Spring is fast approaching, which means drivers will swiftly replace their winter tyres with summer ones. Those who are starting to look for a new set for the warm months may rely on the help of the German automotive organization ADAC, which has been carrying out tyre tests for years. This year, two model sizes were tested - 205/55 R16 and 225/50 R17. We will check which of them did best and were recommended as a result.

One of the tested tyre sizes is fitted to the Honda Civic.

How are ADAC tests conducted?

The German automobile club ADAC is one of the largest automotive organizations worldwide. One of its tasks is to improve road safety, and the many initiatives it undertakes include giving opinions on new cars, road infrastructure and tyres.

The ADAC tyre tests are considered reliable not only because of the reputation of the organizer itself but also due to the rigorous methodology that allows for a meticulous comparison of key parameters. Each of the tests - carried out under controlled conditions - involves over a dozen models from various segments and price ranges. Manufacturers do not participate in their selection.

Importantly, for a given model (of a specific size) to receive a recommendation, it must demonstrate comprehensive performance. The performance is assessed based on the results obtained in five categories that have been assigned a specific value:

  • performance on wet surfaces (40% of the final score);
  • performance on dry surfaces (20% of the final score);
  • service life (20% of the final score);
  • generated noise (10% of the final score);
  • fuel consumption (10% of the final score).

The adopted rating scale assumes that the lower the score, the better. The maximum number of points that can be awarded is 0.6 (very good), with the lowest being 5.5 (unsatisfactory).

ADAC 2021 summer tyre test, tyre size 205/55 R16

The first test involved fifteen models, three of which ended with a "good" score. Eleven were considered satisfactory and one was considered sufficient. Interestingly, the study also included one regrooved tyre. Although its rating is not particularly low, despite taking the last place, ADAC specialists noted e.g. long braking distances, delayed response time, or limited grip in various conditions.

The overall results are as follows:

Continental PremiumContact 62,2good (gut)
Semperit Speed-Life 32,2good (gut)
Bridgestone Turanza T0052,3good (gut)
Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 22,6satisfactory (befriedigend)
Kumho Ecsta HS512,6satisfactory (befriedigend)
Apollo Alnac 4G2,7satisfactory (befriedigend)
Hankook Ventus Prime 3 K1252,7satisfactory (befriedigend)
Fulda EcoControl HP 22,8satisfactory (befriedigend)
BFGoodrich Advantage2,9satisfactory (befriedigend)
Maxxis Premitra 53,0satisfactory (befriedigend)
Nokian Wetproof3,0satisfactory (befriedigend)
Pirelli Cinturato P73,0satisfactory (befriedigend)
Uniroyal RainSport 53,0satisfactory (befriedigend)
Petlas Imperium PT5153,3satisfactory (befriedigend)
King Meiler Sport 13,6sufficient (ausreichend)

Tyres in size 205/55 R16 are mounted in compact cars. These are (depending on the model and accessories): Audi A3, Dacia Logan, Fiat Tipo, Ford Focus, Honda Civic or Kia Ceed.

Continental PremiumContact 6

Two tyres in the ranking received equally high overall ratings (2.2), which places them in the leading positions. The first is Continental PremiumContact 6, representing the premium class.

Its position in the ranking is due to balanced parameters, but the actual key to success was the best result in the category of driving on wet surfaces. The brand also took care of the tyres' satisfactory service life, which drew the attention of those conducting the test. On the other hand, in terms of fuel consumption, ADAC specialists expected a bit more.

Continental PremiumContact 6 is a tyre designed with high performance in mind. The manufacturer's promises as to its reliability regardless of the weather, seem to be reflected in reality, with the Safety Silica rubber compound significantly contributing to it. Moreover, it is worth paying attention to the characteristic tread pattern with macroblocks, which are to affect the driving precision.

Semperit Speed-Life 3

The first economic tyre in the ranking is the Semperit Speed-Life 3.  Interestingly, its manufacturer is part of the Continental Group, so we can speak of a double success.

What the two best-rated models have in common is not only their manufacturer but also excellent results in driving on wet surfaces. However, Speed-Life 3 indeed performed slightly worse in this category than PremiumContact 6, but it still left the competition far behind. Its advantages also include low rolling resistance, which was assessed better than in the Continental brand.

The model's features that were appreciated are due to the refined tread pattern. You can see its wide grooves at first glance; these minimize the risk of aquaplaning and shorten the braking distance after rainfall. The manufacturer also paid attention to the optimal stiffness of the tyres, which allows the car to drive confidently, even when cornering.

Bridgestone Turanza T005

The second awarded premium item is just right for drivers who believe the tyres' impact on fuel consumption is important. Bridgestone Turanza T005 tyres received one of the highest scores in this category, surpassing the above-mentioned models.

Other strengths, highlighted in the ADAC test, include safe driving on wet and dry surfaces. However, there is also one downside, which is the noise it generates.

Looking back to previous years, one can notice that this isn't the first time Bridgestone Turanza T005 tyres have been tested by the German organization, and they have already been on the podium several times. This proves that the technologies used in their manufacture are among the best available on the market. These include the NanoPro-Tech mixture, which provides great traction in various conditions.

Individual categories - who was the best

Rigorous evaluation rules and the requirement of sustainable performance mean that some models while proving unrivaled in individual categories, occupy further positions in the overall score.

CategoryBest models
performance on dry surfacesMaxxis Premitra 5 (1,4); Hankook Ventus Prime 3 K125 (1,5); Continental PremiumContact 6 (2,0); Semperit Speed-Life 3 (2,0) ; Bridgestone Turanza T005 (2,0) ; Pirelli Cinturato P7 (2,0)
performance on wet surfacesContinental PremiumContact 6 (1,8); Semperit Speed-Life 3 (1,9); Pirelli Cinturato P7 (2,0)
generated noiseFulda EcoControl HP 2 (2,7); Nokian Wetproof (2,7); Pirelli Cinturato P7 (2,7); Uniroyal RainSport 5 (2,7)
fuel consumptionKumho Ecsta HS51 (1,6); BF Goodrich Advantage (1,6); Bridgestone Turanza T005 (1,8)
service lifeGoodyear EfficientGrip Performance 2 (0,6); Fulda EcoControl HP 2 (1,5); Petlas Imperium PT515 (1,5)

Tyres size 225/50 R17 are fitted to the Opel Vectra.

ADAC 2021 summer tyre test, tyre size 225/50 R17

The second list concerns the size 225/50 R17. This time, the driving characteristics of seventeen models were checked, four of which stood out in particular - these were awarded the "good" rating. Twelve tyres were found satisfactory and one was not recommended.

Falken Azenis FK5102,1good (gut)
Continental PremiumContact 62,2good (gut)
Kumho Ecsta PS712,3good (gut)
Bridgestone Turanza T0052,5good (gut)
Michelin Primacy 42,7satisfactory (befriedigend)
Dunlop Sport Maxx RT22,8satisfactory (befriedigend)
Esa+Tecar Spirit Pro2,8satisfactory (befriedigend)
Nexen N'Fera Sport2,8satisfactory (befriedigend)
Pirelli Cinturato P7 C22,8satisfactory (befriedigend)
Semperit Speed-Life 32,9satisfactory (befriedigend)
Kleber Dynaxer HP43,1satisfactory (befriedigend)
Sava Intensa UHP 23,1satisfactory (befriedigend)
Giti GitiPremium H13,3satisfactory (befriedigend)
Laufenn S-Fit EQ+ LK01
3,3satisfactory (befriedigend)
Barum Bravuris 5HM3,4satisfactory (befriedigend)
Viking ProTech NewGen3,5satisfactory (befriedigend)
Firestone Roadhawk4,9insufficient (mangelhaft)

What cars is the 225/50 R17 size installed in? ADAC points out that they are often middle class. Cars equipped with tyres of the given size include, among others the following models: Alfa Romeo Giulia, Audi A4, Mercedes Class B, Honda Accord, and Peugeot 508.

Falken Azenis FK510

This time the top award has gone to the middle-class brand. The proposal with the Falken logo was unrivaled, and its balanced parameters successfully convinced the organizers of the test.

The Azenis FK510 model proved itself on wet surfaces, which translated into the best result in this category. And it should be noted that the performance of many tyres has been surprisingly low in this regard. 

But there’s more praise coming. The Japanese tyres fared well on dry surfaces and turned out just as well in terms of durability. They also turned out to be the quietest. In this case, taking into account other models' scores, a little more work could be done on the effect on fuel consumption.

The positive opinion of the Falken Azenis FK510 tyres is due to many factors, one of them being their asymmetric tread. This relief allows maintaining control over the car both when driving straight ahead and turning corners. It also translates into shorter braking distances when the weather is not favourable for drivers.

Kumho Ecsta PS71

Let us jump right to the third place, which was taken by the second representative of the middle segment - Kumho Ecsta PS71. How did it earn its position on the podium?

First of all, through the effective fight against aquaplaning, which is of great importance for our safety when the road is covered with water. According to ADAC specialists, the model could have had a little more steering precision on dry roads, but it still performs well and has a short braking distance.

You don't have to look too closely to find out why Kumho tyres have passed the difficult test of the German automobile club. Just look at the tread, with its system of grooves and cuts to drain the water away from the front of the tyre. Grip is achieved - even at higher speeds - thanks to massive pads and a quick response to the brake pedal.

Continental PremiumContact 6 and Bridgestone Turanza T005

We select these models for the second time, which only proves how successful they are. Continental PremiumContact 6 took second place in the test of tyres size 225/50 R17. It performed particularly well on wet surfaces, and also stood out on a dry road. This means that it will allow you to feel confident behind the wheel, regardless of the conditions. One of the better partial scores was also awarded for its impact on fuel consumption.

This time around, the tourist tyres Bridgestone Turanza T005 took a high, fourth place. This is noteworthy as this model has also been assessed as good. ADAC praises it especially for its steering precision and short braking distance on dry surfaces. Compared to the three better-rated tyres - durability needs refining.

Results in individual categories

The remaining tyres, although they often scored very well in individual categories, presented weaknesses that prevented them from achieving higher positions in the overall ranking. The table below shows some of these cases.

CategoryBest models
performance on dry surfacesMichelin Primacy 4 (1,5); Pirelli Cinturato P7 C2 (1,5); Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2 (1,8); Giti GitiPremium H1 (1,8)
performance on wet surfacesFalken Azenis FK510 (2,0); Semperit Speed-Life 3 (2,0); Continental PremiumContact 6 (2,1)
generated noiseSava Intensa UHP 2 (2,6); Falken Azenis FK510 (2,8); Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2 (2,8); Nexen N Fera Sport (2,8)
fuel consumptionViking ProTech NewGen (1,6); Continental PremiumContact 6 (1,8); Kleber Dynaxer HP4 (1,8); Barum Bravuris 5HM (1,8)
service lifeMichelin Primacy 4 (1,5); Esa+Tecar Spirit Pro (1,5); Semperit Speed-Life 3 (1,5)

Choosing summer tyres - what to consider?

Before buying a new tyre, it is worth taking some time to select one. There are at least several reasons for this. First of all, our safety is at stake here. You have to realize that it is the tyres – and nothing else - that connect the vehicle to the ground. Therefore, it is largely up to them whether we always reach the target destination. Furthermore, a well-chosen set will increase your driving satisfaction.

Where do we start the search? It is best to first determine the correct size as the tyres must fit the car they are to be mounted on. If we do not know this information, a special configurator will help us. 

Then let's think about your driving style - whether dynamic or calm. It is also good to determine how many kilometers we travel annually. This way, we will distinguish the features that new summer tyres should have in order to meet our expectations. For some, comfort will be more important than low rolling resistance, while for others durability may be the key.

Finally, let's consult the experts. Let's check the latest test results - carried out by ADAC, as well as other organizations or the automotive press. The opinions of drivers who put their tyres to new tests every day and then share their insights with Oponeo customers are just as valuable.