All posts by chris sanders

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews we have extensive experience in winter tyre and wheel sales and service. Our experience comes from over 40 years as an established tyre fitting company, www.tyremen.co.uk we also write for Which Tyres, www.whichtyres.com offering advice on any wheel and tyre related topics.
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

 

Continental TS810 S

Continental TS810 S The Continental TS810 S (sport)  is a very different tyre compared to the TS810, this is a sports tyre designed for performance cars.

Sizes available: 15″, 17″, 18″ & 19″

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

Suitable for: a large range of vehicles, BMW mini, Mercedes and even N2 & N0 marked tyres for Porsche.

This is another of Continentals ‘older’ winter tyres, it launched in 2008 which is pretty old in winter tyre terms. It was previously produced in a wide range of sizes and was their flagship winter tyre for the ultra high performance market – in tyre terms this just means 17″ upwards really. However more recently Continental launched the TS830 P which has largely replaced this tyre. There are a few sizes that are not available in the TS830P and you will find the TS810 S still produced.

Many of the offered sizes in the TS810 S range are niche things for high performance cars. Some of the sizes are rather unusual and only ever sold in small quantities so I’d imagine that they are not in as much of a rush to swap over to the new tyre. In addition to this many of the sizes offered in TS810 S will have additional letters after them such as; MO, *, N0 & N1. These mean that they are approved for use by various vehicle manufacturers, MO = Mercedes, * = BMW, N0/N1 = Porsche. Getting this approval from the vehicle manufacturers takes a great deal of time and money on the part of the tyre manufacturers so they will not be in a rush to switch these onto the newer pattern.

The TS810 S is a great winter product, it offers balanced winter performance and we have customers that have used them on rather special cars and have praised them for great grip in the snow and good tyre life. This tyre is suitable for vehicles that have a wider tyre on the rear such as BMW & Mercedes and the wider rear size is even optimised with additional circumferential grooves for better water dispersal!

Have you used the TS810S? If so please leave us your thoughts.

The Continental winter tyre range is available from our partner, Tyremen, or you can call them on 08456 807808 for more information for your car.

Continental TS810

Continental TS810

This review is for the TS810 and should not be confused with the TS810 S (Sport), These are two very different products – Here are the basics

Sizes available: 15″, 16″ and 20″

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

Suitable for: medium sized cars, saloons, executive & SUV

The TS810 was released in 2008 and was aimed at medium sizes vehicles and executive cars. The tyre was designed to offer excellent handling in winter conditions, long life and short braking distances. Upon launch the tyre was highly recommended in an independent tyre test and was praised in other tests as being a very balanced tyre, with stable handling in the snow.

I don’t have much feedback to share on this tyre as although it is still produced it is only made in a handful of sizes. Actually the sizes produced are also rather weird and wonderful ones. There is a mercedes specific application for very old C-Class and some obscure 20″ SUV sizes. When the tyre manufacturers move onto a new pattern then they have to make all the individual molds for all the different sizes that they want to offer. My guess is that demand for the sizes that the TS810 is still made is so little that it isn’t worth the investment in the new mould hence still making the older pattern. I suppose it’s either do this or drop it all together.

So if you have been using the TS810 since back in 2008 then we would love to hear from you on how they perform – please leave your thoughts below.

Are you looking for a TS810 tyre? Try the team at Tyremen, they can usually find if its out there, call 08456 807808

Thanks for reading, the Winter Tyre Reviews team

 

 

Continental TS800

Continental TS800 Great little winter tyres and a test winner in 2009, lets start with the basics: Sizes available: 13”, 14”, 15” Speed ratings: T (118mph) Suitable for – Small cars and light vans with the TS800 offering XL ratings in some sizes. The Continental TS800 has been around a number of years now after being launched in 2006. As a group Continental have developed the range quite substantially with the release of the TS810, TS830 & TS850, however in the smaller sizes they have continued to use this pattern. However just because the tyre is old doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s outdated, in fact the tyre has been consistently praised over the years in the independent tyre tests. The TS800 was highly recommended upon launch in 2006 and has consistently achieved great results ever since, with the most recent being a 2nd place in 2012. The sizes offered are generally in 13″ & 14″, plus 15″ offering that are suitable for Smart car, which is one of the most popular applications. We haven’t received a great amount of feedback on this tyre, but I do have a bit of a personal theory! When you need a winter tyre in these small sizes then as long as you go for a reputable manufacturer then you wont go far wrong. With winter tyres it’s a case of the narrower the better when it comes to winter performance. I’ve used winter tyres on small vehicles that are front wheel drive and they just go anywhere! I’ve encountered pretty deep snow and have always been able to continue my journey with confidence. If you need a 13″ or 14″ winter tyre then the TS800 will do the job very well as would a range of tyres such as the Snowtrac 3, Hankook W442 & Uniroyal MS 66. Do you have any experience using the TS800, is my theory about right? I look forward to your comments… Thanks for reading, the Winter Tyre Reviews team

Hankook W310

Hankook W310 i-cept evo

hankook-i-cept-evo-w310Another winter tyre with a strange name, but what’s it like? Lets start with the basics.

Sizes available: 15″, 16″, 17″ & 18″, click here to see a full range.

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

So why put these on your car, surely you only put winter tyres on big 4X4’s? No, everyone can benefit from winter tyres, and Hankook have realised that and produced the W310 in lots of sizes.

The range will fit smaller family cars, great for the ‘hot hatch’ and then to medium sized saloons and tourers, such as the BMW 3 Series

Hankook are one of few suppliers that makes the split 18″ sizes 225/40R18 & 255/35R18, appealing yet further to more vehicles.

Is this the first time you’ve heard of Hankook? Or you may well have seen them supporting football on TV, well, they are a great manufacturer that now make tyres that are fitted on new vehicles in the factory for BMW, Ford, Audi and many more.

They class themselves as a premium manufacturer but we use them as a mid-range option as they tend to be cheaper than the more familiar brands out there.

So, What are the advantages of the W310:
1. It comes in a vast range of sizes, including some unusual ones that no one else makes a winter tyre in
2. The tread design and pattern looks and feels like a summer tyre, which is particularly unusual in smaller sizes such as 15″ and 16″ diameter. This type of design is quieter so if road noise is an issue this tyre should be considered
3. Price – as we said, they are pitched a bit cheaper than the well known brands, but winter performance is still very good.

Feedback on these is really good, we have a number of repeat customers up in the Highlands who swear by them, and if they perform well in the Highlands, then we may just have a very good tyre on our hands!

We also spoke with a taxi driver who used them on a Mondeo in Lincolnshire and got in excess of 20,000 miles from a set – more than his summer tyres!

In terms of tyre tests there isn’t that much data out there, on the odd occasion that Hankook have put them forward they achieved mid-table results. The W310 is described as displaying great handling on snow and short braking distances on dry roads.

So let’s be honest, it’s not a premium tyre, and that’s reflected in the price, but it is good, performs well in the snow and because of it’s good dry performance and standard pattern is well suited to UK winter conditions. Add to this that it will last well, is nice and quiet and it’s reasonably priced, then the W310 i-cept evo seems like a good bet.

Looking to buy? Tyremen are major Hankook winter stockists and offer great prices on the W310 i-cept evo.

Over to you for your comments if you have used this tyre.

Thanks, The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

Continental TS830 P

TS830 PContinental winter tyres, two variants, two codes! This review is for the TS830P not the TS830, the P stands for performance and is a very different product to the standard 830 – here are the basics:

Sizes available: 16″, 17″, 18″, 19″ & even 20″ there is even a limited selection of Run-Flat options.

Speed ratings: H (136mph), V (149mph) & W (168mph), it’s probably not wise to drive at this speed if there is snow on the ground!

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

This tyre has now been around since 2009, in many ways it is mis-understood but rest assured its a great winter tyre. It’s mis-understood in that the standard TS830 (for smaller car & hot hatches) received a lot of attention in 2010/11 by winning a bunch of the prominent winter tyre tests and was the product that everyone wanted. However if you needed winter tyres in 17″ diameter and above then generally the 830 wasn’t produced and you had to opt for the 830P, the performance version for larger vehicles.

However the confusion was cleared up when this tyre started turning heads in its own right after topping many winter tyre tests. As you may have gathered already I think you need to take these results with a pinch of salt, but when a product starts winning them all then you have to sit and take notice. Between 2009 & 2012 the TS830P claimed 1st place in 5 winter tyre tests in 17″ & 18″ diameter. There have also been another 3 2nd & 3rd place results and the tyre was consistently described as offering great all round winter performance.

Recommendations went a step further when Auto Express awarded it the crown of best winter tyre in 2012 and claimed that the tyre showed no weakness whatsoever!

The feedback that we I’ve received from users of this tyre has been really positive, especially with drivers that have embarked on long drives to the Alps where they have praised the confidence they get from the tyre and small amount of road noise. I haven’t had too many people come back to me with reports of how long they last as yet so I look forward to your comments. Continental do claim that this product offers good longevity and from handling this product the tread blocks seem firm and this claim could well be the case.

Continental are consistently making great winter tyres at the moment and I would have no hesitation in recommending this multi award winning product for a range of winter uses.

Need any further help or davice? The guys at Tyremen can give you all the help you need, from questions to purchase and fitting, call 08456 807808

Have you had this tyre fitted to your car or SUV, we’d love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below or even ask a question.

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Review Team

Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme

vredestein-wintrac-xtremeVredestein Wintrac Xtreme, I love these tyres, but I’ll get to that in a moment let’s start with the basics.

Sizes available: 16″ – 20″ diameter

Speed ratings: H (136 mph) all the way up to W (168 mph)

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

When I first got involved with selling winter tyres Vredestein was the first company that we dealt with. Based in Holland they are one of the original winter tyre manufacturers and considered by many to be one of the best in the business. I’ve sold this product for a number of years and the customer feedback is outstanding, We’ve fitted them to a wide range of vehicles from Golf’s to Aston Martin and everything in between. In terms of test data there is very little out there as Vredestein don’t tend to put this tyre forward for testing so we have had to convince customers that it’s a great product. All I can say is that people come back for them again and again and I’ve heard many stories about them being used in a range of conditions and they always perform outstandingly.

In addition to great all round winter performance the Wintrac Xtreme has the added benefit of offering great longevity, they offer fantastic mileage. I remember our Vredestein rep using them over 2 years and got close to 40.000 miles out of them! Many people think that winter tyres wear out quickly and that is rarely the case, especially with these. Even when used out of season they work and last well, I personally ran them year round on a 1 series and loved them. Fuel efficiency was still really good, there was no increased noise and after removing them at around 20,000 miles they were hardly touched in terms of tread wear.

Finally a bit more on my personal experience; I was really happy with them on my BMW 1 series a few years back. This year I used the 17″ runflat version on a 3 series and they have really performed. We had a reasonable amount of snow and ice over the 2012/13 winter up in Yorkshire and this tyre allowed me to keep mobile, safe and confident out on the roads – a top tyre!

Looking to buy? Tyremen are major stockists of the Wintrac Xtreme and offer great prices.

Vredestein-Snowtrac-3

Vredestein Snowtrac 3

vredestein-snowtrac-3Vredestein were one of the first tyre manufacturers to start producing winter tyres, they are well known in the rest of Europe and for those in the know here are regarded as a well respected manufacturer.

With our partner, Tyremen, we are going to look at this product

This Snowtrac 3 was launched in 2008 and has remain unchanged ever since. Upon release this tyre received a great deal of praise from the tyre press, motoring magazines and independent tyre tests. At this time it was leaps and bounds ahead of the competition and claimed a string of tyre test winning performances over a 3 year reign at the top. These test winning performances were over a range of sizes but for some reason has consistently rated especially well in smaller sizes such as 185/60R14. Even as recent as 2012 this tyre received a which best buy in this size and must be seriously considered if you need a small winter tyre.

Sizes available – 13″ – 16″, call for more information 08456 807808

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

Suitable for – small & medium sized cars

The Snowtrac 3 has a directional pattern with good spacing between the tread blocks for fantastic snow clearing properties and this tyre is often praised for its pure snow performance. This pattern does tend to increase the rolling resistance so the Snowtrac 3 doesn’t tend to offer the best fuel efficiency.

It’s also praised for excellent dry performance, although more recently released tyres tend to offer better wet grip. There is no doubting that the Snowtrac 3 is a great winter tyre, upon it’s release it was the best, these days it’s more truthfully a mid table performer but it’s safe, great in the snow and excellent value.

Customer feedback is consistently good for this tyre, it’s very popular in the Scottish Highlands and with those driving to the Alps. The only real negative that I’ve heard is that they can wear quite quickly when used in the summer months.

Vredestein do make fantastic winter tyres that you can leave on the vehicle all year, however, as this is one of the first, this isn’t one of them. This is purely a winter tyre, have them fitted with another set of wheels, alloys keep the look of your car, but steels are an option in smaller sizes.

We still love this tyre, it’s one that we first took notice of and you can kit your car out, with just the tyres, from as little as £200 plus fitting, we think is great value for a great tyre and keeps you safe and on budget!

Looking to buy or need any more help or advice? Tyremen offer great prices on the Snowtrac 3. Or call the team on 08456 807808

Used this tyre? Let us know, join in the blog and leave your views.

The Winter Tyres Review Team

Continental-TS850

Continental TS850

 

Update August 2015,

Since the launch of the TS850, these seem to be unstoppable winning the Auto Express best winter tyre buy 2014 & 2015.

pr_240615_axcwct850_460-en-onlineData

 

continental-ts850Launched for the winter 2012/13 season the Continental TS850 has caused quite a stir, lets start with the basics:

Without doubt this was the most in demand winter tyre of the 2012/13 winter season, and that hasn’t relented in following years. With a string of fantastic tyre test reports, this tyre hasn’t failed to please those who have fitted it to their vehicles.

This tyre replaced the TS830 which was only released a year previous and was a multi test winner upon it’s release. It’s unusual for tyre companies to switch a winning product so quickly but they have managed this with the launch of the TS850 which has been improved further.

So, what are the basic’s of this tyre?

Sizes available – from 14″ to 17″ (limited 17″ sizes)

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

Suitable for – small cars, family cars, hot hatches & a range of estate cars & executive saloons if part of wheel & tyre package. Sometimes for winter tyres on vehicles with quite a large tread placement, it’s best to drop a wheel size.

A directional tread pattern which is ideal for clearing snow, slush and water from the road surface keeping the tyre in contact with the tarmac more effectively reducing the risk of aquaplaning.

Tyre tests usually need to be taken with a pinch of salt as results can vary widely. But this tyre won them all this year in size 205/55R16, We’ve never seen anything like it the TS850 claimed 1st place in the following tests; Auto Express 2012, Evo magazine 2012, Auto Bild, Auto Zeitung & European winter tyre test 2012.

When the results are this consistent then you know that the product is good. The results praise this tyre in all winter conditions, wet, dry & snowy so it’s fair to say that whatever the application this tyre is a good option.

With the tyre being so new we haven’t had that much customer feedback yet so I look forward to your comments. Again we haven’t heard back from people that have worn these out yet so I don’t know for sure how long they will last. Continental as a company don’t tend to value longevity so I’d be surprised if they lasted a long time, but in terms of winter performance you wont go far wrong.

Update October 2014

Well, now we have had some feedback from customers, and we have to say, its very positive. Mileage is good, fuel economy proving competitive with other brands and great performance in winter conditions.

Looking to buy? Tyremen have large stocks, cheap prices & free delivery or nationwide fitting on the TS850.

Need more advice? Call the Tyremen team on 08456 807808

Join in the review process, leave your thoughts on the TS850 below

Thanks

The Winter Tyres Review Team