One of the benefits of having an Audi is that when my car gets serviced, I get a loaner vehicle. So when the Q7 went in for a repair this week, the nice folks at Audi South Burlington gave me a sweet 2013 Audi Allroad. Having previously owned an A4 Avant, I was eager to see how the Allroad compared. I had a business trip to southern Vermont so I would have a nice 200 mile trip to check out the car.
My first concern was whether or not the car had winter tires. As I approached the car from behind I was surprised to see what I thought was the Hakkapeliitta 5, an odd choice for such a new car. Only when I got close did I realize it that they were the Hankooks that are a blatant copy of the Hakkapeliitta 5 tread pattern. Relieved that the car at least had winter tires, I was excited to see how they compared to my R2s.
The roads were mostly dry and I will say the tires handled pretty well for winter tire and the noise level was quite good. But in a few sections of road the road was a little snowy so with no one around I did some full panic ABS stops. The tires did not inspire confidence like my Hakkapelitta R2s. On a few corners as the car started to lose grip, the ESP engaged and brought the car back in line. I could have taken the turn faster with my Hakkapeliitta R2s without any drama.
I remember hearing that it is easy for companies to copy a tread pattern but perfecting the tire compound is a real challenge and is part of Nokian Tyres’ “secret sauce”.
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