Knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of the tyres can be obtained from many sources. However, not all of them are reliable and often provide uncertain information. That is why, every year many drivers are eagerly awaiting the results of ADAC tests.

The German organization with over 100 years of tradition is considered one of the most reliable, and the results of its research often define the position of individual models on the market. This year 205/55 R16 tyres have been put under the microscope of the automobile club.

Familiarize yourself with the test results and check which models were the most advantageous.

The winter ADAC tyre tests can be a source of valuable information

The winter ADAC tyre tests can be a source of valuable information.

205/55 R16 Tyres - which cars are they suitable for?

205/55 R16 is a very popular and willingly used size in city cars and compact cars. We can find it in models such as:


ŠKODA OctaviaVolkswagen GolfSEAT LeónRenault Megane
Ford MondeoToyota AvensisMercedes C-ClassCitroën C4
Hyundai i30BMW 3Audi A3Ford C-Max


Many drivers, especially those with less experience, may have a problem determining the size of the tyre for their car.  Information on this subject  can be found in three places:

  • on the door of the driver

  • on the fuel filler flap

  • in the vehicle's instruction.


You are not sure if the size fits your car? We encourage you to use our convenient configuration.

The best winter tyres according to ADAC 2018 – test for 205/55 R16 size 

This year ADAC received 16 models, half of them are premium tyres. The list also included four representatives from the middle shelf and the same number of models from the economic sector. Only one tyre has not received the final recommendation of the German organization, and three models have been awarded the highest currently granted rating “good”






Continental WinterContact TS860

2,2 (good)


Goodyear Ultra Grip 9

2,2 (good)


Dunlop Winter Sport 5

2,3 (good)


Kleber Krisalp HP3

2,6 (satisfactory)


Michelin Alpin 5

2,7 (satisfactory)


Nexen Winguard Snow'G WH2

2,7 (satisfactory)


Fulda Kristall Control HP 2

2,8 (satisfactory)


Vredestein Snowtrac 5

2,8 (satisfactory)


Bridgestone Blizzak LM 001 EVO

2,9 (satisfactory)


Nokian WR D4

3,0 (satisfactory)


Yokohama BluEarth Winter V905

3,1 (satisfactory)


Kumho WinterCraft WP51

3,3 (satisfactory)


Giti Winter W1

3,5 (satisfactory)


Pirelli Cinturato Winter

3,5 (satisfactory)


Semperit Speed-Grip 3

3,6 (sufficient)


Laufenn IFIT LW 31

5,5 (insufficient)


The premium class dominates the lead

ADAC's annual tests have often been able to surprise drivers.  Lower-class models fiercely competed with representatives of the premium sector, often taking places on the podium.  This year's test for size 205/55 R16 did not bring many surprises. The highest places in the ranking were taken by the products of recognized brands.

Continental WinterContact TS860 - note 2.2 (good)

The winter champion from the German manufacturer is by far the biggest winner of this year's ADAC test.  It was in the leading position in both tested sizes - 205/55 R16 and 175/65 R14.  This situation is definitely uncommon and clearly confirms how much effort Continental has made to create a tyre.  


The WinterContact TS860 draws heavily on solutions of its predecessors, developing and improving them in every element. It offers up to 5% shorter braking distance and up to 4% more efficient ice retention compared to the previous generation.  This is due to the original "Cool Chili" mix containing increased silica content and the characteristic "Snow Curve" tread with 3D grooves on the entire surface.

See the  ContinentalWinter Contact TS860 tyre:


During the 205/55 R16 tests, the tyre achieved the highest place in 3 of the 7 aspects tested (performance on wet surface, comfort/noise, fuel efficiency) and was on the podium due to the snow-covered surface test result.


Continental WinterContact TS860 size 205/55 R16


Goodyear Ultra Grip 9 – note 2.2 (good)

The second place in certainly not a coincidence.  The Ultra Grip series has been collecting good reviews from the very beginning of its presence on the market.  The previous model from the 8th generation is still one of the most frequently selected and highest rated by our clients.

Goodyear Ultra Grip 9 it is a tyre created to withstand the most difficult winter conditions.  Its modern design perfectly copes with every type of surface encountered during this demanding season.  A large number of edges, deep sipes and blocks with variable geometry ensure adequate adhesion, and a rubber mixture based on resin and vegetable oils allows you to feel confident on the road and avoid uncontrolled slips.

See the Goodyear Ultra Grip 9 tyre:

Ultra Grip 9

Goodyear Ultra Grip 9.

 Readers may be interested in the fact that although this year's ADAC tests in 205/55 R16 size were not won by the American manufacturer in any of the tested categories, the very high average of results from all sectors allowed it to take second place in the ranking.


Goodyear Ultra Grip 9 in 205/55 R16 size


Dunlop Winter Sport 5 – note 2.3 (good)

The Dunlop Winter Sport 5 tyre differs in performance from the other tyres on the podium.  The model from the British manufacturer is set much more for a dynamic ride.  This does not mean, however, that the purely winter parameters suffer.  The tyre has been approved by the German organization in practically all road conditions.  It performed best on the snow-covered surface, obtaining a very high score (1.9).

The perfect balance between sporty driving and safety is thanks to the modern tread design with two-way grooves and an extremely dense system of transverse lamellas.  Curved cuts quickly catch the road, significantly increasing traction and maneuverability of the tyre.

See the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 tyre:

Dunlop Winter Sport 5 is the successor of Winter Sport 4D often appreciated in the Dunlop tests. In relation to the excellent predecessor, the most important were: traction on snow and ice covered surface, control maintenance at higher speed and fuel efficiency.


Dunlop Winter Sport 5 in 205/55 R16 size


How are the notes given by ADAC

ADAC uses a result summation system in its annual tests.  In each category, the tyre receives a score of 1-5, then all items are summarized and presented in the form of a consistent verbal and numerical evaluation.  The highest possible score is 1.  Models are tested in terms of:

  • fuel efficiency;

  • wear resistance;

  • performance on surfaces: dry, wet, icy and snow-covered;

  • comfort of traveling.


Winter driving conditions

Winter driving conditions.


Dry surface

Michelin Alpin 5 (2,0)
Bridgestone Blizak LM001 EVO (2,1)
Laufenn IFIT LW31 (2,2)

Wet surface

Continental WinterContact TS860 (2,1)
Goodyear Ultra Grip 9 (2,1)
Pirelli Cinturato Winter (2,2)

Snow-covered surface

Nokian WR D4 (1,8)
Giti Winter W1 (1,8)
Continental WinterContact TS860 (1,9)

Ice-covered surface

Kleber Krisalp HP3 (2,3)
Fulda Kristall Control HP (2,3)
Bridgestone Blizak LM001 EVO (2,3)


Continental WinterContact TS860 (3,0)
Nokian WR D4 (3,1)
Kumho WinterCraft WP51 (3,1)
Fuel efficiency
Continental WinterContact TS860 (1,7)
Nokian WR D4 (1,7)
Laufenn IFIT LW31 (1,7)


Michelin Alpin 5 (1,0)
Bridgestone Blizzak LM 001 Evo (1,0)
Nexen Winguard Snow`G WH2 (1,5)

*The lower the score, the better


It is worth to fit the tyres to your preffered driving style

It is worth to fit the tyres to your preffered driving style.

Before you invest in new tyres

The choice of winter tyres is extremely important for our comfort and safety.  It is worth remembering to choose the right model for the needs, style of driving as well as the specificity of the car.  Attention should be paid to elements such as:

  • Size selection - one of the most important factors.  Always use tyres in the size recommended by the car manufacturer.  Changes to a smaller or larger dimension are possible, but be moderate and adhere to certain rules.  We encourage you to read our article on tyre replacements and use our alternate calculator.

  • Tread pattern - different designs offer different performance groups.  The most popular in winter are directional and asymmetrical treads with more lamellas and  more densely spaced blocks.

  • Tests of automotive organizations and magazines -  they are a great source of knowledge about the performance of given tyres and the quality of their performance.  Before buying, it is worth getting to know the opinions of experts from such organizations as: AutoZeitung, ADAC, Autobild, ACE/GTU, AUTO Straßenverkehr.

  • User's opinions – professional tests provide information on tyre specifications, however, it is the users’ feedback  that allows to learn their real value. You can find over 100,000  feedback posts on our website. Check which tyres are recommended by drivers for the 205/55 R16.