2014 Auto Express Summer Tyre Test

Test Summary
Wet BrakingDunlop Sport BluResponse
Dry BrakingPirelli Cinturato P7 Blue
Rolling ResistanceGoodyear EfficientGrip Performance
Snow HandlingPirelli Cinturato P7 Blue
Hankook Ventus Prime2

The 2014 Auto Express Summer Tyre Test is here, and it is closer than ever! Testing 10 tyres in 205/55 R16, Auto Express put the tyres through the usual array of nine stringent tests in the dry and wet.

With the gap between the best and the worst tyre smaller than ever, it was even harder to find a clear winner, but the Goodyear / Dunlop duo managed to take the top two places with a clear all round performance with Pirelli rounding out the top three thanks to its updated P7 Blue. Typically known as a mid range tyre, the Hankook finished a solid fourth, out performing premium rivals such as Continental, Bridgestone and Michelin, further highlighting how close the pack was this year.

With the ommission of a true budget tyre th is year, there were no "bad" tyres on test, with even the tenth place economy tyre by GT Radial proving to be extremely strong in the dry, just 1% behind the best in wet corning, and 3.5% in wet braking.

We've ommited the aquaplaning results from our scoring, so be sure to read the full test on the Auto Express website here

The Results

1st: Dunlop Sport BluResponse

Dunlop Sport BluResponse
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 691.5
  2. Dry: 199.3
  3. Wet: 297
  4. Rolling Resistance: 96.1
  5. Noise: 99.1
Best in dry braking, wet braking, straight aquaplaning and second only to the Goodyear in rolling resistance, the Dunlop blends a huge array of qualities into one tyre, finishing in the top three places six times out of nine tests. Let down slightly by wet cornering, finishing last, but only 2% and 1/10th of a second slower than the winner. A fantastic blend of qualities make the Dunlop a worthy winner

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2nd: Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance

Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 692.7
  2. Dry: 195.7
  3. Wet: 297.6
  4. Rolling Resistance: 100
  5. Noise: 99.4
As with most Goodyear tyres, the Efficientgrip Performance really excelled in the wet tests, and blended the best rolling resistance on test with low cabin noise too. Slightly let down subjectively in the dry, the Goodyear wasn't the sharpest tyre on test, or the grippiest, but it was only a fraction off the pace.

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3rd: Pirelli Cinturato P7 Blue

Pirelli Cinturato P7 Blue
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 692.2
  2. Dry: 198.1
  3. Wet: 298.2
  4. Rolling Resistance: 95.9
  5. Noise: 100
The updated P7 Blue offered a fantastic balance between wet braking and rolling resistance in the test, finishing second and third. Best in wet handling was spoilt with last in curved aquaplaning, proving one tyre can't manage everything. Just eighth in dry handling with vague steering meant this tyre couldn't challenge for the top spot, but finished a respectable third. The quietest tyre on test

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4th: Hankook Ventus Prime2

Hankook Ventus Prime2
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 674.3
  2. Dry: 196.7
  3. Wet: 294.3
  4. Rolling Resistance: 83.3
  5. Noise: 100
With a string of top five places, the Hankook Ventus Prime 2 is another strong showing from the Korean company. Beaten only by Pirelli and the Goodyear Dunlop pair, the Prime 2 was fastest during wet cornering, well controlled and stable, offered a positive turn in and finished second and fourth in the aquaplaning tests. Weaknesses? Rolling resistance and wet braking

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5th: Continental Premium Contact 5

Continental Premium Contact 5
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 672.7
  2. Dry: 194.8
  3. Wet: 291.2
  4. Rolling Resistance: 88.1
  5. Noise: 98.6
An unusually average result for Continental, with it's usual strengths, wet and dry braking, finishing eigth and seventh respectively. It performed better in both wet and dry handling tests, offering good grip and a secure feel and scored highly in the aquaplaning tests. Last in cabin noise.

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6th: Bridgestone Turanza T001

Bridgestone Turanza T001
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 665.5
  2. Dry: 192.4
  3. Wet: 283.6
  4. Rolling Resistance: 90.5
  5. Noise: 99
Bridgestone are due to update the T001 soon, and it's showing. While it managed a respectable fourth in the rolling resistance tests, the tyre ended up last in both dry and wet braking. Joint third during the dry handling test, and some of the best aquaplaning scores in the group left the Bridgestone mid pack

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7th: Michelin Primacy 3

Michelin Primacy 3
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 676.2
  2. Dry: 197.5
  3. Wet: 292.5
  4. Rolling Resistance: 86.9
  5. Noise: 99.3
Fifth, sixth and seventh were extremely close, with the Michelin Primacy 3 just losing out. Michelin are known for wearing extremely well, unfortunately this wasn't tested in this test which made the tyre look expensive when compared to rivals. The tyre was happiest in the dry, delivering a good balance on the handling circuit and fourth in dry handling. Unfortunately in the wet it struggled, offering a safe balance but pushing wide on turns. Low cabin noise

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8th: Vredestein Sportrac 5

Vredestein Sportrac 5
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 658.9
  2. Dry: 191.8
  3. Wet: 290.7
  4. Rolling Resistance: 77.3
  5. Noise: 99.1
Not making the podium in any of the individual tests puts the Sportrac 5 eighth overall. It felt good in the wet, with a progressive nature and good grip, however any sharpness was lost in the dry. The Vredestein needed just over 1.5 metres more in the wet, and 2 metres in the dry, and in a close pack that translated to 8th and 9th respectively.

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9th: Toyo Proxes T1 Sport

Toyo Proxes T1 Sport
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 648.8
  2. Dry: 193.8
  3. Wet: 293.9
  4. Rolling Resistance: 62.3
  5. Noise: 98.8
The Toyo T1 Sport has been around a number of years now, and the test results reflected this. Last in the rolling resistance tests the Toyo also struggled with aquaplaning. 2nd best on dry handling, the Toyo could only manage 8th in dry braking. It was close to the pace in wet handling and cornering, offering a good balance and secure feel on track

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10th: GT Radial Champiro UHP1

GT-Radial Champiro UHP1
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 650.4
  2. Dry: 193.7
  3. Wet: 294.1
  4. Rolling Resistance: 63.5
  5. Noise: 99.1
Chinese tyres have come along way, and while the new GT Radial UHP1 finished last, it was much closer than previous years. Winning the dry handling tests, the UHP feels sharp, with good turn in and grip, but things start to fall apart in the wet. Last in the aquaplaning tests, it fared slightly better and finished mid pack in the wet cornering and braking tests, stopping just one metre longer than the winning Dunlop. 9th place rolling resistance, using 7% more fuel than the winner

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