Motor 2020: Winter Tire Test R16

The Polish magazine tested winter tires suitable for such cars as Audi A3, Ford Focus, Renault Megane, Skoda Octavia, etc.

List of models tested:

Despite all the difficulties having to do with the coronavirus pandemic, Poland’s Motor magazine conducted its annual winter tire test, which this time around was organized in collaboration with Slovakia’s Autozurnal. The snow tests were carried out early this year in the Swiss Alps, while the asphalt performance of the tires was evaluated at a test facility in Germany.

The 2020 test involved five premium-class tire products from such brands as Bridgestone and Nokian; in addition, the experts tested the economy-class tires from the Polish brand Debica (currently owned by Goodyear) and Imperial (currently owned by the Belgian trade company Deldo). The mid-price segment was represented by the brand Maxxis, about which the Motor noted that it is primarily popular with the cyclists, but is now rapidly developing its automotive branch.



Snow braking: The first discipline was won by Goodyear and Debica, while the performance of the Imperial tires was described as «on the verge of acceptable».

Snow acceleration: The first three tires showed a very good result, while the Imperial model demonstrated very weak snow traction.

Snow traction: The Debica tires again demonstrate quite decent performance, their traction almost coming close to that of the Michelin model. On snow, the Imperial tires proved to be totally useless.

Snow handling: The Debica tires become the leaders in terms of the lap time, but the Goodyear model scores the best subjective ratings. As for the Imperial tires, they easily go into a skid, which affected the final score.

Wet surface


Wet braking: After seven braking sessions on a surface with a 1mm layer of water, the victory was scored by the Bridgestone tires, while in the case of the Nokian model it constitutes 35 km/h.

Lateral stability on wet pavement: On the circular track, the best lateral grip was demonstrated by the Bridgestone and Goodyear models, while Debica, which proved very effective on snow, had prominent issues on wet pavement

Wet handling: The Bridgestone came first again, while Debica and Nokian showed average performance, yet their safety margin is still sufficient.

Straight hydroplaning resistance: The Bridgestone tires again did not leave their rivals a single chance; the Goodyear and Maxxis models also showed decent straight hydroplaning resistance, which cannot be said about the Imperial tires.

Lateral hydroplaning resistance: The Goodyear model scores first place with a close lead over the Dunlop tires from the same manufacturer.

Dry surface


Dry braking: The Imperial tire finally reached its finest hour, and in this discipline it was second only to Bridgestone, which took first place. Last place was scored by the Debica model, which cannot boast any balanced performance at all.

Handling on dry pavement: The Imperial tire continues to lead, but the difference between the first and fifth results was less than half a second, which can be considered a difference within the margin of error. At the same time, the Debica models had prominent issues on dry pavement.

Noise: The quietest tire on test turned out to be the Maxxis model, the last place being scored by the Debica tires, which start making a loud noise as the car picks up speed.

Comfort: Comfort-wise, the best tire was the Michelin model, followed by Goodyear and Maxxis. The test experts took into consideration not just the tires’ ability to absorb the shock from road inequalities, but also their road holding ability and cabin noise.

Environment: The difference in fuel consumption between the Bridgestone and Maxxis models constituted 0.21l/100km

Result summary

Winter tire test summary Motor R16, 2020. Places 1–8.
Winter tire test summary Motor R16, 2020. Places 1–8. Click to enlarge.

Test Results

1st place: Bridgestone / Blizzak LM005
Quick Take
90 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: 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
  • Well-deserved victory in the test
  • Outstanding results on wet and dry pavement
  • Good results on snow
  • The highest level of driving safety
  • Low rolling resistance

2nd place: Goodyear / UltraGrip 9+
Quick Take
85 53
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Goodyear UltraGrip 9+
  • Very good results on snow
  • Good results on asphalt
  • Well-balanced performance
  • Rather attractive price

3rd place: Michelin / Alpin 6
Quick Take
86 57
Price/Quality Wet Performance Comfort Dry Performance Snow/Ice Performance Handling Treadwear
  • This tire replaced Michelin / Alpin 5
  • Available Sizes in Line: 70
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Ford Puma II (J2K) [2019 .. 2023]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, Japan
Michelin Alpin 6
  • Outstanding performance on snow
  • Good performance on asphalt
  • Predictable behavior in any conditions
  • High level of driving safety
  • Low noise emission
  • Great riding comfort

4th place: Dunlop / Winter Sport 5
Quick Take
82 59
Price/Quality Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance Handling Comfort Treadwear Dry Performance
  • This tire replaced Dunlop / SP Winter Sport 4D
  • Available Sizes in Line: 97
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Hyundai i30 N I (PD) [2017 .. 2021]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2015
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Dunlop Winter Sport 5
  • Well-balanced performance
  • Crisp steering response in any conditions

5th place: Maxxis / Premitra Snow WP6
Quick Take
70 44

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
  • The tire’s good performance proves successful development of this Asian tire maker
  • The quietest tire on test
  • Overpriced

6th place: Nokian / WR Snowproof
Quick Take
68 46
Comfort Handling Price/Quality Dry Performance Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance
  • Available Sizes in Line: 58
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Ford Puma II (J2K) [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Ford Focus IV (C519) [2018 .. 2023]
    • • Ford Focus Active IV [2018 .. 2023]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Nokian WR Snowproof
  • Good results on snow and dry pavement
  • Poor results on wet pavement
  • A disappointing result for the tires of the Finnish brand

7th place: Debica / Frigo HP2
Quick Take
74 31
Dry Performance Snow/Ice Performance Treadwear Wet Performance Handling Price/Quality Comfort
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Debica Frigo HP2
  • Very good results on snow
  • Low price
  • Poor performance on asphalt

8th place: Imperial / Snowdragon UHP
Quick Take
N/A 16

Imperial Snowdragon UHP

  • Available Sizes in Line: 14
  • Year Released: 2012
  • Regions of sales: unknown
Imperial Snowdragon UHP
  • Low price (less than half the price of premium tires)
  • Good handling response and braking performance on dry pavement
  • Almost unacceptable performance on snow and wet pavement