Vi Bilägare: Winter Studless Tire Test R17 2019

The Swedish magazine tried to find the best studless tires for the northern winter. The popularity of studless winter tires in Scandinavia is steadily growing, which is also promoted by the local authorities who stress that spikes damage the roads and are harmful to people’s health. In addition, studless tires are more convenient because you can have them fitted on your car way long before the first snowfalls, and not listen to the spikes clacking on the pavement, and have them replaced a little later in spring — even though we mustn’t forget about the increased wear in this case. The changes in the global climate are also a factor — Finnish winters, for example, are becoming warmer by the year.

Vi Bilägare: Winter Studless Tire Test R17
  1. Continental VikingContact 7 - Winner Recommended
    Continental VikingContact 7
    90 55
    Passenger · Winter · 2018 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    Verdict:

    VikingContact of the new generation was first presented last year, after which it scored the first places in several Scandinavian tests at once, including the one that was performed by VB, and the victory that it won this year is definitely no coincidence.

    The Continental model worked great on ice; it was also among the leaders on snow. According to the expert team, these tires provide great handling response in emergency situations and provide dependable grip during sharp cornering. This model is also slightly prone to understeer but, aside from that, it will not bring you any surprises. VB also noted that, in spite of its softness, the tire demonstrated quite decent handling response in the dry, but on wet pavement it was not as good, because this Continental model was rather slow to drain water from the contact patch, which is further proved by the fact that it scored the last place in the straight aqua test.

    Acceleration on Snow   Ice Braking   Snow Handling   Dry Braking   Snow Braking   Wet Braking   Ice Handling   Acceleration on Ice   External Noise   Aquaplanning  
    Eastern Asia Eastern Asia · Northern America Northern America · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    88
  2. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3
    Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3
    85 48
    Passenger · Winter · 2018 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    Verdict:

    Tires of the famous Hakkapeliitta family deliver great bite on ice and snow, and VB said that arguably this is the tire that will bring you maximum driving pleasure on a winding winter road. The tires ensure a crisp steering response, and the traction threshold is quite predictable, meaning, these tires will not bring you any unpleasant surprises during sharp cornering.

    The tire’s handling feedback on dry pavement was less than perfect but the elk test was something that the Nokian model handled with ease. On wet pavement, this tire performs better than Continental, and it also has a short braking distance. Generally, Nokian showed invariably well-balanced results in all of the disciplines.

    Acceleration on Snow   Ice Braking   Snow Handling   Snow Braking   Wet Braking   Ice Handling   Acceleration on Ice   Aquaplanning  
    Northern America Northern America · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    81
  3. Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 2
    Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 2
    86 24
    Passenger · Winter · 2014 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    Verdict:

    Goodyear is one of the few tire makers that offers tires with a noise canceling feature. The technology is called SoundComfort, and such features are often to be found in the summer tire segment. However, it also works quite well in the category of winter tires, and, according to experts, Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 2, which used to be quiet enough as it was, now was quite able to claim the first prize in this discipline.

    This tire also delivered quite convincing performance on asphalt, demonstrating, among other things, the highest hydroplaning resistance, which is something that Continental tires always seem to miss. On dry pavement, the Goodyear model also behaves in a stable and confident manner, and it must be noted that, although it is made of a rather hard compound, it also showed good results in winter conditions.

    Wet Handling   Snow Handling   External Noise   Snow Braking   Wet Braking   Acceleration on Snow   Fuel Consumption   Acceleration on Ice   Aquaplanning  
    Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    76
  4. Nokian Nordman RS2
    Nokian Nordman RS2
    83 14
    Passenger · Winter · 2014 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    Verdict:

    The Nordman tire, which inherited it pattern from Nokian Hakkapeliitta R, has long been available retail, but it still keeps demonstrating good results in various tire tests. Of course, it does fall short of newer and more expensive Nokian models, including in terms of cornering grip and skid resistance in winter conditions.

    The main downside of this tire is that Nordman is not really good for driving on asphalt. In the dry, braking distance was much too long, and the Nordman model was also prone to understeer. One way or another, thanks to the good results on snow and ice, Nordman is scoring a well-deserved fourth place.

    Ice Handling   Acceleration on Snow   Ice Braking   Acceleration on Ice   Snow Braking   Wet Braking   Aquaplanning  
    Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    69
  5. Sava Eskimo Ice
    Sava Eskimo Ice
    N/A 30
    Passenger · Winter · 2018 · Passenger - Performance Winter / Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    Verdict:

    The highest points that the Sava tire scored was on dry pavement, where it works great in cornering and effectively drains the water from the contact patch to the sides. The tire also features a lightweight carcass, has low noise emission, and good handling response on dry pavement.

    In terms of hardness of its tread compound, Sava almost came close to the tires of European type, which affected its winter performance. Its acceleration and braking were generally satisfactory, but there were obvious issues with lateral grip — so brace yourself for a sudden skid.

    Acceleration on Snow   Snow Braking   Wet Braking   Snow Handling  
    Northern America Northern America
    Test Score:
    60
  6. Yokohama iceGUARD iG60
    Yokohama iceGUARD iG60
    N/A 31
    Passenger · Winter · 2017 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    Verdict:

    In this year’s test, the Yokohama tire was the only model with an asymmetric tread pattern, and, although its results were generally good, the tire did not earn any accolades. Driving on these tires, you will have to slow down when cornering; on asphalt, this tire generally stayed in the middle of the ranking. Yokohama has the longest braking distance on wet pavement and weak hydroplaning resistance — generally, its performance falls short of that of the leaders’.

    Wet Handling   Wet Braking  
    Asia Asia · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    58
  7. Continental WinterContact TS 860
    Continental WinterContact TS 860
    87 64
    Passenger · Winter · 2016 · Passenger - Performance Winter / Snow
    Verdict:

    Including a set of European tires into the test, VB wanted to remind its readers what makes the northern winter tires different. Tires of this category are engineered for maximum traction on wet pavement at temperatures around zero, so their performance on snow and ice was very weak. Fortunately, these tires warn the drivers about the traction threshold.

    Wet Handling   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Aquaplanning   Acceleration on Snow   Ice Braking   Snow Handling   Snow Braking   Ice Handling   Acceleration on Ice   External Noise  
    Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    51
  8. Linglong GREEN-Max Winter Ice I-15
    Linglong GREEN-Max Winter Ice I-15
    N/A 18
    Passenger · Winter · 2015 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    Verdict:

    The main competitive advantage of the Leao tire is, of course, its price, and, in addition, this tire performed rather well in the snow and ice tests, where they clearly outdid the European-type tires. In addition, the hardness of the tread compound is rather high, and the tire evacuates the water from the contact patch rather effectively.

    Leao disclosed its true nature during the emergency maneuvers where it would lose grip on snow and ice for quite long periods of time; on dry pavement things were even worse, because its lateral stability is virtually nonexistent, and the goes into a skid even at low speeds. In addition, on wet pavement every turn would end up in a skid, and the Leao tires were pronounced to be the worst on test.

    Ice Handling   Ice Braking   Wet Braking   Acceleration on Ice   Snow Handling  
    Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    46
Year
2019
Tire Test Original Link
Visit Website
Max Score, points
95
Tire Size
225/50R17
Season
Winter
Auto Type
Passenger
List Type
Professional Tire Test
Region
Europe
Date added
Jan 05, 2020
Date updated
Nov 30, 2020