Every year, automotive experts test winter tyres in various sizes and in all price segments. The research helps to determine which models are the most recommendable. Let's summarize which tyres did the best this time?
Tests examine how tyres perform in a variety of weather and road conditions.Our ranking includes the results of tests carried out by the renowned ADAC and opinion-forming automotive magazines "Auto Bild", "Auto Motor und Sport" and "Auto Zeitung". This year, once again, the premium brands dominate the top models. This does not mean, however, that the comparison is free of surprises.
The German ADAC took a closer look at two sizes of winter tyres. The first one, 185/65 R15, was tested for use in passenger cars, and the second one, 205/65 R16, as it also works for much heavier vehicles, including vans, was tested in this context. As a standard, tyres from different price segments were taken into account and purchased from widely available distributors.
The key to a good note was the positive results in all analysed categories. Among the 185/65 R15 tyres, three models were awarded the "good" rating, the highest that is currently being awarded. These were in turn:
- Dunlop SP Winter Response 2,
- Kleber Krisalp HP3 - representative of the medium segment,
- Pirelli Cinturato Winter.
It's not the first time these models have been recommended by the ADAC. Although they are not new this year, they still have the most balanced parameters.
Let's take a closer look at the Dunlop SP Winter Response 2, which came first in the test. It is a winter model with a directional tread pattern and clearly marked large blocks. At first glance we can also see a dense network of lamellas, characteristic of wintering houses. Thanks to such a design, the tyre turned out to be the best in terms of snow driving, which is the most important factor in winter. Especially if we don't drive only on roads where ploughs regularly drive. A huge advantage of this proposal was also the economy of driving.
Did you know that...
ADAC stands for Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club, one of the largest automobile clubs in the world. This organization not only brings together automotive fans, but also conducts a number of activities to improve road safety.
Tests on 205/65 R16 tyres were not so good, as most models were rated only as "sufficient" or "insufficient". Only three models were found to be "satisfactory": Continental VanContactWinter, Pirelli Carrier Winter and Michelin AGILIS ALPIN closing the podium. These results should be of particular interest to drivers with larger and heavier cars for their daily work. Reliability is a priority for them.
When testing tyres for large cars, the ADAC did not give the highest marks.
Testing of tyres for sports cars and SUVs
The performance of the tyres for large cars was also taken care of by Auto Motor und Sport magazine. The three best tyres in size 215/55 R17 were new in the last two seasons:
- Goodyear UltraGrip Performance +,
- Bridgestone Blizzak LM005,
- Vredestein Wintrac Pro.
The Continental WinterContact TS 850 P, which was also rated "very good" but came in fourth, is also worth mentioning.
The winning Goodyear tyre has been on the podium four times in the tests we are presenting. The UltraGrip Performance + has been praised by Auto Motor und Sport testers for its reliability, best snow grip and excellent wet cornering traction. This is certainly due to both the refined tread pattern and the rubber compound, which incorporates Winter Grip and Traction Protect technologies to improve grip.
In terms of tyres for sports cars, the Auto Motor und Sport magnifier offers a size of 235/40 R18. This time the winner was the Continental WinterContact TS 850 P. Just behind him were the models: Vredestein Wintrac Pro and the previously described Goodyear UltraGrip Performance +.
While we are in the field of tyres for sports cars, we move on to the Auto Bild Sportcars results. This time the size 255/35 R19 was tested and only two models were awarded the highest "exemplary" rating - Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+ and Vredestein Wintrac Pro. Uniroyal MS plus 77 came in third with a "good" rating.
Among the awarded tyres was another veteran of this year's tests, the Vredestein Wintrac Pro. He achieved the highest possible score five times, although he didn't always get to the podium. The tyres feature a directional tread pattern and rounded shoulders for perfect wet performance. Inclined sipes and a set of blocks, on the other hand, influence the precise cornering guidance, which is appreciated by specialists.
Models highlighted by Auto Bild
Auto Bild looked at passenger car tyres in two sizes. In terms of the 215/60 R17 size, we can speak of the biggest surprise of this year's ranking, as the Apollo Aspire XP Winter was the winner in the economic segment of the Apollo Aspire XP Winter. These tyres outclassed the competition and were the only ones to receive the highest possible score. Just behind it were Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 and Continental WinterConact TS 850 P.
Did you know that...
The test-winning Wintrac Pro and Aspire XP Winter models are manufactured by one tyre company - Apollo Vredestein. In 2009, the Indian company Apollo took over the Dutch Vredestein, thus opening up the premium segment and entering the European market more broadly.
Auto Bild honoured the Apollo Aspire XP Winter for a number of features necessary for safe winter travel. This included excellent handling on wet and snowy roads, high aquaplaning protection and quick and precise steering response. The good price-performance ratio was also appreciated.
The Apollo tyre was also appreciated in the 225/45 R17 size test, where it came fourth with an exemplary score and was awarded the "Ecomeister" title for the most economical models. The same title was awarded to the Michelin ALPIN 6 in third place. The second best result in the study was the Goodyear UltraGrip Performance + and the winner was the Continental WinterContact TS 860.
The offer of the Continental brand could not be missing from our ranking. The WinterContact TS 860 is one of the best-rated winter tyre series and has been at the forefront of testing for several years. The exemplary rating was supported by excellent driving characteristics regardless of the weather conditions. This is due to technologies such as Cool Chilli (wet compound) and SnowCurve (maximum use of 3D grooves). According to Auto Bild research, these tyres also offer precise and stable handling, high mileage and economical driving.
Winter winters are also tested for wet or slush roads.
Awarded by Auto Zeitung
Auto Zeitung is another magazine that tests tyres for its readers. The latest survey involved tyres in size 225/55 R17, and as many as five models were found to be particularly recommendable. Starting from the first position, it was:
- Goodyear Ultra Grip Performance G1,
- Michelin Alpin 5,
- Vredestein Wintrac Pro,
- Dunlop Winter Sport 5,
- Pirelli SottoZero 3.
The Goodyear Ultra Grip Performance G1 tyre has been approved by Auto Zeitung journalists for its highly balanced performance. It did well on wet, dry and slippery surfaces. The very good grip combined with the predictability that is invaluable on tyres proved to be a recipe for success. In order to achieve this, the brand's engineers have been working on the tyre for a long time, trying to provide more contact with the road while improving traction in difficult conditions. As you can see, they did it very well.
The best winter tyres
To sum up, two models most frequently distinguished by automotive organisations should be noted. These were the Goodyear Ultra Grip Performance + and Vredestein Wintrac Pro. They are part of a premium segment that should not be surprising to anyone. After all, this class is characterised by state-of-the-art technology, which is the result of extensive research facilities.
When looking for the best tyre for yourself, it is worth considering the suggestions of experts, especially if their opinions are convergent, despite the different methodologies and sizes chosen for testing. Every driver will find a tyre that matches his or her car, driving style and the space in which he or she moves.