2010 Auto Zeitung 4x4 Tire Test

While regular car tires have to balance wet and dry performance, 4x4 tires have even more to do as they have to potentially cope with high speeds and massive loads on rough terrain.

With this in mind Auto Zeitung have taken 8 of the latest high performance 4x4 tires and tested their wet, dry and offroad performance. To ensure of the off road performance tests are through, the BMW X5 test vehicle found itself in a mud pool, on sand, skidding over lose dirt and sliding about on wet grass!

With safety being a key concern, the results place the scoring emphasis on braking performance, with traction playing an important part of the offroad scores. As high performance tires are normally used year round on the road, the wet and dry weather performance forms the largest percentage of the overall points.

The results? Apparently Continental can make thier 4x4 tires just as good as their car tires and take another convincing win in 2010. Michelin and Bridgestone place 2nd and 3rd respectively with Nokian finishing 4th to beat the premium Dunlop tire (which is 100 euros more!)

The full results:

View Results as a single table and adjust the score weighting

1st: Continental Cross Contact UHP

Continental Cross Contact UHP
  • 255/55 r18
  1. Total: 324
  2. Dry: 127
  3. Wet: 133
  4. Offroad: 64
Dry:Best on the brakes in the dry and excellent feedback and response
Wet:Strongest wet braking, accurate steering and good-natured reaction
Offroad:Best on the brakes and consistent in the other tests means the Continental wins the offroad section
The Continental Cross-ContactUHP scores well in all the key tests to win overall

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2nd: Michelin Latitude Sport

Michelin Latitude Sport
  • 255/55 r18
  1. Total: 294
  2. Dry: 134
  3. Wet: 108
  4. Offroad: 52
Dry:Braking, handling, safety, slalom, rolling resistance - Michelin wins them all in the dry
Wet:Michelin is the best in the longitudinal aquaplaning, everywhere scores average.
Offroad:The second highest traction on wet grass
Fantastic dry grip, surprisingly good offroad performance

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3rd: Bridgestone Dueler HP Sport

Bridgestone Dueler HP Sport
  • 255/55 r18
  1. Total: 282
  2. Dry: 120
  3. Wet: 115
  4. Offroad: 47
Dry:Communicative steering leads to a good dry result
Wet:Good wet handling, let down slightly by braking
Offroad:Consistent strong scoring, but not excelling anywhere
A well balanced all round tire

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4th: Nokian Z SUV

Nokian Z SUV
  • 255/55 r18
  1. Total: 281
  2. Dry: 124
  3. Wet: 103
  4. Offroad: 54
Dry:Lowest rolling resistance and easy safe handling
Wet:Excellent feedback in the Wet:, slight understeeer
Offroad:Long wet grass stopping distances, but the best traction
With no real weaknesses and low rolling resistance the Nokian Z SUV places fourth

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5th: Dunlop SP QuattroMaxx

Dunlop SP QuattroMaxx
  • 255/55 r18
  1. Total: 278
  2. Dry: 122
  3. Wet: 100
  4. Offroad: 56
Dry:Another tire with great steering feel
Wet:In the wet the Dunlop tends to switch to understeer quite quickly
Offroad:The QuattroMaxx grips well on wet grass and on dirt roads. The traction on sand is average
Strong in the dry and offroad, the Dunlop SPO QuattroMaxx is let down by the wet weather performance

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6th: Hankook Ventus ST

Hankook Ventus ST
  • 255/55 r18
  1. Total: 272
  2. Dry: 107
  3. Wet: 109
  4. Offroad: 56
Dry:A poor dry performance with the tire overheating when pushed hard
Wet:The gentle understeer Hankook works perfectly with the control systems of the BMW X5
Offroad:Ventus ST disappointed in the mud and on the freshly mown lawn
The Hankook RH06 is let down by it's dry performance and rolling resistance

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7th: Vredestein Ultrac SUV Sessanta

Vredestein Ultrac SUV Sessanta
  • 255/55 r18
  1. Total: 264
  2. Dry: 115
  3. Wet: 94
  4. Offroad: 55
Dry:The poor braking performance and steering response let down the otherwise strong dry performance
Wet:An average wet performance
Offroad:The Ultrac SUV Sessanta shines with a stable ride on trails and provides good traction on sand values
Despite the open-profile, the Ultrac SUV Sessenta is let down by wet performance

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8th: Kumho Ecsta X3 KL17 ASYMMETRIC

Kumho Ecsta X3 KL17 ASYMMETRIC
  • 255/55 r18
  1. Total: 257
  2. Dry: 93
  3. Wet: 112
  4. Offroad: 52
Dry:The Kumho spoiled its score with the longest braking distances, the slowest lap time and the highest rolling resistance
Wet:The Kumho brakes well and is complemented perfectly by the DSC (ESP) of the BMW X5
Offroad:Rather long braking distance off road leads to a poor score
The new Kumho Ecsta X3 Asymmetric is a wet-optimized tire

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