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German Auto Club 225/45r17 Summer Tire Test


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ADAC, the German Auto Club, is a much more comprehensive organization than the likes of AAA. One of the things they do is product testing.


They test both winter and summer tires, and have distinct evaluations by size. Many of us have noticed that some tires that perform well in one size are not as successful - or available - in another, so this can be quite useful.


In March of this year they tested 225/45r17 summer tires. The test results are at: http://www.adac.de/Tests/Reifentests/Sommerreifen/225_45_R17WY_2006/default.asp?ComponentID=139639&SourcePageID=8772


I've translated part of the tabular results in the image below.


P.S. In most ADAC tests, lower scores are better. 1=Very Good ("Sehr Gut") while 5=Deficient ("Mangelhaft")


Who Dares Wins


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I thought the results were interesting compared to the Car & Driver test at:



...where the Pirelli placed 7th and the Bridgestone 9th. The Continental and Goodyear F1 placed well in both tests.

Who Dares Wins


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Yeah but look at the spread in points:


Goodyear: 1050.4

Continental: 1031.9

Yokohama: 1027.0

Michelin: 1018.7

Hankook: 1015.4

Dunlop: 1002.2

Pirelli: 1002.1

Toyo: 999.7

Bridgestone: 993.9

BFGoodrich: 993.0

Kumho: 990.7

Max points

dry performance (x2): 600

wet performance: 300

price: 100

tread wear: 100

total possible: 1100


I wasn't that impressed with C&D's review in the first place, for this reason - I think these tires are more noticably different from each other than this, and their writeup says so - they were frankly surprised by some of the tires placing where they did.


Regarding their opinion of the RE 050A, well, since I've owned these tires I have lost some respect for these guys. I have driven the kumho, the toyo, the conti, and had driven the 050 on another car before buying them. Without a doubt, the kumho does not belong in this comparison test - it is outclassed. Wouldn't be surprised if the Goodrich and Hankook were also. These tires simply lack the confidenc inspiring grip of the conti and the bridgestone, wet or dry, and especially wet. Also, turn in response is just amazing with the bridgestone, not so with any of the others I've driven. The kumho turnin is responsive but dull-feeling, there is no compliance as though grip doesn't build up in the tire until the sidewall starts to flex. Withe the bridgestone you can feel the rubber hanging onto the road even though you have that sharp responsiveness. Same with the conti but this tire is significantly less sharp, as is the toyo.


Now regarding noise, the conti is the best and the bridgestone is not too far behind. The toyo is louder and the rest are simply loud tires, including the michelin - another excellent tire but which i haven't driven in a while.


Judging tirewear in a points bearing contest by using the manufacturer's wear rating is simply juvenile. Everyone, and I mean everyone, knows that the wear ratings are not comparable from manufacturer to manufacturer, and not particularly reliable within a given manufacturer. Silly.


Price? Again, I thought we were comparing performance? i think that the price comparison skews the results significantly. Guess what? The bridgestone was the second most expensive tire as tested at $178, while the GSD3 was mid pack. I still don't understand Geshwiens comments about the tire feeling disconnected - all I can think of is that they didn't run the pressures high enough for the car they drove. Not to mention that the current 3 series is hardly the most connected feeling car. Far inferior to the previous iteration.


Anyway, C&D makes some pretty superficial points, on the one hand the RE 050 is expensive and quiet, and maybe it wears well, while a cheap tire that is no better or worse in dry and wet that doesn't wear well is a much better _performance_ tire? I'm sorry, I don't get that.


You are either measuring performance, or you are measuring all around. C&D is measuring all around, and with a high level of subjectivity at that, IMO.


I appreciate their efforts, but they are not focussed enough, in this article, to do as good a job as they could have done. My experience with my tires sort of eliminates the future usefulness of this article for tire buying. Never has a number two finisher (the conti) been so lambasted in a comparison test - if they can;t beleive they found it number two and feel other tires behind it are better, can't they figure out there's something wrong with their methodology?

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