Review and compare car tyres from brands Michelin, Dunlop, Pirelli, Bridgestone, Kumho, Goodyear, Bob Jane, Continental, Toyo, Hankook and Yokohama, on durability, dry weather handling, stopping ability, value for money, wet weather handling, noise whilst driving and overall satisfaction in 2019.
See our Ratings Methodology.
As the old saying goes, ‘You get what you pay for’, and nothing applies to this more than car tyres. With an influx of cheap car tyres flooding the Aussie market, it’s tempting to just put on the cheapest bits of rubber and drive away, with the number of brands out there making it hard to separate those that burn rubber and those that simply burn through your wallet. But that’s where Canstar Blue can offer some guidance, as we conduct an annual survey of motorists to find out which tyre brands are stopping the others in their tracks, and the results over the years tell a compelling story you can’t simply ignore.
This year, more than 1,000 motorists took part in our research, rating their tyre purchase on factors such as durability, stopping ability, wet and dry weather handling, noise whilst driving, and value for money. Eleven big brands feature in the results, but for the second consecutive year, Michelin has come out on top.
The 11 brands in Canstar Blue’s 2019 car tyre review have been rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
Dunlop, Pirelli, Bridgestone, Kumho, Goodyear and Bob Jane all received four stars for overall customer satisfaction this year, while Continental, Toyo, Hankook and Yokohama got three stars. While Michelin might have cleaned up in almost every category, Kumho secured the only other five-star result in this year’s ratings, scoring the top result for value for money.
Michelin has emerged as the best-rated brand in our car tyre comparison for the second year in a row – and the fifth time since 2012. The only other winner over those years was Pirelli, with the two premium tyre giants dominating in Aussie motoring satisfaction. We made the point earlier that you generally get what you pay for with car tyres, and here is some evidence as far as consumer satisfaction is concerned.
Read on as we provide an overview of what the 11 tyre brands in our report have to offer, before going into detail about what you should look for in a good set of new tyres.
French tyre manufacturer Michelin is one of the largest in the world and it has a range of other interests outside of tyres – ever heard of the Michelin Star restaurant ratings? But back to tyres and the Michelin Tyre Company is one of the oldest – yet most innovative – out there. It has a number of dealers across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. You can browse its tyre range by vehicle type, driving experience or product family, with a tyre selector tool also available online, allowing you to enter either your car model or specific tyre size to find a suitable match.
Michelin provides a wide range of eco-focused tyres, as well as some exciting performance models. The performance range is called ‘Pilot Sport’, which costs upwards of $900 per set. Everyday drivers are not left out though, as Michelin’s ‘Energy’ range starts from about $150 a tyre. These tyres are recognised for their impressive fuel saving and for being eco-conscious. Specific tyres on offer from Michelin include:
In our latest review, Michelin earned five stars for durability, dry weather handling, stopping ability, wet weather handling, noise whilst driving and overall satisfaction. It got four stars on value for money.
Owned by American tyre giant Goodyear, Dunlop provides all manner of car tyres for vehicles including small, city-dwelling runarounds, through to big performance behemoths born for the race track. You can search Dunlop’s tyres by vehicle type or size, with most tyres featuring Dunlop Touch Technology, which incorporates a specific bead seat system – a flatter tread profile with an asymmetrical tread design.
Expect the most budget-friendly tyres to come in at around $80 each, while the most expensive will set you back close to $1,400! This price is for the Grandtrek PT3 which is a serious performance tyre. In fact, Dunlop provides a variety of car tyres for the enthusiast, from track tyres to slick tarmac tyres, to rally and kart tyres! Its tyre range features:
Dunlop received four stars for overall customer satisfaction in this year’s review, plus four stars in all other research categories, making it a solid performer in 2019.
Premier Italian brand Pirelli is known for its racing pedigree and its sponsorship of various motorsports events. Its tyres feature Pirelli’s Noise Cancelling System (PNCS), claimed to reduce noise inside the vehicle. In addition, they’re boasted for Pirelli’s Seal-Inside Technology, allowing you to continue to drive your car in case of a puncture.
Indeed, Pirelli’s car tyres seem to be synonymous with performance. But performance evidently does not come cheap, with its most expensive car tyres costing up to and over $1,500 each! These prices are generally reserved for the most uncompromising driver on the race track and are available in diameters of 20 inches and over. The more consumer-friendly tyres can be had from around $100 each, which will likely suit many daily commuters. No matter your pricing range, be prepared for model names including ‘Cinturato’ and ‘Scorpion’: The Pirelli tyre range includes:
Pirelli earned four stars for overall satisfaction and most other variables this year, including stopping ability and value for money, with three stars for noise whilst driving.
Well-known within the market, Bridgestone has a history dating back to Japan in the early 20th century. Since then the company has become one of the leading tyre manufacturers in the world, but its tyres can still be fairly budget-friendly. Expect Bridgestone’s cheapest tyres to come in at less than $80 each, while the most expensive performance-oriented tyres cost over $800 each, meaning Bridgestone has you covered from the race track to the city streets. Also keep an eye out for various bonus deals that Bridgestone regularly offers, including cash-back, ‘fourth tyre free’, as well as a services program which entitles you to extra discounts.
Some of the technology behind its tyres include Bridgestone’s Run Flat Tyre system, which is claimed to incorporate a reinforced, thicker sidewall to safely carry the weight of the car for a short period with no loss of driving control. You’ll also find its Ecopia fuel saving tyres with lower rolling resistance boasted to deliver a fuel saving of 4.2% compared to a conventional tyre. The range features:
In our 2019 review, Bridgestone was rated four stars across every single research category, except noise whilst driving, where it received three stars.
Kumho is a South Korean tyre brand, producing a range of tyres for most types of vehicles and scenarios. Expect tyres for passenger, 4X4, SUV, light commercial, trucks, busses and racing cars. Kumho boasts its ESCOT (Excellent & Smart Contour Optimisation Theory) technology, which is claimed to maximise tyre performance by optimising braking capabilities and improving steering. This is said to maintain the tyre shape throughout the speed range, plus retain the tyre’s ground contact pressure distribution.
Kumho perhaps stands out most for its budget-oriented consumer tyres that can be found for less than $80 each at their absolute cheapest. However, Kumho is no slacker in the performance category, as its top-range tyres can cost more than $400 each. Its mid-range performance tyres can be had for less than $200 each and expect interesting model names like ‘Ecsta’, ‘Road Venture’, ‘Le Sport’ and the following:
Kumho got four stars across most research categories this year, including both wet and dry weather handling, durability and stopping ability. It also achieved the sole five-star rating for value for money.
Goodyear is an American tyre manufacturer that was founded in Ohio over 100 years ago. It was one of the first manufacturers to make a tubeless tyre and supplied racing tyres to Henry Ford. Goodyear still sponsors many motorsports events and this is carried over into its tyre range. Some of the technologies that accompany Goodyear tyres are 3D-BIS Technology, claimed to improve tyre stiffness and stability, SoundComfort Technology to reduce interior noise, Run On Flat to keep you on the road even after a blowout, and Active Braking for supposedly better handling.
Goodyear’s Eagle range is performance-oriented and tyres can cost up to $800 each, with its consumer range a lot kinder on the wallet, with the cheapest tyres costing a little under $100 each. You can search Goodyear’s tyres by vehicle type and tyre size, or by specific characteristics such as ‘all-terrain’ and ‘wet dry performance’. Its range includes:
Goodyear performed consistently in our 2019 ratings, scoring four stars across most research categories, with the exception of value for money, where it received three stars.
The only Australian-owned tyre company in this review, Bob Jane is based in Melbourne. Named after motorsports legend Bob Jane, motorists can expect plenty of budget-friendly car tyres, with the brand also one of few not associated with selling re-tread tyres. As Bob Jane covers a wide variety of vehicle services, you can also purchase Road Hazard Warranty, which covers you for punctures, accidental cuts, accidental curb damage, impact breaks, staking, or other damages from unforeseen road hazards.
Bob Jane provides two kinds of everyday consumer car tyres – named the All-Rounder and the Xenon. The All-Rounder is reasonably budget-oriented and can be had from around $89 per tyre. The Xenon is a more performance-oriented model, but still comes in relatively cheap at about $120 per tyre. If you like Australian brands and budget-friendly tyres, Bob Jane could be the one for you. The following two tyres come in a number of different specifications:
It was a mixed bag for Bob Jane in our 2019 review, rated four stars for overall satisfaction, durability and value for money. It got three stars on dry weather handling, stopping ability, wet weather handling and noise whilst driving.
Continental is one of the largest and oldest tyre manufacturing companies in the world, with its roots extending from Germany. Continental differs to many of its competitors by offering not just tyres but also brake systems, powertrains, chassis components and tachographs among other products. Whether you’re doing the school drop off, cruising your city’s streets, or enjoying an off-road weekend, there are plenty of tyres to choose from.
None of its tyres could be considered especially ‘bargain basement’, with most prices sitting around the $300 mark, but you can expect a steadfast German approach to tyres that will ensure your car remains surefooted no matter where your wheels take you. Its cheapest tyre range, the ‘ContiPremiumContact’, starts from $135, while its most expensive ‘ContiSportContact’ tyres can be had for more than $600 per tyre. Here are a few options from the brand:
Continental received three stars for overall satisfaction, as well as for durability, value for money and noise whilst driving, while scoring four stars for stopping ability, plus dry and wet weather handling.
Toyo is a Japanese brand that makes a range of budget-oriented tyres that can be had from about $70 per tyre. Toyo also has a large range of SUV tyres, with the most-costly coming in at over $1,000 each! Also in the upper echelons of prices are various performance car tyres under the ‘Proxes’ model name which could set you back up to $700 each! However, most tyres cost around $100 each, which could represent a great option when looking for a cheap tyre for everyday needs.
The combination of Toyo’s silica-tread compound and tyre construction is claimed to provide predictable vehicle control in a range of weather conditions and road surface types. In addition, an ‘E’ mark on Toyo tyres indicates that it has low rolling resistance and wet traction, as verified by the Japanese Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association (JATMA). Some of its tyres include:
Toyo rated three stars for overall satisfaction and noise whilst driving, but received four stars in all other categories, including durability and value for money.
Based out of South Korea, Hankook is a tyre company with both an ‘everyday driver’ and ‘performance’ focus. It provides a range of tyres suited to everyday drivers, with tyres starting at around $75 each. Its performance range however, named ‘Ventus’, is naturally a lot dearer, with the most expensive coming in at around $500 per tyre. For that, you can expect scintillating performance in very large wheel sizes – 20 inches and above. And the fun doesn’t just stop there, with Hankook also providing a large range of off-road tyres for the popular 4WD segment, which can be had from about the $200 range.
With its tyre design, Hankook boasts an optimum proportion of Dyna-ProFET rubber and silica for reduce rotational resistance and the amount of fuel used for driving. In addition, its tyres feature Hankook’s 3-Dimensional groove pattern for improved performance on dry or wet roads. Its range includes:
Hankook got three stars for overall satisfaction, dry weather handling and noise whilst driving, but earned four stars in all other areas, including value for money and stopping ability.
Yokohama is part of the Yokohama Rubber Company, founded close to 100 years ago in conjunction with US manufacturer Goodrich. Nowadays, the brand is based in Tokyo and offers all manner of tyres, from everyday tyres to 4WD tyres, to performance tyres. It boasts its Orange Oil technology, combined with natural rubber to create a tyre that’s said to be 80% petro-chemical free. Its range also features a unidirectional tread pattern to increase straight-line acceleration.
Prices range from around the $100 mark all the way up to nearly $600 for the ‘Advan’ sport tyre range. Indeed, Yokohama comes with a rich racing pedigree and sponsors various motorsports events around the world. For consumers in Australia, keep an eye out for various deals, cash-back offers and discounts when buying Yokohama tyres. You’ll find the following models from the brand:
Rounding out our ratings, Yokohama received three stars in all categories, including overall satisfaction durability, stopping ability and value for money.
Beyond the 11 leading brands listed above, there are a few other noteworthy names that may be worth a look into the next time you’re down at the tyre shop. They include:
In fact, there are so many brands out there, that the dilemma is choosing the one that’s right for you and your budget. Sticking to leading brands may be a good bet to ensure optimal performance, but it could still pay to shop around. After all, nothing deflates the mood on a road trip quicker than a flat, so looking into all of your tyre options could not only save you on the bill, but leave you driving away with extra peace of mind.
In the market for Car Insurance? Below is a snapshot of featured 4 or 5 Star Rated policies on Canstar’s database, with a link to the providers’ website. The results are sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest), and was formulated based on a male aged 25-29 in QLD without coverage for an extra driver under 25 years old. To see policies more relevant click below to view all Canstar rated Car Insurance products.
|Company||Star Rating||Agreed or market value||Lifetime guarantee on repairs||Roadside Assistance available|
|View all Canstar rated car insurance products|
Source: Canstar. By proceeding you agree to Canstar Blue referring you to Canstar’s website and accept that site’s terms and conditions. See the FSCG. This information is general and does not take into account your individual circumstances. The results above do not include all providers, and may not compare all features relevant to you. Consider seeking professional financial advice, and read the PDS before making a product purchase. See the Canstar Car Insurance Star Ratings Methodology. Canstar Blue may earn revenue from referrals to product providers from this table.
With so many brands out there, picking the best car tyres will be a daunting task for many, particularly if it’s your first time! To help you better-understand your wheels, we’ve outlined some key areas that you should take special notice of.
The tyres you need for your car can be determined by the tyre specifications detailed in your owner’s manual, or on the sidewall of your tyre. The specs will be a series of numbers and letters, for example: 245/40R18 93W.
This code relates to several requirements that are necessary to know when choosing tyres. To explain this in detail, here’s the breakdown:
To help maintain speed capability, and the handling characteristics of your car, it’s important to replace your tyres with a speed rating equal to or greater than that of the original tyres. Keep in mind that other tyres will also fit your car, but it’s recommended to closely follow the specifications provided by your car manufacturer.
To find out what tyre pressure your car tyres should be at, check your vehicle’s tyre placard. This can typically be found in the driver’s door jamb, otherwise, it might be located under your bonnet, in the glove-box or behind the fuel filler flap. Your car’s handbook may also include the tyre pressure. Here’s an example:
It’s recommended by tyre retailers to check tyre pressure every two to four weeks. Poor tyre pressure maintenance can jeopardise your car’s performance and in turn, your safety. As tyre pressure naturally decreases over time, it’s important to check it regularly to help optimise tyre life and fuel consumption. Tyre pressure checks can also help identify any damage or punctures in your tyres.
In Australia, the legal tyre tread depth is 1.5mm, with a tread depth between 1.5 and 1.6mm generally considered worn out, meaning you should be looking to replace them. A new tyre typically has a tread depth close to 8.0mm.
All car tyres have tread wear indicators in the tread grooves. The tyre’s tread grooves are designed to disperse water away from the tyre’s contact patch when roads are wet. Once they wear out, the tyre should be replaced.
Depending on the tyre size, brand and car type, tyres can cost from $80 to $800+. According to Canstar Blue’s survey, the average spend on new car tyres is about $300. Our survey also revealed:
With all of this in mind, it’s important to do your research before jumping into a car tyre purchase, with tyres as much of an investment in safety as they are a car expense.
We get it – buying new car tyres doesn’t seem like the greatest way to spend hundreds of dollars, and it’s not. But buying quality tyres is an investment in your vehicle and your driving experience. Even your safety potentially. Our research over the years proves that the big name brands are the most popular with Aussie motorists. The smaller brands simply get nowhere near them in terms of customer satisfaction. But digging a little deeper into your pocket and deciding to pay more for quality is the challenge we motorists face. But if there is one takeaway message from this report, it’s that those people who do buy those big name brands generally don’t regret it.
Picture credits: Joerg Huettenhoelscher/shutterstock.com, SpeedKings//shutterstock.com
|LOAD INDEX||LOAD AT MAX PSI (Kg)||LOAD INDEX||LOAD AT MAX PSI (Kg)||LOAD INDEX||LOAD AT MAX PSI (Kg)|
|SPEED SYMBOL||SPEED (KM/H)|
|G||up to 90|
|J||up to 100|
|K||up to 110|
|L||up to 120|
|M||up to 130|
|N||up to 140|
|P||up to 150|
|Q||up to 160|
|R||up to 170|
|S||up to 180|
|T||up to 190|
|U||up to 200|
|H||up to 210|
|V||up to 240|
|W||up to 270|
|Y||up to 300|
Our latest customer satisfaction research into car tyres saw a number of brands rated best in different categories:
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased new car tyres in the last 2 years (not retreads) – in this case, 1,020 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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