245/45R19

Auto Motor und Sport 2022: Winter Tire Test R19

The German magazine conducted its next test of European tires, whose characteristics, as the experts noted, are gradually drifting away from the Nordic tires.

List of models tested:

Although all-season tires are becoming increasingly popular in Europe, the winter tires are still in demand, particularly among those who want a maximum driving safety in the wintertime, and the traditional test of winter tires was conducted by the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

The tires were tested using two Audi A6/A7 Quattro
The tires were tested using two Audi A6/A7 Quattro

What makes this year’s test different is that this time AMS changed the weight of the scores on different types of surfaces, and this had to do with the fact that, according to the experts, the winters in Germany are becoming increasingly warmer, and the roads are cleared increasingly better, i.e. you can rarely see snow on the road, and the manufacturers of European-type tires responded to the climate change, adapting their product to the realities of the German market. This means that, while back in the day the winter tires were predominantly designed for driving on snow at low speeds, now such factors come into play as hydroplaning and slush-planing resistance, reliable wet traction on cold surfaces, as well as handling performance during emergency maneuvers, including at high speeds. At the same time, less relevant are becoming such traditionally important characteristics as snow and ice traction, and, thus, the European-type tires are becoming increasingly different from their Nordic or «Scandinavian» counterparts in terms of tread patterns and even rubber compound formulas.

Snow Braking

Firestone
24,9
Vredestein
25,4
Continental
25,7
Michelin
25,7
Bridgestone
26,0
Uniroyal
26,4
Cooper
27,0
Falken
30,0

Info! Braking in the range of 50–0 km/h, m.

Snow Handling

Continental
52,9
Michelin
52,5
Firestone
52,4
Bridgestone
51,5
Cooper
51,1
Uniroyal
51,0
Vredestein
50,8
Falken
48,2

Info! Average speed, km/h.


In order to respond to the new trends, AMS reduced the weight of snow scores from 30 down to 20%, and raised the weight of the wet scores from 30 up to 35%. In addition, the weight of the scores was raised in the Environment section — from 10 up to 15%, which, as the experts noted, has to do with the fact that rolling resistance is particularly important today.

The test involved tires from eight brands — Bridgestone Blizzak LM005, Continental WinterContact TS 870 P, Cooper Discoverer Winter, Falken Eurowinter HS01, Firestone Winterhawk 4, Michelin Pilot Alpin 5, Uniroyal WinterExpert and Vredestein Wintrac Pro, which were fitted on an Audi A6 and A7 quattro.

As expected, not a single tire was able to perform equally well in all the disciplines, and even the leaders had minor gripes, and as a result none of the

Wet Braking

Vredestein
31,8
Bridgestone
33,1
Falken
34,0
Michelin
34,6
Firestone
34,7
Continental
35,4
Cooper
38,5
Uniroyal
39,5

Info! Braking in the range of 80–0 km/h, m.

Wet Handling

Vredestein
75,2
Falken
74,5
Bridgestone
73,9
Continental
73,8
Michelin
73,1
Firestone
72,6
Cooper
72,1
Uniroyal
69,5

Info! Average speed, km/h.


participants could get an Excellent rating. The Continental, which performed particularly well on a dry surface, and also received the highest rating for handling performance on snow, and Michelin, which demonstrated impressive snow grip, came closest to this. At the same time, Michelin, like Continental, had a relatively long wet braking distance.

Third-placed was the Vredestein model, which turned out to be the best on wet pavement. At the same time, this tire took quite a while to stop the car on a dry track, and the testers noted that the cornering stability (particularly at speed) could have been better. But then again, no prominent issues were found, and thanks to a relatively inexpensive price, the Vredestein model was pronounced to have the best price/quality ratio.

Dry Braking

Michelin
43,5
Continental
44,2
Falken
45,1
Cooper
45,2
Bridgestone
46.6
Vredestein
47,3
Firestone
48,5
Uniroyal
49,0

Info! Braking in the range of 100–0 km/h, m.

Dry Handling

Continental
120,5
Falken
119,8
Michelin
119,6
Bridgestone
119,4
Firestone
119,2
Uniroyal
119,2
Vredestein
118,7
Cooper
118,6

Info! Average speed, km/h.


With a slight gap, the Vredestein model was followed by Bridgestone that was rated as «very good» thanks to great snow and wet performance (the combined score was mainly spoiled by a long dry braking distance), then came the Firestone tire produced by the same company. On snow, the Firestone model demonstrated excellent lateral grip and traction, but its dry performance was not half as impressive.

Result summary. Auto Motor und Sport Winter Tire Test — 245/45R19 Places 1–8. (click to enlarge)
Result summary. Auto Motor und Sport Winter Tire Test — 245/45R19 Places 1–8. (click to enlarge)

Cooper, Uniroyal and Falken ended up at the bottom of the rating, and if the first two tires were let down primarily by a long braking distance on wet pavement, the Falken model, as it turned out, is not well prepared for snow, as evidenced by its poor braking performance. According to the AMS rules, if a tire receives a score less than 6 in one of the disciplines that are important for safety, this leads to a deterioration in the combined score by 1 point, and because of their insufficiently good braking performance, all the three tires were rated not even as «Satisfactory» but as «Average». According to the experts, the tires from the bottom of the tournament bracket will probably be OK for less powerful cars, but if you are driving an Audi Q6 or one of its «classmates», the wise choice would be to opt for the tires rated as «Good» at least, which are not really more expensive at that.

1st place: Continental / WinterContact TS 870 P

Quick Take
89 44

Continental WinterContact TS 870 P

Comfort Handling Dry Performance Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance
  • Year Released: 2021
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Continental WinterContact TS 870 P

  • Very good handling performance on snow (in spite of the less-than-perfect lateral stability)
  • Well-balanced performance on wet pavement
  • Short braking distance and good handling response on dry pavement
  • Relatively long braking distance and reduced lateral stability on wet pavement
  • Low straight hydroplaning resistance
  • Very good

1st place: Michelin / Pilot Alpin 5

Quick Take
92 46

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

  • Short braking distance, high traction, and excellent handling performance on snow
  • Short braking distance, very good lateral stability, and precise steering response on dry pavement.
  • Relatively long braking distance on wet pavement
  • Reduced hydroplaning resistance, particularly lateral
  • Increased noise when cornering
  • Very good

3rd place: Vredestein / Wintrac Pro

Quick Take
84 50

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

  • Excellent traction and short braking distance on snow
  • Good results on wet pavement — not counting the limited control at the limit
  • Very good price/quality ratio
  • Weak lateral stability on snow.
  • Long braking distance on dry pavement
  • Annoying noise in corners
  • Very good

4th place: Bridgestone / Blizzak LM005

Quick Take
87 57

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: 222
  • 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 and overall control on snow
  • Short braking distance on wet pavement
  • Good handling response in the dry
  • Well-balanced performance, no prominent issues found
  • Relatively long braking distance on dry pavement
  • Prone to oversteer at during the emergency lane switching exercise
  • Very good

5th place: Firestone / Winterhawk 4

Quick Take
69 40

Firestone Winterhawk 4

Handling Price/Quality Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Firestone Winterhawk 4

  • High traction and good handling performance on snow
  • Good handling response on dry pavement (but the grip is generally lower than that of the leaders)
  • Long braking distance and reduced grip on wet pavement
  • Increased risk of hydroplaning
  • Long braking distance on dry pavement
  • Distinct noise
  • Low riding comfort
  • Good

6th place: Cooper / Discoverer Winter

Quick Take
78 25
  • Available Sizes in Line: 60
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2017
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Cooper Discoverer Winter

  • Acceptable snow acceleration and braking
  • Very high hydroplaning resistance
  • Very quiet and comfortable
  • Very low lateral stability on snow.
  • Long braking distance on wet pavement (devalued the score)
  • Prone to oversteer on wet pavement, poor traction
  • Insufficient lateral stability on dry pavement
  • High rolling resistance
  • Average

6th place: Falken / Eurowinter HS01

Quick Take
73 43

Falken Eurowinter HS01

Price/Quality Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance Handling Dry Performance Treadwear Comfort
  • Available Sizes in Line: 277
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+
Falken Eurowinter HS01

  • Good results on wet pavement — not counting the limited lateral grip
  • Very high hydroplaning resistance
  • Good handling performance on dry pavement (although slightly prone to understeer)
  • Good riding comfort
  • Long braking distance on snow (devalued the score)
  • Poor traction and fuzzy steering response on snow
  • Annoying noise when cornering
  • Average

6th place: Uniroyal / WinterExpert

Quick Take
N/A 30
  • Year Released: 2021
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Uniroyal WinterExpert

  • Acceptable traction on snow
  • Good lateral stability on dry pavement
  • Long braking distance on wet pavement (devalued the score)
  • Poor wet grip
  • Long braking distance on dry pavement
  • Audible noise when cornering
  • Average

Price