Flat’s the way to go when it comes to windscreen wipers, as this type of blade design has won over car makers and drivers alike.
It’s easy to see why, because they do away with the ugly metal framework of older designs, replacing it with a metal shaft within the rubber that keeps an even pressure on the
screen. Flat blades are also more aerodynamically efficient, as they sit snug against the screen, which smooths airflow. And when you come to replace them, they’re a breeze to fit.
But which is the best choice for your car? There’s a wide variety of wiper blades on offer, so this year we have created a two-part test. In a few weeks we’ll be looking at retro-fit flat blades alongside conventional wipers. But for this test, we focus on replacement items for cars that have been designed to use flat blades from new.
A core requirement for our test is a quiet, clean wipe that’s free from lines and smears. We tried our 10 contenders on a dry screen for 30 seconds to check for noise, then with washers at motorway speeds.
We also looked at how easy they were to fit, instructions and clip design, as there’s little point in a slender blade if it uses a bulky adaptor. We factored in price for a pair of blades for our 2007 Skoda Octavia test car, excluding any delivery costs. However, this played a relatively small role, as safety is of paramount importance with wipers. We’d recommend you shop around, though, as there are good deals to be had online.
It’s victory for Bosch, as the firm has proved that when it comes to windscreen wipers, it can’t be beaten. The very effective Aerotwin took the victory, followed by the car-specific pack offered by chain store giant Halfords. Valeo narrowly missed out on second place due to price, while a special mention has to go to our pick of the budget brands: Wiper Blades’ Exact Fit.
1. Bosch Aerotwin
2. Halfords Flat Wiper Blade Set
3. Valeo Silencio X.TRM