Winter tyre test 2016/2017

  • Author: OPONEO.CO.UK

In this article, you will find the results of tests carried out this season by automotive magazines and organisations. It contains information on different models and how they performed in particular competitions.

Are you wondering which tyres to choose for the upcoming season? Learn the suggestions of specialists and their evaluations of different models of tyres – you will certainly choose something for yourself.

The article is updated on an ongoing basis. The next test results are coming soon!

List of winter tyre tests 2016/2017

Tyre Test 1. place 2. place 3. place
Test of 205/55 R16 winter tyres by GTÜ Continental WinterContact TS 860 Nokian WR D4 Pirelli Cinturato Winter
Test of 205/55 R16 winter tyres by “AutoBild” Continental WinterContact TS 860 Goodyear UltraGrip 9 Michelin Alpin 5
Test of 225/45 R17 winter tyres by “Auto Express” Goodyear UG Performance Gen-1 Dunlop Winter Sport 5 Continental WinterContact TS 850
Test of 225/55 R18 109V winter tyres by “AutoBild Allrad” Goodyear UG Performance SUV Gen-1 Continental WinterContact TS 850 P SUV Dunlop Winter Sport 5 SUV
Test of 215/60 R17 winter tyres by "Auto, Motor und Sport" Continental WinterContact TS 850 P SUV Nokian WR D4 Goodyear UG Performance SUV G1
Test of 205/55 R16 winter tyres by Autoklub CR Continental WinterContact TS 860 Michelin Alpin 5 Dunlop Winter Sport 5

Test of 205/55 R16 winter tyres by GTÜ

Model Offer
1. Continental WinterContact TS 860 See offer
2. Nokian WR D4 See offer
3. Pirelli Cinturato Winter See offer
4. Goodyear Ultra Grip 9 See offer
5. Michelin Alpin 5 See offer
6. Dunlop Winter Sport 5 See offer
7. Hankook Winter i*cept RS 2 W452 See offer
8. Bridgestone Blizzak LM001 See offer
9. Nexen WinGuard Snow'G WH2 See offer
10. Kumho WinterCraft WP71 See offer
11. Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S See offer
12. GT Radial Champiro WinterPro HP See offer
13. Westlake SW618 Not offered

This time, GTÜ focused on winter tyres sized 205/55 R16, used in such cars as: Toyota Avensis, Skoda Octavia, Skoda Superb, BMW 3, VW Golf, VW Passat, Ford Focus or Renault Megane.

GTÜ tested 13 models and evaluated 7 of them as “particularly recommended”. The tests included performance on wet and dry pavement as well as on snow.

 

Buy the winner: Continental WinterContact TS 860

The first in the rank is Continental WinterContact TS 860. The model performs particularly well in snow grip and wet grip. The tyre is also exceptionally safe. When it comes to performance on a wet surface, it was unrivalled – it was evaluated much higher than the other models in the contest.

Continental WinterContact TS 860
Winner: Continental WinterContact TS 860.

The second place was awarded to Nokian WR D4. According to the testing specialists, that model of a manufacturer specialised in winter tyres offers a stable drive not only on snow but also during rain and on a dry pavement.

Pirelli Cinturato Winter is the model ranked third. The proposal of the Italian manufacturer proved itself in typical winter conditions, but it didn’t do so well on a dry surface – here its performance was a little worse than this of Continental and Nokian tyres.

Apart from the winners, 4 other tested models were assessed as particularly recommended. Goodyear Ultra Grip 9, Michelin Alpin 5, Dunlop Winter Sport 5 and Hankook Winter i*cept RS 2 W452 showed stable parameters during typical drives, and were safe in typical winter conditions.

All the 13 models under test proved to be safe – none of them was strongly advised against. The lower class tyres performed worse than the premium ones, though they also presented the basic level of safety and sufficient performance in extreme weather conditions.

continental-ts860-tests
The test performed by "AutoBild” was also won by Continental WinterContact TS860 (photo by Continental).

Test of 205/55 R16 winter tyres by “AutoBild”

The currently most popular tyre size was tested by the journalists of “AutoBild”. Such tyres are installed in car models such as:  BMW 3, Ford Focus, Renault Megane, Skoda Octavia, Superb, VW Golf, Passat or Toyota Avensis.

The “AutoBild” journalists focused on one of the most important factors, which is certainly braking performance. The test began with “qualifiers” – the test of braking distance on a wet pavement. Out of 50 models, 27 products were qualified for the next round – snow braking test. The first ten was as follows:

Model Offer
1. Continental WinterContact TS 860 See offer
2. Goodyear UltraGrip 9 See offer
3. Michelin Alpin 5 See offer
4. Dunlop Winter Sport 5 See offer
5. Semperit Speed-Grip 2 See offer
6. Pirelli Cinturato Winter See offer
7. Nokian WR D4 See offer
8. Barum Polaris 3 See offer
9. Cooper WeatherMaster SA2 See offer
10. Bridgestone Blizzak LM-001 See offer

In the braking competition, the winner was Continental WinterContact TS860 (the ranks were assigned by aggregation of the result for wet and snowy surface).  It was only slightly better than Goodyear UltraGrip 9 and Michelin Alpin 5. We should note that among the premium tyres they were also some lower class models. This means that the medium and economy classes can also offer tyres that achieve a high level of safety.

 

Buy the winner:  Continental WinterContact TS 860

It should be mentioned that the winning model not only features a short braking distance, but is also comprehensively refined. The new design and advanced rubber compound ensure stable driving in different conditions. Travel comfort and fuel consumption are at the excellent level as well. It is worth knowing that TS860 is the successor of the highly successful model TS850, with even better performance!

goodyear-ultragrip-performance-g1
Goodyear UltraGrip Performance G1 – the best model in the test by “Auto Express”.

Test of 225/45 R17 winter tyres by “Auto Express”

“AutoExpress” magazine tested one of the most popular tyre sizes: 225/45 R17. Such tyres can be met e.g. in Skoda Superb, Skoda Octavia, Honda Civic, Hyundai i30, Skoda Yeti, Renault Espace, Peugeot 5008 or Ford Mondeo.

The winter models were tested for their performance on a dry, wet and snowy surface as well as for rolling resistance and noise. The final test rank was the following:

Model Offer
1. Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen-1 See offer
2. Dunlop Winter Sport 5 See offer
3. Continental WinterContact TS 850 See offer
4. Michelin Alpin 5 See offer
5. Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 See offer
6. Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S See offer
7. Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32S See offer

The winning tyre, Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen-1, performed best on snow. The other parameters were also high, which finally made for the 1st place in the rank. The most economic model (low rolling resistance) is Dunlop Winter Sport 5. In combination with its good grip on any type of pavement, it gave that model the second place in the test. On a wet road, the best tyre was Continental ContiWinterContact TS850 which was finally ranked third. Michelin Alpin 5 performed best on a dry surface, and Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S featured the highest wear resistance.

Buy the winner:  Goodyear UltraGrip Performance G1

As we can see, each of the tested tyres has its own characteristics, so the choice should be based on our individual preferences or expectations. We should be aware that, when it comes to safety, all the models under test have a similar high level. The differences are really small. To take even better view on the possibilities of different models, check the ADAC test for size 225/R17.

Test of 255/55 R18 109V winter tyres by “AutoBild Allrad”

This season, specialists from “AutoBild Allrad” reviewed SUV tyres sized 255/55 R18 109V. The German magazine tested 8 models including premium, medium and economic classes.

The tyres were tested in as many as 14 categories, and the testing vehicle was BMW X5. Tyres 255/55 R18 are installed in such cars as Volkswagen Touareg, Mercedes-Benz M Class and Subaru Tribeca.

Model Offer
1. Goodyear UG Performance SUV Gen-1 See offer
2. Continental WinterContact TS 850 P SUV See offer
3. Dunlop Winter Sport 5 SUV See offer
4. Pirelli Scorpion Winter See offer
5. Michelin LATITUDE ALPIN LA2 See offer
6. Hankook Winter i*cept evo2 SUV W320A See offer
7. Nokian WR SUV 3 See offer
8. GRIPMAX STATURE M/S See offer

The first place was awarded to Goodyear UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen-1, which was recommended as “excellent”. The model was distinguishing in driving on a wet road and also performed well on snow and dry surfaces. With the Goodyear 3D-BIS technology, the tyre ensures stable driving and a short braking distance.

The second place was given to Continental WinterContact TS 850P SUV. The model was also ranked “excellent”, being particularly good when it comes to grip and snow parameters. The tyre has a specially reinforced carcass ensuring very good performance and protecting against mechanical damage.

winter-goodyear-test
Properly selected winter tyres guarantee stable and safe driving (photo by Goodyear).

The last place on the podium was awarded to Dunlop Winter Sport 5 SUV (also rated as “excellent”). The quality that distinguishes this tyre among the others is its special rubber compound whose composition was taken from sports tyres. With this, Winter Sport 5 SUV maintains good grip performance in low temperatures and prevents premature wear.

Buy the winner:  Goodyear UG Performance SUV G1

The next 3 models on the list (Pirelli Scorpion Winter, Michelin Latitude Alpin LA2 and Hankook Winter i*cept evo2 SUV) were rated “good”. All these tyres feature appropriate performance in typical winter conditions, but also have slight defects such as a little higher rolling resistance or noise during operation.

One of the listed tyres (Nokian WR SUV 3) was rated “satisfactory”, and the last model on the list (Gripmax Stature M/S) is “not recommended”. Its grip in different winter conditions appeared to be insufficient.

Test of 215/60 R17 winter tyres by “Auto, Motor und Sport”

Due to the growing popularity of SUVs, the market starts to offer many tyre models dedicated to these vehicles. Specialists from “Auto, Motor und Sport” tested 215/60 R17 tyres, which are installed in such cars as Volkswagen T5, Hyundai iX35, Nissan Qashqai, Mitsubishi ASX, Volkswagen Tiguan, Jeep Compass, Nissan X-Trail, Kia Sportage or Volvo V70 XC.

The specialists checked 10 models from different price segments, and the testing vehicle was Opel Mokka. Which tyre appeared to be the best?

Model Offer
1. Continental WinterContact TS 850 P SUV See offer
2. Nokian WR D4 See offer
3. Goodyear UG Performance SUV G1 See offer
4. Dunlop SP Winter Sport 5 SUV See offer
5. Hankook Winter i*cept evo2 SUV W320A See offer
6. Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S See offer
7. Bridgestone Blizzak LM80 EVO See offer
8. Westlake SW658     Not offered
9. GT Radial Champiro WinterPro HP See offer
10. Star Performer SPTV See offer

The winner was Continental WinterContact TS 850 P SUV, which performed excellent on snow and wet pavement. Minor weaknesses appeared during braking on a dry surface, but its advantage in other fields made the model take the first place on the podium.  It is followed by Nokian WR D4, which showed high aquaplanning resistance and braking efficiency. This model performed better on a dry surface than WinterContact TS 850 P SUV.

Continental-WinterContact-TS-850P-SUV
Continental WinterContact TS 850 P SUV.

The third spot on the podium was given to Goodyear UG Performance SUV G1. The assets of this model include very good parameters in winter conditions, secure driving on a wet surface and stability on curves.

Buy the winner: Continental WinterContact TS 850 P SUV

The next place in the table was taken by Dunlop SP Winter Sport 5 SUV. The tyre got a lower overall assessment, but among all the models taking part in the test it was ranked highest in driving on a wet pavement.

Economy tyres tested by the “Auto, Motor und Sport” specialists performed considerably worse than the upper segment models. All the 3 models representing that class took the last positions in the rank. Their performance was noticeably worse than the parameters of top-ranked tyres, especially when it comes to snow and wet surface driving.

winter-tyre-tread
Directional tread patterns are most popular in winter tyres.

Test of 205/55 R16 winter tyres by Autoklub CR

The test of 205/55 R16 winter tyres was also performed by our southern neighbours. The test conducted by the Czech Autoklub CR covered 8 models which were checked for their performance on snow, wet and dry surface. Credits were granted in each competition, and the average result determined the final position and evaluation. The final test rank was the following:

Model Offer
1. Continental WinterContact TS 860 See offer
2. Michelin Alpin 5 See offer
3. Dunlop Winter Sport 5 See offer
4. Nokian WR D4 See offer
5. Goodyear UltraGrip 9 See offer
6. Bridgestone Blizzak LM-001 See offer
7. Hankook Winter I*cept RS2 W452 See offer
8. Pirelli Winter SottoZero 3 See offer

Continental WinterContact TS860 obtained the highest average rating, which made it the winner, though different drivers may have different expectations concerning tyre performance. So it should be mentioned that when it comes to the wet surface, the winner was slightly defeated by Michelin Alpin 5. Continental won in the other two competitions (on dry surface and snow). One of the tyres performing best on a dry surface was also Dunlop Winter Sport 5 (second place in the competition), and on snow Continental was also followed by Michelin.

Buy the winner:  Continental WinterContact TS 860

The three tested models (the mentioned Continental WinterContact TS860, Michelin Alpin 5 and Dunlop Winter Sport 5) were rated very good. The “good” rating was awarded to Nokian WR D4, Goodyear UltraGrip 9 and Bridgestone Blizzak LM-001. Hankooka and Pirelli were rated “adequate”.

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