Category Archives: Winter Tyres

Winter Tyres, The Big Question, Yes or No?

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews, we’ve covered very specific vehicles in our posts and shown you packages for them.

But what if you don’t, like most of us, driver the top of the range SUV, 4X4 or executive saloon car?

Mazda 6 Snow

Take the Mazda 6 above, a superb family saloon and a popular choice with many motorists, but would you really fit winter tyres and why would you?

So what are the benefits of having winter tyres?

Well the answer applies to just about every car on the road, if you know your tyre size, then there is most likely a winter tyre to suit your budget and your car.

So what’s the difference between winter and summer tyres? After all, you’ve done ok up to now. That’s right, apart from that time when you put your foot down and the drive wheels spin, front or rear, and that light on the dashboard that show’s a car sliding flickers away.

Traction Control

Or the time when you hit the brakes in the car park at your local supermarket and the car goes sideways, the ABS kicks back on the brake pedal because it won’t grip or won’t turn properly into the parking bay.

The myth around winter tyres is that you need to have snow on the ground for them to work and that’s why certain places in Europe they are a legal requirement. This is just not true.

Summer tyres have a rubber compound that makes them harder at temperatures below 7C  meaning that grip on the road, the ability to steer confidently and the handling are seriously reduced.

The traditional tread patterns for summer tyres are designed for grip but they often don’t have the capabilities to evacuate water as well in winter conditions, dry use is their main function and they do this superbly.

So how are winter tyres different?

Winter tyres have a specific tread pattern, like the tyre pictured below, with slightly wider grooves between the rubber and sipes in the tread to effectively grip the road surface.

Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S


The rubber compound is more flexible below 7C so that it flex’s and moves to the road surface and conditions.

An average winter tyre can evacuate a full bucket of water from the tread in 7 seconds, and during wet conditions, this reduces the risk of aquaplaning. Steering comes back to the feel of summer driving, providing that you don’t think you’re Stirling Moss!

Snow and slush are pushed from the tread to keep the tyre clear and doing what it’s supposed to do, maintaining contact with the road.

The Autocar magazine conducted a test showing summer versus winter tyres and you can see what they found here.

For us, it’s a given, the team here run them in winter and we love them and how safe we feel when driving around, but that’s our view, and that’s what we’re here to do. Advice from ours and your experiences.

So, if you drive a Toyota Yaris, Range Rover or anything in between, the benefits are there for all cars, vans, motorhomes and campervans.

Want more information or would you like to leave a review/comment? Please do.

Or you can contact our partner, Tyremen, on 08456 807808 and they’ll be happy to advise you.

Thanks for reading

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?


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.