The German motoring magazine performed snow, wet, and dry tests of low-profile all-season tires.
List of models tested:
- Falken EuroAll Season AS210
- BFGoodrich g-Grip All Season 2
- Bridgestone Weather Control A005
- Continental AllSeasonContact
- Maxxis Premitra All Season AP3
- Michelin CrossClimate+
- Vredestein Quatrac Pro
All-season tires keep on attracting more and more European motorists (last year, sales of the ETRMA members in this segment increased, even in spite of the coronavirus pandemic), one of the advantages of these tires over their winter counterparts — important first of all the owners of sports cars — consisting in their higher speed indexes. While winter tires usually have speed indexes of H or V (up to 210 and 240 km/h respectively), all-season tires can be available with indexes of W and Y (up to 270 and 300 km/h respectively).
In order to test whether all-season tires, designed, among other things, to be used on snow, can really maintain such speeds, the Sportauto experts carried out strength tests using a drum-type test bench with a load of 494 kg. The speed was increased by 10 km/h every 10 minutes until the tire broke down. Eventually, all of the tires could handle 300 km/h, most handled 350 km/h, and one even withstood 360 km/h, so, there were no issues found with the tires’ strength.
The test involved seven tire models, including the premium-class Michelin and Continental, as well as Bridgestone, belonging to the mid-price segment, and the inexpensive Falken and Maxxis tires. All the tires were tested on snow and wet and dry pavements; the experts also rated their ride comfort and environmental performance. In addition, for demonstration purposes, the experts also tested summer and winter models — the Bridgestone Turanza T005 and the Blizzak LM005.
On snow, the victory was won by the BFGoodrich model, which ensured the highest level of driving safety, and in some of the disciplines was even able — even if by a little — to surpass the winter tires. Then, with a small gap, goes the Continental model, followed by Falken and Michelin. The other tires had some certain issues — for example, the Maxxis model demonstrated relatively weak traction, while the Vredestein and the Bridgestone models, according to the experts, could hardly meet the basic safety requirements, even though these tires are still superior to their summer counterparts on a snow-covered track.
The snow test
The wet test was won by the all-season Bridgestone model, which stopped the car from 80 km/h already within 30.2 meters, and — together with Michelin — surpassed the summer tires in this discipline, which had to do with the fact that the test was carried out in the cold weather.
In addition, the Maxxis tire pleased the testers with its high hydroplaning resistance, while the Bridgestone and the Vredestein models demonstrated excellent lateral stability and crisp steering response.
The wet test
Based on all of the wet tests, first place was scored by the Bridgestone model, which was head and shoulders above its closest pursuers — Maxxis, Michelin, and Vredestein. Surprisingly, less-than-perfect performance was shown this time around by the Continental model with its long stopping distance and weak overall grip in such conditions, while the BFGoodrich engineers, who successfully improved the snow performance of their tire, did this at the expense of sacrificing wet traction.
The only tire that was still worse was the Falken model, whose braking distance was 5 meters longer than that of the leader. On dry pavement, the highest points were surprisingly scored by the Bridgestone model, whose key parameters did not come close even to those of the summer tires.
The dry test
In the final standings, first place was scored by the Bridgestone model, which at the same time demonstrated pretty average performance on snow. Second place was scored by the better-balanced Michelin model, while third place was shared by the Continental model (which had a long wet braking distance) and the Maxxis model, which was able this time to stand up to the level of premium-class tires.
Unlike in the winter tire tests, the weight of the scores was distributed in the following way: snow — 20%, wet pavement — 40%, dry pavement — 30%, environment — 10%.
1st place: Bridgestone / Weather Control A005
- High braking efficiency on asphalt
- High level of safety and good handling response on wet pavement
- Good handling response on dry pavement (almost on a level with summer tires)
- Weak snow traction
- Very good
2nd place: Michelin / CrossClimate+
- Generally acceptable performance on snow
- Strong traction and good handling response on wet and dry pavement
- Prone to skids on snow
- Relatively long braking distance on snow
- Not recommended for cars not equipped with an ESP
- Relatively low hydroplaning resistance
- Hum when cornering
- Very good
3rd place: Continental / AllSeasonContact
- Good lateral stability on snow
- Great handling response in the wet
- Excellent hydroplaning resistance
- Reliable behavior during emergency maneuvers on dry pavement
- Long braking distance on wet and dry pavements
- Slightly prone to oversteer on asphalt
4th place: Maxxis / Premitra All Season AP3
- Well-balanced performance on wet pavement
- Excellent hydroplaning resistance
- Acceptable snow performance
- Good handling in the dry
- Good price/quality ratio
- Relatively long braking distance on wet pavement
- Quiet yet audible hum
5th place: Vredestein / Quatrac Pro
- Great handling response on wet and dry pavement
- Good riding comfort
- Prominent understeer and weak lateral grip on snow
- Relatively long braking distance on snow and wet pavement
6th place: BFGoodrich / g-Grip All Season 2
- Very short braking distance and high lateral stability on snow (the tires retain control even when skidding)
- Long braking distance on dry and particularly wet pavement
- Weak lateral stability on dry pavement
7th place: Falken / EuroAll Season AS210
- Acceptable results on snow and dry pavement
- Relatively long braking distance on snow and dry pavement
- Unbalanced behavior and a very long braking distance on wet pavement