Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 review
The Sottozero 3 is something of a veteran of our winter tests.
The Sottozero 3 is something of a veteran of our winter tests. We first tested it in 2015 but it was launched in 2013, which is a lifetime or two in the tyre world. To get so close to brand-new designs boasting the latest technology is testament to how the Italian tyre maker has developed the Sottozero 3 over the years, and there is precious little between it and the fifth-placed Vredestein.
It fares best in the dry, where it feels sharp, but performance drops off quickly when compared to rivals. It is seventh across the wet tests, with a mid-pack performance on the handling circuit. There is some rear movement and wheelspin out of tight turns, which gives the edge to faster rivals. But it is in Finland where the Pirelli drops to the rear of this closely matched pack, with poor results in all categories bar the circle assessment.
We say: Impressive result from an ageing design, but newer rivals are a step ahead
Blackcircles.Com says: Having been on the market since 2013, this is quite an old model line now. Yet customers still leave mostly positive reviews and are impressed with they tyre’s stability in winter weather.
In this review
- 1IntroductionOur exhaustive tests reveal the best winter tyre that can cope with snow and freezing conditions
- 21. Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+The Performance+ is part of a refresh of Goodyear’s winter tyre offering for cars, with the UltraGrip 9+ joining it ready for this winter.
- 32. Continental WinterContact TS 860The WinterContact TS 860 has been something of a phenomenon in our winter tests, having won the last two.
- 43. Michelin Alpin 6Never one to follow the pack, Michelin has looked a bit further down the road with this design, which aims to remain effective right down to the legal tread-depth minimum.
- 54. Dunlop Winter Sport 5It has been around since 2015, but the Winter Sport 5 has always finished at the upper end of our results.
- 6=5. Vredestein Wintrac ProFormer summer champ Vredestein has been absent from our tests since 2016
- 7=5. Falken Eurowinter HS01The change in tyre size suited Falken in its second winter test appearance; it finishes a couple of places higher and a few percentage points closer to the winner.
- 87. Nokian WR SnowproofBrand new for 2019, the Snowproof just made it into our test in time for the snow assessments.
- 98. Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 - currently readingThe Sottozero 3 is something of a veteran of our winter tests.
- 109. Hankook i*cept RS2This tyre was runner-up in our last two winter tests, so it’s a mystery why it drops to one place off the bottom this year.
- 1110. Toyo Snowprox S954Japanese producer Toyo makes its winter test debut, although the Snowprox S954 has been around for a couple of years now.
- 12All-Season tyre: Continental AllSeasonContactMichelin compares its pioneering CrossClimate all-season tyre to a triathlete who is not the best in any discipline but performs well in all of them
- 13Summer tyre: Continental PremiumContact 6You only have to look at the two braking test results to see why some people say motorists should change tyres with the seasons
- 14Results by category & overall verdictWhich winter tyre performed well in which area? Our tables reveal all