It’s not uncommon for motoring clubs or magazines to withhold their recommendation when testing tyres, but they typically reserve this cautionary result for low-priced candidates that struggle to compete against premium and mid-range rivals. But Autozeitung has declined to recommend no less than five tyres in its 2023 all-season test – more than half the entire field – including products from known names.
In addition to evaluating the performance of 16 winter tyres in size 225/45 R17, European motoring clubs ADAC, TCS and ÖAMTC have tested a further 16 in size 205/60 R16, a dimension primarily worn by smaller SUVs. The test team fitted the tyres to a VW T-Roc and appraised their performance in dry, wet and wintry conditions as well as for environmental and sustainability-related factors such as noise, wear and rolling resistance.
Unusually, two tyres won this year’s Tyre Reviews winter tyre test – both the Michelin Alpin 5 and the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005. According to Tyre Reviews founder and head tester Jonathan Benson, “technically the Michelin Alpin 5 did pip the Bridgestone, but it was such a tiny margin I am calling them both test winners.”
The days are getting shorter and cooler, but we don’t need to go outdoors to realise that winter is fast approaching – the glut of seasonal tyre tests give the game away. European motoring associations ADAC, TCS and ÖAMTC are readying their members by testing winter tyres in two dimensions. Here we look at 225/45 R17, a popular size for cars such as the Audi A3, Mercedes A-Class and – the test team’s chosen vehicle – the VW Golf.
In the preamble to its 2023 winter tyre test, SUV and 4×4 specialist publication Auto Bild Allrad argues that tyres play an even more important role than all-wheel drive when piloting a vehicle in wintry conditions. While employing four driving wheels instead of two undoubtedly improves traction, this only represents one aspect of vehicle safety – when it comes to braking and negotiating curves, tyres are decisive.
Winter tyres are niche products in the UK but make a lot of sense in particular situations. High-powered performance cars, for example, may benefit from the added grip that season-specific rubber provides. Auto Bild Sportscars has evaluated 11 brands of tyre in size 225/40 R18 to gauge performance in snowy, wet and dry conditions. Four tyres gain the motoring publication’s highest recommendation, but Auto Bild Sportscars also warns against bad eggs in the basket.
The verdict is now out on the 20 finalists in the Auto Bild 2023 winter tyre test. While the Auto Bild test team found that most of these size 225/45 R18 tyres offered “really good performance” when snow and ice were present, the picture looked different when testing in conditions that motorists more typically encounter. They observed “surprisingly large differences in performance potential” on wet and dry roads and gave only three tyres their top ‘exemplary’ rating. One of the 20 receives a non-recommendation.
As promised, Auto Bild has further tested the 16 tyres remaining in its 2023 all-season test following the elimination of 19 products whose combined wet and dry braking distances didn’t make the grade. The motoring publication’s test team gave five of the size 225/45 R17 tyres their highest ‘exemplary’ rating and they declared a further three ‘good’ tyres. The remaining eight products finished testing with ‘satisfactory’ or ‘conditionally recommended’ ratings.
The Auto Bild tyre test team has been busy. In addition to evaluating 35 all-season tyres they have put 54 winter tyres through their paces. After subjecting all to a preliminary test round – on this occasion braking from 80km/h in the wet and from 50km/h on snow – 20 tyres remain as finalists.
In its latest joint winter tyre test, motoring association Auto Club Europa (ACE) describes the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 as being “close to the perfect winter tyre,” having displayed “more than rock solid performance” in all test disciplines. The Bridgestone tyre was the only product to gain ACE’s ‘very recommendable’ rating. The association gave a ‘recommendable’ rating to six tyres and ‘conditionally recommendable’ to one product but declared a further two ‘not recommendable’.
Auto Bild will soon publish its 2023 all-season tyre test, which includes a total of 35 premium, mid-range and budget products in size 225/45 R17. As in other years, the German motoring publication has whittled down this broad field of contenders by subjecting each and every one of them to a preliminary round of wet and dry braking tests. When the dust and water spray settled, just 16 finalists remained to slug it out for supremacy.
German consumer automotive magazine Auto Motor und Sport (AMS) has published the first winter tyre test of the season, pitting seven high-performance 20-inch profiles against each other. The clear overall winner was the reigning WhatTyre Winter Tyre of the Year, Bridgestone’s Blizzak LM 005, yet the tyre benefitted from the magazine’s decision to reduce the share of snow performance in the overall score to 20 per cent; the tyre was rated lower than all but one of the other six competitors in the test. The Stuttgart-based testers fitted 255/45 R20 105V XL tyres on both conventional and electric Kias.
The best-selling tyre size in the UK is still 205/55 R16 and this is the dimension Auto Express selected for its summer 2023 tyre test. In association with Blackcircles.com, tyre tester Kim Adams and the Auto Express team headed to the Contidrom proving ground in Germany and compared the performance of 11 brands of tyre.
Today isn’t 1 April and no legs were pulled during the writing of the above headline. Swiss motoring magazine auto-illustrierte has published a tyre test – and every single protagonist is a Goodyear tyre. Who stood where on the podium is nonetheless interesting.
Anyone striving to make an informed purchase can learn much from tyre test results. In recent months, motoring publications and associations throughout Europe have evaluated no less than 185 current products. To help you choose the right tyres, we’ve brought all summer 2023 test candidates together in one table that clearly shows the tyres that impressed – and those that didn’t.