price/Quality Wet Performance Comfort Dry Performance Handling Treadwear
  • This tire replaced Goodyear / EfficientGrip Performance
  • Available Sizes in Line: 62
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Toyota Yaris Cross XP210 [2020 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe, China, Southeast Asia
Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 2
  • Short braking distance and good handling response on dry and wet pavement
  • Low hydroplaning resistance
  • Good

4th place: Linglong / Sport Master SA220
Quick Take
N/A 23

Linglong Sport Master SA220

  • Year Released: 2021
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Linglong Sport Master SA220
  • A great result for an economy-class tire
  • Short braking distance on wet and dry pavement at any temperature
  • Good handling performance (even though the steering response is slightly delayed during emergency maneuvers)
  • Low hydroplaning resistance
  • Satisfactory

5th place: Nokian / Hakka Blue 2
Quick Take
86 28
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Nokian Hakka Blue 2
  • Great handling in the wet and in the dry
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Braking performance declines significantly as the temperature drops
  • Satisfactory

6th place: Sentury / Qirin 990
Quick Take
N/A 20
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Sentury Qirin 990
  • Short braking distance on wet and dry pavement
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Relatively weak lateral stability and delayed steering response
  • Satisfactory

7th 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
  • Good lateral stability and crisp steering response
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Poor result for such a big-time tire maker
  • Long braking distance on wet pavement that grows even longer as the temperature drops
  • Satisfactory

8th place: Sava / Intensa HP2
Quick Take
N/A 32
Handling Price/Quality Dry Performance Wet Performance Comfort Treadwear
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Sava Intensa HP2
  • Well-balanced performance
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Prone to abrupt loss of grip on dry pavement
  • Satisfactory

9th place: Toyo / Proxes Comfort
Quick Take
71 38
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Toyo Proxes Comfort
  • Good lateral stability on wet pavement (although the grip can be lost too abruptly)
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Long braking distance on dry pavement
  • Satisfactory

10th place: Hankook / Ventus Prime 3 K125
Quick Take
81 57

Hankook Ventus Prime 3 K125

Dry Performance Price/Quality Wet Performance Treadwear Handling Comfort
  • This tire replaced Hankook / Ventus Prime 2 K115
  • Available Sizes in Line: 130
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Ford Focus Active IV [2018 .. 2020]
    • • Citroën C3 Aircross [2017 .. 2020]
    • • Audi A8 D4 Restyling [2013 .. 2018]
    • • Audi A8 D5 [2018 .. 2022]
    • • Hyundai Kona OS [2017 .. 2022]
    • • Kia Soul PS Facelift [2017 .. 2020]
    • • Kia Soul SK3 [2019 .. 2022]
    • • Hyundai Azera IG [2018 .. 2022]
    • • Kia Cadenza YG [2017 .. 2020]
    • • Audi A1 GB [2018 .. 2022]
    • • MINI Cooper F55/F56 [2014 .. 2022]
    • • MINI Cooper F55/F56 Restyling 2 [2021 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2015
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+, East Asia, Oceania
Hankook Ventus Prime 3 K125
  • Good handling response in the dry
  • Low hydroplaning resistance
  • Increased rolling resistance
  • Average

11th place: Westlake / ZuperEco Z-107
Quick Take
N/A 32

Westlake ZuperEco Z-107

  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Westlake ZuperEco Z-107
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Long braking distance on wet and dry pavements
  • Bad handling response in the wet
  • Average

12th place: Kumho / Ecsta HS51
Quick Take
76 41
Comfort Price/Quality Dry Performance Handling Wet Performance Treadwear
  • This tire will be replaced by Kumho / Ecsta HS52
  • Available Sizes in Line: 70
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Kia
    • • Renault Arkana I [2019 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2015
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+, East Asia, Oceania
Kumho Ecsta HS51
  • Good lateral stability on wet pavement
  • Long braking distance on dry pavement
  • High rolling resistance
  • Average

13th place: Cooper / Zeon CS8
Quick Take
72 27
Dry Performance Comfort Treadwear Wet Performance Handling
  • Available Sizes in Line: 69
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Volkswagen T-Roc [2017 .. 2020]
  • Year Released: 2015
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+, South Africa
Cooper Zeon CS8
  • Acceptable braking performance on wet pavement
  • Poor handling response in the wet and in the dry
  • High rolling resistance
  • Unsatisfactory

14th place: CST / Medallion MD-A1
Quick Take
N/A 33
  • Available Sizes in Line: 45
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: Europe
CST Medallion MD-A1
  • Acceptable braking performance on wet pavement
  • Poor lateral stability and poor handling performance on wet pavement
  • Unsatisfactory

Price