All Season vs Winter vs Nordic vs Studded Tyres

All season VS winter tires is a hotly discussed topic, and while we've done our own test at various temperatures, it sadly didn't include any ice testing, or things like wet handling and rolling resistance testing.

Fortunately, our friends at Vi Bilagare once again have us covered. During their Nordic winter testing in 2020, the magazine included an all season and "european" winter tire alongside their usual selection of Nordic friction and studded winter tires.

As the all-season and European winter tire were being tested from a Nordic perspective, they had a significant testing on ice, which is a rarity for an all-season tire.

The results... well, I’m sure you can guess how each of the four tire types performed on each surface, but it's really cool to see all this data from one source.

One last thing worth noting, while the all-season and winter tires are named tires, the Nordic winter tire and studded winter tire are an average of the five best tires for each category from their respective full tests, not a single tire pattern we can name.


Ice is the most extreme surface for winter tires, so it's no surprise that during the ice braking and traction testing on smooth ice, the studded tire held the advantage.

The Nordic winter tire was impressively close to the studded tire during ice braking, stopping the car just 1.1 meters further on, with a larger 3.5 meter gap back to the European winter tire. The all-season tire also had an impressive result considering it's not developed for harsh winters, stopping less than 1 meter longer than the European winter tire.

The order of the tires remained the same for the traction test.

Ice handling was a real surprise, with the Nordic winter tire actually besting the studded tire! This is down to the ice handling testing taking part on rough, not smooth ice, where the softer compound of a Nordic winter tire is better at adapting to the rough surface, and the steering response better than a studded tire.


Snow testing showed a similar pattern to ice, just with slightly bigger gaps between the different types of tires.

The Nordic and studded winter tires were very close during the snow braking testing, with the all season tire falling further behind the European winter tire than during the ice testing.

This pattern was again replicated during snow traction testing, but this time the studded winter tire had a slight advantage over the Nordic winter tire.

Snow handling had the all-season tire fall significantly behind the european winter tire.


While the all season tire struggled in snow and ice, the results were reversed during wet testing.

Like in previous testing, there was larger gap between the more extreme winter tires and the European winter tire, than the European winter tire and the all-season tire, with the Continental AllSeasonContact and WinterContact TS860 performing vastly better during wet braking.

This trend continued to wet handling.

Aquaplaning was also very close between the two milder climate tires, with the snow and ice specialists struggling to clear standing water.


As in the wet, the more extreme the tire, the more it struggled in the dry, with a large gap between the all-season and studded tires during the dry braking testing.


The gaps in rolling resistance weren’t huge, which was impressive for a studded tire.

Naturally, the studded tire was significantly nosier than any of the other tires, with the softer compound of the Nordic winter tire producing the lowest noise.


1st: Continental AllSeasonContact

Continental AllSeasonContact
  • 205/60 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
Dry Braking1st40.1 M100%
Subj. Dry Handling1st5 Points100%
Wet Braking1st25.9 M100%
Wet Handling1st39.63 s100%
Straight Aqua2nd74.6 Km/H74.9 Km/H-0.3 Km/H99.6%
Snow Braking2nd20.8 M18.9 M+1.9 M90.87%
Snow Traction2nd4.77 s4.55 s+0.22 s95.39%
Snow Handling2nd98.88 s90.81 s+8.07 s91.84%
Ice Braking2nd15.09 M14.15 M+0.94 M93.77%
Ice Traction2nd8.16 s7.61 s+0.55 s93.26%
Ice Handling2nd60.57 s58.49 s+2.08 s96.57%
Noise2nd68 dB67.1 dB+0.9 dB98.68%
Rolling Resistance1st4.56 kg / t100%
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1st: Continental WinterContact TS 860

Continental WinterContact TS 860
  • 205/60 R16
  • 3PMSF: no
Dry Braking2nd41.9 M40.1 M+1.8 M95.7%
Subj. Dry Handling1st5 Points100%
Wet Braking2nd26.6 M25.9 M+0.7 M97.37%
Wet Handling2nd40.45 s39.63 s+0.82 s97.97%
Straight Aqua1st74.9 Km/H100%
Snow Braking1st18.9 M100%
Snow Traction1st4.55 s100%
Snow Handling1st90.81 s100%
Ice Braking1st14.15 M100%
Ice Traction1st7.61 s100%
Ice Handling1st58.49 s100%
Noise1st67.1 dB100%
Rolling Resistance2nd4.66 kg / t4.56 kg / t+0.1 kg / t97.85%
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