Tires

Top picks for all-season tires for winter conditions

Do you know which all-season tires to pick this winter?
Do you know which all-season tires to pick this winter?

Do you know which all-season tires to pick this winter?

With this winter predicted to be the coldest in recent years, any motorist planning to stick with all-season tires will want to be sure their tires will perform in cold, wet conditions.

America’s largest independent tire tester Tire Rack, put three of the newest models of crossover/SUV touring all-season tires to the test to see which ones stacked up.

The three tires were mounted at full tread depth on the 18×8.0 wheels of the 2016 Porsche V6 Cayenne (yeah, it sounds like a good job to us, too) and evaluated on Tire Rack’s own test track and along a six-mile road loop. Stopping times and distances and maneuverability and traction in both dry and wet conditions were the main factors tested to decide the best all-season tires for winter. Here are some of the results:

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Michelin Premier LTX

The Michelin Premier LTX exceeded all of Tire Rack’s expectations and led the pack on the wet track, demonstrating superior traction that raised the bar for all-season tires. Tire Rack awarded it the top score for both the road tests and the track tests as it provided “good handling and a smooth ride with minimal noise.”

Tires 43 owner Bill Lau agrees with the Tire Rack results, awarding the Michelin Premier LTX his seal of approval for wet weather. Giving it his top recommendation for SUVs and light trucks and regarding it as the best overall performer, Lau concludes the Michelin Premier LTX’s exceptional combination of performance features fit for dry and wet weather is what drives it into the number one spot. He also recommends the Firestone Destination LE2 for best value on a budget. In regard to passenger cars and minivans Lau sees the Michelin A/S as the best overall performer and the General Altimax RT43 as the best value on a budget.

Kumho Crugen Premium

The Kumho Crugen Premium came in second in Tire Rack’s wet track test, proving it was capable in terms of handling, traction and stopping distance performance in wet conditions; however, it didn’t quite measure up to the Michelin Premier LTX. While one of the testers described it as “well sorted out” with a “nice driving feel” at dry traction, there is room for improvement when it comes to driving in the wet weather.

Yokohama Geolandar G055

In dry conditions, the three tire models performed remarkably similar with lap times differing by just one quarter of a second; however wet conditions delivered a different result. While the Yokohama Geolandar G055 proved it was capable of dry handling, its wet traction couldn’t compete with the other two models. Its tires lagged behind – literally – as it struggled to find traction with a wet course lap time almost five seconds slower than the Michelin Premier LTX. Compared to the other two models, it generated a little more tread and impact noise, riding somewhat firmer than the others.

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Conclusion

The Tire Rack results found all three models performed well in dry conditions; however, there was a clear winner on the wet tracks. Michelin Premier LTX received the highest praises from Tire Rack, but Kumho Crugen Premium and Yokohama Geolandar G055 also proved an adequate tire for the wet surfaces coming this winter.

Obviously there are more options out there and Consumer Reports suggests Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All Season, and Pirelli’s P Zero Nero All Season all pass muster. These ultra-high performance (UHP) tires boast tenacious wet grip, which is perfect for this upcoming winter.

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