Volkswagen Golf driving on snow during the 2021 ADAC and TCS winter tyre test © ADAC
16 winter tyres tested in the size 195/65 R15
Each year, ADAC (German Automobile Association) and TCS (Swiss Touring Club) conduct many tests on popular tyre sizes. For this 2021 winter tyres test, the automobile associations have conducted two comparison tests. The following 16 tyres, in the size 195/65 R15 for compact and city cars, were tested on a Volkswagen Golf then compared to find the best balanced and most efficient tyre in winter conditions and single out the winner:
Low scores since tyres downgraded
It is a general habit with tests, and particularly those conducted by ADAC and TCS: tyres which are below average in certain criteria cannot obtain the best scores, even if they perform well in other criteria. This is the case for the Yokohama BluEarth*Winter V906 which is impressive on dry roads and on snow and ice, but whose performance on wet surfaces has led to its lower final score. This is also the case for the Nokian Snowproof. Also downgraded due to tests in wet conditions, but unable to compensate with a high level of performance in other tests, we find the GT Radial Winterpro 2 tyre and the Kumho Wintercraft WP51 (only tyre recommended with reservations). As for the General Tire Altimax Winter 3, it delivers the best performances in snow and for fuel consumption at the expense of its abilities in dry and wet conditions. The observation is similar for the Barum Polaris 5 which obtains the best score on ice.
Relatively low longevity
With the same final score, the overall level of performance of certain tyres is very satisfactory but their low resistance to wear results in a relatively low average mileage (less than 25,000 kilometres). This is the case of the Bridgestone Turanza LM005 which delivers very good dry performances and also obtains the second best score in wet conditions. We also find the Maxxis Premitra Snow WP6, not as good on snow as the others, the Laufenn i FIT LW31, the best tyre on snow and ice, and the Falken Eurowinter HS01 which is quite well balanced. Not yet efficient enough to be one of the best but offering a good performance ratio, the BFGoodrich g-Force Winter 2 and Continental WinterContact TS 860 tyres are slightly behind in wet conditions for the former and in dry conditions for the latter.
The 4 best winter tyres: very close results
Tying with the same score, the Michelin Alpin 6 and Vredestein Wintrac tyres provide a very good performance balance for winter. The Michelin tyre is by far the best tyre of the comparison test in dry conditions, offset by its slightly less efficient performance in wet conditions while remaining good. The Vredestein tyre offers a better balance, with the best longevity of the comparison test and its fuel consumption is lower than the other tyres. But, according to ADAC and TCS, the best winter tyres for 2021 in the size 195/65 R15 belong to the same group: Dunlop Winter Response 2 and Goodyear UltraGrip 9+. Although they obtain exactly the same score, in particular thanks to their very good performance in dry conditions and on snow, the Dunlop tyre has the edge on the fuel consumption side whereas the Goodyear tyre is a step ahead in terms of performance on wet surfaces and on ice.
Top 5 best winter tyres for 2021 in the size 195/65 R15
|1 = Dunlop Winter Response 2
||Balanced and efficient in all situations, fuel consumption
|1 = Goodyear UltraGrip 9+
||Balanced and efficient in all situations, wet surfaces
|3 = Michelin Alpin 6
||Balanced and efficient in all situations, dry surfaces and longevity
|3 = Vredestein Wintrac
||Balanced and efficient in all situations, longevity and fuel consumption
|5 – BFGoodrich g-Force Winter 2
||The best on snow and ice.
||Curved aquaplaning and wet handling
Details of the test can be found on the Swiss Touring Club website