Without fail, each year German publication Auto Bild provides the most comprehensive overview of the summer tire market by testing a huge amount of tires ability in the dry and wet, in order to work out which twenty tires deserve to be tested in their full summer tire test.
For 2021, Auto Bild have tested 53 tires in the most popular tire size in Europe, 205/55 R16.
All 53 sets of tires have their wet and dry braking results below, with the shortest 20 combined braking distances progressing to the full test, which will be on the website shortly.
Of all 53 results, there are some interesting standouts. Firstly, Hankook managed to win BOTH dry and wet braking, which is unusual for a tire to be best in both categories, while Pirelli and Kumho must have mid-life updated their tires, as the Cinturato P7 C2 and Kumho Ecsta HS51 have progressed up the order. It will be interesting to see how these three tires do in the wear testing of the full test.
Fourth to nineth place brings no surprises, but Firestone in tenth place is interesting, as the same tire just performed really badly in the ADAC 17" test. Perhaps the 16" tire has an update that hasn't made it to the 17" size yet. There's also new tire in seventeenth place, the Toyo Proxes Comfort.
As usual, the gap in dry braking (from 62mph) is much smaller than the gap in wet braking (from 50mph.) Just 6 meters covered the best to worse tires in the dry, but a HUGE 25 meters covering the best to worse in the wet. Even removing the extremely poor performance of the Maxtrek and Double Coin tires in the wet, there's still 15 meters difference from just 50mph.
If this reminds us of nothing else, make sure you give some thought to wet braking when considering budget tires...