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Auto Zeitung 2024: Summer Tire Test R17

As temperatures rise, the time to switch to summer tires approaches. While high-performance tires may be the go-to for many drivers of compact, speedy cars, they are not the only option. Regular touring tires, often more affordable, can also provide an excellent balance of comfort and energy efficiency. For instance, the Bridgestone Turanza 6 Enliten features low rolling resistance, making it a great choice for those looking to reduce fuel consumption. Conversely, the Continental PremiumContact 7 leans more towards performance. Meanwhile, the Michelin Primacy 4+ strikes a commendable balance between comfort and handling.

To assist drivers in selecting the best tires for the summer, the German magazine Auto Zeitung has conducted a thorough test of summer tires in size 225/45 R17. The test included well-established models like the Pirelli Cinturato P7 and Vredestein Ultrac, alongside newer offerings such as the Firestone Roadhawk 2 and the Hankook Ventus S1 evo3, which succeeds the previous generation Hankook Prime 4 in the touring tire market. For those with a tighter budget, the Falken Ziex ZE310 Ecorun and Maxxis Premitra 5 were also reviewed, offering good performance at a more affordable price point.

Test Conditions

The BMW 120i hatchback, equipped with a 178 hp turbo engine boasting 280 Nm of torque, served as the test vehicle for Auto Zeitung's summer tire test series. This model is known for its lack of parasitic forces affecting the steering under traction, providing a stable and confident drive even on wet roads. Its clear and precise chassis, which is firm without being overly stiff, proved ideal for evaluating touring category tires.

BMW 120i hatchback utilized for tire evaluation. © autozeitung
BMW 120i hatchback utilized for tire evaluation. © autozeitung

The main series of tire tests was conducted at the Bridgestone facility located on the outskirts of Rome. This test site is well-equipped for a detailed analysis of tire performance, featuring a high-speed oval, straight sections with certified pavement, and advanced irrigation systems designed specifically for conducting hydroplaning tests. This setup allowed for a thorough and controlled assessment of each tire’s capabilities under various conditions.

Testing of Tire Performance Across Disciplines

The tires featured in Auto Zeitung's test demonstrated remarkably close performance in safety-critical assessments, such as hydroplaning, braking, and handling. This closeness was particularly notable in the hydroplaning tests, where the gap between the best and worst performers was a mere 5 km/h.

Dry Braking

Continental
32.9
Pirelli
33.0
Hankook
33.3
Michelin
33.6
Vredestein
33.7
Maxxis
34.2
Firestone
34.2
Falken
34.3
Bridgestone
34.8

Info! Dry braking in meters, (100-0 km/h).

Wet Braking

Continental
39.5
Hankook
40.9
Pirelli
41.9
Firestone
43.1
Bridgestone
43.2
Falken
43.2
Maxxis
43.3
Vredestein
44.1
Michelin
44.6

Info! Wet braking in meters, (100-0 km/h).


In dry asphalt braking tests from 100 km/h, the disparity was minimal, with only about two meters separating the least effective (Bridgestone) from the most effective (Continental), equating to a residual speed of 20 km/h. The variance widened in wet asphalt braking tests, where Michelin showed the longest stopping distance at 5.1 meters more than the best performer, corresponding to a residual speed of 30 km/h.

Straight Hydroplaning

Firestone
84.2
Maxxis
83.2
Continental
82.3
Michelin
81.9
Pirelli
81.4
Falken
79.2
Hankook
79.4
Vredestein
79.3
Bridgestone
78.6

Info! Float speed, (km/h).

Lateral Hydroplaning

Maxxis
10
Falken
10
Vredestein
9
Bridgestone
9
Continental
9
Michelin
8
Pirelli
8
Firestone
8
Hankook
7

Info! Lateral acceleration, m/s².


These results highlight a fundamental challenge for tire engineers: balancing the need for maximum grip, which ensures shorter stopping distances, with the desire for low rolling resistance to enhance fuel efficiency. Continental's performance illustrates this trade-off. The ability to merge these two attributes effectively could provide a significant technological edge. However, for now, the preference for grip or fuel economy depends on the tire's intended use, and it's up to the consumers to prioritize what matters most to them—superior handling or better energy efficiency.

Rolling Resistance

Bridgestone
7.6
Michelin
7.6
Firestone
7.8
Vredestein
7.9
Pirelli
8.2
Continental
8.6
Hankook
8.7
Maxxis
8.8
Falken
8.9

Info! Rolling resistance, (kg/t).

Noise

Hankook
70
Michelin
70
Pirelli
71
Falken
71
Bridgestone
71
Vredestein
71
Continental
72
Firestone
72
Maxxis
73

Info! Noise, dB.


Overall Verdict

This tire test underscored Continental's continued leadership in the touring tire segment, maintaining its top position even with a higher rolling resistance. Pirelli, placing second, exhibited a sporty disposition but fell short in terms of comfort. The affordable Hankook model emerged as the best value for money, offering impressive features at a lower cost.

The new Firestone model, ranking fifth, proved to be economical and well-balanced, demonstrating solid performance across various tests. Vredestein, despite its subpar braking on wet surfaces, secured fourth place due to its overall combination of characteristics.

At the bottom of the rankings, Falken, Michelin, Maxxis, and Bridgestone required significant compromises. These brands showcased areas needing improvement, particularly in balancing performance features with comfort and efficiency, positioning them as less favorable in this competitive testing environment.

Result summary. Auto Zeitung Summer Tire Test— 225/45R17 Places 1–9. (click to enlarge)
Result summary. Auto Zeitung Summer Tire Test— 225/45R17 Places 1–9. (click to enlarge)

Results

1st Place: Continental / PremiumContact 7

Quick Take
95 43

Continental PremiumContact 7

 
  • Year Released: 2022
  • Regions for sale: Europe
 
 
 
 
 
Continental PremiumContact 7

 

The Continental PremiumContact 7 is a dependable tire that performs consistently on both dry and wet surfaces, ensuring good control and handling in various driving situations. It responds quickly to steering, which enhances the overall driving experience. While it stands out for its performance in handling and braking, it's important to note that the tire's rolling resistance is on the higher side. This means that while it delivers in terms of safety and control, it might not be the best option for drivers who are particularly focused on maximizing their vehicle's fuel economy.


2nd Place: Pirelli / Cinturato P7 (P7C2)

Quick Take
82 58

Pirelli Cinturato P7 (P7C2)

 
 
 
Dry Performance Treadwear Wet Performance Handling Price/Quality Comfort
 
  • This tire has been replaced by Pirelli / Scorpion
  • This tire replaced Pirelli / Cinturato P7
  • Available Sizes in Line: 28
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • BMW 8 Series G14/G15/G16 [2018 .. 2023]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: North America , Central & South America , Europe , Russia+ , Japan , China , Middle East , Oceania
 
 
 
 
 
Pirelli Cinturato P7 (P7C2)

 

The Pirelli Cinturato P7 C2 showcases strong performance, especially in dry conditions, closely trailing the leader with minimal differences. While it excels in handling and braking, it ranks slightly lower in wet conditions and hydroplaning resistance. Its noise level is commendable, though not the quietest, and its rolling resistance suggests moderate fuel efficiency. This tire is ideal for drivers seeking a sporty driving experience without compromising much on comfort and efficiency.


3rd Place: Hankook / Ventus S1 evo3 K127

Quick Take
81 56

Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 K127

 
 
 
Price/Quality Dry Performance Wet Performance Handling Comfort Treadwear
 
  • This tire has been replaced by Hankook / Ventus S1 evo3 EV K127E
  • This tire replaced Hankook / Ventus S1 evo2 K117
  • Available Sizes in Line: 213
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi RS6 C8 [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Audi RS7 C8 [2019 .. 2023]
    • • BMW 3 Series VII (G20/G21) [2018 .. 2023]
    • • BMW Z4 III (G29) [2018 .. 2023]
    • • Audi S3 8V [2013 .. 2016]
    • • Audi S3 8V Facelift [2016 .. 2020]
    • • Audi S3 8Y [2020 .. 2023]
    • • Tesla Model 3 [2017 .. 2023]
    • • BMW 2 Series F44 [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Porsche Boxster III (981) [2012 .. 2017]
    • • Porsche Cayman II (981) [2013 .. 2016]
    • • MINI Cooper F55/F56 [2014 .. 2021]
    • • MINI Cooper F55/F56 Facelift II [2021 .. 2023]
    • • BMW 2 Series Active Tourer F45 Facelift [2018 .. 2021]
    • • BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer F46 Facelift [2018 .. 2023]
    • • BMW 5 Series VII (G30/G31) [2016 .. 2020]
    • • Audi A1 citycarver GB [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Volkswagen Golf Mk8 (CD1) [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Mercedes-Benz S-Class W223 [2020 .. 2023]
    • • Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 (CD1) [2020 .. 2023]
    • • Volkswagen Golf R Mk8 (CD1) [2020 .. 2023]
    • • BMW i4 G26 [2021 .. 2023]
    • • BMW 4 Series G22/G23/G26 [2020 .. 2024]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: North America , Central & South America , Europe , Russia+ , East Asia , Southeast Asia , Middle East , Oceania
 
 
 
 
 
Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 K127

 

The Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 stands out for its balanced performance, excelling in noise reduction and offering competitive handling in wet conditions. It provides a comfortable and quiet ride, appealing to drivers who value a blend of performance and comfort. However, its dry handling and rolling resistance fall short of the top performer, making it less ideal for those prioritizing fuel efficiency or the very best in dry performance.


4th Place: Vredestein / Ultrac

Quick Take
72 36
 
 
 
Dry Performance Handling Comfort Wet Performance Treadwear
 
  • This tire replaced Vredestein / Ultrac Satin
  • Available Sizes in Line: 46
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi A1 GB [2018 .. 2023]
    • • BMW 2 Series Active Tourer U06 [2022 .. 2023]
    • • BMW X1 III (U11) [2022 .. 2024]
    • • BMW X2 F39 [2017 .. 2025]
    • • BMW 5 Series VIII (G60/G61) [2023 .. 2025]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2021
  • Regions for sale: Europe
 
 
 
 
 
Vredestein Ultrac

 

The Vredestein Ultrac delivers a commendable balance of performance, particularly excelling in dry handling where it closely approaches the top performers. It offers a solid driving experience, ensuring safety with reliable grip levels under various conditions. The tire performs well in terms of noise and rolling resistance, suggesting a quieter ride and reasonable fuel efficiency. However, its wet braking performance indicates there is room for improvement compared to its competitors.


5th Place: Firestone / Roadhawk 2

Quick Take
N/A 24

Firestone Roadhawk 2

 
  • Year Released: 2024
  • Regions for sale: Europe
 
 
 
 
 
Firestone Roadhawk 2

 

The Firestone Roadhawk 2 offers a dependable performance across the board, making it a practical choice for drivers seeking a tire that delivers consistently without excelling in any one particular area. It's particularly efficient in terms of rolling resistance. Notably, it leads its class in resistance to straight hydroplaning, enhancing safety in wet conditions.


6th Place: Falken / Ziex ZE310 Ecorun

Quick Take
76 43

Falken Ziex ZE310 Ecorun

 
 
 
Dry Performance Handling Comfort Wet Performance Price/Quality Treadwear
 
  • Available Sizes in Line: 131
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi A1 citycarver GB [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Audi Q3 F3 [2018 .. 2023]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2017
  • Regions for sale: Europe , Russia+ , South Africa
 
 
 
 
 
Falken Ziex ZE310 Ecorun

 

The Falken ZIEX ZE310 EcoRun provides a satisfactory driving experience suitable for everyday use, with reasonable performance in wet and dry conditions, contributing to a comfortable ride. It ranks well in noise reduction, making it one of the quieter options in the test. Despite these strengths, its performance in dry braking and straight hydrolaning resistance falls behind the best in its class, and its high rolling resistance indicates less favorable fuel efficiency.


7th Place: Michelin / Primacy 4+

Quick Take
87 58
 
 
 
Comfort Handling Price/Quality Dry Performance Wet Performance
 
  • Year Released: 2022
  • Regions for sale: Mexico , Central & South America , Europe , Russia+ , Japan , Middle East
 
 
 
 
 
Michelin Primacy 4+

 

The Michelin Primacy 4+ excels in offering a quiet and smooth driving experience, underscored by its top-ranking performance in noise reduction and rolling resistance, suggesting excellent fuel efficiency. While it performs reasonably in dry conditions, its wet performance, particularly in braking and handling, does not match the best in its class. This tire is ideal for drivers who prioritize comfort and efficiency over sporty handling and superior wet condition performance.


8th Place: Maxxis / Premitra 5 HP5

Quick Take
76 45
 
 
 
Dry Performance Wet Performance Handling Comfort Treadwear
 
  • This tire replaced Maxxis / Victra PRO R1
  • Available Sizes in Line: 74
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • BMW 1 Series III (F40) [2019 .. 2024]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2015
  • Regions for sale: Mexico , Central & South America , Europe , Russia+ , Japan , China , Middle East , South Africa , Oceania
 
 
 
 
 
Maxxis Premitra 5 HP5

 

The Maxxis Premitra HP5 is an economical choice that delivers good performance, especially in dry handling, closely approaching the leaders in this category. It also stands out for its effective resistance to straight hydrolaning, offering reliability in wet conditions. However, the tire's higher noise levels and rolling resistance suggest that it may not be the most silent or fuel-efficient option in its class.


9th Place: Bridgestone / Turanza 6

Quick Take
80 56

Bridgestone Turanza 6

 
 
 
Handling Dry Performance Comfort Price/Quality Wet Performance
 
  • This tire replaced Bridgestone / Turanza T005
  • Available Sizes in Line: 109
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • BMW 7 Series VI (G11/G12) Facelift [2019 .. 2024]
    • • XPeng
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2023
  • Regions for sale: USA+ , Canada , Europe
 
 
 
 
 
Bridgestone Turanza 6

 

The Bridgestone Turanza 6 focuses on fuel efficiency and comfort, excelling in rolling resistance, which suggests it's an economical option in terms of fuel consumption. It also ranks well in noise reduction, contributing to a quieter ride. However, its performance in dry braking and handling is at the lower end among its competitors, and its wet grip performance is considered average, indicating areas where improvements could enhance its appeal.