2021 AZ SUV Winter Tire Test

The 2021 Auto Zeitung SUV winter tire test has tested ten suv winter tires in 235/55 R18 size using a VW Tiguan crossover SUV.

As this is a smaller test when compared to other winter tire tests we'll keep the introduction short. All ten sets of tires were placed through the usual blend of dry, wet and snow testing, plus rolling resistance and noise.

In this test the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 wins another test with the best wet performance of the group, and the Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 placed second with the best snow performance, two things we've seen plenty of times in previous tests.

Tire Updates

Like nearly all winter tests, Auto Zeitung bought and tested the tires at the end of the winter before publication, IE January 2021 for publication for the winter of 2021, and since then several of the tires on test have received updates:

Continental update from DOT 3320: new mix, improved wear. TS870P also now available.

Falken changed mixture DOT 0721 for updated Label values according to the new regulation:D/B/72. 

The new Goodyear UltraGrip Performance + SUV was introduced in May 2021 replacing the tire in this test.

Hankook update from DOT 1521: new tread compound for improved wet grip,more precise handling by changing the sidewall structure. 

Bridgestone, Firestone,Michelin, Nokian,Pirelli, Vredestein - No changes   


The Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV led dry braking, with the Vredestein Wintrac Pro and Nokian WRSUV 4 in second and third places.

Strangely the best tires in dry braking were midpack at best during the dry handling test, with the Pirelli Scorpion Winter jumping up the order to finish half a second ahead of the second placed Bridgestone Blizzak LM005.


The Bridgestone performed well during wet braking, but the Vredestein Wintrac Pro was again close to the top and this time the aging Continental Wintercontact TSS850P finished in third.

Vredestein and Michelin again performed well in wet handling, with Continental claiming third.

The Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 had the highest aquaplaning resistance by quite a margin.


Vredestein once again stopped the test vehicle effectively, winning snow braking.

Hankook took their first test win during snow traction with the Hankook Winter I Cept EVO 3 SUV with Michelin in a very close second place.

Snow handling was conducted on a short indoor track.


The Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 was significantly quieter than the next best tire, the Firestone WinterHawk 4.

Continental had the lowest fuel use of the group, with the Falken trailing the pack by a margin.

The Falken balanced out some of the fuel costs by being the cheapest tire on test, with the Michelin the most expensive.


1st: Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005
  • 235/55 R18 104H
  • EU Label: B/A/72
  • Weight: 11.6kgs
  • Tread: 8.3-8.5mm
Dry Braking6th+1.5 M96.59%
Dry Handling2nd+0.5 s99.22%
Wet Braking1st100%
Wet Handling4th+1.4 s98.46%
Wet Circle1st100%
Straight Aqua1st100%
Snow Braking5th+1 M96.54%
Snow Traction5th-103 N96.66%
Snow Handling5th+0.9 s96.99%
Noise3rd+2 dB97.22%
Price8th+175 73.48%
Rolling Resistance3rd+0.6 kg / t92.41%
Another test victory for the Bridgestone LM005. The wet qualities are currently unbeatable, it's has very good dry performance and is good on snow.

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2nd: Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV

Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV
  • 235/55 R18 104H
  • EU Label: C/C/71
  • Weight: 13.2kgs
  • Tread: 7.6-8.6mm
Dry Braking1st100%
Dry Handling6th+1.1 s98.29%
Wet Braking5th+3.7 M93.21%
Wet Handling2nd+0.3 s99.67%
Wet Circle2nd+0.1 s99.21%
Straight Aqua4th-6 Km/H92.65%
Snow Braking9th+1.6 M94.58%
Snow Traction2nd-3 N99.9%
Snow Handling1st100%
Price10th+265 64.67%
Rolling Resistance7th+0.9 kg / t89.02%
The Michelin PA5 SUV is a snow specialist but it also offers enormously high safety margins in all conditions.

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3rd: Continental Winter Contact TS 850 P SUV

Continental Winter Contact TS 850 P SUV
  • 235/55 R18 104V
  • EU Label: C/B/72
  • Weight: 11.1kgs
  • Tread: 8.3-9.0mm
Dry Braking7th+1.8 M95.94%
Dry Handling3rd+0.9 s98.6%
Wet Braking3rd+1.2 M97.69%
Wet Handling3rd+0.4 s99.56%
Wet Circle5th+0.2 s98.44%
Straight Aqua8th-8.5 Km/H89.58%
Snow Braking3rd+0.3 M98.94%
Snow Traction9th-205 N93.35%
Snow Handling2nd+0.2 s99.32%
Noise7th+3 dB95.89%
Price9th+230 67.83%
Rolling Resistance1st100%
The TS870P SUV is an excellent allrounder, safe on every surface, with the lowest rolling resistance on test.

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4th: Vredestein Wintrac Pro

Vredestein Wintrac Pro
  • 235/55 R18 104H
  • EU Label: C/C/72
  • Weight: 12.3kgs
  • Tread: 7.9-8.7mm
Dry Braking2nd+0.4 M99.07%
Dry Handling8th+1.3 s97.99%
Wet Braking2nd+0.5 M99.03%
Wet Handling1st100%
Wet Circle5th+0.2 s98.44%
Straight Aqua6th-6.7 Km/H91.79%
Snow Braking1st100%
Snow Traction3rd-49 N98.41%
Snow Handling8th+1 s96.67%
Noise7th+3 dB95.89%
Price5th+75 86.61%
Rolling Resistance7th+0.9 kg / t89.02%
Strong on snow, one of the best in wet conditions, safe when dry. The price / performance champion.

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5th: Firestone Winterhawk 4

Firestone Winterhawk 4
  • 235/55 R18 104H
  • EU Label: C/B/71
  • Weight: 11.3kgs
  • Tread: 8.1-8.5mm
Dry Braking10th+2.2 M95.08%
Dry Handling9th+1.5 s97.69%
Wet Braking6th+3.8 M93.04%
Wet Handling6th+2.2 s97.61%
Wet Circle8th+0.3 s97.67%
Straight Aqua2nd-3.6 Km/H95.59%
Snow Braking6th+1.1 M96.21%
Snow Traction4th-67 N97.83%
Snow Handling2nd+0.2 s99.32%
Noise2nd+1 dB98.59%
Price3rd+55 89.81%
Rolling Resistance5th+0.7 kg / t91.25%
Good results in the snow and wet, however only average in the dry.

Read Reviews    Buy from £148.89

6th: Goodyear UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen 1

Goodyear UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen 1
  • 235/55 R18 104H
  • EU Label: C/B/69
  • Weight: 13.4kgs
  • Tread: 8.0-8.1mm
Dry Braking4th+1.1 M97.48%
Dry Handling6th+1.1 s98.29%
Wet Braking7th+4.2 M92.36%
Wet Handling5th+2.1 s97.71%
Wet Circle2nd+0.1 s99.21%
Straight Aqua5th-6.4 Km/H92.16%
Snow Braking10th+1.9 M93.62%
Snow Traction6th-120 N96.11%
Snow Handling5th+0.9 s96.99%
Noise3rd+2 dB97.22%
Price7th+170 74.05%
Rolling Resistance5th+0.7 kg / t91.25%
The Goodyear was only middle in all three conditions however as it is a rounded performance it's still worth recommending.

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7th: Nokian WR SUV 4

Nokian WR SUV 4
  • 235/55 R18 104H
  • EU Label: C/B/72
  • Weight: 13.1kgs
  • Tread: 7.9-8.4mm
Dry Braking3rd+0.8 M98.15%
Dry Handling4th+1 s98.45%
Wet Braking4th+3.2 M94.07%
Wet Handling7th+2.6 s97.19%
Wet Circle5th+0.2 s98.44%
Straight Aqua10th-12 Km/H85.29%
Snow Braking2nd+0.2 M99.29%
Snow Traction7th-129 N95.82%
Snow Handling5th+0.9 s96.99%
Noise3rd+2 dB97.22%
Price4th+60 88.99%
Rolling Resistance3rd+0.6 kg / t92.41%
The WRSUV 4 has very good snow braking and good in the dry, but weaker in the wet with low aquaplaning resistance.

Read Reviews    Buy from £142.79

8th: Pirelli Scorpion Winter

Pirelli Scorpion Winter
  • 235/55 R18 104H
  • EU Label: C/B/69
  • Weight: 12.7kgs
  • Tread: 7.8-8.4mm
Dry Braking4th+1.1 M97.48%
Dry Handling1st100%
Wet Braking8th+7.4 M87.29%
Wet Handling8th+3.5 s96.25%
Wet Circle2nd+0.1 s99.21%
Straight Aqua9th-9.4 Km/H88.48%
Snow Braking8th+1.4 M95.22%
Snow Traction8th-163 N94.71%
Snow Handling9th+1.1 s96.35%
Noise7th+3 dB95.89%
Price6th+120 80.17%
Rolling Resistance9th+1.2 kg / t85.88%
The Pirelli Scorpion Winter is very good in the dry but weaker in the wet and snow, with high rolling resistance.

Read Reviews    Buy from £138.69

9th: Hankook Winter i cept evo 3 X

Hankook Winter i cept evo 3 X
  • 235/55 R18 104V
  • EU Label: C/B/72
  • Weight: 12.7kgs
  • Tread: 8.0-8.2mm
Dry Braking7th+1.8 M95.94%
Dry Handling4th+1 s98.45%
Wet Braking10th+9.9 M83.69%
Wet Handling10th+6.4 s93.35%
Wet Circle10th+0.8 s94.03%
Straight Aqua7th-8.3 Km/H89.83%
Snow Braking4th+0.4 M98.59%
Snow Traction1st100%
Snow Handling4th+0.6 s97.97%
Noise7th+3 dB95.89%
Price2nd+35 93.27%
Rolling Resistance2nd+0.4 kg / t94.81%
The Winter Icept Evo3 X is safe on snow with excellent traction and reliable in the dry however it is very weak in the wet.

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10th: Falken Eurowinter HS01 SUV

Falken Eurowinter HS01 SUV
  • 235/55 R18 104V
  • EU Label: D/B/72
  • Weight: 14.6kgs
  • Tread: 8.8-9.6mm
Dry Braking9th+2.1 M95.29%
Dry Handling10th+1.7 s97.39%
Wet Braking9th+9.2 M84.67%
Wet Handling9th+3.7 s96.04%
Wet Circle9th+0.7 s94.74%
Straight Aqua3rd-3.7 Km/H95.47%
Snow Braking7th+1.2 M95.88%
Snow Traction10th-261 N91.54%
Snow Handling10th+1.1 s96.35%
Noise6th+2 dB97.22%
Rolling Resistance10th+2 kg / t78.49%
On snow and in the dry the Falken HS01 offered very little grip. Highest rolling resistance on test.

Read Reviews    Buy from £135.95

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