2014 AutoBild 235/35 R19 Winter Tyre Test

Test Summary
Best tyre for dry roadsNokian WR A3
Best tyre for wet roadsContinental WinterContact TS 850 P
Best tyre for snowPirelli Winter Sottozero 3
The lowest fuel usePirelli Winter Sottozero 3
The most comfortableMichelin Pilot Alpin 4
The quietest tyreStar Performer SPTS AS
Winter tyres can be a problem in the UK. Mainland Europe are very good at putting smaller wheels and tyres on, but in the UK where even the most modest town hatchback is being fitted with 17 or 18 inch wheels as standard, and performance car now being fitted with 19 or even 20 inch wheels, finding a test covering larger winter wheel sizes can be difficult.

Fortunately Auto Bild Sportscars is there to offer us some guidance for the 2014 season, and have tested 235/35 R19 winter tyres on a BMW M135i. Sadly, they only managed to find six patterns to test, compared to fifty in their 205/55 R16 tests, but it gives us a good indication of what winter tyres are like in larger sizes.

The Results

As usual, Auto Bild have weighted snow as the most important performance quality of the winter tyre, but for the UK climate this isn't always the case. For example, the fifth place Nokian is the best tyre in the dry, excellent wet performance and will still be many times better than any summer tyre in the snow, which makes it particularly well suited to the UK. As always, it's best to read the full results, rather than just looking at the overall positions.

Pirelli Winter Sottozero 31st: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
Total: 41 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 9 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 8 / Noise: 6
Positive: The winter king with superb handling on snow and wet roads. Precise steering with good feedback. Excellent aquaplaning performance and low rolling resistance
Negative: None mentioned
Overall: Exemplary

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Michelin Pilot Alpin 42nd: Michelin Pilot Alpin 4
Total: 39 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 8 / Comfort: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Noise: 5
Positive: Sporty winter tyre with balance performance and a high level of steering response, good traction and stable cornering on now. Short braking distances in all conditions, good ride comfort, low rolling resistance
Negative: None mentioned
Overall: Exemplary

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Continental WinterContact TS 850 P3rd: Continental WinterContact TS 850 P
Total: 38 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 8 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Noise: 6
Positive: Impressive winter tyre with exemplary performance in the wet. Excellent wet and dry handling with precise steering response and cornering stability. Short braking distances on snow and wet roads. Low rolling resistance
Negative: None mentioned
Overall: Exemplary

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Vredestein Wintrac xtreme S4th: Vredestein Wintrac xtreme S
Total: 36 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 7 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Noise: 6
Positive: Balance safe driving in all weather conditions, good traction and corning on snow, low rolling resistance
Negative: Long braking distances in the dry, average aquaplaning qualities
Overall: Good

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Nokian WR A35th: Nokian WR A3
Total: 34 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 4 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 6
Positive: Dry specialist, with sporty dynamic handing on wet and dry roads. Short dry braking distances
Negative: Limited winter qualities with understeer and long braking distances on snow
Overall: Satisfactory

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Star Performer SPTS AS6th: Star Performer SPTS AS
Total: 26 / Dry: 4 / Wet: 2 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 3 / Rolling Resistance: 4 / Noise: 7
Positive: Balance safe driving on snow, quiet
Negative: High levels of understeer on wet and dry roads, dangerous long wet braking distance, high rolling resistance
Overall: Not Recommended

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