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All Season tyres - whats best for a 2020 AWD


R@v
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Hi, 

I am about to start the hunt for the best All Season tyre that can also work well on farm tracks and in a grassy field.

Not after a true AT tyre as I do quite a lot of high speed motorway driving as well.

Your advice, experience and help is gratefully received.

 

 

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I can only offer what I've recommended before and that is the Michelin CrossClimates especially if you intend to do some motorway driving. I've used them in just the same way as you've described and have been mightily impressed on my last three cars.

There are alternatives but I have no experience of those tyres

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+1 for Cross Climates. But there are now many more good all season tyres available, some with better ratings than the Cross Climates. The Cross Climates work very well as a road tyre; there are others with slightly more aggressive tread patterns that might work better on tracks and grass.

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3 hours ago, IanML said:

This review  may help.  I chose Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen3.

Was going to suggest Tyre Reviews, is a great website, I've chatted to Jon, the guy who runs it a few times, very knowledgeable, proper tyre geek !

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Cross climate seem to get a big thumbs up on the US forums. For snow and light off road plus a lot of other stuff you can throw at it. If I keep the car (company) I may swap to these.

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9 hours ago, Nick72 said:

Cross climate seem to get a big thumbs up on the US forums. For snow and light off road plus a lot of other stuff you can throw at it. If I keep the car (company) I may swap to these.

I really think one of the important characteristics is the Cross Climates ability to preform, not harden like a conventional tyre, below 10oC and work very effectively in standing water and heavy rain. What I noticed is as the weather gets colder normal tyres give a more pronounced harder ride the Cross Climates remain so much more compliant with the road.

Wet cold roads are much more likely in the UK than snow for large areas of the country during our winters.  When I changed to winter tyres on a regular basis it was always a fine judgement on when to make the change. If after the change the weather warmed significantly then the winter tyre performance faded and would be worse than the summer tyres. For me the Cross Climates and similar tyres can bridge that difficulty. 

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The 'problem' with the tyre tests is that they compare a 'random' selection of tyres - there are many good all season tyres completely absent from the test(s) - fitted to a car that takes a different size tyre to ours, and then running a 'comprehensive' series of tests that do not necessarily reflect our driving profile. What they do show, however, is:

  1. There is no substitute for proper summer and cold weather tyres to get the best performance. All 'all season' tyres are something of a compromise.
  2. There is no really that much to choose between the available all season tyres - each has its strengths and weaknesses - so it doesn't matter too much which each of us choose.

In the UK, particularly in the southern half, we don't really have too many days of proper winter. Many folk 'get away' with summer tyres all year round. So for most of us, a summer biased, all season tyre, will work well ...

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1 hour ago, philip42h said:

The 'problem' with the tyre tests is that they compare a 'random' selection of tyres - there are many good all season tyres completely absent from the test(s) - fitted to a car that takes a different size tyre to ours, and then running a 'comprehensive' series of tests that do not necessarily reflect our driving profile. What they do show, however, is:

  1. There is no substitute for proper summer and cold weather tyres to get the best performance. All 'all season' tyres are something of a compromise.
  2. There is no really that much to choose between the available all season tyres - each has its strengths and weaknesses - so it doesn't matter too much which each of us choose.

In the UK, particularly in the southern half, we don't really have too many days of proper winter. Many folk 'get away' with summer tyres all year round. So for most of us, a summer biased, all season tyre, will work well ...

Very good points.

That's the challenge of testing; it hard trying to create a fair, reproducible set of conditions, whilst trying to consider the huge variations of real-world usage.
I personally like to use the tyre tests as a way to avoid buying any obviously weak tyres, tending to pick whatever is on offer/best deal within my desired price range (and I personally have had bad luck with getting poor budget tyres so avoid them completely).

Worth noting that in temperatures below 7C and below, All-Season tyres usually perform better than summer tyres, in particular the gap in the wet is significant.

I once went as far as working out how many mornings in various parts of UK we get at or below 7C in the UK and then did the maths on braking distances  using data from a tyre reviews test between Nokian summer/all season/winter and Cross climates tested at a variety of temperatures wet and dry.
I came to the conclusion that if you live in a hilly (Dales, Peaks, Exmoor, Welsh mountains etc) or Northern part of the UK (West Yorkshire or above) an all season tyre is going to give you the best overall stopping distances throughout a typical year, if you live in a warmer/southern part of the UK it will vary between 50/50 and summer tyres being the best option for year round use.

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5 minutes ago, NGRhodes said:

Worth noting that in temperatures below 7C and below, All-Season tyres ... ?

It is certainly true to say that at temperatures below about 7C, cold weather (aka winter) tyres work better than summer tyres because of the different compounds used - cold weather tyres use a compound that stays 'softer' in the cold; summer tyres use a compound that better stands the heat.

Folk like Nokian used cold weather compounds to produce their all season tyres - effectively, they adapted the tyre to withstand the heat of the summer.

Michelin were unique - the Cross Climate was effectively a summer tyre adapted for use in the winter. And it had a fairly unique V-groove pattern that has since seemingly been 'copied' for the majority of manufacturers all season tyres.

I've no idea how the compounds and use of compounds has evolved since then.

If you want to be really silly and have the best chance of being on the best 'rubber' for the occasion you'd have three sets of tyres: use summer tyres in the summer, cold weather tyres in the winter and all season tyres in spring and autumn ... 😁

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The problem in the UK is that the so called winter can be very warm and wet, cold and wet, rather than cold and snowy or icy. I’ve experienced what I’d call three seasons in a day in Derbyshire starts cold and frosty and then warm and sunny followed by cold and wet. I’ve used both winter tyres and the Cross Climate tyres in the these situations and the Cross Climates win hands down. The winter tyres perform in a reverse way to the summer tyres not happy when it gets warm. Just my opinion and every bodies experience will be different and in the end you pay your money and take a chance based on either a perceived view, research or experience.

As had been said above I read tyre reviews but use them as a guide rather than a bible to purchase, I do like same car comparison tests and I viewed plenty of these prior to my initial purchase on the Cross Climates. I was also intrigued to see at one point a comparison between the same model car but 2WD vs 4WD, the 4WD had summer tyres and the 2WD Cross Climates, these were conducted on the same icy/snow roads, the 2WD braked, steered and manoeuvred better in every test.

All that said when it comes to make a purchase I’ll still research what’s on offer and see if there’s anything I’d feel would suite me better.

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Michelin Cross Climate 2 and Goodyear Vector 4 Season 3 are two of the best all season tyre options. Tbh on a car like RAV4 having a quality all season tyres is more important than having an awd as basically the tyres are more important than the drive axles when it’s slippery. I do travel a lot 1000+ miles a week night time and since I used my Auris hybrid I decided to go for two sets of wheels and tyres accordingly to the season and never regretted a bit, although we don’t get harsh winter conditions down here driving through the night temperatures are close to 10C° and here it is when summer tyres start loosing their comfort and few degrees further down they loose grip as well.  With winter tyres the car is glued to the road even on snow and ice and when there are no slippery conditions the benefit of having a more comfortable and quiet drive it’s huge. Two sets of tyres for me works the best because of the mileage I do, otherwise one set of good all season tyres can do it just as good. Goodyear are also highly recommended all season tyres especially with more wintry challenges ahead. Heavy 4x4 tyres for suv like rav4 are not ok as those will kill the comfort and efficiency. 👍

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