Tag Archives: 4X4

Land Rover Freelander, the best of the small SUV’s?

Freelander2-Snow-FooterWEB

In the last of our Land Rover vehicle posts, with our partner, Tyremen, we’re going to look at the baby of the family, the Freelander.

As with other posts, it’s full of Land Rover heritage, and the 4WD is second to none on a vehicle like this. So why does it need winter tyres?

A 4WD vehicle is great, lots of grip, go anywhere attitude and is perfect to keep your family safe. But, as some of you will already know, put it in a field with lots of mud or on a country winter road, and it will slide around on those summer tyres.

Why? The rubber compound on summer tyres isn’t flexible enough in colder weather, quite to opposite, it turns harder and won’t give as much grip, affects traction and acceleration and can seriously affect handling, more so if you’re towing a large trailer.

Winter tyres are designed with a more flexible rubber compound that moves and grips at 7C and below. Sipes in the tread patterns give great traction on snow, slush and icy roads and water is pushed out with the ability to clear a bucket full of water in a matter of seconds, reducing the risk of aquaplaning.

The Freelander comes in wheel sizes from 16″ to 20″, so there is a lot of winter tyres out there for most wheels. The 16″, 17″ and 18″ are perfect for a straight swap for tyres only and with a set of four starting around £520 it’s not an expensive option.

If you’re running on 19″ and 20″ wheels, this then becomes a little more difficult. Winter tyres are not made in as large quantities and can be difficult to come by, and starting at over £1000 for a set of four in the 20″ size, it starts to become a lot more expensive. Coupled with the £80 per time to have them changed over twice a year, then you’re into serious money.

So what are the options for the larger sizes? Most will opt for a wheel and tyre package and drop down an inch or two. We are firm believers in 19″ dropping to 17″ and 20″ to 18″ wheels for the simple reason that the less tread you put on the road, the better the qualities of the tyre.

Grip Graphite

Big, wide summer tyres struggle in the winter, they can’t cope with the cold. So unless you have big mud tyres fitted, then you should seriously look at winter tyres.

The packages come fitted with either the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme or the Quatrac 3 SUV tyres which are very popular in Europe and great tyres!

Have you fitted winter tyres to your Freelander? What are your thoughts on winter tyres for 4X4 and SUV’s? Let us know below.

Want more help or advice? Call the friendly team at Tyremen on 08456 807808

Do you have a comment or review? Let us know below!

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

 

 

Range Rover, Big, 4WD, Luxury, Winter Tyres?

Range Rover Snow

 

The Range Rover, the vehicle that started the luxury 4WD market. With our partner, Tyremen, we discuss just why it needs winter tyres.

New to the market in 1970, it was the first luxury off-roader and has led the way ever since, the car all the others want to be like.

Comes with the superb Land Rover 4X4 system, so why are we even talking about winter tyres? Surely, it can go anywhere, anytime and just laughs at other 4X4’s?

Well, in the old days, yes, it came with big chunky off road tyres, perfect for that shooting trip, or taking a couple of hay bales into fields. But now, well, it’s more refined, more day to day usable, more, dare we say, Chelsea tractor? But we love it, it’s what a luxury 4X4 should be!

So this is why we are talking about winter tyres, low profile summer tyres just don’t do a Range Rover any justice in winter conditions.

With original wheels sizes between 19″ and 22″ these huge tyres are great in the warmer months, but, they struggle to be flexible and give enough grip when it gets cold. So what are the options?

You can change the existing summer tyres for winters, have them fitted to the very nice Range Rover wheels and store the summer tyres. There are a couple if issues with this, as the wheels come in several sizes, there are tyres for the smaller wheels, but when you hit the 20″ and upwards, they become very difficult to get hold of, and in some cases, non-existent. If you have 22″ wheels, then you may as well forget tyres in that size, few available and prices start around £400 each.

The reason for this is that the tyre companies have realised that narrower tyres makes for a better winter performance, so they look to winter packages and drop down to 19″ wheels and tyres.

So what real difference will winter tyres make, we don’t exactly get covered in snow for weeks at a time?

Winter tyres are not just for snow, they perform so much better in colder weather, under 7C, because the rubber compound is flexible in the cold, the tread patterns, like the Vredestein below, and the sipes within the tread grip the road and improve steering, handling and shorten stopping distances compared to summer tyres.

After all, at two and a half tonnes, it takes some grip to keep it going where you point it.

Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S

Winter tyres are designed to remove water, slush and snow from the tread quickly, and the Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme  S do just that, and when fitted to the classic looking Zito Blazer 5 spoke wheel, sets the Range Rover off perfectly.

19" Blazer

So, for safety, when you have that most precious of cargo’s on board, your family, it seems to be the only way forward.

If you want more information, talk to the guys at Tyremen on 08456 807808 and see what they can do for you.

Packages start at a shade over £1100 and other wheels can be sourced, it certainly makes it worth while thinking about for winter driving safety.

Have you fitted winter tyres to your Range Rover before? Leave a comment for others and give us your thoughts, did they work? Was it worth it?

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

SUV and 4X4 Winter Tyres, Which are Best?

Audi Q7 Winter Wheels

 

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews, with our partner Tyremen we are going to look at the top three most popular winter tyres for SUV and 4X4 vehicles.

So lets start with the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme.

vredestein-wintrac-4-xtreme

This tyre is gaining in popularity in the UK which mirrors sales in Europe. Designed with performance in mind, this is a robust SUV tyre with saloon car characteristics.

A prominent ‘W’ directional design tread pattern gives a robust appearance which is demanded by owners, but just because it looks good, is it?

Well, the tread design makes the clearance of water, slush and snow a quick and effective process. Stopping distances are good when compared to summer tyres and handling improved for greater stability in cold weather.

Tyre wear is good and we have had reports comparing mileage with summer tyres.

Basic off road use is good, enabling great traction in mud and gravel tracks and driveways.

Fuel economy is rated between C and E dependant on size, Wet Grip is rated E and noise levels at 71db see here for a full explanation.

All in all, a great choice for winter safety giving confidence for all day to day use!

We rate 8/10

Next on our list is the Goodyear Wrangler Ultragrip

Goodyear Wrangle Ultragrip

 

As you can see from the image, the Goodyear is a traditional SUV/4X4 tyre, big, chunky with a defined tread pattern, so can you use it for normal every day use? Well, yes you can, and here’s why.

As it’s name suggests, the Ultragrip does just that! It gives exceptional traction and pull in most winter conditions. Unlike the Vredestein, this is a tyre designed with ‘off road’ in mind, but that then balances off against ‘on road’ qualities.

Don’t get us wrong, it is more than adequate plodding around town, but with its more aggressive tread pattern, the ratings are compromised, here’s how:

Fuel economy is E to F ,Wet grip is C to E, Noise levels between 68db to 75db.

Removal of snow, slush and water from the tread is very good. Off road performance is one of the best in snow, but every day use isn’t as good as other tyres available, therefore:

We rate 7/10

Our last tyre we are going to review is the Dunlop Grandtrek SJ6

Dunlop Grandtrek

 

Wow, just look at that tread pattern! Six wide circumferential grooves provide one of the best water drainage  tyres around and helps to reduce the risk of aquaplaning in some of the worst conditions.

It is designed with multiple blades and its compound is made up with Silica-Plus and microscopic studs which gives superb traction and wet performance.

The tread pattern is directional, with wide grooves that cuts through water, slush and snow. Dry weather grip is good on the majority of surfaces with a firm grip on ice.

Fuel economy is rated at E, Wet Grip is rated at F and noise levels at 74db to 76db dependant on tyre size.

So based on its slant towards off road capabilities and high noise levels:

We rate 7/10

There are other SUV tyres out there, but as they come in large sizes and don’t make up the biggest percentage of cars on the road, they can be hard to come by.

That is why we looked at these three. If you have another preference or want further information and availability, call the guys at Tyremen on 08456 807808

Thanks for reading and leave your thoughts or comments below.

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team