Winter Tyres versus 4×4: which is best? – A great comparison from Auto Express

Winter Tyres versus 4×4

Winter tyres are going to be on a lot of minds of many motorists this year – It is always possible that Great Britain could face a particularly harsh winter this year. It is possible that we could have snow falling from as early as November. Motorists who have bought a four-wheel drive car,  probably think that they are  properly prepared – but are they?

AutoExpress, went up to Tamworth Snowdome. This was  to find out if a front-wheel drive car with winter tyres has more traction in the snow than a 4×4 with summer tyres fitted. They used two Ford Kuga, cars, both with 2.0-litre diesel engines and manual gearboxes. But one is front-wheel drive and the other all-wheel drive. The 4×4 Ford Kuga costs £1500 more than the normal model.

I am always telling my customers, that in snowy conditions, the rubber in summer tyres gets harder and does not grip very well. Winter tyres use a softer compound and a tread pattern that’s designed to pick up snow and dissipate it- improving the grip in these wintery conditions.

In their first test, we saw that the front-wheel drive car on summer tyres was hopeless in the snow.  However, when fitted with winter tyres, the car did much better. Furthermore, they also tested the 4×4 on summer tyres – and the results were very surprising.

With the winter tyres fitted, the normal Kuga went 110 metres up the slope, While the 4×4 car only made it 13 metres up, before sliding back down 9 metres. In the end, it ended up no further than the standard did with summer tyres.

Winter Tyres versus 4×4

They also tested the four-wheel drive Ford Kuga. This was fitted with winter tyres. As a result, the difference was astonishing. There was plenty of grip and the car drove all the way to the top of the steep ski slope, without any real effort.

Obviously, the best solution for driving on snow is to have a 4×4 fitted with  winter tyres . It was proven, that without the correct tyres fitted then a 4×4 is just as useless in snow and ice as the average two wheel drive car. We recommend using General Grabber AT2 Tyres for your SUV or 4X4.