AUTO EXPRESS: Passenger Winter Tire Test 2017
Issue 1,495 of the weekly UK publication Auto Express contains their 2017 winter tire test!
This year Auto Express have tested eight winter tire patterns in 225/45 R17 using a VW Golf in the dry and wet, and an Audi A3 in the snow.
Auto Express have previously asked us to keep our coverage of their tests to a minimum, so below is a summary of what went on. The full results can be found on the Auto Express website, which we will link as soon as they're online.
Overall, with just 3.9% covering the eight tires on test, it's getting closer every year at the top.
Continental WinterContact TS 860
The winner of the 2016 Auto Express winter tire test wins again. Not the strongest tire on snow, but close enough, the WinterContact TS860 once again shone in the wet, winning all three wet grip tests, and scored extremely well in the dry handling and dry braking tests. The only weakness, a mid group aquaplaning result.
Hankook Winter i*cept RS2 W452
A mid life update for the Korean Hankook i*cept RS2 has moved the tire up from last place in the 2016 test, to runner up in 2017. Strongest overall in the snow, the Hankook also managed the second best overall wet and performance.
Dunlop Winter Sport 5
The Dunlop Winter Sport 5 seems more comfortable in 17" than 16", taking third place overall. Winning snow handling, and close enough in the other snow tests, the Dunlop was also close in the dry. A quiet tire with a low rolling resistance.
Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen 1
A previous test winner, the Goodyear Ultragrip Performance Gen-1 has to now settle for fourth place overall. A good overall performance, particularly strong in the snow and dry, but let down a little by its wet performance.
Nokian WR D4
The Nokian WRD4 proved to be extremely strong in the snow, but struggled in the wet testing. Third in dry handling and the best rolling resistance on test earn the Nokian some points.
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
The Pirelli Sottozero 3 proved to be happiest in the dry, but struggled in the snow testing.
Michelin Alpin 5
The Michelin Alpin 5 is another tire that seems more comfortable in 16" sizes than the 17" on test here. Beating only last placed Bridgestone in most of the tests, the Alpin 5 is due an update to keep it with the best tires on the market.
Bridgestone Blizzak LM001
Launched in 2014, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM001 is showing its age. Winning the aquaplaning tests was the only respite from a general last place finish, but it's important to remember it only finished 4% overall from the best tire on test, highlighting how close things are at the top.