2011 Auto Zeitung Winter Tyre Test

In 2011, the excellent German Auto Zeitung have tested 14 winter tyres throughout Europe. Running the popular 205/55 R16, fitted to a BMW 3 Series, the tyres have been thoroughly tested on snow, wet roads and in dry conditions.

The Results

1st: Goodyear UltraGrip 8

Goodyear UltraGrip 8
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 381
  2. Dry: 116
  3. Wet: 136
  4. Snow: 129
Dry: Very stable, strong braking. Average rolling resistance.
Wet: Strongest tyre in the wet with class leading grip and braking.
Snow: Flawless in the snow makes the Goodyear an extremely safe tyre with great balance.
The new Goodyear Ultragrip 8 is convincing in every respect, and confidently wins the test.

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2nd: Semperit Speed Grip 2

Semperit Speed Grip 2
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 374
  2. Dry: 127
  3. Wet: 129
  4. Snow: 118
Dry: Lowest rolling resistance, short braking distances and good steering precision.
Wet: Super precise turn in, very stable, good grip. Slightly weakness with aquaplaning.
Snow: Very good traction and braking.
The new Semperit Speed Grip 2 has impeccable precision meaning a strong 2nd place.

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3rd: Nokian WR D3

Nokian WR D3
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 365
  2. Dry: 112
  3. Wet: 111
  4. Snow: 142
Dry: One of the strongest tyres under dry braking, excellent load change reactions.
Wet: Fast times and high levels of security when driving in the wet. Average aquaplaning.
Snow: If it's snowing the WR D3 leaves them all behind. Best grip and good neutral balance.
Excellent handling on snow and good overall handling characteristics leave the Nokian WR D3 in a strong 3rd.

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4th: Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D

Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 363
  2. Dry: 118
  3. Wet: 130
  4. Snow: 115
Dry: Lots of feedback, good handling. Average rolling resistance value.
Wet: Good wet grip.
Snow: Good values for traction, braking and handling. Dynamic tyre with high safety reserves.
The new Dunlop Winter Sport 4d runs well under all conditions and is always safe and sporty.

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5th: Continental WinterContact TS830

Continental WinterContact TS830
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 359
  2. Dry: 123
  3. Wet: 135
  4. Snow: 101
Dry: Good driving safety in the dry, low noise.
Wet: Neutral handling, fast and safe.
Snow: Slightly weak traction.
Due to be replaced soon, the Continental WinterContact TS830 is still a leading winter tyre.

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6th: Pirelli Winter Snow Control Series 3

Pirelli Winter Snow Control Series 3
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 351
  2. Dry: 113
  3. Wet: 118
  4. Snow: 120
Dry: Good rolling resistance values, lots of front grip, slightly sluggish on the rear axle.
Wet: High degree of driving safety, but only average aquaplaning properties.
Snow: Good on slush, strong braking.
Compared to the predecessor, the Pirelli Winter Snow Control Series 3 is a better all round tyre.

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7th: Michelin Alpin A4

Michelin Alpin A4
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 350
  2. Dry: 114
  3. Wet: 120
  4. Snow: 116
Dry: High pass by noise, but very stable and precise.
Wet: Leading aquaplaning results, excellent braking.
Snow: Even on a RWD car the A4 is a safe stable tyre. Average slush performance.
The Michelin Alpine A4 shows a good all round performance.

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8th: Vredestein Snowtrac 3

Vredestein Snowtrac 3
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 336
  2. Dry: 108
  3. Wet: 111
  4. Snow: 117
Dry: Fast times in handling and slalom, largely smooth ride. Average rolling resistance.
Wet: Good braking performance and agile handling. A little oversteer on the limit.
Snow: Average slush performance, otherwise clear feedback.
The Vredestein Snowtrac 3 is a good all round performer.

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9th: Sava eskimo hp

Sava eskimo hp
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 321
  2. Dry: 93
  3. Wet: 111
  4. Snow: 117
Dry: Average dry performance.
Wet: Not sport tyres, but a good level of grip for safe driving. Well balanced road holding.
Snow: Good snow performance, in particular braking and feedback.
The Sava Eskimo HP is a well balanced winter tyre.

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10th: Bridgestone Blizzak LM32

Bridgestone Blizzak LM32
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 304
  2. Dry: 97
  3. Wet: 104
  4. Snow: 103
Dry: Good dynamically, good ride comfort. Average rolling resistance.
Wet: Slight aquaplaning weakness, slightly numb feeling.
Snow: Good slush control, good braking, below average traction.
The Bridgestone Blizzak LM32 has excellent slush control, slightly let down by its rolling resistance.

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11th: Fulda Kristall Control HP

Fulda Kristall Control HP
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 296
  2. Dry: 100
  3. Wet: 96
  4. Snow: 100
Dry: A little sluggish but otherwise a good safe performance in the dry. High noise.
Wet: Tendency to understeer leaves the Fulda feeling sluggish, however once sliding it's very predictable.
Snow: Good grip but slightly unbalanced.
The Fulda Kirstall Control HP is unremarkable in any category, but no major weaknesses.

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12th: Firestone Winterhawk 2 EVO

Firestone Winterhawk 2 EVO
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 290
  2. Dry: 98
  3. Wet: 83
  4. Snow: 109
Dry: Fast slalom and quick handling, sometimes too quick resulting in oversteer.
Wet: Poor aquaplaning and long braking.
Snow: Good braking and excellent in slush. Moderate traction.
The Winterhalk 2 EVO is good in the snow, not enough wet grip leaves the Firestone 12th.

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13th: Apollo Acelere Winter

Apollo Acelere Winter
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 276
  2. Dry: 114
  3. Wet: 77
  4. Snow: 85
Dry: Surprisingly strong dry braking. Average rolling resistance.
Wet: Good traction, however poor aquaplaning and nervous cornering.
Snow: Long braking distances and random violent oversteer.
Other than an excellent dry braking performance, the Apollo Acelere leaves a lot to be desired.

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14th: GT Radial Champiro Winterpro

GT Radial Champiro Winterpro
  • 205/55 r16
  1. Total: 243
  2. Dry: 97
  3. Wet: 63
  4. Snow: 83
Dry: Long stopping distances and poor balance.
Wet: Traction and cornering are the weak points of the GT Radial. Poor aquaplaning results.
Snow: Poor balance leaving the car often unpredictable.
Poor snow and wet grip leave the GT Radial in last place.

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