Autocar Tyre Test - Budget Tyre Performance

Autocar's latest tyre test is all about budget tyres - and how they perform compared to a premium road tyre by Continental. Unsurprisingly, they don't compare well! The test focuses on wet weather handling and tests five of the leading budget brands: GT Radial, Linglong, Nankang, Triangle and Wanli.

The magazine tested wet handling and braking, dry handling and braking and aquaplaning, plus a high-speed test at the Contidrom test centre in Hannover. Senior tester Jamie Corstorphine summed up with: ??We expected the bargain tyres in this test to fall short of the Continental, but we were not prepared for just how poorly some performed.??

The results are shocking. To get the full test results you'll need to buy autocar this month, but the results from the wet braking speak for themselves:

Continental: 31.7 metres
Nankang: 33.8 metres
GT Radial: 35.8 metres
Wanli, Triangle and Linglongs: 40.2 metres

The Linglong equipped VW Golf Autocar used for its tests was still doing 27.8mph at the point where it had stopped on the Continentals. Overall the Continentals easily won, scoring top marks in all but one test. A consistent performance earned the GT Radials second place, but a wet lap time 3.4sec adrift of the Continentals indicated just how far even it falls short.

Given the average rain fall in the UK, it's well worth thinking twice before fitting super-budget tyres on your vehicle. If you save ?75 fitting 4 budget tyres you only save 0.05 pence a mile over a 12,000 mile life of the tyre. With the risk of an expensive insurance excess and loaded premium for the next 5 years, not to mention what could happen in a worse case scenario, is it really worth it?


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Anyone know where I could get a copy of this test? Thanks
Posted at 2010-03-24 03:21:48 | Was this comment helpful? Please login to vote
I bought a Passat from a vw with a couple of brand new Triangles on the front and they were absolutely useless - wet grip was diabolical. quite why he didn't swap out the original unused spare and match it up using one of the worn as spare I don't know - It must have cost him more to put our lives at risk
Posted at 2009-12-11 21:27:54 | Was this comment helpful? Please login to vote
After reading these, I would never ever consider budget tyres...I'm sorry.
Posted at 2009-11-15 00:10:23 | Was this comment helpful? Please login to vote
I had Wanli`s on a Mondeo and nobody could balance them and even when new wet weather grip was bad. I also had Nankangs on the Focus , fine in the dry and in a straightline in the wet just don`t expect to corner in the wet without massive understeer.
Posted at 2009-10-17 20:43:33 | Was this comment helpful? Please login to vote
It isn't just far eastern tyres that give poor grip.
I have tried Barum (owned by continental), Sava (owned by Goodyear) and Tigar tyres, and all are borderline dangerous in wet conditions.

You get what you pay for, but I think far-eastern tyres are being singled out unfairly.
Posted at 2009-06-10 21:54:05 | Was this comment helpful? Please login to vote
Why are their findings a suprise? You get what you pay for.

TBH I don't think the Nankang did all that bad, and it would probably compare very well to some midrange tyres of european origin.
Posted at 2009-05-31 21:42:40 | Was this comment helpful? Please login to vote