Goodyear UltraGrip 8

17 Oct, 2012 10:18am

Verdict

Stars on wet and dry tarmac, but a bit inconsistent on snow.

Goodyear won our 2010 winter tyre test with its UltraGrip 7+, and the UltraGrip 8 came close to repeating the feat. But it had to settle for second behind the Continental.

As so often with a Goodyear tyre, it excels in the wet – especially the deep water of the aquaplaning tests. It was head and shoulders above its rivals here, with only our overall champ offering any real challenge. These results were backed by solid performances in wet braking and handling. Times were close in the handling test, but the UltraGrip lacked the Pirelli or Continental’s bite – although it was very safe. There was no rear movement; it just nosed wide as the limit was reached.

Away from the wet tracks, the Goodyear took a win for dry handling, where it was responsive, predictable and stable. It was the joint quietest tyre in our cabin noise test, too.

Rolling resistance is rarely a Goodyear priority, and the UltraGrip 8 trailed in seventh – although within touch of main rivals. Ultimately, it was the snow that stopped this tyre taking another win.

While it came second in our traction test – and third overall in the snow – it was just too far behind the Continental and Dunlop tyres. The lack of balance evident on the wet and dry tracks came to the fore again, as it was too hard to turn in to corners.

Rating Position
Snow braking 96.4% 5th
Snow traction 99.6% 2nd
Snow slalom 93.3% 7th
Snow handling 98.6% =4th
Straight aqua 100% 1st
Curved aqua 100% 1st
Wet braking 96.5% 4th
Wet handling 98.2% 5th
Dry braking 96.7% 7th
Dry handling 100% 1st
Cabin noise 100% =1st
Rolling resistance 88.9% 7th
Price £80.75 5th
Overall 99.3% 2nd