As every year, we focus on winter tyre tests conducted by ADAC automobile club. It is an independent organization that is widely recognized as a reliable and opinion-forming body. This time we will evaluate tyres in the popular 185/65 R15 size.
Good winter tyres perform well in various conditions.
The tested size is mounted on cars such as Vauxhall Corsa, Citroen C3, Peugeot 207 and Dacia Logan - depending on the chosen body and equipment. If you are not sure if 185/65 R15 size fits your car, use our configurator.
In the latest test of winter tyres 185/65 R15 size conducted by ADAC, as many as 16 models of tyres were assessed. They included products from both popular premium brands and economy class alike. Each tyre was tested for performance on dry, wet, snowy and ice-covered surfaces, as well as in terms of acoustic comfort, useful life, and fuel efficiency. On this basis, the overall score assigned ranged from 'very good' to 'poor'.
According to the fundamental principle, the highest score is not used in the ranking - this one is still reserved for a model that will stand out in the future.
The best three included two premium class models (Dunlop and Pirelli) and one from the economy segment (Kleber) - let's take a closer look at all of them.
Dunlop SP Winter Response 2
Were it not for John Boyd Dunlop and his idea of inflating tyres on his son's bicycle, today's automotive world would look quite different. 140 years after that operation, the brand named after the inventor is still innovative. Dunlop SP Winter Response 2 model, although not a novelty in the upcoming season, has proved to be unparalleled in this year's ADAC test.
The tyre scored 2.1 points in the ranking which is an excellent result, since in this ranking the less, the better. The model was unrivalled in the category of driving on snowy surfaces, although Nokian and Sava performance was similar in this category. Dunlop SP Winter Response 2 also proved the best in terms of reducing fuel consumption. Moreover, its excellent performance on wet surfaces and excellent grip on dry roads was recognised by specialists from the automobile club.
As far as downsides of tyres are concerned, that is mostly acoustic comfort, but this is a general trend in winter tyres. None of the tested tyres received a rating higher than satisfactory, and the Dunlop brand product is still very good compared to the competition.
The success of the model is the result of its improved design. The design provides for the even distribution of air pressure inside the tyre and prevents excessive deformation of the carcass. Therefore, the tyre performance which substantially contributes to the cost of use, has been significantly improved - its useful life has been extended, and the rolling resistance decreased. The tread enhancing the grip is provided with grooves, sipes and a central rib designed for the most challenging winter conditions.
Kleber Krisalp HP3
The second place in the ranking goes to Kleber Krisalp HP3 tyre recognised not only by experts from ADAC, but also by regular users - i.e. drivers using the model. As many as 99% of our customers who bought those tyres would recommend them to others.
The overall score awarded to that tyre model is 2.3 ("good"). It is worth noting that this is a mid-market model that managed to outrun the products of leading manufacturers from the premium segment. The second place was primarily earned on account of excellent performance when driving on wet and snowy surfaces, however, it is still worse than recorded for Dunlop product. Kleber Krisalp HP3 proved to be better in terms of traction on dry roads and useful life.
This tyre features a unique rubber compound specially designed for winter conditions. It is sufficiently elastic at low temperatures, and also effectively supports the car during braking - also on icy surface. The arrangement of sipes and grooves on the directional tread is intended to prevent loss of grip, even in changeable weather.
Pirelli Cinturato Winter
Pirelli Cinturato Winter tyre was the third and the last that was awarded "good" rating. The score that immediately attracts attention when analysing partial scores given by ADAC is its balanced performance. In most categories, the model received very similar scores and its overall rating is 2.3. German specialists noted its top performance when driving on dry, wet and snowy surfaces among the greatest advantages of that brand, and it only confirms the perfect balance of properties featured by that model of tyres.
Compared to Pirelli models mentioned earlier, Cinturato Winter received slightly lower score in useful life and fuel efficiency category. However, in terms of noise, the Italian tyre is number one. Therefore, it is no surprise that driving comfort is one of the best-rated parameters also by our customers.
Favourable reviews are attributed to the directional tread which makes a real difference in the winter season. The sipes of variable shape not only improve the grip, but also stability and steering precision when manoeuvring. The widening grooves, on the other hand, are designed as a solution to the problem of aquaplaning, especially troublesome in late autumn and early spring.
Special purpose tyres
The three best-rated tyres had to demonstrate excellent performance in all tested categories; otherwise, their ranking position in the weighted average would be much lower. Which models performed best in each category?
Tyre grip on dry surfaces:
- Kleber Krisalp HP3 (2.1 points),
- Michelin Alpin A4 (2.2 points),
- Dunlop SP Winter Response 2 (2.3 points);
Tyre grip on wet surfaces:
- Continental WinterContact TS860 (1.8 points),
- Dunlop SP Winter Response 2 (1.9 points),
- Goodyear UltraGrip 9 (1.9 points);
Tyre grip on snowy surfaces:
- Dunlop SP Winter Response 2 (1.9 points),
- Sava Eskimo S3 + (1.9 points),
- Nokian WR D4 (2.0 points);
Tyre grip on icy surfaces:
- Davanti Wintour (2.2),
- Michelin Alpin A4 (2.3 points),
- Nokian WR D4 (2.3 points),
- Gislaved Euro * Frost 6 (2.3 points),
- Sava Eskimo S3 + (2.3 points),
- Viking WinTech (2.3 points);
- Pirelli Cinturato Winter (2.6 points),
- Continental WinterContact TS860 (2.6 points),
- Gislaved Euro * Frost 6 (2.6 points),
- Toyo Snowprox S943 (2.6);
- Dunlop Winter Response 2 (1.6 points),
- Davanti Wintour (1.6 points),
- Nokian WR D4 (1.7 points);
- Michelin Alpin A4 (1.5 points) - the only "very good" rating awarded in partial scores.
Driving in winter conditions will be easier with well-suited tyres.
What to consider when choosing new tyres?
The search should begin with determining the tyre size fitting a given car model. This factor is of particular importance for the safety of driving in the future, and at the very stage of choosing tyres it will narrow the number of available models. The next step should be the consideration of the usual circumstances of driving with the new set of tyres - on the highway, in urban space, or perhaps off-road. Another relevant criterion is whether we prefer cruising, or rather more dynamic and speedy driving.
Last but not least, it is advisable to keep in mind the opinions of other drivers who tested the tyres and share their experience. Apart from that, the tests carried out by independent organizations demonstrate the objective properties of different tyre models.