Premium Tyres Triumph Over Budget Tyres under Rigorous Test Conditions

Premium Tyres Triumph Over Budget Tyres under Rigorous Test Conditions

Test by professional driver reveals a clear winner


In a test conducted by professional driver Daniel Barbosa, the debate between budget and premium tyres has been settled at last, and the verdict is crystal clear – premium tyres are the optimal choice for safety, performance, and peace of mind on the road.


In September 2023, Barbosa, who has 24 years of experience in the motor industry and as an advanced driving instructor, was invited by Tiger Wheel & Tyre to conduct a test comparing budget and premium tyres. The results shed light on the many reasons you should choose premium tyres to keep you, and the people who matter most to you, moving safely towards the things that matter most in life. Let’s take a look at the results.


​​Controlled Environment and Identical Conditions

To eliminate bias from the results, the following conditions were observed:


  • To ensure that handling under the various conditions tested was due to tyre performance alone, both tests used the identical vehicle – a mid-range, premium BMW with advanced systems.
  • For consistency, Daniel Barbosa drove both vehicles.
  • New tyres were installed on both cars, with one fitted with a premium brand tyre and the other with a budget tyre.
  • The tests were conducted at Gerotek test centre – a controlled environment, free from distractions – to isolate tyre performance.
  • Each test was run multiple times, for fairness and to exclude anomalies.
  • Tyre pressures were identical and as per manufacturer recommendations for the specific vehicle.


Safety Prevails

The importance of road safety took centre stage, and the results spoke volumes. In the wet cornering test, a BMW equipped with budget tyres grappled with a long, slippery turn. Without the aid of dynamic stability control (DSC), the vehicle struggled to maintain stability, even at a modest 45 kilometres per hour, ultimately leading to a complete loss of control.


In stark contrast, the same BMW equipped with premium tyres conquered the challenge with confidence. In the absence of traction control, the premium tyres exhibited exceptional grip and control. Even as speed increased to 45 kilometres per hour, they maintained a firm grip on the road, demonstrating control that was sorely lacking with budget tyres.


Steering Precision

The next challenge involved a slalom course, emphasising the critical role of tyres in steering precision. The vehicle equipped with premium tyres handled the slalom with finesse and ease, responding accurately to steering inputs at a consistent 40 kilometres per hour.


By contrast, the same slalom test proved to be a formidable challenge for the vehicle fitted with budget tyres. The car exhibited noticeable understeer, making it difficult to navigate the cones and ultimately resulting in a loss of control.


The Braking Contest

In the dry braking in a straight line test, braking performance was put to a test that most drivers face on a routine basis. At 60 kilometres per hour, the premium tyres demonstrated impressive braking capabilities, coming to a controlled stop within a reasonable distance. This is noteworthy because 60 kilometres per hour is the maximum speed limit in urban environments. While the braking distance increased slightly at 120 kilometres per hour, it nevertheless remained impressive.


The budget tyres performed similarly well at 60 kilometres per hour, but faced a substantial challenge at 120 kilometres per hour; requiring 6–8 additional metres to stop compared to the premium tyres. These results underscore the dangers arising from subpar tyre performance during emergency braking.


Wet Conditions Magnify the Divide

To assess tyre performance in rain conditions, the braking test was repeated at 60 kilometres per hour in the wet. The vehicle with premium tyres exhibited controlled baking and a slightly extended stopping distance, a reflection of the wet surface. However, it remained in control throughout the process.


In contrast, the vehicle with budget tyres struggled under similar conditions. The stopping distance increased significantly, and the vehicle grappled with maintaining control. In an emergency situation, this difference in performance would be significant.


Conclusion: A Clear Winner Emerges

This comprehensive tyre testing by Daniel Barbosa and Tiger Wheel & Tyre conclusively proves that premium tyres outperform their budget counterparts across all critical parameters. Premium tyres deliver superior grip, handling, and braking capabilities, ensuring the safety of drivers and passengers alike.


While budget considerations undoubtedly influence our tyre purchasing decisions, the evidence presented in this test reveals that choosing premium brand tyres could save your life. If you’re determined to brake with confidence when it matters most, then premium tyres are the smart and responsible choice. Luckily, Tiger Wheel & Tyre offers flexible payment options, including PayJustNow and Xpress Credit or Mobicred for online purchases, so you can always put safety first.


South Africa’s trusted tyre partner offers a wide range of premium tyre options to choose from. For more information and to explore your options, visit or stop by your nearest Tiger Wheel & Tyre store today.