This week Auto Express published the results to this year’s winter tyres test.

Despite the rise in popularity of all-season tyres, the winter tyre segment is still a large market – with a wide range of models.

To help motorists make an informed choice, Auto Express has taken 10 popular winter tyres and put them through a number of tests – highlighting their strengths and weaknesses in winter conditions.

Winter Tyres Test: Size & Models

Each tyre tested came in size 225/45 R17, and below is the full list of models:

  • Nokian WR Snowproof
  • Vredestein Wintrac Pro
  • Hankook i*cept RS2
  • Michelin Alpin 6
  • Continental WinterContact TS 860
  • Toyo Snowprox S954
  • Dunlop Winter Sport 5
  • Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
  • Falken Eurowinter HS01
  • Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+

Winter Tyres Test: Criteria

As part of this test, Auto Express thoroughly put each tyre through it’s paces. Focusing on the following key performance areas:

  • Snow braking
  • Snow traction
  • Snow circle
  • Snow handling
  • Straight aquaplaning
  • Curved aquaplaning
  • Wet braking
  • Wet handling
  • Wet circle
  • Dry braking
  • Dry handling
  • Rolling resistance
  • Cabin noise
  • Price

To test the snow and ice sections of the test Auto Express took the tyres to, the Nokian owned, White Hell proving ground in Ivalo, Finland.

For the wet and dry segments, the tyres were tested at the ATP (Automotive Testing Papenburg) GmbH, Germany – a small scale replica of the racecourse at Hockenheim.

Winter Tyres Test: Results

In the end, the top half of the table was closely matched, with Vredestein and Falken finishing 5th equal.

Dunlop performed well overall, but just missed out on a top 3 position.

Of the top 3, Michelin finished 3rd, just behind last year’s winner from Continental.

So it was the newest winter tyre on the market, from Goodyear, which took top spot – and received high acclaim whilst doing so.

The Standings

1st – Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+

What Auto Express said:

“The new benchmark rival winter tyres now need to beat”

What we said:

“A brand-new tyre to the market means feedback from customers is yet to come in. However, impressive tests results will likely pique the interest of motorists in the coming months.”

2nd – Continental WinterContact TS 860

What Auto Express said:

“It may have lost its crown but this remains a superb winter tyre”

What we said:

“A popular winter tyre amongst our customers. Reviews from customers focus on good road handling in wet and dry conditions. Noise levels have been highlighted as a potential negative.”

3rdMichelin Alpin 6

What Auto Express said:

“Promising debut for Alpin 6 which proved effective in the wet”

What we said:

“A fairly new model to the market, having only launched at the end of 2018, however early reviews have been impressive with an overall score of 4.5/5.”

4th – Dunlop Winter Sport 5

What Auto Express said:

“Quiet, fuel-efficient and happiest in poor conditions”

What we said:

“First launched over 3 years ago, this tyre enjoys good sales in the winter. Customers who bought the tyre are normally fairly pleased with their purchase, giving it a 4.5/5 overall.”

5th – Vredestein Wintrac Pro

What Auto Express said:

“Good in wet and dry but snow grip and fuel economy need work”

What we said:

“Slightly lesser known model, but for those who do purchase this tyre, the reviews are favourable. With particular focus on the tyre’s good wet weather grip”

6th – Falken Eurowinter HS01

What Auto Express said:

“Good in wet and dry, but work needs to be done on aquaplaning and fuel economy.”

What we said:

“A somewhat lesser known model at present, it’s not a tyre which has seen a great deal of orders. However, positive have been left by motorists.”

7th – Nokian WR Snowproof

What Auto Express said:

“Easy on the wallet but we’re not sure Nokian has got the performance balance right.”

What we said:

“The Nokian does not have a wide range of stock in the UK. As such we are unfortunately unable to provide any insight into the tyre’s popularity or performance with our customers.”

8th – Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

What Auto Express said:

“Impressive result from an aging design but newer rivals are a step ahead.”

What we said:

“Having been on the market since 2013, this is quite an old model line now. However, customers still leave mostly positive reviews and are impressed with its stability in winter weather.”

9th – Hankook i*cept RS2

What Auto Express said:

“Wet performance ensured there would be repeat of runner up result”

What we said:

“Not a particularly high selling model, however motorists who have ordered this tyre in the past have left positive reviews. Focusing on grip levels and scoring it 4.8/5 overall.”

10th – Toyo Snowprox S954

What Auto Express said:

“Feels like a previous generation tyre as opposition has raised the bar”

What we said:

“At the time of writing, does not currently hold stock of this tyre, meaning we are unable to provide any insight into the tyre’s popularity or performance with our customers.”

Read the full breakdown of the Auto Express Winter Tyre Test 2019.


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