Auto Bild 2019: Large winter tire test - 225/45 R17 (qualification round)

September 30, 2019
Auto Bild 2019: Large winter tire test - 225/45 R17 (qualification round)

Well, now! The season of comparative tests of winter tires 2019 has officially started. Germany’s magazine Auto Bild has published the results of the qualification round of its traditional large test of winter tires. The test involved 53 models in size 225/45 R17 — one of Germany’s most sold tire sizes for compact cars.

All of the tires to be tested were bought anonymously in various retail points. Including the new model of the winter season 2019/2020, Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+, Bridgestone Blizzak LM005, Nokian WR Snowproof, and, last but not least, last year’s Michelin Alpin 6 that also debuted in the test.

After the first wet braking test from 80 km/h, 23 models were excluded from the competition lineup because of their insufficient safety margin.

For example, it took the Laufenn I Fit LW31 tires (39.4 m) a whopping 10 meters more to come to a standstill than it took Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 with their best result (29.2 m) in the discipline.

List of the tires eliminated at the start
Place Brand and 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

Generally speaking, we were amazed to find out that the list of tires, which didn’t even make it to the snow braking test, included such models as Gislaved Euro*Frost 6, General Altimax Winter 3, and Matador MP92 Sibir Snow — all three being Continental subsidiaries. To do the latter model justice, we must mention the fact that it is 7 years old, which is quite a respectable age by the tire industry standards.

The second braking test was conducted on snow at 50 km/h. Interesting is the fact that the shortest braking distance was recorded from the inexpensive tires Kleber Krisalp HP3. Their result was 24.0 meters, while the premium-segment tires Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3, for example, needed 26.4 meters to bring the car to a standstill.

The longest braking distance on snow was recorded from Imperial Snowdragon 3, and it comes as no surprise that they fell way behind most of their rivals.

Tires whose extra meters stopped them from reaching the finals
Place Brand and 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

Adding up all of the braking distances on wet pavement and on snow, the test experts defined 20 winter models worthy of being shortlisted for the final 2019. The final involves thorough tests in 14 more disciplines, such as snow, dry, and wet handling, hydroplaning resistance, etc.

Models from the third ten were luckier than the tires that were eliminated only by the criterion of the long braking distance on wet pavement. The tires that scored places from 21 to 30 could demonstrate their snow braking performance to the test experts. However, their results were not as impressive as those of the top twenty tires of the competition.

Interestingly, one of the main odds-on favorites for making it in the final was the budget model Barum Polaris 5. It fell only 0.6 meters short of Debica Frigo HP2 that scored the preliminary 19th place.

Tires that will claim the victory in the final
Place Brand and Model Braking, m
1 Bridgestone Blizzak LM 005 (91 Н) Wet Surface: 29,2
Snow Surface: 24,6
Total: 53,8
2 Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+ (91 H) Wet Surface: 30,6
Snow Surface: 24,3
Total: 54.9
3 Michelin Alpin 6 (91 H) Wet Surface: 30,4
Snow Surface: 24,7
Total: 55.1
4 Semperit Speed-Grip 3 (91 H) Wet Surface: 31,6
Snow Surface: 24,3
Total: 55,9
5 Continental WinterContact TS860 (91 H) Wet Surface: 31,5
Snow Surface: 24,5
Total: 56.0
6 Vredestein Wintrac Pro (94 H) Wet Surface: 30,8
Snow Surface: 25,2
Total: 56,0
7 BFGoodrich g-Force Winter 2 (94 H) Wet Surface: 32,0
Snow Surface: 24,2
Total: 56,2
8 Kleber Krisalp HP3 (94 H) Wet Surface: 32,2
Snow Surface: 24,0
Total: 56,2
9 Apollo Aspire XP Winter (94 V) Wet Surface: 31,2
Snow Surface: 25,1
Total: 56,3
10 Kumho WinterCraft WP71 (91 H) Wet Surface: 31,5
Snow Surface: 24,8
Total: 56,3
11 Nokian WR Snowproof (91 H) Wet Surface: 32,2
Snow Surface: 24,6
Total: 56,8
12 Hankook Winter i*cept RS 2  (91 H) Wet Surface: 32,0
Snow Surface: 24,9
Total: 56,9
13 Dunlop Winter Sport 5 (91 H) Wet Surface: 32,9
Snow Surface: 24,3
Total: 57,2
14 Uniroyal MS Plus 77 (91 H) Wet Surface: 32,8
Snow Surface: 24,6
Total: 57,4
15 Nexen Winguard Sport 2 (91 H) Wet Surface: 33,0
Snow Surface: 24,7
Total: 57,7
16 Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 (91 H) Wet Surface: 31,3
Snow Surface: 26,4
Total: 57,7
17 Sava Eskimo HP2 (91 H) Wet Surface: 33,6
Snow Surface: 24,1
Total: 57,7
18 Fulda Kristall Control HP2 (91 H) Wet Surface: 33,5
Snow Surface: 24,3
Total: 57,8
19 Debica Frigo HP2 (91 H) Wet Surface: 34,2
Snow Surface: 24,1
Total: 58,3
20 Yokohama BluEarth-Winter V905 (91 H) Wet Surface: 32,5
Snow Surface: 26,0
Total: 58,5

In addition, the top twenty tires of the qualification round of the Auto Bild test will also be tested for resistance to wear.

Driving on summer tires in winter? No!

The importance of switching from summer to winter tires in the cold season is best illustrated by the braking distance provided by the summer tires that were also tested during the braking tests. It was among the five models that delivered the worst braking performance on wet pavement.

On snow, things were still worse. To come to a full stop, the test car BMW 1 on summer tires needed 81.1 meters, which is about 57 meters longer (three times as much!) than the result shown by the worst winter tires, and 64 meters longer than was shown by the tires with the best results (Bridgestone Blizzak LM005).

Broken car

The global warming does not at all cancel the cold time of the year and sudden snowfalls. Driving on summer tires in the wintertime is dangerous! Do not save on your own safety and the safety of your loved ones.

The final part of the Auto Bild winter tire test will be published in the end of September.

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