Autocar pits a set of winter tyres against a 4×4 vehicle

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Have you ever wondered what would be the best option for driving in the snow and ice on UK roads – a set of winter tyres or a 4×4 vehicle?

Well, Autocar set out in search of the answer by comparing the performance of two near identical SKODA Yetis on a variety of snow and ice-covered roads.

The only difference being one Yeti was a front wheel drive model with winter tyres and the other a four-wheel drive version on everyday all-weather tyres.

For the braking test, both cars were driven at a speed of 22mph ­– a typical speed on snow covered roads even in a built up area –­ and the car fitted with winter tyres stopped on average just over 4.5 metres earlier than the four-wheel-drive car, which did not have the benefit of winter tyres, a distance more than sufficient to be the difference between a minor and significant accident.

Both cars were also driven around a constant radius circle, with the lateral g-force developed by each car measured. While neither car had much grip, the one equipped with winter tyres developed 35 per cent more grip than the four-wheel-drive car.

They were driven from a standstill to 40mph on the snow-covered road. Initially, the winter tyres shod car fared best, but from 5mph upwards the four-wheel-drive-car showed its advantage, hitting 40mph 4.4sec faster.

So what did Autocar conclude from its winter tyres vs 4×4 vehicle test?

Jim Holder, Autocar editor, announced: “Of course the ideal scenario is to fit your 4×4 with winter tyres and enjoy the best of all worlds, but faced with a simple choice between the two, our tests indicate strongly that for most people most of the time, they’d be better off both literally and figuratively keeping their current two-wheel drive car and investing in a set of winter boots.”

etyres supply and fit a wide range of winter tyres to suit all budgets. etyres customers also enjoy the convenience of having their new winter tyres fitted at their work or home.

To see the test for yourself go to http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-video/winter-tyres-vs-4×4

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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