New EU Tyre ratings
Just idly scanning the interweb for tyres, planning ahead for spring when I need a new pair on the rear and I noticed something very interesting. I know it's not the be-all and end-all but these are as close to neutral comparisons as is ever likely to happen with something like tyres.
They're rated on fuel efficiency (A-G), wet grip (A-G) and noise.
Fuel efficiency is not actually that helpful - an A rated fuel efficient tyre uses 7.5% less fuel than a G rated one. That's 80 litres (just over a tankful) over the life of the tyre, which isn't actually specified. Say £100 over 10k miles? 15k? 20k? Who knows?
Wet grip is good though, an A rated tyre will stop in a 30% shorter distance than a G rated tyre. At 50mph, that's 18m difference, which is a lot.
OEM Bridgestone Potenza RFT: Fuel F, Wet C, noise 73dB.
So, some of the popular choices on this forum:
Falken 452 £140: Fuel E, Wet C, noise 72dB
Falken 453 £143: Fuel F, Wet B, noise 71dB. Appears it's a more performance-orientated tyre than its predecessor.
Kumho KU31 £133: Fuel G, Wet C, noise 74dB.
Kumho KU39 £137: Fuel E, Wet A, noise 74dB. Interesting, because I found these quieter than the 452s they replaced.
Vred Sessenta £143: Fuel F, Wet C, noise 67dB.
Goodyear F1 Assy £174: Fuel E, Wet A, noise 70dB.
Conti SC5/5P £182: Fuel E, Wet A, noise 73dB.
Michelin PS3 £193: Fuel E, Wet A, noise 71dB.
Now, I know there's a lot more to it than that, but it certainly lends weight to the argument that premium brands aren't worth the extra...