Those who know their tyres are increasingly warming to all-season solutions. Although dismissed as a compromise on numerous occasions, most recently in this month’s GTÜ 2018 winter tyre test, an experienced and respected tester recently commented off the record that “the future belongs” to the segment. This is an impression that may also be gained from perusing the freshly minted all-season tyre test from Auto Bild.
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.
Goodyear has shared the results of recent evaluations carried out on its behalf by testing body TÜV SÜD Product Service. The tyre maker comments that these results show that, compared with the average performance of four premium segment competitor tyres, the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2 “excels in rain and snow.”
According to figures published by the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association, the all-season segment is the fastest growing in Europe. In response to the increasing popularity of this products, Goodyear is adding a further 14 sizes to its Vector 4Seasons Gen-2 product line.
The Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2 has secured more than 54 approvals on 27 platforms across 10 original equipment manufacturers since its introduction less than two years ago. Audi, Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Opel, Renault, Seat, Skoda, Smart and Volkswagen have all approved the award-winning tyre.
The Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2 added to all-season tyre test victories in Auto Bild and L’Argus with its Auto Express win. The tyre performed exceptionally well in wet braking (first), wet handling (first), snow handling (first) and cabin noise (first) disciplines as well as snow braking (second), straight aqua (second) and rolling resistance (second). It shone in the wet disciplines, stopping two metres ahead of the second place Nokian Weatherproof in the wet braking test.
Recognising the attractiveness of all-season tyres to the majority of the UK market, leading weekly magazine Auto Express has conducted its second comparative test of six products in the segment. Testing on the bestselling 17” size, 225/45R17, the magazine used the independent Test World facility, with support from Hankook, to test in snow, and Continental’s Contidrom to test in cold and wet conditions to represent winter, and dry conditions to represent summer. The full test also included two leading seasonal tyres, the Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen-1 winter tyre and the Continental ContiSportContact 5 summer tyre, which showed that all-season products continue to represent a compromise; however the performance gaps in the tests most relevant to UK drivers may surprise critics of year-round tyres.
According to GfK sell-out data for the UK and five other key European markets, demand for all-season tyres in our region grew 37.7 per cent year-on-year in 2015. Last year’s increase followed similar and even greater growth in the preceding few years, and this marked rise in demand means all-season tyres are a very appealing product for tyre makers. The company credited with creating the all-season segment now shares the market with a host of premium, mid-range and budget products, yet continued innovation over tyre generations has helped Goodyear retain a competitive edge.
Goodyear’s all-season Vector 4Seasons Generation-2 tyre has been awarded the test win in German automotive magazine Gute Fahrt. Receiving high wet and dry grip marks, the tyre was the only tested model to claim the magazine’s “Sehr Gut-“ (Very Good-) ranking. As of April 2016, the tyre’s fitment portfolio has been extended to SUV sizes, as the manufacturer seeks to harness demand for all-season products in the quickest growing market segment.
It isn’t just assessment time for summer tyres as the warmer months of the year approach. Gute Fahrt magazine has put nine all-season tyres to the test, and this is good news for UK consumers who are taking to this product segment in growing numbers. The tyres were evaluated for their summer characteristics (wet and dry braking and handling, rolling resistance, noise and comfort) as well as their performance in the snow. All-season mastery of the various weather scenarios was also compared to the characteristics of dedicated seasonal rubber.