2013 Auto Bild Top 15 Winter Tyre Shootout

After testing 50 different winter tyres in wet and snow braking tests, Auto Bild have taken the top 15 performers through to a final shootout. In this super test, they've examined 16 aspects of the tyres performance, including all aspects of their snow performance, wet and dry capabilities and various other tests, such as wear and rolling resistance in 195/65 R15 on a VW Golf.

The Top 3

Test Summary
Best tyre for dry roadsNokian WR D3
Best tyre for wet roadsPirelli Winter Snow Control Series 3
Continental WinterContact TS 850
Best tyre for snowContinental WinterContact TS 850
Barum Polaris 3
The lowest fuel useContinental WinterContact TS 850
Semperit Speed Grip 2
The most comfortableMichelin Alpin A4
Continental WinterContact TS 850
Semperit Speed Grip 2
The lowest wearMichelin Alpin A4
The quietest tyreApollo Alnac Winter
Continental WinterContact TS 850
Semperit Speed Grip 2
Michelin win the test with the Michelin Alpin A4 thanks to a balanced performance in all areas, including the best wear score in the test. While the Michelin isn't cheap, and slightly noisy compared to the rest, it’s longevity and total all round performance put the Alpin A4 on the top step of the podium.

Second place was taken by the new Pirelli SnowControl Serie 3, which is proving to be a strong winter tyre for 2013. Let down by wear and price, the Pirelli can't quite match the Michelin in the snow but beats it in the wet.

Rather unusually, third place went to the Continental WinterContact TS850. Having been used to first places finishes since its launch, the TS850 was marked down for its dry performance and high wear compared to the winning Michelin, but was still extremely strong in the wet and on snowy roads.

The Rest

The Bridgestone Blizzak LM32 continued it’s strong 2013 showing with a fourth place finish. Like the Michelin, the Bridgestone wore extremely well while keeping a balance of performance, so while the purchase price might be higher than some, the overall pound per mile make it good value.

Nokian finished fifth with the WRD3, continuing it’s dry road dominance and Barum finished sixth thanks to its low purchase price and balanced performance in all tests.

A disappointing show from Goodyear and Dunlop, finishing eighth and ninth respectively with the Goodyear having a hard time in the dry, and the Dunlop suffering in both the dry and having high wear when compared to the best tyres in the test.

The Results

Michelin Alpin A41st: Michelin Alpin A4
  1. Total: 47
  2. Dry: 6
  3. Wet: 6
  4. Snow: 8
  5. Comfort: 7
  6. Rolling Resistance: 6
  7. Noise: 4
  8. Wear: 10
Positive: Excellent winter tyres with balanced handling qualities in all weather conditions. Good characteristics and excellent wear
Negative: A relatively high level of noise
Overall: Exemplary

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Pirelli Winter Snow Control Series 32nd: Pirelli Winter Snow Control Series 3
  1. Total: 41
  2. Dry: 6
  3. Wet: 8
  4. Snow: 7
  5. Comfort: 6
  6. Rolling Resistance: 5
  7. Noise: 5
  8. Wear: 4
Positive: A balanced winter tyre with a sporty, dynamic wet handling qualities, precise steering response, and shortest braking distances on snowy and wet roads
Negative: High wear
Overall: Exemplary

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Continental WinterContact TS 8503rd: Continental WinterContact TS 850
  1. Total: 48
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 8
  4. Snow: 9
  5. Comfort: 7
  6. Rolling Resistance: 8
  7. Noise: 7
  8. Wear: 4
Positive: Strong handling qualities on snowy and wet roads, high safety reserves with aquaplaning, a fuel efficient rolling resistance
Negative: Understeering handling in the dry, high wear
Overall: Recommended

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Bridgestone Blizzak LM324th: Bridgestone Blizzak LM32
  1. Total: 43
  2. Dry: 6
  3. Wet: 7
  4. Snow: 6
  5. Comfort: 4
  6. Rolling Resistance: 6
  7. Noise: 6
  8. Wear: 8
Positive: Sporty, safe handling on wet and dry roads, short snow and wet braking distances, good value for money
Negative: Average traction and cornering on snow
Overall: Recommended

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Nokian WR D35th: Nokian WR D3
  1. Total: 43
  2. Dry: 8
  3. Wet: 6
  4. Snow: 8
  5. Comfort: 5
  6. Rolling Resistance: 7
  7. Noise: 5
  8. Wear: 4
Positive: Good steering precision and short braking distances on snow and dry roads, good aquaplaning performance, low rolling resistance
Negative: High Wear, slightly longer wet braking distances
Overall: Recommended

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Barum Polaris 36th: Barum Polaris 3
  1. Total: 38
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 5
  4. Snow: 9
  5. Comfort: 4
  6. Rolling Resistance: 6
  7. Noise: 6
  8. Wear: 3
Positive: Excellent cornering and impressive driving properties on snow, low price
Negative: Poor aquaplaning result, high wear
Overall: Recommended

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Semperit Speed Grip 27th: Semperit Speed Grip 2
  1. Total: 44
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 6
  4. Snow: 8
  5. Comfort: 7
  6. Rolling Resistance: 8
  7. Noise: 7
  8. Wear: 3
Positive: A balanced winter tyre with short braking distances and balanced handling qualities, pleasant ride comfort, fuel efficient rolling resistance
Negative: High wear, excessive price/performance ratio
Overall: Recommended

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Goodyear UltraGrip 88th: Goodyear UltraGrip 8
  1. Total: 41
  2. Dry: 4
  3. Wet: 7
  4. Snow: 7
  5. Comfort: 5
  6. Rolling Resistance: 5
  7. Noise: 5
  8. Wear: 8
Positive: Best tyre in the aquaplaning tests, good traction and short braking distances on snow, very low wear
Negative: Average dry handling, high price
Overall: Satisfactory

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Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D9th: Dunlop SP WinterSport 4D
  1. Total: 38
  2. Dry: 4
  3. Wet: 7
  4. Snow: 8
  5. Comfort: 5
  6. Rolling Resistance: 4
  7. Noise: 6
  8. Wear: 4
Positive: Sporty handling on snow and wet roads, precise steering, good aquaplaning resistance, high level of comfort
Negative: Weak in the dry, high wear
Overall: Satisfactory

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Kleber Krisalp HP210th: Kleber Krisalp HP2
  1. Total: 40
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 5
  4. Snow: 6
  5. Comfort: 5
  6. Rolling Resistance: 7
  7. Noise: 4
  8. Wear: 8
Positive: Good handling on snowy and dry roads, low wear, very good value for money
Negative: Average wet performance, long dry braking distances
Overall: Satisfactory

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Sava eskimo hp11th: Sava eskimo hp
  1. Total: 39
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 5
  4. Snow: 7
  5. Comfort: 6
  6. Rolling Resistance: 4
  7. Noise: 6
  8. Wear: 6
Positive: Short braking distances on snow, high aquaplaning resistance, low price
Negative: Understeering handling and long braking distances on wet roads, high rolling resistance
Overall: Satisfactory

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BFGoodrich gForce Winter12th: BFGoodrich gForce Winter
  1. Total: 40
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 4
  4. Snow: 6
  5. Comfort: 4
  6. Rolling Resistance: 7
  7. Noise: 6
  8. Wear: 8
Positive: Short braking distances on snow, excellent price-performance ratio, low wear, low rolling resistance
Negative: Only average wet and aquaplaning properties, long dry stopping distances, high level of noise
Overall: Satisfactory

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Viking Snow Tech II13th: Viking Snow Tech II
  1. Total: 33
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 6
  4. Snow: 8
  5. Comfort: 3
  6. Rolling Resistance: 4
  7. Noise: 3
  8. Wear: 4
Positive: Snow specialist with short braking distances and good traction on snowy slopes, low price
Negative: Poor ride comfort, very high wear, high rolling resistance
Overall: Satisfactory

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Hankook Winter i cept RS14th: Hankook Winter i cept RS
  1. Total: 38
  2. Dry: 6
  3. Wet: 5
  4. Snow: 5
  5. Comfort: 5
  6. Rolling Resistance: 7
  7. Noise: 5
  8. Wear: 5
Positive: High resistance to aquaplaning, dynamic handling performance on dry slopes, low wear
Negative: Poor cornering and driving behavior on snowy and dry roads
Overall: Satisfactory

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Apollo Alnac Winter15th: Apollo Alnac Winter
  1. Total: 34
  2. Dry: 7
  3. Wet: 5
  4. Snow: 7
  5. Comfort: 3
  6. Rolling Resistance: 3
  7. Noise: 7
  8. Wear: 2
Positive: Good handling in all weather conditions, short braking distances on snow, high level of comfort
Negative: Low resistance to aquaplaning, high wear, poor value for money
Overall: Satisfactory

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