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.