Asia’s Ultimate Tyre Awards 2022 results: Premium Comfort category

Asia’s Ultimate Tyre Awards 2022 results: Premium Comfort category

Looking to upgrade your car’s comfort? The tyres in this category may be just the thing.

Although SUVs continue their rise in popularity, the sheer number of entries in the Premium Comfort category point towards how significant the sedan market is for Singapore, and quite possibly, the rest of Asia as well.

Seven tyres vying for top honours in the Premium Comfort category makes this the most hotly-contested prize of AUTA.

Firstly, what exactly is, Premium Comfort anyway? In a nutshell, these are tyres be fitted to nearly anything mid-sized and up, from humble family hatchbacks all the way to big luxury sedans. As the name suggests, comfort and quietness are the primary priorities here. As these cars tend to be used by families, it would be fair to say that safety would rank highly as well.

In case this is your first AUTA article, click here to find out more about the weighted scoring system. If you’re not so inclined, the simplest way that our scoring system can be described is something like how you would have been taught subjects such as art or social studies in primary school, but these subjects did not count towards your PSLE scores.

It’s common practice for some car brands, especially those in the mass market, to factory-fit their cars with tyres that do the job, but only just. The tyres in this group represent an upgrade option that are meant to bring out the best in your car with better ride quality and silence.

The tyres that were tested in this category are as follows:

  • Pirelli Cinturato P7
  • Yokohama Advan dB V552
  • Michelin Primacy 4ST
  • Nexen NFera SU1
  • Hankook Ventus S1 Evo3
  • Davanti DX640
  • Triangle SporteX TH201

The tyres tested were in 225/45 R17 size and fitted on the all-new Kia Cerato. Its refined ride and handling combined with its well-insulated cabin makes for the perfect car to bring out the best in the most quiet and comfortable tyres in the business.

Premium Comfort testing criteria

Since comfort is the name of the game here, the Noise test has the biggest influence on ride quality and refinement. For that reason, the Noise test accounts for a whopping 40% of the weighted score.

As safety is likely to be prioritized by drivers in this segment, the dry and wet braking tests, as well as wet grip would shine a light on these tyres’ performance in emergency conditions. So for these tests, we allocated 20% each to dry and wet braking, and 10% to wet grip, which speaks for a tyre’s ability to handle rain-soaked roads.

Lastly, we allocated 10% to the Rolling Resistance test as we felt that fuel efficiency is also a quality that is appreciated with this segment’s audience.

Premium Comfort scoring weightage at a glance:

  • Noise                           40%
  • Dry Braking                 20%
  • Wet Braking                 20%
  • Wet Grip                      20%
  • Rolling Resistance       10%

Raw Data

The Results

7th Davanti DX640

Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)04th75.21 s+2.18 s-2.98%
Dry Grip (Skidpan)06th0.728 g-0.036 g-4.73%
Wet Grip (Skidpan)10%3rd (tie)0.705 g-0.063 g-8.25%
Dry Braking20%4th25.02 m+2.45 m-10.86%
Wet Braking20%7th28.73 m+9.43 m-48.88%
Noise40%7th89 dB+10 dB-14.10%
Rolling Resistance10%4th55.07 m-6.9 m-11.14%

It is a known fact that some tyres are better suited to certain cars and in certain sizes than others. For whatever reason, it simply wasn’t the Davanti DX640’s day. Although it placed mid-table for the Dry Braking and Wet Grip tests, the weightage of the Noise, and wet braking test counted against this tyre that’s engineered in the UK, and made in China.

This result came a a big surprise to this writer who had reviewed the Davanti DX640s and found them to be better in the real world than the results might suggest. Perhaps this tyre’s sweet spot is found under less extreme driving conditions.

RRP: S$105

6th Triangle SporteX TH201

Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)05th76.22 s+3.19 s-4.37%
Dry Grip (Skidpan)02nd0.760 g-0.004 g-0.55%
Wet Grip (Skidpan)10%6th0.671 g-0.097 g-12.62%
Dry Braking20%7th26.53 m+3.96 m-17.58%
Wet Braking20%6th27.10 m+7.80 m-40.41%
Noise40%2nd (tie)79 dB+1dB-1.28%
Rolling Resistance10%5th50.53 m-11.44 m-18.45%

There was no shortage of jokes and puns about triangle-shaped tyres from the test team when this last-minute entry showed up. The laughing soon stopped however when this China-made tyre acquitted itself convincingly by joining a 3-way tie for second in the Noise test. It also placed second for the Dry Grip test but that didn’t count towards the final score. Instead its performance under brakes and on wet surfaces dropped off significantly enough to earn it second-to-last in this group.

RRP: S$86

5th Yokohama Advan dB V552

Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)02nd74.23 s+1.2 s-1.64%
Dry Grip (Skidpan)03rd0.759 g-0.005 g-0.64%
Wet Grip (Skidpan)10%2nd0.725 g-0.043 g-5.58%
Dry Braking20%6th26.52 m+1.50 m-17.5%
Wet Braking20%4th23.67 m+4.37 m-22.63%
Noise40%6th83 dB+5 dB-6.41%
Rolling Resistance10%3rd55.90 m-6.07 m-9.79%

It would be fair to expect a tyre with ‘dB’ in its name to perform exceptionally silently. This wasn’t the case however with the Yokohama Advan dB V552. In fact, it was ironically the second loudest tyre after the Davanti DX640. Its performance in Dry Braking was disappointing too, virtually tying with the Triangles for the wooden spoon.

However, its second-best score in the Wet Grip test and mid-pack finish in the Wet Braking department means that these Yokohamas are a solid choice if safety in the rain is important to you.

RRP: S$190

4th Michelin Primacy 4ST

Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)07th77.93 s+4.9 s-6.71%
Dry Grip (Skidpan)07th0.727 g-0.037 g-4.84%
Wet Grip (Skidpan)10%7th0.591 g-0.177 g-23.07%
Dry Braking20%5th25.27 m+2.70 m-11.96%
Wet Braking20%5th25.57 m+6.27 m-32.47%
Noise40%1st78 dB
Rolling Resistance10%1st61.97 m

Coming from one of the world’s most prominent tyre manufacturers, we expected big things from the Michelin Primacy 4ST. But like the Davanti, it wasn’t this French tyre’s day. It was just as well that the Handling Circuit timing did not count towards the weighted score as it recorded the slowest lap time of the group. In fact, it fared the worst in anything to do with cornering; Dry Grip and Wet Grip included.

The Michelins were saved from a worse fate thanks to being the quietest tyre in the group and most efficient in the Rolling Resistance test. If you value silence and fuel efficiency over anything else in a tyre, the Primacy 4 ST may be the tyre for your car.

RRP: S$170

3rd Nexen N Fera SU1

Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)03rd74.29 s+1.26s-1.73%
Dry Grip (Skidpan)04th0.755 g-0.009 g-1.15%
Wet Grip (Skidpan)10%3rd (tie)0.705 g-0.063 g-8.27%
Dry Braking20%3rd23.73 m+1.16 m-5.17%
Wet Braking20%3rd22.93 m+3.63 m-18.83%
Noise40%2nd (tie)79 dB+1 dB-1.28%
Rolling Resistance10%6th41.90 m-20.07 m-32.38%

Like the Davanti and Triangle in this group, the Nexen is actually designed to be a performance tyre. It is also an Original Equipment (OE) tyre for the Kia Cerato in some markets which gives this tyre something of a “home ground” advantage. I feel a Squid Game reference coming on again… Must… resist…

Despite its performance-oriented design, the Nexen actually performed fairly well in the Noise test to earn it a joint-second place score. As a performance tyre however, it also scored the second-lowest in the group for the Rolling Resistance test which contributed to its undoing.

Despite any advantage it might have had with the Kia Cerato, this never really materialized with the safety-related test where it finished third best for the Wet Grip, Dry Braking and Wet Braking tests.

RRP: S$123

2nd Pirelli Cinturato P7

Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)06th76.72 s+3.69 s-5.06%
Dry Grip (Skidpan)05th0.753 g-0.011 g-1.52%
Wet Grip (Skidpan)10%5th0.683 g-0.085 g-11.07%
Dry Braking20%2nd22.67 m+0.10 m-0.44%
Wet Braking20%2nd21.87 m+2.57 m-13.3%
Noise40%5th80 dB+2 dB-2.56%
Rolling Resistance10%2nd57.17 m-4.80 m-7.75%

For a true comfort tyre, this second generation Cinturato P7 also known as P7 C2 in some circles, turned in a solid performance with second-highest scores in the Rolling Resistance test, as well as Dry Braking and Wet Braking. In the Noise test, it ranked third after the three-way second place tie. Overall, a truly decent all-rounder with no major weak spots.

RRP: S$148

1st Hankook Ventus S1 evo3

Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)01st73.03 s
Dry Grip (Skidpan)01st0.764 g
Wet Grip (Skidpan)10%1st0.768 g
Dry Braking20%1st22.57 m
Wet Braking20%1st19.30 m
Noise40%2nd (tie)79 dB+1 dB-1.28%
Rolling Resistance10%7th41.63 m– 20.34m-32.81%

Our winner joins the group of performance tyres that were entered into the Premium Comfort category. This is why it was important to introduce a weighted scoring system that would not factor tests such as the Dry Handling circuit, which would give these tyres an unfair advantage over the true comfort tyres.

Still, even when tested in the context of refinement, the Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 was able to beat the comfort models at their own game, which speaks volumes about its ability as an all-rounder.

Fair dues then, to this Hankook which expectedly dominated the grip and braking tests in both dry and wet conditions. Also no surprise that it fared the worst in class when it came to the Rolling Resistance test. But the major surprise was in the Noise test, which saw it return an impressive second-best score, just 1dB more than the class leader, the Michelin Primacy 4ST.

Although not exactly a comfort tyre, the Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 did well enough to earn the title of AUTA Premium Comfort of the Year 2022.

RRP: S$158

Want to find out the results of all our other categories? Click these links for our Ultra High Performance, SUV, Eco, and Mainstream tests!


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