Wet Handling and Cornering
Safety and control are paramount on wet roads - so which rubber was the most reassuring to drive on?
The only time most of us get close to the limit of ourtyres’ ability is on wet roads. Grip is drastically reduced and there can behuge performance gaps between the best and worst rubber – often the difference betweenhaving a crash or not.
Vredestein and Goodyear design tyres to perform well in thewet, and the Sportrac 3 and OptiGrip uphold this. The Russian-owned Dutch firmjust took the win from its US rival, with Continental close behind.
All three inspired confidence, allowing the driver to get onthe throttle early and equiring the minimum of steering lock. The order wasshuffled a little on the cornering circle, with
Continental just in front and Bridgestone pipping Goodyear forthird. Reigning champ Pirelli felt particularly sharp, and was fifth on thehandling circuit but faded to eighth on the circle. In contrast, Kumho showed promisein the cornering test, but didn’t deliver as the speeds increased on thecircuit, where the nose slid wide too easily.
Michelin suffered the same fate on the faster discipline,coming fifth on the circle but dropping to eighth on the handling track in atightly packed group. The bottom of the top 10 was the best the Dunlop couldmanage in both tests – even though it felt safe, it was short on grip.
A long way back was the Wanli. This was not a pleasant drive,with the sheer dearth of grip triggering the anti-lock braking very early andpushing the car wide as soon as the throttle was touched. Wanli was fourseconds slower than the next best make, and a worrying seven seconds behind thetop tyre on the handling circuit.
Dry track star Maxxis didn’t really take to the wet surface,managing no better than two
11th places. But at least it was in touch with the rest ofits rivals.
|Wet cornering results|
|Wet handling results|
In this review
- 1IntroductionOur experts put 12 of Britain's top-selling tyres through their paces. Which is best for your car?
- 2Dry HandlingIt's arguably the most important aspect of a tyre's performance - but just what did our test reveal?
- 3Wet Handling and Cornering - currently readingSafety and control are paramount on wet roads - so which rubber was the most reassuring to drive on?
- 4AquaplaningWe rate our tyres' ability to grip a wet road, instead of riding up on the water. Which is the rain master?
- 5Dry BrakingThe heat is on as we put rubber through punishing emergency stops
- 6Wet BrakingTo stop quickly on a rain-soaked surface requires a different range of abilities. Which is a wet winner?
- 7Rolling ResistanceIt's central to better mpg, so we look at energy required to turn a tyre
- 8PriceCost is a key factor, but does it pay to go for the cheapest?
- 9NoiseTyre roar is a big issue - so we look for the quietest choice
- 10ResultsWe've crunched the numbers to reveal Britain's best tyre