Tyre noise

Which tyres are the loudest?

The noise a tyre makes is a key part of comfort. But it’s impossible to detect tyre roar until you haveactually fitted the rubber.

This is a vital test, because with many cars spending most of their lives on motorways, a lot of drivers would prefer a tyre that’s quiet to one which improves their vehicle’s handling.

To achieve the fairest result, we’ve looked at what you’d experience in day-to-day driving. Our assessment should not to be confused with those tests required by law; the latter are carried out from the roadside with specially sealed cars to prevent the engine or transmission affecting the outcome.

The human ear can detect a change of three decibels, so the difference in noise between our best and worst performers would be just about noticeable from behind the wheel.

Our winner was the Kumho by a healthy margin of half-a-decibel. Fellow Korean Hankook tied with Fulda for second, with Maxxis close behind. Surprisingly, the big-name tyres were well outside the top five – remarkable given the development that goes into the premium brands.

Dunlop was seventh, followed by Yokohama, BFGoodrich, Continental and Goodyear. Bridgestone, Pirelli, Michelin and Toyo all have work to do.

Vredestein’s wet weather prowess ultimately worked against it in this part of our assessment. With its big water channels trapping a substantial amount of air, the Sportrac3 is a noisy tyre – and so it found itself a fair way off the pace in last place.

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