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4WD VS Winter Tyres Do You Need Winter Tyres If You Have 4WD

I’ve lost track the amount of times I’ve read “you don’t need winter tyres if you have four wheel drive”, so I thought I’d do the test. Two BMW X1 vehicles, one is front wheel drive (FWD) with winter tyres, and one of four wheel drive (4WD / 4×4 / AWD) with summer tyres fitted.

source/image: Tyre Reviews

The winter tyre 2wd vehicle has Goodyear Ultragrip Performance Gen-1 and the summer tyre 4wd has the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3. Both tyres are in the same size and load rating (225/50 R17) and have the same tyre pressures.

The tests in the video include acceleration and braking on snow, snow handling, snow hill climb, snow braking on a hill, and obstacle avoidance.


Which combination of drive train and tyres was best? You’ll have to watch the video. Note, I know I use 4×4 and AWD interchangeably in the video. The BMW X1 is AWD, but you would have a similar result with FWD. Winter tyres are sometimes called snow tyres./Tyre Reviews