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19" winter tyres for 2WD cars

I've never had a car before that is just over a year old and already a Classic!

Now, I've already written on this forum about changing my car on to Michelin Pilot Sports early in it's life. Those of you with 21" wheels look away now, because after 20,000 miles they still have 4-5mm of tread left all round. Not only that, they completely transformed the car in a way I have not experienced with any other tyre swap on a road car. I rate handling and grip to be at least the equal of the 21" tyres. Steering feel and traction (you can use full power from low speeds and very rarely activate the traction control) are much better than the 21" tyres.

Scandinavians will tell you that the order of priority is winter tyres first, then four wheel drive. Sounds good to me as 4WD is not an option.

I tried to get winter tyres last year and found that neither Pirelli or Michelin had any available. This year I started out earlier and still no luck! My local Kwik-Fit quoted me £1,470.00 for Michelins and then found Michelin UK hadn't got any anyway.

I really fancied the Michelins after my good experience with the Pilots, so I resolved the problem by ordering from internet tyre providers mytyres.com. They import from their Hanover warehouse and two weeks later a set of four Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 245/45 R19 102W XL were delivered to my door. They have fitting partners in the UK and my nearest was Micheldever Tyres.

Total cost: £837.60 tyres plus £60.00 fitting, so £897.60 including VAT.



You can see these have two mighty grooves in the tread to shift water as well as curved sipes to gain traction in snow. Down here in the soft South it's still 10 -12 degrees, so I haven't been able to test them, plus they are not scrubbed in at less than 100 miles. All I can really comment on so far is that they are as quiet as my summer tyres and ride as well at medium and high speeds. The low speed ride is slightly less smooth but still fine.

I'll report again once we have had some weather.

Has anybody else got any experience of winter tyres in the UK with their car?
We are still enjoying balmy weather here, but we have had heavy rain and standing water on our A roads over the last couple of days. Now the Michelins are scrubbed in they are working very well. They are superb in standing water, hardly surprising considering the size of the two main "gutter" grooves in the tyres. I sought out some large areas of standing water that I would normally try to drive round and the only real indication they were there was the noise of the water hitting the wheel arches. Very impressive.
Just switched back from the Alpins to my Pilot Sport 3s. We didn't have bad enough weather in the South to really test them on icy roads, but they were great as soon as temperatures dropped below 5 degrees or there was standing water. They really are like changing from slicks to wets on a race car.
The Pilot 3s have a better turn in, traction and body control on dry roads but I'll still be back on the Alpins next winter!

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