2012 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test

Winter tyres shouldn't mean limited performance, and many modern winter tyres are rated up to V which means they're safe to run at 149mph for extended periods.

To test nine of the best, Auto Bild equipped a Golf GTI with the recommended 225/45 R17 winter tyre size in V rating, and subjected them to handling, braking and comfort tests in the dry, wet and snowy conditions.

The Results

Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D1st: Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D
Total: 46 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 8 / Snow: 9 / Comfort: 7 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Noise: 8
Positive: Winter tires of the highest class with the best traction and shortest braking distances on snow, secure handling in wet conditions and excellent cornering and short braking distances, very quiet, good aquaplaning properties

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Pirelli Sottozero Serie II2nd: Pirelli Sottozero Serie II
Total: 43 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 9 / Comfort: 7 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 7
Positive: The Pirelli has a balanced winter profile with superb dynamic properties and good traction on a snowy and wet track, exemplary steering precision, stable running and good grip in all weather conditions

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Continental WinterContact TS 830 P3rd: Continental WinterContact TS 830 P
Total: 47 / Dry: 8 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 7 / Comfort: 8 / Rolling Resistance: 10 / Noise: 7
Positive: Convincing all-rounder with good winter qualities and short wet braking distances, stable handling and steering precision with good lateral grip on dry roads. Best ride comfort in the test

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Michelin Alpin A44th: Michelin Alpin A4
Total: 41 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 8 / Comfort: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Noise: 7
Positive: Safe handling in all weather conditions, good traction and short braking distances on snow Quiet.
Negative: Slightly longer braking distances and average cornering on wet track

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Hankook Winter i cept RS5th: Hankook Winter i cept RS
Total: 38 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 7 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Noise: 7
Positive: Good aquaplaning properties, dynamic handling and high steering precision on dry roads, low rolling resistance
Negative: Weaknesses in driving performance on snowy and wet roads

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Nokian WR A36th: Nokian WR A3
Total: 41 / Dry: 8 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 7 / Rolling Resistance: 8 / Noise: 6
Positive: Excellent confidence with the fastest lap time, good steering precision and shortest stopping distance on a dry track. Stable driving characteristics in the wet, low rolling resistance
Negative: Limited aquaplaning, wet slightly longer braking distances

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Toyo Snowprox S9537th: Toyo Snowprox S953
Total: 38 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 8 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 5 / Noise: 8
Positive: The Toyo is a winter tire with good traction and delay on snowy slopes, convincing handling in all weather conditions; low noise
Negative: Slightly long wet braking distances, increased rolling resistance, average comfort

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Bridgestone Blizzak LM328th: Bridgestone Blizzak LM32
Total: 39 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 7 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 10 / Noise: 6
Positive: Short stopping distances and high traction on snow, good aquaplaning safety reserves, low rolling resistance
Negative: Weak cornering on snow; understeer with slow steering response; moderate comfort

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Semperit Speed Grip 29th: Semperit Speed Grip 2
Total: 41 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 8 / Noise: 8
Positive: Balanced safe handling and good traction on wet road, low rolling resistance and a low noise level
Negative: Only average handling; understeering driving behavior on wet and snow-covered roads

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