Bob Jane T-Marts' independence as Australia's largest independent tyre retailer allows us to take the products we sell off the shelf and conduct our own tyre testing to gain firsthand knowledge of the safety and performance of the tyres we stock and recommend to our customers.
Earlier in 2023 we took the opportunity to put 12 premium, value, and budget SUV tyres through extensive testing at Calder Park Raceway in Melbourne. The test schedule would include dry and wet braking, a moose test and slalom manoeuvres.
Our video contains our whole, in-depth testing and results.
To guarantee consistency, all tyres were fitted on a pair of Auscar wheels on two identical 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SUVs with 235/60R18 tyres, a popular SUV tyre size in Australia.
It is also important to note that no tyre manufacturer input was sought in preparation for the test. Our intention was to take tyres randomly from stock at our stores, which represents the same tyres that a customer would purchase on any given day in a Bob Jane T-Marts store.
The test driver for the day would be Rodney Jane. Having grown up in the tyre business, Rodney has extensive tyre testing and race car driving experience. Recently making a return to motorsport in the Porsche Carrera Cup racing series in 2022 and 2023 season.
Rodney explains that “Tyre testing is a really important part of our business and I’m fortunate enough to come out with our team and really test different tyres as this gives us an understanding of what we are selling and recommending to our customers through our Bob Jane T-Marts stores.”
To ensure a detailed test schedule on the day three primary tests were conducted and each tyre was scored according to a specific criteria and driver feedback. The testing was conducted blind, which means the driver was not aware of the tyre brand on the vehicle. The driver was however aware of the tyre segment; premium, value or budget.
Test 1: Moose test - designed to simulate an emergency swerve and avoid scenario that a driver would encounter while driving normally. Because the tyres are the vehicle's principal point of contact with the road, it stands to reason that different tyres will respond differently when subjected to the rigours of a moose test.
Test 2: Slalom test - the driver is testing the tyre's ability to provide stability to the car if it needs to swerve. The repeating nature of the test provides insight into tyre structure as the sidewalls and shoulders distort due to multiple severe changes in direction.
Test 3: Braking - both wet and dry braking are conducted and are the most essential safety demonstrations. After all it is usually in an emergency braking situation when the choice of tyre will determine the outcome of the emergency stop. Wet braking being the most critical measure of a tyre’s stopping ability.
Six tyres were evaluated in our premium segment category:
- Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV 107W (XL)
- Dunlop Grandtrek PT3 107V (XL)
- Pirelli SCORPION VERDE All Season 107V (LR ECO XL)
- Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance SUV 107V (XL)
- Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 001 107V (XL)
- Continental ContiCrossContact LX Sport 107V (LR XL).
The results of each test in the premium category are as follows:
With the premium tyre results in, there were three clear leaders: Michelin, Goodyear, and Bridgestone. Where the Michelin fell short on moose and slalom, it made up for it in braking performance. The Continental, Dunlop, and Pirelli tyres had slight variances between them that made it difficult to differentiate the three tyres, and in the end the wet braking performance separated the bottom three tyres from the top three.
Three tyres were evaluated in our value (mid-tier) segment category:
The results of each test in the value category are as follows:
The Kumho was consistently good across all tests in our mid-tier comparison, which is why it came out on top. The J-Trax and Hankook were close challengers for second and third throughout the day, but the Hankook's poor braking performance in the wet finally pushed it to the back of the field.
The final three tyres to be tested in the budget segment category were:
At the completion of the budget testing the team were all in agreement that the performance gap between premium and budget tyres is no longer as large as it once was. The Radar tyres delivered an outstanding all-around performance and was the standout budget tyre of the day, earning it the top spot in the group tested.
If you are looking to see the results of our 2022 4x4 tyre test click here.
If you’re after a new set of tyres for your SUV, contact any of our Bob Jane T-Mart stores nationwide.