An absence of alps, frequent sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfalls make winter tyres a hard sell in the UK. And just as our football fans’ capacity to brave the cold has earned them bemused respect throughout Europe, the average British motorist is content to soldier on with summer tyres even when the mercury drops. But for those who decide to invest in a set of dedicated winter tyres, it’s worth making sure you know what you’re getting.
In the spring, Auto Bild looked at the wet and dry braking results from five of its latest summer and all-season tyre tests. Tyre brands that had participated in at least three tests received an average percentage value for all braking tests results, and based on these values the motoring magazine named Michelin its ‘Manufacturer of the Year’. With winter now approaching, Auto Bild has reached for its pocket calculator again to work out which products are “the best tyres for the cold season”.
The team at Auto Bild Allrad faced a problem when it came to performing their annual winter tyre test – they couldn’t find enough snow. To get around this shortcoming, the testers travelled to Japan with their equipment and ten brands of European market winter tyres. They also took a set of summer tyres with them for comparison and to serve as a warning to anyone tempted to drive on them in the snow and ice.
Past tyre tests have on occasion presented all-season tyres as a compromise solution, a jack of all trades but master of none. But is this always the case? German car magazine Auto Bild Allrad doesn’t think so – in its current test of seven size 235/55 R19 SUV tyres, the publication opines that all-season products are no longer a “lazy compromise”. While noting that a single tyre that can do everything well at all times of year still doesn’t exist, Auto Bild Allrad found one that came close.
Look at recent tyre test results from Auto Bild and Gute Fahrt and you might assume there’s no such thing as a bad tyre these days, but you’d be wrong. Auto Bild Allrad has evaluated ten SUV tyres, and while six were awarded the top ‘exemplary’ rating, one certainly wasn’t recommended and another hesitantly so. The upshot is that it still pays to do your homework when buying replacement tyres.
Ten winter SUV tyres – from premium brands to a so-called “budget tyre from the Far East” – were put to the test in this year’s comparative evaluation from Auto Bild Allrad. The German 4×4/SUV publication examined size 235/60 R18 107H/V products, fitting the tyres to an Audi Q5 for testing in wet, dry and snow disciplines. Happily, the testers found no truly dreadful tyres within the candidates’ ranks.
It was a victory for Goodyear in the all-season SUV tyre test published by Auto Bild Allrad this month. The publication voted the Vector 4Seasons SUV Gen-2 the winner of its six-tyre comparative evaluation, honouring the Goodyear rubber with the only ‘exemplary’ rating of the test.
The outcomes of comparative tests published by car magazines and motoring associations influence many drivers’ purchasing decisions. Tyre tests are no exception here, and therefore the pride Goodyear shows in its tyres’ test performance is understandable. The tyre maker reports that, in 208 magazine tyre tests carried out by 37 well-known European publications and organisations over the past five years – including Auto Express, ADAC, Auto Bild, Auto Bild Allrad, Auto Zeitung, Gute Fahrt, Auto Moto and ACE/GTÜ – Goodyear tyres were recommended in more than 80 per cent of them. Goodyear was named test winner in 43 of these tests.
The concluding comments in the tyre test published in the latest issue of Auto Bild Allrad offer food for thought to anyone considering their tyre options for the coming winter. All-season tyres, posit the three-man team behind the German magazine’s evaluation of eight SUV tyres, can be “a fully-fledged alternative to seasonal tyre changes – provided they are as good as our test winners.” Tyre buyers shouldn’t hesitate to place their trust in the best all-season rubber, they add, even if dedicated summer and winter tyres still can’t be beat in specific performance areas.
Its EfficientGrip SUV scored a victory in the recent ADAC summer tyre test, and now Goodyear has racked up another win with its Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3. The tyre, together with the Hankook Ventus S1 Evo² SUV, is joint winner of the test of ten tyres published in the most recent issue of German SUV magazine Auto Bild Allrad.
Anyone browsing the results of two of the latest Auto Bild group tyre tests would be forgiven for suspecting a copy/paste malfunction, as the ranking tables for both the Auto Bild Sportcars and Auto Bild Allrad winter tyre tests bear more than a passing resemblance to each other.
The 7/2016 issue of German 4×4 and SUV magazine Auto Bild Allrad contains a test of seven size 215/60 R16H/V all-season SUV tyres. The tyres were fitted to a Skoda Yeti for evaluation purposes and rated for on-road performance in the snow, wet and dry as well as for environmental and comfort characteristics. Off-road performance was not tested.
The results of a number of comparative tyre tests have been published in various magazines during the last month or so, including in several Auto Bild titles. Hankook Tire has commented on the victory of its Ventus Prime³ in Auto Bild’s annual test of 50 size 205/55R16V summer tyres, and on the second place attained by the Hankook Ventus S1 evo² in the 20-inch (255/35R20 front and 295/30R20 rear) tyre test published in Auto Bild Sportscars.
SUV and 4×4 specialist magazine Auto Bild Allrad has tested seven summer tyres that, given their ‘W’ and ‘Y’ speed ratings, probably won’t spend a lot of time away from the tarmac. The on-road emphasis of these size 235/55 R19 (front) and 255/50 R19 (rear) tyres was underlined by the choice of Porsche Cayenne as test main vehicle, while a Toyota pick-up was used to shed light on their off-road capabilities.
Our temporary and unplanned hiatus in tyre test reportage is over, and it’s time to work through the small backlog of results made public during the past couple of months. We’re starting with the test of eight SUV winter tyres carried out by Germany’s Auto Bild allrad.