Winter car checklist: driving kit and best buys

We round up the essentials for your garage and your glovebox so you can keep moving in the bad weather

The year is drawing to an end and, as the days grow shorter and the weather deteriorates, driving will become even more difficult than usual. As the temperature tumbles, snow and ice will limit the grip available, with dark nights, driving rain and freezing fog regularly reducing visibility.

For most of us, not driving isn’t an option; we have to travel to work and go about our normal Continue reading “Winter car checklist: driving kit and best buys”

Best winter driving apps 2018

These are our top 10 essential winter driving apps to motorists moving in the cold

There are lots of things you can do to prepare for driving in the winter, from making sure you have the correct tyres to packing plenty of emergency kit. However, technology can also help so we’ve picked the best winter driving apps to help you get ready for the big freeze.

Smartphone downloads have been helping motorists for a number of years now, with apps for mapping/satellite navigation and parking Continue reading “Best winter driving apps 2018”

All-season tyre test 2018/2019: Results by category

Tables show which all-season tyres performed well where, and how they compareResults by catergory

Woeful wet performance is more than enough to rule out buying the Tristar, whatever the price. Falken won’t be happy with fifth, but it was much closer to rivals than the Tristar, thanks to a good performance on snow – although it needs to improve in the wet and rolling resis Continue reading “All-season tyre test 2018/2019: Results by category”

Tristar Ecopower 4S

Overall score: 91.3%Tristar Ecopower 4S

At more than £20 cheaper than the next most expensive tyre and £40 less than our winner, it’s easy to see why the Tristar could be a tempting choice. On snow it was close to the best, at around five per cent off the top performers.

But in the wet the Tristar is much less tempting, and raises serious concerns. In the wet braking test it took over 10 metres more than the best all-season tyre to stop, and was still doing nearly 15mph when the Continue reading “Tristar Ecopower 4S”

Continental All Season Contact

Overall score: 100%Continental All Season Contact

A quick look at the results reveals the test’s dominant tyre. No matter what the surface, the AllSeasonContact was on the podium – and apart from one third and one fifth place, it was in the top two. That joint fifth in the cabin noise test was the only real blot on a remarkable result – and even that was just 0.8 per cent off the best. 

It also felt good to drive, with characteristics more akin to a summer tyre’s than the softness Continue reading “Continental All Season Contact”

Falken Euro All Season AS200

Overall score: 95.3%Falken Euro All Season AS200

You have to question whether an asymmetric tread is the right way to go for an all-season tyre, because the two tested here finished at the bottom of the results table.

Fortunately, the Falken is much closer to the pace than the Tristar. It’s happiest on snow, where it was second behind the new Continental with a useful margin over the chasing pack. It lacked the bite of the AllSeasonContact, but kept the rear safely controlled and lost Continue reading “Falken Euro All Season AS200”

Michelin Cross Climate+

Overall score: 99%Michelin Cross Climate+

A winner last year in 16-inch form, the Michelin just failed to make it two victories on the trot, thanks to the new Continental, which seems to have taken much of the CrossClimate + design ethos on board. “A summer tyre with winter capability” is how Michelin describes the CrossClimate, but on-snow performance was close to that of more specialist designs, particularly through turns.

It was less effective in braking and traction, although even Continue reading “Michelin Cross Climate+”

Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2

Overall score: 98.9%Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2

A former winner that’s remained at the top of our all-season tests, despite the arrival of newer competition. There’s little to choose between this and the Michelin’s score – but they get there in very different ways, leaving drivers to choose which best suits their needs.

The snow results were a surprise,as you’d expect the Goodyear to have the edge over the summer-focused CrossClimate. It did, but it was very close, with the Continue reading “Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2”

Nokian Weatherproof

Overall score: 97.8%Nokian Weatherproof

Back in 2015, the Weatherproof romped all the snow tests, struggled in the dry and did well enough in the wet to be a top performer on its debut. The opposition has improved since then, and this time Nokian took one win in the snow and was at or close to the bottom in the other tests.

It’s not what we expect from the winter specialist. But there seems to have been a shift of focus for the Finnish producer as, yet again, it proved the most frugal – Continue reading “Nokian Weatherproof”

Winter tyre: Continental Winter Contact TS 860

Overall score: 100.5%Winter tyre: Continental Winter Contact TS 860

This comparison is somewhat unfair, as the TS 860 is now a three-time winter winner, and we know it’s pretty special. We wouldn’t expect other winter rubber to push the all-season bunch so hard. In the wet and on snow, this remains the tyre to have.

It was clearly the best in Finland, with great balance, despite strong front grip that helped pull you through corners. Surprisingly it felt the Continue reading “Winter tyre: Continental Winter Contact TS 860”