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Choosing summer tyres: 2017 market overview

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We put together rankings of the top summer tyres in 2017 based on the test drives carried out by several reputable car industry magazines. Our rankings include both recent favourites and the latest offers on the market. The parameters taken into account were road performance, braking performance, road grip coefficient, wear resistance, comfort level and affordability.

We've made sure to find the best tyres in Premium, Medium and Budget segments just for you

The 6 agencies whose research we used:

1. ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V.). Europe's largest automobile club and world's second largest, the ADAC was founded in 1903. The club does lots of automobile-themed research, collecting data on car malfunctions and road condition; they crash test vehicles and compare tyres, accessories, etc.

2. Auto Bild. The largest German magazine publishing car reviews, news, tyre and car test drives, and other information. The magazine is published under a licence in 36 countries. Founded in 1986.

3. Auto Zeitung. A reliable magazine with headquarters in Cologne, Germany. Founded in 1969, the magazine publishes automobile news, car reviews and test drives.

4. Gute Fahrt. A well-known German automobile magazine that has been in print since mid-50s. The latest technologies implemented in the car industry, main market trends, test drive results - all these you can find on the pages of the magazine.

5. ACE (Auto Club Europa). The second largect automobile club in Germany (620,000 members). Founded in 1965, the club does regular test drives and publishes reviews.

6. ARBÖ (Auto-, Motor- und Radfahrerbund Österreichs). The oldest car club in Austria (founded in 1899). The club owns about 93 research centres.

7. Vi Bilägare. A Swedish car magazine. Founded in 1930, the magazine publishes reviews, test drives and other information. The magazine is one the organizers of the prestigious European Car of the Year award.

Top 5 Premium Class Summer Tyres

1. Continental ContiPremiumContact 6. One of the latest offers by the German giant, this tyre came out to the market in the autumn of 2016. Its biggest strength is excellent wet and dry grip.

The short braking distance is ensured by a special innovative compound and optimised contact patch; the chunky tread blocks provide great handling, while shoulder zones are structured to reduce noise levels. The Continental ContiPremiumContact 6 tyres showed the best results in the qualifying stage of Das Bild's test drive.

Later on, during final stages, they overtook their competitors in endurance and wear resistance tests. Experts calculated that Continental ContiPremiumContact 6 tyres could provide efficient braking throughout 40,000 km of driving. Based on the price and service life ratio, they are in top five. That is why in our rating, they also came first.

2. Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance. These tyres went on sale in 2013. They are still in high demand as premium class summer tyres.

Such lasting popularity stems from their roadholding ability and high wet grip, excellent road performance and low rolling resistance. However, they are slightly behind the rating leader in their noise-cancelling qualities.

Goodyer EfficientGrip Performance came first in ADAC's 2017 roadholding and stability tests, while the Gute Fahrt magazine ranked these tyres third based on the magazine's own research.

3. Pirelli Cinturato P7 Blue. Introduced back in 2012, these tyres are still in demand today. The Auto Bild staff tasked with testing tyres in 2017 enjoyed the way the car fitted with these tyres performed on wet and dry road surface.

Besides, these tyres provided the shortest braking distance on water-covered roads, and significant fuel economy. However, they came third in our rating due to only average resistance to aquaplaning and quite high price.

4. Bridgestone Turanza T001. This model also debuted in 2012. Since then, cars fitted with these tyres have participated in numerous test drives. According to ADAC experts, they are especially reliable when emergency braking. They also boast high aquaplaning resistance and great wet grip handling.

Another model from the same series, Bridgestone Turanza T001 Evo, took the 6th place in Auto Bild's rating and was marked as Exemplary. However, the weak point of these tyres is their average wear compared to their high purchase price, so we gave them the fourth place.

5. Michelin Energy Saver +. The fifth tyre in our rating entered the market in 2013. These were shown to be the most wear-resistant out of all the tyres tested by ADAC staff in 2017.

Michelin Energy Saver + tyres provide a smooth, comfortable and noiseless ride. They have low rolling resistance which helps cut fuel consumption. Their weak point is average aquaplaning resistance and handling in rainy weather, as well as high price as compared to tyres from other brands.

Top 5 Medium Price Segment Tyres

1. Hankook Ventus Prime 3 K125. These tyres only came out in 2016. They have balanced wet and dry grip. Worth their price, noiseless, showing good results in each of the tests by Auto Bild, these tyres defiitely deserve the 1st place in the medium price segment.

2. Uniroyal Rainsport 3. Manufactured since 2013 and positioned as rainy weather tyres, they have proven their reliability and durability in numerous test drives. For instance, in this year's test drive by Auto Bild, these tyres were the longest to retain grip with a water-covered road and would not start skidding until reaching the speed of over 93 km/h. For comparison, the tyres that didn't do well in this test would start skidding at the speed of 86.8 km/h.

On dry asphalt, Uniroyal Rainsport 3 see their handling qualities reduce significantly. Besides, their rolling resistance is quite high. This places them in the second place of our rating.

3. Vredestein SPORTRAC 5. These tyres have been manufactured since 2012. They are safe and cost-efficient. Some of the cheapest in their price category. Low rolling resistance.

In the opinion of ADAc specialists, these are some of the most durable summer tyres: they came second in the ADAC drive test, only slightly behind the premium model Michelin Energy Saver +. In 2016, they took the first place in the cost efficiency tests done by the Vi Bilägare magazine. However, these tyres are slightly inferior to others when it comes to resistance to aquaplaning, handling, and wet and dry grip.

4. Avon ZV7. One of the latest debuts by the British manufacturer, introduced to the market in 2016. The tyres have shown excellent dry grip.

In Auto Bild's opinion, when tested for lateral aquaplaning, these tyres turned out to be better than the pricier Bridgestone Turanza T001 Evo and Continental PremiumContact 6.They also had higher roll stability qualities than the Michelin Primacy 3 and Cooper Zeon CS8.

However, less than perfect wet grip and slow response to steering didn't let these tyres move beyond the fourth rung of our rating.

5. Kumho Ecsta HS51. This tyre model debuted in late 2014. Great tyres for calm driving. In 2017, Auto Bild experts praised their aquaplaning resistance qualities, which turned out to be even higher than that of some of the premium segment tyres.

Specialists at Vi Bilägare believe these tyres also provide a comfortable ride. Still, they come fifth in our rating because of a slow response to steering when driving on dry roads, average wear and quite high roll resistance.

Top 5 Summer Tyres on a Budget

1. Nexen N'Blue HD Plus. Manufactured since 2014, these tyres are reliable and boast impeccable grip and handling - both on dry and wet road surface. Joint ACE and ARBÖ tests showed these tyres had the shortest braking distance, regardless of the weather conditions. They also had the lowest price out of all the tyres tested.

2. Barum Brillantis 2. Start of manufacture: 2010. Key strength: good handling on wet road, decent dry drip, resistance to aquaplaning. But since they cost more than Nexen N'Blue HD Plus, they came second in our rating.

3. BFGoodrich g-Grip. First introduced in 2009, these are currently still in production. Aquaplaning-resistant, they also provide a short braking distance on dry road. Due to low roll resistance they help cut fuel costs. The weak points of these tyres are a price that is probably too high for this segment and an insufficiently reliable wet grip.

4. Maxxis Premitra HP5. These tyres came out on the market in 2015. They provide car stability even when driving at high speeds. In 2015, the Chinese magazine "Motor Trend" named them the Tyre of the Year. In ADAC tests, they showed good results in braking on dry and wet roads, and help cut fuel consumption. However, they could do better in terms of wear as compared to other tyre models.

5. Sava Intensa HP. Debuting in 2011, these tyres remain some of the most popular in their price segment. In ACE/ARBÖ 2016 tests the tyres showed good handling, high wear resistance, good price value and a short braking distance when driving on dry road surface. Their shortcomings are low resistance to aquaplaning and excessively long braking distance on wet road.

So what tyres do I choose?

The very fact the tyres we've listed above were all selected for testing by reputable magazines - and passed these tests - speaks to their reliability and efficiency. So when choosing tyres for your car, keep in mind not just the position a specific model has in our rating, but also the conditions you tend to drive in, your driving stylke, and personal preferences.

If you enjoy high speeds, it's important to note dry and wet grip parameters of a tyre, and also its steering response speed. Those that do a lot of calm, long-distance driving would appreciate the price value and wear resistance of their tyres. You can use our rating to quickly - and easily - find tyres that would best suit your parameters both in price and in wear.

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