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With autumn finally here, now is a good time to take a look at the best solutions for keeping mobile regardless of the weather in 2016.
Winter tyre interest spiked after the heavy snow in 2010 and 2011, but after a number of mild and wet winters the benefits of winter tyres have been largely forgotten. As such, the focus of both the consumer and tyre manufacturer has now switched to all season tyres.
All season tyres still offer improved grip compared to summer tyres when the temperatures are freezing, and offer a vastly improved performance on snow and ice when compared to a summer tyre, but their less extreme nature than a full winter tyre means there are less penalties during wet, and particularly dry braking where a full winter tyre can give up 20% of a summer tyres performance even in colder conditions.
Michelin have recently announced a mid life update of the extremely successful Michelin CrossClimate, the Michelin CrossClimate+
Launched in March 2015, the CrossClimate was the first of a new breed of all season tyres. Traditionally all season tyres start life as a winter tyre, and have the balance of performance moved slightly towards dry and wet running. While this leaves traditional all season tyres excellent on snow and ice, other performance qualities suffer, especially dry braking.
The CrossClimate started life as a summer tyre, and was gifted winter abilities. While this means it isn't quite as good as traditional all season tyres in extreme winter conditions, it is still more than enough for anything the UK winter has to offer, while retaining the dry and wet performance of a dedicated summer tyre.
Continental tyres have just released their latest tyre, the new Continental PremiumContact 6. The new PremiumContact 6 replaces both the PremiumContact 5 and the SportContact 5, unifying the comfort and efficiency of the PremiumContact range, with the high performance, steering precision and grip of the SportContact.
The Continental SportContact 6 still exists for maximum performance in 19" and above, and the EcoContact 5 in 16" and below. The PremiumContact 6 will be available in 16" - 21", and offer a blend of performance and comfort to rival the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 and Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3.
Winter tyres aren't exclusively reserved for two wheel drive vehicles, four wheel drive cars benefit too. This year Auto Bild have tested ten winter tyres in the popular 4x4 / SUV / Crossover size of 215/60 R17, which covers cars such as the Opel Mokka, Skoda Yeti, and the Volkswagen Tiguan.
While the four wheel drive systems and extra weight of large SUVs can give you a traction advantage in snow and ice over "normal" cars, you have roughly the same braking and turning ability as any other car on the road, which makes winter tyres a sensible option for anyone with an SUV requiring safe, year round motoring.
This year, Auto Bild have tested eight winter tyre patterns in 255/55 R18 using a BMW X5 in Northern Finland, across the usual array of dry, wet and snow tests, all while looking at the tyres comfort, rolling resistance and noise levels.
Tyre shopping can be confusing. The most popular tyre size in the UK is 205/55 R16, but if you search for this on any online tyre retailer, you get presented with a myriad of options.
205/55 R16 91T, 205/55 R16 91H, 205/55 R16 91V, 205/55 R16 91W, 205/55 R16 91Y, 205/55 R16 94H XL, 205/55 R16 94V XL, 205/55 R16 91W XL.
It's common knowledge all these tyre sizes exist, but it's less known that they could all be exactly the same tyres.
With the introduction of the Michelin CrossClimate and Pilot Sport 4, Michelin will now only be making the highest load and speed rating version of the tyre, meaning in the above example, the produced tyre would be the 205/55 R16 94V XL, which would be suitable for any 205/55 R16 fitment.
The 2016 Auto Bild All Season tyre test has tested ten of the latest all season tyres across the usual array of dry, wet, snow, comfort and economy tests using the industry standard VW Golf wearing 205/55 R16 sized tyres.
For the second time this year, the summer-bias Michelin CrossClimate won the test overall by dominating in the dry, having the shortest wet braking and being good enough in the snow.
After five years on the market, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport has been replaced. Meet the new Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S.
Michelin have chosen to drop the "Super Sport" branding in favour of the making the product family more uniform. Sadly, the "4 S" name could mislead you into thinking this tyre has all-season (or "four season") capabilities, but rest assured the new 4S is just as focused as the Michelin Pilot Super Sport was.
We test the dominent Michelin Pilot Super Sport against the new boy to the max performance tyre segment, the Continental Sport Contact 6! Read on for the full details
The 2016 ACE magazine all season tyre test covers ten all season tyres in the popular 205/55 R16 tyre size using a VW Golf, and includes a summer and winter tyre as benchmarks.
Once again, the test highlights the fact that current all season tyres, with the exception of the Michelin CrossClimate, should be considered as slightly tweaked winter tyres and have all the drawbacks of the winter rubber in warm dry and wet conditions.
Maxxis have just launched their latest ultra high performance tyre, the Maxxis Premitra HP5, replacing the Maxxis Pro R1.
The Taiwanese tyre manufacturer dominates in Asia, and has OE fitments on a large number of brands. Maxxis started manufacturing tyres in 1967, and now boasts over 31,000 employees. Maxxis develops a tyre for every type of vehicle on the market, including car, truck, motorbike, quad, and even prams!
Testing nine of the latest max performance tyres, EVO have chosen the popular 235/35 R19 size, using a Ford Focus ST at Continentals circuit in Texas for the 2016 EVO Summer Tyre Test.
The 2016 Auto Express summer tyre test has just been published, and it's the first test to have the "holy 4"! The new Dunlop Sport Maxx RT 2, Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3, Michelin Pilot Sport 4 and Pirelli P Zero PZ4 have finally been tested together at the same track, on the same car (VW Golf GTI), in the same 225/40 R18 size!
The Test World ultra high performance summer tyre test puts thirteen 225/40 R18 tyre patterns through the usual array of wet, dry and environment testing using a VW Golf GTI.
Sadly, there's no Michelin Pilot Sport 4 in this test, with Test World testing the older Pilot Sport 3 pattern, but they have included the new Goodyear and Dunlop tyres.
Here at TyreReviews we often get asked what modifications are made to OE marked tyres such as * for BMW, N for Porsche, MO for Mercedes and AO for Audi.
Usually, we have to give the very general answer of "stuff" as the data isn't made publically available, but thanks to Pirelli, we can now offer a simplified insight as to what changes major vehicle manufacturers have requested for the new Pirelli P Zero during the OE approval process.
Runflat tyres have a bad reputation; they’re known for having poor ride comfort, tramlining, noise, low levels of wet grip, and if you puncture them very few places will actually repair a runflat due to the risk of sidewall damage. One new runflat tyre which nearly solves the runflat comfort and grip issues is the Bridgestone DriveGuard. (full report) This new type of runflat can be fit to any vehicle, and offers a very similar general experience to a regular tyre, but will still deflate in the event of a tread puncture.
This year Sport Auto have chosen 235/40 R18 as their ultra high performance tyre test size. Sadly, this resulted in a couple of the key new tyres being left out, so Sport Auto also tested the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 in 225/40 R18 and the Continental Sport Contact 6 in 235/35 R19 to get an approximate idea of how they compared, but excluded them from the final results.
This year the German magazine "Gute Fahrt" have tested nine all season tyres in 205/55 R16 using a VW Golf, plus summer and winter tyre for comparison.
While the full results are summarised below, we thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at how the all season tyres compared to the summer Continental EcoContact 5 and winter Dunlop WinterSport 5 included in the test.
The most popular tyre on TyreReviews has finally been replaced!
Launched in February 2011, the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 is the most reviewed tyre on TyreReviews, and has stood the test of time well. The creatively named replacement, the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 promises to move the game on in every area, but in particular is boasting much improved wet and dry braking, lower fuel consumption and vastly better wear characteristics.
This year the German AutoBild magazine have taken the 15 best tyres from their 205/55 R16 50 tyre braking shootout through to the full test, and the result is another impressive win for Hankook!
One VW Golf wearing 205/55 R16 tyres, 50 different tyre patterns, and a lot of wet and dry braking tests gives us a good overview of the market in 2016. The dry test was braking from 62 mph, and the wet from 50 mph.
The test we've all been waiting for is here, and it's round one to Continental.
The 2016 Auto Bild Sports Cars tyre test placed six maximum performance tyres through their paces on a Jaguar F-Type, in 255/35 R20 front and 295/30 R20 rear sizes.
Testing in 225/45 R17, the GTU test is the first test to include the new Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3, Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2, Falken Azenis FK510, Toyo Proxes T1 Sport+ and GT Radial SportActive amongst the fourteen tyres tested! Sadly, the new Michelin Pilot Sport 4 was absent from the test, but we can't have everything at once.
The 2016 ADAC 225/45 R17 summer tyre test is a classic ADAC by-the-numbers tyre test, with the results driven from data rather than subjective scoring.
Of the sixteen tyres tested, at least three patterns have already been replaced, with the Michelin Pilot Sport 3, Toyo Proxes T1 Sport and GT Radial Champiro HPY already superseded by the Michelin Pilot Sport 4, Toyo Proxes T1 Sport+ and GT Radial Sport Active in late 2015.
With the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 officially going on sale at the start of 2016, but not launching to the press until later in the year, we were keen to get some miles on a set to answer the miriad of questions already appearing in our inbox.
The solution? Our long term Skoda Octavia VRS, which fortunately wears one of the launch sizies - 225/40 R18. Four tyres and 500 miles later, we're able to give our first impressions of the new Michelin Pilot Sport 4.
Next up, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4. Many people felt the Pilot Sport name lost its direction as the Michelin Pilot Sport 3 didn't replace the Pilot Sport 2, but the slightly more touring bias Pilot Exalto 2. The true replacement for the Pilot Sport 2 came in the shape of the well regarded Michelin Pilot Super Sport.
Due to a number of cold and snowy winters, the UK population now understands winter tyres both exist, and aren’t just for snow and ice - they also offer a real benefit when the conditions are cold and wet. This is why tyre manufacturers recommend that for the highest level of safety during year round motoring, you should switch between dedicated summer and winter tyres.
Read on to see how the tyres perform at various tread depths!
The Continental WinterContact TS860 might not be available until autumn 2016, but that hasn’t stopped Continental giving us a preview of the new tyre, and quite a tyre it is!
The outgoing Continental WinterContact TS850 has unquestionably been the "mid European" winter tyre to buy since its launch in 2012, having won 48 test and being recommended in 61 of the 68 tests it has been featured in. This means the new WinterContact TS860 has some big boots to fill.
While we've not yet had the chance to drive on it, the independent German test body TUV have done their usual array of tests, and found that the new Goodyear has 2.6 metres shorter wet braking (9% better performance) and 1.3 metres shorter dry braking (4% better performance) than the average of the Michelin Pilot Sport 3, Bridgestone Potenza S001 and Continental Sport Contact 5.
This is a tyre we're very excited about, so you can be sure we'll be reporting on the driving experience at the first opportunity. Read on for the full press release
The UK climate represents a difficult challenge for car tyres. Warm enough to require a tyre that works well at higher temperatures, but not warm enough to make a summer tyre the best choice year round.
Until recently, tyres have fallen into three distinct categories: summer, all season and winter tyres. Traditionally, all season tyres have been developed from a winter tyre origins, which give them excellent snow performance but can impact dry and wet performance, especially in the warmer months. This year, Michelin have released the CrossClimate, which if the marketing is to be believed, promises to be a second type of all season tyre, one which started life as a summer tyre and has been gifted winter capabilities.
Is a summer and winter tyre combination the only safe option? Has the second generation Goodyear all season moved the game on? Can the new Michelin CrossClimate live up to the marketing hype? That's what we're here to find out.