Winter test: all-season tires Fulda MultiControl

All-season tires are often underestimated. Harder rubber compounds are used for summer tires and softer compounds for winter tires. For an all-weather tire you have to find a compromise between them. But all-season tires also have an unbeatable advantage: there is no need to change wheels or tires. All-season tires are therefore particularly worthwhile for drivers with low to medium mileage.

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With the MultiControl we present the first all-season tire from Fulda. The tire manufacturer Fulda has existed since 1900 and is now part of Goodyear. The MultiControl has been available in 18 different versions in the Fulda model range since autumn 2016.
On the EU tire label, it received the following classifications for our tested size 185/60 R40:
Fuel efficiency: E, wet grip: C, noise emission: 67dB.

For our test, we didn’t choose a long-distance business limousine for the MultiControl, but with a Seat Ibiza we chose a rock-solid vehicle that is realistic for drivers with rather moderate mileage.

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3D Bubble Blade technology for lots of grip

A “3D Bubble Blade” lamella technology, MultiControl grooves and a special rubber compound should always ensure enough grip and safety both in summer and in winter. We have now installed the Fulda MultiControl since the beginning of December and accordingly drove through a relatively strong winter in southern Germany with it in February. With the large number of slats, the MultiControl should always have a secure connection to the asphalt on snow-covered roads. When rolling, they should “claw” at the road surface. When braking, the slats should connect to form a stable unit, which ensures, for example, a shorter braking distance or precise steering manoeuvres. Of course, you can’t feel the limits of a tire in winter in an everyday test like ours, but the MultiControl proved to have surprisingly strong traction when cornering faster on slush. Even starting off in ten centimeters of deep snow, he was unimpressed and pushed the Ibiza backwards out of the parking space without unnecessary turns. Even from the relatively steep exit – early in the morning at 6 a.m. still not cleared – the narrow all-season tire we had plowed through quite unspectacularly. A “real” winter tire couldn’t have done that any better.

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footprint

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Bubble blade technology

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MultiControl profile grooves

Great traction on slush

But in Germany we rarely really have snow on the roads. More interesting is slush or ice. With our narrow-tired Ibiza, we have respect for places on country roads that are covered with slush, but simply look “wet” from afar. Here it is important for the profile to maintain contact with the road and not to be thrown off track by the mud. Even when driving fast through mud on country roads with ruts, for example, the MultiControl retained grip and only allowed our small car to pull minimally, if at all, in one direction.

Sophisticated profile cuts through the water film

In this country, however, we feel like we have to struggle with rain-soaked roads for most of the year. For roads with aquaplaning, in winter, for example, when the snow melts heavily or when the water cannot drain off due to blocked channels, the MultiControl also has slats in the reinforcement bars to ensure traction on the one hand. The special shape of the slats of the MultiControl is also intended to optimally displace standing water on the road.

Quiet running noise even on a cheap small car

Even in our small car, which is not really insulated against noise from outside, the Fulda MultiControl rolled very smoothly. For comparison: The tire noise at around 120 km/h on the motorway was significantly quieter than with our previous Continental winter tires – but they were also a few years old. Fulda specifies a rolling noise of 67 dB for our dimension. On the tire label, this corresponds to just one of three volume lines. In this article we explain what else the EU tire label says. In terms of consumption, we have so far not been able to determine any differences (despite precise recording of the refueling processes) compared to the summer tires previously fitted. Fulda attributes high mileage to the wide contact area.

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The Fulda MultiControl in summer & prices

How does the MultiControl react in summer? How well can it hold its own on wet leaves in autumn, or how much does it yield to a greasy, wet road when it rains for the first time in a long time in summer? In the summer of 2017 we will publish our experiences with the MultiControl in the nicer season.

You can currently find the Fulda MultiControl at reifen.com for around 45 euros each for our tested size 185/60 R14.

Photos: Fulda

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