235/55R18

Tyre Reviews 2021: SUV Summer Tire Test R18

For the first time around, the British portal tested crossover tires, evaluating their performance not only on asphalt, but also on gravel and grass.

List of models tested:

In the new summer tire test, whose results the British portal Tyre Reviews has recently published, SUV tires in size 235/55 R18 were compared. The test was conducted at a Goodyear test facility in Texas, and, since the tires in question were designed to be used predominantly on asphalt, their performance in harsh off-road conditions was not evaluated, even though TR did test them on damp grass and on gravel.

Tires on test
Tires on test. Source: tyrereviews.com

The test involved tires from such popular brands as Michelin, Goodyear, Nokian, etc, while the selected size fits many SUVs and CUVs, including BMW X3 and X5, Audi Q3, Volvo XC40 and XC60, Volkswagen Tiguan, Jeep Compass, Kia Sportage, and Nissan Qashqai.

 

Dry braking was led by the Michelin Primacy 4, while the Westlake SU18 HT from ZC Rubber — the only budget tire on test — came last, falling way behind the rest of the group.

Test discipline: dry handling.
Test discipline: dry handling. Source: tyrereviews.com

The best dry handling lap time, thanks to good lateral grip, was shown by the Avon and the Hankook models, which increase driving safety during an emergency maneuver. At the same time, the Westlake model again fell short of the other competitors because it was prone to understeer much more than the others. The TR experts noted that the Avon, Hankook, and Goodyear tires ensured a relatively fast response to the driver’s actions, which they could not say about the BFGoodrich and Uniroyal models.

 

On wet pavement, the fastest tire to bring the VW Tiguan to a halt was the Uniroyal Rainsport 5, which this time performed up to its name. The Goodyear and the Hankook tires demonstrated good braking performance in any conditions, while the remaining speed of the car driving on Westlake tires during braking from 80 km/h was 40 km/h, which cannot be considered a satisfactory result by any standards.

The wet handling test was again won by the Uniroyal tire, followed by Goodyear and Hankook, while the Michelin model, as the TR experts noted, had a relatively weak grip on stretches covered in a deeper water layer, which stopped it from demonstrating a better lap time.

In the next discipline, straight hydroplaning resistance was evaluated. The Uniroyal tire again confidently came first, while Michelin’s issues became even more prominent, and it ultimately performed even worse than the cheap Westlake model.

Test discipline: wet braking.
Test discipline: wet braking. Source: tyrereviews.com

The best tire to combat lateral hydroplaning was the Vredestein Ultrac Satin. Although the Uniroyal model did not win this time, it did score silver, while the bottom line of the tournament bracket was occupied by the premium-class Michelin Primacy 4.

On grass, the best traction was demonstrated by Hankook, Michelin, and Goodyear, but the TR experts noted that the difference between the worst and the best results amounted to over 10%.

Off-Road Testing (Grass).
Off-Road Testing (Grass). Source: tyrereviews.com

In the gravel test, the tire that accelerated the car the fastest was the Goodyear EfficientGrip 2 SUV, possibly, thanks to its largest tread depth. Uniroyal, Vredestein, and Nokian also showed good results, and then, just as the team was getting to the last set, a Texas storm broke out, which is why the data is missing for Westlake.

Off-Road Testing (Gravel).
Off-Road Testing (Gravel). Source: tyrereviews.com

The ride comfort was subjectively evaluated, and the BFGoodrich and Uniroyal led the group, narrowly ahead of the Goodyear EfficientGrip 2 SUV

The Goodyear EfficientGrip 2 SUV also came out the winner in terms of low external noise, while BFGoodrich turned out to be much noisier.

The last test consisted in measuring rolling resistance, which directly affects the fuel consumption by the vehicle, and first place was scored by Michelin, whose result was 7% better than that of Goodyear, which came second.

Verdict

First place in the final standings, even in spite of some shortcomings in wet handling, coupled with downright poor hydroplaning resistance, straight and lateral alike, was scored by the Michelin Primacy 4, whose list of achievements includes excellent braking performance and fuel efficiency. Then comes the new model 2021 — Goodyear EfficientGrip 2 SUV — which, although it won in just one discipline, did not show any weaknesses in any of the disciplines, which spells a really well-balanced performance. Third line of the tournament bracket was this time around scored by the Uniroyal Rainsport 5, which demonstrated outstanding performance on wet pavement, but could not repeat this success in the dry, where it demonstrated less-than-perfect grip and was clearly prone to understeer.

Michelin Primacy 4
Michelin Primacy 4

The leaders were closely followed by the Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 SUV, which, just as Goodyear, demonstrated well-balanced performance, its only weak side being increased rolling resistance — 20% higher than that of the tires that became the best in this discipline. Fifth place was scored by the BFGoodrich Advantage SUV, which impressed the test experts with decent ride comfort, short dry braking distance, and high hydroplaning resistance. At the same time, BFGoodrich demonstrated a less-than-perfect wet handling performance.

Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 SUV K127A
Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 SUV K127A

The Nokian Wetproof SUV was commended for well-balanced performance, while the Vredestein Ultrac Satin demonstrated a very high hydroplaning resistance, and the Avon ZX7 ensured good handling response in any conditions, yet it braking performance fell short of that of most of the competitors.

Nokian Wetproof SUV
Nokian Wetproof SUV

Last place was expectedly scored by the cheapest tire on test — the Westlake SU318 HT. At the same time, the TR experts noted that in North America this tire is positioned as an all-season one, meaning that, possibly, it has a better level of traction on snow than other tested tires, and this could explain its poor performance on asphalt.

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
  • Short braking distance on wet and dry pavement
  • Good on damp grass
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Very low hydroplaning resistance
  • Insufficient handling response in the wet
  • Average on gravel

2nd place: Goodyear / EfficientGrip 2 SUV
Quick Take
N/A 42

Goodyear EfficientGrip 2 SUV

  • Year Released: 2021
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Goodyear EfficientGrip 2 SUV
  • Well-balanced performance and absence of any prominent issuesr
  • Quick steering response
  • Good riding comfort
  • Excellent grass and gravel traction
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Low noise emission
  • Relatively low lateral hydroplaning resistance

3rd place: Uniroyal / RainSport 5
Quick Take
73 39
Price/Quality Wet Performance Handling Comfort Dry Performance Treadwear
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Uniroyal RainSport 5
  • Short braking distance and good handling response on wet pavement
  • Good riding comfort
  • Excellent gravel traction
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Relatively long braking distance and prone to understeer on dry pavement

4th place: Hankook / Ventus S1 evo3 SUV K127A
Quick Take
N/A 31

Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 SUV K127A

Comfort Treadwear Price/Quality
  • This tire replaced Hankook / Ventus S1 evo2 SUV K117A
  • Available Sizes in Line: 64
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • BMW X5 IV (G05) [2018 .. 2022]
    • • BMW X6 III (G06) [2019 .. 2022]
    • • Audi RS Q8 4M [2019 .. 2022]
    • • Porsche Cayenne Typ 9Y0 (PO536) [2017 .. 2022]
    • • Audi Q8 4MN [2018 .. 2022]
    • • Audi RS Q8 4M [2019 .. 2022]
    • • Audi Q5 FY Facelift [2021 .. 2022]
    • • Volkswagen Tiguan II (AD/BW) Facelift [2020 .. 2022]
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 SUV K127A
  • Good handling response and short braking distance in any conditions
  • Low noise emission
  • Good on grass
  • Average resistance to straight hydroplaning
  • High rolling resistance
  • Low gravel traction

5th 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
  • Short braking distance on dry pavement
  • Good hydroplaning resistance
  • Good off-road performance
  • Great riding comfort
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Relatively long braking distance on wet pavement
  • Prone to understeer on dry and wet pavement
  • High noise emission

6th place: Nokian / Wetproof SUV
Quick Take
82 36
  • Available Sizes in Line: 27
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Nokian Wetproof SUV
  • Well-balanced performance
  • Excellent traction on gravel and dry pavement
  • Relatively low traction on grass

7th place: Vredestein / Ultrac Satin
Quick Take
79 39

Vredestein Ultrac Satin

Dry Performance Comfort Wet Performance Handling Treadwear
  • This tire has been replaced by Vredestein / Ultrac
  • Available Sizes in Line: 126
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Volkswagen Touareg III [2018 .. 2020]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+
Vredestein Ultrac Satin
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Relatively low rolling resistance
  • Good on gravel
  • Long braking distance on wet and dry pavements
  • Low riding comfort

8th place: Avon / ZX7
Quick Take
70 23
Dry Performance Wet Performance Comfort Handling Treadwear
  • Available Sizes in Line: 49
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Avon ZX7
  • Very good handling performance and precise steering response on dry pavement
  • Great handling response in the wet
  • Long braking distance on wet and dry pavements
  • Poor hydroplaning resistance
  • Low gravel and grass traction
  • High rolling resistance

9th place: Westlake / SU318 Radial H/T
Quick Take
81 29
Dry Performance Wet Performance Comfort Snow/Ice Performance
  • Available Sizes in Line: 57
  • Year Released: 2012
  • Regions for sale: North America, Central & South America, Europe, Russia+, East Asia, Oceania
Westlake SU318 Radial H/T
  • Relatively low noise emission
  • Long braking distances and generally low traction in any conditions
  • Low hydroplaning resistance
  • Low riding comfort
  • High rolling resistance

Price