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Winter tyre testing: only 6 "good" tyres

Published on 28.09.2020

As every autumn, Automobile Club helps you choose your winter tyres by providing complete test results for products currently on the market.

In association with European automobile clubs, we went for 205/55 R16 and 235/55 R17 profile tyres for this winter season. Of the 28 tyres from big-name and lesser-known brands, only 6 were graded “good”.

None of the candidates was awarded the top result of “very good”!

Road-holding on dry and wet surfaces (braking, road performance, aquaplaning, etc.) and performance on snow and ice were the main safety criteria for testing these tyres. Wear, noise emissions (external and internal) and fuel consumption were also measured. 

Profile 205/55 R16

With this profile, suited to mid-range hatchbacks like the VW Golf and Toyota Corolla, 16 tyre models were compared, 5 graded “good”, 7 “satisfactory », 1 “adequate” and two failing the tests.

The five best tyres (Bridgestone, Michelin, Dunlop, Hankook, and Maxxis – see model name in the table) perform well, achieving good results in the main safety criteria.

The “satisfactory” tyres all reveal flaws on a dry surface. But the Goodyear and Pirelli tyre share the top of the table for performance on snow.

The Semperit is graded “adequate”, being weak on a dry surface but quite good on snow.

The King Meiler and Tristar are not recommended, being graded “inadequate”

Dimension 205/55 R16.pdf

Profile 235/55 R17

These tyres are for mid-range SUVs and vans. Of the 13 models tested, only the Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 were graded as “good”. The eleven “satisfactory” tyres can be put into three groups.

The first contains three tyres (Goodyear, Kleber and Bridgestone - see model name in the table), not getting such good results on a dry road but standing out on a wet surface and snow.

In the second group (Dunlop and Vredestein), performance is good on a dry surface, wet and icy roads. But they aren’t too impressive on snow-covered roads.

The third group has six models, all with satisfactory results in two of the major safety criteria. These are the ESA+Tecar, Cooper, Fulda, Nokian, Continental and Pirelli.

The Semperit Speed-Grip 3 SUV comes at the bottom of the table, graded “adequate” due to weak results on dry road.

Dimension 235/55 R17.pdf

Useful links

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