Auto Express finds out if winter tyres are needed on a 4×4

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Auto Express has put together a great video which clearly demonstrates the advantages of fitting winter tyres to a 4×4 vehicle.

With weather forecasters predicting Britain could face a particularly harsh winter and snow already falling in some regions, a lot of motorists are toying with the idea of fitting winter tyres to keep safe and mobile on the roads this year.

But if you have got a four-wheel drive car and think you don’t need to bother with the hassle and expense of fitting winter tyres take a look at the Auto Express video.

Shot at Tamworth Snowdome the team set out to discover if a front-wheel drive car with winter tyres has more traction in the snow than a 4×4 with summer tyres fitted.

They used two Ford Kugas, both with 2.0-litre diesel engines and manual gearboxes, but one was front-wheel drive, and the other all-wheel drive, costing £1500 more than the normal model.

The report explained that in snowy conditions the rubber in summer tyres gets harder and less grippy, while winter tyres use a softer compound, and a tread pattern that’s designed to pick up snow – improving grip in these harsh conditions.

So how did the two cars perform as they climbed the steep Snowdowme incline?

According to Auto Express: “In our first test we saw that the front-wheel drive car on summer tyres was hopeless in the snow – but when fitted with winter tyres, it obviously did much better. However we also tested the 4×4 on summer tyres – and the results might surprise you.

“With winter tyres, the normal Kuga went 110 metres up the slope, while the 4×4 car only made it 13 metres up, before sliding back down 9 metres. In the end, it ended up no further than the standard did with summer tyres.

“We also tested the four-wheel drive Ford Kuga with winter tyres – and the difference was astonishing. There was plenty of grip and the car drove all the way to the top of the steep ski slope without a problem.”

The report concluded: “Obviously, the best solution for driving on snow is to have a 4×4 on winter tyres – without the right rubber, a 4×4 is just as useless as a two wheel drive car.

“Having four-wheel drive won’t help with braking, though – and that’s much more important. Make sure you catch up on our winter tyres vs summer tyres video for more information, and read out full 2013 Winter Tyre Test to find out which tyres to go for.

To read the full report and see the video yourself go to×4-grip-test-video#ixzz2jmIq30yX

etyres supply and fit a wide range of winter tyres to help keep motorists moving this winter. etyres prices are highly competitive and customers benefit from its mobile service which means they can have their winter tyres fitted at their home and their all-season tyres can be stored in their garage or shed.

etyres is also offering £25 off all winter tyres orders placed online or via its national sales team on 0800 028 9000 or 0333 323 9000 from a mobile.

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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