Lessons Learned at the Arctic Circle: Testing All-Season Tires

Friday, November 16, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

For optimum snow grip, nothing compares to dedicated winter / snow tires. But, what if you live on the edge of the Snowbelt and need to run one set of tires year-round? Then you're better served by purchasing a set of all-season tires with decent light snow capability. 

How do different all-season tires perform in the snow? Our test team has traveled to Sweden the past few winters to find out. Below are brief recaps of five different all-season categories and how certain tires performed during our time near the Arctic Circle.

Ultra High Performance All-Season Test

In comparing the Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position, Continental ExtremeContact DWS, Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus and Pirelli PZero Nero All Season we found the Continental ExtremeContact DWS to perform best in the snow with the Pirelli finishing a close second. On ice, the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus led the way with Continental's ExtremeContact DWS and Pirelli's PZero Nero All Season coming in next. Bridgestone's Potenza RE970AS Pole Position trailed the others by a fair margin. Complete test results can be found here.

Eco-Focused All-Season Test

When driving on the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422, Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology, Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max and Yokohama AVID TRZ we found the Goodyear and Bridgestone options to be tops in the snow and on ice. Goodyear's Assurance Fuel Max delivered impressive results, especially under braking. Yokohama AVID TRZ tires were competitive, but showed lower overall snow traction than the other three tires.

High Performance All-Season Test

The Dunlop SP Sport Signature, Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval AS and Goodyear Eagle GT all offered decent snow and ice performance. The fourth tire in the test, the Yokohama AVID ENVigor, couldn't match the others on both surfaces. It provided a considerably lower level of acceleration, braking and cornering traction. To see how Dunlop's aggressive tread pattern paid a dividend in the snow, read "Testing High Performance All-Season Tires."

Eco-Focused Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Test

Amongst the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia, Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology and the Goodyear Assurance CS Fuel Max, the Bridgestone did the best in the snow with the Goodyear coming in next. When it came to braking on the ice, Goodyear's Assurance CS Fuel Max edged out the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia. The Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology was fairly easy to control, but showed somewhat lower overall traction than the other two.

Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season Introductory Comparison Test

In assessing the General AltiMAX HP, Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season, Hankook Optimo H727 and Michelin HydroEdge with Green X, the Hankook Optimo H727 performed the best in snow and on ice. It was rather impressive in the snow, delivering very good overall traction and predictable handling. To view results from our test, take a look at "Testing the Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season."

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