Auto Bild: 6 top winter tyres from 51-brand test

Published by Stephen Goodchild
16th September 2020
Auto Bild: 6 top winter tyres from 51-brand test

The latest issue of Auto Bild warns drivers not to buy a pig in a poke. Test results rather than blind luck should guide tyre purchases. To help in this area the motoring publication has now shared the outcome of its 2020 winter tyre test. This evaluation of size 245/45 R18 tyres for executive cars (Auto Bild used a BMW 5 Series for testing) compares the 20 best performers from an initial field of 51 tyre brands subjected to wet and snow braking tests. Six of the brands received Auto Bild’s top ‘exemplary’ rating.

 

Exemplary tyres

Test winner: Michelin Pilot Alpin 5
+ Snow, wet & dry performance, short braking distances, mileage & economy
High purchase price

Bridgestone Blizzak LM 005
+ All round winter performance, wet & dry handling, comfort, rolling resistance
Mileage just average

Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+
+ Top performance on snowy & dry surfaces, safe driving characteristics on wet surfaces, good aquaplaning safety reserves
Comfort just average

BFGoodrich g-Force Winter 2
+ Good value & mileage, convincing on snow, good aquaplaning properties
Rolling resistance

Kleber Krisalp HP 3
+ Affordable brand-name tyre with high levels of performance, balanced handling in all conditions, mileage
Rolling resistance

Hankook Winter i*cept evo3

+ New winter tyre with sporty performance on wet & dry surfaces, good on snow, short braking distances in the wet & on snow
Rolling resistance

 

A ‘good’ rating for 9 tyres

Continental WinterContact TS 850P
+ Wet specialist with sporty dynamic handling in all conditions, precise steering behaviour, very good mileage
Dry braking distances, high purchase price

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
+ Balanced winter tyre with convincing performance on snow, high aquaplaning safety reserves, comfort
Wet braking distances, purchase price

Apollo Aspire XP Winter
+ Good traction & short braking distances on snow, good aquaplaning safety, dynamic handling in dry conditions
Lateral control on snow, wet braking distances

Semperit Speed Grip 3

+ Short braking distances & dynamic driving behaviour in wet conditions, mileage & economy
Narrow aquaplaning safety reserves

Fulda Kristall Control HP2
+ Convincing on snow, good aquaplaning safety reserves, comfort, mileage
Extended wet braking distances, understeer in the wet & dry

Vredestein Wintrac Pro
+ Balanced performance in all conditions, short braking distances on snow, dynamic wet handling
Rolling resistance, efficiency just average

Giti GitiWinter W1
+ Short braking distances & good traction on snow, dynamic wet handling behaviour, mileage, purchase price
Wet braking distances, average aquaplaning characteristics

Uniroyal MS plus 77
+ Strong performance on snow, good aquaplaning safety reserves, ride comfort
Wet grip, mileage

Barum Polaris 5
+ Balanced good driving behaviour on dry & snowy surfaces, good aquaplaning safety reserves
Wet braking distances, mileage, rolling resistance

 

4 tyres rated ‘satisfactory’

Laufen I Fit +
+ Good on snow with stable lateral control & short braking distances, mileage
Wet grip, wet & dry understeer

Nokian WR A4
+ Balanced safety in dry conditions, low ride noise, low rolling resistance
Understeer on snow, average aquaplaning safety

General Altimax Winter 3
+ Affordable value, good snow performance, quiet ride noise
Understeer in wet & dry conditions, aquaplaning safety

Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
+ Convincing handling on snow & in dry conditions, rolling resistance
Wet grip, mileage, price
The new Pirelli P Zero Winter was introduced too late to be included in Auto Bild’s testing; the latest-generation tyre offers improved performance on snow & ice as well as better wet grip

 

Conditionally recommended

Cooper WeatherMaster SA2
+ Aquaplaning safety reserves, noise, price
Grip on snow & ice, understeer in dry conditions, mileage

 

A further 31 of the tested tyre brands failed to make the cut, with 20 brands disqualified due to their lengthy braking distances in the wet. Auto Bild says these tyres are not worth the price paid for them.