2013 Auto Zeitung Winter Tyre Test

Test Summary
Best tyre for dry roadsContinental WinterContact TS 850
Best tyre for wet roadsContinental WinterContact TS 850
Best tyre for snowNokian WR D3
Dunlop Winter Response 2
8 tyres, lots of lovely writing describing each tyre in the snow, wet and dry means there's very little point in summarising the excellent 2013 AZ Winter Tyre Test. Performed using a 105-hp VW Golf 1.6 TDI with BlueMotion, Auto Zeitung put the tyres through the usual wide array of tests.

The Results

1st: Continental WinterContact TS 850

Continental WinterContact TS 850
  • 195/65 R15
  1. Total: 391
  2. Dry: 127
  3. Wet: 144
  4. Snow: 120
Dry:Low rolling resistance. Good dry performance though ESP cuts in quite early
Wet:Spotless performance in the wet. Shortest braking distance, good aquaplaning resistance and precise stable handling
Snow:Precise reactions, high cornering grip and good stability
The Conti TS850 wins with a very good performance in the snow, and best marks on wet and dry roads

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2nd: Nokian WR D3

Nokian WR D3
  • 195/65 R15
  1. Total: 384
  2. Dry: 124
  3. Wet: 136
  4. Snow: 124
Dry:The Nokian is lacking a bit of feedback in the dry, but still managed to provide very quick dry times and good stability
Wet:Only a slightly extended stopping distance tarnishes the Nokian in the wet. Very stable and high grip cornering, inspires confidence
Snow:The highest traction on test and very high cornering grip, making the Nokian WE D3 and sporty agile tyre in the snow
A very balance result ensures the Finnish winter pro Nokian WR D3 second place in this test

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3rd: Michelin Alpin A4

Michelin Alpin A4
  • 195/65 R15
  1. Total: 360
  2. Dry: 116
  3. Wet: 125
  4. Snow: 119
Dry: Its soft, elastic mixture leaves the Michelin feeling less confident in the dry than other top tyres in the test
Wet:When wet, Michelin delivers a thoroughly convincing performance. The greatest strength lies in the balance
Snow:The Michelin Alpin convinces with precise steering and a high level of grip on snow. Gentle load change reaction
Michelin Alpin A4 works perfectly with the VW Golf and affords no real weakness: third place overall

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4th: Goodyear UltraGrip 8

Goodyear UltraGrip 8
  • 195/65 R15
  1. Total: 359
  2. Dry: 116
  3. Wet: 126
  4. Snow: 117
Dry:Again in the dry the Goodyear proves to be good-natured. But changes in direction require more steering effort than the other tyres. A little slow
Wet:In the rain, the Goodyear tyre proves to have a mixed performance. High levels of understeer, but also the highest reserves in aquaplaning
Snow:Good directional stability for the Goodyear on the snowy test track, however while significant understeer tendency makes it a safe tyre, it also makes it a slow tyre
The veteran Goodyear UG8 earned our recommendation this year

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5th: Pirelli Winter Snow Control Series 3

Pirelli Winter Snow Control Series 3
  • 195/65 R15
  1. Total: 356
  2. Dry: 121
  3. Wet: 135
  4. Snow: 100
Dry:At the limit of grip the Pirelli has slight understeer, but otherwise precise responses to steering commands.Fairly average in the braking tests, but a low rolling resistance
Wet:On the wet test track the Pirelli shines with excellent cornering and very agile handling. This tyre offers the highest grip
Snow:The Pirelli copes with slush best thanks to its open tread design, however it has the longest braking distances on snow
The Pirelli shines with very good results in the wet and slush, but falters in the snow

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6th: Bridgestone Blizzak LM32

Bridgestone Blizzak LM32
  • 195/65 R15
  1. Total: 352
  2. Dry: 123
  3. Wet: 114
  4. Snow: 115
Dry:The advantages of the Bridgestone in the dry is its predictable and easy handling as well as the good noise levels
Wet:Sets no records with an average but safe all round performance. Somewhat sensitive to changes in load
Snow:Thanks to new mix is the Bridgestone now noticeably better in the snow: best score in the brake test. Builds little slip even at high acceleration
Thanks to improved mixture, we can now recommended the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 as a balance winter tyre

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7th: Dunlop Winter Response 2

Dunlop Winter Response 2
  • 195/65 R15
  1. Total: 350
  2. Dry: 118
  3. Wet: 108
  4. Snow: 124
Dry:Lowest rolling resistance on the one hand, but slowest in handling and slalom test on the other hand
Wet:The new Dunlop can only manage an acceptable result in wet braking. The ESP of the VW Golf conceals the sometimes lively load change reactions
Snow:The Dunlop brakes just as good as the Bridgestone. In addition, the Dunlop offers more traction and greater safety reserves in the slush
Not a bad tyre, but disappointing for a new Dunlop. The Winter Response 2 is too much focsed on rolling resistance

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8th: Falken Eurowinter HS449

Falken Eurowinter HS449
  • 195/65 R15
  1. Total: 314
  2. Dry: 116
  3. Wet: 109
  4. Snow: 89
Dry:On a dry track the Falken is great: it allows high cornering speeds and almost never triggers the ESP. But: highest rolling resistance
Wet:The Falken is largely troubled by understeer in the wet
Snow:The Falkens disappoint on snow: It has the least traction, travels slowest through curves and requires more course corrections
The budget Falken slips up on snow and has trouble in the wet , so it can not compete with the premium tyres on test

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