The differences between 16, 17 and 18 inch WINTER tyres tested and explained!

Please help me hit 40k subscribers by christmas! There’s 3 good winter tyre videos left before the year is out!

Will a narrower 16 inch winter tyre give you better snow performance because it’s narrow, or will the larger, wider 17 and 18 inch winter tyres perform better in the snow because they have more sipes and edges?

Conversely will the smaller winter tyre struggle in the wet and dry more due to less rubber?

Only one way to find out, and that’s to go winter tyre testing!

More details and information can be found on the write up here:

Music – Ryan Little – Fast Ones –

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Fred P says:

Great video. I’ve always wondered what difference tyre size makes.
Do you happen to know how much better dry and wet performance “European” winter tyres have compared to nordic winter tyres? I live in an area where we have dry or wet roads about 70 % of the winter months and pretty extreme snow and ice about 30 % of the time. Would be good to know which tyres are the best compromise for these types of conditions.

greymatter says:

Do all three wheels weigh the same?

Craig Derbyshire says:

Nice Video, I’ve just Purchased some 19’s as i’m just swapping the tyres not the wheels as well. I just hope they are as good in wintry conditions when i ran 17s. But i suppose a winter tyre is going to be a lot better than a sports summer tyre in light dusting of snow.

h3n488 says:

Hey just an idea, could you do a review of Goodyear Efficientgrip Performance tires? I have them now but would like to see a proper review of them some day and see if another tire could take their place. They seem to wear pretty fast…

Drunken Hamster says:

Can you do rally tires 15″ vs 17″ and wide (215 or 225) vs skinny (195)? And then drag tires 15″ vs 17″ vs 18″?

Frozen Pete says:

True story, a few years ago, we had quite some snow here in Lyon (France), I was driving my 325is e30 to work, with some old Michelin Alpin, old school winter tire with agressive thread pattern in 175/70r14 pizza cutter size. On the highway, I was cruising in 5th gear on the left lane, the snow was wet and heavy, but the car felt very safe, stable and as always being smooth with inputs and decontracted behind the wheel is important. A dude which was convicted that his new X5 with 4 wheels as wide as my car alone could do better because Xdrive bro, moved behind me. I can tell you that I saw the headlight beam in the rear view miror starting to float over the lane pretty badly, and the guy had no other choice than to go back to the middle lane. I carried on in my lane like no big deal.

My personnal preference is to give away a bit of dry performance in favor of comfort and wet + snow performance in winter. I can understand that some people don’t want the steel rim / fat tire in winter and keep their gigantic alloys, at least it’s better than nothing but I don’t really see the point (storage, yeah why not).

Can’t wait to see that 4wd vs winter video, I tried my A6 Quattro on worned out Yokohamas snow tires (16″) vs budget summer tires on snow (though the snow was over but surprise), I have to say that I expected a bigger difference but permanent awd, snow tires even worned out, it’s cheating :D, stable as a freight train, takes off the line like it’s just wet, it brakes nice even if the car is 2000kg, so safe in those conditions ! Amazing

bongaman777 says:

Excellent test, thank you! Were those tyres already broken in or fresh off the shelf?

Ste Heaton says:

Looking forward to the next videos, I did 10k miles on a new set of Dunlop winter sport 3 (I think they were 3’s) runflat’s on a 520d touring, should I swap the tyres back to front this year to even out the wear better?

Rob Duncan says:

Results are what i expect , thanks for showing us . The test i would like to see is winter tyre v summer tyre in wet , in autumn / spring temp’s , as most of us have to deal with wet roads , is it worth swapping tyres with seasons ? I run winter tyres 356 days , up here in north Scotland i find this works best for me over the last 20 + years . Yes i might lose some grip in summer but have big gains in wet /cold /snow , so the breaking between dry summer and cold wet winter is closer which is what we need . I am careful / cautious , some would even say slow driver so out & out performance is not important to me , staying between the grass is my aim , i get ready for winter now mid October with new winter’s that lasts me one year 15-20k.

EnhancedNightmare says:

Jesus, this is exactly what I needed to know xD

Robert Emmett says:

I drive a Genesis Coupe 3.8 GT. My limiting factor for rim size choice is clearing the brakes. Have to go with minimum 18″

Damien Lynch says:

Great work

Roland Tiiroja says:

got a sub and a bell, merry christmas

Pieter says:

I find it interesting to see the noise levels. The 205/55/16 is the most quiet in this test, however according to the EU-tire label it produces 71db, while the 225/45/17 produces 70db and the 225/40/18 makes 71db.

cichowski says:

For good test 16″ should be 225/55 not 205/55

sid12345678910 says:

I’ll never use this information as I live in a tropical area but… . Great video though! Very interesting!

JJ de La Vera says:

Did anyone noticed that he was wearing just a t-shirt…..I get it that he’s in the car but it’s ice cold outside.

VectorAero says:

You should have kept the tire width the same when comparing different rim sizes.
A comparison of different widths is only accurate if the rim diameter is the same.
Then there’s the variable of the rim width with respect to the tire width which affects how much sidewall flex occurs.

James Allen says:

I noticed that the 16″ tyres were on steel rims. Can this change the results?

I know that winter tyres can be used when the temperature drops to 3 degrees I believe, so how does that affect how the winter tyres behave?

Jesus H Medrano says:

snow? come on make a videi for the road course

Rallye Sport says:

I chose 18 inch for my RS when it comes to winter tires. I could have gone for 19 but there was no point .

Kevin Grazier says:

What about 20’s?

Giancarlo Colarusso says:

This might be a little bit off topic.
Can you explain me the difference between grip and handling?

I noticed two different scores for grip and handling on tyrereview.

MaX83_ZA says:

How about Ice testing?

Drunken Hamster says:

You also had steelies for the 16″ vs alloys for the others. Likely contributed to certain figures.

tom cranmer says:

Love these videos, would really appreciate if you also included rolling resistance and wear in the future.

Roger Collingwood says:

Nice video and as someone living in the alps with a 2 wheel drive car I can endorse just how good winter tyres are compared with summer tyres when it is cold and slippery – almost negates the need for a 4wd. I went the route of getting 205/16 60 winter instead of the 215/55 17 summer tyres. They don’t handle quite as sharply but I really appreciate the extra comfort and they are not too noisy.
As for the test, the one thing missing is the ability to hill start on a snow covered slope. This is my number one concern when driving in snow as I don’t want to have to put on the snow chains.

nw8000 says:

So the answer is all of them?

Ptrck Caresosa says:

Watching from a tropical country

Clive Sinclair says:

Makes sense. Every winter if we have snow up here in Scotland, you get the 4×4 brigade driving their fancy Range Rovers, etc with huge wheels and ultra low profile tyres – usually summer ‘sports’ tyres. Funny to watch driving past in a 2WD vehicle with small wheels and winter tyresQ

Mattis Vik says:

great video, but studless winter tires? cmon those are pretty much useless. I mean yeah they are good when you have nice constant -15 to -30 dry winter roads but for everything else from october to may they are soooo much worse then studed tires.

Steve says:

Who drives to work in perfectly packed white snow? or perfectly made race tracks with water on it? I laugh at these “test facilities” every time I see them.  Any place that gets lots of snow will use salt, or sand to assist in traction. That creates a slushy mess which is the worse stuff to drive on especially with ice under it.. Now try those fat tyres in that stuff, they’ll suck and slide.  Winter is safety first, everything else doesn’t matter.  You go with the smallest, narrowest tires you can get mostly due to money for most people, but also due to pot holes which are abundant in winter. 40 series tyres in the winter time…you’ll be getting a flat, have fun.  There is an argument that more tire surface , especially with studs will stop faster on ice.  Hmmm, maybe.  It comes down to where you live, how bad the roads get, what times of the day are you driving. But if you have the choice of putting 16’s vs 18’s…ALWAYS go 16.  Also, Instead of thinking you are wasting money on winters, think of it as saving your better summer tires too. I see too many people complaining about the costs of getting winter tires (tyres) and just driving on summers all year long putting themselves and everyone else in danger.  Well, put the summers away, you’ll extend the life of them, almost any cheap winter tire is better than a summer tire….sorry, tyre.  Salt and winter grime is brutal on nice rims too. I’m Canadian over here… driving in snow 6 months a year.  Oh, and get Nokian.

Chad Foust says:

Liked just for the no life outside of tires comment 🙂 I had a girl years ago say, “what do I have to do to get his attention, hang a tire around my neck?” Actually, no. I would have just taken the tire 🙂

Valters Pelns says:

But still, we need an answer for good old question: What’s better for winter;
New cheap tire from China ( GT radial, Good ride ..) or
Old premium (Goodyear, Nokian, Dunlop .. ) tire with 5mm tread.
So good 5mm rubber or bad 9mm rubber

Ben Caron says:

“The difference between good and bad winter tire is far greater than the size of the wheel”

Sooooo get Nokians any size and everything’s good!

Pat Garth says:

I am truly grateful to the holder of this site who has shared this great article at at
this time.

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