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  #1  
Old 12-10-2012, 05:39 AM
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Aussie SUV tyre test

The December edition of Choice ran a test of SUV tyres. For those not familiar, Choice is an Australian independent consumer magazine. They aren't motoring experts by any means but then they aren't swayed by cool tread patterns or advertising dollars, just performance. They tested the tyres in both wet and dry cornering and wet and dry braking. Tests were done on sealed and unsealed roads. Each tyre was given an aggregated score out of 100 (the higher the better). The tests on unsealed roads proved inconclusive and therefore not included in the score. They used the small SUV tyre size of 225/60R17. Unfortunately some brands were unavailable in that size, Michelin being one of them. As often happens, one of the cheapest tyre proved the best and one of the dearest, the worst. The results are:

Pirelli Cinturato P7 Ecoimpact________ 84
Goodyear EfficientGrip SUV__________ 81
Falken Ziex ZE912_________________ 79
Nexen Classe Premiere CP641________ 78
Kumho Solus KL21 Eco_____________ 73
Hankook Optimo H426 Environment___ 72
Cooper CS4 Touring________________ 70
Maxxis MA-E1_____________________ 69
Yokohama Geolander H/T-S__________ 67
Dunlop ST20 Grandtrek_____________ 64
Yokohama Geolander A/T-S__________ 61
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2012, 05:54 AM
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Re: Aussie SUV tyre test

Thanks bob. Good to see the kumhos in the middle of the road, lucky they aren't testing longevity - however I guess this might actually be a function of performance.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:45 AM
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Re: Aussie SUV tyre test

Well I know they are way better than the directional Goodyear f1's that came stock on my WG - on wet gravel roads they were downright dangerous!
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:39 PM
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Re: Aussie SUV tyre test

Pity they did not test the Yokahama Parada, as they are on my shortlist to replace the Khumos.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:19 PM
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Re: Aussie SUV tyre test

I stopped paying attention to Choice tyre comparisons after I followed their recommendation for tyres on a Commodore a long time ago. Their winner at the time was a Kelly Springfield tyre and they were tested on Commodores just like mine. They were great for about a month, but once they wore down a bit I renamed them to Kelly Springsqueals. They were pathetic in the dry and wet.

I replaced them after 18 months with a set of Bridgestone Supercats (I just gave away how long ago this was), which rated much lower in their comparison but it was a much better tyre all round in the long run.

It's fine for Choice to do a test and publish their findings. And as Bob says, they're not experts so they dont claim to be able to accommodate all SUV owners requirements in the test. But you have to come to your own conclusions with these comparisons. Tyres are a big expense and you cant really take them back if you dont like them after a few weeks.

The best source of info is forums like these, drawing on the experiences of owners that have similar sized vehicles and have similar interests.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:55 PM
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Re: Aussie SUV tyre test

One thing to notice is the scores for Geolander A/T vs Geolander H/T. It clearly shows that off road tread patterns is no good for the tarmac.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:00 AM
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Re: Aussie SUV tyre test

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Originally Posted by F500 View Post
One thing to notice is the scores for Geolander A/T vs Geolander H/T. It clearly shows that off road tread patterns is no good for the tarmac.
Yes and no but don't get me started... too late! It's probably more to do with the construction than anything. Some 4 decades ago I did an undergraduate thesis on skid resistance of roads surfaces. I had to read all the research there was. Testing showed that there was huge difference between tires that had no tread to ones that had at least 2mm of tread, not surprising. However, what was surprising was that there was no measurable difference between tread patterns. There were a range of tyres tested. As I recall one was a Pirelli Cinurato another was just straight grooves as per aeroplanes. The control was a slick. Rubber compound and tyre construction proved more significant. Natural rubber has low hysteresis, that is to say it bounces back quickly. A tyre with a lot of natural rubber has less grip but huge longevity. VW used this type of tyre for a while which lead to VW gaining the legendary reputation of tyre longevity but poor grip. Synthetic rubber has high hysteresis. It bounces back slower and tends to hug the road stone giving it much greater grip but in doing so it generates more heat and therefore tears and wears quicker. It's all a balancing act. A tyre manufacturer has to decided what niche he wants to target and build a tyre accordingly. If you don't fit that niche, you won't like that tyre. I just want to point out that one shouldn't get too hung up about tread patterns other than for their cosmetic appeal. Performance wise, other factors are more important.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:14 AM
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Re: Aussie SUV tyre test

Thanks Bob. I kind of assumed that the two Geolanders would be made of the same rubber, but they are probably not.

My experience when using a Bridgestone H/P directional tyre on my Ford Escape was that they were absolutely excellent on tarmac, wet or dry, but poor in dirt and rocks (with a few punctures). I now have Goodyear A/T SA on the Escape and they are completely the opposite, with longer brake lengths on wet tarmac the biggest worry, but no punctures and good grip off road.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:56 AM
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Re: Aussie SUV tyre test

Quote:
Originally Posted by F500 View Post
Thanks Bob. I kind of assumed that the two Geolanders would be made of the same rubber, but they are probably not.

My experience when using a Bridgestone H/P directional tyre on my Ford Escape was that they were absolutely excellent on tarmac, wet or dry, but poor in dirt and rocks (with a few punctures). I now have Goodyear A/T SA on the Escape and they are completely the opposite, with longer brake lengths on wet tarmac the biggest worry, but no punctures and good grip off road.
That's just as one would expect. Thank goodness for anti-lock braking and stability control. It lets us use tougher A/T and LT tyres on bitumen with a little more confidence albeit less comfort.
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