2023 AMS SUV Winter Tyre Test

The 2023 AMS SUV winter tyre test not only aims to answer what the best winter tyre in 255/45 R20 is, but also to find out if swapping from a regular diesel Kia Sorento to a fully electric Kia EV6 will make a difference to the results.

The answer to the question about the tyres is below, and the answer to the question about the IC vs EV is that it made no difference to the traction, braking or handling order of the results, but the tester did prefer the IC Kia Sorento on snow as they felt the traditional differentials were more predictable when the front and the rear was locked mechanically. The tested noted that the separate front and rear axle power units of the electric vehicle each had "individual motivation" when sliding around on snow.

Dry BrakingPirelli Scorpion Winter 2: 43 MFalken EUROWINTER HS02 Pro: 44.4 M
Dry HandlingBridgestone Blizzak LM005: 117.5 Km/HPirelli Scorpion Winter 2: 114.8 Km/H
Wet BrakingBridgestone Blizzak LM005: 32.6 MContinental WinterContact TS 870 P: 35.7 M
Wet HandlingGoodyear UltraGrip Performance 3: 79.3 Km/HContinental WinterContact TS 870 P: 77.8 Km/H
Wet CircleBridgestone Blizzak LM005: 7.31 m/sMichelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV: 7.05 m/s
Straight AquaBridgestone Blizzak LM005: 77.5 Km/HFalken EUROWINTER HS02 Pro: 72 Km/H
Curved AquaplaningBridgestone Blizzak LM005: 2.87 m/sec2Falken EUROWINTER HS02 Pro: 1.85 m/sec2
Snow BrakingMichelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV: 29.8 MFalken EUROWINTER HS02 Pro: 31.7 M
Snow TractionMichelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV: 3.38 NFalken EUROWINTER HS02 Pro: 3.1 N
Snow HandlingMichelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV: 48.2 Km/HFalken EUROWINTER HS02 Pro: 45.2 Km/H
Snow CirclePirelli Scorpion Winter 2: 4.32 ms/2Vredestein Wintrac Pro: 3.85 ms/2
NoiseMichelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV: 71.2 dBVredestein Wintrac Pro: 73.7 dB
Rolling ResistanceBridgestone Blizzak LM005: 7.1 kg / tVredestein Wintrac Pro: 8.6 kg / t

255/45 R20 is quite frankly bonkers for a winter tyre, so the results should be interesting, especially as they have new tyres from Goodyear, Pirelli and Falken!

Dry

During dry braking, the Pirelli Scorpion Winter 2 and Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 are closely matched, with braking distances of 43M and 43.1M respectively. Bridgestone slightly edges out Goodyear, but both are strong contenders in dry conditions.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 and Continental WinterContact TS 870 P share the top spot with an average lap speed of 117.5 Km/H. Bridgestone shows its versatility here, excelling in both dry braking and handling.

Wet

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 leads in wet braking with a 32.6M distance, reinforcing its strong all-around performance.

Goodyear UltraGrip Performance 3 slightly outperforms the rest during wet handling, with an average lap speed of 79.3 Km/H, closely followed by Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 at 79.2 Km/H. 

The best performer in the Wet Circle category is Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 with an average lateral acceleration of 7.31m/s. This tyre also leads in wet braking, making it a strong choice for wet conditions.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 leads again with the highest float speed of 77.5 Km/H in straight aquaplaning, reinforcing its all-around strong performance in both dry and wet conditions.

The top performer in Curved Aquaplaning is again the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005. This adds to its strong performance in wet conditions, particularly in wet braking and wet circle.

Snow

Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV leads in snow braking with an average stopping distance of 29.8M, and it also excels in snow handling, making it a strong performer in snowy conditions.

Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV leads with in snow traction, reinforcing its strong performance in snowy conditions.

Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV takes again the lead in snow handling with an average speed of 48.2 Km/H. It's a tire that performs well across various conditions, from dry to snowy.

The Pirelli Scorpion Winter 2 leads snow circle.

Comfort

Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV is the quietest in the drive by external noise test of 71.2 dB, adding to its list of strong performances across multiple categories.

Value

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 has a rolling resistance of 7.1 kg/t, making it the most eco-friendly option of the tyres on test.

Results

1st: Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005
  • 255/45 R20 105V
  • EU Label: C/A/73
  • Weight: 12.1kgs
  • Tread: 8.23mm
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking2nd43.1 M43 M+0.1 M99.77%
Dry Handling1st117.5 Km/H100%
Wet Braking1st32.6 M100%
Wet Handling2nd79.2 Km/H79.3 Km/H-0.1 Km/H99.87%
Wet Circle1st7.31 m/s100%
Straight Aqua1st77.5 Km/H100%
Curved Aquaplaning1st2.87 m/sec2100%
Snow Braking3rd30.8 M29.8 M+1 M96.75%
Snow Traction6th3.24 N3.38 N-0.14 N95.86%
Snow Handling2nd47.8 Km/H48.2 Km/H-0.4 Km/H99.17%
Snow Circle5th3.95 ms/24.32 ms/2-0.37 ms/291.44%
Noise4th72.2 dB71.2 dB+1 dB98.61%
Rolling Resistance1st7.1 kg / t100%
Tires that are easy to control in the wet with neutral to slightly understeering driving characteristics, with outstanding grip and the best aquaplaning protection. Strong dry braking, best cornering stability, understeer tendency with strong reserves. Best rolling resistance.
Small weaknesses in the snow performance.
Okay on snow, outstanding on wet and dry roads – the test winner!

"Outstanding"

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2nd: Goodyear UltraGrip Performance 3

Goodyear UltraGrip Performance 3
  • 255/45 R20 105V
  • EU Label: B/B/72
  • Weight: 12.1kgs
  • Tread: 7.84mm
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking3rd43.5 M43 M+0.5 M98.85%
Dry Handling3rd117 Km/H117.5 Km/H-0.5 Km/H99.57%
Wet Braking5th35.1 M32.6 M+2.5 M92.88%
Wet Handling1st79.3 Km/H100%
Wet Circle2nd7.24 m/s7.31 m/s-0.07 m/s99.04%
Straight Aqua4th75.4 Km/H77.5 Km/H-2.1 Km/H97.29%
Curved Aquaplaning4th2.28 m/sec22.87 m/sec2-0.59 m/sec279.44%
Snow Braking2nd30.5 M29.8 M+0.7 M97.7%
Snow Traction4th3.31 N3.38 N-0.07 N97.93%
Snow Handling2nd47.8 Km/H48.2 Km/H-0.4 Km/H99.17%
Snow Circle4th4.28 ms/24.32 ms/2-0.04 ms/299.07%
Noise3rd72.1 dB71.2 dB+0.9 dB98.75%
Rolling Resistance3rd7.6 kg / t7.1 kg / t+0.5 kg / t93.42%
Short braking distances and very safe driving behavior on snow. Good cornering grip with large reserves and very reliable and stable in the wet. High level of cornering, especially on dry roads.
Slight weakness in curved aquaplaning and steering precision, as well as being somewhat sensitive to load changes in fast, dry corners. Slightly audible rolling noise when turning.
Very versatile. The new Goodyear excels in all weather conditions.

"Very Good"

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3rd: Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV

Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV
  • 255/45 R20 105V
  • EU Label: C/C/71
  • Weight: 13.6kgs
  • Tread: 7.8mm
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking4th43.7 M43 M+0.7 M98.4%
Dry Handling6th115.4 Km/H117.5 Km/H-2.1 Km/H98.21%
Wet Braking6th35.2 M32.6 M+2.6 M92.61%
Wet Handling5th78 Km/H79.3 Km/H-1.3 Km/H98.36%
Wet Circle7th7.05 m/s7.31 m/s-0.26 m/s96.44%
Straight Aqua2nd76.6 Km/H77.5 Km/H-0.9 Km/H98.84%
Curved Aquaplaning3rd2.36 m/sec22.87 m/sec2-0.51 m/sec282.23%
Snow Braking1st29.8 M100%
Snow Traction1st3.38 N100%
Snow Handling1st48.2 Km/H100%
Snow Circle3rd4.29 ms/24.32 ms/2-0.03 ms/299.31%
Noise1st71.2 dB100%
Rolling Resistance4th8 kg / t7.1 kg / t+0.9 kg / t88.75%
Very good traction, cornering and braking performance on snow. Good wet grip and aquaplaning resistance. Stable, precise, safe to drive and comfortable on dry roads.
Despite the best possible balance, acceptable weaknesses on wet and dry asphalt.
For alpine regions: the snow specialist among the winter tyres.

"Very Good"

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4th: Continental WinterContact TS 870 P

Continental WinterContact TS 870 P
  • 255/45 R20 105V
  • EU Label: C/B/71
  • Weight: 12kgs
  • Tread: 8.35mm
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking6th44.2 M43 M+1.2 M97.29%
Dry Handling1st117.5 Km/H100%
Wet Braking7th35.7 M32.6 M+3.1 M91.32%
Wet Handling7th77.8 Km/H79.3 Km/H-1.5 Km/H98.11%
Wet Circle5th7.18 m/s7.31 m/s-0.13 m/s98.22%
Straight Aqua3rd76 Km/H77.5 Km/H-1.5 Km/H98.06%
Curved Aquaplaning2nd2.82 m/sec22.87 m/sec2-0.05 m/sec298.26%
Snow Braking5th31.2 M29.8 M+1.4 M95.51%
Snow Traction5th3.28 N3.38 N-0.1 N97.04%
Snow Handling6th46.4 Km/H48.2 Km/H-1.8 Km/H96.27%
Snow Circle2nd4.3 ms/24.32 ms/2-0.02 ms/299.54%
Noise2nd71.8 dB71.2 dB+0.6 dB99.16%
Rolling Resistance2nd7.2 kg / t7.1 kg / t+0.1 kg / t98.61%
Strong cornering grip and decent traction on snow, balanced snow handling. Very good aquaplaning protection. Active driving behavior and good cornering stability on dry roads. The very low rolling resistance makes up for any shortcomings.
Slightly reduced braking performance on snow. Weak braking, reduced driving stability and low reserves in the wet. Slight instability when changing lanes quickly on dry roads.
Conti buys low rolling resistance through restrictions on wet braking.

"Very Good"

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5th: Pirelli Scorpion Winter 2

Pirelli Scorpion Winter 2
  • 255/45 R20 105V
  • EU Label: C/A/71
  • Weight: 13.6kgs
  • Tread: 8.26mm
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking1st43 M100%
Dry Handling7th114.8 Km/H117.5 Km/H-2.7 Km/H97.7%
Wet Braking3rd34 M32.6 M+1.4 M95.88%
Wet Handling5th78 Km/H79.3 Km/H-1.3 Km/H98.36%
Wet Circle4th7.22 m/s7.31 m/s-0.09 m/s98.77%
Straight Aqua6th73.9 Km/H77.5 Km/H-3.6 Km/H95.35%
Curved Aquaplaning6th1.91 m/sec22.87 m/sec2-0.96 m/sec266.55%
Snow Braking4th30.9 M29.8 M+1.1 M96.44%
Snow Traction3rd3.33 N3.38 N-0.05 N98.52%
Snow Handling5th47.1 Km/H48.2 Km/H-1.1 Km/H97.72%
Snow Circle1st4.32 ms/2100%
Noise5th72.7 dB71.2 dB+1.5 dB97.94%
Rolling Resistance4th8 kg / t7.1 kg / t+0.9 kg / t88.75%
Quite safe, balanced and largely reliable on snow. Decent braking performance and good cornering grip in the wet. Very good dry braking, spontaneous steering and very safe understeering with a wide range of reserves in dry corners.
Slightly reduced performance on snow, not very precise with shallow reserves in the wet, limited comfort.
Not balanced enough: The new Scorpion is lacking a little in the wet.

"Very Good"

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6th: Vredestein Wintrac Pro

Vredestein Wintrac Pro
  • 255/45 R20 105V
  • EU Label: C/B/73
  • Weight: 14kgs
  • Tread: 8.07mm
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking4th43.7 M43 M+0.7 M98.4%
Dry Handling5th115.8 Km/H117.5 Km/H-1.7 Km/H98.55%
Wet Braking2nd33.9 M32.6 M+1.3 M96.17%
Wet Handling4th78.3 Km/H79.3 Km/H-1 Km/H98.74%
Wet Circle6th7.15 m/s7.31 m/s-0.16 m/s97.81%
Straight Aqua5th74.5 Km/H77.5 Km/H-3 Km/H96.13%
Curved Aquaplaning5th2.24 m/sec22.87 m/sec2-0.63 m/sec278.05%
Snow Braking6th31.3 M29.8 M+1.5 M95.21%
Snow Traction2nd3.36 N3.38 N-0.02 N99.41%
Snow Handling4th47.3 Km/H48.2 Km/H-0.9 Km/H98.13%
Snow Circle6th3.85 ms/24.32 ms/2-0.47 ms/289.12%
Noise7th73.7 dB71.2 dB+2.5 dB96.61%
Rolling Resistance6th8.6 kg / t7.1 kg / t+1.5 kg / t82.56%
Good traction and decent braking performance on snow. Consistently good, impeccable wet properties, here quite neutral and active. Balanced dry dynamics.
In relation to the good longitudinal dynamics (acceleration/braking), surprisingly low cornering grip on snow. Slight deficits in corner aquaplaning. Deficits in comfort due to rolling noise in curves.
The inexpensive Vredestein masters the basics.

"Good"

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7th: Falken EUROWINTER HS02 Pro

Falken EUROWINTER HS02 Pro
  • 255/45 R20 105V
  • EU Label: D/B/72
  • Weight: 13.7kgs
  • Tread: 7.62mm
  • 3PMSF: yes
Test#ResultBestDifference%
Dry Braking7th44.4 M43 M+1.4 M96.85%
Dry Handling4th116 Km/H117.5 Km/H-1.5 Km/H98.72%
Wet Braking4th34.2 M32.6 M+1.6 M95.32%
Wet Handling3rd78.4 Km/H79.3 Km/H-0.9 Km/H98.87%
Wet Circle3rd7.23 m/s7.31 m/s-0.08 m/s98.91%
Straight Aqua7th72 Km/H77.5 Km/H-5.5 Km/H92.9%
Curved Aquaplaning7th1.85 m/sec22.87 m/sec2-1.02 m/sec264.46%
Snow Braking7th31.7 M29.8 M+1.9 M94.01%
Snow Traction7th3.1 N3.38 N-0.28 N91.72%
Snow Handling7th45.2 Km/H48.2 Km/H-3 Km/H93.78%
Snow Circle6th3.85 ms/24.32 ms/2-0.47 ms/289.12%
Noise6th72.9 dB71.2 dB+1.7 dB97.67%
Rolling Resistance6th8.6 kg / t7.1 kg / t+1.5 kg / t82.56%
Good grip and largely safe, support-neutral driving dynamics in the wet. Very active and fast in dry corners. Very good comfort.
Too sensitive to load changes on snow and weak reserves: not enough for a winter tire. Narrow limit range for wet conditions, low protection against aquaplaning. Slow steering, less stable rear in fast corners. Downgraded by one grade.
Too weak on snow. The otherwise passable Falken has to be downgraded.

"Satisfactory"

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