Sport Auto: Winter Tire Test R18 2019

If you want to drive your car in the wintertime, you need safe tires. Especially if you are a speed fan.

It was this category of drivers that was on the minds of the experts of Germany’s Sport Auto magazine, who decided to perform a test of winter tires 235/40 R18 and define which models have the least dynamic limitations in any weather conditions of the wintertime. Totally, the test involved eight modern tire sets with a speed limit of 240–270 km/h, only six of them being winter ones. The lineup also included all-season tires meant to help the experts find out whether these can really become a valid alternative for driving on winter roads, and a set of out-of-competition summer UHP-tires, driving on which in low temperatures is definitely a bad idea.

Sport Auto: Winter Tire Test R18
  1. Continental WinterContact TS 850 P - Winner Recommended
    Continental WinterContact TS 850 P
    82 52
    Passenger · Winter · 2014 · Passenger - Performance Winter / Snow
    Verdict:

    Continental ContiWinterContact TS 850 P, which did not give the test experts a single chance to find any issues with it, for the sole exception of poor lateral hydroplaning resistance, became the winner of the Sport Auto winter tire test 2019. This was also ensured by the well-balanced and stable performance of ContiWinterContact TS 850 P on snow, its great handling response on wet pavement, as well as efficient braking and crisp steering response in the dry.

    Snow Traction   Wet Handling   Comfort / Noise   Snow Handling   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Lateral Stability (Wet)   Rolling Resistance   Dry Handling  
    Northern America Northern America · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    9
  2. Vredestein Wintrac Pro
    Vredestein Wintrac Pro
    80 49
    Passenger · Winter · 2018 · Passenger - Performance Winter / Snow
    Verdict:

    Vredestein Wintrac Pro scored the excellent second place, once again standing up to the reputable name of Apollo Tires, which in 2019 literally took the tire industry by storm, getting all sorts of accolades. The silver medal was awarded to Wintrac Pro thanks to its great traction and precise handling response on wet and dry pavement alike. It was also great on snow, falling only a little short of the leader’s performance. However, one obvious downside of this tire is its high rolling resistance.

    Lateral Stability (Wet)   Wet Handling   Snow Handling   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Dry Handling   Rolling Resistance  
    Northern America Northern America · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    8.7
  3. Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+
    Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+
    89 55
    Passenger · Winter · 2019 · Passenger - Performance Winter / Snow
    Verdict:

    The third line of the tournament bracket was scored by Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Plus, which only recently debuted in the winter season 2019/2020. The experts slightly criticized its relatively long braking distance in the wet and its slightly increased rolling resistance, which, nonetheless, could not cross out the broad range of the «useful skills» demonstrated by this model, such as high durability, great handling response on snow and wet pavement, and good resistance to straight and lateral hydroplaning.

    Straight Aquaplaning   Lateral Stability (Snow)   Snow Handling   Lateral Aquaplaning  
    Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    8.4
  4. Hankook Winter i*cept evo2 W320
    Hankook Winter i*cept evo2 W320
    81 29
    Passenger · Winter · 2015 · Passenger - Performance Winter / Snow
    Verdict:

    The fourth place was landed by Hankook Winter i*Cept evo2 W320. Its performance on snow was virtually as good as that of the leaders’ but on asphalt it fell definitely short. This tire lost a lot of points because of the longest braking distance on test in the dry, as well as weak hydroplaning resistance. Nevertheless, the sum total of its points entitled the Hankook product to getting a «good» verdict from the Sport Auto experts.

    Snow Traction   Dry Handling   Dry Braking   Straight Aquaplaning   Lateral Aquaplaning  
    Northern America Northern America · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    7.8
  5. Toyo Snowprox S954
    Toyo Snowprox S954
    71 33
    Passenger · Winter · 2016 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow
    Verdict:

    The fifth result was demonstrated by Toyo Snowprox S954 which was obviously engineered for dry pavement alone. And, although the test group described its performance on wet pavement and snow as «acceptable», one look at the scores brings up a lot of doubts — this tire is definitely the worst one on test, and even falls short of the standard expected performance of an all-season tire.

    Dry Braking   Straight Aquaplaning   Price   Snow Braking   Lateral Stability (Snow)   Wet Braking   Snow Traction   Snow Handling  
    Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    6.9
  6. Falken Eurowinter HS01
    Falken Eurowinter HS01
    75 43
    Passenger · Winter · 2016 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow
    Verdict:

    In spite of its great braking performance and safe handling on snow, Falken Eurowinter HS01 was placed by the test experts at the last (sixth) place of the tournament bracket. There were lots of reasons for that: poor lateral stability and understeer on wet pavement, which led to the devaluation of its overall score, as well as increased rolling resistance and road noise. Ultimately, only a «satisfactory» result.

    Dry Braking   Snow Braking   Lateral Stability (Snow)   Rolling Resistance   Lateral Stability (Wet)   Wet Handling   Comfort / Noise  
    Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    6.6
Year
2019
Tire Test Original Link
Visit Website
Max Score, points
10
Tire Size
235/40R18
Season
Winter
Auto Type
Passenger
List Type
Professional Tire Test
Region
Europe
Date added
Jan 03, 2020
Date updated
Nov 27, 2020