2014 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test

Test Summary
Best tyre for dry roadsNokian WR D3
Best tyre for wet roadsDunlop SP WinterSport 4D
Continental WinterContact TS 850
Goodyear UltraGrip 8 Performance
Best tyre for snowDunlop SP WinterSport 4D
Goodyear UltraGrip 8 Performance
Fulda Kristall Control HP
Uniroyal MS Plus 77
The lowest fuel useBarum Polaris 3
Uniroyal MS Plus 77
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
Semperit Speed Grip 2
The most comfortableGoodyear UltraGrip 8 Performance
The quietest tyreGoodride SW608
Westlake SW 608
The best value tyreMichelin Alpin A4
The 2014 Auto Bild winter tyre test tested sixteen 225/50 R17 winter tyres across fifteen disciplines, covering snow grip, wet grip, dry grip, rolling resistance and comfort. 

Starting with fifty different tyre models, Auto Bild put every tyre through a winter tyres toughest test - wet braking. Auto Bild then took the top twenty winter tyres from wet braking through to snow braking, and once it had combined the wet and snow braking distances for the top twenty, it chose the top sixteen tyres  for this more thorough "full" test.

The Summer Tyre

In addition to the results below, Auto Bild included a summer tyre on test for comparison purposes.

Unsurprisingly, in the snow, the summer tyre was useless, stopping over 31 metres longer than the best winter tyre in snow braking, and unable to gain enough traction to even complete the snow handling tests!

Dry testing also presented no surprises, with the summer tyre convincingly besting every winter tyre on test, stopping 4.6 metres shorter than the best winter tyre in dry braking, with a similar advantage in dry handling. The compromises a winter tyre has to make for snow performance means with todays technology, a winter tyre will never outperform a summer tyre during dry braking. 

Most interesting was the wet scoring. The summer tyre put on a good show during wet braking, beating fifteen of the winter tyres, and just beaten by the Pirelli winter for second place, but finished ninth in wet handling and was considerably down in the aquaplaning tests too. Unfortunately we don't know what temperatures the wet testing was carried out, but this marks an improvement for winter tyres over previous years.

The Results

Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D1st: Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D
Total: 50 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 8 / Snow: 9 / Comfort: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 8 / Cost: 7
Positive: Outstanding winter tyres with dynamic handling qualities on snowy and wet roads. Responsive steering with good feel, and safe aquaplaning properties. Good price / performance ratio and high mileage
Negative: None listed

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Michelin Alpin A42nd: Michelin Alpin A4
Total: 48 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 8 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 6 / Cost: 10
Positive: A model winter tyre with a very good price / performance ratio. Stable cornering and best handling qualities in the snow. Precise steering with good feedback. Low wear and low rolling resistance
Negative: None listed

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Continental WinterContact TS 8503rd: Continental WinterContact TS 850
Total: 48 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 8 / Snow: 8 / Comfort: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 6 / Cost: 9
Positive: Winter specialist with impressive handling on wet roads. Excellent aquaplaning results with short braking on wet roads. Comfortable and quiet
Negative: None listed

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Nokian WR D34th: Nokian WR D3
Total: 44 / Dry: 8 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 7 / Comfort: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 5 / Noise: 7 / Cost: 5
Positive: Balance winter tyre with safe handling. Short braking distances on snow. Dynamic handling, precise steering and good braking on dry roads. Low noise and good comfort
Negative: None listed

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Goodyear UltraGrip 8 Performance5th: Goodyear UltraGrip 8 Performance
Total: 49 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 8 / Snow: 9 / Comfort: 8 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 7 / Cost: 6
Positive: A premium winter tyre with excellent performance in the snow and wet. Good cornering in all weather, good ride comfort
Negative: Slightly long dry braking

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Bridgestone Blizzak LM32 S6th: Bridgestone Blizzak LM32 S
Total: 45 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 8 / Comfort: 4 / Rolling Resistance: 5 / Noise: 8 / Cost: 8
Positive: Balanced in all weather conditions. Good snow traction, short braking distances on snow and wet roads, good value for money
Negative: Slightly long dry and wet braking

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Pirelli Winter Sottozero 37th: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
Total: 40 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 8 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Noise: 4 / Cost: 3
Positive: Great handling on wet and snowy roads with a precise turn in and good feedback. Shorest wet and dry braking, low rolling resistance
Negative: Average aquaplaning results and average wear

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Semperit Speed Grip 28th: Semperit Speed Grip 2
Total: 46 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 7 / Comfort: 7 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Noise: 7 / Cost: 6
Positive: Balanced performance. Good balance on snowy and dry roads, good comfort and rolling resistance
Negative: Only average handling on wet roads

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Hankook Winter i cept RS9th: Hankook Winter i cept RS
Total: 40 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 5 / Snow: 7 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 6 / Cost: 5
Positive: Safe performance on snowy and dry roads, strong snow cornering, good aquaplaning results
Negative: Average grip and braking in the wet, average comfort

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Uniroyal MS Plus 7710th: Uniroyal MS Plus 77
Total: 39 / Dry: 4 / Wet: 5 / Snow: 9 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Noise: 6 / Cost: 3
Positive: Winter specialist wit short braking and sporty handling on snowy roads, very low rolling resistance
Negative: Understeer and average grip in the dry, high wear

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Barum Polaris 311th: Barum Polaris 3
Total: 40 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 4 / Snow: 7 / Comfort: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Noise: 6 / Cost: 5
Positive: Low price, good snow performance and good comfort. Low rolling resistance
Negative: Average performance on wet and dry roads

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Fulda Kristall Control HP12th: Fulda Kristall Control HP
Total: 40 / Dry: 4 / Wet: 4 / Snow: 9 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 8 / Cost: 4
Positive: Good snow performance, quiet
Negative: Average wet and dry handling, long dry braking, high wear

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Kumho IZen KW2713th: Kumho IZen KW27
Total: 35 / Dry: 4 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 5 / Noise: 6 / Cost: 3
Positive: Good traction and short braking distances on snowy roads. Good aquaplaning scores
Negative: Understeer in the wet, long dry braking, average wear

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Westlake SW 60814th: Westlake SW 608
Total: 34 / Dry: 3 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 4 / Comfort: 3 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 9 / Cost: 2
Positive: Good wet braking, cheap
Negative: Unbalanced handling in the snow and on dry roads, low comfort, low mileage

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Goodride SW60815th: Goodride SW608
Total: 32 / Dry: 3 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 4 / Comfort: 2 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 9 / Cost: 1
Positive: Short braking distances and good handling in the wet, low noise, cheap
Negative: Unbalanced handling in the snow and on dry roads, long dry stopping distances, very poor wear

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Cooper WM SA216th: Cooper WM SA2
Total: 28 / Dry: 3 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 2 / Rolling Resistance: 3 / Noise: 7 / Cost: 1
Positive: Short braking on wet and snowy roads
Negative: Average dry results, high rolling resistance, high wear

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