If you have a car, chances are you need to buy new tyres every few years. You may not want to stick with the same model your car came with, but which of the many tyre alternatives should you choose? Depending on the size you need manufacturers may have several different models. They’re all round and black, so it’s basically impossible to predict how well they’ll do their job by just looking at them. Our test aims to give you that essential information.
In this test, we looked at:
This size is suitable for at least some versions of popular current and older-model small cars such as the Ford Fiesta, Honda Jazz, Hyundai Getz, Mazda2 and Toyota Yaris.
For more on a range of car-related subjects, including more information on tyres, see Cars.
During this test we encountered the worst tyre we have ever tested. To find out more, see the Cornering and braking section on the General information page.
Video: Tyre test footage
Some of the ways we test the safety, stopping power and road-holding of car tyres.
How we test
Cornering Our testers, Peter Horvath and Michael Hohl, assess how well the tyres keep the car in the set lane at speeds of 85km/h and 80km/h in dry conditions, and of 80km/h and 75km/h in wet conditions, using a right-hand corner with about a 55m radius. The tests are carried out without the driver knowing which brand of tyre has been fitted and in random order. The testers repeat the cornering on a different day and in a different random order.
Braking Using a GPS system, our testers measure the distance it takes to come to a complete standstill in emergency braking tests, from driving speeds of 50km/h and 80km/h in both dry and wet conditions.
Rolling noise Our testers also carry out rolling noise measurements at the driver’s left ear at 50km/h and 80km/h, on a road with coarse surface. At each speed there is only up to 3dB difference between the models – so small you’re unlikely to notice it. However, the tyres on test are new, and bigger differences may develop with increased wear.
BFGoodrich Sport T/A (A)
Bridgestone Ecopia EP100
Continental ContiComfortContact CC5
Dunlop SP Sport 300E
Goodride Radial SP06
Goodyear Assurance Armorgrip
GT Radial Champiro BXT (A)
Hankook Optimo K415 (A)
Ironman Tires iMove (A)
Kumho Solus KH17
Michelin Energy XM1 Plus (A)
Nexen Classe Premiere CP661
Pirelli P6 (A)
Sime Tyres Astar 100
Toyo Teo Plus Eco
Yokohama A.drive (A)
An accurate tyre pressure gauge helps you maintain the optimal tyre pressure for your car. Proper inflation gives you longer tyre life and better safety. Both over- and under-inflating your tyres will wear them out sooner. Driving with under-inflated tyres also uses more petrol, adversely affects your car’s handling and may even lead to tyre damage, so check the pressure regularly – for example, every time you fill up with fuel. Don’t forget to check your spare tyre too – there’s nothing worse than getting a flat tyre and finding the spare has no air either.
We’d like to thank Morgan Park Raceway
in Warwick, Qld, for ensuring a smooth test.