The Auto Bild magazine has tested and compared 10 tyres for SUVs, such as the BMW X1, in the size 255/55 R17. The German magazine urges us to buy quality tyres, even if they are sometimes more expensive.

By Published On: 8 June 2021Categories: Tyre reviews841 words4.3 min read
SUV winter tyres test: Auto Bild compares tyres on the BMW X1
© Auto Bild

Premium or entry level? The choice is yours

If Auto Bild is multiplying the number of tyre tests, this is because a large number of products are available on the market, and also, many different vehicles. This time, the German magazine has selected 10 winter tyres for SUVs in the size 225/55 R17. Here, the BMW X1 was used as the test vehicle but this tyre size is also compatible with other small SUVs and crossover models such as the Land Rover Freelander, Mini Countryman, Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq.

The 10 tested tyres included the usual brands seen in tests while two lesser known and cheaper tyre models joined the line-up this time:

Beware of cheap tyres

Although some tyres can help you save money, Auto Bild warns about possible damage over the long term. The Duraturn Mozzo Winter, for example, is around 63% cheaper than the other tyres in this comparison test; a good deal that you pay heavily for in the long run. Indeed, the German magazine quite rightly asks, who wants to remove new tyres, despite disappointing performances, after the first 100 kilometres?

These tyres fitted on a BMW X1, which remains a relatively high-performance vehicle, require an extra 15 metres to stop in wet conditions than the best in the category. The observation is similar in dry conditions; it only meets expectations on snow. Slightly more efficient in the wet, the Syron Everest 1 Plus is not one of the best tyres. Its understeer in the wet and its average grip results in the “not recommended” rating from Auto Bild. In comparison, of the 20 winter tyres tested by Auto Bild in the size 245/45 R18, none of the tyres obtained such a poor rating.

For the same price, we find the Maxxis Premitra Snow WP6. And unlike the previous tyres, it manages to propose a sufficient mix of performances to obtain the “satisfactory” rating. If it is just behind the best for wet braking, it manages to close the gap and is even efficient for aquaplaning performance. Delivering stable dry handling, its braking distances are short on snow.

SUV winter tyres test: Auto Bild compares tyre grip in wet conditions
© Auto Bild

The Uniroyal MS plus 77 obtains the same overall rating despite a slightly better performance on snow. But its braking distances are a little too long in wet and dry conditions and it tends to understeer in the wet which prevents it from ranking higher.

A pitfall avoided by the Toyo Observe S944 which, despite the same final score as the Uniroyal tyre, obtains the higher “good” rating. Auto Bild underlines its balanced winter performances whether on snow or in wet conditions as well as a high level of safety to counter aquaplaning. Its slower steering response and understeer in the wet tarnishes the overall performances of this tyre.

The Dunlop Winter Sport 5 is starting to show its age. Although the test proves it is the best tyre on snow, with very good aquaplaning resistance, dynamic handling in the wet, its dry braking distances prevent it from ranking amongst the best. However, it still remains a good tyre according to the German magazine.

An even top 4

In the “exemplary” tyres category, we find 4 tyres which are quite expensive but well worth it according to Auto Bild. If the cheaper tyres do the job on snow, everything is decided in wet conditions.

The Vredestein Wintrac Pro and Michelin Alpin 6 tie for third place, with both tyres offering a similar balance and characteristics. The Vredestein tyre proposes dynamic wet handling without forgetting safety with a high ability to avoid aquaplaning situations. Its short braking distances on this surface are at the expense of a slightly high rolling resistance, the only real weakness. As for the Michelin tyre, it delivers stable and precise handling in all conditions and the best lateral guidance in wet conditions. Auto Bild simply regrets its price, which is the highest of all the tyres tested.

Once again, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 finishes in the top 2 of the Auto Bild test after the big test of 18-inch winter tyres and the winter sports tyres. Once again, the German magazine cannot find much fault with it. It is a versatile tyre which is convincing in all test conditions offering precise steering, short braking distances and dynamic handling.

It is only beaten by the Goodyear UltraGrip Performance + which is among the best in each test category. Precise and dynamic in all conditions, Auto Bild was very impressed by its abilities in dry conditions where it comes close to the feeling left by a summer tyre.

Top 5 winter tyres for small SUVs +
1 – Goodyear UltraGrip Performance + The best in all categories  
2 – Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 Versatile, precise, safe  
3 = Michelin Alpin 6 Snow, wet conditions Price
3 = Vredestein Wintrac Pro Wet conditions Fuel consumption
5 – Dunlop Winter Sport 5 Snow, aquaplaning Braking in dry conditions

The complete test can be found in German on the Auto Bild website.

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