2011 Auto Bild 4x4 Winter Tyre Test

As proven in many a video, buying a 4x4 doesn't necessarily mean good winter performance. A good all wheel drive system can offer better traction than a 2wd car, however once moving if the 4x4 is on standard summer tyres it will only be able to steer and brake as well as any other vehicle on the road. image from auto bild issue 39 SUV and 4x4 winter tyre test The truth is with modern 4x4 vehicles often weighing in excess of 2.2 tons, fitted with powerful engines and fashionable wide sports tyres, winter tyres can be even more of a requirement if you want to stay mobile in the snow and ice.

The tests

To work out which winter tyres work best on big 4x4 and SUV vehicles Auto Bild have tested 8 sets of 255/55 R18 on a Mercedes ML, including one budget tyre from the far east.

The Summer Tyre

Also included in the test was a benchmark summer tyre, however as it couldn't finish all the tests it couldn't even be included in the final results! As an example of just how poor the standard tyres performed, during the braking test from 50kph the best winter tyre stopped the car in 30.4 metres, while the summer tyre slid on to a massive 50.6 metres!

The Results

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D1st: Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
Total: 24 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 10
Positive: Easily the best in the snow, great in the wet and dry. Quiet.
Negative: High price, moderate rolling resistance.

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Goodyear UltraGrip SUV2nd: Goodyear UltraGrip SUV
Total: 24 / Dry: 8 / Wet: 8 / Snow: 8
Positive: Strong in the snow, best marks in the wet with excellent aquaplaning properties, best in the dry.
Negative: High price, moderate rolling resistance.

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Continental ContiCrossContact Winter3rd: Continental ContiCrossContact Winter
Total: 20 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 7
Positive: Short braking in the wet, balanced overall performance.
Negative: High price, average cornering on snow.

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Pirelli Scorpion ICE plus SNOW4th: Pirelli Scorpion ICE plus SNOW
Total: 19 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 6
Positive: Precise handling, great steering feel espeically in the wet, well balanced tyre.
Negative: Slightly poor aquaplaning results, average braking distances on snow.

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Nokian W RG2 SUV5th: Nokian W RG2 SUV
Total: 18 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 5 / Snow: 6
Positive: Very low rolling resistance, good comfort, short braking on snow.
Negative: Average braking distances in the wet.

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Bridgestone Blizzak LM806th: Bridgestone Blizzak LM80
Total: 17 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 4 / Snow: 7
Positive: Very low rolling resistance, good snow performance, good dry cornering.
Negative: Poor wet performance, poor aquaplaning, long dry braking.

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Vredestein Wintrac 4 Extreme7th: Vredestein Wintrac 4 Extreme
Total: 15 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 4 / Snow: 5
Positive: Very low rolling resistance, short braking on snow, good aquaplaning.
Negative: Long stopping distances on wet roads, poor wet cornering, high noise.

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Nankang SV1 Winter Plus8th: Nankang SV1 Winter+
Total: 11 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 1 / Snow: 4
Positive: Low rolling resistance, acceptable braking on snow, low noise, cheap.
Negative: Extremely poor braking in the wet, little steering control in the wet and on snow, poor comfort.

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Visit Auto Bild to the full test (German)

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