Winter Tyres or 4×4: which is best? – Auto Express

Winter Tyres or 4×4: which is best? – Auto Express


Britain is apparently facing its worst winter
for 100 years with snow falling from as early as November. Now, if you’ve got a four-wheel
drive car, you probably think you’re properly prepared – but are you? We’ve come to Tamworth Snowdome in the Midlands
to find out if a FWD car with winter tyres has more traction in the snow than a 4×4 with
summer tyres. For this, we’re using two Ford Kugas – both
have 2.0-litre diesels and both have manual gearboxes. However the blue one is front-wheel
drive, and the grey one is 4 wheel drive. Before we do that, we need to see how far
up the slope the FWD car get on summer tyres. Ok, here we are. FWD car, summer tyres. Don’t
think I’m going to be getting far up this slope, but let’s see anyway! We’re not moving any more. That was pretty
useless. We measured the distance and found it stopped
at 7 metres. Not too surprising. In cold conditions the rubber in summer tyres
gets harder and less grippy. Winter tyres use a softer compound. They also have a tread
pattern that’s specifically designed to pick up snow. If you’ve ever built a snowman you
will know that nothing grips to snow better than snow itself. Let’s find out if when we fit the FWD car
with winter tyres, it can go further up the slope than the 4×4 with summer tyres. The
winter tyres we’re using are Goodyear UltraGrip 8 Performance, which cost £720 on our car. Road tester Owen Mildenhall will be helping
out by driving the 4×4 version of the Kuga, which incidentally casts £1500 more than
the 2WD model. I’m in the FWD car again, but this time it’s
got the winter tyres on it and it’s going to be interesting to see how much further
it gets up the slope and whether it can go further up there than the 4×4 model on summer
tyres. OK, so we’ve got 4 wheel drive, but summer
tyres. Now, a lot of people with 4-wheel drive think that’s all they’re going to need so
let’s see how we get on. It’s a really steep incline with think snow from a standing start,
so the worst scenario possible. It’s pretty steep… Off we go. Got some grip. This time, I got away easily, and driving
in first gear at 2000rpm the FWD Kuga powered up the slope. Owen on the other hand, was
going nowhere. Straight away I’m not going any further. It’s
dug into the snow. I’m at the first level and he’s just stopped
– he’s not doing so well… Just no traction, even with 4 wheel drive.
Is he sliding back? That’s easy – the second slope, go round this
corner, can I get all the way to the top? It’s tricky…That’s it. Once again we measured the distances – this
time, with winter tyres, the FWD Kuga went 110 metres up the slope. The 4×4 car only
made it 13 metres up, before sliding back down 9 metres. That means that in the end
it ended up no further than the FWD did with summer tyres. For fairness, we should show you what the
4×4 Kuga can do when you have it fitted with winter tyres. With summer tyres it really didn’t get far
on the slope- maybe 2 car lengths and then slid back again. It’s not permanent 4 wheel
drive so when the front wheels start spinning by the time the rear wheels come into play
it’s already stuck. So now we’ve got winter tyres, let’s see the difference. Gently on the clutch, it’s an amazing difference.
No wheelspin, loads of grip. This time, the all-wheel drive Kuga went all
the 136 metres up the ski slope. Obviously, the best solution for driving on snow is to
have a 4×4 on winter tyres. Without the right rubber, a 4×4 is just as useless as a 2 wheel
drive car. This test was all about traction, but the
improved braking winter tyres give you is actually far more important. Having all wheel
drive won’t help with you with that one bit. In fact if you want to see how much better
your braking is with winter tyres not only on snow, but also when it’s just wet and cold,
click here to watch our video. And don’t forget – make sure you drive safely!

100 thoughts on “Winter Tyres or 4×4: which is best? – Auto Express

  1. I use all season tires here in the northeast of the USA. My car is front wheel drive and feels like all wheel drive on snow

  2. Wtf are Tyres? I know what Tires are though.

  3. I'm confused… Is it a 4×4 or AWD?

  4. 1. No one will have true summer tires in a place where it snows. 2. The driver has a whole lot to do with this. Getting good traction in snow isn't as simple as just pressing the gas

  5. What's best? 4WD with snow tires.
    Case closed. People can be pretty silly at times. Nothing beats 4wd and AWD is not 4wd. It's close and it sure beats 2wd but it isn't 4wd.

  6. what about comparing winter tires vs all seasons tires in winter…

  7. it's funny those are called ford escape in canada

  8. Turn the traction control OFF, the last thing on slope you need is electronics braking your driven wheels, gentle on accelerator, dont spin the wheels and you can should be okay.

  9. how about winter tires + all wheel drive together?

  10. amazing difference between tyres.. hope it opens a few peoples eyes

  11. They should use in this test full time 4×4 one example is BMW e46 330xd

  12. i wish they did 4×4 with all season tires and FWD with snow tires.

  13. I call BS on his first test summer with 2wd. two years back I was driving through blizzards in South East Pennsylvania with my 88 mustang GT with Nitto summer performance tires. Even up steep hills other cars and SUVs got stuck on.

  14. the all wheel drive car stoped only when he stoped

  15. Guys, please get real, four season or all season tires are big bullshit. From what exactly the rubber is made? In winter to stay soft and on summer to be hard at the same time?! Just a trick to buy a bit more expensive tires for rain … I live in Bulgaria and from time to time we have really good winters, so just belive me – for winter, take WINTER tires – doesent matter 4×4 or normal car… and for the love of God – TURN OFF TRACTION CONTROL WHEN YOU ARE DRIVING ON SNOWY ROADS, traction sux for snow, you need more spin on the tires to be moving, not less ….

  16. I think being a car channel, don't use the terms all wheel and four wheel interchangeably. Enough people are confused by the two terms.

  17. You state that the start of the video that the front wheel drive car has winter tires but when you are inside of it, you say they are summer tires. WHAT IS IT!!!!

  18. Now do summer tires with chains!

  19. get a landrover and put offroad tyers on problem solved

  20. Blue is automatic ! He have tiptronic on sterring wheel

  21. Should've tested a Subaru. Anyone else's "fwd until it starts to slip" awd system is trash.

  22. What happened to all season

  23. why not all season tires

  24. So is it AWD or 4×4?

  25. WHY?? You keep repeating and saying summer tires which are all SEASON TIRES!!

  26. SUMMER TIRES?! Yeah okay ive seen enough of these stupid comparisons.. im sure someone in your production team was like “maybe we should use all seasons on 4×4, but hey maybe some dumbass will be surprised and find this interesting”

  27. Stupid test!!

  28. Wow no link to the next video in the description…thanks.

  29. Ford Cougar? Manual transmission?

  30. I drove a 1998 Subaru with 4 winter Toyos on it and not once did I ever spin out or get stuck in drifts 3 ft deep. too bad I had to donate it and end up with a Kio Rio 5 door but I just this morning fitted it with 4 winters and dying to see what it does here in Montreal in deep snow!!

  31. To get the awd working properly in those conditions you need to keep your foot down to ensure that the awd stays engaged…it's a matter of technique. The reason that I believe these cars are both quite poor on snow is their weight, I am willing to bet that a 1980s Fiesta with summer tyres can match the awd with winter tyres! …any takers?

  32. This test is useless. Everyone knows that winter tire have better traction in snow conditions. And everyone knows that 4WD car have more traction in snow conditions. Oh.. maybe UK citizens don't know that because they are ignoramus so often. No offens please 😉

  33. ,я бы на своей девяточки)

  34. Those are escapes in the us

  35. Nonsense comparison. Of course the 4×4 is bad with summer tires that's common sense idiots

  36. Both

  37. No way, the Snowdome? Lol, that's so close to me

  38. Xdrive is better than 4matic 😂😂😂 audi ruless 😂😂😂

  39. 4wd and awd arnt the same thing

  40. So is it 4×4 or AWD?? Confusing

  41. You could use your brain and put decent winter tires on both.
    Stopping distance is not affected by awd or 4×4. It wont help you stop.
    Be intelligent people, saving 400$ of tire is not worth your life. Or it is if you are that stupid

  42. Well guys… ive owned a Audi quattro 2,3 coupé 1986 for about 9 years ago… i could get up a pretty step Hill/road we have in our City- in Denmark. On SUMMER goodyear F1 tires in 6-10 cm snow…… how about that 😀 i was impressed- and still is….

  43. put a subaru on test and see how cars can climb soap.

  44. I just laugh and drive right past these brainless 20 somethings in their lifted 4wds with mud tires and all terrains!xMy cavalier with snow tires runs rings around these fools and i can stop on a dime!

  45. wait what? ford kuga? that’s an escape

  46. Funny how much tires make difference

  47. It doesn't matter how many wheels are driven, when you want to brake and stop in time. It also does not matter when you slide out in a corner. I think it answers everything. By the way, everyone knew the outcome of this test in advance.

  48. Why not make it more realistic and put all season tires on the AWD?? Most people that I know always use all season tires on their vehicles

  49. With normal proper driving I climbed on the mountains in my 2wd om SUMMER tires WITHOUT a problem
    So…
    Next time don't do these stupid marketing stunts bunch of scum!

  50. 1- Summer or all season, come real winter time conditions it don't matter they all suck.
    2- Fun fact: SUVs are always the single most frequent ones littering the ditches . Isn't that odd? Especialy considering winter rubber being the law here and all of these awd/4×4 idiots have the lastest most expensive winter tires one can buy. 😁
    3- A jackass is a jackass. May it be , 2wd, 4wd, Awd ,4ws, or 10w30. ☺

  51. These guys talk funny

  52. Instead of paying someone every year to change the tyres, and buying a 4×4 I wonder if it'd be worth buying 2 wheels and 2 tyres and change them yourself only when it snows or is super cold?
    Winter tyres sound like they'll wear out very quickly on normal roads

  53. you can put winter tires on awd , but not the other way arround

  54. Really wish we could see a comparison of AWD with all season tires vs RWD/FWD on snow tires. That is the argument I always hear. Everyone knows that equal cars setup on snow tires will obviously favor the winter snow tires. I mean, what sort of moron cannot figure that conclusion out? I want to see if spending the money on the AWD and saving it on the tire sets and changing each season is better than saving the money on the AWD option, and spending it on 2 sets of wheels and tires is better.

  55. Land rover vs fiat 500 in snow

  56. AWD and 4WD (4×4) are not the same!!

  57. AWD with winter tires

  58. Lost me at Summer Tires. Why? They don't even come from the factory with summer tires. How about All Season or All Weather vs Winter Tires. Oh right, winter tire propaganda. Downvote

  59. Should have been against an AWD with ALL SEASON TIRES!!!! Of course the summer tires are garbage. All that effort for a video that shows us nothing. People want to see if swapping out all seasons for winter tires are worth it.

  60. I know this is an old video and probably been commented on many times but, why summer tires? Should have been standard all seasons vs winter.

  61. Do rwd with winter tires vs 4×4 with all season.

  62. Idiots!!!

  63. studded winter tyres AND 4×4 naturally

  64. Are you advertising a specific brand of tyres

  65. Meanwhile, I go up the hill on a snowmobile 😋 Joking. I do want to see an All Season tire comparison too.

  66. FWD possibly could have made it if you turned traction control off when you got stuck. You should always try that at low speeds stuck in snow. Or use snow mode if your car has it.

  67. For most drivers, the considerable extra expense (purchase and maintenance) of a 4×4 or AWD car is a total waste of money. You're much better off buying a set of wheels shod with winter tyres and storing them in the garage. If you've ever driven a FWD or RWD car in the snow with winter tyres you'll know how amazingly well they grip on the snow.

  68. AWD /=/ 4×4

  69. Embrace the power of AND. Winter tires AND AWD/4×4. These OR comparisons purposely omit the best of 3 options:

    1. AWD/4×4 with all season tires.
    2. FWD/RWD with winter tires.

    But they almost never mention this one:

    3. AWD/4×4 with winter tires.

    Why is that?

  70. Awd and 4×4 is a very different thing, a kuga is awd.

  71. I knew it would make a differance but not this much

  72. What if you use a decent car though?

  73. Should not have traction control on in snowy etc conditions

  74. Interesting video. I run a banger on budget tyres and during the snow 2018 managed to extricate myself from a snow infested retail park but had to sit and watch some numpty in his awd Kuga next to me make a right fool of himself. He was going back and forth spinning up and you saw the look of frustration. Man i wish id been running some winters at the front to really rub his nose in it. I could have driven straight off…..

  75. Not arguing, just saying: This winter both my Impreza and Forester were on summer tires. Never got stuck, not once. In fact I helped several people tow their cars up a hill on my way back from work.

  76. When we had our old 55 plate Kia Sorento we had no problems in snow. Mind it had PERMANENT 4×4 and the killer option of changing into low ratio. Made all the difference when everyone else was slipping around.

  77. Would have went further in second gear.

  78. I drive a awd kuga on summer tyres and it is far better in snow than any 2wheel drive car!!!

  79. In Alberta we see big trucks on the side of the road. I'll take a little Hyundai with quality winter tires over a big pick up with all seasons.

  80. Auto Express

    *Which is the best?/Which is better?

  81. Why I'm i watching this, Leave in Australia lol

  82. You can have 20 wheel drive. If the rubber is wrong you have 0 wheel drive. Interesting seeing it in practice though. Some people don’t realise the importance of the correct compound for the season. I was naive to this also, up until about 8 years ago when I bit the bullet and got my first set of winters. The myth of only needing winters in the snow is also wrong. Even on a dry road below 7 degrees Celsius, summer tyres are about as much use as a chocolate fire guard.

  83. Bad test.. Who in their right mind would run summer tires in snow? They become hard as a rock and have zero traction.. I wanna See a comparison of snow tires vs all season tires.. Summer tires only come stock on sports cars you wouldn’t drive in the winter anyways.. You can outperform summer tires on a scooter..

  84. You would go up with the frontweel drive on winter tires – but not on 1st gear – use 2nd or 3rd. Thats one of the most failure that poeple do when does not used to drive in snwo . Greetings from Switzerland

  85. Ok so 7meters FWD and 30meters AWD but AWD won't help you AT ALL he says.. sure yes ok gtfo ty.

  86. I'm not denying that winter tyres make a massive difference! But that comment of "But without the right rubber, an AWD car is just as useless as a 2WD car.." is a bit false. My friend couldn't get anywhere going up a hill near where we live last winter, but I went straight up not problems in my car. Both on Summer Tyres, he actually had Michelins and I was using some cheapo Chinese brand at the time!

  87. The trouble with the UK is that most cars use summer tyres and there is no mandated time of year to switch. When we do get snow the place grinds to a halt with 2wd cars on the wrong rubber. Even those like me who drive a 4×4 on snow rated tyres get stuck in the queues when the others can't get up a hill

  88. This must be the least useful comparison. Who on earth would try that? Did you mean to compare all season with winter? Or were you drunk?

  89. if you go pure snow. swap your winter tyres for nordic winter tyres. and use stubs aswell. or even chains

  90. It would be interesting to see this done with a pickup truck in 2wd

  91. I'm shopping for a new car. Thanks for this. Thought I would be better off with AWD for the snow but for my purposes I'll be fine in FWD with winter tires. Saved me a few thousand bucks.

  92. Would be interesting to know how the new 'All Weather Tyres' compare to dedicated snow tires.

  93. This is partially a waste of a test. They should've used All season tires to test the all wheel drive vehicle.

  94. This video isn't really very informative. Everyone by now should know you turn traction control off in the snow. When you spin at the take off and then TC kills it you lose your momentum.

  95. Could you run 2wd on the winter tyres all year round !

  96. It's cause they aren't accelerating right lol, yea if you punch it in any car you will loose the traction on the hill and not be able to start moving again

  97. If Albert Einstein said winter tires are better, the summer tire idiots would still say he was wrong!
    …….
    Some people just need to be flushed from the gene pool anyway so Darwinism will eventually get rid of them.

  98. The sad fact is until people are FINED for not runnning WINTER tires, the all season idiots will continue to close down highways every time it snows.

  99. 0:32 I hate how they just make the same car and rename it. It’s clearly a Ford Escape!

  100. Shut off traction control.. you will do better. Been there

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