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Pirelli: All-season or full winter tires? A user’s guide

What to do: choose a set of all season tires that last all year, or go for full winter tires? That’s a question many drivers are asking themselves right now especially in countries that have laws around winter tires. There’s no simple answer, but the key lies in understanding exactly when, where and how each car will be used, along with the level of performance that’s expected. These factors all make up an overall picture of every individual driver, which helps to influence the buying decision: especially given that all season tires work very well in most situations, apart from those more demanding ones where a specific seasonal tire remains essential for performance. But both of these types of tire have one fundamental thing in common, which is that the side of the tire needs to carry a “M+S” or 3PMSF marking (depending on the regulations in each country) that identifies the type of tire, avoids motorists collecting fines, and guarantees safety even in winter.

Winter for dynamic drivers

With the lower temperatures of autumn and winter below seven degrees, summer tires are no longer able to perform at their best, and so winter tires are better for drivers who demand more performance. Thanks to their softer compound, which performs strongly even when temperatures dip below zero, winter tires guarantee optimal roadholding, traction, and braking even on low-grip surfaces: all of which adds up to improved safety, as well as increased comfort.

Pirelli’s winter range

For drivers with more powerful cars, Pirelli has the P Zero Winter range: tires that are developed in collaboration with car manufacturers according to Pirelli’s ‘perfect fit’ strategy, which denotes tires made to measure for the cars they are fitted to; a characteristic of P Zero. Top of the range premium cars have the Winter Sottozero 3 available to them, providing high levels of performance, while the Cinturato Winter is for drivers of city cars, urban SUVs and crossover vehicles. For the latest-generation SUVs and crossover vehicles, the Scorpion Winter is ideal, while the Carrier Winter is designed for vans and light trucks.

All season for city drivers

If the car is used primarily for city driving away from mountainous regions, with temperatures that range from -5°C to +25°C, and covering less than 15,000 miles a year without needing sport performance, all season tires are the best choice. An all season tire is characterized by a design and tread pattern that is balanced enough to work well both in low and high temperatures, on both wet and dry asphalt. Overall performance is good, as is all-round versatility. It’s important to remember though that this type of tire won’t ever quite match the performance of summer tires in summer or winter tires in winter, although they represent an excellent compromise in all the situations described.

© Pirelli

Pirelli’s four seasons

Pirelli’s all season range is a wide one, covering all sorts of vehicles. The Cinturato All Season Plus is designed to meet the needs of drivers who have tires between 15 and 20 inches, and use their cars mostly in cities. For drivers of Crossover vehicles or SUVs, Pirelli makes the Scorpion Verde All Season SF, while completing the all season range is the Carrier All Season, for vans and light commercial vehicles. The Cinturato All Season Plus and Scorpion Verde All Season SF are also available with Seal Inside, which allows drivers to keep going even with a puncture of up to four millimetres. The Scorpion Verde All Season additionally has Self-Supporting Run Flat tyres as an option.

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