Winter tyre test

Published on 12/03/2024

Winter tyre test

The ADAC recently carried out a new tyre test in partnership with the ACL. While motorists have a wide variety of ‘good’-rated tyres to choose from, other models received a poor rating.

This year, in collaboration with the ACL, the experts at the ADAC tested 16 winter tyres in the 205/60 R16 size category and 16 in the 225/45 R17 category. Seven of the models in the former category and four in the latter were given a ‘good’ rating, with top-of-the-range manufacturers such as Michelin, Goodyear, Dunlop and Continental performing particularly well (see box).
However, the choice of new winter tyres should not be based solely on the overall score but rather on the detailed data shown in the table. Indeed, there were differences even between those tyres that were considered ‘good’. Those who drive a lot, especially on motorways, will place greater importance on a tyre’s behaviour on dry roads, and in this respect, the best results in the 205/60 R16 category were achieved by Dunlop and Michelin, with the latter also offering a particularly attractive lifespan of 53,300km.

Seven of the 16-inch models tested received a ‘satisfactory’ rating compared with eleven in the 17-inch category. These models performed poorly on at least one of the main safety criteria, i.e. dry, wet or snow-covered roads. The models by Vredestein, Pirelli, Nokian and Semperit were notably among those in the middle of the ranking.

Serious shortcomings

Of the 16-inch tyres, the Lassa Snoways 4 and the Austone Athena SP-901 failed the test. The test vehicle was impossible to manoeuvre on snow with any precision with the Lassa, while the Austone achieved the highest score in this sub-category. The Austone did, however, have the longest braking distance on wet roads and achieved some worrying figures when it came to aquaplaning. Our experts gave these two models an ‘unsatisfactory’ rating.

While the test vehicle fitted with the Hankook tyre (winner of the “wet road” sub-category) was already at a standstill, the car fitted with Kormoran tyres was still travelling at 36km/h. Overall result: ‘unsatisfactory’.

The big winners

In the 205/60 R16 category, the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 and the Michelin Alpin 6 came joint first, followed by the Goodyear UltraGrip 9+. In the 225/45 R17 category, the Continental WinterContact TS870 came in just ahead of the Michelin Alpin 6 and the Goodyear UltraGrip Performance +. Its successor, the UltraGrip Performance 3, is now available for both Goodyear models.

What criteria were the ratings based on?

The testers evaluated the various models based on two main criteria. One of these was safety, which accounted for 70% of the overall score, whereby the tyres had to perform well on wet, dry and snowy roads. The remaining 30% was based on environmental performance. In this category, the experts calculated lifespan, wear, weight, fuel consumption and rolling noise. The testers also took into account, for the first time, sustainability criteria such as environmental certifications and the existence of a used tyre return system.