UK car magazine AutoExpress recently tested nine models of all-season tire in the popular 205/55 R 16 size on typical wintry surfaces and in the heat of summer (Winter Special, October 2019). The AllSeasonContact from Continental took first place for snow handling and in the evaluation of rolling resistance, while also returning good results for braking on snow and in the wet. Reporting on the snow handling tests, the journalists wrote: “It felt like [the tire] pulled the car through the turns.” In the same issue of AutoExpress, online tire retail platform blackcircles.com commented that the Continental tire impressed drivers with its wet grip and low tire/road noise.
For reference purposes, one summer tire and one winter tire were subjected to the same set of tests. This clearly showed that, on typical wintry roads, a winter tire remains superior to an all-season model. The difference between all-season models and summer tires is even more pronounced: Above all in terms of braking distances on dry roads, the summer reference tire, a Continental PremiumContact 5, delivers a far safer performance, and in the aquaplaning test too it offers greater reserves of safety than most all-season models. “The ultimate solution remains changing tires in the autumn and spring,” the experts wrote. All-season tires are, by their nature, a compromise, which means they cannot compete with specialist winter and summer tires in every respect.