Auto Express: Winter Tire Test R17 2020

For the ultimate in driving safety, you need tyres to suit the season. Auto Express test reveals the best for the British winter.

For the ultimate safety in extreme conditions, you need to change tyres for the seasons, and now is the time to consider fitting a winter option. While all-season tyres are gaining in popularity, a dedicated winter design is the no-compromise choice.

Auto Express tested the world’s biggest-selling size – 205/55R16 – and asked tyre makers to nominate a pattern, which we bought in the wholesale market. Nokian and Hankook supplied tyres that we compared to samples we later bought to check they were the same. Continental sent its latest TS 870, but won’t repeat its win from our last test of this size, because the new tyre’s launch has been postponed to next year due to the pandemic.

Auto Express: Winter Tire Test R17
  1. Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 - Winner Recommended
    Bridgestone Blizzak LM005
    92 59
    Passenger · Winter · 2019 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow
    Verdict:

    A debut success for the Blizzak LM005 and a first win for Japanese giant Bridgestone in Auto Express tyre tests. Thanks to standard-setting wet performance, the Blizzak is an ideal tyre for British winters, which see far more rain than snow on the road.

    Straight Aquaplaning   Lateral Aquaplaning   Rolling Resistance   Noise   Dry Braking   Wet Circle   Wet Braking   Wet Handling   Snow Braking   Snow Handling  
    Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    100
  2. Hankook Winter i*cept RS2 W452
    Hankook Winter i*cept RS2 W452
    79 37
    Passenger · Winter · 2015 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow
    Verdict:

    The Hankook i'cept RS2 puts in a strong performance - a great all-rounder, although slightly noisy. Return to form for the Winter i'cept RS2, although this time that’s more due to its performance in the wet rather than on snow.

    Straight Aquaplaning   Lateral Aquaplaning   Wet Circle   Wet Braking   Wet Handling   Snow Handling   Rolling Resistance   Noise  
    Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    99.3
  3. Michelin Alpin 6
    Michelin Alpin 6
    84 57
    Passenger · Winter · 2018 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow
    Verdict:

    Yet another good result for the Alpin 6, which is well suited to UK winters thanks to its good performance in the wet.

    Rolling Resistance   Snow Braking   Wet Circle   Wet Braking   Wet Handling   Noise  
    Northern America Northern America · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    98.4
  4. Pirelli Cinturato Winter
    Pirelli Cinturato Winter
    76 51
    Passenger · Winter · 2016 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow
    Verdict:

    The Pirelli Cinturato Winter tyre is the most capable on the snow and has closed the gap on top spot. Good snow performance is offset by mid-pack wet-test results. Fuel economy needs addressing if it is to challenge the best.

    Straight Aquaplaning   Noise   Snow Traction   Snow Braking   Snow Handling   Rolling Resistance   Wet Circle  
    Northern America Northern America · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    98.2
  5. Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+
    Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+
    88 57
    Passenger · Winter · 2019 · Passenger - Performance Winter / Snow
    Verdict:

    Great on the snow, but the Goodyear UltraGrip Performance + can't compete with rivals in the wet and dry conditions.

    Snow Traction   Snow Braking   Lateral Aquaplaning   Noise   Dry Braking   Wet Circle  
    Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    98.1
  6. Falken Eurowinter HS01
    Falken Eurowinter HS01
    75 43
    Passenger · Winter · 2016 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow
    Verdict:

    This is third time they’ve tested the Eurowinter HS01, and each time it gets a little closer to the leaders. This tyre’s steady improvement continues, although its grip on snow and in the wet still needs further development.

    Dry Braking   Noise   Snow Traction   Snow Handling   Wet Braking  
    Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    98
  7. Dunlop Winter Sport 5
    Dunlop Winter Sport 5
    82 59
    Passenger · Winter · 2015 · Passenger - Performance Winter / Snow
    Verdict:

    A reasonable performance, but the Dunlop range is beginning to show its age. Good on snow, but braking a concern elsewhere. Fuel economy and comfort impress but we hope a Winter Sport 6 is in the pipeline.

    Rolling Resistance   Snow Handling   Snow Braking   Noise   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Straight Aquaplaning  
    Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    97.4
  8. Nokian WR Snowproof
    Nokian WR Snowproof
    72 45
    Passenger · Winter · 2019 · Passenger - Performance Winter / Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    Verdict:

    Although helping to provide improved fuel economy, the Nokian WR Snowproof isn't the best choice for a capable winter tyre. Remarkable fuel economy deserves credit, but is this what drivers want when buying a winter tyre primarily for superior performance in poor conditions?

    Dry Braking   Snow Traction   Rolling Resistance   Straight Aquaplaning   Lateral Aquaplaning   Noise   Snow Braking   Wet Handling  
    Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    97.2
Year
2020
Tire Test Original Link
Visit Website
Max Score, points
100
Tire Size
205/55R16
Season
Winter
Auto Type
Passenger
List Type
Professional Tire Test
Region
Europe
Date added
Oct 17, 2020
Date updated
Oct 28, 2020