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TCS comparison test of different all season tyres in summer and winter conditions

The Swiss Touring Club drivers association has conducted a comparison test of all season tyres with seasonal tyres in the size 225/40 R18 92Y.

2018 All season tyre test: TCS compares performances in summer and winter

All season tyres tested and compared on their summer and winter performances. © Adobe

4 types of tyres tested

While TCS is accustomed to conducting “traditional” tests of summer, winter and all season tyres, the Swiss drivers association has innovated for its latest comparison test. TCS has noted an increasing demand for all season tyres over the last years, whether it is to replace summer tyres or even winter tyres. This is why the Swiss Touring Club wanted to find out the truth about all season tyres performances in both summer and winter conditions.

If no specific product is mentioned, TCS has compared a summer-like all season tyre and a winter-like all season tyre with a summer tyre in summer conditions and a winter tyre in winter conditions. The 225/40 R18 92Y size was chosen.

 

In summer, best not to get it wrong

TCS tests are very clear. In summer conditions with an outside temperature of 26°C, its best to choose the right type of tyre. In dry braking tests, the summer tyre needed 33 metres to come to a standstill from 100 km/h. If the summer-like all season tyre was not far behind (37 metres), it needed an additional 4 metres to stop. But it is with the winter-like all season tyre that things become interesting. It needed 49 metres to come to a complete standstill on this surface, i.e. 16 more metres than the summer tyre. In other words, when the vehicle equipped with summer tyres has stopped, the vehicle equipped with the winter-like all season tyres is still travelling at 57 km/h. On the whole, TCS also noted better steering stability with summer tyres than with the winter-like all season tyres.

On wet roads, for emergency braking from 80 km/h to a standstill, the vehicle equipped with summer tyres was also the most efficient with a braking distance of 21 metres. The summer-like all seasons tyre came close with a braking distance of 23 metres. Once again, the winter-like all season tyre was further behind with a braking distance of 28 metres which results in a speed of 40 km/h when the vehicle fitted with summer tyres has stopped.

 

In winter, be careful not to lose control

TCS headed to the Swiss Alps to test the winter capabilities of its all season tyres. On a snow covered surface and an outside temperature of 2.5°C, the vehicles were driven at 50 km/h. At this speed, winter tyres do the job with a braking distance of 25 metres. The vehicle equipped with the winter-like all season tyres required an extra metre to stop. The observation is the same for the vehicle equipped with summer-like all season tyres which required 29 metres to come to a standstill, i.e. 20 km/h when the vehicle equipped with winter tyres has stopped. 

The Swiss Touring Club also tested the handling and traction of these different tyres. As such, each vehicle accelerated on a snow-covered straight line to reach a speed of 35 km/h. If once again winter tyres are the best, closely followed by the winter-like all season tyre, the vehicle equipped with summer-like all season tyres needed 9 more seconds to reach this speed.

In an obstacle avoidance test, once again on snow the winter tyre offered a safe drive. Although the winter-like all season tyre remained stable, it was slightly hesitant. As for the summer-like all season tyre, it was unpredictable causing serious safety problems.

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