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Tires are the only components connecting your car to the road. And not all tires are created equal. To hammer that point home, tire expert Jonathan Benson is back with a new video comparing the top tire brands for all-weather performance. He evaluates seven all-season tires on snow, ice, wet pavement, and dry conditions, with some startling revelations.

The competition is stacked. The Michelin CrossClimate 2 has been around for a few years and it’s known for astounding snow performance with good wet and dry handling. The Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF3, Continental AllSeasonContact 2, and Bridgestone Turanza All Season 6 are newer and have similar directional tread patterns to the Michelin. Yokohama’s BluEarth 4S AW21 is also directional, but Dunlop bucks the trend with its asymmetrical Sport All Season.

The final entry is an off-brand budget tire called the Fronway Fronwing AS. Benson often includes cheap tires to see if buyers can save a few bucks without sacrificing performance or safety. Usually, the answer is no. And in this test, the answer remains so.

In fact, one of the starting revelations we mentioned comes with the Fronway’s performance in wet conditions. Benson sees wet performance as the most critical category for an all-season tire, and the budget brand was the worst by a wide margin. Whereas the six major tires had average wet lap times within 2.5 seconds of each other, the Fronway was over 13 seconds slower than the top-ranking Continental.

The wet braking performance was even more shocking. The Bridgestone took top honors here, stopping from 50 mph in 109 feet. The Fronway needed 159.7 feet to stop from the same speed. Benson did some calculations and determined the VW Golf test car was still going 28 mph on Fronways while the Bridgestones were stopped. Keep that in mind the next time something happens in front of you on a wet road. The cash saved from buying budget tires is likely far less than the insurance deductible on damage from a 28-mph collision.

The other revelation here is the conclusion. All the major brands did well, though some obviously performed better than others. The Yokohama largely stuck to the lower end of the scale, and the asymmetrical Dunlop struggled on snow and ice. The cheap Fronway actually had good snow performance, with Benson believing it’s more of a snow tire with minor changes for all-season duty. Benson found the Pirelli to be particularly enjoyable to drive in most conditions.

All Season Tire Test

The winner, surprisingly, was not the Michelin CrossClimate 2. That honor went to the Continental AllSeasonContact 2. The newest Continental outperformed the CrossClimate 2 in most wet and dry tests, and while the Michelin was outstanding with snow handling, straight traction was an issue. In fact, the CrossClimate 2 was bested overall by Pirelli and Bridgestone as well, dropping it to fourth place in this evaluation.

Benson’s post at Tyre Reviews offers a thorough walkthrough of all the test parameters and results, including details on finer points such as noise and tire wear. As for Michelin, we’re standing by for news of the CrossClimate 3, which is said to be in development.

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