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ADAC 2021: Summer Tire Test R16

Mostly «good» and «satisfactory», as well as one «average» and one «bad» verdict — these are the results of the fresh big summer tire test performed by the German ADAC motoring association, which involved a total of 32 tire models. The experts traditionally tested tires of two sizes, this time around these being 205/55 R16 (Germany’s best-selling one), and 225/50 R17.

Vehicle overview of the dimension 225/50 R17 Y
Manufacturer Model series
Alfa Romeo                     Giulietta
Audi                     A3                    
BMW 1, 2, 3
Citroën                     C3, C4, C4 Cactus                    
Dacia                     Logan, Sandero                    
Fiat                     500L, Tipo                    
Ford C-Max, Grand C-Max, EcoSport, Focus
Honda Civic
Hyundai i30, Ioniq, ix20
Kia Carens, Ceed, Soul, Venga

Let’s begin with 15 sets of summer tires in size 205/55 R16, which fit many compact cars from Audi A3 to VW Golf.

List of models tested:

Test results

Predictably, the best-balanced performance was delivered by the victorious trio. The Continental, Semperit, and Bridgestone tire models scored a «Good» verdict, and come highly recommended by the ADAC experts.

The most expensive tire on test, the Continental PremiumContact 6 (2.2 points) is particularly impressive on wet pavement, where it showed top-class wet braking performance. This tire delivers braking performance just as great on dry pavement as well. The minor issues of PC6 include: a slightly increased fuel consumption by the vehicle, poor lateral hydroplaning resistance, and increased noise.

Test discipline: wet braking
Test discipline: wet braking

Curiously, the Semperit Speed-Life 3 (2.2 points), produced by a Continental subsidiary, also demonstrated great performance in «wet» disciplines, such as wet braking and wet handling, yet fell short in terms of hydroplaning resistance and noise, both external and internal. What is remarkable is the fact that the Semperit tire outperformed the PremiumContact 6 in rolling resistance, i.e. the vehicle’s fuel consumption, and at the same time the Semperit Speed-Life 3 is priced 20% less than its premium counterpart.

The PremiumContact 6 and the Speed-Life 3 shared first place.

Result summary. 2021 ADAC Summer Tire Test — 205/55 R16. Places 1–8. (click to enlarge)
Result summary. 2021 ADAC Summer Tire Test — 205/55 R16. Places 1–8. (click to enlarge)

The third stair of the winner pedestal in the ADAC summer tire test 2021 was scored by the Bridgestone Turanza T005 (2.3 points), which was great in the wet, and delivered quite a convincing braking performance on wet pavement. Yet another strong side of this model is low rolling resistance.

The issues that the testers found with the Bridgestone Turanza T005 included relatively weak lateral hydroplaning resistance and a high level of external noise. Interestingly, as a summer touring tire, T005 could have claimed the leadership in the wear resistance test, but, sadly, this did not come to pass.

Test discipline: dry handling
Test discipline: dry handling

The Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 2, which shared fourth place in the tournament bracket with the Kumho Ecsta HS51 (2.6 points each), headed the group of tires that got a «satisfactory» verdict. The weak side of the Goodyear model was dry pavement, where in all of the disciplines, for the sole exception of braking performance, this tire demonstrated only average performance, comments the tiresvote technical expert. The higher the temperature was, the more prominent the issues became.

Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 2
Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 2

On wet pavement, this model achieved decent results (except for lateral hydroplaning resistance), and the testers specifically mentioned its high resistance to wear. In terms of resistance to wear, the EfficientGrip Performance 2 offers the best price/quality ratio. Its expected mileage is over 55,000 km.

Expected mileage

24 800
26 250
26 600
28 000
King Meiler
32 200
32 200
32 500
33 600
34 300
37 400
38 100
40 600
41 600
43 400
55 300

Info! The graph shows how great the differences were in the wear test: the Nokian tire reached the wear limit after almost 24,800 km, while the Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance 2 under identical conditions could travel more than twice as much, specifically 55,300 kilometers.

Minor issues in dry performance were also observed with the Korean Kumho Ecsta HS51. The test car, fitted with HS51, behaved less accurately compared to when it was fitted with other tires involved in the test. However, from the safety standpoint, the experts could not rate this issue as critical — yet they noted that it still caused the driver some certain discomfort. At the same time, the Ecsta HS51 model attracted the testers’ attention with its strong hydroplaning resistance and the best environmental performance on test.

Result summary. 2021 ADAC Summer Tire Test — 205/55 R16 Places 9–15. (click to enlarge)
Result summary. 2021 ADAC Summer Tire Test — 205/55 R16 Places 9–15. (click to enlarge)

The sixth line in the final standings of the ADAC summer tire test 2021 was also shared by two models — Apollo Alnac 4G and Hankook Ventus Prime 3 K125 (2.7 points each). The summer tires from India’s Apollo had minor issues on dry pavement, where the test VW Golf VII, fitted with these tires, did not yield an accurate steering response, and the tires were prone to oversteer. On wet pavement, the Apollo Alnac 4G model demonstrated only satisfactory performance, which also devalued its overall score. The environmental performance of this model is also average. On the plus side, it demonstrated high resistance to wear.
 Hankook Ventus Prime 3 K125

The Hankook Ventus Prime 3 K125 is the perfect tire for dry conditions. It demonstrated high-precision handling response, and exceptional braking performance. The Hankook K125 provided a safe contact with dry pavement on the verge of the grip without any deviations in terms of the car’s response to changing the load during cornering. On wet pavement, however, this Hankook tire was only average due to handling issues, which devalued its total score. Again, on the plus side, the Ventus Prime 3 is quite a fuel saver.

The Fulda EcoControl HP2 tire model (2.8 points), produced by Goodyear was quite convincing in terms of wear resistance and environmental performance. Inaccurate steering response and oversteer in the dry, combined with average wet performance, cost this model a few valuable points. Hence, only eighth place.

Fulda EcoControl HP2
Fulda EcoControl HP2

Ninth place in the final standings was scored by the BFGoodrich Advantage (2.9 points), produced by Michelin Group. In spite of excellent braking capabilities and well-balanced performance on dry pavement, all of its advantages — including high resistance to wear and low rolling resistance — were nullified due to average wet performance. On the wet slalom track, the Advantage model demonstrated poor grip and considerable loss of force while cornering, as well as during acceleration and braking. The performance when driving on the verge of skidding was only satisfactory.

Maxxis Premitra 5, Nokian Wetproof, and Pirelli Cinturato P7C2 (3.0 points each) all shared the tenth line in the final standings of the ADAC summer tire test 2021. Although their dry and wet performances were generally balanced and up to the standard, their relatively high wear and increased rolling resistance were rated as obvious issues that could not pass unnoticed by the drivers.

At the same time, however, the expert group still recommends these tires for use only on vehicles with very low annual mileage, as the Nokian, Pirelli and Maxxis models showed extremely short expected mileage.

Uniroyal RainSport 5
Uniroyal RainSport 5

The Uniroyal RainSport 5 (3.0 points) also shared the company of the Nokian, Maxxis, and Pirelli models, the thing that they have in common being the high wear. At the same time, this model also has issues on dry pavement. Even despite its effective braking performance, the Uniroyal model could not go beyond satisfactory results due to poor handling response on dry pavement. On the wet track, however, the tire did perform up to its name. During the slalom test, it demonstrated a high level of traction, and provided excellent handling response until the end. An extra bonus of the RainSport 5 is its relatively low fuel consumption.

Petlas Imperium PT515
Petlas Imperium PT515

The Turkish tire Petlas Imperium PT515 (3.3 points) came fourteenth. Its braking efficiency on dry pavement was rated as «good», yet compared to the best tires in this discipline its braking distance was 4.5m longer. In other «dry» disciplines, it was rated as average and (driving safety) below average. On wet pavement, the Petlas Imperium PT515 revealed its other weaknesses: it had a long braking distance and a poor grip, while the cornering force, which could be transmitted only to a limited degree, was all too obvious. In spite of all the mentioned issues, this Turkish tire demonstrated a relatively high resistance to wear, which is definitely a plus.

King Meiler Sport 1 (3.6 points) was the only retreaded model on test: it did its best to compete with the 14 new tires but it ultimately did not succeed. Despite the rather effective dry braking that it showed during the handling test, it demonstrated delayed and inaccurate steering response. The grip limit was achieved very soon during any maneuvers. Also, the Meiler Sport 1 model reacted to heat and was quickly losing whatever capabilities it had.

King Meiler Sport 1
King Meiler Sport 1

Poor wet performance due to extremely inaccurate steering response, average braking capabilities, and low hydroplaning resistance (particularly lateral) accounted for the predictable outcome — the last 15th place in the final standings. In addition, the Meiler Sport 1 tires turned out to be noisy and provided little riding comfort.


Besides the ADAC tests, there are plenty of tests performed by other industry publications available on our website: all summer tire tests.