Auto Express puts winter tyres to the test

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Winter tyres have been put to the test by Auto Express to compare them on performance and price.

The weekly motoring magazine looked at top winter tyres, including the Continental ContiWinterContact TS 850, Goodyear UltraGrip 8, Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D, Michelin Alpin A4 and the Nokian WR D3

According to Auto Express: “It can be daunting to choose the right tyres to help you battle snow, slush, ice, low temperatures and even heavy rain. You don’t want to be left stranded at the roadside without the right kit, so spend a few hours planning, and you can be ready for the worst.”

The winter tyres report by Nathan Velayudhan added: “We’ve conducted numerous winter tyre tests in the past, and consequently, we’ve developed a unique approach in selecting the best winter tyres out there. We test all tyres in dry, wet, and snowy conditions, to recreate real winter weather. From wet braking, where we emergency stop on wet roads, to snow handling, where we turn off the stability control and take our test car through sweeps and up climbs on a snowy track.”

Here are extracts from the conclusions drawn by Auto Express on five of the winter tyres it tested:

Continental ContiWinterContact TS 850

On snow the tyre turns in well, and when the rear does move, it’s not by much and is easily controllable. On the wet track, that same good turn-in is there, but the rear is planted. Grip is lost progressively, giving the driver no nasty surprises. It moved around more on the high-speed handling sections, yet held a line well. So while it’s the priciest choice, this is the tyre to put on your car this winter – it’s special.

Goodyear UltraGrip 8 price

As so often with a Goodyear tyre, it excels in the wet – especially the deep water of the aquaplaning tests.

Ultimately, it was the snow that stopped this tyre taking another win. While it came second in our traction test – and third overall in the snow – it was just too far behind the Continental and Dunlop tyres. The lack of balance evident on the wet and dry tracks came to the fore again, as it was too hard to turn in to corners.

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D

The 4D felt happiest on the snow and ice in Sweden. It was the best performer here, achieving four podium positions, although the Continental was only a fraction behind. Around the handling track the tyre proved well balanced, with some rear movement to help through corners. That’s good for lap times, although the Dunlop lacked the secure feel of the Continental. It was in a tight mid-table pack in the noise and rolling resistance tests, leaving a clear gap to our top two.

Michelin Alpin A4

A solid performance in the frozen north of Sweden set Michelin up for a top result, but it slipped out of contention on the cold, wet tarmac of Germany.

Nokian WR D3

Nokian is best known for its winter tyres, so it was a surprise to see it come last in the snow tests. The margin was small, but we’d expected the WR D3 to do much better on a surface where the manufacturer has so much experience.

Cabin noise is a concern, although keen pricing makes the Nokian a good alternative to the premium brands.

To read the full winter tyres test article go to

etyres supply and fit a wide range of winter tyres to suit all vehicles, driving styles and budgets. etyres customers also benefit from its mobile service and can have their new winter tyres fitted at their home or work.

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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