Continuing the year of all season tyre tests, French magazine L'Argus have released their first all season tyre test, which included both the new Michelin CrossClimate, the new Nokian Weatherproof, and the new Nokian WR D4 as the reference winter tyre.
Testing five of the latest all season tyres in 205/55 R16 on a VW Golf, L'Argus put the all the tyres through a full complement of winter and summer tests, in both an Austrian Autumn at a warm 15c, and a Finnish winter where the temperatures were as low as -15c.
As we recently found in our tyre test, despite current all season tyres being labelled as "all season", in the dry they often perform little better than a full winter tyre.
During dry braking, the Michelin summer tyre had the shortest stopping distance, stopping the car in 35.8m. The Michelin CrossClimate, which is a new type of "summer optimised" all season tyre, was relatively close, stopping the car in 38.8 meters. The next closest "winter optimised" all season tyre could only manage to stop the car in 42 meters for third place, and the Pirelli, Goodyear and Uniroyal took 43.4, 43.7 and 44 meters respectively. The full winter stopped the car in a lengthy 45.1 meters, almost 10 meters longer than the summer tyre, which is the length of two BMW 7 Series cars!
During dry handling, the CrossClimate was once again closest to the winning summer tyre, with Goodyear in third, Nokian finishing fourth, Uniroyal fifth and Pirelli sixth. Once again the full winter Nokian struggled, finishing last.
During wet braking, the CrossClimate again excelled, winning the test and stopping the car in just 30.1 meters. Second place was awarded to the Goodyear, stopping the Golf in 31.7 meters, and the Nokian rounded out the top three, stopping in 32.5 meters. The winter surprisingly managed an equal third, matching the Nokians distance, and the summer was was just 0.4 meters behind the winter. The Pirelli and Uniroyal finished sixth and seventh, a noticeable chunk behind the rest of the field, in 34.1 and 34.7 meters.
During the aquaplaning tests the summer once again performed best, winning, with the Uniroyal, winter tyre and Michelin fairly close behind. Nokian, Goodyear and Pirelli rounded out the group.
The wet handling test changed the order again, this time with the Goodyear proving to be the fastest around the track in 51.86 seconds, and the Michelin a shade behind in 52.04 seconds. The summer tyre could only manage third at 52.15, the Nokian finished fourth, a further second behind the Michelin and and the Uniroyal rounded out the top five. One again, it was a poor showing by the Pirelli, which was beaten by the full winter.
Snow braking is where you expect the summer optimised Michelin CrossClimate to show a weakness, but instead it considerably out performed the Uniroyal all season and almost matched the Pirelli. Unsurprisingly, the full winter stopped the car in the shortest distance at 22.45 meters, and the Nokian WeatherProof narrowly finished behind its full winter sister, stopping the car in 22.52 meters. Goodyear finished in third place at 22.81 meters, then the Pirelli, Michelin and Uniroyal stopped the car in 23.71, 23.89 and 25.01 respectively. The summer tyre, well that didn't perform so well, taking 50.33 meters to bring the Golf to a full stop!
The results were similar in snow traction and laptime. The Nokian all season tyre once again proved its winter credentials, actually winning the traction test and matching the winter tyres lap time, and the rest of the all season tyres were fairly close when compared to the summer tyre.
The results as ordered by L'Argus are below.
Using both the Nokian WR D4 winter tyre and Nokian Weatherproof all season tyre in the same test highlighted the problem with the current range of winter-optimised all season tyres - they're essentially winter tyres with a different name. To summarise the performance difference Weatherproof vs (over the) WR D4:
+ better dry braking (-0.8m)
+ better dry handling
+ fractionally better wet handling
+ fractionally better snow traction
o identical wet braking
o identical snow handling
- worse at aquaplaning (44.72 mph vs 46.89 mph)
- fractionally worse snow braking
As the only summer-optimised all season tyre on test, the Michelin CrossClimate has bucked this trend with a balance of qualities which are, in our opinion, far more suited to year round driving in the majority of the UK where we see snow for lesss than 1% of the year.
|1st: Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons Gen 2|
Overall: Joint top with the Nokian WeatherProof, the gen-2 version of the Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons is an excellent all round tyre. The Goodyear was weaker than the Nokian in the snow, but better in the wet.
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|2nd: Nokian WeatherProof|
Overall: With an identical balance of qualities to its full winter brother, the Nokian WR D4, the Nokian Weatherproof is the strongest snow tyre on test, but slightly behind the best in the wet and dry.
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|3rd: Michelin CrossClimate|
Overall: As the only summer optimised all season tyre on test, the Michelin dominated all tests on dry and wet surfaces, partly due to the lack of siping. The lack of sipes has a negative impact on performance in the snow, where Michelin lagged behind rivals. On snowy roads you need to go slowly and carefully.
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|4th: Pirelli Cinturato AllSeason|
Overall: The Pirelli Cinturato All Season is a very well balanced tyre, but it fails to excel in any particular area.
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|5th: Uniroyal AllSeasonExpert|
Overall: The cheapest tyre on test, but with a performance to match. Strong in aquaplaning, but nearly last in every other test means the Uniroyal AllSeasonExpect finishes last.
The full french write up can be found here: https://www.largus.fr/actualite-automobile/test-pneus-quatre-saisons-que-valent-les-pneus-toutes-saisons-6717390.html