Tag Archives: Safety

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

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

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.