2023 Sport Auto Winter Tire Test

The 2023 Sport Auto winter tire test has tested ten uhp winter tires using and Audi S3.

Why do you only see nine in the results below? The Kumho WinterCraft WP 52 was part of the tire test but was eventually disqualified due to specific issues. While it showed moderate performance on snow and impressive braking capabilities on wet surfaces, it had a tendency to quickly lose grip in curves. The test tires provided by the manufacturer demonstrated strong grip and a neutral, active behavior in wet conditions, along with very short braking distances on dry surfaces. However, the tires displayed a lack of grip and steering precision on snow, and were sensitive to puddles in curves, leading to aquaplaning. The tire was disqualified from the test due to significant deficits in the properties of the currently available tires with the latest manufacturing dates in comparison to the tested product. These discrepancies between the provided test tires and the commercially available products ultimately led to the tire's disqualification.

Dry BrakingMichelin Pilot Alpin 5: 43.6 MGiti GitiWinterW2: 45.7 M
Dry HandlingContinental WinterContact TS 870 P: 123.7 Km/HPirelli Cinturato Winter 2: 120.9 Km/H
Wet BrakingBridgestone Blizzak LM005: 32.3 MGiti GitiWinterW2: 34.3 M
Wet HandlingVredestein Wintrac Pro: 80.1 Km/HHankook Winter i cept evo3: 78.1 Km/H
Wet CircleBridgestone Blizzak LM005: 7.41 m/sHankook Winter i cept evo3: 7.25 m/s
Straight AquaGiti GitiWinterW2: 76.3 Km/HVredestein Wintrac Pro: 70.1 Km/H
Curved AquaplaningHankook Winter i cept evo3: 3.25 m/sec2Vredestein Wintrac Pro: 2.42 m/sec2
Snow BrakingBridgestone Blizzak LM005: 29.6 MFalken EUROWINTER HS02 Pro: 31 M
Snow TractionGoodyear UltraGrip Performance 3: 1.53 NGiti GitiWinterW2: 1.41 N
Snow HandlingBridgestone Blizzak LM005: 54.4 Km/HFalken EUROWINTER HS02 Pro: 51.7 Km/H
Snow SlalomPirelli Cinturato Winter 2: 4.48 m/sec2Bridgestone Blizzak LM005: 4.12 m/sec2
NoiseGoodyear UltraGrip Performance 3: 71.5 dBHankook Winter i cept evo3: 74.2 dB
PriceGiti GitiWinterW2: 121 Michelin Pilot Alpin 5: 167
Rolling ResistanceContinental WinterContact TS 870 P: 8.3 kg / tGiti GitiWinterW2: 9.9 kg / t

Dry

The Continental and Michelin tires demonstrate impressive capabilities. Both brands don't specialize in comfort, and the TS 870 P from Continental somewhat lacks braking connection with the leading group. However, the German tire excels in all other dry criteria, providing the most feedback through the steering wheel and the highest safety reserves for spontaneous evasive maneuvers at highway speeds. Both Goodyear and Hankook also deliver consistently good to very good dry performance. In contrast, Bridgestone and Vredestein respond more sluggishly to steering commands.

Wet

In wet conditions, Bridgestone shines with its consistently foolproof handling, creating an illusion of driving on a dry track. The new tire from Goodyear and Vredestein's Wintrac Pro also perform strongly, though they struggle with lateral aquaplaning, as do Michelin, Falken, and Pirelli. Hankook's Winter icept evo3 stands out for its water drainage capabilities, while the excluded Kumho tire is notably quick in wet conditions. While safety is paramount in these tests, efficiency also plays a crucial role. The laboratory tests for rolling resistance reveal that the Bridgestone Blizzak LM 005 successfully combines excellent wet grip with low rolling resistance, making it the test winner. Close behind are the very balanced Goodyear, the snow-reliable dry king Michelin, and the efficient, grippy Continental.

Snow

The Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 stands out as extremely fast and safe, leading the pack, followed by Bridgestone (highest subjective rating, but only satisfactory lateral support objectively), Continental (very balanced), and the new Goodyear UltraGrip Performance 3 (best traction). Notably, all four profiles decelerate almost equally strong and harmonize well with the Audi's ABS system.

In the midfield, Pirelli (fast and safe driving, but weaknesses in deceleration), Vredestein (consistently good performance), and Hankook (prompt, safe handling, but objectively weaker lateral support) are found. Falken and Giti show less compatibility with snow, with the new Falken Eurowinter HS 02 Pro falling so clearly behind in the direct handling comparison that it is downgraded by one grade in this chapter.

Comfort

The Michelin had the lowest external noise, with the Hankook proving to be quite a noisy tire.

Value

The Giti and Falken were the cheapest to buy, whereas the Michelin was the most expensive.

As seen in other tests this year, the Continental and Bridgsetone had the lowest rolling resistance of the group.

Results

1st: Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005
  • 225/40 R18
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking8th45.1 M43.6 M+1.5 M96.67%
Dry Handling8th121.4 Km/H123.7 Km/H-2.3 Km/H98.14%
Wet Braking1st32.3 M100%
Wet Handling2nd80 Km/H80.1 Km/H-0.1 Km/H99.88%
Wet Circle1st7.41 m/s100%
Straight Aqua4th73.4 Km/H76.3 Km/H-2.9 Km/H96.2%
Curved Aquaplaning5th2.64 m/sec23.25 m/sec2-0.61 m/sec281.23%
Snow Braking1st29.6 M100%
Snow Traction7th1.44 N1.53 N-0.09 N94.12%
Snow Handling1st54.4 Km/H100%
Snow Slalom9th4.12 m/sec24.48 m/sec2-0.36 m/sec291.96%
Noise3rd71.7 dB71.5 dB+0.2 dB99.72%
Price6th143 121 +22 84.62%
Rolling Resistance2nd8.4 kg / t8.3 kg / t+0.1 kg / t98.81%
Fast and agile on snow, easy to control. Very good grip on wet surfaces, direct, precise, and neutral handling.
Lacks a bit of grip on dry surfaces compared to the top performers.
King in wet conditions with talent on snow and low rolling resistance.

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2nd: Goodyear UltraGrip Performance 3

Goodyear UltraGrip Performance 3
  • 225/40 R18
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking3rd44 M43.6 M+0.4 M99.09%
Dry Handling3rd122.6 Km/H123.7 Km/H-1.1 Km/H99.11%
Wet Braking2nd32.7 M32.3 M+0.4 M98.78%
Wet Handling2nd80 Km/H80.1 Km/H-0.1 Km/H99.88%
Wet Circle4th7.36 m/s7.41 m/s-0.05 m/s99.33%
Straight Aqua3rd73.5 Km/H76.3 Km/H-2.8 Km/H96.33%
Curved Aquaplaning3rd2.88 m/sec23.25 m/sec2-0.37 m/sec288.62%
Snow Braking2nd29.7 M29.6 M+0.1 M99.66%
Snow Traction1st1.53 N100%
Snow Handling7th54 Km/H54.4 Km/H-0.4 Km/H99.26%
Snow Slalom7th4.27 m/sec24.48 m/sec2-0.21 m/sec295.31%
Noise1st71.5 dB100%
Price7th145 121 +24 83.45%
Rolling Resistance5th9 kg / t8.3 kg / t+0.7 kg / t92.22%
Precise, safe, and reliable with a wide range of reserves on all three surfaces.
Could respond a bit finer to unevenness.
Very balanced tire; strong performance under all conditions.

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3rd: Michelin Pilot Alpin 5

Michelin Pilot Alpin 5
  • 225/40 R18
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking1st43.6 M100%
Dry Handling2nd123 Km/H123.7 Km/H-0.7 Km/H99.43%
Wet Braking3rd33.2 M32.3 M+0.9 M97.29%
Wet Handling6th79.4 Km/H80.1 Km/H-0.7 Km/H99.13%
Wet Circle6th7.35 m/s7.41 m/s-0.06 m/s99.19%
Straight Aqua5th72.2 Km/H76.3 Km/H-4.1 Km/H94.63%
Curved Aquaplaning7th2.46 m/sec23.25 m/sec2-0.79 m/sec275.69%
Snow Braking4th29.8 M29.6 M+0.2 M99.33%
Snow Traction2nd1.52 N1.53 N-0.01 N99.35%
Snow Handling3rd54.2 Km/H54.4 Km/H-0.2 Km/H99.63%
Snow Slalom5th4.36 m/sec24.48 m/sec2-0.12 m/sec297.32%
Noise1st71.5 dB100%
Price9th167 121 +46 72.46%
Rolling Resistance3rd8.9 kg / t8.3 kg / t+0.6 kg / t93.26%
Clear feedback through the steering in snow. Precise, balanced wet handling.
Lower aquaplaning protection in curves, a bit clumsy response to edges.
Snow specialist with high dry grip. Deficiencies in aquaplaning.

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4th: Continental WinterContact TS 870 P

Continental WinterContact TS 870 P
  • 225/40 R18
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking7th44.4 M43.6 M+0.8 M98.2%
Dry Handling1st123.7 Km/H100%
Wet Braking8th34.2 M32.3 M+1.9 M94.44%
Wet Handling6th79.4 Km/H80.1 Km/H-0.7 Km/H99.13%
Wet Circle7th7.3 m/s7.41 m/s-0.11 m/s98.52%
Straight Aqua7th71 Km/H76.3 Km/H-5.3 Km/H93.05%
Curved Aquaplaning4th2.77 m/sec23.25 m/sec2-0.48 m/sec285.23%
Snow Braking2nd29.7 M29.6 M+0.1 M99.66%
Snow Traction5th1.45 N1.53 N-0.08 N94.77%
Snow Handling5th54.1 Km/H54.4 Km/H-0.3 Km/H99.45%
Snow Slalom3rd4.4 m/sec24.48 m/sec2-0.08 m/sec298.21%
Noise4th71.8 dB71.5 dB+0.3 dB99.58%
Price8th156 121 +35 77.56%
Rolling Resistance1st8.3 kg / t100%
Safe on snow and on dry roads, as it is well balanced.
Strong understeering in wet curves. Few reserves.
Rolls efficiently, grippy on snow. Less grippy when the road is wet.

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5th: Vredestein Wintrac Pro

Vredestein Wintrac Pro
  • 225/40 R18
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking3rd44 M43.6 M+0.4 M99.09%
Dry Handling4th122.2 Km/H123.7 Km/H-1.5 Km/H98.79%
Wet Braking3rd33.2 M32.3 M+0.9 M97.29%
Wet Handling1st80.1 Km/H100%
Wet Circle1st7.41 m/s100%
Straight Aqua9th70.1 Km/H76.3 Km/H-6.2 Km/H91.87%
Curved Aquaplaning9th2.42 m/sec23.25 m/sec2-0.83 m/sec274.46%
Snow Braking6th30.7 M29.6 M+1.1 M96.42%
Snow Traction8th1.42 N1.53 N-0.11 N92.81%
Snow Handling5th54.1 Km/H54.4 Km/H-0.3 Km/H99.45%
Snow Slalom6th4.34 m/sec24.48 m/sec2-0.14 m/sec296.88%
Noise6th72.5 dB71.5 dB+1 dB98.62%
Price4th135 121 +14 89.63%
Rolling Resistance7th9.7 kg / t8.3 kg / t+1.4 kg / t85.57%
High wet grip level and safe, sporty, easily controllable handling on wet surfaces.
Low aquaplaning protection in wet curves.
Safe in wet conditions and snow. Prone to aquaplaning early in curves.

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6th: Hankook Winter i cept evo3

Hankook Winter i cept evo3
  • 225/40 R18
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking3rd44 M43.6 M+0.4 M99.09%
Dry Handling5th122.1 Km/H123.7 Km/H-1.6 Km/H98.71%
Wet Braking7th34.1 M32.3 M+1.8 M94.72%
Wet Handling9th78.1 Km/H80.1 Km/H-2 Km/H97.5%
Wet Circle9th7.25 m/s7.41 m/s-0.16 m/s97.84%
Straight Aqua2nd74.1 Km/H76.3 Km/H-2.2 Km/H97.12%
Curved Aquaplaning1st3.25 m/sec2100%
Snow Braking5th30.5 M29.6 M+0.9 M97.05%
Snow Traction5th1.45 N1.53 N-0.08 N94.77%
Snow Handling2nd54.3 Km/H54.4 Km/H-0.1 Km/H99.82%
Snow Slalom8th4.15 m/sec24.48 m/sec2-0.33 m/sec292.63%
Noise9th74.2 dB71.5 dB+2.7 dB96.36%
Price3rd134 121 +13 90.3%
Rolling Resistance3rd8.9 kg / t8.3 kg / t+0.6 kg / t93.26%
High safety reserves on snow, good aquaplaning precaution.
Strong understeering with high sensitivity to load changes, less balanced in wet handling, highest pass-by noise.
Good on snow, high aquaplaning protection. Too unbalanced in wet conditions.

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7th: Pirelli Cinturato Winter 2

Pirelli Cinturato Winter 2
  • 225/40 R18
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking6th44.1 M43.6 M+0.5 M98.87%
Dry Handling9th120.9 Km/H123.7 Km/H-2.8 Km/H97.74%
Wet Braking6th33.6 M32.3 M+1.3 M96.13%
Wet Handling8th79.2 Km/H80.1 Km/H-0.9 Km/H98.88%
Wet Circle8th7.28 m/s7.41 m/s-0.13 m/s98.25%
Straight Aqua6th71.6 Km/H76.3 Km/H-4.7 Km/H93.84%
Curved Aquaplaning6th2.54 m/sec23.25 m/sec2-0.71 m/sec278.15%
Snow Braking8th31 M29.6 M+1.4 M95.48%
Snow Traction3rd1.49 N1.53 N-0.04 N97.39%
Snow Handling3rd54.2 Km/H54.4 Km/H-0.2 Km/H99.63%
Snow Slalom1st4.48 m/sec2100%
Noise7th72.7 dB71.5 dB+1.2 dB98.35%
Price5th139 121 +18 87.05%
Rolling Resistance5th9 kg / t8.3 kg / t+0.7 kg / t92.22%
Safe driving behavior in winter, good grip level in wet curves.
Sluggish steering response and shallow reserves on wet surfaces, sensitive to puddles in curves, sluggish on dry surfaces.
Safe snow handling, prone to aquaplaning, sluggish in dry conditions.

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8th: Giti GitiWinterW2

Giti GitiWinterW2
  • 225/40 R18
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking9th45.7 M43.6 M+2.1 M95.4%
Dry Handling6th122 Km/H123.7 Km/H-1.7 Km/H98.63%
Wet Braking9th34.3 M32.3 M+2 M94.17%
Wet Handling2nd80 Km/H80.1 Km/H-0.1 Km/H99.88%
Wet Circle4th7.36 m/s7.41 m/s-0.05 m/s99.33%
Straight Aqua1st76.3 Km/H100%
Curved Aquaplaning2nd2.92 m/sec23.25 m/sec2-0.33 m/sec289.85%
Snow Braking7th30.9 M29.6 M+1.3 M95.79%
Snow Traction9th1.41 N1.53 N-0.12 N92.16%
Snow Handling8th52.5 Km/H54.4 Km/H-1.9 Km/H96.51%
Snow Slalom4th4.39 m/sec24.48 m/sec2-0.09 m/sec297.99%
Noise4th71.8 dB71.5 dB+0.3 dB99.58%
Price1st121 100%
Rolling Resistance9th9.9 kg / t8.3 kg / t+1.6 kg / t83.84%
Apart from the weak braking performance, strong and safe as well as sporty wet performance.
Moderate interlocking on snow, long braking distance on dry surfaces.
Long wet/dry braking distances, good aquaplaning safety.

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9th: Falken EUROWINTER HS02 Pro

Falken EUROWINTER HS02 Pro
  • 225/40 R18
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking2nd43.7 M43.6 M+0.1 M99.77%
Dry Handling7th121.8 Km/H123.7 Km/H-1.9 Km/H98.46%
Wet Braking3rd33.2 M32.3 M+0.9 M97.29%
Wet Handling5th79.6 Km/H80.1 Km/H-0.5 Km/H99.38%
Wet Circle3rd7.38 m/s7.41 m/s-0.03 m/s99.6%
Straight Aqua8th70.5 Km/H76.3 Km/H-5.8 Km/H92.4%
Curved Aquaplaning7th2.46 m/sec23.25 m/sec2-0.79 m/sec275.69%
Snow Braking8th31 M29.6 M+1.4 M95.48%
Snow Traction4th1.46 N1.53 N-0.07 N95.42%
Snow Handling9th51.7 Km/H54.4 Km/H-2.7 Km/H95.04%
Snow Slalom2nd4.43 m/sec24.48 m/sec2-0.05 m/sec298.88%
Noise8th73 dB71.5 dB+1.5 dB97.95%
Price1st121 100%
Rolling Resistance8th9.8 kg / t8.3 kg / t+1.5 kg / t84.69%
Neutral to understeering in wet conditions.
Subjectively very low grip level on snow. Neutral to understeering and low aquaplaning protection in wet curves. Few reserves.
Very sluggish snow handling, good wet grip, high rolling resistance.

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