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Featured: 9 of the best winter tyres for 2018

It's finally getting cold enough to fit winter tyres in the UK and Europe, so here are my favourite 9 winter tyres for cars and SUV / 4x4 vehicles.

This video does not cover any summer or all season tyres options, so if you feel like you might need a different tyre setup, check out our "best tyre type for winter driving" video first.

If you have any further questions once you’ve watched the video, head on over to the YouTube comment sections, or ask below and I’ll do my best to answer.

What wheel and tyre combination is going to give you the best winter performance? A narrow high sidewall of a 205/55 R16, a wide sporty 225/40 R18, or a compromise of the two sizes, at 225/45 R17? To test this theory we've used three versions of the excellent Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen-1 winter tyre, and have carried out full dry, wet and snow testing using a VW Golf.

Watch the video below for the full details, or continue reading the article to find some of the key points!

2018 AMS Winter Tyre Test

The 2018 Auto Motor und Sport [AMS] winter tyre test has tested eleven winter tyre patterns in the popular 205/55 R16 winter tyre size, using a Seat Ibiza.

2018 AZ SUV Winter Tyre Test

For 2018, the German publication Auto Zeitung have tested nine SUV / 4X4 winter tyre patterns in 235/60 R18 using an Audi Q5.

The tyres on test covered the premium and midrange segments, with a single budget tyre included, the Wanli Snowgrip S1083. The Wanli tyre was less than half the price of the most expensive tyres on test, so it will be interesting to see whether the Chinese manufactured tyre can improve on past performances.

The 2018 Auto Bild SUV / 4x4 winter tyre test has used an Audi Q5 to test ten 235/60 R18 winter tyres, with the Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen-1 SUV proving to be the best tyre on test thanks to an excellent all-round performance.

Surprisingly Pirelli edged out Continental to second place, with a brilliant result for the Pirelli Scorpion Winter. This tyre has been on the market a number of years now, and historically hasn't tested as well as Goodyear or Continental, so there must have been and update for the 2018 winter season.

The Continental Winter Contact TS850P SUV rounded out the top three, with its only real weakness appearing during the important dry braking tests.

Following on from the 27 all season tyre braking shootout, Auto Bild have published their excellent 2018 all season tyre test. Testing the best ten 195/65 R15 all season tyres from the braking test, Auto Bild have done an incredibly thorough job putting all the tyre patterns through the usual array or dry, wet and snow testing.

Not only is the word tire spelt differently, the European and north American regions have different requirements when it comes to a tyres performance, and as a result tyre companies can have entirely different product ranges on sale between the two continents.

As a general rule, American tyres are designed to travel much further differences than their European counterparts with mileage guarantees of 60,000 miles not uncommon. European tyres have less emphasis placed on tread life, and far more on wet performance, which means while our UHP tyres might perform extremely well in the wetter parts of Europe, it's not unusual to get only 15,000 miles from a set of performance tyres.

You've probably already seen the press release for the Continental WinterContact TS860 S, but if you haven’t, we’ll recap.

As the big brother to the near flawless Continental WinterContact TS860, the new Continental WinterContact TS860 S builds on the success of arguably the best current performance winter tyre on the market, the Continental WinterContact TS850P

Following on from the 195/65 R15 winter tyre test, the excellent German publication Auto Bild have tested ten UHP winter tyres in 245/45 R18.

The biggest shock in the test is the winner - it's the brand new Vredestein WinTrac Pro. This new tyre from Vredestein proved to have Continental like qualities, displacing the Continental WinterContact TS850 P from it's usual top spot and performing well in the dry, wet and snow tests. The Continental WinterContact TS850 Pl, which has now been replaced by the Continental WinterContact TS860 S, proved that it's still a quality option and finished a very close second place.

As in 2017, the German club ACE have tested all season and winter tyres in exactly the same tests! On test are nine 185/65 R15 winter tyre patterns, and three all season tyres in the same size, and they used an Opel Corsa as the test vehicle.

All twelve tyres were put through identical dry, wet and snow testing, and to further highlight the point that most all season tyres are interchangeable with winter tyres, the all season tyres finished second, fifth and ten places overall.

If you know about tyres, you will be a fan of Nokian Tyres. The Finnish company are almost a cult classic in the UK, thanks to an extremely strong all season and winter tyre range. With the new Nokian PowerProof and WetProof, Nokian hopes to extend that performance to its summer tyre range.

Nokian PowerProof

Around five years ago Nokian Tyres released the Line touring tyre, and zLine UHP tyre which took the battle to premium manufacturers such as Michelin, Goodyear and Continental. The Line range was comprised of capable, rounded summer tyres which delivered excellent wet grip and handling. Sadly over the past five years, the competition has moved on and the Nokian summer range hadn't. Until now.

As with the Auto Bild winter tyre test, the excellent German publication have placed a large number of all season tyres through wet and dry braking tests in order to find the top ten tyres for the full all season tyre test, which will include broader wet and dry testing, plus the inclusion of snow running.

In total 27 all season tyre patterns were tested in the popular 195/65 R15 size, and the spread of best to worst proved to be worringly large!

Following on from the 51 winter tyre braking test, the excellent German publication Auto Bild have promoted the best 20 tyres to their full winter test, which covers every aspect of the winter tyres performance.

As always, an (unnamed) summer and all season tyre have been included as reference, and to make a change from the past few years, it isn’t the remarkable Continental WinterContact TS860 taking the top spot overall…

2018 AMS All Season Tyre Test

The 2018 Auto Motor Und Sport all season tyre test has tested seven all season tyres, and a summer and winter tyre through the usual range of dry, wet, snow and environmental tests.

The unique twist this year? For some reason, the summer and winter reference tyres are in 205/55 R16, while the seven tested all season tyres are in 225/45 R17. Strange.

In spite of the curious size choices, it's an interesting test. The tyres chosen for the test, and the final results are very close to the Tyre Reviews All Season Tyre Video, so be sure to check that out too.

This year the German motoring orginisation ADAC have tested winter tyres in 205/55 R16 and 175/65 R14

Both tests continue Continentals winter dominance, with two win for the Continental WinterContact TS860. 

Second and third places were taken by the sisters brand Goodyear and Dunlop, with all three of the leading tyres proving to offer an excellent balance of winter performances.

2018 51 Winter Tyre Shootout

This year AutoBild have placed 51 195/65 R15 winter tyres through wet braking tests, with the top thirty tyres also being tested for snow braking performance. Only the top twenty have gone through to the full Auto Bild winter tyre test!

With the best winter tyre on test stopping the VW Golf in 34.3 meters, and the worst tyre on test at 49.8 meters, you can see why it's extremely important to judge a winter tyres performance as much on wet grip as it is snow grip.

This year the Hungarian publication Auto Navigator have tested fourteen 205/55 R16 summer tyres, but also included an all season tyre (the Michelin CrossClimate), a full winter tyre, and most interestingly worn summer and winter tyres.

It's important to note that the worn winter tyre used was from last years test, whereas the worn summer tyre was 7 years old and had been stored in "sub optimal conditions". While the tread depth of each of the worn tyres isn't exactly clear, the worn summer tyre was at a huge disadvantage due to age and storage conditions. 

All tests were performed around 15c air temperature. Sadly aquaplaning wasn't tested by the magazine.

When it comes to trying new things in tyre tests, the German publication Auto Bild leads the way, and with their latest SUV 4x4 all season tyre tyre test they are once again pushing new ground.

Not only do they test six all season tyres in the SUV / 4x4 size of 235/60 R18 and include reference summer and winter tyres, but they also include two all terrain (AT) off-road tyres. These AT tyres aren't specifically designed to work in snow and ice like the all season tyres have been, instead they have a more off-road bias to their performance bend. Even with this added off-road performance, they still qualify as legal all season tyres thanks to them being marked with the "three peaks mountain and snowflake" symbol.

As a result, the AT tyres have a very different performance blend to the all season tyres on test, and while their snow performance was surprisingly OK, this test shows how badly they perform on-road, specifically in the wet.

Read on for the full details! For reference, the two AT tyres are the Yokohama Geolander AT G015, and the General Grabber AT3.

The first tyre test of 2018 is rather unique. German publication Auto Zeitung have tested six summer tyres and three all season tyres all in the same test, and while it's going to make the Tyre Reviews version of the result at the bottom of this page read slightly wonky, it's a really interesting way of comparing the dry and wet performances of the two tyre types.

Keep in mind, the nine tyres were only tested in the dry and wet, there was no snow or ice testing to highlight the all season tyres year-round abilities. This means this test should just be looked at to see how the all season tyres compare to the summer tyres in summer conditions, rather than making a purchase decision for year-round motoring.