2021 Winter Tire Testing

Jan 31, 2006
The comprehensive winter tire tests from Europe have been completed for 2021 and the results are showing up online (but some are behind a paywall ). Overall scores are heavily weighted on ice traction test results.
Here are some results from a Norwegian source:

Some translated excerpts:

Motor has together with the Swedish magazine Vi Bilägare tested eight studded tires and eight studless tires on snow and ice - and on dry and wet asphalt. The test cars were the VW Golf GTI.

Nokian, Goodyear, Nordman, Nexen and Linglong have all released new studded tires, and one of the newcomers lifts the grip on ice to a whole new level.

From Goodyear comes the new Ultra Grip Arctic2........ They call their new spike technology the Arctic Eagle Claw. At first glance, it resembles its predecessor, with its relatively large foot. Goodyear claims that it greatly improves the braking properties of ice, while improving sound comfort.......Our test results support their promises.

.........We take the winter tires through 14 test rounds on four different surfaces: Wet and dry road, on snow and on ice
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An interesting inclusion in the above test was a "performance winter" tire, the Continental TS870.

As expected, the TS870 exhibits a total superiority in the open field disciplines.

The fact that the type of tire is developed for rainy winters is shown by the sky-high resistance to aquaplaning - better than a summer tire.

Driving safety and steering feel are also in a class of their own.

The TS870 manages quite well on snow.

On the other hand, it quickly turns out that the type of tire is not adapted for icy surfaces, with disturbingly long braking distances when the wet road freezes.

Good communication at the grip limit means that this premium tire is still easier to drive than a poor Nordic alternative.
Am surprised at the low score for the Michelin SNOW.
Their comments:

On both snow and ice, the X-Ice Snow has exemplary short braking distances and good driving grip.

But it is all the more reluctant to steer in the corners, with a noticeably undisturbed balance - and it does not like fast steering wheel movements.

On dry roads, Michelin is one of the most stable studless tires, with a relatively linear steering feel.

Unfortunately, it performs worse on wet asphalt, with both long braking distances and poor cornering grip. Like many others, the resistance to aquaplaning is poor.

Somewhat higher road noise contributes to a fifth place overall.

Short braking distances on snow and ice. Good stability on dry roads.

Slightly weaker swing grip than the others. Long stop on wet road.

Their summary comments about the #1 rated studless tire, the VikingContact 7 from Continental:

Continental gets a full pot in these winter disciplines, and impresses most with its light driving when the car is under pressure.

The tire releases the grip progressively with good warning, and it is a tire that manages the largest steering angles on slippery surfaces without losing the attachment.

This predictable behavior is repeated on asphalt. Despite being an unusually soft tire with a high focus on winter properties, the VC7 has approved stability and a good steering feel.

The braking distances on wet and dry asphalt are not the best, but approved.

The dense tire pattern works less well against aquaplaning, but it produces low noise.

Even, high level and safe driving characteristics ultimately give the overall winner.


Best winter grip. Calm under pressure on all surfaces. Quiet.


Goodyear killed the competition in the studded category.

The new UG Arctic 2 sets a completely new standard for braking performance on ice. There will be top marks in all ice rounds for the newcomer.

Even on snow, there is a full pot in the brake test.

But here Goodyear is certainly living on its good grip in the longitudinal direction. When we drive completely on the grip limit in the turns, it is a bit difficult to balance and it does not have quite as good turn grips as the best.

Goodyear continues to perform in the top half of the results list in almost all asphalt disciplines.

Here, too, it impresses more in the brake disciplines than in the turns. The stability is good, but the response and steering feel is somewhat diffuse.

An evenly high level on all surfaces, topped with the superb ice grip, gives Goodyear a clear test victory.

Top-class ice grip. Brakes well on all surfaces.

High rolling resistance. Not the most driving tire.

Linglong beat Nexen by a wide margin. I will have to bookmark that one for the Nexen tire lovers.
The problem I see with most (all?) winter tire tests is that they don't generally test over a wide range of temperatures, they don't test over a wide range of snow depths, they don't test over a wide range of tread depths, and they don't factor in tread longevity.
“They” may not be using English when posting the results you are looking for. As noted in other thread Russians posted results in different temperatures. Swedish or Norwegian, ok just Scandinavian, magazines posted results with different tread depths. Some even went with used tires not shaved ones.

In answer to somebody claiming that only northern parts of the USA would benefit from winter tires I would like to point that there are mountains reaching far south. One needs winter tires in higher elevation too.