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What are the best winter tyres according to Autobild?

The German car magazine Autobild has published its first major comparison test of winter tyres for 2019. It concerns 53 winter tyres tested in one of the most popular sizes, i.e. 225/45 R17, for compact and medium-sized cars. Whether a saloon or a MPV, each vehicle can find the right tyre for its needs.

Autobild has compared the best winter tyres for compact and medium-sized cars, saloons and MPVs, on snow, and in wet and dry conditions

Autobild presents its new 2019 test of winter tyres, in a size for compact and medium-sized cars. © Autobild 

What winter tyres were tested?

Autobild chose the size 225/45 R17 to test 53 winter tyres for compact and medium-sized cars, style saloon or MPV. This is why the BMW 1-Series was used as the test car for this major comparison test. Of the 53 tyres tested, almost half were eliminated after the first braking test. The Falken Eurowinter HS01, the Firestone Winterhawk 3 and the Toyo Snowprox S954 were amongst those eliminated. The 20 remaining winter tyres were able to complete the tests.

Just like the Auto Motor und Sport test of winter tyres for compact SUVs or the TCS and ADAC test for city cars, here we also find cheap tyres, and middle and top of the range tyres, at very different prices. But above all, Autobild wants to inform the general public about safety performances. By putting a summer tyre through the same tests, it confirms that its braking distances are much longer in winter conditions. Therefore, it is important to think about changing summer tyres for winter tyres when the cold season arrives to guarantee optimum safety.

This is why Autobild has evaluated winter tyres in 14 other categories, in addition to braking, including handling on snow, handling in dry and wet conditions, aquaplaning and even tyre wear.

2019 Autobild winter tyre comparison test: braking distances tested in wet conditions

© Autobild

What are the best winter tyres for Autobild?     

In its magazine, Autobild has published its scores and opinions on the test of 20 winter tyres suitable for saloons and MPVs which successfully completed the first braking tests.

Opinion on Kumho and Debica  

The Kumho WinterCraft WP 71 (20th) and Debica Frigo HP2 (19th) winter tyres delivered much longer braking distances on snow or in wet conditions than their competitors, which results in the last places in the final ranking. Autobild recommends them with reservations. However the Debica tyre is identified as a reference for winter tyres thanks to its excellent handling performance in snow.

Opinion on Pirelli, Sava, Dunlop and Kleber

Autobild considers the four Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 (18th), Sava Eskimo HP2 (17th), Dunlop Winter Sport 5 (16th) and Kleber Krisalp HP3 (15th) winter tyres as being satisfactory. Their braking distances on snow and in wet conditions are shorter but still too long. Also, their mixed test results in other categories do not allow them to reach the top of the ranking.

Opinion on Yokohama, Nokian, Fulda and Nexen

Considered good overall by Autobild, the Yokohama BluEarth Winter V905 (14th), Nokian WR Snowproof (13th), Fulda Kristall Control HP2 (12th), and Nexen Winguard Sport 2 (11th) can be found in the middle of the ranking. Overall, they offer balanced performances, each with their strengths and weaknesses depending on the test category.

Opinion on the Uniroyal, Hankook, Semperit and BF Goodrich

We move towards the top of the ranking where Autobild has placed winter tyres considered to be “good” with respect to their balanced performances, i.e. Uniroyal MS Plus 77 (10th), Hankook Winter i*cept RS2 (9th), Semperit Speed-Grip 3 (8th) and BF Goodrich g-Force Winter 2 (7th).

Opinion on Vredestein, Bridgestone and Apollo

The following three winter tyres, which precede the podium, are the Vredestein Wintrac Pro (6th), Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 (5th) and the Apollo Aspire XP Winter (4th). Autobild found their performances remarkable allowing each to achieve the special “exemplary” rating.

Opinion on Michelin, Goodyear and Continental

These are the three leading tyre brands on the podium following the winter tyre tests. After a complete series of tests, Autobild designates three winter tyres which perfectly meet the needs of medium-sized and compact cars like saloons and MPVs: Michelin Alpin 6 (3rd), Goodyear UltraGrip Performance + (2nd) and the Continental WinterContact TS860 (1st).

The 20 best winter tyres for saloons and MPVs

Tyre

ranking

Results

1

Continental WinterContact TS860

Strengths

  • Best driving performances in all weather conditions
  • Direct steering response
  • Cornering stability
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Long wear life

2

Goodyear Ultragrip Performance +

Strengths

  • Excellent handling properties in wet and snowy conditions
  • Precise steering response on wet surfaces and on snow
  • Short braking distances on wet roads

3

Michelin Alpin 6

Strengths

  • Special “Eco-Meister 2019” mention 
  • Exceptional performance in snow and rain
  • Good aquaplaning resistance
  • Precise steering response
  • Short braking distances in wet conditions.
  • Good ride comfort
  • Best wear and rolling resistance ratio

4

Apollo Aspire XP Winter

Strengths

  • Special “Eco-Meister 2019”* mention
  • Balanced performance
  • Stable handling on wet or dry roads.
  • Short braking distances on snow.
  • Good aquaplaning resistance
  • Good performance / price ratio

5

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Strengths

  • Good handling in wet and dry conditions
  • Precise steering response on wet and dry roads

Weaknesses

  • Average handling when cornering on snow

6

Vredestein Wintrac Pro

Strengths

  • Convincing handling on wet and dry roads
  • Good steering response in wet conditions
  • Safe performance in winter conditions

Weaknesses

  • Average handling when cornering on snow

7

BF Goodrich g-Force Winter 2

Strengths

  • Good performance / price ratio
  • Excellent performance in winter and wet conditions
  • Good aquaplaning resistance
  • Low rolling noise
  • Good mileage

Weaknesses

  • Average dry grip

8

Semperit Speed-Grip 3

Strengths

  • Convincing performances in winter conditions
  • Stable handling in the wet
  • Low rolling noise
  • Low rolling resistance

Weaknesses

  • Average aquaplaning safety
  • Long braking distances on dry roads

9

Hankook Winter i*cept RS2

Strengths

  • Best performance on snow
  • Good handling in dry conditions
  • Satisfactory wear
  • Attractive price

Weaknesses

  • Lacks precision when cornering and in wet conditions

10

Uniroyal MS Plus 77

Strengths

  • Stability in all weather conditions
  • Good handling when cornering
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Attractive price

Weaknesses

  • Slightly longer braking distances in dry conditions

11

Nexen Winguard Sport 2

Strengths

  • Well balanced performance
  • Stable handling in all weather conditions
  • Short braking distances on snow.
  • Low rolling noise
  • Attractive price

Weaknesses

  • Long braking distances on dry roads
  • High rolling resistance

12

Fulda Kristall Control HP2

Strengths

  • Balanced performances
  • Good ride comfort
  • Good aquaplaning resistance
  • Low rolling resistance

Weaknesses

  • Average handling when cornering on wet roads or on snow

13

Nokian WR Snowproof

Strengths

  • Characteristics close to a Nordic tyre
  • Sporty dynamic handling
  • Good ride comfort and low noise
  • Low rolling resistance

Weaknesses

  • Average grip on wet surfaces
  • Average aquaplaning safety

14

Yokohama BluEarth Winter V905

Strengths

  • High snow traction
  • Good handling in dry conditions
  • Low rolling resistance

Weaknesses

  • Poor handling in the wet
  • Low aquaplaning resistance

15

Kleber Krisalp HP 3

Strengths

  • Very good performances on snow
  • Good steering response
  • Short braking distances
  • High aquaplaning safety

Weaknesses

  • Tends to understeer
  • Longer braking distances
  • Average wear

16

Dunlop Winter Sport 5

Strengths

  • Good snow traction
  • Short braking distances on snow
  • Safe in aquaplaning situations

Weaknesses

  • Poor handling in dry conditions
  • Long braking distances on dry roads

17

Sava Eskimo HP2

Strengths

  • Good steering response
  • Short braking distances on snow.
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Attractive price

Weaknesses

  •  Limited wear

18

Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

  • Stability when cornering
  • Short braking distances on wet roads
  • Low rolling resistance

Weaknesses

  • Average ride comfort
  • Limited wear

19

Debica Frigo HP2

Strengths

  • Very good performance on snow
  • Good ride comfort

Weaknesses

  • Low lateral stability
  • Tends to understeer in dry conditions, and limited in wet conditions
  • High rolling noise

20

Kumho WinterCraft WP51

Strengths

  • Short braking distances
  • Good handling in wet conditions
  • Low rolling noise

Weaknesses

  • Average grip on slopes
  • Average wear

*”2019 Economy champion”

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