The German magazine Auto Bild Allrad conducted its next test of SUV and crossover tires of various categories; special attention was paid to the Petlas Explero W671 model, which surprised with it price: in Germany, it costs 470 Euros per set, while the Michelin Pilot Alpin 6 is almost three times as expensive — 1125 Euros. Petlas is Turkey’s leading tire maker, founded in 1976, but, as the AB experts noted, during the first decades of its history the company chiefly manufactured tires for military and agricultural vehicles, while the passenger and SUV tires appeared in the company’s range relatively recently.
As the experts noted, the Petlas tires yet again demonstrated potential consequences of trying to save up on your next set of tires: while during the snow test the tire of this Turkish brand was still able to demonstrate a semblance of satisfactory results (even though the front wheels kept sliding sideways in corners, which was rather annoying), its wet performance was described as «catastrophic» — the Explero W671 has a dangerously low hydroplaning resistance, and its lateral grip and braking performance were rated as «inadequate». When braking from 100 km/h, the tire needed 63.3 meters to bring the car to a full stop, and this braking distance was 17 meters longer than that of the best tires in this discipline — Hankook, Bridgestone, Vredestein, and Continental.
The best tire was pronounced to be the Michelin model, which, unfortunately, was also the most expensive one on test. According to the testers, the Pilot Alpin 6 demonstrated an excellent performance in all of the disciplines without a single weakness, proving that a high level of traction can be easily combined with a smooth and noiseless ride. Next-placed was the Continental WinterContact TS 870 P, which also was rated as «Exemplary», and the AB experts noted that, although the Michelin model had higher snow traction, the Continental model had a shorter wet braking distance.
High scores for good price/quality ratio were received by the Firestone Winterhawk 4 from the Japanese tire giant Bridgestone. On the German market, a set of Firestone tires is priced 400 Euros less than Michelin, yet at the same time the Winterhawk 4 model received a «Good» verdict in the final standings. Yet another model with a high value-for-money ratio was pronounced to be the Vredestein Wintrac Pro from India’s Apollo Tyres — according to the experts, it could have scored an even higher position, had it not been for the increased rolling resistance.
1 Exemplary: Michelin / Pilot Alpin 5
An exemplary premium tire with excellent snow performance that ensures great handling performance in any weather conditions. Its only limitation is the high price.
2 Exemplary: Continental / WinterContact TS 870 P
A tire with well-balanced performance that ensures a great handling feel in any weather conditions and has low noise emission and low rolling resistance.
3 Good: Vredestein / Wintrac Pro
A tire that ensures well-balanced performance, is great on wet and snow-covered roads, and has a good price/quality ratio. Its only problem is a relatively high rolling resistance.
4 Good: Bridgestone / Blizzak LM005
The Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 combines very good wet and snow performance with low rolling resistance, but on dry pavement its braking performance could be better.
A tire with well-balanced performance that ensures great handling response in any weather conditions, effectively combats hydroplaning, and comes at an attractive price. At the same time, this Hankook model has a relatively long dry braking distance and has an increased noise emission.
6 Good: Firestone / Winterhawk 4
The Firestone Winterhawk 4 has well-balanced performance and high hydroplaning resistance, but its rolling resistance is high.
7 Satisfactory: Toyo / Observe S944
The Toyo Observe S944 ensures high longitudinal snow traction and has a very high hydroplaning resistance, but is prone to understeer on all types of surfaces and has a somewhat delayed steering response.
8 Satisfactory: Falken / Eurowinter HS01
This Falken model is prone to understeer in all weather conditions, and is characterized by increased noise emission and rolling resistance. It also has strong sides, such as good hydroplaning resistance ad short snow and wet braking distances.
9 Conditionally recommended: Nokian / WR Snowproof P
This Nokian tire has a short dry braking distance and is a good fuel saver, but it has poor hydroplaning resistance, and is prone to understeer on wet pavement.
10 Not recommended: Petlas / Explero W671
This Petlas model is strongly prone to understeer on wet and dry pavement, and it also has a poor hydroplaning resistance. In addition, its long wet braking distance considerably jeopardizes driving safety.