AT vs Winter tyres as an all-rounder?

AT vs Winter tyres as an all-rounder?

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C70R

Original Poster:

10,604 posts

81 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
I'm moving to the countryside, so I'm buying a budget (~£4k) 4x4 for all-rounder duties. The first thing I'll be doing, as I do with most cars, is treating it to a nice, new set of rubber.

However, I'm at a bit of a quandry. I want to run one set of tyres all year round, and they will be used for a mix of country lane driving, town driving, towing, long motorway runs, and the occasional slog up a muddy lane or across a muddy field.

My initial thought was that a M+S rated winter tyre would offer the best compromise, and be quiet enough that it wouldn't annoy on longer motorway drives. However, I worry I'm likely to find that "M+S" is a bit of a marketing gimmick. Even though my actual off-road use would be fairly limited (maybe some VERY gentle greenlaning at most), I'd be annoyed to be limited by tyres on the occasion that I need them.

Would something like an Avon AX7 AT tyre be as good all-round as a mid-range winter tyre? Or are they too aggressive for occasional use, and the motorway drone (and road 'handling') be too much of a compromise for the odd time I drive on a bit of mud?

SlimJim16v

4,194 posts

120 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
Winter tyres aren't an all-rounder, you're thinking of all seasons. M+S is used to describe a tyre with a slightly off-road tread pattern.

Most all-seasons will be pretty useless off-road, so I would go for an AT that is 3PMS snow rated. You can look at the tread pattern and choose how much you want it biased to road or off-road. They're not too noisy or compromised on the road either.

C70R

Original Poster:

10,604 posts

81 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
SlimJim16v said:
Winter tyres aren't an all-rounder, you're thinking of all seasons. M+S is used to describe a tyre with a slightly off-road tread pattern.

Most all-seasons will be pretty useless off-road, so I would go for an AT that is 3PMS snow rated. You can look at the tread pattern and choose how much you want it biased to road or off-road.
I was thinking more than winter tyres might be more of an all-rounder than ATs for my use, rather than the ultimate all-rounder.

Winters will be fine to run all year round on a heavy, slow 4x4, right?

300bhp/ton

40,105 posts

167 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
What vehicle is it for?

Winters can be fine all year round. But you can tear them up if you are hard in the corners. They will also get out of their depth in mid quite quickly and be more prone to punctures off road.

A good All Terrain should provide sufficient traction in snowy conditions to allow you to get from place to place. But the milder more Road biased ones generally offer less traction in the snow than more aggressive AT’s. Likewise off road an AT will be superior to a winter. But a mild AT can quickly become a liability in mud. Other terrain types an AT can work very well however.

Do you know the terrain or soil types you’d drive on or the part of the country you are in?

I probably go AT myself over winters. But would depend on a few factors. We have winters on the Freelander, they are ok in summer laning. But I wouldn’t take them in deep wet mud or lane in winter with them.

Bill

47,851 posts

232 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
My D4 came with Goodyear Ultragrip winters on and I used them all year for a while, including an off-road competition with a trials section where I did as well as any other lwb vehicle. They also didn't wear any quicker than the current Pirellis are.

The main issue is getting hold of spares mid summer if you have a puncture that can't be fixed or if they wear out. And they're expensive.

tr7v8

6,791 posts

205 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
When I had the Grand Cherokee I fitted General AT2s They were fantastic, wore well & weren't too noisy. Their grip was fantastic snow, ice & heavy rain.

C70R

Original Poster:

10,604 posts

81 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
300bhp/ton said:
What vehicle is it for?

Winters can be fine all year round. But you can tear them up if you are hard in the corners. They will also get out of their depth in mid quite quickly and be more prone to punctures off road.

A good All Terrain should provide sufficient traction in snowy conditions to allow you to get from place to place. But the milder more Road biased ones generally offer less traction in the snow than more aggressive AT’s. Likewise off road an AT will be superior to a winter. But a mild AT can quickly become a liability in mud. Other terrain types an AT can work very well however.

Do you know the terrain or soil types you’d drive on or the part of the country you are in?

I probably go AT myself over winters. But would depend on a few factors. We have winters on the Freelander, they are ok in summer laning. But I wouldn’t take them in deep wet mud or lane in winter with them.
Car is TBC. Possibly a 4.7 WJ or a petrol Touareg. X5 is an outside bet.

Needs to be ulez compliant for trips to our place in London, which limits choice badly at that price.

Does the choice of car make a big difference to the choice of tyre?

The house is in Norfolk, which has varied soil but lots of clay. As said, I've no ambitions of plugging through deep mud. I just need something that can get me down a muddy lane or two in winter.

C70R

Original Poster:

10,604 posts

81 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
Bill said:
My D4 came with Goodyear Ultragrip winters on and I used them all year for a while, including an off-road competition with a trials section where I did as well as any other lwb vehicle. They also didn't wear any quicker than the current Pirellis are.

The main issue is getting hold of spares mid summer if you have a puncture that can't be fixed or if they wear out. And they're expensive.
This is sort of what I'd hoped to hear. Lots of tales of people managing just fine on winters and not getting stuck on muddy lanes and the like.

InitialDave

10,107 posts

96 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
If you do get a WJ, try and hunt out an Overland, they have the more powerful version of the 4.7 and trick diffs front and rear.

tr7v8

6,791 posts

205 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
Worth joining the WJ forum on FB. There have been a few for sale recently there. Both V8s & I6 The 6 is a great engine & takes LPG better than the V8 Also tend to be more robust.

C70R

Original Poster:

10,604 posts

81 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
InitialDave said:
If you do get a WJ, try and hunt out an Overland, they have the more powerful version of the 4.7 and trick diffs front and rear.
Seems overkill for what I need, but I'll bear it in mind.

C70R

Original Poster:

10,604 posts

81 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
tr7v8 said:
Worth joining the WJ forum on FB. There have been a few for sale recently there. Both V8s & I6 The 6 is a great engine & takes LPG better than the V8 Also tend to be more robust.
I've no interest in LPG, to be honest. And I don't think the 6cyl engine is ulez compliant. It came as a bit of a shock that the 4.7 was, to be honest - but the tfl website confirmed it.

SlimJim16v

4,194 posts

120 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
Clay laugh

300bhp/ton

40,105 posts

167 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
C70R said:
This is sort of what I'd hoped to hear. Lots of tales of people managing just fine on winters and not getting stuck on muddy lanes and the like.
Do bear in mind the D4 has a superb awd system and traction control/terrain response. It’ll go places many other 4wd’s won’t on fairly mild tyres.

300bhp/ton

40,105 posts

167 months

Thursday 12th May
quotequote all
C70R said:
Does the choice of car make a big difference to the choice of tyre?
I’d say probably yes. Although others may not agree. An X5 is far more car like on road, so probably has a higher chance of being driven like a fast saloon. From the factory they would normally run highly road focused tyres. I suspect a good All Terrain may change the character of the vehicle and diminish the ride/handling more so. Something like a WJ Jeep will feel a bit more rugged 4x4 from the off and less car like. A set of AT’s on one probably won’t really impact how it rides or drives. If you don’t go for a speedy one and don’t drive it like you stole it on road you could probably quite happily run a tyre like the Maxxis Wormdrive or BFG KO2. Tyres I’d be very hesitant to put on a tidy X5.


C70R said:
The house is in Norfolk, which has varied soil but lots of clay. As said, I've no ambitions of plugging through deep mud. I just need something that can get me down a muddy lane or two in winter.
Clay can be very slippery. A winter would out perform a regular road tyre. But a true AT would be a cut above on such terrain IMO. And possible better on road during the summer too.

Many AT’s are 3 peak rated. Best of all worlds then really.

C70R

Original Poster:

10,604 posts

81 months

Friday 13th May
quotequote all
So is the synopsis that I'm better off going all the way to an AT tyre as an insurance policy should I need it?

And, if I were to buy something like an X5 for example, would an AT really be suitable for long motorway runs?

I think the Touareg is the favourite at the moment, because it combines the best compromise of off-road (low range, locking diffs) and on road (low nvh, nice interior) characteristics. The problem is that finding a good one is going to take some time. I'd love a 4.2, but they just seem too rare to be viable, so I'm probably stuck with the 3.2 vr6 lump.

camel_landy

3,984 posts

160 months

Friday 13th May
quotequote all
A winter tyre is more about the rubber compound (silica content and sticky below 7c) and the tread patterns are designed for better water dispersal.

Either way, tyre choice is ALWAYS about compromise.

FWIW - I find that running 2x sets is the way to go.

M

C70R

Original Poster:

10,604 posts

81 months

Friday 13th May
quotequote all
camel_landy said:
A winter tyre is more about the rubber compound (silica content and sticky below 7c) and the tread patterns are designed for better water dispersal.

Either way, tyre choice is ALWAYS about compromise.

FWIW - I find that running 2x sets is the way to go.

M
I get the idea of running two sets, but I'm not going to plan in advance to have a 'day' where I need to drive across a muddy field - it will just happen. I need one set to do everything, so I need an idea of how much of a compromise I'm making of winter vs AT.

I don't really need winters from the perspective of snow and ice driving - East Anglia has pretty mild winter months. I was just wondering if the slightly less aggressive tread pattern would make a better day-to-day compromise for the odd occasion I need to drive off-road.

InitialDave

10,107 posts

96 months

Friday 13th May
quotequote all
Presumably whatever you buy will come with fairly mild road tyres.

So why not give it a drive in the kind of terrain you'll be crossing when you get it.

If it copes fine, clearly an all-round road tyre is ok for your needs.

If it's a bit dicey, you can justify stepping up to something a little more aggressive.

Bill

47,851 posts

232 months

Friday 13th May
quotequote all
C70R said:
East Anglia has pretty mild winter months.
I'd ignore winters as an option purely because of the potential for sourcing hassle and expense. There are loads of less off road biased tyres that are M+S rated (FWIW, AIUI it just means a greater percentage of the tyre is gap rather than tread...) that will be less of a compromise than a winter or full AT tyre.