Winter tyres vs 4x4

The default player for use in the video section of the Drupal Autocar site.

Feature 31 January 2013

Andrew Frankel takes two Skoda Yetis – one front-wheel-drive on winter tyres, and the other a 4x4 variant on regular rubber – to find out which performs best in the snow.

Video: Sports car winter tyre test

Join the debate


Interesting!  However i doubt

1 year 42 weeks ago


However i doubt that i would have pulled out the nissan or bmwX3 out of the snow last week with a two wheel drive car, buying another set of tyres on the off chance of snow is expensive. 4wd any time.

Impressive test, well done.

1 year 42 weeks ago

Impressive test, well done. Apart from setting off the winter tyres win all the way, who would have guessed.

I would have been interested to see how they both coped setting off from a hill start of different gradients. From the acceloration test i suspect the 4x4 would cope a little better.

Just as a side issue i would also have liked to see how 4 wheel drive yeti would have done on the winter tyres.



Are the standard tyres on the

1 year 42 weeks ago

Are the standard tyres on the Yeti 'M&S' (mud and snow) rated or just road tyres? some vehicles like the CR-V use M&S tyres and the difference may be closer.

Also, whilst it was discussed at the end, the hugely significant hill ascent aspect was conveniently under played and not tested. Sooner or later a hill will get in your way and if you can't get up your not just struggling, your out the game totally.

My companies staff have to be out all year and runs a massive fleet, trialled winter tyres across the fleet at great cost. It was found that it had no measurable affect on accident levels or staff's ability to get around and has abandoned the project for all those except in the far North.

Is it normal to have winter

1 year 42 weeks ago

Is it normal to have winter tyres on the car in the UK?


1 year 42 weeks ago

Living in a flat I have nowhere to store a set of wheels shod in Winter tyres for the months I'd have them off the car.  As a compromise, I fitted Goodyear Vector 4Seasons all round to my 1.8TSi Octavia Scout.  They have the snowflake symbol and are winter rated in some European countries where winter tyres are a requirement.  They have proven to be great in all weathers and in recent snow and slushy conditions, as well as on ice, they have been superb.

They have also worn well.  I just had the wheels swapped front to back on the last service in August, as the rear tyres, after 27,000 miles showed almost no wear at all, and the front tyres  still had plenty as well.  Reckon I'll get 50,000+ out of them before changing, which I'll probably do around August / September this year.

If I were to go back to a front wheel drive car, I'd be tempted to go for these again rather than a full set of dedicated winter tyres.


What About RWD and All-season Tyres on AWD?

1 year 42 weeks ago

There are two obvious permutations on this theme that have not been explored:

1) Good winter tyres on a traction-controlled RWD car, such as a BMW 328i; and...

2) What do you get if you use new all-season tyres on an AWD vehicle, such as the BMW 328xi? 



Of course if you want to

1 year 42 weeks ago

Of course if you want to drive in snow lots (like I do here in Switzerland) you go for both AWD and winter tyres.  The Yeti, being quite light, is a very good choice for snow.

NMGOM, RWD cars are seen as a bit more difficult to control than FWD on snow but unless you want to climb hills then they do an OK job, bit like the FWD car in the video.

Torque vectoring can help quite a bit on snow keeping you in a straight line, especially under acceleration.

Misses The Point...

1 year 42 weeks ago

Of course the Winter tyres are better at stopping than Standard tyres, even an idiot or journalist would know that. This test however somewhat misses the point in that most 4x4 users specify All Season tyres anyway, which work in much the same way as Winter tyres. Cars that run Winter tyres require all four wheels changed and quite often two sets of alloys too, at considerable cost. It's actually cheaper to buy an old Discovery, taxed and insured and just run it when the weather is bad.   



1 year 42 weeks ago

I'm guessing that the 4X4 is also heavier so would this not account for some of the variance.  Interesting piece but it wouldn't make the cut for a science journal to many obvious questions missed as already pointed out.

The only conclusion I can draw is whatever car you are driving you will be better off with Winter tyres when driving in wintery conditions.  Surprise!



I'd like to see a warm

1 year 42 weeks ago

I'd like to see a warm weather starting, stopping and lateral G winter vs. summer tyre test.

I suspect that the difference in favour of summer tyres will be less than the amount by which winter tyres outperform summer tyres in the snow.

Please register or login to post a comment.

Driven this week

  • 2015 Audi RS Q3 review

    2015 Audi RS Q3 review

    First drive
    18 November 2014

    More of an expensive oddity than a range-topping performance SUV, and an ultimately unsatisfying oddity at that

  • 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed review

    2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed review

    First drive
    18 November 2014

    The fastest luxury saloon in the world is also one of the very best

  • 2015 Fiat 500X review

    2015 Fiat 500X review

    First drive
    17 November 2014

    Decent styling, a well-judged interior and good practicality means Fiat's 500X is a worthy entrant on your compact crossover shortlist

  • 2015 Hyundai i20 review

    2015 Hyundai i20 review

    First drive
    17 November 2014

    The new i20 is a very spacious, well-kitted and keenly priced addition to this competitive segment, but it’s let down by weak engines

  • 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS PDK review

    2014 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS PDK review

    First drive
    14 November 2014

    This sporty 911 Carrera plugs the gap between the standard Carrera S and the hardcore GT3 successfully

Latest videos