Winter tyres in the UK - worth it or not?

Wheels, Tyres, Suspension, Chassis, Faults and Fixes
SkodaVRS1963
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Location: Bath

Winter tyres in the UK - worth it or not?

Post by SkodaVRS1963 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:30 pm

Was just watching a Shmee150 video on YouTube where he took his 4WD Focus RS into the French mountains and managed to get about in some serious snow courtesy of the 4WD and also, probably more importantly he seemed to reckon, the winter tyres he'd fitted.

So I'd appreciate any thoughts as to whether members here think winter tyres are a worthwhile investment in the UK (I'm in Bath so probably a different scenario if I was in Aberdeen).

It might be an academic question anyway, the sites I've visited so far only have summer tyres listed for the Kodiaq VRS.
Kodiaq VRS 2019 build, velvet red paint, heated windscreen, heated steering wheel


FoxtrotAlpha
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Re: Winter tyres in the UK - worth it or not?

Post by FoxtrotAlpha » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:58 pm

Might be worth a search on the forum as this subject has been done to death before. My view, in Bath where you get no significant snow then the standard tyre are perfectly adequate if you know how to drive in snow, I'm in high altitude Scotlandand they worked well for me over the last two winters. Standard other answer is yes and use Cross Climate tyres.
It's a 'Kodiaq' and not a 'Bear' unless you are 5 years old.
Kodiaq Sportline - 150 TDI - DSG 4 x 4 - Quartz Grey


CJJE
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Location: Stone, Staffordshire

Re: Winter tyres in the UK - worth it or not?

Post by CJJE » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:32 pm

I found winter tyres a great benefit on my Golf Plus and Golf SV over the last 7 years in Staffordshire. They grip better than summer tyres whenever the temperature is below 10 degrees C, so are not just for use in snow! And my sloping drive gets pretty slippery every winter even when it's not a snowy year :)

But now my Continental tyres have reached the end of their natural life, I've decided to give up changing my wheels over each winter and had all season tyres fitted instead. Michelin make their Cross-Climate tyres to fit Kodiaqs, and would be my choice rather than the summer tyres that most manufacturers fob us off with.

Chris
Previously owned an Octavia L&K, currently driving a Golf SV, but looking at changing it for a Race Blue Kodiaq L&K :)


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Old and Grumpy
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Location: Leicestershire

Re: Winter tyres in the UK - worth it or not?

Post by Old and Grumpy » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:46 pm

I seem to remember seeing somewhere, (one of the car review websites I think), that 2WD with winter tyres will outperform 4WD with summer tyres. I certainly intend to replace my standard Pirellis with Michelin Cross Climates when the time comes.
2018 Kodiaq SE 1.4 TSI, 2WD, manual gearbox, 5 seater, Petrol Blue, absolutely standard, no extra toys, (92Kw more than enough for my needs), Leicestershire. :D


StewartM
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Re: Winter tyres in the UK - worth it or not?

Post by StewartM » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:31 pm



4wd summer tyres vs 2wd winter tyres.


Silverbear
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Re: Winter tyres in the UK - worth it or not?

Post by Silverbear » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:17 pm

No need to think about Winter tyres now as technology has moved on. These days there are Summer tyres which are three peak mountain snowflake 3PMSF certified for use where the use of Winter tyres is mandatory. I think Michelin CrossClimate were the first and I know you can get 'CrossClimate SUV' for 235/55R18. Not sure about 19 inch wheels. The irritating thing is the 18 and 19 inch wheels won't take conventional snow chains and one must use smaller 17 Inch wheels for chains. I have a set of such 17 inch wheels with CrossClimate tyres fitted, which will take chains, and I can confirm the tyres are brilliant in the snow, it transforms performance in the snow. Where once my wheels would spin, now they grip.

I need snow chains for skiing in the alps, thankfully very rarely because they are awful to put on and worse to remove and pack away, so I still have to change wheels even though the tyre technology has moved on by providing a tyre suitable for all year use if bad weather is occasional. They are supposedly not as good in snow as dedicated Winter tyres but compared to regular Summer tyres they are very good in snow.

If you don't need to drive where carrying snow chains is mandatory or very likely needed or you can simply not drive, which assumes you won't get caught out away from home, then you could do a lot worse than fit 3PMSF rated Summer tyres on whatever wheels your car came with if they are available. I intend to fit CrossClimates to my 18 inch wheels when the delivery tyres need replacing but will still need to change to the smaller wheels for skiing so I can fit chains.

It might be these tyres are not available for all wheel sizes, I think they have tended to be available for smaller wheel sizes but this might be changing, the Michelin website will doubtless tell you and I think Continental do a similar tyre now too. To my mind these tyres are the future, regular Summer tyre performance but also really good in snow. In the south of England for me they are the perfect tyre. Whether they are good enough for regular driving in extreme weather I could not say. How extreme and how regular and do you want the hassle of changing tyres or wheels twice a year I suppose are pertinent questions not to mention the hassle of storing a set of wheels which believe me seem much bigger off the car than on it.
SE (5 seats) 1.5 4x4 DSG, factory tow bar, drive mode selection, reversing camera, rough road package, folding door mirrors, 215/65R17 spare wheel.


FoxtrotAlpha
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Re: Winter tyres in the UK - worth it or not?

Post by FoxtrotAlpha » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:04 pm

Silverbear wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:17 pm
No need to think about Winter tyres now as technology has moved on. These days there are Summer tyres which are three peak mountain snowflake 3PMSF certified for use where the use of Winter tyres is mandatory. I think Michelin CrossClimate were the first and I know you can get 'CrossClimate SUV' for 235/55R18. Not sure about 19 inch wheels. The irritating thing is the 18 and 19 inch wheels won't take conventional snow chains and one must use smaller 17 Inch wheels for chains. I have a set of such 17 inch wheels with CrossClimate tyres fitted, which will take chains, and I can confirm the tyres are brilliant in the snow, it transforms performance in the snow. Where once my wheels would spin, now they grip.

I need snow chains for skiing in the alps, thankfully very rarely because they are awful to put on and worse to remove and pack away, so I still have to change wheels even though the tyre technology has moved on by providing a tyre suitable for all year use if bad weather is occasional. They are supposedly not as good in snow as dedicated Winter tyres but compared to regular Summer tyres they are very good in snow.

If you don't need to drive where carrying snow chains is mandatory or very likely needed or you can simply not drive, which assumes you won't get caught out away from home, then you could do a lot worse than fit 3PMSF rated Summer tyres on whatever wheels your car came with if they are available. I intend to fit CrossClimates to my 18 inch wheels when the delivery tyres need replacing but will still need to change to the smaller wheels for skiing so I can fit chains.

It might be these tyres are not available for all wheel sizes, I think they have tended to be available for smaller wheel sizes but this might be changing, the Michelin website will doubtless tell you and I think Continental do a similar tyre now too. To my mind these tyres are the future, regular Summer tyre performance but also really good in snow. In the south of England for me they are the perfect tyre. Whether they are good enough for regular driving in extreme weather I could not say. How extreme and how regular and do you want the hassle of changing tyres or wheels twice a year I suppose are pertinent questions not to mention the hassle of storing a set of wheels which believe me seem much bigger off the car than on it.
I would agree with most of this. As the question referred to needing them in Bath then I think you would probably agree that due to the ridiculous low levels of snow they get down there then snow tyres on his vRS are probably not needed as 20” tyres are not cheap anyway.

Last couple of years we have had quite low levels of snow, about 30cm at most per snowfall and the standard Hankook tyres did pretty well to be fair to them. I don’t intend to spend large amounts on snow tyres asstandards are perfectly OK if you know how to drive in snow.

As a side point, the Kodiaq did better than many Disco Sports in the snow last year, passed a couple getting stuck, pretty sure it was tyres and inexperienced snow drivers to blame.
It's a 'Kodiaq' and not a 'Bear' unless you are 5 years old.
Kodiaq Sportline - 150 TDI - DSG 4 x 4 - Quartz Grey


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Old and Grumpy
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Re: Winter tyres in the UK - worth it or not?

Post by Old and Grumpy » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:08 am

All of which seems to confirm my belief that Michelin Cross Climate on a Kodiaq are probably the best all year compromise for most of us.
2018 Kodiaq SE 1.4 TSI, 2WD, manual gearbox, 5 seater, Petrol Blue, absolutely standard, no extra toys, (92Kw more than enough for my needs), Leicestershire. :D


CJJE
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Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:59 pm
Location: Stone, Staffordshire

Re: Winter tyres in the UK - worth it or not?

Post by CJJE » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:15 am

Old and Grumpy wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:08 am
All of which seems to confirm my belief that Michelin Cross Climate on a Kodiaq are probably the best all year compromise for most of us.
Indeed, but lets avoid the myth that winter tyres are snow tyres. They grip better than summer tyres at any temperature below 10 to 15 degrees - as do all-season tyres.

Chris
Previously owned an Octavia L&K, currently driving a Golf SV, but looking at changing it for a Race Blue Kodiaq L&K :)


FoxtrotAlpha
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Re: Winter tyres in the UK - worth it or not?

Post by FoxtrotAlpha » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:58 pm

Old and Grumpy wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:08 am
All of which seems to confirm my belief that Michelin Cross Climate on a Kodiaq are probably the best all year compromise for most of us.
All depends on if it's worth the cost. Prices fitted for a 20" clossclimates averages out at £225 per wheel (only a quick search so probably cheaper elsewhere but not by much).

Assuming you have all four done then is it really worth the cost of £900 for the sake of a few centimetres of snow each year? Personally I wouldn't bother in those circumstances but am tempted where I live although the standard tyre work well in the past.
It's a 'Kodiaq' and not a 'Bear' unless you are 5 years old.
Kodiaq Sportline - 150 TDI - DSG 4 x 4 - Quartz Grey


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