Drivers want mobility all year round. In the past, that meant changing tyres for the winter months or compromising on noise and comfort with an old-school all-season tyre. Not so anymore. As we have seen in previous years, the latest generation of all-season tyres offer impressive year-round performance without the downsides. But does that description apply in the all-season SUV tyre niche?
In order to find out, we started with the bespoke Tyrepedia database that powers WhatTyre.com. Tyrepedia features data relating to more than 700 brands and 340,000-odd different tyres. We filtered our database according to three top SUV tyre sizes, which this year were: 235/60/18, 215/60/17 and 235/55/19. Accreditation such as the three-peaks-mountain-snowflake (3PMSF) marking helped show winter performance too.
Next, our unique algorithm interrogated the data. WhatTyre rates tyres according to our bespoke Tyrescore system. In a nutshell, it boils European tyre label data, cross-referenced with magazine tyre tests as well as OE homologations and manufacturer ESG ratings into a score out of 10. As a baseline, we required that every tyre in the all-season SUV shortlist scored at least six out of 10.
Since this particular category focuses on year-round SUV tyres, we have carried across the requirement for tyres to bear a load index of 107 or above from the straight SUV tyre category.
Having begun with the best scores from one of the three key sizes identified above, we then factored in average tyre scores across the range. That gave us the chance to rule outliers associated with strong performance in a single size – all with the goal of differentiating between the 700-odd brands out there.
After all that we were left with just 10 tyres from nine different manufacturers. While everyone wants to win, as is true in every category, there is no shame in coming fifth or 10th. Considering that we filtered through some 700 brands and 300,000 individual tyres to get this far, 10th place and all the tyres placed above it represent the premier league of all-season SUV tyres.
Michelin CrossClimate 2 top of the tree
Michelin’s CrossClimate 2 came out on top this year, taking the top spot in the all-season SUV for the second year in a row. With Michelin also winning the straight SUV category in 2023 plus both SUV and all-season SUV in 2022, that means Michelin has won both for two years on the trot now.
With market leading Tyrescores both in its key sizes and on average across the range, the CrossClimate2 was a particularly clear winner in the all-season SUV category. Starting with a strong – and it should be said by far the quietest – label rating, there was clear water between this tyre and rest of the field. Indeed, the CrossClimate 2 could have come something like fourth or fifth in the out-and-out SUV category, a result that bear witnesses to the tyre’s year-round capabilities.
Hankook’s Kinergy 4S 2 H750A takes second place this year. Its individual key results may not have been as strong as one or two others, but what it does, the Kinergy 4S 2 does consistently across the range with one of the lowest differences between the best key result and the average across the range on-test.
The Nokian Weatherproof SUV is another example of how the Finnish tyremaker uses its strength in winter and all-season tyre to punch above its weight and take third pace in this year’s all-season SUV tyre ranking. When average price is factored in, the Nokian Weatherproof SUV offered the best price-per-tyrescore-point average in this category, which makes the Nokian Weatherproof SUV this year’s all-season SUV value champion.
Fourth place goes to the Continental AllSeasonContact. The Continental AllSeasonContact also performed well in the straight all-season category. Something we highlighted there and have to mention here as well is that, as we compiled this year’s rankings Continental released the AllSeasonContact 2. Conti calls the AllSeasonContact 2 “an enormous step forward” and is releasing it with an initial range 99 sizes available in the UK from July 2023.
Within that are bound to be fitments that meet our stringent judging criteria. In other words, the Continental AllSeasonContact might have come fourth here, but – just as in the straight all-season category – the AllSeasonContact 2 is likely to be a real contender in the 2024 all-season SUV category.
Bridgestone’s Weather Control achieved the highest tyrescore on-test in 235/60 R18 107 V, something that goes a long way to explaining how it won fifth this year. But while that fitment’s BA71 label illustrates the tyre’s strengths the average across the range had the second biggest variance on-test. We more of the range as strong as the 235/60 R18 107 V variant, this tyre would have definitely ranked even higher.
The Falken AS210 Euroall Season continues offer strong performance. It was also the last product in the top 10 to achieve tyrescores north of 7 in both its key size and the average across the range.
Seventh and eighth positions are both occupied by Vredestein tyres. Specifically, the Vredestein Quatrac Pro and Vredestein Quatrac 5 Neither size showed up in last year’s top seven, so the niche performance of these tyres clearly stands up well under the enhanced scrutiny of this year’s all-season SUV judging criteria.
The Bridgestone-produced Firestone Multiseason 2 takes ninth place this year. And that means that Bridgestone joins Apollo-Vredestein as the only two manufacturers with two products in the all-season SUV category top ten this year.
The 2023 table is rounded off with the Yokohama BluEarth-4S AW21 in 10th position. However, we should also point out that at the time of going to press Yokohama launched the Geolandar CS 4S G061, which is described as a new all-season tyre for Crossover SUVs. This new product is being pitched at the intersection between road-focused winter performance and long mileage on the one hand and between cars and light trucks on the other. If the demonstrations presented at the tyres Nurburgring launch at the start of July 2023 are anything to go by, the new tyre has been engineered to compete with the biggest brands out there. And that means there is every chance that Yokohama can outperform this position in 2024.