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

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