while driving a
(175/65 R15) on
Living quite high up in Central Scotland, we need tires that can safely transport our children in snow and ice. However, while we will always get some days with inclement weather, the majority of days are dominated dry or wet conditions. Having done a lot of homework I went against the grain and plumped for Bridgestone A005 Weather Control Evo over Michelin CrossClimates, willing to accept less snow performance for improved dry and wet ability. My thinking for this was that if the weather was too bad for even an allseason tire, then it was probably too dangerous to venture out at all - we drive a Yaris, not a Defender.
The tires was bolted on September 2021, replacing a set of Dunlop SP Sports. In comparison, the car felt soft and bouncy to the old summer tires, but as the weeks progressed and temperatures dropped you could feel the tire come alive and adapting. The best thing I could say is that in cold conditions it feels perfectly normal - like a summer tire in summer.
In dry and wet conditions the car feels planted and safe, and while handling is definitely not as sharp as a summer tire, this isn’t the reason why you buy these tires. Doing mostly town driving I have noticed a small hit on fuel, probably 5% or so over the old Dunlops, but again, it’s a price I’m willing to pay for safety in winter. On long journeys, which we do occasionally, noise is similar to a summer tire and the car is comfortable and predictable, though maybe a bit pillowy at higher speeds.
Which brings me to snow and ice performance. As I write, we have just completed some short but perilous journeys up and down some particularly steep hills. I know snow performance is meant to be the Achilles heel of this tire, but compared to a summer tire it is phenomenal. As cars all around us got stuck and parked up, our Yaris kept sailing on. We passed an assortment of family hatches and SUVs as we made our way about town, with good feedback at all times from the front wheels. There is no shortage of grip while accelerating or cornering, while braking is predictable and safe, even going downhill. It’s like a little mountain goat.
While reviews say that other allseason tires improve upon the Bridgestone in cold weather , I’m very pleased with the performance. Through two winters we have never been stuck or struggled to get home or to collect our children in weather that can hit quickly and make driving conditions treacherous. I’ve not driven on Michelin CrossClimates or other brands, but can’t imagine being any more impressed than I am with the A005. Again, given where we live and the geography we drive on, if we needed more snow and ice performance then a full winter would probably be more appropriate.
Wear rate has also been mentioned and while I have noticed some wear on the outside edges on the front pair, I’m not unduly worried and would easily expect another two or three years of driving.
Overall, I’m really impressed and while I would be intrigued to try another brand, having peak dry and wet performance for most of the year, with the fallback of decent snow performance when we need it, means I’m very happy with choosing the Bridgestones. It’s a great all-rounder.