Winter tyres vs 4×4 – snow tyre test – autocar.co.uk

Which works best in the snow, winter tyres or four-wheel drive? We test two otherwise identical Skoda Yetis to find out which is best. Read a full Skoda Yeti review at http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/skoda/yeti

Comments

Stu Archibald says:

Why not just put winter tyres on a 4×4?? Simple. Pointless video and far to much use of the words “winter tyres” annoying presenter.

F103Pro10S says:

And how about drivin a 4×4 car WITH winter tyres? Thats the one and only option for me… 😀

martin robillard says:

this is no winter tire !!! if you want to see the best winter tire look at bridgestone blizzak or toyo observe

James Sawchuk says:

Interesting, thanks for the test. I now know that buying a FWD wasn’t that bad of a choice. I’m going to get a set of winter tyres immediately, as winter in Michigan is not known for being mild. 

Mohamed ThePedophile says:

AWD with studded Hakkapeliitta’s. You’ll never see grip like that.

Quentin 33 says:

If you are concerned about safety you should have your full HEADLIGHT SYSTEM ON …. You become way more visible. I’ve plowed and salted for many years….nothing worse than a car with no lights on.

mrsnowy33 says:

Good test but as a ex Brit who now lives in Canada my opinion is that winters in the uk don’t warrant buying winter tires …your know when you need to invest in winter tires when parking on the road is banned in winter because the snow plows are set loose to do there magic lol

Dan Davies says:

So a good 4×4 like a Disco with winter tyres for me then! Stupid test!

TumTuned says:

To all those saying “Why not show a 4×4 with winter tires?”, that’s not the point of this comparison. Many 4×4 owners (falsely) believe they’re unstoppable in winter conditions. And yet, with decent winter tires, a FWD car can often do just as well. Of course a 4×4 with winter tires is the best bet, especially in very deep snow or going uphill. That’s common sense. But when it comes to the two most important aspects of driving in slippery conditions, stopping and turning, 4-wheel drive doesn’t help too much.

qlcmusic says:

2wd with studded snow tires works very well. 4×4 with studded snow gets better acceleration but not worth the maintenance cost imp

Daniyar Suleimenov says:

one benefit you get with 4×4 is that if you loose grip under hard acceleration the car remains controllable i.e. you can control it with both steering and throttle. One your FWD loses traction you will understeer. In winter times there is nothing better than AWD (preferably symmetrical)

youtert says:

2:46 did they run over the cameraman?

Burning Gas says:

4wd with proper winter tyres are best suited for winter conditions

Stratos My says:

Since I already own the 4×4 blue Yeti, and snow is not very frequent in Greece, the option for me is an all season tire (Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons) or the new Michelin Cross-Climate which is advertised as summer tire with snow capability!!!

john fenton says:

No UK snow is worse…than Alberta’s dry squeaky stuff.  Yep 4WD with winters is the way to go.

Steve Bukosky says:

Thank you. An excellent demonstration. I tapped a vehicle in front of me entering a roundabout during a snow and I’ve long thought that had I winter tires I might not have hit him.

marky mark says:

my impreza is no where near as good in ice/snow/cold as my girlfriends golt gti in winter tyres.

Ryshask - says:

2 sets of tires on your awd… summer performance in the summer, and winter in the winter. great acceleration year around. Plus you wear your tires/tyres out more slowly as you are swapping them out. Everyone wins, except those driving rwd in the snow.

— I’ve driven rwd cars, motorcycles and mid engine cars for over 20 years.

BergmannDollo says:

what about both winter tires and 4wd ?

Middleastbeast says:

Does this guy have turrets?

Ravenreeve says:

All well and good if you’re only ever going to be driving on the flat, but (as he mentioned very briefly) when going uphill then you’re probably going to need 4WD.

jon modesto says:

this is a good review for new car buyers. Instead of me, buying an AWD car, I can go with a FWD and get a good set of winter tires. This saves alot of money.

olly price says:

Where are you supposed to be looking?!

beauknowz says:

2001 Lincoln Town Car rear drive, V8, posi diff.
if you are driving in areas of heavy snow, dirt roads, unsalted roads, Blizzak is the way to go. They work wonders in country settings. I’ve driven in every snow condition mother nature can create, and pulled through better than most 4X4’s! A bit sloshy on dry highway driving, performance in city snowy driving conditions (Chicago areas) isn’t all that grand. Switched to Michelin X-Ice, very good city/suburb tire. Incredible stopping power, you just have to remember not to tailgate, otherwise the car behind you will rear end you. And fortunately that has not happened! Great job on the video!

paul crick says:

Total bollocks

david newhams says:

Pointless. Compare winter tires to all season tires or compare awd to fwd. Compare rwd with all season tires to walking next time at least you will get sine laughs

Tony Stagner says:

I agree 4X4 with winter tires= best

consaka1 says:

First test was faulty. In fact considering how dedicated snow tires work I think all the tests were faulty. Soon as you spin the winter tires you are losing a good share of their benefit.  The best benefit is for the tire to grip the snow covered surface. This means it has to grip the snow instead of polishing it. If you slam on the brakes and lock the tires up the snow tires immediately pick up a load of snow that quickly turns to ice and slides over the packed snow ice under it thereby negating all the extra traction you get from those tires. If you spin the tires something similar happens though to a lesser extent. 
As always snow conditions can change rapidly with temperature. The colder the surface of packed snow or ice the less slippery it is. With melting slush all bets are off as you could get anything. The problem I see with this video was the melting snow condition. I think this encouraged the tire spin and thus the lackluster performance of the snow tires. Sure they came out ahead in some things but I know from personal experience they can do much better on real snow conditions if they are used properly. Also remember these tires with special rubber formulas need to be “wore in” to get maximum performance. The thin surface rubber needs wore down to expose the special rubber. This generally doesn’t take long on dry or wet pavement and city driving. 500 freeway miles might do it as well. You will know by drying the tread off and inspecting. If the rubber formula is exposed on a blizzak tire it will be dull not shiny and will feel a little like a kitchen sponge. Cheers. 

crazy observations says:

Shoot!Just all weather tires for my truck were 600 bucks.Cant imagine what those costs. I just put my slow tires on.

xXBurntBaconXx says:

When he says standard tires, does he mean all seasons? Or Just summer tires? The last video I watched by Auto Express specifically said summer tires.

calibermoon says:

Finding a good SNOW vehicle.

A 4X4 has more traction than an AWD.

An AWD  has more traction than a 2WD.

That said, FWD has better traction than a RWD. Sort of…I’ve seen old Volkswagen ‘rear engine’ Beetles do some pretty amazing feats in snow.

Bottom line, A Jeep Cherokee is definitely going to outperform a Chevy Camaro in snow.

If we take the 2WD, AWD and the 4X4, it is very important to select the correct tire for its intended use.

If you want to drive in snow like a summer day, buy a 4×4 with WINTER tires.

If you want to do zero-60mph in 5 seconds, buy the Camaro with STREET tires.

TK42138 says:

Good, real-world test however since the four wheel drive Yeti is heavier than the front wheel drive version, was weight added to the front wheel drive car to match the weight of the four wheel drive?

P W P says:

Are people like Janne really so dumb that they honestly need someone else to tell them the obvious? road tyres on snow don’t grip? Hmmm.

Bob says:

Irrelevant. people in the UK don’t tend to use winter tyres and if they did they would be better putting winter tyres on a 4×4. What a rubbish video.

Barry Porter says:

So where was the 4×4 with winter tyres ???

Magnus K says:

Norwegian point of view:
It’s good to see that the rest of Europe is discovering winter tires. It doesn’t get any clearer than this that you’re better off with winter tires on any car.
Imagine a pedestrian crossing full of schoolchildren and yourself in a hurry to work on a ice cold morning and those extra meters of stopping distance is a life and death situation – even if you only have say 2 weeks of winter each year as some countries probably do.

I myself drive a ’09 Pajero ( Montero/Shogun ) with 265/65-17 Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 spiked tires, not the best winter vehicle as it’s heavy with wide tires but certainly not the worst either.

Oh and by the way:
Unexperienced winter drivers should always stick to a 2WD vehicle with winter tires, as it’s easier to get a feeling for the grip and to correct mistakes.

Josue Amezcua says:

What does braking have to do with four wheel drive.  Of course if you have better traction tires your gunna stop faster, whether you have 4wd or not. Try going up a steep snowy hill and see who will make it up further. That would be a real snow test.

Rayner Bønå says:

That is NOT a winter-tyre, it’s “all season” at best.
Do a similar test with real wintertyres such as WS70, hakkapelitta etc.
Difference from these all season to a set of propper wintertyres will be about the same or more than summer to all season.
Regards from Norway 😉

P W P says:

What a silly comparison, 4×4 with winter tyres would be the best option by far, why not compare 4×4 with 2WD under identical conditions? This certainly was not a fair test. They should have compared both cars with both types of tyre then arrived at a conclusion, if you want to be safe (you only have one life) then the safest option is a 4×4 with winter tyres.

m1cdq says:

They should have should a 4×4 on all winter tyres. Yes some 4×4 drivers  think they are unstoppable. and I love it when i roll up in my old landrover   to pull out a new  landrover  on the wrong tyres.. Drive to the conditions  with the right tyres and you will reduce your chances of having a problem.   

Dennis Smith says:

I have an Audi A6 front wheel drive estate. I purchased a second set of wheels and put winter tyres on them. They go on the car once the temperature goes below 7 degrees and stays below for some days. I can honestly say, if you have never driven a car with this type of tyre on in the winter, then do so. They are worth every penny. As the video shows, going uphill with winter tyres on, even on my front wheel drive car will leave a 4×4 standing if it’s on summer tyres. My advice: buy some if you live in an area where snow can or does cause a problem. You won’t regret it.

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