2012 Auto Bild Top 15 Winter Tyre Test

Continuing on from the 42 tyre winter tyres shootout, Auto Bild carried the top 15 tyres across to the more in-depth group tests. Qualifying for this ultimate winter shoot out were tyres from each of the six premium manufacturers, along with eight midrange brands and one brand we consider a high end budget (Maxxis).

As usual, the fifteen tyres were put through sixteen tests, designed to test all aspects of the tyres performance in the snow, on wet and dry roads, as well as wear, fuel consumption and comfort being rated.

The All Season Angle

Perhaps most interestingly for our UK readers, was the inclusion of the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons in all the tests. The Goodyear Vector 4Seasons is one of the strongest all season tyres on the market, and won the latest all season tyre test by Auto Bild. Instead of focusing on all season tyres in this write up, we've written a separate piece - all season tyres, how do they stack up.

Premium Performance

Somewhat unsurprisingly the winner of this group test was the new Continental Winter Contact TS850, as it continued its flawless run in the magazine group tests. Praised for a flawless winter performance, strong in the wet and combined with low rolling resistance it was the clear winner, with only its cost counting against it.

Full Results

Continental WinterContact TS 8501st: Continental WinterContact TS 850
  1. Total: 51
  2. Dry: 7
  3. Wet: 7
  4. Snow: 9
  5. Comfort: 7
  6. Rolling Resistance: 9
  7. Noise: 6
  8. Cost: 6
Positive: Best in all winter disciplines, good aquaplaning resistance, low rolling resistance, high comfort
Negative: Cost
Overall: Exemplary

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Bridgestone Blizzak LM322nd: Bridgestone Blizzak LM32
  1. Total: 44
  2. Dry: 6
  3. Wet: 7
  4. Snow: 7
  5. Comfort: 6
  6. Rolling Resistance: 5
  7. Noise: 8
  8. Cost: 5
Positive: Balanced handling and short braking distances in all weather conditions, high mileage, good comfort
Negative: Slightly increased rolling resistance
Overall: Exemplary

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Michelin Alpin A43rd: Michelin Alpin A4
  1. Total: 45
  2. Dry: 6
  3. Wet: 6
  4. Snow: 6
  5. Comfort: 6
  6. Rolling Resistance: 7
  7. Noise: 6
  8. Cost: 8
Positive: Convincing handling on wet and dry conditions, good steering precision, good mileage, low rolling resistance
Negative: Cost
Overall: Exemplary

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Hankook Winter i cept RS4th: Hankook Winter i cept RS
  1. Total: 41
  2. Dry: 6
  3. Wet: 5
  4. Snow: 7
  5. Comfort: 5
  6. Rolling Resistance: 6
  7. Noise: 6
  8. Cost: 6
Positive: Safe handling with good lateral grip on wet and snowy surfaces
Negative: Slightly understeering driving behaviour on wet track
Overall: Recommended

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Semperit Speed Grip 25th: Semperit Speed Grip 2
  1. Total: 41
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 8
  4. Snow: 6
  5. Comfort: 5
  6. Rolling Resistance: 5
  7. Noise: 8
  8. Cost: 4
Positive: Dynamic handling in wet and snowy, short wet braking distances, good aquaplaning resistance, quiet
Negative: Understeer on a dry track, low mileage
Overall: Recommended

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Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D6th: Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D
  1. Total: 46
  2. Dry: 6
  3. Wet: 6
  4. Snow: 7
  5. Comfort: 8
  6. Rolling Resistance: 8
  7. Noise: 7
  8. Cost: 4
Positive: Top results on snow, precise steering response, good ride comfort, low rolling resistance
Negative: Moderate grip in the wet, low mileage
Overall: Recommended

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Goodyear UltraGrip 87th: Goodyear UltraGrip 8
  1. Total: 39
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 7
  4. Snow: 6
  5. Comfort: 7
  6. Rolling Resistance: 3
  7. Noise: 6
  8. Cost: 5
Positive: Balanced snow qualities, good aquaplaning resistance, precise steering response, pleasant comfort
Negative: Increased rolling resistance, high cost
Overall: Recommended

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Pirelli Winter Snow Control Series 38th: Pirelli Winter Snow Control Series 3
  1. Total: 41
  2. Dry: 6
  3. Wet: 7
  4. Snow: 6
  5. Comfort: 5
  6. Rolling Resistance: 7
  7. Noise: 6
  8. Cost: 4
Positive: Agile handling with excellent cornering on wet track, low rolling resistance
Negative: Moderate mileage, high cost
Overall: Recommended

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Nokian WR D39th: Nokian WR D3
  1. Total: 43
  2. Dry: 7
  3. Wet: 5
  4. Snow: 7
  5. Comfort: 6
  6. Rolling Resistance: 7
  7. Noise: 7
  8. Cost: 4
Positive: Exemplary handling with more stable cornering on snow and dry conditions, quiet
Negative: Reduced mileage
Overall: Recommended

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Fulda Kristall Control HP10th: Fulda Kristall Control HP
  1. Total: 40
  2. Dry: 6
  3. Wet: 5
  4. Snow: 6
  5. Comfort: 5
  6. Rolling Resistance: 6
  7. Noise: 6
  8. Cost: 6
Positive: Balanced safe handling and short braking distances on snow-covered slopes, good value for money
Negative: Understeering driving behaviour on wet track, moderate comfort
Overall: Recommended

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Falken Eurowinter HS44911th: Falken Eurowinter HS449
  1. Total: 38
  2. Dry: 6
  3. Wet: 7
  4. Snow: 4
  5. Comfort: 4
  6. Rolling Resistance: 4
  7. Noise: 8
  8. Cost: 5
Positive: Stable handling characteristics and short braking distances on wet roads
Negative: Limited winter qualities, low mileage , increased fuel consumption
Overall: Fair

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Firestone Winterhawk 2 EVO12th: Firestone Winterhawk 2 EVO
  1. Total: 35
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 5
  4. Snow: 6
  5. Comfort: 4
  6. Rolling Resistance: 2
  7. Noise: 7
  8. Cost: 6
Positive: Balanced handling on wet and dry roads, good value for money
Negative: Prolonged wet and dry braking distances, moderate comfort, high rolling resistance
Overall: Satisfactory

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Kleber Krisalp HP213th: Kleber Krisalp HP2
  1. Total: 41
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 5
  4. Snow: 4
  5. Comfort: 6
  6. Rolling Resistance: 9
  7. Noise: 3
  8. Cost: 9
Positive: Best value for money, high mileage, low rolling resistance
Negative: Moderate Winter Properties, slightly increased understeer in the wet, high pass-by noise
Overall: Fair

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Uniroyal MS plus 6614th: Uniroyal MS plus 66
  1. Total: 31
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 5
  4. Snow: 6
  5. Comfort: 4
  6. Rolling Resistance: 3
  7. Noise: 5
  8. Cost: 3
Positive: Stable handling on snow, good aquaplaning resistance
Negative: Unstable handling on wet roads, moderate comfort, poor mileage
Overall: Fair

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Maxxis MA PW Presa Snow15th: Maxxis MA PW Presa Snow
  1. Total: 39
  2. Dry: 6
  3. Wet: 2
  4. Snow: 7
  5. Comfort: 2
  6. Rolling Resistance: 7
  7. Noise: 9
  8. Cost: 6
Positive: Short stopping distances and dynamic handling on snow
Negative: Weaknesses in driving performance and long braking distances on wet, moderate comfort, low mileage
Overall: Conditionally recommendable

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