In addition to taking the honours in the Auto Express all-season tyre test here in the UK, the Continental AllSeasonContact is the top-performing all-season tyre in the latest tyre test from Slovakian car magazine Autozurnal. The publication rated the AllSeasonContact ‘very good’ in its joint test of winter and all-season tyres. The Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 gave the strongest winter tyre performance and Autozurnal also rewarded it with a ‘very good’ rating.
With sales of all-season tyres being one of the good news stories of an otherwise challenging year, at the end of November Auto Express published its latest test comparing the performance of leading year-round tyres. Continental’s AllSeasonContact was the outright winner, but Goodyear’s Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 and Hankook Kinergy 4S2 were not far behind it in second and third place respectively.
Introducing its 2020 all-season tyre test, Auto Bild Allrad comments that these particular products weren’t always highly regarded. Their reputation was tarnished with allegations of compromise; rather than a true alternative to summer or winter tyres, they were viewed as a choice best suited to drivers who demanded little from their tyres. In the words of the specialist 4×4 and SUV magazine, an all-season tyre “used to be a bad summer tyre and then, in the second half of the year, a bad winter tyre.” But its current test shows that the story is very different today.
When it comes to tyre testing, the Germans are in a class of their own. During the last few months, the country’s magazines and motoring clubs (together with their Austrian & Swiss counterparts) have put a total of 197 winter and all-season tyres through their paces. As many of the tested products are available here in Blighty, UK drivers also benefit from this methodical approach to finding the right tyre.
Finnish prosecutors have decided to press charges against six former members of the Nokian Tyres plc board as well as past president & chief executive officer Ari Lehtoranta; all were associated with the company in the period between 2015 and 2016. It additionally intends to impose a corporate fine upon the company, to a maximum of 850,000 euros. The prosecutor has also decided to press charges for suspected abuse of insider information against four persons who were employees of Nokian Tyres in 2015. In a statement supplied to Nasdaq Helsinki yesterday, Nokian Tyres stresses that “all persons charged deny their involvement in any criminal activity”
The Autozeitung winter tyre test has revealed “extreme differences” between the best and worst winter tyres, according to its testing panel. The first and last-placed tyres in the product comparison were ultimately no less than 43 percentage points apart in the overall rating. This is, in part, because Autozeitung has changed its evaluation scheme compared to previous years. A percentage value is now given for the performance shown in the three performance categories of snow, wet, and dry – previously points were awarded – with a mean average percentage calculated to define final placements. 14 tyres in size 205/55 R16 were mounted on a VW Golf 1.5 TSI for the test.
All-season tyres are growing in popularity, and suppliers of budget brands from the Far East account for a good share of sales within this segment. This trend has led some to ask whether budget all-season tyres are a good choice for motoring throughout the entire year.
The improvement in the quality of all-season tyres has supported their sustained growth in Europe. While the latest test by the DACH region’s leading auto clubs continued to characterise the product as an unrecommended compromise, German magazine ratings this year have been much less snooty about the segment. Joining the UK’s leading consumer testers in praising the latest generation of year-round fitments, was AutoBild, among the industry’s most coveted ratings, while the most recent Sportauto test gave six out of the seven candidates “good” or even “very good” overall grades. The test acknowledges the advantages of seasonal rubber via two Bridgestone control tyres, the Turanza T005 summer tyre and the Blizzak LM005, but also points out the “amazing qualities” of the seven test subjects on cold-wet and cold-dry roads. The seven all-season tyres were tested in size 225/45 R18 on a BMW 330i.
Auto Bild managed to publish its 2020 all-season tyre test more or less on time despite the lockdown affecting many parts of Europe during the spring. The German motoring publication looked at 32 brands of all-season tyres and evaluated 14 of these in greater depth following a preliminary knock-out round of braking tests. One of the 14 candidates making it through to the finals is a product we’d seen neither hide nor hair of beforehand – the Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF. In contrast to the Cinturato All Season and Cinturato All Season Plus, no retailer appears to stock this particular model. And as we’ve learned, it looks as if this will remain the case.
The tyre test team at Auto Bild has been busy of late. In addition to recommending the best car, SUV and high-performance tyres for the coming winter, the German publication has taken a look at all-season tyres. It fitted 32 brands of size 205/55 R16 tyre to a VW Golf, and after an elimination round of wet and dry braking tests evaluated the 14 top performers in wet, dry and snow conditions. Five of the candidates received Auto Bild’s top ‘exemplary’ rating and were considered every bit as good as summer or winter tyres.
Drivers who like to push their cars may benefit more than most from winter tyres during the colder months. But which tyre is right for the job? In order to find out, Auto Bild Sportscars fitted a dozen brands of winter rubber to a VW Golf GTI.
Bridgestone’s Blizzak LM005 tyre has won the Auto Express Winter Tyre Test 2020 beating 205/55 R16 tyres from seven other manufacturers to the top of the table. Auto Express cited the tyre’s performance in the wet as a key factor. The tyre, which boasts an ‘A’ tyre label grade for wet grip across the full range, has secured Bridgestone’s first Auto Express test win and follows on from a series of improved results in recent times. However, there were strong performances from Hankook’s Winter i*cept RS2 (2nd) and Michelin’s Alpin 6 (3rd). At the same time, we have to note that Hankook Goodyear and Dunlop each won individual categories as well as Bridgestone, of course. Looking forward, Continental’s TS 870 has to be described as the one that got away because it’s market-beating performance couldn’t be counted owing to the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the new tyre’s release for a year.
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.
Goodyear’s new Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 sealed two more test victories for the manufacturer that has more all-season test wins than any other. German magazine Auto Bild and British website Tyre Reviews made the tyre their number one in their most recent tests for the rapidly expanding segment. “It’s great to see wins with the Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 product so soon after its launch into the market. We are particularly thrilled to be recognized by prestigious publications such as Auto Bild and Tyre Reviews,” said Mike Rytokoski, chief marketing officer for Goodyear Europe.
Tyre Reviews has made the newly released Goodyear Vector 4Season Gen-3 its 2020 All Season 17” Test winner. Putting nine all-season tyres in size 225/45 R17 through their paces at Goodyear’s testing facilities in Finnish Lapland and the south of France, tester Jonathan Benson gave additional recommendations to four further tyres: Hankook’s Kinergy 4S2 (second place) and the Continental AllSeasonContact (third) were given the review website’s Highly Recommended rating, while the Bridgestone Weather Control A005 (fourth) and Michelin CrossClimate+ (fifth) were Recommended. The weighting of different conditions is particularly relevant to all-season tyre tests, given the promise of functionality in a wide range of climate and road surface conditions. Tyre Reviews opted to award overall scores based on 30 per cent wet, 25 per cent dry, 25 per cent snow, 10 per cent noise and comfort, and 10 per cent rolling resistance. See below for the Tyre Reviews video of the 2020 All Season 17” test, and for additional comments on each of the nine tyres tested.