Reviews Vredestein Xtreme Wintrac 225/50 R17 98 V XL - Winter tyres

Discussion in 'Member's Reviews' started by FirstHonda, Thursday 28th Nov, 2013.

  1. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    Hi all,

    Having now had these Vredestein Winter tyres on my car for a week, and having done a few miles, some initial impressions.

    1. The price and ordering process from Oponeo was excellent. Ordered Thursday, arrived Monday as promised. Newly manufactured (August 2013), no issues with invoicing, and a great price at £112 per tyre. I couldn't find anybody who could match that price, so I will be using them again.

    2. The tyres themselves have an interesting tread pattern, and are visually different to the Summer tyres I have had previously. Have tried photos but should have taken them before put on the car, DOH! For me, the sidewall is a bit "shouty", with the brand, the type, and "Giugiaro Design" in big letters. Somehow I'm not sure it really suits the understated Accord, but probably just me.

    3. Haven't driven in cold conditions yet (typical, it's gone mild) so can't comment on ultimate grip levels. Will update as and when we get something and I can comment properly. What I will say is that the cornering at normal speeds on damp country / "B" roads does seem slightly sharper, but that may be psychological!! Or just that I have new tyres...

    4. Where it does get interesting is the ride and noise levels. The ride is most definitely softer and more compliant - quite remarkably so, actually. Difficult to say whether that was because the original Yokohamas were worn, but I was shocked by the difference. Doesn't seem to have affected handling either, but I don't really throw the Accord around...and before anybody asks, I check my pressures regularly, and they were correct. :Smile:

    5. Noise levels have also reduced, but as with point 4 above, unsure whether that is because the previous tyres were worn after 24k miles. I can't remember what they were like when new (although I remember thinking how quiet the Accord was). I also didn't realise previously that tyres get noisier as they wear (or so I am now told).

    In essence, I am impressed so far with my first foray into the world of Winter tyres. Further tests to come when the weather gets cold, and will be interested to see how they wear as the Yokos still had 3mm all round after 24k miles which impressed me.

    One final thing - I read some reviews where it was noted that the first 100 or so miles were tricky as the tyres bed in - personally haven't found any issues at all.
    Neil and i-DSI like this.
  2. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    As I'm now approaching the end of a second Winter (and about 10k miles) with these tyres on my Accord, I thought it was worth adding a few more detailed thoughts on their performance.

    Road noise is noticeably reduced with these on the car, compared to the Summer Yokohamas - although these are on 17" wheels against the 18" Sigma wheels I use in the Summer. Even so, the Vredesteins are quiet, and this hasn't changed (yet) as they have worn.

    The tyres seem very compliant, and give a soft ride. The trade off is in handling, though...

    On a dry road, regardless of temperature, the turn in to a corner is a bit vague and the car tends to run wide more readily.

    About 20% worn over c10k miles, not rotated.

    Ironically I've only used these twice in (light) snow - blame the last couple of very mild Winter seasons! Even so, I didn't notice any issues with grip or stopping. On icy rural roads, where they have been used a few more times, they do give increased confidence and I've noticed no issues with cold weather grip at all. Even if the effect is just to increase confidence in the driver, for me it has been worth it.

    A bit disappointing, the car doesn't feel as stable in heavy rain on the motorway as with my Summer Yokohamas. Perhaps no surprise, but worth noting.

    No impact on economy at all - still getting between 43-47 MPG depending on the journey and driving style.

    As noted above, in general use these are fine, and do give good confidence when it gets colder. What I have noticed is that in the very cold morning temperatures of -1 to -4, they do grip strongly, almost feeling slightly "sticky" on the road. I haven't ever noticed that with "normal" tyres in the past, so I guess that is the different rubber compounds doing their job.

    Was it worth spending the money on Winter tyres? I'm not sure, as the weather hasn't really given me a chance to judge. My view is that these are good tyres, and there have been occasions where I have been able to see a benefit. I'll give them an unscientific 6/10.
    Ichiban, Nighthawk and SpeedyGee like this.
  3. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    Quick update on these. We had 4-5 cms of snow overnight, and I couldn't miss the opportunity to go out in the Accord and play in the snow :Smile:

    I'm actually a bit disappointed. Lots of people (and experts in the media) have said that Winter tyres on a "normal" 2WD car give traction as good as a 4WD car with "normal" tyres. Well, based on my experience this morning, I'm not sure what 4WD cars they are driving, or whether my expectations were too high, but still...

    ...on soft virgin snow, traction was acceptable but not brilliant. Moving away from a standstill, even very gently, would spin the front wheels before they "bit." I tried it a few times with varying degrees of power with similar results each time, and with the traction control light flashing away. That never happened when I had a 4x4 with multi-season tyres.

    Where I did notice a difference was in braking. I tried pretty hard to skid under braking (albeit in a straight line) on both soft snow and compacted snow, and didn't manage it - each time (from between 10-20mph) the car pulled up straight with no skidding - the ABS didn't even activate.

    A bit mixed then - good for grip when stopping, less so when accelerating. I guess that is the "right" way round, as more accidents will be caused by cars failing to stop. Perhaps my expectations were a little high...or I don't really know how to drive in snow (as we have it so little down here). Bit of both, most probably!

  4. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    Interesting results. As you say, it seems to be the 'right' way round.