Asia’s Ultimate Tyre Awards 2022 results: SUV Category

Asia’s Ultimate Tyre Awards 2022 results: SUV Category

There’s more that’s demanded from the tyres in this category than ever before.

Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are so popular that just about every car maker on Earth has one in their line-up. Naturally, this also means that the tyres these cars ride on are a highly competitive category.

To deal with the extra mass and higher centre of gravity that SUVs tend to have over regular cars, a lot is asked from their tyres. As majority of SUV drivers never actually take their cars off-road, what we’re looking for is a tyre package that will bring out the best in an SUV on local driving conditions.

This means that silence and comfort are also demanded of these tyres. Last, but not least, fuel efficiency is the buzzword among carmakers today so a the tyre with low rolling resistance is also key to winning Asia’s Ultimate Tyre Award for the SUV category.

This means comfort pair with safety as these big and heavy that might need to stop all of a sudden or handle a tropical downpour. 

Despite a segment that is as big as the SUV market, only three brands of tyres were nominated. That’s because for AUTA 2022, we focused on SUV-specific tyre models. They are:

  • Bridgestone Alenza 001
  • Pirelli Scorpion Verde
  • Yokohama BluEarth-XT AE61

The car used to test these tyres is the Kia Sorento. This big SUV comes with four-wheel drive and a torquey 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, yet is also refined and comfortable. The tyres were tested in 235/60 R18 size, which is a fairly common application for medium-large SUVs.

SUV tyres testing criteria

SUVs today are mostly sought-after for their comfort, and the practicality afforded by their large, spacious cabins. Since SUVs are also popular for their higher ground clearance that makes their drivers feel safer with better views of the road, it’s fair to say that safety is a big consideration as well.

With factors considered, the scoring weightage is as follows:

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

The Raw Data

The Results

3rd – Pirelli Scorpion Verde

Spotlight background
Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)03rd76.11 s+1.54 s-2.07%
Dry Grip (Skidpan)03rd0.679 g-0.046 g-6.30%
Wet Grip (Skidpan)20%2nd0.677 g-0.038 g-5.34%
Dry Braking20%3rd30.08 m+3.83 m-14.6%
Wet Braking20%3rd26.47 m+1.00 m-3.93%
Noise40%3rd93 dB+14 dB-17.72%
Rolling Resistance10%2nd62.95 m-4.25 m-6.32%

The good news is that every tyre in this category has a podium finish. We’re not making any apologies, but Pirelli’s third placing, is due more to the weighted scoring system than a reflection of its capabilities.

The emphasis on the Noise test for this segment hit the Scorpion Verde particularly hard as it was the loudest tyre of the trio tested here by some margin. In the Dry braking test, it stopped 15% later than the category leader.

Things improved in the Rolling Resistance test where it came in second. In the Wet Braking and Wet Grip departments, the Pirelli made up some ground but alas, it wasn’t enough to finish higher higher than 3rd.

Still, if some tyre noise doesn’t bother you and you want a tyre that gives you confidence in wet conditions, the Pirelli Scorpion Verde is a solid option.

RRP: S$238

2nd – Bridgestone Alenza 001

Spotlight background
Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)02nd74.87 s+0.30 s-0.41%
Dry Grip (Skidpan)02nd0.719 g-0.006 g-0.79%
Wet Grip (Skidpan)20%3rd0.650 g-0.065 g-9.08%
Dry Braking20%2nd28.27 m+2.02 m-7.68%
Wet Braking20%2nd25.93 m+0.46 m-1.83%
Noise40%1st (tie)79 dB
Rolling Resistance10%1st67.20 m

The fight for first and second place was a much closer affair with ties for lowest noise at 79dB, just 1dB off the outright winner. The Bridgestone Alenza 001 showed its fuel saving capabilities by acing the Rolling Resistance test. It wasn’t too shabby with Wet Braking either, stopping just half a meter or 2% from the leader.

Although its dry grip performance was less than 1% off the leader’s pace, this unfortunately didn’t count towards the final score. Too bad that is was slightly further off the pace in the subjects that counted; Dry Braking and Wet Grip which cost it the title.

The Bridgestone Alenza 001proves to still be a very decent choice if silence, low rolling resistance and wet braking are priorities in an SUV tyre.

RRP: S$212

1st – Yokohama BluEarth-XT AE61

Spotlight background
Test StationWeightagePositionRaw ScoreDiff. to LeaderDiff. to Leader (%)
Dry Handling (Circuit)01st74.57 s
Dry Grip (Skidpan)01st0.725 g
Wet Grip (Skidpan)20%1st0.715 g
Dry Braking20%1st26.25 m
Wet Braking20%1st25.47 m
Noise40%1st (tie)79 dB
Rolling Resistance10%3rd61.55 m-8.41%

Here is a tyre that absolutely dominated its category, albeit with only three contenders. This however, should not take away from how capable this tyre is.

It is ironic however, that Yokohama gave this tyre the BluEarth moniker that’s usually reserved for its Eco-centric tyres. It topped nearly all the performance-related tests, including Dry Braking, Wet Braking, Wet Grip and Noise tests. But it faired worst in the Rolling Resistance test. We hardly call this a disadvantage as it more than makes up for this with a superb all-round performance that earns it the title of Asia’s Ultimate SUV Tyre of the Year 2022.

RRP: S$225

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

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