Average Test Review
The demands on summer tires for vans are becoming increasingly higher. In the past, vans were simply equipped with smaller truck tires. Manufacturers now offer special van tires that are optimized for grip, handling, durability, tire noise, and rolling resistance . Certain compromises must be made if buyers wish to find affordable summer tires for their vans.
Summer tires for vans can be divided into different types. The first and somewhat outdated category is small truck tires. They are referred to as light truck tires. Although these tires are reinforced, they have a high rolling resistance, a high pass-by noise, and provide less-than-ideal steering behavior. The pure van tires include C-tires. These are produced using the same materials from the truck sector. They are designed for high loads and offer a compromise between truck tires and reinforced car tires. The latter are called run flat tires or XL tires. There are essentially car tires with increased transportability. They provide the best handling characteristics but are the least resilient. Finally, is also important whether a tire can cope with different vehicles and drive types. Tires are often designed for front- or rear-wheel drive. Only then do they provide the optimum performance.
Particularly for commercial operations, higher fuel prices and increased environmental impact is of growing concern. Thus, the most important feature of summer tire for vans is rolling resistance. The following example shows the difference that improved rolling resistance can make. If a tire with excessive rolling resistance is installed on a Mercedes Sprinter, it requires 10.6 HP to maintain a speed of 60 km/h. When a model with optimized rolling resistance is used, the Sprinter only requires 8.2 HP. Based on tires alone, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions can be reduced by 15 percent. However, rolling resistance is in competition with other driving properties such as handling and wet grip. Thus, when selecting tires, customers must consider which properties are most important to them. Which is most important: fuel economy, optimum safety, or speed?
Under dry conditions, the summer tires of leading manufacturers always offer excellent handling characteristics. For vans, summer tires from Bridgestone, Firestone, Michelin, and Goodyear (for rear-wheel drive) are recommended. When driving under wet conditions, the requirements are much higher. Here, smaller manufacturers such as Nokian, Nexen, and Continental have proven to be particularly reliable. In terms of rolling resistance, current test models from Nokian, Continental, and Michelin have proven to be outstanding. On the other hand, both Vredestein and Nexen put more emphasis on driving safety. When it comes to summer tires for vans, there are models for all requirements. These can all be purchased at reasonable prices.
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