2018 Vi Studded Winter Tyre Test

Dry BrakingContinental IceContact 2: 51.63 MBridgestone Noranza 001: 53.86 M
Wet BrakingGoodyear UltraGrip Ice Arctic: 55.09 MNokian Hakkapeliitta R3: 63.86 M
Snow BrakingNokian Hakkapeliitta R3: 18.35 MNexen Winguard winSpike WH62: 19.11 M
Snow TractionNokian Hakkapeliitta R3: 5.77 sNexen Winguard winSpike WH62: 6.4 s
Snow HandlingContinental IceContact 2: 90.5 sNexen Winguard winSpike WH62: 97.5 s
Ice BrakingContinental IceContact 2: 10.59 MNexen Winguard winSpike WH62: 17.69 M
Ice TractionNokian Hakkapeliitta 9: 3.97 sNexen Winguard winSpike WH62: 6.98 s
Ice HandlingNokian Hakkapeliitta 9: 73.5 sNexen Winguard winSpike WH62: 86.4 s
Rolling ResistanceNokian Hakkapeliitta R3: 4.12 kg / tContinental IceContact 2: 4.59 kg / t
While studded tyres aren't suitable for the normal UK winter, Tyre Reviews does have a lot of international readers, which is why we're covering this excellent studded winter tyre test from the Swedish publications Vi Bilägare.

Why this one? Well, they've used a Volvo V30 to test seven studded tyres in the very common 205/55 R16 tyre size, and they've also included a friction studless nordic winter tyre.

It's worth noting that the nordic winter tyre included in the test, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3, is STILL too extreme for the UK winters. Instead we use a winter tyre type called "European winter tyre" which is covered in the Nokian line up by the WRD4 and WRA4.

These European winter tyres are again a step below the nordic winter tyres in snow and ice, but offer a better dry and wet performance, meaning they're more suitable to the type of winters we see in central Europe.

Dry / Wet

In the dry, Continental IceContact 2 was the only tyre able to beat the Nordic friction tyre, but in the wet the friction tyre surpsingly performed badly, taking over 4 meters extra to stop when compared to the worst studded tyre!


During the snow testing, the friction tyre won both the traction and braking tests, but struggled more with the lateral stability requirements of the snow handling lap.


Unsurprisingly, the studded tyres had a big advantage during the ice testing.


The friction tyre proved to be the quietest tyre on test, and had the lowest rolling resistance.


1st: Continental IceContact 2

Continental IceContact 2
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
Joint best on ice, excellent traction and braking in the snow, very short braking distances in the dry and wet.
High noise level, highest fuel use.

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2nd: Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
Joint top on ice, quick steering reactions and a stable neutral balance allows excellent control in winter conditions.
Relatively long stopping distances in the dry and wet.

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3rd: Goodyear UltraGrip Ice Arctic

Goodyear UltraGrip Ice Arctic
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
An excellent all round tyre, shortest stopping distance in the dry and wet.
Slight understeer on ice and snow.

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4th: Gislaved Nord Frost 200

Gislaved Nord Frost 200
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
Excellent on snow.
Average in dry and wet, relatively weak on ice due to low number of spikes.

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5th: Bridgestone Noranza 001

Bridgestone Noranza 001
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
Good traction and braking on ice.
Relatively long snow braking, longest dry braking distance.

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6th: Yokohama iceGUARD iG65

Yokohama iceGUARD iG65
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
Short braking distances in the wet.
High noise, poor snow and ice handling.

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7th: Nexen Winguard winSpike WH62

Nexen Winguard winSpike WH62
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
Low noise.
Worst ice performance, even worse than the studless Nokian R3. Poor in the dry and wet.

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8th: Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3
  • 205/55 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
One of the best tyres in the snow and the dry. Lowest noise of all the tyres.
Couldn't match the studded tyres on ice.

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