205/65R17

Auto Bild Allrad 2021: All-Season Tire Test R17

New tire models from the Michelin and Pirelli debuted in yet another independent test.

List of models tested:

In the first test of the season, the Auto Bild experts conducted snow, wet, and dry tests of all-season tires, a category that is enjoying a growing popularity on the European market. «Future belongs to all-season tires — states the magazine — No other segment is growing so rapidly, and nowhere has there been such a technological breakthrough in such a short period of time.»

Test discipline: wet braking.
Test discipline: wet braking. © autobild.de

The ETRMA data confirms the AB statement: last year, when the pandemic cut down the demand for all tire categories in Europe, growth was recorded only in the all-season passenger car tire market. «Replacing your tires twice a year requires time and money, but in the recent past there was usually no alternative for that — the AB experts note — All-season tires were indeed present on the market but our tests consistently showed that they were not worthy of our recommendation, and could only ensure an acceptable level of driving safety when fitted on small-sized city cars. For highway speeds or mountainous regions, these tires were just not good enough, but everything changed when six years ago Michelin presented its first CrossClimate model. Until then, the market of all-season tires was relatively small, but the French tire maker could develop a fundamentally new tread design, almost completely abandoning the traditional sipes. However, even without sipes, the new model could somehow ensure acceptable snow traction — when CrossClimate debuted in our tests, it immediately scored the second place, being second only to the reputed Goodyear Vector 4Seasons model. The new Michelin tires could really surprise the pilots and experts; what’s more, on wet and dry pavement the new tread design also allowed the CrossClimate model to surpass most of its rivals. The tire also boasted an exemplary tread life, even though its performance on ice was only rated as satisfactory. Since that time, the all-season tires became a safe and convenient alternative to seasonal tires, and the competition followed Michelin’s lead and changed the tread patterns and compounds, releasing, like Continental, models with remarkably similar designs.»

Test discipline: dry handling.
Test discipline: dry handling. © autobild.de

The poll that GfK conducted last year showed that tires of the CrossClimate family became the most popular ones in their segment in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Michelin shared that since the time the first CrossClimate premiered in 2015, it sold 23 million tires of this line. September 2, the company conducted the European premier of the new CrossClimate 2 model, and the results that it showed in the AB test demonstrate that other tire makers are also heavily investing in this segment: even though the tires of the French brand do demonstrate excellent snow and dry performance, on wet pavement they were slightly prone to understeer, which made them lose to the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 X, and which is quite an achievement for the Korean brand that frequently comes close to the world leaders in independent tests, stopping just a couple of steps short of the absolute victory.

Test discipline: snow handling.
Test discipline: snow handling. © autobild.de

The third and fourth places were scored by the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 SUV and Continental AllSeasonContact respectively — these tires showed a very good overall performance, but fell short of their rivals in terms of dry braking. Then followed the Bridgestone Weather Control A005 Evo (good on wet pavement and snow), and the Vredestein Quatrac Pro, which demonstrated a relatively weak snow grip. The Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF 2, which also debuted in this test, had to settle for the sixth line in the tournament bracket due to a long wet braking distance, and in this discipline several points were lost by the Maxxis Premitra All Season AP3 SUV, which also demonstrated increased rolling resistance. The ninth place was scored by the Cooper Discoverer All Season, prone to understeer on snow and wet pavement, and the last line was expectedly occupied by the cheap Imperial All Season Driver (a private brand of the Belgian trade company Deldo, which calls its creation «a brand for emperors») — being downright dangerous in the rain, this tire scored a «Not Recommended» verdict.

1st place: Hankook / Kinergy 4S2 X H750A

Quick Take
N/A 26

Hankook Kinergy 4S2 X H750A

  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Hankook Kinergy 4S2 X H750A

  • Positive: Test winner with convincing handling in all weather conditions, stable, safe handling on wet and dry roads, precise steering, high aquaplaning safety, low rolling noise, low price level.
  • Verdict: exemplary.

2nd place: Michelin / CrossClimate 2

Quick Take
86 50

Michelin CrossClimate 2

Wet Performance Dry Performance Snow/Ice Performance Comfort Handling Treadwear
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe
Michelin CrossClimate 2

  • Positive: New all-season tire with exemplary handling on snow and dry roads, short braking distances on dry surfaces, economical rolling resistance.
  • Negative: Slight understeer on wet roads.
  • Verdict: good.

3rd place: Goodyear / Vector 4Seasons SUV Gen-3

Quick Take
N/A 35

Goodyear Vector 4Seasons SUV Gen-3

  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Goodyear Vector 4Seasons SUV Gen-3

  • Positive: An all-round talent with balanced performance potential, stable handling on wet and dry roads, high aquaplaning safety, short wet braking distances, good comfort.
  • Negative: Slightly increased braking distance on dry road.
  • Verdict: good.

4th place: Continental / AllSeasonContact

Quick Take
89 63

Continental AllSeasonContact

Price/Quality Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance Handling Dry Performance Treadwear Comfort
  • Available Sizes in Line: 134
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2017
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+
Continental AllSeasonContact

  • Positive: High performance on snow and wet roads, high steering precision, dynamic handling on snow and wet roads, short braking distances on wet roads, low rolling resistance.
  • Negative: Increased braking distances on dry roads.
  • Verdict: satisfactory.

5th place: Bridgestone / Weather Control A005 Evo

Quick Take
82 56

Bridgestone Weather Control A005 Evo

Wet Performance Dry Performance Handling Comfort Snow/Ice Performance Treadwear
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe
Bridgestone Weather Control A005 Evo

  • Positive: High traction and short braking distances on snow. Precise steering response and good wet handling. High resistance to straight aquaplaning.
  • Negative: Increased braking distances on dry roads.
  • Verdict: satisfactory.

6th place: Vredestein / Quatrac Pro

Quick Take
80 46
Price/Quality Comfort Wet Performance Dry Performance Handling Snow/Ice Performance Treadwear
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe
Vredestein Quatrac Pro

  • Positive: Convincing handling on wet and dry roads, precise steering, short braking distances on wet roads, affordable price.
  • Negative: Poor handling on snow, limited aquaplaning performance.
  • Verdict: satisfactory.

7th place: Pirelli / Cinturato All Season SF 2

Quick Take
N/A 37

Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF 2

  • This tire replaced ⛔ Pirelli / Cinturato All Season SF
  • Available Sizes in Line: 30
  • Year Released: 2021
  • Regions for sale: Canada, Europe
Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF 2

  • Positive: High traction and short braking distances on snow, low noise level, economical rolling resistance.
  • Negative: Poor wet and dry handling, slightly longer braking distances on wet roads.
  • Verdict: satisfactory.

8th place: Maxxis / Premitra All Season AP3 SUV

Quick Take
N/A 29
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Maxxis Premitra All Season AP3 SUV

  • Positive: Good performance on snow, stable handling on dry roads, high resistance to straight aquaplaning, low price.
  • Negative: Slightly longer braking distances on wet roads, increased rolling resistance.
  • Verdict: satisfactory.

9th place: Cooper / Discoverer All Season

Quick Take
69 31
  • Available Sizes in Line: 41
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Cooper Discoverer All Season

  • Positive: Short braking distances on snow, very good aquaplaning characteristics, low price.
  • Negative: Poor handling on snow and wet roads, moderate comfort, increased rolling resistance.
  • Verdict: satisfactory.

10th place: Imperial / All Season Driver

Quick Take
N/A 31

Imperial All Season Driver

  • Available Sizes in Line: 120
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Imperial All Season Driver

  • Positive: Short braking distances on snow, low price.
  • Negative: Limited wet grip, poor steering response, dangerously extended braking distances on wet roads.
  • Verdict: not recommended.

Price