|Pirelli P Zero
|Continental Sport Contact 5
|Continental Sport Contact 5
|Pirelli Cinturato P7 Blue
|Michelin Primacy 3
Nokian Hakka Blue
Pirelli Cinturato P7 Blue
|Pirelli P Zero
Testing "touring / high performance" tires in 225/45 R17 on an Audi A3 Saloon, Auto Review have tried to test eight of the latest non-ultra high performance tires, and included a Pirelli P Zero as a benchmark ultra high performance tire. While this is a great idea in theory, the entry from Continental and Hankook are classified as ultra high performance, so the inclusion of the "extra" Pirelli seems a little confusing. Still, it gives us a nice mixed tire test, and allows each tire to highlight its strengths.
As usual, the tires get a good workout, covering all the normal dry and wet tests you can expect, along with an added "shock / impact" test. For this test, the magazine run the car into a 45 degree, curb sized steel block at increasing speeds until the tire fails. Unsurprisingly, the results from this destructive test shows rough correlation between the lighter, more comfortable, low rolling resistance tires failing earlier than the less comfortable, sportier tires.
The difference between the UHP Pirelli P Zero and the rest? As you'd expect, the P Zero is the tire to have fitted if you're after the ultimate driving experience, and the equally as sporty Continental Sport Contact 5 isn't far behind. The best premium touring tire, the Michelin Primacy 3 trades a little of that sporty feel for higher levels of comfort, lower noise and better fuel economy.
Click here to view Results as a single table and adjust the score weighting based on your own driving needs!
Strong wet and dry grip
Lack of comfort
While the Sport Contact 5 was bettered in the the aquaplaning tests by Hankook and Nokian, the Continental proved to be the wet master, with good traction, the best braking and the quickest time on wet roads. Confirming its remarkable blend of qualities, the Continental also had the shortest stopping distance in the dry, and was one of the second fastest time in dry handling. It didn't look as though the tire wore badly either, so they haven't compromised wear for grip! Negative point, not the most comfortable or quiet tires on test, but that was balanced with a good impact resistance.
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2nd: Pirelli P Zero
Dry handling, strong sidewalls, wet grip
Poor comfort, low resistance to aquaplaning
The only UHP tire included (we're not sure we agree, the Conti is a UHP tire), Auto Review included it to highlight the differences between touring and performance tires. Naturally, the P Zero had a performance bias. It had the highest rolling resistance, one of the lowest levels of comfort and the strongest sidewall, but in the wet and dry tests it was trading places with the Continental for top spot. For the ultimate lap time, the testers would pick the P Zero as not only was it the fastest, it offered the best subjective feel too with the fastest reactions to steering.
3rd: Michelin Primacy 3
Strong wet and dry grip, good dry braking, comfortable
Sluggish steering in the dry
Excellent wet performance, but slightly sluggish steering in the dry. Good wet and dry braking. Quiet and comfortable tires, and with a mid pack impact test score the Michelin Primacy 3 is a well balanced, safe, comfortable tires with a low rolling resistance.
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High resistance to aquaplaning, good wet and dry grip, good price
Lack of comfort, weak sidewalls
Every year Hankook tires are getting better and better, and with the Korean company now OE on cars like the Mercedes Benz S Class, the 'big 6' tire companies really need to watch out. The Ventus S1 EVO 2 is strong in the wet and dry, scoring particularly well in the aquaplaning tests. In the dry, the Hankook has a nice balance of safety with strong braking and stable high speed maneuvers. Negative points? Not the best comfort on test, or shock resistance, but a low price wins it back some points.
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5th: Nokian Hakka Blue
High resistance to aquaplaning, good wet grip, comfortable
The Nokian has the second best aquaplaning resistance, and an all round strong wet performance, but isn't quite a match for the best in the dry. The tire offers good comfort, shock resistance and rolling resistance
Good wet grip, low rolling resistance, comfortable
Low resistance to aquaplaning, weak sidewalls
Low rolling resistance combined with excellent wet braking and grip and very high comfort. Average dry performance, low aquaplaning resistance and low shock resistance.
7th: Toyo Proxes CF2
Strong sidewalls, comfortable, good price
Dry grip, average wet grip
Excellent shock resistance, good dry braking and handling, but a weak wet formance and average comfort leaves Toyo sixth. Well priced.
Resistance to aquaplaning
Wet grip, dry braking, poor comfort
Bridgestones reputation has been somewhat saved by Dunlop, as the Bridgestone T001 proved to be average in nearly all areas. Slow in the dry and wet, the only good result was in the aquaplaning test. Despite being loud and uncomfortable, the Bridgestone also failed early in the impact test. Not good value for money.
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Price, strong sidewall
Extremely low wet grip, low resistance to aquaplaning, high rolling resistance
Not available in the UK market, Auto Review found the Dunlop LM704's dangerous thanks to a shocking performance in the wet. OK for hot climates with pot holed roads that don't see rain. No where else.