Here at tyrereviews.co.uk we love Auto Bild. No other magazine comes close to the amount of tyre testing they do and being German, their testing methodology is always excellent.
This month they've released their 2009 All Season (175/65 R14) tyre test. They open the article with "Rain knows no season" which means we can be sure wet weather performance is going to be closely monitored, something a lot of us British appreciate as the most important quality of a tyre. In timed tests the difference between the best and worse tyre around a track is usually under 2 seconds in the dry, but can be spread by 20 seconds in the wet.
For this all season tyre test they've chosen the rather small 175/65 R14. Fitted to a Ford Fiesta for the test, this tyre size is more often found on small hatches and city cars. While these cars aren't exciting all out sports cars, wet weather performance and stopping distances are just as important in the town/city as on a windy B road.
As usual we won't copy their article word for word, we'll leave Auto Bild and google translate to tell the story but instead here's a summary of the results:
Congratulations to Hankook who won a similar test this time last year. Auto Bild cited this as the winning tyre due to it's excellent all round ability and constant performance. The Goodyear Vector 4Seasons was a close second, again an excellent all rounder let down slightly by it's dry braking ability. In stark contrast the losing tyre, the Fedral Super Steel 657 had "critical behaviour and dangerously long braking distances on wet track" - one to keep away for, at least for the winter.
As always, comments are welcome below. You can read the translated article here