205/55R16

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

 

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
92 57

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Wet Performance Dry Performance Comfort Handling Treadwear Snow/Ice Performance
  • This tire replaced Bridgestone / Blizzak LM001 Evo
  • Available Sizes in Line: 196
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Volkswagen T-Cross
    • • Audi e-tron [2019 .. 2021]
    • • Audi A3
    • • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    • • Volkswagen Caddy
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
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
89 43
  • Available Sizes in Line: 53
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe
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
84 56
Wet Performance Dry Performance Comfort Handling Treadwear Snow/Ice Performance
  • This tire replaced Michelin / Alpin 5
  • Available Sizes in Line: 64
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Ford Puma J2K [2019 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
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
81 59
Wet Performance Handling Price/Quality Dry Performance Treadwear Comfort
  • This tire replaced Dunlop / SP Winter Sport 4D
  • Available Sizes in Line: 91
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Hyundai i30 N PD [2017 .. 2022]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2015
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
Dunlop Winter Sport 5
  • Well-balanced performance
  • Crisp steering response in any conditions

5th place: Maxxis / Premitra Snow WP6
Quick Take
73 40

Maxxis Premitra Snow WP6

  • Available Sizes in Line: 31
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe
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
71 46

Nokian WR Snowproof

  • Available Sizes in Line: 58
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Ford Puma J2K [2019 .. 2022]
    • • Ford Focus IV [2018 .. 2022]
    • • Ford Focus Active IV [2018 .. 2022]
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
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
72 33
Handling Comfort Price/Quality
  • Year Released: 2016
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
Debica Frigo HP2
  • Very good results on snow
  • Low price
  • Poor performance on asphalt

8th place: Imperial / SNOWDRAGON UHP
Quick Take
N/A 7

Imperial SNOWDRAGON UHP

  • Year Released: unknown
  • 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

Price