Because our testing expertise is centered around aftermarket car products and accessories, we decided to leave tire testing in the hands of a true tire expert. That’s why we reached out to Jonathan Benson who has more than 15 years of experience. His insight and hands-on testing combined with our extensive knowledge of aftermarket car products have been a perfect match.
Our tire testing, as always, consisted of a number of timed laps averaged out. Throughout testing, Benson utilizes control tires to benchmark the track’s surface evolution and ultimately calculate each winter tire’s rating in every single individual testing category. He took note of the tire’s snow handling, ice handling, wet handling, dry handling, and overall comfort.
Each tire was given a rating out of 10.0 based on these criteria.
Snow handling is one of the most important factors to consider if you’re looking for a high-quality winter tire. Benson went about testing each winter tire’s snow handling by averaging out the times of three laps around one of Nokian’s “White Hell” Ivalo Testing Center tracks. Standardized conditions are ensured by carefully preparing the track and grading the snow at the start of testing.
By nature, ice handling is a difficult test to do right. For each three-lap run, Benson raced across a frozen lake, putting each winter tire’s ice handling to the test. As the lake was fully frozen, the level of ice our independent tire tester was dealing with was immense.
On the road, the wet grip of a tire will likely determine your fate in an emergency. Hence the placing of wet handling near the top of our list of winter tire tests. This test involved three timed laps around one of Nokian’s Spain Test Center tracks in seriously wet conditions.
Regardless of where you live, winter tires are mainly going to be used on the road. This test involved three timed laps around one of Nokian’s Spain Test Center tracks in bone-dry conditions to simulate average road conditions.
The “comfort” of each winter tire is a subjective mixture of the tire’s overall comfort on the road as well as its general road noise level. This was tested throughout all other categories of testing and notes were taken throughout.
How We Score Products
Every air freshener we test is given a score between 1.0 and 5.0 stars in each category. Here’s what those star ratings mean in concrete terms:
- 10.0 Stars: A 10.0-star rating indicates that this tire is pushing the boundaries of what we know is possible for a specific type of tire. These tires offer more grip across various surface types and in different weather conditions than any other tire on the market.
- 9.0 Stars: A 9.0-star rating means that a tire significantly outperforms the industry standard for any given testing category, most notably grip and traction.
- 8.0 Stars: An 8.0-star rating shows that a tire performs above average when compared to other tires within the context of our testing. These tires perform as expected across all categories while standing out in certain categories.
- 7.0 Stars: A 7.0-star rating indicates that a tire is right at the average in any given testing category. These tires meet expectations but do not stand out.
- 6.0 Stars: A 6.0-star rating indicates that a tire is slightly below the average expected performance for this kind of tire. These ratings indicate a serious lack of quality in any given category.
- 5.0 or Below Stars: These ratings are usually not seen in our team’s review articles. A rating this low means a tire is so far from proficient that we do not recommend it at all.
Why Trust Motor1.com
Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.
We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.
*Data accurate at time of publication. Products subject to availability.