By Denna Bowman
The Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyre has come out on top in a tyres test conducted by What Car? magazine.
The test was conducted to highlight the difference in performance between premium and budget brand tyres.
The tyres tested alongside the Pilot Sport 3 using a Vauxhall Meriva were equivalent products from Arrowspeed, Continental, Goodyear, Ovation and Sunew.
While the Michelin tyres led the field in the wet and dry braking, and lateral grip tests, it was the poor braking performance of the three budget brands (Arrowspeed, Ovation and Sunew) which was most disturbing.
The magazine reported: “We pitted three premium tyres against three budget alternatives in a series of braking tests, and the results were shocking. In the wet, the budget tyres took an average of 14 metres – the length of an articulated lorry – longer than the premium tyres to pull up from 70mph.
“In the dry the differences weren’t as vast, but the worst budget tyre still took up to five metres longer to stop than the top premium brand. That could easily be the difference between a nasty accident and escaping with just sweaty palms.”
Jianni Geras, Michelin Car Tyre Marketing Manager, welcomed the result of the tests. He said: “Although we are obviously very pleased that the Pilot Sport 3 was the clear winner in this test, the poor performance of the budget brands is very alarming.
“It’s clear from this that the large investment we make in R&D is hugely beneficial to drivers and this doesn’t even take into account the environmental performance of our tyres in terms of improved fuel efficiency and class leading longevity.”