Adac test 2021: summer tires 225/50 r17

This time in the ADAC summer tire test: 17 current models of the dimension 225/50 R17 for many middle class vehicles from the Audi A4 to the VW Passat. The overall balance is positive, but in some disciplines the tires showed big differences in performance- and one model failed completely.

  • Falken, Conti, Kumho, Bridgestone right in front
  • Enormous differences in wet braking
  • Even cheap tires perform well

The result: Of 17 tested models, the overall performance of four models is rated “good”, out of twelve tires with “satisfactory and one tire with “poor” rates. After the table with the scores and individual assessments, you will find, as always, the strengths and weaknesses of the models in comparison- and a big issue this time is the Wet braking.

The test table

Well balanced: The winners

An Audi drives through a steep curve on a racetrack

As especially recommendable four models are valid. In the lead: The Falken Azenis FK510, which convinces with its balance. It offers top values on wet and dry road surfaces. In a direct comparison of the top group, however, it shows a slightly higher fuel consumption.

The Continental PremiumContact 6 Shines with an above-average performance in all criteria. In the dry it offers good safety reserves, in the wet its precise handling is to be emphasized.

Third place Kumho Ecsta PS71 is exemplary in the chapter aquaplaning, both in the longitudinal and lateral direction, but also shines in all other wet disciplines. On dry roads, it scratches the borderline of a downgrade: Compared to the other “good” tires, it’s a good choice Tire it can not be controlled so precisely. With short braking distances, however, it still secures a good rating in the dry.

At Bridgestone Turanza T005 it’s the other way around: its strengths lie in short braking distances and precise handling in dry conditions. Compared to the best, however, the wear is somewhat higher.

In the top quartet the Kumho is by the way most favorably: The nationwide ADAC price survey at several dealers determined an average price of 108 euros (as of the beginning of 2021). For the Conti PremiumContact 6, on the other hand, is called 148 euros. Who decides thus for the Korean product, saves with a set of tires nevertheless 160 euro.

Many satisfactory tires

An Audi drives through a puddle and the water splashes

Tend to save also with the models of the satisfactory midfield. But here it is necessary to look more closely, because these tires are not as balanced as the front runners: They usually have a specific weakness, which is why they are devalued in the overall rating. How to quickly identify individual deficits. But who can live well with it due to their individual driving habits and operating conditions, has a wide, mostly cheaper choice.

Definitely not a bargain is the Michelin Primacy 4, with 154 euro the most expensive tire in the test. At least you save because it can stay on the car for a long time: In terms of mileage, it is in the top group of the test field, and no one can beat it in braking on dry roads either. However, he clearly loses points in the wet in aquaplaning and handling.

A similar wet problem have the Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2 and the Nexen N Fera Sport. But like the Michelin, they score particularly well in the dry and are very precise and accurate, especially in handling.

Between the two ranks in the table with a better wet, but worse dry result the inexpensive Esa+Tecar Spirit Pro (96 euros). Esa+Tecar? This is the brand of the trading company Tecar, which has its summer and winter tires produced to order by renowned tire manufacturers. In fact, the models have been doing quite well in ADAC tests in recent years, but they are not available everywhere because in Germany they are usually sold through affiliated, branded car dealerships.

An alternative: second brands

A man sits in a car and looks at test computers during the summer tire test

The tested tires of the lower half of the classification are usually second brands of the premium manufacturers, which want to serve thereby also price-oriented customers: Semperit, Barum and Viking belong to Continental, Glue is a Michelin subsidiary, Sava a Goodyear product and Laufenn a Hankook offshoot. With the exception of the Semperit (downgrade: dry), all models score well because of their weaker wet performance worse, but still satisfactory overall.

Only “satisfactory is also the overall verdict for the Pirelli Cinturato P7 – and that should not satisfy the expensive premium manufacturer. After all, the Italians had only introduced their successful P7 model with the C2 variant thoroughly reworked, which succeeded on dry roads with the top score of 1.5 in the test. But on wet it can not keep the level with weaker braking and handling values.

Flawed: The Firestone Roadhawk

Graphic on the wet braking test

The Firestone Roadhawk, a Bridgestone product, is the last placed in our test. Its properties on dry roads are satisfactory in principle, but only in warmer temperatures the test vehicle with the Firestone feels imprecise.

At wet road However, its grip level is below average: large steering angles are necessary to maneuver the Roadhawk through the handling course. When braking or accelerating in a curve, the grip is often completely lost.

Compared to the test field, its performance in handling is poor: the single criterion wet handling impacts on the main criterion wet and ultimately leads to the ADAC verdict of “poor”.

Vehicle overview of the dimension 225/50 R 17 Y

The following vehicle models (and numerous others) can be fitted with the tire size tested here – depending on engine and equipment.

Series Model
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Audi A4, A5, TT
BMW 3 series, 4 series, X1
DS DS 5
Honda Accord
Lexus GS
Mercedes B- and C-Class
Opel Astra, Zafira Tourer
Peugeot 3008, 5008, 508
Renault Latitude

Text: Thomas Kroher. Photos: ADAC/Wolfgang Grube.

Technical advice: Ruprecht Muller, Matthias Zimmermann, ADAC Technical Center

Do you need the test results of another tire size? Click here for an overview of the other summer tire sizes tested.

A good overview with all current test tables of different sizes can also be found in the digital brochure ADAC tire advisor.,

And with the tire purchase the article helps: The most important tips for buying tires.

Methodology and background

Results presentation and grades

The grades are shown as symbols in the results table.


Grade limits

When evaluating the results of the ADAC tire test, special attention is paid to the balance of the tire. This is to ensure that only tires that meet certain, quite demanding minimum requirements in all criteria receive a good ADAC verdict. For most drivers, tires with excellent individual properties are of little use if these tires simultaneously show significant weaknesses in other criteria. For this reason, in order to achieve a good ADAC verdict, minimum scores must be achieved in the most important supercriteria.

A tire aiming for the ADAC rating “good” must therefore be at least in the grade ranges of the “good” column (2.5 or better) in all relevant criteria. If the lower mark limit is not reached in a criterion (2.6 or worse), at best only the mark “satisfactory” can be awarded.

The same applies of course also to the ADAC judgements “satisfactory” and “sufficient”. The rating “satisfactory” can only be achieved if the scores in the criteria “dry”, “wet”, “fuel consumption” and “wear” are not worse than 3.5, for winter and all-season tires this also applies to the criteria “snow” and “ice. For the ADAC rating “sufficient”, the grades in the above criteria must be at least 4.5 or better.

Since the ADAC assumes an increase in the performance potential of tires for future tire tests, the grade “very good” has not yet been awarded. Thus until the evaluation yardsticks for the summer and winter tire tests can remain until further notice.

Determining the overall score

Please note: The overall score is only calculated for tires with the ADAC rating “good” calculated from the weighted individual scores. Tires with an ADAC verdict worse than “good”, experience a devaluation in the overall score.

The overall score, from which the ADAC verdict is derived, results from the worst score in one of the main criteria”Dry“, „Wet“, „Fuel consumption“ and”Wear“ (for winter and all-season tires additionally the main criteria”Snow“ and”Ice“), if the grade in this main criterion has led to the devaluation. See also the table of grade limits in the preceding paragraph. Has z.B. If a tire model receives a score of 2.0 in three of the six main criteria listed and a score of 2.6 in only one main criterion, the overall score cannot be better than 2.6. In other words, the criterion in which the grade that led to the devaluation was awarded is given a weighting of 100%. All other criteria are given a weighting of 0 percent. The grades that lead to devaluation are marked by an underline or a footnote. If a devaluation of the overall grade takes place, the models evaluated with the same final grade are listed in alphabetical order. In addition, each model must pass a “fast running test pass, initially according to strict ADAC criteria, in the case of deficits according to a milder standard test. At- rare – failure of one of the two tests results in a devaluation, which is calculated according to the o.g. Evaluation scheme leads to a devaluation of the overall grade.

This type of overall scoring is intended to prevent a tire model that has one or more significant weaknesses from compensating for these weaknesses with pronounced strengths in other main criteria. Please note: The criterion “Noise is not taken into account in this type of overall grade determination.

Product selection

The test consortium decides on the selection of products. The tire manufacturers have no influence on this. The tire dimensions to be tested are jointly selected and determined. Criteria such as market strength or topicality of earlier tests play an important role here. The decision is based on a majority vote of all test partners. The selection of tire models is also based on market conditions. The aim is to cover the entire price range from premium brand to low-price segment. As the tire market now includes many brands, some of which are not very well known, an attempt is also made to take these “new” brands into account. With limited test capacities, this results in the omission of other, usually better-known brands. Only tire models with an EU tire label of class “C” or better in the “wet grip” criterion are taken into account in product selection. This is to prevent tires from participating in the comparative test that do not appear to meet minimum requirements in this important criterion.

Procurement of the test products

The purchasing process ensures that the tires tested correspond to the series production status. A total of 28 tires per model are purchased from independent dealers in smaller quantities from up to 5 different dealers. By using several sets of tires for the same test criterion (z.B. wet brakes), which were purchased from different dealers and in some cases at different times, it is possible to check whether the quality uniformly corresponds to the series. If there is only the slightest doubt about the uniform quality of individual tire models, additional tires are purchased undercover and additional tests are carried out. In a third purchasing step, shortly before publication, additional visual samples of tires can be purchased and retested in the decisive meaningful criteria. If tires had been manufactured separately for the test, this would also become visible through this measure. At the latest then these tire models would be taken out of the test. In principle, only tire models are tested that are widely and generally available at the time of purchase. New tire models introduced to the market during testing cannot be considered.

Preparation of the test products

At the beginning, the tires are subjected to an initial test. The exact model specifications, the DOT and/or production numbers as well as the EU tire label data are recorded here. The different tire models are assigned by random procedure product numbers over them up to the test end to be identified. Thus the marks and model designations step for the further evaluations into the background. Prior to the actual tests, the test tires are driven over distances of approx. 300 kilometers run in, in order to guarantee the final product characteristics. The wheel positions of the tires are changed in the process.

Used test tracks

On own and external test sites, the rule applies that all activities concerning the ADAC tire test and the test drives themselves are carried out exclusively by ADAC employees. They are carried out completely independently of the rest of the test operation on the respective site. During the tests and test preparations on tire manufacturers’ premises, the test products are constantly guarded. At all other times, the test products are under lock and key.

  • Tire performance on dry surfaces is currently being conducted at a Bridgestone test site in Italy.
  • Tire characteristics on wet surfaces as well as fuel consumption and noise behavior (both on dry surfaces) are currently being conducted at a Continental test site in Germany.
  • The wear behavior of the tires is carried out by means of road convoy drives with several identical vehicles in the vicinity of Landsberg am Lech. In addition, tests are carried out on a wear test rig from Bridgestone. These tests are validated by cross comparisons in road convoy drives.
  • The snow tests of the winter and all-season tire test are carried out at a manufacturer-independent test site of the company “Testworld” in Finland.
  • The ice tests of the winter and all-season tire test are performed on an ice test track of the manufacturer Continental.

Test criteria

10 %

  • All-season tires are treated like winter tires in terms of criteria and their weighting. Dry road (Weightings see table, with grade boundary): Handling: general driving behavior of the tires below the critical limit such as z.B. Straight-line stability, steering response, lateral control. Driving safety: Driving behavior in the limit range such as z.B. Lane change, cornering stability. BrakingBraking distance during ABS braking from 100 to 1 km/h, five test runs per tire model.
  • Wet road (see table for weightings, with grade limit): Braking (weighting 30 percent): braking distance with ABS braking from 80 to 20 km/h on asphalt and concrete road surfaces, three repetitions with five test drives each. Longitudinal aquaplaning (weighting 20 percent): acceleration while passing through a water basin, water depth 7 millimeters, only the left wheels roll through the water basin, measured variable is the upward speed at which the wheel in question enters a slip of 15 percent, five measurement runs per tire model. Aquaplaning transverse (weighting 10 percent): step-by-step faster driving on circular track (diameter 200 meters) with 20-meter-long, flowing water wetted sector, water depth 5 millimeters, speed increase from 65 to 95 km/h in steps of 5 km/h, measured variable is the variation of the lateral acceleration on the water section, one test drive per tire and speed level. Handling (weighting 30 percent): fastest possible driving (at the limit) of a permanently wet, winding handling course (length 1900 meters) by two test drivers, measured variable: lap time, in addition independent subjective assessment of the tire properties by both test drivers, each driver completes two runs of three laps per tire model. Circle/side guidance (weighting 10 percent): fastest possible driving on a completely permanently sprinkled circular track, measured variable: lap time, five measurement laps per tire model.
  • Snow-covered road (only winter and. All-season tires, weighting see table, with grade limit): Braking (weighting 40 percent): braking distance during ABS braking from 30 to 5 km/h, three to five runs with five measurements each per tire model. Starting (weighting 20 percent): acceleration measurement at low speeds in the range from 10 to 60 percent slip, three to six passes with six measurements each. Handling (weighting 40 percent): handling (weighting 40 percent): time measurement while driving on a level circuit as well as subjective assessment of traction, lateral guidance and balance of the axles, two to three passes with three measurements each. The driving times (weighting 10 percent of the snow rating) and the averaged assessment scores (weighting 30 percent of the snow rating) of the handling drives are evaluated.
  • Ice road (only winter u. All-season tires, weighting see table, with grade limit): Braking (weighting 60 percent): ABS braking on an icy road from 20 to 5 km/h, average deceleration is determined and evaluated. Lateral control (weighting 40 percent): lateral guidance forces measured using a vehicle guided at the front and rear on a rail system and traveling at a constant speed over an icy road surface. The force measurements are made at eleven different steering angle settings. The means of these forces serves the evaluation.
  • Noise (Weightings see table, without grade limit): Interior noise (weighting 50 percent): subjective evaluation of interior noise by two persons during coasting tests of a vehicle between 80 and 30 km/h on asphalt and concrete road surfaces with the engine stationary. Exterior noise (weighting 50 percent): noise measurement according to ISO 362 on asphalt according to ISO 10844 during roll-by at 80 km/h with the engine at a standstill.
  • Fast running test (in case of suspicion) Test on external drum test stand (diameter 2 m) based on DIN 78051, additional multi-stage ADAC test program, several repetitions depending on initial results, measurement and evaluation parameters: speed level reached, speed of the engine, speed of the tyres, speed of the tyres, speed of the engine, speed of the tyres, speed of the tyres, speed of the tyres. Assessment variables: speed level reached, time spent in the last speed level and damage pattern, passing the standard test and the more stringent ADAC requirements is assessed. No separate weighting. It is assumed that all tests are passed as a matter of course. Graduated downgrading only takes place if one of the rapid tests is not passed.
  • Fuel consumption (weighting 10 percent, with grade limit): Fuel consumption measurement using high-precision fuel consumption measuring equipment while driving at a constant speed of 100 km/h with always the same vehicle over a distance of 2 kilometers, two runs with five measurement runs each per tire model. Measured variable: Fuel consumption in liters per 100 kilometers.
  • Tire wear (see table for weightings, with grade limit): Convoy journeys with several identical vehicles over a distance of 15.000 kilometers per tire, with the driver and tire changing in opposite directions. Test bench measurements:Over a distance of 5000 kilometers the convoy route is driven simulated and secured with convoy tests. Measured variable:Seven laser-assisted measurements of the tire profile over the distance, extrapolation of the remaining mileage until the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6 millimeters is reached.
  • Special features of all-season tires : To reflect the year-round use of all-season tires, z.B. tests were carried out on dry roads in June/July in comparison with summer tires. Half of the wear tests were carried out between March and May and the other half in June.

Evaluation, assessment and grades

The measurement-based results of the individual tire models are set in relation to the results of a reference tire model participating in all tests, whose characteristics are known. By carrying a reference tire, changes in the test framework conditions can be detected and, if necessary, corrected. are compensated. The performances of the test tires in relation to the reference tire are presented as percentages, with the performance of the reference tire corresponding to 100 percent. This allows the respective results to be assigned to a grading scale.

The subjective evaluations are directly formulated in grades.

The grade scale ranges from 0.6 (very good) to 5.5 (poor). The scores of the weighted individual criteria result in the scores of the main criteria. The weighted main criteria, taking into account the grade boundaries, result in the final grades.

Rules of good testing practice

ADAC is one of the first organizations to support the “Good Testing” voluntary commitment of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.
Comprehensive transparency and traceability remain top priorities in the testing activities of the Automobile Club. That is why ADAC is one of the first organizations to participate in a new initiative of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) for more transparency in product testing. The club’s unqualified support for the voluntary commitment has Dr. August Markl, First Vice President of the ADAC e.V., informed the ministry in a letter. ADAC has committed itself by signature to comply with the rules of good testing practice presented by the BMJV.

Scientific basis

This means that testing activities will continue to be carried out transparently and independently, that the methodology used will be made public with reference to scientific and legal principles, and that the suppliers of the tested products will be given advance notice of publication. As a recognized consumer protection organization, ADAC already provides interested citizens with comprehensive and comprehensible information on each of its independent tests. In addition to the methodology, for example, institutes are listed with which the respective test was carried out – as well as information on the double external quality assurance.

Quality assurance

The test consortium decides on the products and the test methodology. This consortium consists of many European automobile clubs and consumer protection organizations. The tire manufacturers are not in this consortium. The tire dimensions to be tested are discussed and defined in the consortium. Criteria such as market strength or timeliness of a previous test play an important role. The decision is made by majority vote of all test partners present. The test methods are based on years of ADAC expertise in the service of safety. For changes in the test methodology, there is a long-term time schedule, which is also presented and discussed at each meeting. Again all present test partners decide together. Purchasing process at various locations and quality management ensure that the tested tires correspond to the series production status. A total of 28 tires per model are purchased from the public trade.

There is an advisory board for the tire test, which includes experts from universities, research institutes and other organizations, as well as manufacturers. Test design and criteria are also presented here. The aim is to exchange information on the current state of the art (product developments) and on the latest scientific findings.

For quality assurance, both subjective and objective evaluations are performed multiple times and independently of each other by different test drivers. The test drivers regularly coordinate with each other and with other experts in various training sessions. All evaluation benchmarks and test methods are determined by discussions with other test partners (e.g., the test engineers).B. ICRToAMTC, TCS). In addition, the measurement methodology is discussed with representatives from the tire industry through annual advisory boards. Before the test is published, each participating tire manufacturer is informed about the results of its products in relation to the used and designated control tire as part of the manufacturer’s pre-test information.

ÜOverview of the test and quality assurance procedures within the scope of the test

  • Tire testing according to DIN 78 051
  • Anonymization of the test samples
  • Laser measurements of tread depth
  • Multiple evaluations by independent test drivers
  • Correction of temperature-related track influences by reference tires
  • Mathematical error considerations
  • Plausibility check of multiple tests
  • Driving tests on certified asphalt (ECE-R 117)
  • Noise measurement according to ISO 362
  • High-speed test by MPA-Darmstadt

Procedure and appropriateness of the test methods were verified by the sworn expert Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gunter Willmerding confirmed in 2011.

Price information

The prices of the individual tire models were determined on the cut-off date 22.1.2021 by the Federal Association of the Tire Trade and the Vulcanizing Trade e.V. (BRV) with 25 representatively selected tire dealers. All regions of the country, as well as rural and urban areas, were taken into account in the selection of establishments. The companies are partly independent, partly affiliated with retail chains or. Cooperations belonging. From all data an average price for whole Germany is formed.

Deviations from the indicated average prices are possible not only regionally but also over time. The price information is primarily for orientation before researching local suppliers.

When looking for a favorable offer, in addition to online offers, various regional dealers should also be consulted with regard to the tire price and other service costs.

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