Acceleration is pretty close, but stopping and turning are important, too.
As professionals who earn a living driving cars, we seriously appreciate the benefits that dedicated winter tyres offer in snow and ice conditions. Yes, all-season tyres are technically considered all-season but once you drive a car with proper snow tyres in the white stuff, you’ll wonder how you ever got by with even the best all-seasons. To help highlight that difference, the guys at TheStraightPipes on YouTube put together a comparison video showcasing a pair Cadillac XTS saloons with all-wheel drive. The white car wears all-season tyres while the black Caddy is fitted with snazzy winter-specific rubber from Continental.
You may recall a couple of winter tyre comparison videos we featured previously that were rather dramatic. There was some pushback on those clips because they matched snow tyres to summer-only tyres. Critics pointed out that such fair-weather rubber was never meant for winter-time use, whereas all-seasons are designed to be good in all conditions, all year long. The difference in grip was shocking none-the-less, but there’s certainly some justification for the criticism. This time, however, the comparison is with all-seasons. In fact, the hosts specifically label them as "very good all seasons.”
Gallery: Winter Tires Vs All Season Tyres
We absolutely believe that, because the results this time around are far closer. That’s not to say the winter tyres aren’t still significantly better, because they are. The video includes acceleration, braking, and turning tests and in each scenario, the winter tyres outperformed the all-seasons. Acceleration was surprisingly close – that’s certainly an advantage to all-wheel drive even with all-season rubber.
However, the white car needed an extra 8.2 metres to stop from 40 mph compared to the black Cadillac on snow tyres. In the slalom and left turn test, the snow tyres also held a stout advantage in both speed and control. The video clearly shows the white Cadillac dealing with gobs of understeer, while the black car just grips and goes.
In short, if you live in an area that experiences at least a couple months of winter conditions, get a set of winter tyres. Once you go snow, everywhere you’ll go.
Source: TheStraightPipes via YouTube