Parky mornings and evenings are one sign that summer is on the wane. The appearance of all-season and winter tyre tests is another. The first to arrive this year is from German motoring magazine Autozeitung, which has looked at the commonly-fitted small car size 205/55 R16.
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.
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.
There is no doubt that the all-season tyre segment is one of the fastest-growing in the European market, and it is not difficult to see why; while some countries routinely experience extreme weather conditions in the winter months, much of the continent does not suffer to the same extent. As such, many countries – such as the UK, for example – have never developed a strong winter tyre market.
Apollo Vredestein has launched a consumer-focused campaign in the UK to promote the use of all-season tyres: Until 30 September 2019, all purchases of four Vredestein Quatrac all-season tyres at participating dealers qualify for a free Google Home Mini or Amazon Echo Dot.
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.