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.

By Published On: 4 June 2021Categories: Tyre reviews1046 words5.3 min read
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  

TheKumho 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 MPVsMichelin Alpin 6 (3rd), Goodyear UltraGrip Performance + (2nd) and the Continental WinterContact TS860 (1st).

The 20 best winter tyres for saloons and MPVs

Tyreranking Results
1/ Continental WinterContact TS860 StrengthsBest driving performances in all weather conditionsDirect steering responseCornering stabilityLow rolling resistanceLong wear life
2/ Goodyear Ultragrip Performance + StrengthsExcellent handling properties in wet and snowy conditionsPrecise steering response on wet surfaces and on snowShort braking distances on wet roads
3/ Michelin Alpin 6 StrengthsSpecial “Eco-Meister 2019” mention Exceptional performance in snow and rainGood aquaplaning resistancePrecise steering responseShort braking distances in wet conditions.Good ride comfortBest wear and rolling resistance ratio
4/ Apollo Aspire XP Winter StrengthsSpecial “Eco-Meister 2019”* mentionBalanced performanceStable handling on wet or dry roads.Short braking distances on snow.Good aquaplaning resistanceGood performance / price ratio
5/ Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 StrengthsGood handling in wet and dry conditionsPrecise steering response on wet and dry roadsWeaknessesAverage handling when cornering on snow
6/ Vredestein Wintrac Pro StrengthsConvincing handling on wet and dry roadsGood steering response in wet conditionsSafe performance in winter conditionsWeaknessesAverage handling when cornering on snow
7/ BF Goodrich g-Force Winter 2 StrengthsGood performance / price ratioExcellent performance in winter and wet conditionsGood aquaplaning resistanceLow rolling noiseGood mileageWeaknessesAverage dry grip
8/ Semperit Speed-Grip 3 StrengthsConvincing performances in winter conditionsStable handling in the wetLow rolling noiseLow rolling resistanceWeaknessesAverage aquaplaning safetyLong braking distances on dry roads
9/ Hankook Winter i*cept RS2 StrengthsBest performance on snowGood handling in dry conditionsSatisfactory wearAttractive priceWeaknessesLacks precision when cornering and in wet conditions
10/ Uniroyal MS Plus 77 StrengthsStability in all weather conditionsGood handling when corneringLow rolling resistanceAttractive priceWeaknessesSlightly longer braking distances in dry conditions
11/ Nexen Winguard Sport 2 StrengthsWell balanced performanceStable handling in all weather conditionsShort braking distances on snow.Low rolling noiseAttractive priceWeaknessesLong braking distances on dry roadsHigh rolling resistance
12/ Fulda Kristall Control HP2 StrengthsBalanced performancesGood ride comfortGood aquaplaning resistanceLow rolling resistanceWeaknessesAverage handling when cornering on wet roads or on snow
13/ Nokian WR Snowproof StrengthsCharacteristics close to a Nordic tyreSporty dynamic handlingGood ride comfort and low noiseLow rolling resistanceWeaknessesAverage grip on wet surfacesAverage aquaplaning safety
14/ Yokohama BluEarth Winter V905 StrengthsHigh snow tractionGood handling in dry conditionsLow rolling resistanceWeaknessesPoor handling in the wetLow aquaplaning resistance
15/ Kleber Krisalp HP 3 StrengthsVery good performances on snowGood steering responseShort braking distancesHigh aquaplaning safetyWeaknessesTends to understeerLonger braking distancesAverage wear
16/ Dunlop Winter Sport 5 StrengthsGood snow tractionShort braking distances on snowSafe in aquaplaning situationsWeaknessesPoor handling in dry conditionsLong braking distances on dry roads
17/ Sava Eskimo HP2 StrengthsGood steering responseShort braking distances on snow.Low rolling resistanceAttractive priceWeaknesses Limited wear
18/ Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 Stability when corneringShort braking distances on wet roadsLow rolling resistanceWeaknessesAverage ride comfortLimited wear
19/ Debica Frigo HP2 StrengthsVery good performance on snowGood ride comfortWeaknessesLow lateral stabilityTends to understeer in dry conditions, and limited in wet conditionsHigh rolling noise
20/ Kumho WinterCraft WP51 StrengthsShort braking distancesGood handling in wet conditionsLow rolling noiseWeaknessesAverage grip on slopesAverage wear


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