Winter Tire Tests

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2020 Winter Tire Tests

Here are the Tire Reviews best winter tires for the 2020 winter tire season.

As usual, all these tires have been picked based on data from Tire Reviews testing, other tests from around the world, and user reviews - think of this as one big meta-analysis of the best winter / snow / studded tires on the market. This video covers European, Nordic and North American winter tires / tires, and covers cars, SUV's and Electric vehicles (EVs.)


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Continental AllSeasonContact

All season VS winter tires is a hotly discussed topic, and while we've done our own test at various temperatures, it sadly didn't include any ice testing, or things like wet handling and rolling resistance testing.

Fortunately, our friends at Vi Bilagare once again have us covered. During their Nordic winter testing in 2020, the magazine included an all season and "european" winter tire alongside their usual selection of Nordic friction and studded winter tires.

As the all-season and European winter tire were being tested from a Nordic perspective, they had a significant testing on ice, which is a rarity for an all-season tire.

The results... well, I’m sure you can guess how each of the four tire types performed on each surface, but it's really cool to see all this data from one source.


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Bridgestone Blizzak WS90

Sadly there are very few professional tire tests conducted in North America, however the magazine Consumer Reports does an excellent job of educating the market with a number of huge tire tests every year.

While the public data is limited, you have to be a member to see the full results, we thought it would be important to database the information we have to help our American audience pick the right winter tire.

The 2020 Consumer Reports Winter Tire Test has tested seventeen of the best winter tires on the market in the popular 215/60 R16 size.


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Continental VikingContact 7

For their second winter test of 2020, the excellent Vi Bilagare have tested eight Nordic friction (studless) winter tires.

As with the studded version, Vi Bilagare have performed a thorough test covering dry, wet, snow and ice, and should be considered one of the benchmarks for extreme winter testing in Europe. 

This test is particularly interesting as it has the new Michelin X-Ice Snow, Bridgestone Blizzak Ice, Pirelli Ice Zero FR and Nexen Winguard Ice Plus WH43 placed up against the established Nordic winter tires from Continental, Goodyear and Nokian.


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Michelin X Ice North 4

For the 2020 Vi Bilägare Winter studded tire test, the Swedish magazine has tested 8 of the most extreme studded winter tires in 205/60 R16.

As this is a studded winter tire test, the testers placed much more emphasis on snow and ice performance, so if you're in a region that sees a lot of compacted snow and ice on the road during normal winters, this is a very useful test.


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Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

The 2020 Auto Zeitung has tested fourteen winter tires in 205/55 R16, including new winter tires from Bridgestone, Goodyear and Maxxis, as well as a low cost retreaded tire.

While all the tires were tested in the dry, wet and snow, sadly Auto Zeitung didn't include any handling data, instead just providing subjective feel scoring.


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Continental IceContact 3

If you're planning on undertaking a massive Nordic friction and studded winter tire test, having the right facilities to conduct the test in is key. Fortunately for Test World, they own one of the best independent arctic testing facilities in the world which is why we're super excited to see this 21 tire test, covering all the key friction studless and studded winter tires on the market.

All tires are in the popular 205/55 R16, and were tested using a VW Golf. There were some interesting new tires in the test, including the first test of the studless Michelin X-Ice Snow.


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Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

For the 2020 Auto Express winter tire test, Auto Express tested nine 205/55 R16 winter tires using a VW Golf.


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Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

The 2020 ACE / ARBÖ / GTÜ winter tire test has tested nine winter tires in the popular 225/50 R17 size using a BMW 3 Series.


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Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Plus

The 2020 Auto Bild SUV Tire test has tested ten crossover SUV / 4x4 winter tires in the popular 225/55 R17 size, with a summer tire included as a reference.

Of the ten tires on test, the top four tires were given the "Exemplary" award, which included the new Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+, the much improved Bridgestone Blizzak LM005, the new Michelin Alpin 6 and the Vredestein Wintrac Pro.

The test winning Goodyear had a good all round performance, with the testers noting the winter tire felt precise and dynamic in all conditions. The Bridgestone LM005 performed well in the dry and wet to secure second place, while the joint third Michelin and Vredestein pair performed well in all tests, but either cost more to buy (Michelin) or used more fuel (Vredestein.)


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Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

ADAC tire tests are some of the most influential in the world, and for the 2020 winter season ADAC have chosen to test fifteen 205/55 R16 of the best winter tires for cars, and thirteen 235/55 R17 winter tires for SUV / 4x4.


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Michelin Pilot Alpin 5

ADAC tire tests are some of the most influential in the world, and for the 2020 winter season ADAC have chosen to test thirteen 235/55 R17 winter tires for SUV / 4x4 and fifteen 205/55 R16 of the best winter tires for cars.


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Michelin Pilot Alpin 5

Following on from the 52 winter tire braking test, the top 20 winter tires in 245/45 R18 have been put through the usual Auto Bild winter tire tests, to discover the best performance winter tire for the 2020 season.


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Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Every year, the German publication Auto Bild selects a tire size, finds as many winter tires as possible in that size, and tests them all in wet braking. The top thirty tires proceed to snow braking, then the top twenty overall to the full winter tire test.

For the 2020 winter tire test, Auto Bild rounded up fifty one winter tires in the rather huge 245/45 R18 size, and a summer tire as reference.


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2019 Winter Tire Tests

Nokian WR Snowproof

The 2019 Auto Center winter tire test is both good and bad. The positive is that out of ten 205/55 R16 patterns, it only includes two premium manufacturers. This means we get a much better look at the midrange bracket of winter tires, which is great for those of us who want to save a little money, and all ten patterns on test have been tested for ice braking and traction which is now usually omitted from central European tire testing.


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Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Plus

For their third winter tire test of 2019, Auto Bild have stepped up the fun and fitted an Audi S5 with eleven sets of 255/35 R19 ultra high performance winter tires, and included the usual set of reference summer tires!

Following on from a win in Auto Express, the new Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+ takes its second win of 2019, once again proving to have a near flawless blend of qualities. Vredestein have also continued their run of good results with a very strong second place for the Wintrac Pro. This tire is significantly cheaper than the premium winter tires in the UK, so is probably the best choice if you need to save a few pounds.


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Are cheap winter tires safe? To find out, we travelled to Finland, twice, to do snow, ice, wet and dry testing.

All tests were done using two cars, a VW Golf wearing 205/55 R16 tires, and a heavier, larger Volvo S90 fitted with 245/45 R18 tires.


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Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Plus

The 2019 Auto Express winter tire test has tested ten 225/45 R17 winter tires, and included a summer and all season product as a benchmark.

The newest winter tire from Goodyear is shaping up to be an excellent winter product. Thanks to a near perfect all round performance, it wins another tire test, narrowly beating the established king of winter motoring, the Continental WinterContact TS860.


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Continental IceContact 3

While studded tires don't have much use in the UK, for parts of the Nordic countries they are essential for safe mobility.

To find out which of the latest studded winter tires are worth fitting, Swedish magazine Vi Bilagare have tested seven studded winter tires in 225/50 R17, and included a studless nordic friction winter tire as a comparison.


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

It's winter testing time, and as always, Auto Bild are leading the way! Following on from the 53 winter tire shoot-out, Auto Bild have taken the top twenty 225/45 R17 tires through to the full test, along with a summer tire as reference. Each set of tires has been tested in the dry, wet and snow using a RWD BMW 1 Series, and Auto Bild are one of the few publications which test for wear. It's an exciting test! (if you're into tires...)


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Winter tire buying can be a confusing challenge, as there are now six types of tire you can realistically fit to your car. But which is best? To find out, I test summer, all season, all weather, winter, extreme winter and studded tires in dry, wet, snow and ice testing, covering handling, braking and grip.


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Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Following on from the All Season tire market overview, Auto Bild have published their winter version of the shootout style braking test.

For the winter test, Auto Bild have tested 53 winter tires in 225/45 R17 in wet and snow braking. The two braking distances are combined, and the top twenty tires go through to a full test covering all aspects of a tires performance.


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Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Plus

Warning, lots of data ahead! For the 2019 winter, Auto Motor und Sport have tested eleven of the best winter tires in the 215/55 R17 crossover SUV size.

The biggest plus of this test is the sheer amount of data they've produced, as they've rated the tires both objectively and subjectively in a lot of categories.


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Dunlop Winter Response 2

This year the German motoring organisation ADAC have tested sixteen winter tires in the popular 185/65 R15.


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Ever wondered what the best type of tire is to fit to your pickup truck? We can probably all agree that MT tires look the coolest, but what drawbacks are you making by fitting an M/T tire, then spending all your time on normal roads?

In this test, I team up with General Tire to test a HT road tire, a mild all terrain tire, an aggressive AT tire, and of course a chunky MT tire in both 265/70 R17 and LT315/70 R17 sizes.
 

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2018 Winter Tire Tests

Continental IceContact 2

While studded tires aren't suitable for the normal UK winter, Tire Reviews does have a lot of international readers, which is why we're covering this excellent studded winter tire test from the Swedish publications Vi Bilägare.

Why this one? Well, they've used a Volvo V30 to test seven studded tires in the very common 205/55 R16 tire size, and they've also included a friction studless nordic winter tire.


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

The 2018 Auto Motor und Sport [AMS] winter tire test has tested eleven winter tire patterns in the popular 205/55 R16 winter tire size, using a Seat Ibiza.


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Michelin Latitude Alpin 2

For 2018, the German publication Auto Zeitung have tested nine SUV / 4X4 winter tire patterns in 235/60 R18 using an Audi Q5.

The tires on test covered the premium and midrange segments, with a single budget tire included, the Wanli Snowgrip S1083. The Wanli tire was less than half the price of the most expensive tires on test, so it will be interesting to see whether the Chinese manufactured tire can improve on past performances.


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Goodyear UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen 1

The 2018 Auto Bild SUV / 4x4 winter tire test has used an Audi Q5 to test ten 235/60 R18 winter tires, with the Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen-1 SUV proving to be the best tire on test thanks to an excellent all-round performance.

Surprisingly Pirelli edged out Continental to second place, with a brilliant result for the Pirelli Scorpion Winter. This tire has been on the market a number of years now, and historically hasn't tested as well as Goodyear or Continental, so there must have been and update for the 2018 winter season.

The Continental Winter Contact TS850P SUV rounded out the top three, with its only real weakness appearing during the important dry braking tests.


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Vredestein Wintrac Pro

Following on from the 195/65 R15 winter tire test, the excellent German publication Auto Bild have tested ten UHP winter tires in 245/45 R18.

The biggest shock in the test is the winner - it's the brand new Vredestein WinTrac Pro. This new tire from Vredestein proved to have Continental like qualities, displacing the Continental WinterContact TS850 P from it's usual top spot and performing well in the dry, wet and snow tests. The Continental WinterContact TS850 Pl, which has now been replaced by the Continental WinterContact TS860 S, proved that it's still a quality option and finished a very close second place.


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

The weekly UK publication Auto Express has just published their 2018 winter tire test! This year Auto Express have tested eight winter tire patterns in 205/55 R16 using a VW Golf.


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

As in 2017, the German club ACE have tested all season and winter tires in exactly the same tests! On test are nine 185/65 R15 winter tire patterns, and three all season tires in the same size, and they used an Opel Corsa as the test vehicle.

All twelve tires were put through identical dry, wet and snow testing, and to further highlight the point that most all season tires are interchangeable with winter tires, the all season tires finished second, fifth and ten places overall.


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Dunlop Winter Sport 5

Following on from the 51 winter tire braking test, the excellent German publication Auto Bild have promoted the best 20 tires to their full winter test, which covers every aspect of the winter tires performance.

As always, an (unnamed) summer and all season tire have been included as reference, and to make a change from the past few years, it isn’t the remarkable Continental WinterContact TS860 taking the top spot overall…


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

This year the German motoring orginisation ADAC have tested winter tires in 175/65 R14 and 205/55 R16.

Both tests continue Continentals winter dominance, with two win for the Continental WinterContact TS860. 


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

This year the German motoring orginisation ADAC have tested winter tires in 205/55 R16 and 175/65 R14

Both tests continue Continentals winter dominance, with two win for the Continental WinterContact TS860. 

Second and third places were taken by the sisters brand Goodyear and Dunlop, with all three of the leading tires proving to offer an excellent balance of winter performances.


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

This year AutoBild have placed 51 195/65 R15 winter tires through wet braking tests, with the top thirty tires also being tested for snow braking performance. Only the top twenty have gone through to the full Auto Bild winter tire test!

With the best winter tire on test stopping the VW Golf in 34.3 meters, and the worst tire on test at 49.8 meters, you can see why it's extremely important to judge a winter tires performance as much on wet grip as it is snow grip.


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2017 Winter Tire Tests

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9

While studded tires aren't suitable for the UK climate, they are the best way of staying mobile in extreme winter conditions. Each tire can have hundreds of studs, which bite into ice with far more grip than a studless friction winter tire can give. There are of course drawbacks to studded tires, they're very noisy, and they give up a lot of dry and wet performance when compared to a European winter tire, but in climates such as Russia and the Nordic countries where you are likely to be driving on ice for weeks at a time, there's little alternative.


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Continental WinterContact TS 850 P

We're a little bit late with this one, as it's likely the UK has had most of its bad weather for winter 2017/18, however we can't resist covering a winter ultra high performance tire test, especially when they use a RWD Toyota GT86 as the test car!

For this test, Sport Auto magazine fitted the GT86 with ten different patterns of 225/40 R18 sports winter tires, and put the tires through the normal dry, wet and snow testing.


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Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen 1

For 2017, the "All Road" edition of the German publication Auto Bild has tested ten 225/55 R17 winter tires. This size is commonly used by compact crossovers, such as the BMW X1 used in this test.

The biggest interest in this test was the Chinese budget winter tire from Pace. With the most expensive set of winter tires costing 660 euros at time of test, the budget Pace tires were a full 400 euros cheaper, at just 260 euros. Are the savings worth the performance drop? Read on below to find out.


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Nokian WR D4

For 2017 the Polish publication AutoCentrum has tested eight studless winter tires in 185/65 R15. As with the other winter tire tests we've featured across 2017, AutoCentrum tests the winter tires in the dry, wet and snow, but also includes ice testing, a first for 2017.

Six of the tires on test are European winter tires which are available to the UK market, and two of the tires (Debica Frigo 2 and Sava Eskimo Ice) are full nordic friction winter tires, so it should give us a good overview of how these two different types of tires perform, and why Nordic winter tires aren't suitable for the UK market.


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BFGoodrich gForce Winter 2

Fifty winter tires have been put through wet braking tests, with the top thirty also tested for snow braking performance. Only the top twenty have gone through to the full Auto Bild winter tire test!


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

The 2017 Auto Bild winter tire test started with fifty 225/50 R17 winter tire patterns which Auto Bild tested for wet braking performance, and then dropped the worse twenty tires from the test.

The next phase was testing the remaining thirty patterns for snow braking, which was then combined with the wet braking distances to allow the ten worst tires to be dropped. This left twenty winter tires which Auto Bild regarded as the best winter tires on the market, and deemed worthy enough to take through to the full testing.

As ever with Auto Bild testing, they undertake all the usual dry, wet and snow testing, but also including important factors such as wear and cost per 1,000 km, which a lot of tests are unable to include.

The results as closer than ever, and you'd be hard pressed to classify any of the top 10 tires as bad tires, but three in particular rose to the top.


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Dunlop Winter Sport 5 SUV

Sadly there's very little data available for this 235/55 R17 SUV tire test conducted by the European motoring bodies ACE / ARBO / GTU, nor are Michelin featured, but it's still worth a read if you drive a crossover vehicle such as the Ford Kuga or Volkswagen Tiguan which uses this tire size.


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Dunlop Winter Sport 5

This year the German motoring orginisation ADAC have tested winter tires in 195/65 R15 and 215/65 R16.

Unusually for a winter tire test, Continental faulter in this 215/65 R16 SUV tire size, only finishing seventh overall. This leaves the door open for Dunlop to take first place with the Winter Sport 5 which proves to have a very balanced all round performance with no glaring weaknesses.

BF Goodrich finished in a very strong second place, winning the majority of the test categories but missing out on the top spot due to a slightly weak wet performance, where as the third placed Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen-1 proved to be extremely strong in the wet, but a little disappointing on snow.


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

This year the German motoring orginisation ADAC have tested winter tires in 195/65 R15 and 215/65 R16.

The 195/65 R16 winter tire test continues Continentals winter dominance, with another win for the Continental WinterContact TS860. 


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

Issue 1,495 of the weekly UK publication Auto Express contains their 2017 winter tire test!

This year Auto Express have tested eight winter tire patterns in 225/45 R17 using a VW Golf in the dry and wet, and an Audi A3 in the snow. 

Auto Express have previously asked us to keep our coverage of their tests to a minumum, so below is a summary of what went on. The full results can be found on the Auto Express website, which we will link as soon as they're online.

Overall, with just 3.9% covering the eight tires on test, it's getting closer every year at the top.


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Continental WinterContact TS 850 P

The first winter tire test of 2017 has been published! The German publication Auto Motor und Sport [AMS] have tested ten ultra high performance winter tires in 225/40 R18. This extremely popular 18" tire sizes is fitted to performance saloons such as the Audi A4, Skoda Octavia VRS, and the 232 bhp BMW 430i Grand Coupe used for this testing.


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2016 Winter Tire Tests

Continental Winter Contact TS 850 P SUV

Winter tires aren't exclusively reserved for two wheel drive vehicles, four wheel drive cars benefit too. This year Auto Bild have tested ten winter tires in the popular 4x4 / SUV / Crossover size of 215/60 R17, which covers cars such as the Opel Mokka, Skoda Yeti, and the Volkswagen Tiguan.


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Continental WinterContact TS 850 P

This year Sport Auto magazine have tested six performance winter tires in 235/40 R18.

Due to the limited number of patterns in the test, and no all season or summer comparison, we'll forgo the usual commentry and just present the results below.


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Goodyear UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen 1

While the four wheel drive systems and extra weight of large SUVs can give you a traction advantage in snow and ice over "normal" cars, you have roughly the same braking and turning ability as any other car on the road, which makes winter tires a sensible option for anyone with an SUV requiring safe, year round motoring.

This year, Auto Bild have tested eight winter tire patterns in 255/55 R18 using a BMW X5 in Northern Finland, across the usual array of dry, wet and snow tests, all while looking at the tires comfort, rolling resistance and noise levels.


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

Issue 1,443 of the weekly UK publication Auto Express contains their excellent 2016 winter tire test! This year Auto Express have tested eight winter tire patterns in 205/55 R16 using a VW Golf, and like other publications have included an all season and summer tire for comparison.


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

Each year, the German automotive publication Autobild trump all the other European magazines by putting out a huge winter tire test, and this year is no different.

Starting out with fifty winter tire patterns, Autobild tested all the tires wet braking performance. Once the wet braking order was set, Autobild took the twenty seven patterns which stopped the car within 20% of the best through to snow braking, then the top twenty wet and snow braking results combined this, the full tire test.


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Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen 1

Using a BMW 3 Series wearing 245/40 R18 tires, Auto Bild placed eight ultra high performance winter tire patterns to the test.


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

Most magazines look to test around ten different tire patterns each test, with some pushing up to fifteen different tires. Auto Bild like to go a step further and this year, have tested test fifty sets of 205/55 R16 winter tires.


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Continental WinterContact TS 860

Once again in 2016, the German Magazine Auto Zeitung have provided one of the most exciting winter tire tests we've covered. Testing thirteen of the latest winter tires in 205/55 R16, including the Continental WinterContact TS860, Dunlop Winter Sport 5, Goodyear UltraGrip 9 and Nokian WR D4, Auto Zeitung have also included the Michelin CrossClimate summer-bias all season tire as a comparison.


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2015 Winter Tire Tests

Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen 1

Testing 10 premium UHP winter tires in 225/50 R17, including three patterns released in 2015, Auto Motor und Sport put the tires through the usual range of dry, wet, snow and environmental tests across Finland and Germany.


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Continental WinterContact TS 850

Our copy of the 2015 ACE winter tire test is a little thin on details, but we thought it was important to include as it tests many of the new winter tires for 2015, in the popular 225/50 R17 tire size.


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This year, Sport Auto have tested seven different UHP winter tires in 235/35 R19, on a VW Golf R.

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Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen 1

There's not much we can say about the excellent 2015 Auto Express Winter Tire Test, other than head over to the Auto Express site and check out the full review!


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Auto Bild MagazineBased on a combined snow and wet braking performance, this year Auto Bild have taken the best eightteen 185/60 R15 winter tires through from their 2015 Winter Tire Shootout, and one all season tire, the Pirelli Cinturato All Season.

From the fifty tires tested, there were some surprise drop outs. The Vredestein Snowtrac 5, Yokohama W.Drive, Toyo Snowprox S943 and Avon Ice Touring were a few of the 32 tires which failed to make the grade. Equally, tires like the Semperit Speed Grip 2, Barum Polaris 3, Gislavel Euro Frost 5 and Viking Snow Tech II were are few surprise inclusions, it will be interesting to find out if they can live up to the established competition in the full winter tire test.

 


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Dunlop Winter Sport 5

Most winter tire tests cover sizes up to 16 inch wheels, as these are by far the most common winter tire sizes fitted across Europe. Unfortunately, if you're looking to keep your performance car mobile over winter, these tests are largely useless as a reference, as tire patterns and performances can drastically change as the sizes increase.

Luckily Auto Bild Sportscars have us covered with their latest ultra high performance winter tire test. Auto Bild have taken eight UHP winter tires in 225/40 R18 and tested them on a RWD Mercedes C Class across the usual range of snow, wet and dry tests and have included a summer tire as reference.


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Auto Bild MagazineThe 2015 winter tire test season is here, and as usual the German magazine Auto Bild have done an excellent job of giving us an overview of this years contenders.

Testing 51 tires in 185/60R15, Auto Bild put each tire through a wet braking test, then took the top 28 tires through to the snow braking test. Once the snow braking results were in, the magazine combined the wet and snow distances to give an over all result, taking the top 15 tires through to their full 2015 Winter Tire Test.


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2014 Winter Tire Tests

Continental WinterContact TS 850

In previous years Auto Express have been slow to publish their tire tests online, but not this year - Auto Express have done such a great job on their website, there's nothing left for us to add!


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Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

Winter tires can be a problem in the UK. Mainland Europe are very good at putting smaller wheels and tires on, but in the UK where even the most modest town hatchback is being fitted with 17 or 18 inch wheels as standard, and performance car now being fitted with 19 or even 20 inch wheels, finding a test covering larger winter wheel sizes can be difficult.

Fortunately Auto Bild Sportscars is there to offer us some guidance for the 2014 season, and have tested 235/35 R19 winter tires on a BMW M135i. Sadly, they only managed to find six patterns to test, compared to fifty in their 205/55 R16 tests, but it gives us a good indication of what winter tires are like in larger sizes.


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Continental WinterContact TS 850

 In 2014 Auto Zeitung have tested eleven 205/55 R16 premium winter tires. 


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Continental WinterContact TS 850

The 2014 Auto Motor Und Sport tire test was carried out in Sweden and Germany, and covered ten winter tires in 205/55 R16. 


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Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D

The 2014 Auto Bild winter tire test tested sixteen 225/50 R17 winter tires across fifteen disciplines, covering snow grip, wet grip, dry grip, rolling resistance and comfort. 

Starting with fifty different tire models, Auto Bild put every tire through a winter tires toughest test - wet braking. Auto Bild then took the top twenty winter tires from wet braking through to snow braking, and once it had combined the wet and snow braking distances for the top twenty, it chose the top sixteen tires  for this more thorough "full" test. 


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Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

It's the test we look forward to all year, the Auto Bild winter tire shootout. 

2014 sees Auto Bild testing fifty different winter tires in 225/50 R17. As usual, they test all fifty tires in wet braking from 50 mph, then take the top twenty through to a snow braking test from 31mph. The top fifteen from this test then go on to the full winter tire test, where Auto Bild crown the best winter tire of 2014. 


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2013 Winter Tire Tests

Continental WinterContact TS 850

Thanks to recent harsh winters, the best tire for the UK roads is a hot topic, and with 2013 predicted to be the harshest winter of recent times, now is the time to be swapping tires.

UK winter tires need a different blend of abilities to northern Europe winter tires, with priority being placed on cold wet driving, rather than all out snow and ice grip. We have no need for nordic “full winters”, or studded tires, and on balance they’d perform worse in our climate.


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Michelin Alpin A4 After testing 50 different winter tires in wet and snow braking tests, Auto Bild have taken the top 15 performers through to a final shootout. In this super test, they've examined 16 aspects of the tires performance, including all aspects of their snow performance, wet and dry capabilities and various other tests, such as wear and rolling resistance in 195/65 R15 on a VW Golf.

Read on for the full test!
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Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 Nine different performance winter tires on an F10 3 Series in 225/50 R17 have been put through their paces by Auto Bild magazine.
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Continental WinterContact TS 850 225/50 R17, a BMW 3 Series and 8 sets of the latest winter tires summarise the 2013 Auto Motor Und Sport winter tire test.


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2012 Winter Tire Tests

Continental WinterContact TS 830 P While it's true that SUVs, 4x4s and four wheel drive vehicles can offer improved traction in the snow over their two wheel drive counterparts, they sadly don't offer any advantages under braking and steering, mean if you want to keep mobile in all conditions, winter tires can help.
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Just because your car runs wide, low profile wheels and tires, it doesn't mean it shouldn't work in the snow. Modern winter tires are now made in extremely wide sizes, and can totally transform RWD cars such as a BMW 3 Series from an unusable drive way ordainment, to king of the roads in poor conditions.
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Continental WinterContact TS 850 Continuing on from the 42 tire winter tires shootout, Auto Bild carried the top 15 tires across to the more in-depth group tests. Qualifying for this ultimate winter shoot out were tires from each of the six premium manufacturers, along with eight midrange brands and one brand we consider a high end budget (Maxxis).
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Continental WinterContact TS 850 It's that time again - read on to find out which winter tires we think you should be using this year!
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Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D Winter tires shouldn't mean limited performance, and many modern winter tires are rated up to V which means they're safe to run at 149mph for extended periods.

To test nine of the best, Auto Bild equipped a Golf GTI with the recommended 225/45 R17 winter tire size in V rating, and subjected them to handling, braking and comfort tests in the dry, wet and snowy conditions.
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Continental WinterContact TS 850 The 2012 winter tire test season is upon us, and the usually excellent Auto Zeitung have just realised their latest winter tire test.

Focusing on the popular 205/55 R16 tire size, Auto Zeitung have tested 8 tires - one from each of the six premium manufacturers, and a tire each from the two brands known best for their excellent winter offerings, Nokian and Vredestein.
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Continental WinterContact TS 850 By their very nature, cold weather, or winter tires have more of a compromise built in than another other type of tire on the market, due to the wide range of conditions they need to perform in.

Developing a tire to perform well in snow conditions is actually relative easy for the tire manufacturers. Lots of edges, a nice wide tread pattern and you have a reasonable snow performance. It's the balance between snow and wet performance which is extremely important to a lot of European countries, where the cold wet conditions far out weigh the snowy or icy driving conditions, and where a lot of cheaper winter tires fail.


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2011 Winter Tire Tests

image from auto bild issue 39 SUV and 4x4 winter tire test As proven in many a video, buying a 4x4 doesn't necessarily mean good winter performance. A good all wheel drive system can offer better traction than a 2wd car, however once moving if the 4x4 is on standard summer tires it will only be able to steer and brake as well as any other vehicle on the road.
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Goodyear UltraGrip 8 We might be well into the winter tire season, but this excellent winter tire test from Auto Motor und Sport was too good to ignore.

Covering 14 of the leading winter tires in 205/55 R16, AMS puts them through their paces with the typical thoroughness of a German magazine.
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With wheel sizes steadily increasing, 225/45 R17 is fast becoming the most popular tire size for the average car. With this in mind, Sport Auto have tested 5 high performance winter tires in 225/45 R17 on a rear wheel drive BMW 3 Series to see which tire combines best snow characteristics, with an all round sporty dry and wet performance.

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Auto Bild Performance, the German version of EVO magazine have put together the tire test EVO should have. 7 wide 225/40 R18 tires on a 260bhp Mazda 3 MPS.

On test are the usual premium brands, with only Bridgestone missing from the "big 6". Also included a midrange Hankook and a budget Rockstone.

Read the full tire test
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Continental WinterContact TS 830 P Auto Express, the pillar of the UK automotive magazine scene, has just released its second ever winter tire test.

Read on for the full winter test!
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Michelin Alpin A4 Auto Bild, well known for their excellent tire tests, have recently tested 11 premium winter tires and 1 premium all season tire in the popular 225/45 R17 to create their 2011 winter tire test.

Read on for the full results!
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With many of the major big brands introducing new winter tires for the 2011 season, winter tire tests have never seen so interesting. This year, Automobile Club Europe [ACE] tested 8 winter tires in the popular 205/55 R16 91H size on a VW Golf.

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Due to two unusually harsh winters, interest in winter, or cold weather tires has never been higher in the UK. The benefits are now being understood - while winter tires naturally work wonders in snow, they also work extremely well any time the average temperature is below 7c, often out performing summer tires even in the dry. During early morning commutes, where the road temperature is around freezing they can offer noticeable more grip than a summer tire in the same conditions, allowing you to make progress safely, and can stop over 5 meters shorter than the equivalent summer tire from 62mph.

Read on for our 2011 winter tire buying guide!

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Goodyear UltraGrip 8 In 2011, the excellent German Auto Zeitung have tested 14 winter tires throughout Europe. Running the popular 205/55 R16, fitted to a BMW 3 Series, the tires have been thoroughly tested on snow, wet roads and in dry conditions.
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2010 Winter Tire Tests

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D As proven in this video, owning a 4x4 off vehicle is no substitute for being on the correct tire during the winter months.

Auto Bild have recently tested 8 tires in 215/65 r16 on a Volvo XC70 for dry, wet and snow performance. As always the results were close amongst the premium brands, with Dunlop just beating Continental to the top spot.
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2010 marks the start of the UK automotive magazine industry taking winter tires seriously with the largest weekly magazine publishing the 2010 Auto Express winter tire test.

Auto Express launched its interest of winter tires with style, testing 6 premium winter tires against 13 rigorous tests and included an all season and summer tire for comparison. All tires were tested in 205/55 r15 on a VW Golf.






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Goodyear UltraGrip 7 Plus In 2010 Auto Motor Und Sport [AMS] visited Sweden to test ten 205/55 r16 winter tires. On test were the usual mix of premium and mid range tires, including the TireReviews favourite Nokian WRG2.

Read more...
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Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D Auto Bild are known for their excellent tire tests, so when they take 14 winter tires, 1 summer tire and 13 different tests you know you're in for a good write up!

This year Auto Bild chose the 195/65 R15 tire size and used a fleet of FWD VW Golfs as the test beds. All 6 premium tire manufacturer were represented along with 4 mid range brand tires (Vredestein, Toyo, Kumho and Firestone) and 4 budget brands.


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Michelin Alpin A4

The European winter tire test is the largest of the year, covering 28 tires in 2 different sizes, 225/45 r17 and 185/65 r15.

This year the tests were more stringent than ever. Not only did the 28 tires have their dry, wet, snow and ice grip tested but they were also scored on their wear, fuel consumption and comfort properties.

Read on
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Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D

Winter tires are a hot subject at the moment, with new tests being released weekly. Usually winter tire tests focus on the smaller tire sizes winter tires are often used in, meaning if you drive a performance car and are interested in ultra high performance winter tires you have to hope the tires tested in the smaller sizes have the same attributes in the larger sizes.

Read more...
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This year the 2010 winter tire reviews season was opened by Auto Zeitung who put 14 different 195/65 r15 winter tires on a Ford Focus to the test.

The good news for UK drivers is that this years report included a slush test which rates how the tires cope with the road surface when the packed snow is melting and it's a mix of snow and standing water.






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2009 Winter Tire Tests

It might still be August, but after an unusually snowy start to 2010 talk has already turned to winter tires in the UK.

While we're waiting for the magazines to put together their 2010 winter tire tests, here's one of the more interesting articles from 2009. This test is particularly good as it uses a powerful RWD car (Mercedes SLK350) which wears relatively wide 225/45 r17 performance tires.

Each of the 8 tires were tested in the snow, on wet roads and in the dry with the scoring emphasis bias towards wet weather and snow performance (these are winter tires after all!)


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Continental WinterContact TS830 The Continental Winter Contact TS 830 once again proves it's the snow king, scoring a massive 98 points out of the possible 100 in the snow tests. It also proves extremely strong in both the wet and dry road tests, meaning it really is a tire you could use all year round. The Goodyear Dunlop brands have placed second and third respectively with the Goodyear Ultra Grip Perf 2 proving the strongest tire in the wet and the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D a good all round scorer.
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ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V.), Europes largest motoring club have published their 2009 winter tire test.

As is always the case, ADAC have been extremely thorough testing 34 different tires across two tire sizes. All the tires were purchased anonymously from independent retailers to avoid any "special" test samples being delivered by the manufacturers.

The winter tires were tested on dry and wet roads, a specially created snow surface and the local ice ring to emulate icy condtions!

Read on for the full details
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