Vredestein Comtrac Winter

vredestein comtrac winterWinter tyre reviews, and our partner Tyremen, take a look at the Vredestein Comtrac winter van tyre here are the basics

Sizes available: 15″, 16″ & 17″

Speed ratings: R (106mph) T (118mph)

Suitable for: most commercial rated vans

Considering winter tyres for your van? Well finding out about which product to go far can be challenging. My site here promises to give a mix of personal opinion, customer feedback and tyre test reports, but unfortunately the latter wont be possible here. That is simply because the motoring magazines don’t bother with the commercial market, we need one of the commercial vehicle magazines to jump on this. However in the mean time lets concentrate on customer feedback and my experience with the product.

So who buys winter van tyres? Quite simply, lots & lots of people; van drivers that need to deliver year round to rural areas, self employed traders that can’t afford to not get to a job right through to the emergency services. In addition to drivers needing winter traction we also have supplied these to people that use their vans in semi off-road conditions. The directional tread pattern works great at clearing snow and slush, but the same principle allows the tyre to dig into mud, its particularly popular with camper van owners!

We get fantastic feedback from customers that have used the Comtrac Winter in all of the above conditions. A large percentage of users keep these tyres on year round. The Comtrac winter has a rubber compound that stays soft when the temperature drops, but this doesn’t means that it’s soft and will wear out quickly when used in the summer. Drivers get excellent longevity from the Comtrac Winter. More recently Vredestein have also launched the Comtrac All-Season which is a true all-season tyre and would offer similar performance to this tyre, although they are a bit expensive.

Our drivers have reported back and praised the winter performance they have had from these tyres. They really can make the difference between getting the van out of the drive or not.

Other winter van options? Further in-depth reviews to follow however:
Michelin Agilis Alpin – newest winter van on the market, great winter credentials, good longevity, but expensive
Continental Vanco Winter 2 – good product, not as hard wearing as the Vredestein
Hankook RW06 – mid-range in price, reasonable winter traction

Looking to buy? Tyremen are major stockists of the Comtrac Winter, cheap prices, good stocks and free delivery.

Have you used the Comtrac Winter? If so I’d love to hear your comments.

The Winter Tyres Review team

Vredestein Quatrac 3 All Season

Vredestein Quatrac 3

Vredestein Quatrac 3 All season tyreThe Vredestein Quatrac 3, if a certain beverage company made tyres, then this is probably the best all season tyre out there.

OK we know this is not a true winter tyre, however it deserves a page! The Quatrac 3 is an all-season tyre, it can be used year round and is also mountain/snowflake marked for those countries where winter tyres are mandatory. Quite simply they are a half way house between summer and winter, although they are probably closer to winter than summer. We are finding that interest in all-seasons is growing rapidly in the UK as motorists want winter safety, but without the effort and cost of changing tyres each season.

Here’s our thoughts and the basics with advice from our partner, Tyremen.

The Quatrac 3 is included on this site as quite often when the winter tyre tests come out they throw a couple of all-season tyres into the mix to see how they perform. If you did want to go all season then this would definitely be the product to go for. Vredestein are the best in the business in all-season, they have been at it the longest, have the best range and are consistently independently tested to be the best. Here is an example, in 2011 Auto Bild did a specific all-season tyre test which the Quatrac 3 topped and was described as ‘Multi talented and balanced in all areas. Precise steering and excellent handling characteristics on wet roads. High safety reserves in aquaplanining, short braking distances on snow’.

When these tyres are tested alongside full winter they perform very respectfully. In the 2011 Evo winter tyre test it placed 5th and was decribed as:
Dry – Most positive front end after the summer tyre. 2nd fastest dry lap time
Wet – A little tail happy but strong front end and lots of steering feel. 7th fastest wet lap
Snow – Surprisingly strong in the snow with the quickest lap time! 6th in the slalom
Quickest lap time in the snow and this is an all-season tyre! This tyre also placed better than the Dunlop WinterSport 4D.

Essentially the Quatrac 3 is a great all-round tyre and I believe is really suited to UK conditions. Certainly in East Yorkshire we get short summers, cold winters and lots of rain, the Vredestein will cope with all of this with ease. In Germany (where legal tyre use is the law) all-season tyres are out selling winter tyres at the moment. Our tyre market has been a few steps behind them for a while now, but I’m convinced that all-season use will continue to increase. In 2012 Vredestein added the Quatrac 3 SUV which has expanded the range even further and covers things like base models BMW X5’s & VW Tiguan.

Suitable for: small sized cars, saloons, executive, SUV & high performance sports

Sizes available: 13″  – 18″, click here for the full list

Speed ratings: T (118mph) H (136mph) V (149mph)

In a retail environment we have supplied the Quatrac 3 for a few years now and customer feedback is superb. Certainly we are getting plenty of repeat custom which shows more than anything that drivers are happy with them. We hear comments like, ‘fantastic grip in the snow’, ‘surprisingly quiet in the summer’ and ‘superb rain tyres’ all the time.

Don’t get me wrong they are probably not for everyone, if you live up in the Highlands and get vast quantities of snow then you would probably go full winter to give yourself the best chance of keeping moving during the winter. But as a true all rounder the Quatrac is well worth a try!

Looking to buy? Tyremen offer the best prices, large amounts of stock and free delivery or nationwide fitting on the Quatrac 3. You can talk to the team on 08456 807808

Our review comes from experience, test results and trade info, some of the best reviews come from you. Have you used the Quatrac 3? Please share your thoughts below.

Thanks, the Winter Tyre Reviews team

Pirelli winter sottozero W210 serie 2

Pirelli Winter Sottozero serie IIHere at Winter Tyre Reviews, we look at as many tyres as possible, and sometimes, well, they don’t always rate as highly as others.

The Pirelli winter Sottozero W210 Serie 2, has struggled with reviews (click here for the Auto Express Test)  and feedback has been, sadly, lacking. But does that make it any less of a tyre?

Auto Express verdict? A decent performance, but a step behind in rivals in just about all areas. We feel this is a little harsh, looking at the test results, it rarely falls below 95% and was tested against proven winter tyres.

Here are the basics.

Sizes available:16″ – 20″

Speed ratings: H (136mph), V (149mph), W (168mph)

Suitable for: medium sized cars, saloons, executive, SUV & high performance sports

The W210 certainly has some positives, most notably I would say is the vast size range. When I’m trying to find a really unusually sized winter tyre Pirelli have to be one of the first points of call. One of the main reasons that they service this huge range is because of their original equipment work with the car manufacturers.

We think it’s fair to say that Pirelli have the most original equipment winter recommendations out of any of the tyre manufacturers. Looking through the Pirelli price list you find lots of O.E markings such as BMW, Porsche, Jaguar… and if you own one of these vehicles and you look in your handbook you may well see Pirelli winter being recommended.

So does that fact that the premium car manufacturers endorse their product make it a good tyre? Well to be honest there are better options out there.

In 2010 Pirelli put the W210 forward for the European winter tyre test and it was placed 9th out if 10 – oh dear! Worse still was the testers comments, “slight weakness on wet roads and in snow and ice”. Personally if I was investing in winter tyres, great traction in those same 3 areas would be very high up on my shopping list. I just can’t imagine how the manufacturers think this is acceptable, in their testing during development Pirelli must have realised that the tyre worked great in the cold, dry conditions but not so well in snow and rain! And someone high up at Pirelli must have passed this, its incredible really.

Maybe I’m being a little harsh? Maybe at the time this was the best Pirelli could do and it just so happened that their competition stepped up their game that year? However it certainly highlights a point that you shouldn’t just follow the car manufacturers recommendations when it comes to tyres.

What else, well they are expensive too so all in all there are certainly better options out there. They may have this vast range of sizes but a lot of them are super wide 20″ tyres for vehicles like Jaguuar XF. Well when you look at the cost of these you could go for a smaller and narrower wheel & tyre set which would be cheaper and more effective.

Lets leave things on a positive though – a large percentage of these super large, average performing winter tyres are…. made in the UK!!

Have you had these fitted to your vehicle? Leave a review below

Need further help, call the team at Tyremen on 08456 807808

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

Bridgestone Blizzak LM25

Bridgestone Blizzak LM25Winter Tyre Reviews are going to  take a look at the Bridgestone Blizzak LM25 here are the basics

Sizes available:16″, 17″, 18″, 19″, 20″

Speed ratings: H (136mph) & V (149mph)

Suitable for: high performance saloons, GT’s and coupés

We think that it’s fair to describe Bridgestone’s winter tyre strategy as ‘non-committal’. The Blizzak LM25 is in theory made in a vast array of sizes but there is very little information about this tyre being used or tested. The Bridgestone winter price list shows this tyre in so many sizes, yet only a handful are brought into the UK. In fact very little of their winter range is available in the UK across all of their patterns. Maybe they push the product more successfully in other parts of Europe, but we’re not convinced. This tyre has been available for a number of years yet there is no record of it being put forward for any winter tyre tests.

So what’s it like? Well we initially supplied this product as a 17″ winter runflat a few years back, when such products were scarcely produced. Customer feedback was positive, drivers praised it’s good snow traction and time has told that it also offers good longevity.

Bridgestone are a premium tyre manufacturer so when it comes to investing in winter safety you can be assured that they will have spent heavily in the development of this tyre. We’re sure the rubber compounds used will offer cold weather flexibility, the tread pattern is siped to ensure winter traction and the directional tread pattern will be effective at clearing snow, slush and rain. However we can’t honestly say how this compares to other premium offerings.

Personally we think that if you want a premium winter tyre then there are safer bets available. You could opt for something tried and tested in the premium segment which would probably work better. Other issues we have with the LM25 is that it’s right up there in terms of price, but also because Bridgestone are not committed to the UK market you could end up with availability issues. Even though you may be able to find a set now, if one gets punctured and needs to be replaced Bridgestone’s strategy may make this tricky.

Have you used the Blizzak LM25? If so I’d love to hear your comments.

The Bridgestone Blizzak LM25 is available from our partner, Tyremen, for shipping UK and Ireland wide or for fitting in Hull.

Thanks, the Winter Tyre Reviews Team

Michelin Alpin A4

Michelin Alpin A4Michelin Alpin A4 ADAC 2012 winter tyre test winner here are the basics,

Sizes available: 14″, 15″, 16″ 17″

Speed ratings:T (118mph), H (136mph) & V (149mph)

Suitable for: A wide range of sizes for smaller family cars, hot hatches and up to medium sized saloons

The Alpin A4 is clearly a good winter tyre, upon being launched in 2010 it has topped 3 independent tyre tests and has a string of further recommendations. For Michelin this success was thoroughly needed as its product portfolio prior to the A4 release was rather poor when it came to winter tyres. The Alpin A3 was rather dated and had been overtaken in terms of performance when compared to many other tyres out in the market. The Alpin A4 was released at the same time as the Goodyear Ultragrip 8 and the Continental TS830. All of these products seemed to rotate around the top 3 positions of the winter tyre tests and were clearly very well matched.

The A4 was described in the following ways by the testers:
‘A very balanced tyre scoring very well in all safety related tests. Top marks for wear and on wet surfaces’ – ADAC test winner
‘Best on-road feel and consistently good in the tests gives the Michelin Alpin A4 a strong second’ – EVO recommendation
‘Good handling and excellent braking performance on wet roads, good handling characteristics on dry roads, low rolling resistance’ – AMS winter tyre test

Michelin are the most recognised tyre manufacturer in the world and certainly have enough funds to put towards product development to ensure that this is a very safe winter tyre. As with most Michelin tyres you would also expect good longevity, however I don’t have that much experience with the A4 so I can’t really qualify this. However I do have a bit of an issue when it comes to Michelin, could they just be a bit too big for their own boots? Because they are the most well-known they really believe that they are the best in the business and their pricing reflects this. With all Michelin tyres there is no doubt that you are paying a premium for the brand! Continental launched the TS850 which it’s fair to say is a better tyre than the A4, but the Michelin tyre is the most expensive. I just couldn’t justify paying a premium for Michelin winter tyres.

In conclusion I have no doubt that their winter credentials cannot be disputed, safety and longevity will be good, but would I pay a premium for the Michelin man? Probably not!

Thanks for reading, please feel free to leave your reviews or comments below.

The Winter Tyres Review team

Dunlop sp wintersport 3D

Dunlop sp wintersport 3DDunlop sp wintersport 3D 2010 & 2011 Auto Bild 4×4 winter tyre test winner, here are the basics.

Sizes available: 15″, 16″, 17″, 18″, 19″, 20″

Speed ratings: T (118mph), H (136mph), V (149mph), W (168mph)

Suitable for – a wide range of vehicles from small 15″ car right up to 20″ SUV, and for Mercedes owners Dunlop is one of a few manufacturers to produce the 245/40R17 winter tyre.

Launched in 2009 the wintersport 3D has been a hugely successful winter tyre, although it has now been largely replaced by the new Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D. However the 3D is still relevant as many drivers will still be using these, also it is still produced in many sizes. Many of the slightly more unusual sizes are still only made in the 3D, including some BMW run-flat applications. In some sizes Dunlop make both patterns and if they happen to be sold out of the 4D then the 3D is worth considering still is it a great quality product.

Since 2009 the 3D has been awarded with 10 to 3 places in the independent tyre tests, including the following top spots:
1st: 2011 Auto Bild 4×4 Winter Tyre Test (255/55 R18)
1st: 2010 Auto Bild Winter 4×4 Tyre Test (215/65 r16)
1st: 2010 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test (195/65 r15)
1st: 2010 European Winter Tyre Test Part 2 (185/65 r15)
1st: 2010 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test (245/45 r18)

The tyre is praised for offering great all round winter performance and good stability in the snow. The 3D consistently scored great in the wet tests with short breaking distances on the wet track and great resistance to aquaplaning, which is pretty handy for our wet, UK winter weather. The only area that the 3D fell down in was rolling resistance which impacts on fuel economy, an area that appears to have been slightly improved upon in the newer 4D.

What is assuring is the range of sizes that the 3D performs in, the winter tyre test wins above are in a range of sizes which include both large & small SUV/4×4, small car and executive tourer.

Our retail sales of this tyre have often been in more unusual fitments such as those for new BMW 5 series and BMW X5, both in run on flat versions. Feedback has been really positive from customers, although generally they will have reduced wheel size too which really helps when it comes to winter performance. The tyres offer great longevity and customers often praise how many miles they will cover before wearing out, which can be in excess of 20,000 miles.

Dunlop are a well respected manufacturer, this year (2013) they will have been producing tyres for 125 years so they should be pretty good at it by now! Their winter range is very well respected and if the size you need is made in the 3D rather than the newer 4D it’s still a good proposition.

Have you driven on the winterspoprt 3D? If so please please leave your comments below.

Need more info? Talk to the guys at Tyremen


The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme

Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme

Wintrac 4 XtremeThe Wintrac 4 Xtreme  is the next generation in the Wintrac Xtreme range, and is Vredestein’s high performance SUV/4×4 winter tyre – and it’s superb!

Its products like this that make this website worthwhile! I think it’s more than fair to say that the Wintrac 4 Xtreme is the best SUV/4×4 winter tyre on the market. However many people in the know are aware of this already, especially drivers on the Continent where Vredestein are one of the most respected winter tyre manufacturers.

Because of this, demand is always really high for these tyres. Vredestein are only a relatively small company based in Holland so whatever they make always sells out. So as a company they don’t tend to put these forward for testing or reviews because they really don’t need to promote them further – not a bad position to be in! Therefore you are not going to find a great deal of test data to look at to help you make your decision and we hope our site will give you all the info you need!

So you would expect that a 4×4 or 4 wheel drive SUV would be pretty good in the snow right? Well these modern vehicles are quite heavy and often fitted with wide tyres that simply slide about at the first sign of the white stuff. Therefore winter tyres make a huge different to these vehicles and the Wintrac 4 Xtreme should be seriously considered, here’s why:

Excellent all round winter performance – whether you are driving on dry, cold British motorways or twisty, snow covered roads in the Alps. Great traction in snow, slush and ice, with a fairly aggressive directional pattern which self clears really well.

Available from 16″ up to 20″ in diameter, click for the full size range.

Speed ratings: H (136 mph) & V (149 mph)

Suitable for: SUV’s of all sizes and 4×4’s

Great value – this premium winter tyre also happens to be one of the cheapest tyres on the market, when compared to products like the Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow or Continental 4×4 winter contact the Vredestein are a fraction of the cost. Trust me spending more on the well known branded tyre does not get you a better tyre!

Incredible longevity – many people expect winter tyres to wear out quickly, this is certainly NOT the case with the wintrac 4. We have a local customer that has used these for many years on a VW Touareg and he gets around 40,000 miles out of a set. This type of mileage is absolutely typical for many of the customers that we speak to. Once they have fitted these to their vehicles, it is very rare they go back to another brand.

Vredestin Wintrac 4Xtreme

Year round use suitability – many, many of our customers fit these in the winter months and never take them off, unless they have dropped to a smaller wheel for winter. This product works great for UK year round use, all the negative aspects that you would expect are simply not the case with this tyre. The wintrac 4 xtreme offers very little road noise and has low rolling resistance so is good on fuel. In the summer months this is still the case so long motorway drives can be done in comfort. The big boss man at our retail site switched from Bridgestone summer to this tyre and found them to be quieter, again they lasted great too.

Light 4×4 use – because they have the semi-aggressive directional pattern this tyre also has light off road uses. It’s not going to offer all out all terrain traction for deep mud but is totally suited for country tracks and fields.

Any downside? We have sold lots of these and feedback is nearly always incredibly positive. I have heard once or twice that users haven’t been overly impressed with wet braking performance, but such comments are rare. All in all this is a great winter tyre, offers incredible snow traction, is great value and lasts a long, long time – happy days!

Looking to buy? Tyremen offer the UK’s cheapest prices, great stock levels and free delivery or nationwide fitting on the Wintrac 4 Xtreme.

Give the team a call on 08456 807808 if you would like any more information.

Over to you, what are your thoughts of this tyre?


Dunlop sp wintersport 4D

Dunlop Winter sport 4DThe established winter tyre from Dunlop is the Winter Sport 4D, but how has it performed?

This tyre comes with 4 dimensional sipe technology! Not 2D or even 3D but 4D technology! Lets start by taking a look at this winter offering.

What’s nice about the 4D is that it’s produced in a wide range of sizes, most manufacturers have a certain pattern for 15″/16″ then something else for 17″ upwards, but the 4D is available across the board. Also to their merit it works well in a range of sizes. If you look through the tyre test reports this tyre has an array of top 3 places but in a range of sizes including; 205/55R16, 225/45R17 & 225/40R18.

Sizes available: 15″, 16″, 17″, 18″ 19″ & 21″

Speed ratings:T (118mph), H (136mph), V (149mph)

Suitable for – a wide range of vehicles from small 15″ car right up to 21″ SUV

A selection of the test results includes the following:
1st: 2011 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test (225/40 R18)
1st: 2012 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test (225/45 R17)
2nd: 2011 Auto Express Winter Tyre Test (225/45 R17)
2nd: 2011 Sport Auto Performance Winter Tyre Test (225/45 R17)
3rd: 2012 Auto Bild SUV and 4×4 Winter Tyre Test (235/55 R17)
3rd: 2012 EVO Winter Tyre Test (205/55 R16)
3rd: 2011 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test (225/45 R17)

Auto Bild describe the tyre as follows, “Winter tyres of the highest class with the best traction and shortest braking distances on snow, secure handling in wet conditions and excellent cornering and short braking distances, very quiet, good aquaplaning properties”. You can’t really ask for much more than that in a winter tyre can you!

I’ve supplied this tyre in a range of sizes and feedback from customers has always been really good. What’s more is that they appear to be really hard wearing. I’ve had numerous reports of drivers using these for many miles and are surprised that they have hardly worn down. The tyre is also praised for being firm and offering excellent driving precision, whatever the weather.

Personally I have used these on a BMW 1 series and I was pretty impressed! We are talking about a 1 series which are about the worst car out there for winter driving but this product added a lot of confidence to my driving. I previously had a budget winter tyre on there (not something I would recommend at all, but was suffering from stock issues) and the difference that the Dunlop made was vast!

Also worth noting is that the Winter Sport 4D is also made in run-flat applications for BMW and others. All in all a great product, not cheap, but a very safe winter tyre.

Need any more help or advice? Leave your comments below or call our partner, Tyremen, on 08456 807808

Have you used this tyre? If so please leave your comments below, many thanks.

Goodyear Ultra Grip 8

Goodyear Ultra Grip 8Here at Winter Tyre Reviews we take a look at the very popular Goodyear Ultra Grip 8, lets start with the basics.

Sizes available: 13″, 14″, 15″ & 16″

Speed ratings: T (118mph) & H (136mph)

Suitable for – small to medium sized cars, smaller saloons & hot hatches

The Ultragrip 8 was launched in 2011 and replaced the successful Ultragrip 7, which was a test winning tyre in its own right. Upon release this tyre caused quite a stir.

Three new tyres were released this year from the premium manufacturers and they were all fighting for top spots in the winter tyre tests. There was the Ultragrip 8, the Continental TS830 & the Michelin Alpin A4, all were clearly great products and each achieved it’s fair share of accolades.

In one tyre test they would have the Goodyear in 1st, followed by the Conti & the Mich in 3rd, the next test would have the same 3 tyres in the top 3 places but with reverse positioning. So there was a bit of debate over which was best, but it’s fair to say that the Ultragrip was (and probably still is) one of the best winter tyres on the market.

The Ultragrip 8 has continued to achieve great results in the tyre tests including:
1st – 2011 Auto Zeitung Winter Tyre Test
1st – 2011 ACE Winter Tyre Test
1st – 2011 AMS Winter Tyre Test

A rather impressive string of results, the tyre is praised for being great in the snow, wet and dry conditions and being very balanced.

I haven’t used these myself but customer feedback has been very positive when used in a wide range of conditions. With the tyre being still fairy new we haven’t seen as yet how long they last, but Goodyear products as a whole offer good longevity and I’m sure this tyre will be the same.

So we think it’s a great tyre, hard wearing, offering good fuel ratings and a fairly respectable 67 to 70 db noise score, and probably a few more years of production.

Have you used this tyre? Leave a review below, it helps us help you.

Need more advice? Call our partner Tyremen on 08456 807808, they are always willing to help.

Used any of these tyres? Leave a comment or review below!


Winter Tyre Reviews


Uniroyal MS Plus 66

Uniroyal MS PLUS 6 & 66

Uniroyal ms plus 66

New to the UK market is the Uniroyal MS plus 6 & plus 66 tyres, what are they like? Lets take a look:

Sizes available: 13″, 14″, 15″, 16″, 17″ & 18″

Speed ratings: T (118mph), H (136mph), V (149mph)

Suitable for: a large range of vehicles, including small car, light van, executive saloons and some SUV.

So it’s not Uniroyal that is new to the UK, just their winter tyres! Many of you will be familiar with Uniroyal ‘the rain tyre’, they make the cracking Rainsport 2 which has been around years but is still one of the best wet weather tyres out there. But I digress, Uniroyal are a mid-range product that I’ve sold in 2012/13 to drivers that wanted a quality winter product but without having to spend premium money. What a lot of people don’t know is that Uniroyal are owned and produced by Continental.

It’s fair to say that Continental are making about the best winter tyres on the market at the moment in the TS850 & TS830 P. So with Uniroyal winter tyres you get a product that is coming out of the same factory as the Continental. The materials, technology and attention to detail is the same ilk as the premium product and makes for a really interesting concept.

We call this a 2nd line tyre, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, what was interesting with the Uniroyal winter was that in addition to the assurance of being part of the market leaders group their product was also being really well received in its own right. Just looking at tyre test reports when the Continental was coming out top the Uniroyal was getting 4th or 5th spot which is a great achievement.

So the tyre is made by the best, gets great test reports, so what about the price? Well the saving to be made in comparison to the Continental is quite dramatic, you should expect to pay about 25% less for the Uniroyal. On a common tyre size such as 205/55R16 this equates to about £100.

Since the tyre is new to the UK, feedback is still fairly limited, I can’t really comment on how long they will last but you can tell from the aggressive pattern that they will offer great snow performance. Road noise and rolling resistance might not be quite as low as some of it’s competitors, but I think it’s still a top tyre that I’d happily use during the winter months.

Looking to buy? Tyremen stock Uniroyal winter tyres at great prices, available for free delivery or nationwide fitting.

Over to you, have you driven on the MS Plus 6 or Plus 66? Leave your comments or a review below please.

Thanks for reading, the Winter Tyre Reviews team