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Latest Tyre News
Featured: What’s the best tyre type for winter 2017?
With the cold weather quickly approaching, should you be fitting a winter, all season or summer tyre?
I take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the four main tyre types, and recommend the best in each category.
2017 AC Winter Tyre Test – 185/65 R15
For 2017 the Polish publication AutoCentrum has tested eight studless winter tyres in 185/65 R15. As with the other winter tyre tests we’ve featured across 2017, AutoCentrum tests the winter tyres in the dry, wet and snow, but also includes ice testing, a first for 2017.
Six of the tyres on test are European winter tyres which are available to the UK market, and two of the tyres (Debica Frigo 2 and Sava Eskimo Ice) are full nordic friction winter tyres, so it should give us a good overview of how these two different types of tyres perform, and why Nordic winter tyres aren’t suitable for the UK market.
General Grabber AT3 and X3 – Tested
If you’re one of the many SUV / 4×4 owners in the UK, the chances are you’re on a regular summer tyre which will offer very little performance on surfaces as simple wet grass or loose dirt.
With normal 4×4 tyres being designed almost entirely for on-road useage, what happens if you need to use your 4×4 on a surface that isn’t tarmac or concrete? Turning up at the shooting club in your 100,000 Range Rover only to get stuck in the grassy car park would result in many jokes at your expense in the pub, or getting stuck down a muddy trail near a fishing lake could result in your day of leisure being wasted trying to get your vehicle mobile again.
2017 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test
The 2017 Auto Bild winter tyre test started with fifty 225/50 R17 winter tyre patterns which Auto Bild tested for wet braking performance, and then dropped the worse twenty tyres from the test.
The next phase was testing the remaining thirty patterns for snow braking, which was then combined with the wet braking distances to allow the ten worst tyres to be dropped. This left twenty winter tyres which Auto Bild regarded as the best winter tyres on the market, and deemed worthy enough to take through to the full testing.
As ever with Auto Bild testing, they undertake all the usual dry, wet and snow testing, but also including important factors such as wear and cost per 1,000 km, which a lot of tests are unable to include.
The results as closer than ever, and you’d be hard pressed to classify any of the top 10 tyres as bad tyres, but three in particular rose to the top.
Nokian Tyres are the best tyre manufacturer you might not have heard of
If you’ve not shopped for winter tyres, you can be forgiven for having never heard of Nokian Tyres.
Nokian Tyres are a Finnish tyre manufacturer, and in markets where winter tyres are a common fitment, they are considered a premium manufacturer. Their winter and all season products rival the likes of Michelin and Continental.
In the UK they have a bit of a cult following, with those “in the know” swearing by the Nordic brand for both summer and winter rubber. The ultra high performance Nokian zLine as both excellent reviews on Tyre Reviews, and when tested by Auto Zeitung in 2017 it beat tyres by Bridgestone, Hankook, Avon, Vredestein and Falken!
2017 All Season Tyre Test
The 2017 Auto Bild all season tyre test has tested ten 205/55 R16 all season tyres touring tyres, using a VW Golf. This is also the first test to include the new Continental AllSeasonContact tyre.
2017 All Season VS Winter Tyre Test
The German publication Auto Zeitung have just published their 2017 all season tyre test, and it might be the most UK relevant tyre test we’ve ever seen.
First, they’re testing in the most popular 205/55 R16 size using a FWD Audi A3, which represents a large slice of our car market. Then, they’ve managed to include ten all season patterns, which is more than most all season tyre tests manage, but the icing on the cake is the winter tyre included for reference is the multiple award winning Continental WinterContact TS 860.
2017 AMS Performance 18 inch Winter Tyre Test
The first winter tyre test of 2017 has been published! The German publication Auto Motor und Sport [AMS] have tested ten ultra high performance winter tyres in 225/40 R18. This extremely popular 18″ tyre sizes is fitted to performance saloons such as the Audi A4, Skoda Octavia VRS, and the 232 bhp BMW 430i Grand Coupe used for this testing.
Michelin CrossClimate vs Primacy 3 – Long Term Review
In Spring 2015, Michelin unveiled a new breed of all season tyre, the Crossclimate, which promised to address the shortcomings of traditional all season tyres in the warmer, dryer months for places such as most of the uk and areas of europe. The remit being to provide the performance of a summer tyre whilst being able to conquer the relatively small degree of snow, ice and cold experienced during the winter months.
Around the same time Goodyear also released the vector 4 seasons Gen 2, a completely new successor to the universally acclaimed Vector 4 seasons, which also promised to address the balance of all season tyre performance.
Tyre Reviews decided to investigate further, culminating in the ‘Does a true all season tyre exist?’ test. The outcome of this was that the CrossClimate genuinely did prove itself to live up to the claims, and was way ahead of the Vector in the dry, being almost identical to the summer tyre.
Continental AllSeasonContact – Press Release
Continental have officially announced availability of the new Continental AllSeasonContact in the UK!
Could this be the Germans manufacturers answer to the hugely successful Michelin CrossClimate? We’ll be sure to publish a full test as soon as we get try the new tyre, but for now here’s the press release.
GT Radial – A Brand to Watch
Giti are an Asian manufacturer of car, 4×4 and truck tyres, with their head offices located in Singapore. The brand originally started as a budget brand, but their growth pattern has now established them in the mid range sector. They’re in the top 10 tyre manufacturers globally with revenue in 2014 of $3.45 billion, have over 33,000 employees in 20 countries, and 4 R D centres in Germany, America, Indonesia and China.
Recently Tyre Reviews was invited to race in the VW Fun Cup championship, which is sponsored by Giti Tire, and features a car run by their leading mass-market European brand, GT Radial.