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Winter tyre comparison test 2018: ADAC tests 29 winter tyres

For the 2018 edition of its winter tyre test, the General German Automobile Club (ADAC) has compared 29 winter tyres.

ADAC winter test 2018

ADAC went to Ivalo in Finland to test the winter tyres in deep snow. © ADAC

Tyres tested across Europe

As soon as autumn arrives, winter tyre tests are not far away. And here, ADAC provides us with not one but two winter tyre comparison tests. The German Automobile association has chosen the sizes 175/65 R14 (city cars) and 205/55 R16 (passenger and compact cars).

To find all the necessary test conditions, ADAC went to different testing grounds: Bridgestone in Italy for dry condition tests, Continental and Bridgestone in Germany for wet condition, rolling resistance, speed and noise tests, and to an independent “Testworld” site in Finland for snow and ice tests.

ADAC_test_hiver_2018_snow

© ADAC

12 winter tyres for city cars

In the size 175/65 R14, very popular on latest generation city cars, ADAC has compared 12 tyres:

In this size, Michelin had the Alpin 4 tyre available, but it was not considered relevant to include it in this test since the Alpin 6 is ready to be launched. As for the Hankook i*cept RS2, the latest modified version was not available for purchase when ADAC conducted its tests.

 

Of the selected tyres, only the Nankang Snow SV-3 obtains the "mediocre" rating due to its poor performance in the wet and in snow. The Semperit Master-Grip 2 is considered “adequate” due to its weak performance in dry conditions.

 

ADAC considers that 8 other tyres are “satisfactory". The Debica Frigo 2 and Sava Eskimo S3+ show weaknesses in wet and dry conditions despite delivering good performance on snow. The Esa+tecar Super Grip 9 shows just the opposite with shortfalls on snow but good performance on other surfaces and above all, an unbeatable price.

 

Efficient in dry conditions, the Nokian WR D4 and Goodyear UltraGrip 9 do not confirm their performance on snow or in the wet. The latter remains quite efficient in light snow and offers good longevity. The Pirelli Cinturato Winter shows weakness in dry conditions which results in a lower rating than it deserves according to ADAC given its capabilities in wet conditions and on snow. Same conclusion for the Firestone Winterhawk 3 and Vredestein Snowtrac 5 which have this problem in wet conditions. 

ADAC_test_hiver_2018_braking

© ADAC 

The two models considered "good" by ADAC are the Continental WinterContact TS 860 and the Dunlop Winter Response 2. They obtain exactly the same rating thanks to their well balanced performances on all surfaces with an honourable mention for the Dunlop tyre which has the lowest rolling resistance.

 

The final ranking of the test:

Tyre

Ranking

Continental WinterContact TS 860

1 (good)

Dunlop Winter Response 2

1 (good)

Firestone Winterhawk 3

3 (satisfactory)

Nokian WR D4

4 (satisfactory)

Goodyear UltraGrip 9

5 (satisfactory)

Debica Frigo 2

6 (satisfactory)

ESA+Tecar Super Grip 9

6 (satisfactory)

Sava Eskimo S3+

6 (satisfactory)

Vredestein Snowtrac

6 (satisfactory)

Pirelli Cinturato Winter

10 (satisfactory)

Semperit Master-Grip 2

11 (adequate)

Nankang Snow SV-3

12 (mediocre)

16 winter tyres for compact and family cars

In the size 205/55 R16, available for numerous compact and passenger cars, ADAC has compared 16 tyres:

Again, the updated version of the Hankook i*cept RS2 could not be purchased and therefore did not take part in this test.

The Semperit Speed-Grip 3 obtains the “adequate” rating after showing real weaknesses in dry conditions, whereas the Laufenn I FIT LW31 is considered to be “mediocre”. The cause, major problems in wet conditions.

ADAC_test_hiver_2018_wet braking

© ADAC

11 tyres obtained the “satisfactory” rating, their drawbacks do not allow them to rank higher according to ADAC. The Kleber Krisalp HP 3 and Kumho WinterCraft WP51 tyres show serious shortcomings in the wet despite other satisfactory performances. The Michelin Alpin 5 tyre, recently replaced by the Alpin 6 and recommended by ADAC for use in dry conditions, the Nexen Winguard SnowG WH2, Fulda Kristall Control HP 2, Bridgestone Blizzak LM 001 Evo and Yokohama BluEarth Winter V905 are slightly weak in snow according to the German association. The Pirelli Cinturato Winter and Giti Winter W1 fall short in dry conditions. If the Nokian WR D4 delivers excellent performances on different surfaces, its high wear prevents it from ranking higher according to ADAC.

ADAC_test_hiver_2018_changing_snow_tyre

© ADAC

Only 3 tyres achieve the final “good” rating thanks to their well balanced performances. The Dunlop Winter Sport 5 is just behind the first two tyres despite minor problems in wet conditions. The Goodyear UltraGrip 9 and Continental WinterContact TS860 are impossible to separate with both delivering very similar performances on all surfaces. Note that the Goodyear tyre is slightly cheaper (106€) than the Continental tyre (110€). But, the latter has the lowest rolling resistance. 

The final ranking:

Tyre

Ranking

Continental WinterContact TS860

1 (good)

Goodyear UltraGrip 9

1 (good)

Dunlop Winter Sport 5

3 (good)

Kleber Krisalp HP 3

4 (satisfactory)

Michelin Alpin 5

5 (satisfactory)

Nexen Winguard SnowG WH2

5 (satisfactory)

Fulda Kristall Control HP 2

7 (satisfactory)

Vredestein Snowtrac 5

7 (satisfactory)

Bridgestone Blizzak LM 001 Evo

9 (satisfactory)

Nokian WR D4

10 (satisfactory)

Yokohama BluEarth Winter V905

11 (satisfactory)

Kumho WinterCraft WP51

12 (satisfactory)

Giti Winter W1

13 (satisfactory)

Pirelli Cinturato Winter

13 (satisfactory)

Semperit Speed-Grip 3

15 (adequate)

Laufenn I Fit LW31

16 (mediocre)

Video presentation of the test in French by the Swiss Touring Club, an ADAC partner:

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