Having had considerable experience with Dunlop's D3 winter radial on two previous cars, I was curious to see how the D4 would perform on my 2013 VW Golf R. In a word, the new D4 is outstanding.
I had my tires installed in early November, before serious winter weather set in here in Maryland. I noticed immediately that while they were a little less precise in their steering feel than my Michelin Pilot summer tires, they delivered excellent wet and dry traction in cold weather, with no loss of ride comfort and no increased noise level over the Michelins.
However, the acid test for these tires would have to be snowy conditions; after all, that's why I bought them. On Sunday, December 8, I drove from Long Island to my home in Maryland in a serious snowstorm. What would have been a 3 hour trip in good weather became a 7 hour challenge, mostly due to accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Through it all my Golf kept going, with the Dunlops delivering superb traction and excellent steering feel on both fresh and plowed snow. When I got near my home, I went to an empty parking lot, and stopped in about 6 of fresh, moderately wet snow. I engaged first gear, let out the clutch, and punched the throttle...and without drama or excitement, the Golf simply gathered speed and moved straight ahead. I did this several times, with the traction control on and off, and the tire performed equally well. (Yes, with the TC off, I could sense a difference, and a little wheelspin, but it was insignificant.)
Numerically rating a tire like this is tricky: In the non-snow categories, I compared these Dunlops to my summer Michelins. In the winter/snow category, I compared them to my previous Dunlop D3s. In both catergories, they are outstanding, and I will definitely buy them again! :-)