2017 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test

Test Summary
Best tyre for dry roadsContinental WinterContact TS 860
Best tyre for wet roadsPirelli Winter Sottozero 3
Bridgestone Blizzak LM001 EVO
Best tyre for snowBFGoodrich gForce Winter 2
The lowest fuel useUniroyal MS Plus 77
The most comfortableMichelin Alpin 5
Semperit Speed Grip 3
BFGoodrich gForce Winter 2
The lowest wearFulda Kristall Control HP2
Nexen WinGuard Sport 2
The quietest tyreBridgestone Blizzak LM001 EVO
The best value tyreNexen WinGuard Sport 2
Sava Eskimo HP2
The 2017 Auto Bild winter tyre test started with fifty 225/50 R17 winter tyre patterns which Auto Bild tested for wet braking performance, and then dropped the worse twenty tyres from the test.

The next phase was testing the remaining thirty patterns for snow braking, which was then combined with the wet braking distances to allow the ten worst tyres to be dropped. This left twenty winter tyres which Auto Bild regarded as the best winter tyres on the market, and deemed worthy enough to take through to the full testing.

As ever with Auto Bild testing, they undertake all the usual dry, wet and snow testing, but also including important factors such as wear and cost per 1,000 km, which a lot of tests are unable to include.

The results as closer than ever, and you'd be hard pressed to classify any of the top 10 tyres as bad tyres, but three in particular rose to the top.

Dry

In the dry grip testing, no tyre got close the reference summer tyre. During the braking tests, the Pirelli was the closest, but with all twenty winter tyres separated by just 3 meters overall when braking from 100 km/h, the differences between the top ten were small.

The Continental winter tyre was a step above the rest during dry handling, however it was still a large margin behind the summer reference tyre in another closely contested category.

Winter tyres often have a bad reputation for being noisy, but every winter tyre managed to best the summer reference on test, with the Bridgestone winter tyre quietest by some margin.

All tests are the combined results of drive by noise readings at both 50 km/h and 80 km/h.

Wet

The shallow water wet testing results were a little more spread out, but the summer tyre still dominated. Again, the Pirelli was closest in wet braking, but this time there was over 4 meters separating the winter tyres when braking from 80 km/h.

This time the Pirelli matched its wet braking peformance and finished the best winter tyre during wet handling too.

The summer tyre could only manage fourth place overall in the deep water aquaplaning tests, with the Michelin owned BF Goodrich and Kleber taking the top two places.

Snow

BF Goodrich and Kleber continued their success during the aquaplaning tests to stop the quickest when braking from 50 km/h on snow.

Barum took a surprise win during snow handling, with BF Goodrich a close second place. The reference summer tyre couldn't even manage a lap of the snow handling course.

Cost

Difference between value and wear is an important distinction. Wear simply shows the projected mileage of the tyre, based on Auto Bild's testing. Value looks at the projected mileage divided by the price Auto Bild paid for the set, giving you a "euro per 1,000 km" figure. While Michelin offered the best value of the premium tyres on test, Nexen scored best in value thanks to excellent wear and a low purchase price.

While none of the winter tyres could beat the summer tyre during the rolling resistance testing, a number of tyres were close. Ironically, the best value tyre on test had the worst rolling resistance, which will offset some of the savings made over the tyres tread life.

Results

The full results are below, and have Auto Bild's usual confusing weighting attached to each of the criteria. For more information, be sure to check out the Auto Bild website (German).

Continental WinterContact TS 8601st: Continental WinterContact TS 860
Total: 48 / Dry: 7 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 7 / Comfort: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 6 / Wear: 5 / Cost: 4
Positive: Test winner. Excellent performance in all weather conditions, direct steering response and strong handling in the snow and on dry roads.
Negative: Average mileage.
Overall: Exemplary.

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Michelin Alpin 52nd: Michelin Alpin 5
Total: 51 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 7 / Rolling Resistance: 4 / Noise: 7 / Wear: 8 / Cost: 6
Positive: Winter specialist with very good wet grip and low wear. Balance handling in the snow and dry, good aquaplaning resistance.
Negative: Slightly high rolling resistance.
Overall: Exemplary.

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Dunlop Winter Sport 53rd: Dunlop Winter Sport 5
Total: 47 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 6 / Wear: 5 / Cost: 5
Positive: Premium winter tyre with balanced performance, good handling in the snow and wet, short wet braking distances.
Negative: Average mileage.
Overall: Exemplary.

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Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen 14th: Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen 1
Total: 46 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 7 / Snow: 7 / Comfort: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 7 / Wear: 4 / Cost: 3
Positive: Premium tyres with excellent performance in all weather conditions. Precise steering and good feedback, short braking distances.
Negative: High price, high wear.
Overall: Good.

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Semperit Speed Grip 35th: Semperit Speed Grip 3
Total: 48 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 7 / Comfort: 7 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 7 / Wear: 4 / Cost: 5
Positive: Convincing all rounder with good winter characteristics and good handling in the dry. Good comfort.
Negative: Average mileage.
Overall: Good.

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BFGoodrich gForce Winter 26th: BFGoodrich gForce Winter 2
Total: 53 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 9 / Comfort: 7 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 8 / Wear: 6 / Cost: 6
Positive: The winter kings, winning the snow tests, excellent aquaplaning results, good ride comfort.
Negative: Slow steering, understeer in the dry.
Overall: Good.

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Fulda Kristall Control HP27th: Fulda Kristall Control HP2
Total: 53 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 7 / Comfort: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 5 / Wear: 9 / Cost: 8
Positive: Low price, very good in the winter, excellent aquaplaning result, good ride comfort.
Negative: Slow steering, understeer in the wet.
Overall: Good.

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Bridgestone Blizzak LM001 EVO8th: Bridgestone Blizzak LM001 EVO
Total: 51 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 8 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 4 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 9 / Wear: 7 / Cost: 6
Positive: A well balanced tyre with excellent handling in the wet, low noise.
Negative: Average snow handling, long dry braking.
Overall: Good.

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Kleber Krisalp HP39th: Kleber Krisalp HP3
Total: 51 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 8 / Comfort: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 5 / Noise: 8 / Wear: 6 / Cost: 7
Positive: Excellent in the snow, good price / performance ratio, good aquaplaning resistance, low noise.
Negative: Poor dry grip and handling.
Overall: Good.

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Nexen WinGuard Sport 210th: Nexen WinGuard Sport 2
Total: 51 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 5 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 3 / Noise: 8 / Wear: 9 / Cost: 9
Positive: A good value winter tyre with balanced handling in the snow and on dry roads. Short wet braking distances.
Negative: Limited aquaplaning resistance, high rolling resistance.
Overall: Good.

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Gislaved EuroFrost 511th: Gislaved EuroFrost 5
Total: 47 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 5 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 5 / Wear: 6 / Cost: 8
Positive: Stable handling on snow and dry roads, good aquaplaning resistance.
Negative: Limited grip in the wet with understeer.
Overall: Average.

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Kumho WinterCraft WP7112th: Kumho WinterCraft WP71
Total: 48 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 5 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 4 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 7 / Wear: 7 / Cost: 8
Positive: Good snow traction, short wet and dry braking distances, good value.
Negative: Average handling with delayed turn-in, low comfort.
Overall: Average.

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Uniroyal MS Plus 7713th: Uniroyal MS Plus 77
Total: 49 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 5 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 6 / Rolling Resistance: 8 / Noise: 6 / Wear: 6 / Cost: 7
Positive: Good traction and braking in the snow, good aquaplaning resistance.
Negative: Slow steering response and poor cornering in the wet and dry.
Overall: Average.

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Nokian WR D414th: Nokian WR D4
Total: 42 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 6 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 7 / Wear: 3 / Cost: 4
Positive: Good performance in the wet and snow.
Negative: Understeer in the dry, high wear.
Overall: Average.

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Yokohama W drive V90515th: Yokohama W drive V905
Total: 40 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 5 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 4 / Rolling Resistance: 4 / Noise: 6 / Wear: 4 / Cost: 6
Positive: Good traction and short braking in the snow, stable wet handling.
Negative: Poor snow handling, low aquaplaning resistance, poor comfort, high rolling resistance.
Overall: Average.

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Barum Polaris 316th: Barum Polaris 3
Total: 50 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 4 / Snow: 8 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 7 / Noise: 6 / Wear: 6 / Cost: 8
Positive: Low price, stable snow performance.
Negative: Poor wet braking and handling, average aquaplaning reserves.
Overall: Average.

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Sava Eskimo HP217th: Sava Eskimo HP2
Total: 47 / Dry: 5 / Wet: 4 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 3 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 6 / Wear: 8 / Cost: 9
Positive: Best price / wear ratio, good in the snow.
Negative: Poor wet handling, long wet and dry braking distances. Low comfort.
Overall: Average.

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Pirelli Winter Sottozero 318th: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
Total: 39 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 8 / Snow: 4 / Comfort: 4 / Rolling Resistance: 5 / Noise: 6 / Wear: 3 / Cost: 3
Positive: Short wet and dry braking distances, dynamic wet handling.
Negative: Average winter performance, low snow traction, long snow braking, high wear.
Overall: Average.

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Firestone Winterhawk 319th: Firestone Winterhawk 3
Total: 43 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 4 / Snow: 6 / Comfort: 5 / Rolling Resistance: 4 / Noise: 7 / Wear: 5 / Cost: 6
Positive: Good snow traction, low noise.
Negative: Poor snow and wet handling, long wet braking, high rolling resistance.
Overall: Average.

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Hankook Winter i cept evo220th: Hankook Winter i cept evo2
Total: 41 / Dry: 6 / Wet: 5 / Snow: 4 / Comfort: 3 / Rolling Resistance: 6 / Noise: 6 / Wear: 5 / Cost: 6
Positive: Good dry handling, low rolling resistance.
Negative: Poor handling in the snow and wet. Average comfort.
Overall: Average.

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Reference Summer21st: Reference Summer
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