2012 Auto Bild 42 Winter Tyre Braking Test

By their very nature, cold weather, or winter tyres have more of a compromise built in than another other type of tyre on the market, due to the wide range of conditions they need to perform in.

Developing a tyre to perform well in snow conditions is actually relative easy for the tyre manufacturers. Lots of edges, a nice wide tread pattern and you have a reasonable snow performance. It's the balance between snow and wet performance which is extremely important to a lot of European countries, where the cold wet conditions far out weigh the snowy or icy driving conditions, and where a lot of cheaper winter tyres fail.

The Big Test

The average budget winter tyres sacrifices too much wet performance to be considered a sensible option for the UK climate.
To highlight this, Auto Bild have taken 42 sets of winter tyres, from premium to budget, and put them through a wet and snow braking "shoot out", to see which 15 tyres go through to their group tests.

Also included in the test is a summer and all season tyre to give a balance to the market overview.

As you'd expect the summer tyre stops the shortest in the wet from 80kph, taking just 39.2 meters to stop. The best winter tyre, the Semperit, is less than a meter behind in 40.1. While the gap between braking in the wet is extremely close, the results are somewhat different on snow. Where the Semperit takes 34 meters to stop from 50kph on snow, the summer tyre which enjoyed a 0.9 meters advantage in the wet, skids up in 69.5 meters - a huge 35.5 meters longer than the winter tyre!

This test also highlights the poor performance of budget winter tyres in the wet. Using the Semperit as our benchmark, the worst winter tyre took 56 meters in wet braking, stopping 15.9 meters, or 52 foot after the Semperit tyre had stopped the car.

The all season tyre, a Goodyear Vector 4Seasons kept honest to its name by winning neither test, but doing well in both disciplines, stopping the car in 46.4 meters in the wet and 38.4 meters in the snow, which would have the tyre placed around 20th in the overall results.

Auto Bild will be taking the top 15 tyres through to the shoot out due next month, conditionally recommend places 16 to 26, and do not recommend places 27 to 42, something we completely agree with.

The average budget winter tyres sacrifices too much wet performance to be considered a sensible option for the UK climate.

The Braking Results

Please note: Auto Bild considered places 27-42 so dangerous they did not test them in the snow. Our results show 1 meter for formatting reasons

1st: Continental WinterContact TS 850

Continental WinterContact TS 850
  1. Total: 72.2
  2. Wet: 41.2
  3. Snow: 31
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2nd: Semperit Speed Grip 2

Semperit Speed Grip 2
  1. Total: 74.1
  2. Wet: 40.1
  3. Snow: 34
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3rd: Bridgestone Blizzak LM32

Bridgestone Blizzak LM32
  1. Total: 74.6
  2. Wet: 41.8
  3. Snow: 32.8
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4th: Pirelli Winter Snow Control Series 3

Pirelli Winter Snow Control Series 3
  1. Total: 76
  2. Wet: 42.3
  3. Snow: 33.7
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5th: Falken Eurowinter HS449

Falken Eurowinter HS449
  1. Total: 76.8
  2. Wet: 40.2
  3. Snow: 36.6
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6th: Goodyear UltraGrip 8

Goodyear UltraGrip 8
  1. Total: 76.9
  2. Wet: 43.2
  3. Snow: 33.7
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7th: Michelin Alpin A4

Michelin Alpin A4
  1. Total: 76.9
  2. Wet: 42.4
  3. Snow: 34.5
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8th: Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D

Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D
  1. Total: 77
  2. Wet: 43.4
  3. Snow: 33.6
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9th: Hankook Winter i cept RS

Hankook Winter i cept RS
  1. Total: 77.2
  2. Wet: 44.7
  3. Snow: 32.5
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10th: Uniroyal MS plus 66

Uniroyal MS plus 66
  1. Total: 77.4
  2. Wet: 43
  3. Snow: 34.4
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11th: Fulda Kristall Control HP

Fulda Kristall Control HP
  1. Total: 77.8
  2. Wet: 45.3
  3. Snow: 32.5
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12th: Firestone Winterhawk 2 EVO

Firestone Winterhawk 2 EVO
  1. Total: 78.8
  2. Wet: 46.2
  3. Snow: 32.6
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13th: Nokian WR D3

Nokian WR D3
  1. Total: 79.3
  2. Wet: 45
  3. Snow: 34.3
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14th: Kleber Krisalp HP2

Kleber Krisalp HP2
  1. Total: 80
  2. Wet: 45.3
  3. Snow: 34.7
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15th: Maxxis MA PW Presa Snow

Maxxis MA PW Presa Snow
  1. Total: 80.1
  2. Wet: 47.8
  3. Snow: 32.3
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16th: Yokohama W Drive

Yokohama W Drive
  1. Total: 80.2
  2. Wet: 44.9
  3. Snow: 35.3
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17th: Toyo Snowprox S953

Toyo Snowprox S953
  1. Total: 80.7
  2. Wet: 46.5
  3. Snow: 34.2
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18th: BFGoodrich gForce Winter

BFGoodrich gForce Winter
  1. Total: 80.8
  2. Wet: 45.9
  3. Snow: 34.9
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18th: BFGoodrich gForce Winter

BFGoodrich gForce Winter
  1. Total: 80.8
  2. Wet: 45.9
  3. Snow: 34.9
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19th: Marshal i Zen MW15

Marshal i Zen MW15
  1. Total: 80.9
  2. Wet: 47.8
  3. Snow: 33.1
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20th: Avon Ice Touring ST

Avon Ice Touring ST
  1. Total: 81.4
  2. Wet: 41.7
  3. Snow: 39.7
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21st: Vredestein Snowtrac 3

Vredestein Snowtrac 3
  1. Total: 81.6
  2. Wet: 47.1
  3. Snow: 34.5
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22nd: GT Radial Champiro Winterpro

GT Radial Champiro Winterpro
  1. Total: 84.9
  2. Wet: 47.4
  3. Snow: 37.5
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23rd: Marangoni Meteo HP

Marangoni Meteo HP
  1. Total: 85.2
  2. Wet: 47.8
  3. Snow: 37.4
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24th: Goodride SW601

Goodride SW601
  1. Total: 86.2
  2. Wet: 46.4
  3. Snow: 39.8
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25th: Apollo Acelere Winter

Apollo Acelere Winter
  1. Total: 87.4
  2. Wet: 47.6
  3. Snow: 39.8
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26th: Westlake SW 608

Westlake SW 608
  1. Total: 87.7
  2. Wet: 47.1
  3. Snow: 40.6
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27th: Kumho IZen KW23

Kumho IZen KW23
  1. Total: 49.5
  2. Wet: 48.5
  3. Snow: 1
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28th: Roadstone EuroWin 549

Roadstone EuroWin 549
  1. Total: 49.8
  2. Wet: 48.8
  3. Snow: 1
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29th: Nankang SV2

Nankang SV2
  1. Total: 49.9
  2. Wet: 48.9
  3. Snow: 1
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30th: Ceat Formula Winter

Ceat Formula Winter
  1. Total: 50
  2. Wet: 49
  3. Snow: 1
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31st: Kenda Polar Trax

Kenda Polar Trax
  1. Total: 51.3
  2. Wet: 50.3
  3. Snow: 1
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32nd: Evergreen Winter EW62

Evergreen Winter EW62
  1. Total: 52.2
  2. Wet: 51.2
  3. Snow: 1
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33rd: Nexen WinGuard

Nexen WinGuard
  1. Total: 52.9
  2. Wet: 51.9
  3. Snow: 1
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34th: Runway RWT I

Runway RWT I
  1. Total: 53.1
  2. Wet: 52.1
  3. Snow: 1
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35th: Kormoran Snowpro B2

Kormoran Snowpro B2
  1. Total: 53.6
  2. Wet: 52.6
  3. Snow: 1
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36th: Infinity INF 049

Infinity INF 049
  1. Total: 53.8
  2. Wet: 52.8
  3. Snow: 1
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37th: Linglong Winter Hero Radial 650

Linglong Winter Hero Radial 650
  1. Total: 55.8
  2. Wet: 54.8
  3. Snow: 1
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38th: Riken Snowtime B2

Riken Snowtime B2
  1. Total: 55.8
  2. Wet: 54.8
  3. Snow: 1
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39th: Rockstone Eco Snow

Rockstone Eco Snow
  1. Total: 56.1
  2. Wet: 55.1
  3. Snow: 1
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40th: Federal Himalaya WS1 Winter

Federal Himalaya WS1 Winter
  1. Total: 56.2
  2. Wet: 55.2
  3. Snow: 1
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41st: Sunny SN3830

Sunny SN3830
  1. Total: 56.4
  2. Wet: 55.4
  3. Snow: 1
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42nd: Wanli Snowgrip S1083

Wanli Snowgrip S1083
  1. Total: 57
  2. Wet: 56
  3. Snow: 1
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