German tyre test votes Conti best in wet and snow
In the September issue of German publication Auto Motor und Sport (20/2013), eight brands of winter tyre were put through their paces. Seven types of size 225/50 R17 V tyre and a set of Michelin 225/50 R17 H tyres were fitted to a BMW 330d for the test and subject to handling and braking tests in snow, wet and dry conditions, along with condition-specific tests such as aquaplaning, traction, comfort, rolling noise and rolling resistance. Here is what Auto Motor und Sport found out:
In dry conditions, Nokian’s WR D3 came out on top, its top points for dry handling and braking helping it score 95 from 100 points in this category, ahead of the Pirelli Winter Sottozero III with 88 points and the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D with 87 points. Last place went to the Fulda Kristall Control HP, which scored 70 points, including last place in the subjective handling and dry braking tests.
But when a bit of wet and cold was added to the mix, Continental’s ContiWinterContact TS850 came to the fore. In wet testing the German tyre scored 99 out of a possible 100 points, landing top market for handling, directional control and braking, along with good marks for aquaplaning (although the Toyo Snowprox S953, the tyre that achieved the lowest points overall, performed better on this test). The second best wet performer was the Pirelli Winter Sottozero III, which scored 92 from 100 points.
Gold in the snow testing category also went to the ContiWinterContact TS850, which scored 95 from 100 points, including equal (along with the Pirelli tyre) top marks for traction. The Goodyear Ultragrip 8 Performance, Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D and Fulda Kristall Control HP shared top honours for handling and the Fulda tyre also gained top points for the snow braking test.
Overall, the ContiWinterContact TS850 scored best with 277 out of a potential 300 points. Runner up was the Pirelli Winter Sottozero III with 270 points and third place went to the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D, which scored 258. The wooden spoon went to the Toyo Snowprox S 953, which scored 218 out of 300 points.
The tyres tested by Auto Motor und Sport were:
Continental ContiWinterContact TS850 (particularly recommended)
Pirelli Winter Sottozero III (particularly recommended)
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D (particularly recommended)
Nokian WR D3 (particularly recommended)
Goodyear Ultragrip 8 Performance (recommended)
Michelin Alpin A4 (recommended)
Fulda Kristall Control HP (recommended)
Toyo Snowprox S 953 (conditionally recommended)