Auto Bild 2019 Large Winter Tire Test (The Final)
Source: AutoBild

The selection of winter tires is tremendous and confusing. Premium, budget, and medium-class tires are available for all tastes and budgets — but do they all ensure the level of safety promised by the tire makers? This question is answered in the new publication of Germany’s Auto Bild.

Having bought anonymously 53 tire sets online, Auto Bild experts indeed conducted a «large» comparative test of winter tires 2019 in the size of 225/45 R17, which is currently considered to be the best selling tire size for compact and medium sized vehicles.

During the first (elimination) round, the experts tested the tires’ wet braking performance, and on the basis of the obtained results, 23 models were eliminated, whose braking distances turned out to be the longest of all.

List of the models eliminated at the start
Place Model Wet Braking, m
53 Laufenn I Fit LW31 (91 Н) 39,4
52 Triangle Snow Lion TR 777 (94 V) 39,2
51 Mazzini Snow Leopard (94 H) 39,1
50 А-plus A502 (94 H) 39,0
49 Windforce Snowpower (94 H) 38,5
48 Profil Pro Snow Ultra (91 H) 37,9
47 Superia Bluewin UHP (94 V) 37,7
46 Duraturn Mozzo Winter (94 V) 37,6
45 King Meiler Winter Tact WT84 (91 H) 37,4
44 Sailun Iceblazer Alpine (91 H) 36,9
43 Fortuna Winter-Max A1 (Winter UHP) (94 V) 36,9
42 Blacklion Snow Pioneer BM56 (94 H) 36,7
41 Viking WinTech (91 H) 35,8
40 Cachland CH-W2002 (94 H) 35,7
39 Giti GitiWinter W1 (91 H) 35,6
38 Kenda Wintergen 2 KR501 (94 V) 35,3
37 Linglong Green-Max Winter UHP (94 V) 35,2
36 Gislaved Euro Frost 6 (91 H) 35,1
35 General Altimax Winter 3 (94 V) 34,9
34 Tyfoon Eurosnow II (94 V) 34,8
33 Matador MP92 Sibir Snow (91 H) 34,8
32 Mabor Winter-Jet 3 (91 H) 34,7
31 Paxaro Winter (91 H) 34,4

Then the remaining thirty tires were tested for snow braking performance. After which it became clear, which of the models were making it into the final round of the competition. Thus, out 53 models, only twenty reached the final, coming at a price ranging from 160 to 500+ Euros.

Tires that were stopped from reaching the final by the extra meters in the braking distances
Place Model Braking, m
30 Imperial Snowdragon (94 V) Wet Surface: 33,9
Snow Surface: 31,7
Total: 65,6
29 Dayton DW510 Evo (91 H) Wet Surface: 33,4
Snow Surface: 28,7
Total: 62.1
28 Seiberling Winter (91 H) Wet Surface: 34,3
Snow Surface: 27,3
Total: 61,6
27 Toyо Snowprox S954 (91 H) Wet Surface: 34,0
Snow Surface: 26,7
Total: 60,7
26 Cooper Weather-Master SA2+ (94 V) Wet Surface: 31,9
Snow Surface: 28,3
Total: 60,2
25 Falken Eurowinter HS01 (94 H) Wet Surface: 33,9
Snow Surface: 26,1
Total: 60,0
24 Firestone Winterhawk 3 (91 H) Wet Surface: 34,3
Snow Surface: 25.5
Total: 59,8
23 Avon WV7 Snow (94 V) Wet Surface: 32,4
Snow Surface: 27,0
Total: 59.4
22 Maxxis Artictrekker WP-05 (94 V) Wet Surface: 34,2
Snow Surface: 24,8
Total: 59,0
21 Barum Polaris 5 (91 H) Wet Surface: 33,9
Snow Surface: 25,0
Total: 58,9


In the final, the Auto Bild test team also evaluated the contestants in a number of disciplines on wet and dry pavement, as well as on snow. To determine the winner, the experts were also considering the economic factors, such as expected mileage, price/quality ratio, and rolling resistance.


List of models tested in the final round:

The final of the Auto Bild test 2019

Snow Pavement

Snow Braking

Kleber
24.0
Debica
24.1
Sava
24.1
BFGoodrich
24.2
Dunlop
24.3
Fulda
24.3
Goodyear
24.3
Semperit
24.3
Continental
24.5
Bridgestone
24.6
Nokian
24.6
Uniroyal
24.6
Michelin
24.7
Nexen
24.7
Kumho
24.8
Hankook
24.9
Apollo
25.1
Vredestein
25.2
Yokohama
26.0
Pirelli
26.4
Summer
89.1

Info! Snow braking in the range of 50–0 km/h.

Snow Traction

Goodyear
3171
BFGoodrich
3170
Fulda
3147
Dunlop
3139
Debica
3127
Hankook
3118
Michelin
3099
Sava
3086
Continental
3072
Apollo
3067
Kleber
3066
Yokohama
3061
Semperit
3035
Uniroyal
3019
Vredestein
3018
Nokian
2994
Nexen
2971
Bridgestone
2960
Kumho
2945
Pirelli
2858
Summer
375

Info! Average Traction, H.

Snow Handling

Hankook
78.4
Kleber
78.4
Semperit
78.3
Debica
77.8
BFGoodrich
77.6
Sava
77.4
Continental
77.3
Goodyear
77.3
Nokian
77.3
Dunlop
77.0
Nexen
77.0
Uniroyal
77.0
Michelin
76.9
Apollo
76.6
Vredestein
76.5
Bridgestone
76.4
Kumho
76.3
Yokohama
75.6
Fulda
75.3
Pirelli
75.3
Summer
0

Info! Average Speed, km/h.

Slalom

Continental
3.87
Hankook
3.83
Debica
3.77
Semperit
3.77
BFGoodrich
3.76
Kleber
3.76
Michelin
3.73
Sava
3.72
Dunlop
3.71
Goodyear
3.71
Apollo
3.69
Nexen
3.69
Nokian
3.68
Uniroyal
3.68
Kumho
3.67
Yokohama
3.61
Bridgestone
3.58
Fulda
3.58
Vredestein
3.55
Pirelli
3.54
Summer
0

Info! Lateral Acceleration, m/s².

Wet Pavement

Wet Braking

Bridgestone
29.2
Summer
30.4
Michelin
30.4
Goodyear
30.6
Vredestein
30.8
Apollo
31.2
Pirelli
31.3
Continental
31.5
Kumho
31.5
Semperit
31.6
BFGoodrich
32.0
Hankook
32.0
Kleber
32.2
Nokian
32.2
Yokohama
32.5
Uniroyal
32.8
Dunlop
32.9
Nexen
33.0
Fulda
33.5
Sava
33.6
Debica
34.2

Info! Wet braking in the range of 80–0 km/h.

Wet Handling

Bridgestone
75.7
Summer
74.7
Michelin
74.3
Goodyear
74.1
Vredestein
73.7
Apollo
73.1
Pirelli
72.8
Continental
72.6
Kumho
72.5
Semperit
72.5
BFGoodrich
72.4
Hankook
72.3
Kleber
72.1
Nokian
72.0
Yokohama
71.7
Uniroyal
71.7
Dunlop
71.3
Nexen
71.1
Fulda
70.2
Sava
69.6
Debica
69.5

Info! Average Speed, km/h.

Lateral Grip

Bridgestone
11.99
Summer
12.34
Michelin
12.40
Goodyear
12.42
Vredestein
12.44
Apollo
12.53
Pirelli
12.56
Continental
12.62
Kumho
12.64
Semperit
12.65
BFGoodrich
12.67
Hankook
12.67
Kleber
12.67
Nokian
12.68
Yokohama
12.70
Uniroyal
12.77
Dunlop
12.78
Nexen
12.89
Fulda
12.98
Sava
13.01
Debica
13.13

Info! Lap Time, s.

Straight Aquaplanning

BFGoodrich
78.0
Continental
76.7
Kleber
75.8
Summer
75.2
Goodyear
74.6
Bridgestone
74.2
Apollo
73.4
Dunlop
73.3
Kumho
72.2
Michelin
71.7
Fulda
71.7
Uniroyal
70.3
Hankook
70.1
Vredestein
69.3
Debica
68.4
Nexen
68.4
Pirelli
68.1
Semperit
66.8
Sava
66.6
Nokian
65.5
Yokohama
62.8

Info! Rate of grip loss, km/h.

Lateral Aquaplanning

Summer
3.01
Goodyear
2.90
BFGoodrich
2.80
Kleber
2.80
Apollo
2.78
Fulda
2.76
Dunlop
2.68
Michelin
2.61
Uniroyal
2.58
Continental
2.49
Vredestein
2.45
Bridgestone
2.43
Kumho
2.42
Debica
2.36
Sava
2.33
Pirelli
2.10
Yokohama
2.10
Hankook
1.98
Nokian
1.98
Nexen
1.96
Semperit
1.95

Info! Lateral Acceleration, m/s².

Dry pavement

Dry Braking

Summer
38.4
Pirelli
44.3
Continental
44.4
Vredestein
44.4
Bridgestone
44.5
Michelin
44.5
Apollo
44.7
Goodyear
44.7
Nokian
44.7
Hankook
45.1
BFGoodrich
45.2
Kumho
45.5
Yokohama
45.7
Kleber
46.0
Uniroyal
46.0
Dunlop
46.3
Fulda
46.4
Semperit
46.5
Debica
46.7
Nexen
46.7
Sava
47.3

Info!  Dry braking in the range of 100–0 km/h.

Dry Handling

Summer
84.6
Continental
82.9
Bridgestone
82.6
Vredestein
82.5
Apollo
82.3
Nexen
81.9
Yokohama
81.9
Fulda
81.8
Hankook
81.8
Pirelli
81.8
Goodyear
81.7
Michelin
81.7
Uniroyal
81.7
Semperit
81.6
Nokian
81.5
Sava
81.3
BFGoodrich
81.2
Dunlop
81.1
Debica
80.7
Kleber
80.4
Kumho
80.1

Info! Average Speed, km/h.

External Noise

Continental
68.9
Nexen
68.7
Kleber
69.3
BFGoodrich
69.6
Summer
69.7
Kumho
69.8
Semperit
70.2
Bridgestone
70.0
Nokian
70.6
Goodyear
70.3
Uniroyal
71.1
Vredestein
71.7
Apollo
71.0
Michelin
71.2
Pirelli
71.6
Yokohama
72.4
Fulda
73.3
Hankook
74.1
Dunlop
73.9
Debica
74.5
Sava
76.1

Info! The noise level at a speed 80 km/h, db(A).

Fuel Efficiency

Nokian
7.43
Dunlop
7.77
Sava
7.78
Fulda
7.80
Semperit
7.81
Debica
7.85
Bridgestone
7.95
Pirelli
8.04
Continental
8.11
Yokohama
8.11
Uniroyal
8.28
Goodyear
8.44
Kleber
8.56
Michelin
8.57
BFGoodrich
8.77
Apollo
8.80
Vredestein
8.97
Hankook
9.29
Summer
9.30
Nexen
9.59
Kumho
10.51

Info! Rolling Resistance, kg/t.

Mileage

Michelin
51250
Continental
45920
Apollo
45100
Goodyear
43870
Bridgestone
42230
Hankook
41820
BFGoodrich
41410
Semperit
41410
Vredestein
41410
Nexen
40590
Dunlop
40180
Debica
39770
Nokian
39770
Yokohama
39770
Sava
39360
Fulda
38950
Uniroyal
38540
Kleber
37310
Pirelli
36080
Kumho
35260

Info! Estimated mileage, km.

Сost of 1000 km

Sava
7.62
Debica
7.67
Nexen
7.88
Apollo
8.31
Kleber
9.25
Hankook
9.33
Fulda
9.50
BFGoodrich
9.66
Semperit
9.66
Yokohama
9.93
Michelin
10.15
Uniroyal
10.25
Kumho
10.35
Goodyear
10.71
Vredestein
10.87
Continental
10.89
Bridgestone
11.25
Dunlop
11.57
Pirelli
11.64
Nokian
11.69

Info! Euro per 1000 km.


Rankings

As was expected, the winners pedestal is dominated by premium brands. However, this does not mean that the test did not bring us any surprises. India’s Apollo Vredestein, for example, got in 2019 not one but two things to take pride in — two of its products got an «exemplary» ranking. But… First things first.

225/45 R17 Winter Tire Test Summary. Auto Bild, 2019. Places 1 to 10
225/45 R17 Winter Tire Test Summary. Auto Bild, 2019. Places 1 to 10. Click to enlarge.

 

225/45 R17 Winter Tire Test Summary. Auto Bild, 2019. Places 11 to 20
225/45 R17 Winter Tire Test Summary. Auto Bild, 2019. Places 11 to 20. Click to enlarge.

Verdicts

This is just «exemplary»

So, the winner of the Auto Bild test 2019 is Continental WinterContact TS860, which won the second prize in last year’s test. «The best driving performance in any weather conditions» brought this tire a well-deserved victory. The experts particularly noted the crisp steering response, great lateral stability, fuel efficiency, high expected mileage, and low rolling resistance.

Continental WinterContact TS860
Source: AutoBild Continental WinterContact TS860

In last year’s test, Continental WinterContact TS860 got from us the title of «the best European tire 2018». In 2019, this model stands every chance of keeping this title.

The second place was scored by Goodyear with its «new» winter tires UltraGrip Performance+, noted for «exemplary performance on wet and snowy roads». The pilots said that they delivered crisp steering response, dynamic handling, and efficient braking on wet and snowy surfaces. In addition, these tires are characterized by high resistance to wear.

UltraGrip Performance+
Source: AutoBild UltraGrip Performance+

For the most expensive model on test, Michelin Alpin 6, this test was only the second in its entire career. The Auto Bild test brought the French tire maker the third place, the title of «Eco Master» and the status of «exemplary winter tires with a great grip on snow and wet pavement». Along with good hydroplaning resistance and high steering precision, these tires also ensure comfortable ride and have the longest expected mileage of all the tested models.

Michelin Alpin 6
Source: AutoBild Michelin Alpin 6

Although the model Apollo Aspire XP Winter didn’t make it to the winners’ pedestal, it was still able to get positive feedback from the testers, coupled with the title of «Eco Master». In addition to the attractive price/quality ratio, this model is characterized by «balanced performance potential» and good hydroplaning resistance. The fourth line in the final standings.

Apollo Aspire XP Winter
Source: AutoBild Apollo Aspire XP Winter

The fifth position was occupied by Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 that was among the leaders during the elimination round. The testers noted its great handling properties and precise steering response on wet and dry pavement. The only critical comment was addressed to the tire’s lateral stability on snow.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005
Source: AutoBild Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

The sixth line of the tournament bracket, and the last «exemplary» verdict was scored by Vredestein Wintrac Pro that demonstrated convincing handling properties on both wet and dry pavement, great steering response on wet surface, and stable traction on snow. However, just like in the case of Bridgestone, its lateral grip on snow was not up to the cut.

Vredestein Wintrac Pro
Source: AutoBild Vredestein Wintrac Pro

The «handsome» eight

The seventh line in the final standings was scored by the relatively inexpensive BFGoodrich g-Force Winter 2 that demonstrated great performance on snow and wet pavement, good hydroplaning resistance, little cabin noise, and long expected mileage. At the same time, the tire’s dry traction was described as average.

BFGoodrich g-Force Winter 2
Source: AutoBild BFGoodrich g-Force Winter 2

The Semperit Speed-Grip 3 model, described by the testers as «a convincing all-rounded talent with great winter properties», came the eighth. Its strong sides were dependable performance on wet pavement, low cabin noise, and low rolling resistance. Among the limitations of this model were relatively weak hydroplaning resistance, and a slightly increased dry braking distance.

Semperit Speed-Grip 3
Source: AutoBild Semperit Speed-Grip 3

The ninth place was scored by Hankook Winter i*Cept RS2 W452, «the king of winter with the best snow performance». «His majesty» also provides great handling response on dry pavement and a decent expected mileage. The price is also far from sky-high. The less successful operational properties are average lateral stability, and insufficient steering response on wet pavement.

Hankook Winter i*Cept RS2 W452
Source: AutoBild Hankook Winter i*Cept RS2 W452

The tenth line of the tournament bracket was occupied by Uniroyal MS Plus 77 with stable handling response in any weather conditions, good lateral stability, and low rolling resistance, coming at an inexpensive price. At the same time, its braking distance in the dry turned out to be much too long.

Uniroyal MS Plus 77
Source: AutoBild Uniroyal MS Plus 77

Nexen Winguard Sport 2 was number 11 in the final standings. At the same time, the test experts’ feedback was generally positive. They described the product of this brand as «well-balanced, with stable handling performance in any weather conditions». They particularly noted the braking distance on snow, low cabin noise, and the attractive price. The model’s limitations showed up in the rolling resistance and dry braking tests.

Nexen Winguard Sport 2
Source: AutoBild Nexen Winguard Sport 2

The twelfth position in the tournament bracket was shared by two models at once — Fulda Kristall Control HP2, and the new model of winter season 2019/2020, Nokian WR Snowproof. The subsidiary brand of Goodyear’s provides «well-balanced performance» coupled with great riding comfort and low rolling resistance. At the same time, the tire’s lateral grip on wet pavement and on snow was described as somewhat average.

Nokian WR Snowproof / Fulda Kristall Control HP2
Source: AutoBild Fulda Kristall Control HP2

The winter model WR Snowproof with its «nordic» tread pattern demonstrated dynamic properties on snow, pleasant riding comfort, and low rolling resistance. Its average ranking was conditioned by its relatively weak grip on wet pavement and average hydroplaning resistance. In the previous test, the AMS model showed a similar result — the last 11th place.

Yokohama BluEarth*Winter V905’s firm grip on snow, short braking distance on wet pavement, stable and safe handling response in the dry, and low rolling resistance were regretfully crossed out by its low hydroplaning resistance and understeer in the wet. As a result, only the fourteenth place in the final standings.

Yokohama BluEarth*Winter V905
Source: AutoBild Yokohama BluEarth*Winter V905

The «satisfactory» tires on test

Four winter tire models that scored places from 15th to 18th earned a «satisfactory» verdict. Kleber Krisalp HP3 turned out to be «very good on snow» with dynamic handling response and a short braking distance. The tire also ensured good hydroplaning resistance. At the same time, this model is prone to understeer, while its braking distance on dry pavement is longer than expected. The expected mileage also leaves much to be desired.

Kleber Krisalp HP3
Source: AutoBild Kleber Krisalp HP3

An interesting fact!

The BFGoodrich g-Force Winter 2 tires, which have a tread pattern that is identical to Kleber Krisalp HP3’s, ultimately scored a line eight positions higher.
The Auto Bild winter tire test 2019 scattered the Goodyear brand family all over the tournament bracket — comments our technical expert. While the Goodyear tires finished with a silver medal, and the Fulda tires scored the 12th position, the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 model was only able to score the 16th place. All this considering the fact that the Auto Bild expert team called it a «snow expert», doing justice to its grip and braking performance.

The tire’s high hydroplaning resistance also did not pass unnoticed, just as its being prone to understeer in wet and dry tests, as well as the braking distance on dry pavement, which was a little longer than it should have been.

Sava Eskimo HP2 was named by the test experts to be the tire that, coming at a reasonable price, ensures dynamic handling and a short braking distance on snowy roads, maintaining the optimum fuel efficiency. Its downsides included average traction in the wet and in the dry coupled with a limited mileage potential.

Sava Eskimo HP2
Source: AutoBild Sava Eskimo HP2

A place at the bottom of the second ten was scored by Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 because of its average performance on snow, low riding comfort, and short expected mileage. These, however, could not outweigh the upsides of the model, such as effective braking on wet pavement and low rolling resistance. The eighteenth place for a «premium brand» tire.

Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
Source: AutoBild Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

Recommended. Conditionally

This might come as a surprise but the tire from the popular brand Debica Frigo HP2, with an extremely dependable performance on snow, high riding comfort and fuel efficiency, were only able to score the nineteenth place in the overall standings. Evidently, it had some serious rivals to compete with. This model’s drawbacks were poor lateral stability and understeer on wet and dry pavement. The loud rolling noise does not add to its attractiveness either.

Debica Frigo HP2
Source: AutoBild Debica Frigo HP2

Strange though it may sound, what devalued the overall rating of Kumho WinterCraft WP71 was the average expected mileage and increased rolling resistance. Its braking distance on wet pavement and on snow was short, and the tire’s overall wet performance was considered to be generally safe by the test experts. In addition, these tires are characterized by low noise emission. Anyway, like it or lump it, the 20th place.

Kumho WinterCraft WP71
Source: AutoBild Kumho WinterCraft WP71

Conclusion

Generally speaking, looking at the overall ranking of the tires, it becomes clear that the premium-class tires have the greatest margin of safety. However, one shouldn’t discard inexpensive tires altogether. For example, the Indian Apollo Aspire XP did put out a very convincing performance. However, buying total low-budget no-name tires online, say the Auto Bild experts, is not a good idea — because it ultimately means saving up at the expense of your safety.

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