Many tire makers claim that all-season models are safe to drive in any weather conditions. Is it really the case, though? The answer to this question has been given by the experts of the German industry publication Auto Bild, who compared the performance of more than 30 sets of all-season tires on dry, wet, and snow-covered surfaces.
In the Auto Bild test of 205/55 R16 all-season tires, not all of the contestants could live up to their name and demonstrate comprehensively safe performance in any weather, in spite of the fact that each of them proudly bears a 3PMSF sign.
All Auto Bild tests consist of two stages. The first stage is the so-called «qualification» or «elimination» round, which helps separate «the grain from the chaff»: contestants with the least efficient braking performance are screened out.
This particular test «left overboard» 18 out of 32 tire models, whose total braking distance on wet and dry pavement combined exceeded 95 meters. Some of the particularly «outstanding» models exceeded the total mark of 100 meters, and the publication’s test group called on to motorists to avoid using these tires if they care about their safety and the safety of other travellers.
|Place||Brand and Model||Dry Braking||Wet Braking||Total|
|27||Giti AllSeason AS1||56.7||43.7||100.4|
|28||Apollo Alnac 4G All Season||56.0||44.8||100.8|
|29||Rotalla Setula 4 Season RA03||59.4||42.9||102.3|
|30||Nankang Cross Seasons AW-6||58.1||44.4||102.5|
|31||Momo M-4 Four Season||59.3||44.4||103.7|
|32||Atlas Green 4S||63.0||42.8||105.8|
We will emphasize here that for demonstration purposes the test also involved specialized summer and winter tires (both sets performed out of competition).
|Place||Brand and Model||Dry Braking||Wet Braking||Total|
|15||Achilles Four Seasons||50.8||44.2||95.0|
|16||Uniroyal AllSeasonExpert 2||47.9||47.7||95.6|
|17||General Tire Altimax A/S||50.6||45.1||95.7|
|18||Barum Quartaris 5||50.0||46.0||96.0|
|19||CST Medallion All Season ACP1||51.9||44.3||96.2|
|20||Sailun Atrezzo 4 Seasons||52.7||43.5||96.2|
|21||Viking Four Tech||51.0||45.3||96.3|
|23||Yokohama BlueEarth-4S AW21||52.9||44.0||96.9|
|25||Berlin Tires All Season 1||55.4||43.0||98.4|
The tire models that reached the final (listed in alphabetical order):
|Place||Brand and Model||Dry Braking||Wet Braking||Total|
|1||Bridgestone Weather Control A005 Evo||45.0||40.9||85.9|
|3||Hankook Kinergy 4S 2||47.2||41.1||88.3|
|4||Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3||47.0||41.6||88.6|
|5||Michelin CrossClimate +||49.7||39.7||89.4|
|6||Firestone Multiseason Gen 02||49.3||41.2||90.5|
|7||Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF||51.1||39.8||90.9|
|8||Continental AllSeason Contact||48.6||43.0||91.6|
|9||Nexen N’blue 4Season||50.3||41.9||92.2|
|10||Kumho Solus 4S HA32||49.3||44.3||93.6|
|11||Falken EuroAll Season AS 210||51.3||42.7||94.0|
|12||BFGoodrich G-Grip AllSeason 2||51.0||43.1||94.1|
|13||Maxxis Premitra AllSeason AP3||53.4||40.9||94.3|
|14||Kleber Quadraxer 2||51.2||43.2||94.4|
- BFGoodrich G-Grip All Season 2
- Bridgestone Weather Control A005 Evo
- Continental AllSeasonContact
- Falken EuroAll Season AS210
- Firestone Multiseason Gen 02 — a test debut
- Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 — a new model 2020
- Hankook Kinergy 4S2 H750
- Kleber Quadraxer 2
- Kumho Solus 4S HA32
- Maxxis Premitra All Season AP3
- Michelin CrossClimate+
- Nexen N’Blue 4Season
- Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF
- Vredestein Quatrac — a new model 2020
By the way, sadly, this specific Auto Bild test of 205/55 R16 all-season tires did not involve the Cooper Discoverer Allseason, presented last year, and the new model 2020 Nokian Seasonproof. However, the test experts promised to give these tires a thorough inspection the first chance they get, yet still some other time.
AutoBild Test Results 2020
The snow tests were conducted at the Ivalo test facility in Finland, in rather harsh weather conditions on specially prepared tracks.
Some really serious snow traction (even higher than that of dedicated winter tires) was demonstrated by the all-season models Kleber Quadraxer 2, Continental AllSeason Contact, and Firestone Multiseason Gen 02.
The Kleber Quadraxer 2 surpassed not only all of its rivals, but also the winter tires in the handling test, in which this winning model was closely followed by the BFGoodrich G-Grip All Season 2. Strange as it may seem, this model topped the final protocol in slalom and in the snow braking test. We will remind you that both Kleber and BF Goodrich are in fact Michelin subsidiaries.
At the same time, the Michelin CrossClimate+, the model produced under the flagship brand, only showed average results on snow.
Dry braking is a veritable stumbling block for all-season tire models because, compared to specialized summer tires, they do not have that much of a safety margin during emergency braking: the difference between the stopping distance demonstrated by the specialized summer tires and the Kumho Solus 4S HA32, the worst all-season tire in this discipline, was more than five meters. However, the Michelin CrossClimate+ and Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF did everything they could to catch up with the performance of the summer tires.
The best cornering grip on dry pavement was recorded from the Bridgestone Weather Control A005 Evo and Vredestein Quatrac models.
A heavy rain or intense snow melting may cause the risk of hydroplaning. The two all-season tires that demonstrated the best hydroplaning resistance on test were the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 H750 and Vredestein Quatrac.
They were also among the leaders in the handling, lateral stability, and braking tests, occasionally rivaled by the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 and the Continental AllSeason Contact.
In addition to the already-mentioned benefits of all-season tires, one can also name low fuel consumption. In this discipline, the highest points were scored by the Bridgestone Weather Control A005 Evo, the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3, and the Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF.
Yet another important economy factor is resistance to wear, which ultimately defines tread life. The models that can boast impressive longevity are the Michelin CrossClimate+, the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3, and the Vredestein Quatrac. Their expected mileage (based on the 12,000 km run during the test) exceeds the mark of 70,000 km.
The ranking of all-season tires 2020, and the verdicts of the Auto Bild expert team
The «Exemplary» verdict
1st place: Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3
This new model 2020 from Goodyear established itself as the most balanced tire in all weather conditions with dynamic handling on snow, as well as dry and wet pavement. It is characterized by high resistance to wear and low rolling resistance, which brought it the title of «Eco Master». No prominent issues found.
2nd place: Vredestein Quatrac
A brand-new all-season tire model 2020. This model is characterized by exemplary performance in all areas, stable snow traction, strong resistance to hydroplaning, as well as dynamic handling response, efficient wet and dry braking, and a very long expected mileage.
3rd place: Continental AllSeason Contact
A very convincing tire model that ensures great snow performance and offers a good price/quality ratio. In addition, it is characterized by strong hydroplaning resistance, crisp steering response, long tread life, and low rolling resistance.
4th place: Michelin CrossClimate+
A premium-class all-season tire that is characterized by well-balanced performance in any weather conditions, dynamic handling response, accurate steering feedback, long tread life, and low rolling resistance.
The Michelin marketing department, however, studiously avoids calling the Cross Climate+ an all-season tire, preferring to use the noncommittal term «summer+». And, indeed, one can plainly see a certain bias in favor of dry pavement achieved at the cost of compromising the tire’s snow performance. The main issue with this tire is its stiff price, though (the most expensive tire in the final round).
5th place: Falken EuroAll Season AS210
Unlike the previous model, this Falken tire is characterized by an exemplary balance of performance, as well as predictable and stable handling response in any weather conditions. In addition, it boasts strong hydroplaning resistance, long tread life, and an affordable price.
The «Good» verdict
6th place: Firestone Multiseason Gen 02
This all-season tire model is characterized by good traction and short stopping distance on snow, good handling response on wet pavement, short stopping distance in the dry, long expected mileage, and a great price/quality ratio. Speaking of issues, it is worth mentioning its average hydroplaning resistance. Not a bad debut in the independent tire tests.
7th place: Hankook Kinergy 4S2 H750
A tire with very strong traction on wet pavement and snow, efficient wet and dry braking performance, and a very strong hydroplaning resistance. Issues: average tread life, average ride comfort.
8th place: Kleber Quadraxer 2
This all-season tire model is a «winter professional» with the best snow traction, short stopping distance on dry pavement, low noise emission, long tread life, fuel-saving performance, and affordable price. Its main limitation is poor lateral hydroplaning resistance.
9th place: BFGoodrich G-Grip All Season 2
Another «snow professional» of this test with excellent lateral stability and strong traction on snow and ice, short braking distance on dry pavement, good ride comfort, and low rolling resistance. Speaking of issues, one can name insufficient handling response and inconsistent behavior on dry pavement.
We cannot help but note here that Kleber Quadraxer 2 and BFGoodrich G-Grip All Season 2 are essentially «clone» tires. Featuring identical tread patterns, they demonstrate virtually identical snow performance, while on wet and dry pavement, curiously, their results begin to differ, notes the technical expert of Shina Guide. Plus, the difference in price: for a BF Goodrich tire set, whose performance is slightly worse than that of its «identical twin» Kleber, you will have to pay some 60 extra Euro.
10th place: Bridgestone Weather Control A005 Evo
A tire with a sporty feel and dynamic handling response on wet and dry pavement, efficient dry braking, crisp steering response, and relatively low rolling resistance. Issues: average traction and weak lateral grip on snow, average tread life.
11th place: Nexen N’Blue 4Season
A well-balanced all-season tire that ensures efficient dry braking, good hydroplaning resistance, low noise emission, and high resistance to wear. Issues: weak lateral stability on wet pavement, increased rolling resistance.
The «Satisfactory» verdict
12th place: Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF
This all-season tire model is characterized by excellent hydroplaning resistance, short stopping distance on dry pavement, long expected mileage, and low fuel-saving rolling resistance. Speaking of issues, one can name the increased braking distance and understeer on snow and ice.
13th place: Kumho Solus 4S HA32
Good traction and efficient braking on snow, dynamic handling response on both wet and dry pavements. The «Satisfactory» verdict is due to short tread life, high rolling resistance, and a price that is clearly too high for such performance.
14th place: Maxxis Premitra All Season AP3
This tire’s good hydroplaning resistance, dynamic handling response, and quick dry braking were overshadowed by the clearly average tread life, understeer, and long stopping distance on wet pavement. The last place.
The all-season tires are growing ever more popular. Their benefits are obvious: there is no annoying need to swap your seasonal tires twice a year; you can save some money on the second set of tires and the storage expenses that it entails.
Based on the results of their 205/55 R16 all-season tire test, the AutoBild experts do say that with some of the all-season models you can indeed be as safe as with dedicated summer or winter tires. However, this statement applies chiefly to premium-brand tires. Oh, and, by the way, the results of the large AutoBild 205/55 R16 all-season tire test yet again confirm that safety comes at a price.
We must specifically remind you that this AutoBild test did not cover the tires’ behavior on ice — mostly because these models are used in regions with a softer climate. On the other hand, the German motoring association ADAC, who also performed an all-season tire test in 2020, thoroughly examined the question of the all-season tires’ behavior on ice, and their conclusion on the subject is fundamentally different.
In 2020, all-season tire tests have been few and far between. While in 2019 the European industry publications conducted five such comparative tests, this year the test that we just covered is only the second one after the ADAC 235/55R16 all-season tire test.