2014 All Season Tyre Test

Test Summary
Best tyre for dry roadsVredestein Quatrac Lite
Best tyre for wet roadsPirelli Cinturato AllSeason
Uniroyal AllSeasonExpert
Best tyre for snowUniroyal AllSeasonExpert
Nexen N Priz 4S
Kumho Solus HA31
The lowest fuel useVredestein Quatrac Lite
The most comfortableVredestein Quatrac Lite
Uniroyal AllSeasonExpert
The quietest tyreVredestein Quatrac Lite
The UK weather has proven itself to be unpredictable, and with the 2014 winter approaching quickly we don't yet know whether we're in for another 2011 level of snow induced chaos, or a repeat of last years mild and wet winter.

With this in mind, here at TyreReviews we've come to the conclusion the best winter tyre for the UK climate, is actually an all season tyre.

What is an all season tyre?

Ten years ago, there was no such thing as a true all season tyre. Tyres which were branded "all season" were simply summer tyres with slightly wider tread blocks to to gain the M+S marking, and were generally useless in snow.

Modern tyre technology allows tyre companies to blend dry, wet and snow abilities in a much smarter way, which gives modern all season tyres the ability to work year round, in all conditions.

So, true all season tyres exist?

In short, no. If you a looking for the optimum grip year round, you're still better off with a dedicated summer and winter tyre, and changing once the temperatures get near freezing. However, modern all season tyres DO work in all conditions, and can now offer 90% of the grip of a full winter tyre on ice and snow, while keeping 90% of a summer tyres performance in the dry and wet. 

Why is this important for the UK?

UK winters are generally categorised by long periods of cold and wet weather, with occasional snow.

This means during the average UK winter, a tyre with snow performance as its best quality can only really shine for a few days a year. While a winter tyre will work better than a summer tyre in cold, wet conditions, an all season tyre will work better than the winter tyre in cold, wet conditions, and still retain excellent snow performance to and the ability to be run through the summer if you need.

The below chart compares the third place Vredestein All Season tyre tyre with the summer and winter tyre included in the AutoBild test detailed below

Which all season tyre should I buy?

To answer this question we turn to the 2014 Auto Bild All Season Tyre Test. This year Auto Bild have tested ten all season tyres in 185/60 R15, and include a summer and a winter tyre for the braking and handling tests.

Being a German publication, they naturally focus on the snow performance as the highest scored category which means the winning tyre might not be the best all season tyre for the UK climate. The full results are below, but we suggest paying particular attention to the third place Vredestein Quatrac Lite, which has an excellent blend of dry and wet performance, while retaining excellent snow qualities.

Also worth considering is the Bridgestone A001. Although not tested by Auto Bild this year, it is a very capable all season tyre for the UK climate, combining strong wet and dry handling, good wear and a high snow performance.

Results

Pirelli Cinturato AllSeason1st: Pirelli Cinturato AllSeason
  1. Total: 34
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 7
  4. Snow: 5
  5. Comfort: 5
  6. Rolling Resistance: 6
  7. Noise: 6
Positive: The best all season tyre in the test, with stable cornering and superb handling on wet roads. Good safety margins when aquaplaning and precise steering response with good feedback on wet and dry roads
Negative: None listed

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Goodyear Vector 4Seasons2nd: Goodyear Vector 4Seasons
  1. Total: 32
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 5
  4. Snow: 6
  5. Comfort: 5
  6. Rolling Resistance: 5
  7. Noise: 6
Positive: Convincing all season tyre with safe, balanced qualities and good steering response in all weather conditions. Stable cornering and short braking distances in the snow, strong aquaplaning properties
Negative: None listed

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Vredestein Quatrac Lite3rd: Vredestein Quatrac Lite
  1. Total: 41
  2. Dry: 7
  3. Wet: 5
  4. Snow: 6
  5. Comfort: 7
  6. Rolling Resistance: 9
  7. Noise: 7
Positive: The dry specialist with a low rolling resistance. Precise dynamic handling and short braking distances on dry roads, quiet, good comfort
Negative: Slight aquaplaning weakness

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Uniroyal AllSeasonExpert4th: Uniroyal AllSeasonExpert
  1. Total: 39
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 7
  4. Snow: 8
  5. Comfort: 7
  6. Rolling Resistance: 7
  7. Noise: 5
Positive: A good all rounder with an impressive performance on snow and wet roads. Nice steering feel, best aquaplaning scores, fuel efficient
Negative: None listed

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Dunlop SP Sport 01 AS5th: Dunlop SP Sport 01 AS
  1. Total: 32
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 4
  4. Snow: 7
  5. Comfort: 4
  6. Rolling Resistance: 6
  7. Noise: 6
Positive: Excellent winter qualities, dynamic snow handling, short braking distances on snow and dry roads
Negative: Limit cornering and longer braking distances on wet roads, average comfort

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Falken EUROALL SEASON AS2006th: Falken EUROALL SEASON AS200
  1. Total: 31
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 6
  4. Snow: 4
  5. Comfort: 6
  6. Rolling Resistance: 4
  7. Noise: 6
Positive: Stable ride and best performance in the wet, pleasantly quiet, fairly low cost
Negative: Only average traction and cornering on snow, slightly higher stopping distances, slightly high rolling resistance

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Hankook Optimo 4S7th: Hankook Optimo 4S
  1. Total: 31
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 4
  4. Snow: 6
  5. Comfort: 6
  6. Rolling Resistance: 4
  7. Noise: 6
Positive: Balanced, safe handling on snow covered and dry roads. Good aquaplaning performance
Negative: Limited grip in the wet with long braking distances and understeer. High rolling resistance

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Kumho Solus HA318th: Kumho Solus HA31
  1. Total: 32
  2. Dry: 4
  3. Wet: 3
  4. Snow: 8
  5. Comfort: 5
  6. Rolling Resistance: 6
  7. Noise: 6
Positive: A great winter tyre with the best snow performance
Negative: Only average results in both the wet and dry, low steering speed and long braking distances

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Nexen N Priz 4S9th: Nexen N Priz 4S
  1. Total: 32
  2. Dry: 4
  3. Wet: 3
  4. Snow: 8
  5. Comfort: 6
  6. Rolling Resistance: 6
  7. Noise: 5
Positive: Good snow performance
Negative: Understeer and long braking distances on both wet and dry roads, average aquaplaning result

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Maloya Quadris10th: Maloya Quadris
  1. Total: 23
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 3
  4. Snow: 1
  5. Comfort: 3
  6. Rolling Resistance: 6
  7. Noise: 5
Positive: Good aquaplaning resistance, short dry braking
Negative: Severely limited winter usability, low traction and driving performance on snow, dangerously long snow and wet braking

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