225/40R18

Auto Bild Sportcars Tested 18-inch Winter Tires

In the new test conducted by Auto Bild Sportscars, five tires at once were rated as «Exemplary».

List of models tested:

In the days leading up to the new season, the German magazine Auto Bild Sportscars announced the results of its fresh test of winter tires in size 225/40 R18; the test car was a Volkswagen Golf GTI.

The test involved tires from brands well-known in Europe, the only exception probably being the Maxxis Premitra Snow WP6 tire model from the large Taiwanese manufacturer. In the test, the Maxxis model was praised for its good price/quality ratio, but due to poor wet grip — both longitudinal and lateral — it was only able to take ninth place. But then again, some of its rivals had much more serious issues, with three tires at once falling behind the Maxxis, including the rather old model Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3, which demonstrated insufficient handling response on wet and dry pavement, coupled with relatively poor snow grip. A still lower line in the tournament bracket got occupied by the Toyo Observe S944, and in this case we cannot explain the poor scores by the tire’s age because it was presented only a year ago. Toyo could have performed better because it had decent results on snow and on wet pavement — but this model was failed by the obviously poor wet grip. As for the last place, this year it was scored by the Kumho WinterCraft WP71, which demonstrated highly efficient hydroplaning resistance, but poor snow performance.

Test disciplines

 

From outsiders to leaders, the best winter tire in size 225/40 R18 was pronounced to be the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005, which has performed surprisingly well in this season in the European tests, and has already won, for example, the ADAC and ACE comparative tire tests. Auto Bild noted that this Bridgestone model ensures excellent handling response on snow and wet pavement, its only drawback being the relatively low riding comfort.

Silver this time around was shared by the brand new Hankook Winter i*cept evo3 W330 and the long-proven Michelin Pilot Alpin 5. The experts did not have any questions whatsoever to their performance, their only drawbacks being insufficient riding comfort delivered by the Hankook tire, and the expensive price of the Michelin, which still can be considered a great result by any standards.

Auto Bild Tested 18-inch Winter Tires
Source: AutoBild

Then follow two tires that shared one line in the tournament bracket — Goodyear UltraGrip Performance + and Vredestein Wintrac Pro — which, just as the leaders, got rated as «Exemplary». Both tires demonstrated excellent results in different conditions, Goodyear being commended for its well-balanced performance, and Vredestein for its results on snow. At the same time, however, the tires from the American brand have a relatively long dry braking distance, while the Wintrac Pro demonstrated increased rolling resistance that influences the fuel consumption by the vehicle.

The middle of the tournament bracket got occupied by the Falken Eurowinter HS01 from the Japanese company Sumitomo, the Continental WinterContact TS850 P (first presented six years ago), and BFGoodrich G-Force Winter2 (a Michelin subsidiary). These tires vary significantly in their characteristics. Falken lost a fair number of points due to insufficient handling response on dry pavement, Continental — due to its weak hydroplaning resistance, and BFGoodrich had issues both in the wet and in the dry.

Since this time five tire models at once were rated as «Exemplary», the Auto Bild experts, summing up the results, noted that «winter tires become better and better, particularly in terms of wet and dry traction». «All the tires that got our recommendations deliver impressive performance. They are really capable of ensuring the necessary level of safety and bring you driving pleasure even in the harsh winter conditions» — the publication commented.

The prize winners

1st place: Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Quick Take
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Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Price/Quality Wet Performance Dry Performance Comfort Handling Snow/Ice Performance Treadwear
  • This tire replaced Bridgestone / Blizzak LM001 Evo
  • Available Sizes in Line: 220
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi e-tron [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Volkswagen T-Cross I (C11) [2018 .. 2023]
    • • Audi A3 8Y [2020 .. 2023]
    • • Mercedes-Benz C-Class Br205 [2015 .. 2021]
    • • Volkswagen Caddy V [2020 .. 2023]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

  • Good handling response on snow and wet pavement
  • Precise steering response and good handling feedback
  • Average riding comfort
  • Exemplary/Winner of the test

2nd place: Hankook Winter i*cept evo3 W330

Quick Take
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Hankook Winter i*cept evo3 W330

Comfort Price/Quality Dry Performance Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, South Korea
Hankook Winter i*cept evo3 W330

  • Great handling response on wet and snow-covered roads
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Precise steering response
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Average riding comfort
  • Exemplary

3rd place: Michelin Pilot Alpin 5

Quick Take
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Michelin Pilot Alpin 5

Comfort Handling Treadwear Price/Quality Dry Performance Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance
  • This tire replaced Michelin / Pilot Alpin PA4
  • Available Sizes in Line: 162
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Mercedes-Benz E-Class AMG
    • • Audi A8 D5 [2018 .. 2021]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2014
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, Japan
Michelin Pilot Alpin 5

  • Excellent grip and very good handling response in any weather conditions
  • Well-balanced performance in any weather conditions.
  • Low rolling resistance
  • High price
  • Exemplary

4th place: Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+

Quick Take
88 57

Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+

Price/Quality Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance Handling Dry Performance Treadwear Comfort
  • This tire replaced Goodyear / UltraGrip Performance Gen-1
  • Available Sizes in Line: 126
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Ford Puma II (J2K) [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Ford Focus Active IV [2018 .. 2023]
    • • Ford Mondeo MK5 (CD391) Facelift [2017 .. 2019]
    • • Ford S-MAX II [2015 .. 2020]
    • • Ford Galaxy III [2015 .. 2023]
    • • BMW iX [2021 .. 2023]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+, China
Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+

  • Well-balanced performance and good handling response in any weather conditions
  • Precise steering response
  • Great riding comfort
  • Fair price
  • Relatively long braking distance on dry pavement
  • Exemplary

5th place: Vredestein Wintrac Pro

Quick Take
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Vredestein Wintrac Pro

Price/Quality Snow/Ice Performance Comfort Treadwear Handling Dry Performance Wet Performance
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+
Vredestein Wintrac Pro
  • Good performance on snow
  • Good handling response and lateral stability on wet and dry pavement
  • Excellent braking efficiency
  • Increased rolling resistance
  • Exemplary

In the middle

6th place: Falken Eurowinter HS01

Quick Take
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Falken Eurowinter HS01

Price/Quality Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance Handling Dry Performance Treadwear Comfort
  • Available Sizes in Line: 306
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+
Falken Eurowinter HS01
  • Great handling response on snow and on wet pavement
  • Low noise emission
  • Prone to understeer on dry pavement
  • Good

7th place: Continental ContiWinterContact TS850
Quick Take
81 42

Continental ContiWinterContact TS 850

Wet Performance Handling Comfort Dry Performance Treadwear Price/Quality Snow/Ice Performance
  • Year Released: 2012
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, South Korea
Continental ContiWinterContact TS 850
  • Great handling response in the wet
  • Good snow performance
  • Short braking distance on snow and wet pavement
  • Poor hydroplaning resistance
  • High price
  • Good

8th place: BFGoodrich g-Force Winter 2
Quick Take
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BFGoodrich g-Force Winter 2

Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance Dry Performance Treadwear Comfort Price/Quality Handling
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
BFGoodrich g-Force Winter 2
  • Very good snow performance
  • Low noise emission
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Prone to understeer on wet and dry pavement
  • Long braking distance on wet pavement
  • Satisfactory

9th place: Maxxis Premitra Snow WP6
Quick Take
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Maxxis Premitra Snow WP6

Handling Snow/Ice Performance Treadwear
  • Available Sizes in Line: 47
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Maxxis Premitra Snow WP6
  • Good snow performance
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Good price/quality ratio
  • Weak lateral grip and a long braking distance on wet pavement
  • Satisfactory

10th place: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
Quick Take
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Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

Wet Performance Dry Performance Snow/Ice Performance Treadwear Handling Comfort Price/Quality
  • This tire has run-flat model:
  • Available Sizes in Line: 144
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi RS6 C7 [2013 .. 2018]
    • • Audi A3 8P [2003 .. 2005]
    • • Audi Q3 8U [2011 .. 2015]
    • • BMW M5 V (F10) [2011 .. 2013]
    • • Jaguar F-Type X152 [2012 .. 2017]
    • • Jaguar XF X250 [2007 .. 2011]
    • • Lamborghini Huracan [2014 .. 2019]
    • • Maserati Quattroporte VI (M156) [2013 .. 2016]
    • • Maserati Ghibli M157 [2013 .. 2020]
    • • McLaren P1 [2013 .. 2016]
    • • Mercedes-Benz S-Class W222 [2013 .. 2020]
    • • Mercedes-Benz S-Class AMG W221 [2006 .. 2013]
    • • Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class AMG R172 [2011 .. 2016]
    • • Mercedes-Benz C-Class Br204 [2008 .. 2015]
    • • Mercedes-Benz C-Class AMG Br204 [2008 .. 2011]
    • • Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class AMG Br117 [2013 .. 2019]
    • • Mercedes-Benz A-Class AMG W176 [2013 .. 2018]
    • • Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class AMG X156 [2013 .. 2019]
    • • Volvo S80 II [2006 .. 2016]
    • • Volvo V70 II [2008 .. 2016]
    • • Volvo V40 Cross Country I [2012 .. 2017]
    • • Audi A4 B9 Facelift [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Audi A5 F5 [2016 .. 2020]
    • • Audi A6 C8 [2018 .. 2023]
    • • Audi A7 4K8 [2018 .. 2023]
    • • Audi A8 D5 [2018 .. 2021]
    • • Audi TT RS FV Facelift [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Volvo V60 I [2010 .. 2018]
    • • Volvo S60 II [2010 .. 2013]
    • • Volkswagen Passat
    • • Jaguar XE X760 [2015 .. 2019]
    • • Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class X156 [2013 .. 2021]
    • • Volkswagen Golf Mk7 (5G) [2012 .. 2017]
    • • BMW 5 Series
    • • MINI Clubman
    • • Mercedes-Benz B-Class
    • • Volkswagen Touran
    • • Ford Focus
    • • Volvo V40 Cross Country
    • • BMW 3 Series
    • • Mercedes-Benz B-Class
    • • Porsche 911
    • • Porsche 928
    • • Porsche 944
    • • Porsche 968
    • • BMW X1
    • • BMW X2
    • • BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
    • • BMW 7 Series
    • • BMW 8 Series
    • • Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
    • • Volkswagen Beetle
    • • Tesla Model 3 [2017 .. 2023]
    • • Audi TT
    • • Lamborghini Aventador [2011 .. 2023]
    • • Bentley Continental GT
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2014
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, East Asia
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
  • Short braking distance on snow and wet pavement
  • Fair price
  • Prone to understeer on wet and dry and wet pavement
  • Relatively weak grip on snow
  • Satisfactory

11th place: Toyo Observe S944
Quick Take
68 43
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Toyo Observe S944
  • Confident behavior on snow
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Good handling in the dry
  • Average traction, prone to understeer, and long braking distance on wet pavement
  • Satisfactory

The outsider

The 12th last place: Kumho WinterCraft WP71

Quick Take
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Kumho WinterCraft WP71

Price/Quality Snow/Ice Performance Dry Performance Treadwear Comfort Handling Wet Performance
  • Available Sizes in Line: 51
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, Southeast Asia
Kumho WinterCraft WP71
  • Excellent hydroplaning resistance
  • Poor lateral stability and delayed steering response on snow
  • Average riding comfort
  • Increased rolling resistance
  • Conditionally recommended

Price