The 2023 Tire Reviews UHP winter tire test was an unusual test for Tire Reviews. Due to travel schedules I was unable to drive the snow part of the testing, and as these tires have been tested before this year I wouldn't have usually run such a similar test again, but this one had the possibility of a real world wear test which is hard to say no to.
The results, well they are very interesting and shine a new light on some of the products tested.
This test used a Ford Mustang to test the large 255/40 R19 ultra high performance winter tire test, and the fact we tested wear means we could also test the tires at a worn state, and due to the timing of the testing, there was the opportunity to test wet braking at warm and cooler temperatures.
This is a tire test for the real geeks, so I'll be concentrating on the data heavily.
|Dry Braking||▲Bridgestone Blizzak LM005: 41.7 M||▼Superia Bluewin UHP2: 43 M|
|Dry Handling||▲Michelin Pilot Alpin 5: 52.46 s||▼Superia Bluewin UHP2: 54.9 s|
|Subj. Dry Handling||▲Michelin Pilot Alpin 5: 10 Points||▼Hankook Winter i cept evo3: 9.5 Points|
|Wet Braking||▲Bridgestone Blizzak LM005: 27.6 M||▼Superia Bluewin UHP2: 33.4 M|
|Wet Braking - Cool||▲Bridgestone Blizzak LM005: 30.7 M||▼Superia Bluewin UHP2: 33.9 M|
|Wet Braking - Worn||▲Bridgestone Blizzak LM005: 32.7 M||▼Superia Bluewin UHP2: 42.2 M|
|Wet Handling||▲Bridgestone Blizzak LM005: 84.77 s||▼Superia Bluewin UHP2: 91.97 s|
|Subj. Wet Handling||▲Continental WinterContact TS 870 P: 10 Points||▼Superia Bluewin UHP2: 5 Points|
|Wet Circle||▲Bridgestone Blizzak LM005: 11.81 s||▼Superia Bluewin UHP2: 12.43 s|
|Straight Aqua||▲Bridgestone Blizzak LM005: 100.1 Km/H||▼Superia Bluewin UHP2: 87.6 Km/H|
|Curved Aquaplaning||▲Bridgestone Blizzak LM005: 3.28 m/sec2||▼Superia Bluewin UHP2: 1.22 m/sec2|
|Snow Braking||▲Michelin Pilot Alpin 5: 15.93 M||▼Vredestein Wintrac Pro: 16.43 M|
|Snow Traction||▲Michelin Pilot Alpin 5: 7.93 s||▼Superia Bluewin UHP2: 8.8 s|
|Snow Handling||▲Michelin Pilot Alpin 5: 79.76 s||▼Vredestein Wintrac Pro: 82.56 s|
|Subj. Snow Handling||▲Michelin Pilot Alpin 5: 10 Points||▼Vredestein Wintrac Pro: 9 Points|
|Snow Slalom||▲Michelin Pilot Alpin 5: 0.352 m/sec2||▼Vredestein Wintrac Pro: 0.326 m/sec2|
|Subj. Comfort||▲Continental WinterContact TS 870 P: 10 Points||▼Hankook Winter i cept evo3: 9.25 Points|
|Noise||▲Superia Bluewin UHP2: 71.3 dB||▼Hankook Winter i cept evo3: 75.1 dB|
|Wear||▲Michelin Pilot Alpin 5: 31460 KM||▼Superia Bluewin UHP2: 16640 KM|
|Value||▲Superia Bluewin UHP2: 4.19 Price/1000||▼Bridgestone Blizzak LM005: 12.41 Price/1000|
|Price||▲Superia Bluewin UHP2: 69.73||▼Michelin Pilot Alpin 5: 246.46|
|Rolling Resistance||▲Hankook Winter i cept evo3: 7.84 kg / t||▼Vredestein Wintrac Pro: 9.3 kg / t|
In the dry the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 proved to be the best at stopping the car, impressively beating the Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 which usually dominates the category. The Michelin did have the best subjective results when analysing the balance of the vehicle across the lap and during emergency lane changes.
Michelin jumped back to the front for dry handling, ahead of the Vredestein Wintrac Pro.
When it comes to winter tires and wet grip, it's always been difficult to beat the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005, and this test is no different with the Japanese tire having a large advantage over the second placed Vredestein and Continental pairing.
The Bridgestone still led in the cooler wet braking test, but it's advantage was smaller, and Continental jumped above the Vredestein. The order otherwise remained the same.
Usually worn wet braking is conducted with the tires buffed down to the same tread depth. We didn't have the chance to do this, but as we had worn tires from the wear test I wanted the data to see how they'd brake at their post-wear tread depth.
The order was surprisingly similar, especially when you consider the Bridgestone had much lower tread depth compared to some of its rivals (more on that in a bit.) As this is an unusual way of doing a worn wet braking, the overall weighting of this test is very low in the final results. The worn depth of the tires can be found in the wear section.
Bridgestone remained at the front for the wet handling test, with the Continental close behind, with both tires leading the subjective scoring.
Bridgestone was the fastest around the wet circle.
The Bridgestone also had the best straight and curved aquaplaning result, rounding it out as undoubtedly the best winter tire in the wet.
The snowmaster Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 proved once again it was the best in snow braking.
The Michelin also led the snow traction test, with the Hankook Winter I*Cept evo3 close behind.
The Michelin was also the best during snow handling with the subjective driver reporting it was also the best subjectively.
The budget winter tire was best in the external passby noise test.
We always expect Michelin products to do best in wear, and we were not disappointed with their predicted tread life to 1.6mm being the best in test! However interestingly if you live in an area where there is a 4mm law for winter tires, the Vredestein proved to be the best as it started with a higher tread depth than the Michelin and still had an excellent wear compound.
The wear was tested on a fleet of FWD Audi A6s, driven for 12,120km, and the wear was averaged between the two front tires to calculate down to 4mm and 1.6mm.
|Tire||Starting Tread Depth||Tread depth at 12,120km||Projected wear to 4mm||Projected wear to 1.6mm|
|Bridgestone Blizzak LM005||8mm||4.3mm||11,375mm||17,420km|
|Continental WinterContact TS870P||8.5mm||6.5mm||17,500km||26,000km|
|Hankook Winter I*Cept Evo 3||8.5mm||6.4mm||16,100km||25,180km|
|Michelin Pilot Alpin 5||7.6mm||5.9mm||19,075km||31,460km|
|Superia Bluewin UHP2||6.6mm||3.3mm||6,300km||16,640km|
|Vredestein Wintrac Pro||8.5mm||6.9mm||20,125km||30,160km|
Please note that wear is non-linear, tires wear faster during the first few thousand miles. The tires are measured at least ten times during the wear test and the projected wear calculations are made from the data points after the wear has stabilised, which is why the numbers above don't line up if you straight calculate it.
In terms of purchase price, the budget Superia winter tire proved to be very cheap to buy, less than half the price of the next cheapest product.
With wear and purchase price we can calculate one of the most important metrics, cost per 1000 km driven. Thanks to the exceptional mileage and low purchase price, the Vredestein Wintrac Pro had a clear advantage in this test. The budget tire, which was so cheap to buy didn't offer much of an value advantage when compared to the tires which actually offered grip in the dry, wet and snow.
The big loser of the value category was the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005, which compared high wear with a high purchase price to make it significantly more expensive than the Michelin and Continental per 1000 km driven.
Vredestein sadly undid some of it's amazing value work by having the highest rolling resistance of the test, with the Hankook and Continental the only tires to sneak under the 8kg/t mark.
So, the big question is, how important is wear? If it was a summer or all season test, it would be unquestionably important, and to the people who do a lot of miles on your winter tires, then again it's important. But if you're a person who's winter tires age out before they wear out, and you just want the best grip overall, then it's less of a thing for you.
In summary, if wear isn't important to you as your winter tires age out before they wear out, the Bridgestone is still very hard to beat. In the final rankings I am including wear as I do think it's important to more people than it's not, so the winner of this test was once again the Continental Wintercontact TS870P proving that not only does it have good grip in all conditions, as we've seen in other tests, but also that it wears well too.
That's not to say the Michelin and Vredestein aren't also great tires from this test, the gap between the top three was incredibly tiny, and the Hankook once again proved to be a solid winter tire.
Exceptional all round tire with no real weakness, particularly strong in the wet and snow, low rolling resistance, good levels of comfort, low wear.
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Best in the dry, best in the snow, very low wear, good comfort.
Average wet performance, mid pack rolling resistance, higher cost.
Very good in the wet, exceptional value with best wear and lowest cost per 1000 km by a considerable margin.
Worst snow performance of the test but no more than 5% behind the best. High rolling resistance.
Very good in the snow, lowest rolling resistance on test, low purchase price, good value.
Average wet performance.
Best in dry braking, best in the wet, good in snow.
High wear leading to expensive cost per 1000km driven, high rolling resistance.
6th: Superia Bluewin UHP2
Lowest noise on test, low rolling resistance.
Worst grip in the dry, wet, and snow. Highest wear on test meaning even with the cheap purchase price, it's cost per 1000km driven is still similar to the tires with grip.