Tag Archives: Audi

Audi A4 Winter Tyres, Are They A Great Investment?

Audi A4 Snow

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews, we asked the question, are winter tyres worth buying for the Audi A4? Simple answer, yes, yes, yes! But why do we think so? Well, we’re going to look at the options with our partner Tyremen.

The Audi A4 has been a fantastic car for over 20 years, starting life as the Audi 80 to its present models. All versions of this car, whether its cabriolet, saloon or estate version, the avant look great, drive with assuredness and have fantastic build quality.

But when the temperature drops then owners are increasingly looking for a winter wheel and tyre solution in order to keep their A4 moving safely. Luckily with an Audi, making such an investment will really pay off as an A4 fitted with winter tyres will be an incredibly safe vehicle come the cold weather. Unlike its German counterparts such as BMW & Mercedes the Audi is either front or all-wheel drive, so while your neighbours rear wheels are spinning away on his 3 series you will be confidently pulling away from the drive whatever the weather. Maybe you can be neighbourly and smugly offer him a ride to work?

Front wheel drive vehicles work really well in the winter when fitted with a cold weather tyre, and if you’re lucky enough to have an A4 Quattro system then when combined with winter tyres then you will literally be able to get anywhere even when there is thick snow on the ground. One of our team has an A4 and fitted it with Vredestein Wintrac tyres, and whilst his wife’s Mercedes stayed in the garage, the A4 performed as though it was summer.

So what’s the difference between summer and winter tyres? The difference is the make up of the rubber compounds, Summer tyres are flexible and have lots of grip in the warmer weather, however, when the temperature  drops below 7 degrees, they become harder and don’t grip the road as well, the handling becomes less responsive and stopping distances increase!

Winter tyres are designed to flex in colder conditions and as such, give increased grip, traction, handling and give much shorter braking distances over summer tyres.

So if you’re considering a winter driving solution for your A4 then what should you go for?

There are two options open to you, you can get a set of winter tyres and have them rotated twice a year with your summer tyres.  With the 16″ standard wheel, for a set of mid-range tyres prices are around £350 and for the 17″ £530. You then have to factor in the cost of around £120 per year to have them swapped.

The second option is a set of wheels to fit your winter tyres onto has a few benefits. First is price again, even though you have the additional cost of the wheels initially you have dramatically reduced fitting costs. Your Audi winter wheels should come with the tyres fitted (they certainly are when we supply them) therefore they will just need bolting onto the vehicle. This can be done yourself, at any garage at a minimal cost, or as part of the package price when bought though our partner Tyremen. The wheels don’t have to be that expensive either, a cheap set of steel winter wheels starts at around £230, so the alternate £120 a year tyre swapping cost makes the wheel option look like pretty good value for money.

Also fitting a wheel & tyre package allows you to (generally) fit a smaller wheel and a narrower tyre. This really helps when it comes to winter traction as it’s a case of the narrower the better for winter tyres. Those super large and wide alloys put on by Audi may look great for the summer but act like big snow boards in the snow, whereas a narrow tyre will dig into the snow much more effectively and improve winter traction. Smaller winter tyres are cheaper too so you would probably find that for the price of say 18” winter tyres you could get a set of 16” wheels & tyres. Essentially smaller wheels & tyres are cheaper and more effective, this is certainly the most practical and convenient option for winter.

When reducing wheel size you are trying to re-create what Audi offer on the base model A4’s and quite often this is using a 16” wheel & tyre. There are certain models that such a reduction is not possible though, examples of this would be S4, 2.7 & 3.0 engines and versions with over 170bhp. On these a larger brake is fitted which a 16” wheel would catch on so you would need to go for a 17” package.

Audi OE Wheel

In 16” you have the most options wheel wise, you can go for steel, aftermarket alloys and even ‘take off’ genuine Audi alloys. The genuine Audi A4 winter alloys are perfect for winter; they have just done factory mileage and are a fraction of the price of those from Audi. However there is nothing wrong with any of these options it purely comes down to cosmetics. If your A4 is listed above and will not take a 16” wheel then in 17” you are going to have to look at alloys as steel are not made in anything over 16”.

Which winter tyres to choose?

The answer to this could be a number of blog posts in its own right, however here are a few of my thoughts and opinions:
Budget winter tyres – AVOID, I don’t see the point in them! If you’re trying to make your vehicle safer for the winter then these just don’t cut the mustard.
Mid-range – Uniroyal are totally decent, they come out of the same factory as Continental and perform really well in their own right. Hankook also make a good winter product that will serve you well.
The best winter tyres – there are a few really good tyres on the market but current test winning tyres Continental winter TS850 or TS830P are great products. Our retail company, Tyremen are still really big fans of Vredestein winter tyres, the Snowtrac 3 offers about the best pure snow performance and the Wintrac Xtreme is a great all-round winter tyre that offers incredible longevity.

Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can or call the friendly team at Tyremen, 08456 807808

Thanks

The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

Audi Q7 Winter Tyres and Wheels

1259083736_audi_q7_winter

Welcome to the Winter Tyre Reviews blog for the Audi Q7 winter wheels and tyres.

As the winter season approaches, now is the right time to discuss your Q7 for safe winter driving.

You may well be asking why would you need winter equipment on a 4 wheel drive vehicle, surely it’s designed for this type of weather?

Even though the Q7 is a 4 wheel drive vehicle, it comes with summer tyres as standard. Whilst these are great during the warmer weather, they aren’t designed to perform to the best of their ability at temperatures below 7 degrees. There are a number of reasons for this:

  1. The Q7 is a popular vehicle for the winter sports run to the ski resorts, and in most of these countries, the use of winter tyres is essential requirement for the vehicle’s safety or required by law in certain regions in Europe.
  2. Audi often fit wide wheels and tyres to their vehicles. These look great and give the Q7 fantastic handling and stability with good road coverage in the summer months, but aren’t suited to snow, slush and ice, this is when a narrower tyre placement gives better grip and handling.
  3. And of course, Q7 owners use their vehicles to transport the most valuable cargo anyone has, your family. You know that you want the school run to be as safe as possible in the winter conditions.

So, with the help of our Winter Tyre Experts, Tyremen, we are going to discuss the best wheel and tyre options available on the market to enable your Q7 to perform to the standard and safety you expect from Audi.

Putting winter tyres on the Q7 gives improved handling and grip in some of the most challenging winter conditions. This advice can be generally used for other 4 wheel drive vehicles but is geared for the Audi Q7 and there are some subtle differences dependant on the model.

According to our customers, although the 4WD gets the Q7 moving, and moving well, when it comes to braking and turning in the snow, both of which are pretty important, the Q7 struggles. We believe that there is probably two reasons for this;

  1. The Q7 is a heavy vehicle and the momentum forces the vehicle in the direction it is pointing
  2. The Q7 has wide tyres, these are great for summer, but in the winter a smaller tyre coverage on the road surface provides better performance in snow, slush and ice.

So what exactly do we advise? Well, the Q7 comes in four wheel sizes from 18″ to 21″ and that is a huge variation, however, so we will start with the 18″.

The 18″ wheels usually come with either 255/55R18 or 235/60R18 tyre fitted. In this case, these are the narrowest and smallest tyres used on the Q7 so you can simply opt to change tyres for a winter set. These make a huge difference to the Q7’s performance when temperatures drop below 7 degrees. The current best seller is the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme, a great priced tyre that offers exceptional mileage, superb winter performance and this tyre can be left on the Q7 all year round without any significant drawbacks.

Because of the really positive feedback we have had from Q7 owners on the 18″ winter option, and as many of the Q7’s fitted with the larger wheels will comfortably take the 18″, they have opted to come down in size for the benefits of winter driving. Remember, the reason for this is the smaller the tyre print on the ground, the better the performance.

If your Q7 is fitted with 19″ or above, then we recommend that you invest in a winter wheel and tyre package. Our partner Tyremen imports a wheel called the Grip made by the German company Alutec. As you would expect from a German company, the quality of the wheel is exceptional and engineered to fit the Q7 so well, that the original bolts fit and they come with a five year guarantee with TUV approval. The wheel is designed to compliment the original wheel and maintain the stylish look of the Q7 and is probably the best aftermarket version available.

When fitted with the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme as we discussed earlier, the package comes to under £1200. This is by far the best option if you are thinking of keeping the Q7 for a few years and depending on how many miles you drive, both sets from new should be good for at least two seasons.

With the 19″ wheel, for some reason this seems to be an odd size and there is a lack of winter tyres. When available, the cost of the 265/50R19 starts at £250 each plus fitting. With the cost of having them fitted on and off your current wheels at around £120 per year, we feel it would be better to invest in the 18″ winter wheel and tyre package.

Now comes the downside to owning a Q7, but only if you opted for the exceptional looking 21″ wheels. They look amazing on the vehicle and really stand out from the crowd. But! The standard 295/35R21 tyre price starts at just over £230 without fitting and the winter version in this size, made by Yokohama, at a cost of £300 delivered and limited supply, that’s £1200 plus fitting for the vehicle, makes that 18″ winter package more attractive. Due to this cost and the improved safety features for the 18″ package, then this it what we recommend.

We hope that you find this blog useful and will enable you to make an informed choice for your winter wheels and tyres options. If you require any more information, why not contact the friendly team at Tyremen.

Call 08456 807808

Thanks for reading, the Winter Tyre Reviews Team

 

Audi Q5 Winter Wheels and Tyres

10q532fsi_14_hrgb Q5 winter

Here at Winter Tyre Reviews we are going to explore the winter wheels and tyre options for the Audi Q5. We have previously covered the Q7 in the Audi ‘Q’ range with vehicle specific information.

The Q5 is the middle of the ‘Q’ range and is proving to be a very popular all purpose family vehicle and has a 5 star NCAP rating for safety, so why compromise this when it comes to winter tyres?

As you will be thinking, the Q5 is 4 wheel drive? Surely it’s designed to work in winter conditions? Well, yes it is, but like anything in life, sometimes a modification may be required and this is when winter tyres become a safety feature.

All Q5’s come with summer tyres as standard, these perform superbly in the warmer weather, giving amazing grip and handling for a car of this size. But in the colder weather, below 7 degrees, the rubber compound in summer tyres becomes less flexible and gives less grip and traction in snow, ice and slush.

There are of course reasons for this, and we have given a few answers below and why we feel you should opt for winter tyres;

  1. The Q5 is often fitted with wide wheels and tyres. These look great and makes the vehicle stand out, but these give a large tyre print on the road which does not work well in the winter, the best guidance is the narrower the better for the best grip.
  2.  The Q5 is a popular vehicle for that winter trip into Europe. Resorts in the Alps and other regions often have a requirement by law to have winter tyres fitted.
  3. The main use of your Q5 is for transporting your most precious cargo, your family. You want to be certain that when you go out on the school run, everyone is going to be as safe as they can be.

So lets look at the options and what is available for the Q5.

The Q5 comes in a range of wheel sizes from 17″ to 20″, so there is a great range available to you, however, not every wheel size has a variation in choice of tyres.

We recommend that for winter equipment, you put no larger than a 17″ wheel fitted with a Vredestein 235/55R17 even if you have 20″ wheels as standard. There are two different versions of the Vredestein in an ‘H’ rating and a ‘V’ rating.

There are two wheels that are supplied by our partner Tyremen, The first is the Grip, by German company Alutec. As you would expect, a German engineered wheel has exceptional quality, a 5 year guarantee and TUV approval. It is designed to compliment the look of the Q5.

The next wheel is the W10 by a Uniwheel who are the parent company of Alutec. Again, this is a fantastic wheel and was new to the market for the 2013/14 winter season. Feedback from customers has been positive for this wheel. It is an Audi specific wheel that is engineered to fit perfectly and take the original bolts, comes with a 5 year guarantee and has TUV approval. The perfect fit for your Q5 and with prices starting at a little over £1000, we feel that this is the perfect investment as we know this is a car that you are going to keep for a few years.

Now you’re asking why? Well, for the best traction, steering and handling in winter weather, as we said earlier in this post, the narrower the better is the rule to follow.

Our partner, Tyremen, are able to offer a huge range of winter wheels and tyre packages or tyres only to have fitted to your current wheels.

We hope that you have found this blog informative for your Q5 winter driving and it will enable you to make the right choice for you. If you require any further help or advice, then please feel free to contact the friendly guys at Tyremen.

Tel: 08456 807808

Thanks, The Winter Tyre Reviews Team

 

Audi Q3, Winter Wheels and Tyres Review

audi-rs-q3-with-sled-dogs-in-snow

In our last blog covering the Audi ‘Q’ range, we are going to look at the  Audi Q3, the smallest of the range, but by no means any less impressive.

The Audi Q3 comes with four tyre sizes as standard with wheel sizes 17″, 18″ and 19″ and has 4 wheel drive capability and is an outstanding small family SUV. The Audi Q3 has achieved a 5* NCAP rating for safety, so why not compliment this in the winter season with the correct equipment?

As we approach the winter season, you will be wondering why we are discussing winter wheels and tyres for a 4WD vehicle? Surely its purpose is to perform in just these conditions?

Well, you are correct to a point. As with most things in life, we sometimes have to make small adjustments to gain the best performance from any product, and winter tyres are just this example.

As with previous blog’s in the Audi ‘Q’ range; your Audi Q3 comes with summer tyres as standard, these perform as they should in the warmer conditions but struggle below 7 degrees. The rubber compound make up of a summer tyre does not have the flexibility in colder weather, snow, slush and ice, giving less grip and reduced handling and stopping distances.

Do you take your Audi Q3 away for that winter trip into Europe? This often requires you to have at least winter tyres fitted and is a requirement by law in certain regions.

As the Audi Q3 is the baby of the range, it already comes with wide wheels and tyres that fit the vehicle perfectly. However, as we have discussed in previous blogs, the narrower the tyre the better. Why? Well, the larger the tyre print on the road surface during winter conditions, the more difficult it is to gain and maintain traction, handling and stopping distances. Having a narrower tyre print increases all of these qualities that you expect from an Audi vehicle.

Ok, so what are we recommending? As we discussed, the narrower the tyre the better, however, when we get down to tyres on the Audi Q3, they are already a respectable size. Audi fit wide wheels as standard so that they do the job they are supposed to for 7 – 8 months of the year.

With our official partner, Tyremen, we have found the best solutions for your Audi Q3. There are three options open to you for the winter season.

If your Audi Q3 came with 17″ wheels, we advise dropping down a size to the 16″ option fitted with 215/65R16 tyres, there are several makes available from economy to premium. We would always advise fitting the best tyre possible.

Did your Audi Q3 come with either the 18″ or 19″ wheels? Then you too can drop down to the 17″ option fitted with 235/55R17 tyres, our partner Tyremen, stock winter tyres in this size in the mid to premium range. The best tyre for this size, giving outstanding winter performance, grip, handling and mileage is the Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme. All tyres come in various speed ratings which cover all UK and European limits.

The wheels supplied by Tyremen are from the German company, Alutec, and perfectly compliment the look of the Audi Q3. The Grip wheel is as you would expect from a German manufacturer, high quality, a 5 year guarantee, TUV approved and looks great on any of the Audi ‘Q’ range.

But why should you do this and not just buy a set of winter tyres and have them fitted every year? Well that is an option. Winter tyres should last around 2 to 3 winters dependant on mileage. A set of wheels and winter tyres start around £700 for the 16″ package and from £1016 for the 17″ package.

To have the tyres swapped, balanced, and time to have the wheels refitted, this is usually around £120 per time, twice a year. Over the life of both sets of tyres, this could be a minimum of £700 plus the cost of tyres. With a car this good, we know you’re going to keep it for several years and this makes having the second set of wheels and tyres the perfect option.

Our partner, Tyremen, are able to offer a huge range of winter wheels and tyre packages or tyres only to have fitted to your current wheels.

We hope that you have found this blog informative for your Audi Q3 winter driving and it will enable you to make the right choice for you. If you require any further help or advice, then please feel free to contact the friendly team at Tyremen.

Tel: 08456 807808