The tyre boffins at Auto Bild have been busy of late. In addition to recommending the best car, SUV and high-performance tyres for the coming winter, the German car magazine’s testers have taken a look at all-season tyres. They fitted 32 brands of size 205/55 R16 tyre to a VW Golf, and after an elimination round of wet and dry braking tests evaluated the 14 top performers in wet, dry and snow conditions. They gave five of the candidates Auto Bild’s top ‘exemplary’ rating and judged these tyres every bit as good as summer or winter tyres.
‘Exemplary’ rating for 5 tyres
Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 – test winner
+ A new all-season tyre that offers convincing performance in all weather conditions. Dynamic snow, wet and dry handling, very good winter properties, high mileage potential.
+ Very high levels of performance. Stable driving behaviour on snowy surfaces, top safety reserves for aquaplaning, dynamic handling in wet & dry conditions, short braking distances in the wet & dry, high mileage potential.
Continental AllSeason Contact
+ Convincing all-rounder with top winter characteristics and very good price-performance ratio. Excellent aquaplaning properties, precise turn-in, high mileage potential, low rolling resistance.
+ Premium all-season tyre with balanced performance in all conditions, dynamic handling qualities, precise steering, high mileage potential, low rolling resistance.
– High purchase price.
Falken EuroAll Season AS210
+ Balanced driving characteristics, stable driving behaviour in all weather conditions, good aquaplaning properties, high mileage potential, low price.
– Braking distance on snowy surfaces just average.
6 ‘good’ tyres
Firestone Multiseason Gen02
+ Good traction and short braking distances on snow, dynamic wet handling, short dry braking distances, high mileage potential, very good price-performance ratio.
– Aquaplaning safety reserves just moderate.
Hankook Kinergy 4S2
+ Convincing driving characteristics on wet roads, good performance in snowy conditions, short wet and dry braking distances, very good aquaplaning safety reserves.
– Mileage potential no better than average, ride comfort just satisfactory.
Kleber Quadraxer 2
+ Strong in winter conditions with top performance on packed snow surfaces, short braking distances in the dry, low rolling noise, good mileage potential & economy.
– Limited safety reserves when aquaplaning during cornering.
BF Goodrich G-Grip All Season2
+ Snow expert with excellent lateral control and high traction on ice & snow, short braking distances in the dry, good rolling resistance & ride comfort.
– Understeer on wet surfaces.
Bridgestone Weather Control A005 Evo
+ Sporty, dynamic handling on wet & dry surfaces, short wet & dry braking distances, precise steering behaviour, low rolling resistance.
– Mediocre cornering & traction on snow, mileage just satisfactory.
Nexen N’blue 4Season
+ Balanced performance levels, short dry braking distances, good aquaplaning properties, low rolling noise, good value for money, high mileage potential.
– Mediocre cornering on wet surfaces, elevated rolling resistance.
3 tyres rated ‘satisfactory’
Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF
+ Good aquaplaning safety reserves, short braking distances in the dry, high mileage potential, low rolling resistance.
– Extended braking distances and understeer on snow & ice.
Kumho Solus 4S HA 32
+ Good driving characteristics in all weather conditions, good traction & short braking distances on snow, dynamic wet & dry handling.
– Low mileage potential, high rolling resistance, price-performance ratio just satisfactory.
Maxxis Premitra All Season AP3
+ Good aquaplaning safety reserves, dynamic handling and short braking distances on dry surfaces.
– Mediocre mileage potential, understeer & extended breaking distances on wet surfaces.
Summarising the results, Auto Bild’s testers comment that all-season tyres have continually improved over the four decades these products have been available. They add that the five tyres awarded their top ‘exemplary’ rating in the current tests are, depending on their specific areas of strength, “at least as good” as summer or winter tyres.