The Volkswagen Golf GTI is surprisingly capable in winter, despite its minuscule ground clearance and front-wheel drive. We own a 2022 GTI, and it came from the factory with Pirelli P-Zero All-Season tires, which are fine but won’t cut it for the northern New England winters. Thankfully, Pirelli sent us a set of its brand-new Cinturato Weatheractive tires that promise year-round performance and a Three Peak Mountain Snowflake rating.
Multi-season tire testing
We’ll be testing the tires on the GTI through the winter and into spring, which brings slush, mud, and wildly varying temperatures here in Maine. Our test will focus on a few key areas to help you understand if these are the tires for you:
- Stability in winter weather
- Wet traction
- Longevity and wear
- Comfort and noise level
Pirelli promises a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, so these tires should stand the test of time. The tread is designed to retain siping (grooves that grip the road and channel water), even when the tire is 90 percent worn. Additionally, the rubber compound is designed to provide traction in wet across various temperature ranges. The directional tread should reduce noise, and a zig-zag center channel helps improve traction and stability.
While they’re not winter tires, the Cinturato Weatheractives feature the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake rating. The designation means that the tires are tested for acceleration on medium-packed snow. They are not tested for braking and turning performance, nor is ice traction part of the rating. Our test will focus on how well they perform in light driving but will not explore severe snow here due to the car’s low ride height.
Sizing and competitors
The Pirelli Cinturato Weatheractive tire is available in 18-, 19-, and 20-inch sizes, making them the perfect replacement fit for the GTI SE’s 225/40 R18 tires. If we were looking for dedicated winter tires, there is a wealth of choices in that size, including the Bridgestone Blizzak, Pirelli Winter Sottozero, and Nokian Hakkapeliitta.
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