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 tires offer in snow and ice conditions. Yes, all-season tires are technically considered all-season but once you drive a car with proper snow tires 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 sedans with all-wheel drive. The white car wears all-season tires while the black Caddy is fitted with snazzy winter-specific rubber from Continental.
You may recall a couple of winter tire comparison videos we featured previously (linked above) that were rather dramatic. There was some pushback on those clips because they matched snow tires to summer-only tires. 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 Tires
We absolutely believe that, because the results this time around are far closer. That’s not to say the winter tires aren’t still significantly better, because they are. The video includes acceleration, braking, and turning tests and in each scenario, the winter tires 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 27 feet to stop from 40 mph compared to the black Cadillac on snow tires. In the slalom and left turn test, the snow tires 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 tires. Once you go snow, everywhere you’ll go.
Source: TheStraightPipes via YouTube