It’s not every day that Michelin finishes last in a tyre test, but this was the case when Auto Express recently examined half a dozen winter tyres. But tester Kim Adams assures that the Alpin 6 is by no means a poor performer – instead, the result reflects the high standards amongst the tyres featured in this year’s test.
With a grand total of three contenders, the latest comparative evaluation from Auto Express may be able to claim kudos for being the smallest tyre test ever. The motoring publication examined the new SportContact 7 in size 235/35ZR19 91 Y at Continental’s Ulvade providing ground in the USA, fitting the tyres to a VW Golf GTI and pitting them against two rivals from the ultra-ultra-high-performance segment, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S and the Pirelli P Zero PZ4.
Déjà vu aplenty in this year’s Auto Express all-season tyre test. The publication returned to the 205/55R16 size it last looked at in 2019, and the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 that participated in the test two years ago was back as a contender in 2021. Same tester, same tyre, same size. But this is where the similarities end; whereas the Hankook tyre finished seventh in the 2019 test, this year it won.
Compromise is a word often associated with the all-season tyre segment, and in its 2017/18 all-season tyre test, Auto Express has endorsed the product it views as representing the smallest compromise in year-round UK conditions. This tyre is the Michelin CrossClimate+
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.
It’s been a fine start to life for the Continental WinterContact TS 860. In addition to receiving high praise from widely-read German car magazine Auto Bild, which described the winner of its test of 50 winter products as “an exemplary tyre without faults or flaws,” the new Continental winter tyre finished top of the class in its UK tyre test debut. Awarding first place to the WinterContact TS 860, Auto Express declared it a tyre that “delivers a winning blend of wet and dry grip plus fuel efficiency.”
The Maxxis AP2 all-season passenger car tyre was rated in fourth place in a series of performance tests recently carried out by Auto Express magazine. Maxxis scored an average of 95.4 per cent over a total of 14 disciplines, surpassing the score of comparative tyres from the likes of global giants Pirelli and Bridgestone.
The team at Auto Express recently headed to Texas to evaluate 11 European market tyres at Continental’s Uvalde proving ground. The size 225/45R17 tyres were tested against ten criteria that covered wet and dry performance, rolling resistance and comfort. The result? Continental’s ContiSportContact 5 was voted King of the Hill in the Lone Star State.
In the preamble to the latest issue of Auto Express, editor-in-chief Steve Fowler ponders the attitude many have to buying tyres, noting their status as “one of the most important things you’ll buy for your car,” yet observing that “relatively few of us in the UK think about changing our tyres to suit the conditions” and that “most of us tend to buy on price rather than quality.” Fowler rightly calls this approach “crazy for a safety-related item.” Addressing both issues, eight winter tyres – all from well-known manufacturers and retailing for between £82.49 and £120.99 – underwent a series of cold-weather challenges in the 5 November 2014 edition of Auto Express, and an all-season and a summer tyre joined them to see how they’d fare against the specialised winter rubber.
UK motoring publication Auto Express has named the Dunlop Sport BluResponse the winner of its 2014 test of the popular 205/55R16 tyre size. The Dunlop tyre was rated the top performer in three of the nine test criteria and came second in a further two. Test runner-up was its Goodyear stablemate, the EfficientGrip.