The Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D is one of the company’s most popular winter tires. But does it perform as advertised? This review has the answers.
The SP Winter Sport 4D is currently one of the best budget-friendly winter tires. It delivers outstanding traction, braking, cornering grip and handling in snow and ice. It also performs great on dry pavement and slippery surfaces. Also, it provides a quiet and relaxed ride on smooth roads.
In this Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D tire review, we will take a closer look at some of the tire’s design features, its dry performance, wet performance, performance in snow and ice, and ride quality. We will also walk you through its warranties and guarantees, sizes and fitment, as well as pros and cons. By the time you finish reading this review, you will have all the information that you need to decide whether the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D is the best winter tire for your vehicle.
We are committed to publishing objective, credible and informative reviews. And this is made possible by our ever-reliable team, comprising certified tire testers, auto industry experts, seasoned researchers and experienced journalists. We spend hours, sometimes even days, testing different products to ensure we only pick and recommend products that are worth your money and time.
About the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D
Driving during winter becomes more challenging and dangerous. Most roads become slippery and wet, occasioned by the presence of snow, ice and slush. As a result, most drivers struggle to maintain proper control of the vehicle. And this may lead to accidents.
The good news is, you can minimize these accidents by using a set of proper or dedicated winter tires, such as the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D. It’s specifically engineered to handle severe wintry conditions.
Whether the road is covered in ice, snow, or slush, the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D will provide adequate traction, thus preventing the vehicle from skidding sideways.
According to the manufacturer, the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D is designed to deliver enhanced snow and ice traction, outstanding performance on winter roads, adequate grip and traction in wet conditions as well as top-notch fuel efficiency.
The Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D is compatible with a wide range of sport sedans and performance coupes.
Design Features and Technologies
Dunlop has outfitted this tire with several features and technologies to ensure it will perform according to expectations. They include:
High-grip Silica Tread Compound
The Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D comes with a high-grip silica rubber tread compound designed to keep it flexible in freezing temperatures.
At the same time, its unique tread design, featuring directional grooves and biting edges, supply grip and traction needed to drive through ice-covered or snow-covered roads.
Deep Snow Notches
The tire’s entire tread surface is covered by deep snow notches, which help to increase its grip further. These deep snow notches will grab onto the surface, thus supplying additional grip needed for accelerating, braking, cornering and hill climbing.
Dunlop has also outfitted this tire with 4D siping on the tread. This siping uses the renowned 3D sipe technology to deliver excellent cornering grip on dry surfaces and top-notch snow handling.
The Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D tread also comes with lateral and circumferential grooves, which help to evacuate water from its surface quickly. And this will help to minimize hydroplaning in rainy conditions.
If you are conscious about fuel costs and C02 emissions, you will be happy to know that the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D is one of the most fuel-efficient winter tires.
Its lightweight design helps to minimize rolling resistance, thus reducing the amount of energy the vehicle spends.
Consequently, the vehicle will spend lesser fuel, which translates to savings at the gas pump and lesser emissions.
And while this tire features a lightweight design, it doesn’t mean that it’s prone to premature damage. On the contrary, the manufacturer a jointless belt and bead seat system, which helps to enhance the tire’s stability and durability.
The Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D is also available in run-flat designs. If you choose such designs, you can keep driving for up to 50 miles at 50 mph.
The run-flat tire designs will be ideal for people who drive in remote locations, where auto service stations are few.
Performance in Different Conditions
As noted above, the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D is engineered to deliver reliable and outstanding performance on snow-covered, ice-covered, and wet roads. The question is, does it perform as advertised?
I installed a set of this tire on a Hyundai Genesis and took it for a spin in different conditions and terrains. And I made the following observations:
Performance in Snow and Ice
The Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D is simply an outstanding performer when it comes to snow and ice. Whether you encounter heavy snowing, light snowing, or ice-covered roads, nothing is too challenging for this tire.
Its acceleration in snow and ice is one of the best I’ve recorded in this category. Simply put, you will not get stuck in snow-covered or ice-covered roads, regardless of how thick the layer is.
Also, this tire delivered short braking distances. While its braking distances may not be the shortest in the category, I can confidently assure you that you will not experience any skidding after hitting the brakes.
As for handling, you will struggle to find a tire that can outperform the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D at this price point. During the test ride, I noticed that its response to driving inputs is fast and precise.
Also, my car remained sure-footed all through, without any instance of understeer or oversteers. It felt as I was driving on wet pavement, as opposed to a snow-covered road.
Its performance on ice-covered roads was equally impressive. My car accelerated without any issues and the braking distances remained reliably short.
Its handling on ice-covered roads was also outstanding, thanks to its 4D siping technology, which has filled the tire’s tread with biting edges.
Wet and Slippery Surfaces
After testing the tire’s performance in ice and snow, I then proceeded to give it a run on wet and slippery surfaces. And the performance was also outstanding.
The handling felt secure all through, even in slushy conditions. It reacted extremely fast to my inputs, without instances of understeer or oversteer.
What impressed me most about this tire’s wet performance is its braking performance. The stopping distances remained short, even when stopping the vehicle at high speeds.
Overall, the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D is one of the best winter tires when it comes to rainy conditions.
Winter tires perform relatively poorly when it comes to dry tarmac. And this can be attributed to their softer rubber. So, is this the case with the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D?
Well, the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D performed as I had expected. The traction and grip were great. Also, it didn’t squirm when navigating tight corners at high speeds. Also, braking distances on dry tarmac were short.
However, its steering response on dry tarmac is underwhelming. Also, its straight-line tracking is poor. These issues are common when you use a winter tire on dry tarmac and nothing out of the ordinary.
The Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D comes with a rugged and aggressive tread pattern, almost similar to what you would find on all-terrain or off-road tires. So, does this mean that you can use this tire for off-roading adventures?
The reality is, the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D will provide better traction in muddy conditions compared to an all-season tire.
But it doesn’t mean that you should use it for off-road driving. It comes with a pliable and soft tread compound, meaning that it’s highly vulnerable to damage.
For instance, stones, roots, rocks, stumps and other similar elements found in off-road terrains can easily damage the tire’s rubber, thus shortening its lifespan.
Besides shortening its lifespan, there’s a high chance that you will void its warranty if you use it for off-roading since it’s not built for such conditions.
For these reasons, using this tire for off-road driving is not recommended. Instead, you should simply outfit your vehicle with the right set of tires for such conditions.
The Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D is arguably one of the most comfortable winter tires, especially if you are driving on a perfectly smooth road. The ride is relaxed, smooth and quiet.
However, things change considerably when you encounter textured or rough roads. Due to the tire’s aggressive tread pattern, you will experience vibrations and excessive noise.
And the situation becomes even worse if you are driving on unpaved roads. But as long as you are driving on smooth roads, you are assured of a relaxed and cozy driving experience.
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D Warranties and Guarantees
Dunlop stands behind this tire with a materials and workmanship warranty. Let’s take a closer look at what’s covered under this warranty.
Materials and Workmanship Warranty
If your SP Winter Sport 4D tire is removed from service due to workmanship or materials defects, Dunlop commits to replace it.
The manufacturer will either replace the tire with a comparable new one or do the replacement on a prorated basis.
Under this warranty, if your SP Winter Sport 4D is removed from service due to materials or workmanship defects during its first 2/32-inch of its original usable tread or 12 months from the purchase date, Dunlop will replace it with a comparable new one.
The free tire replacement will also cover its mounting and balancing costs, while the buyer will be responsible for miscellaneous service charges and applicable taxes.
If your Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D tire becomes unserviceable due to workmanship and materials defects outside the free replacement window, Dunlop will replace it with a comparable new one on a prorated basis.
Under this replacement, you will contribute some money for the tire’s replacement costs.
An authorized Dunlop tire dealer will determine the amount you will contribute for the tire’s replacement by multiplying the percentage of the original usable tread worn off the tire by its current selling price.
For example, your tire may be removed from service due to materials or workmanship defects when 50% of its tread is worn off.
Assuming that the tire’s currently selling at $300, your prorated charge will be $150. You will also pay for the tire’s mounting and balancing charges, applicable taxes and other government-mandated charges.
Sizes and Fitment
The Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D comes in several sizes, ranging between 15 inches and 20 inches. It can fit several makes and models of vehicles like:
- Cadillac STS, CTS and CT6
- Audi Q3 and Q3 Quattro
- Chevrolet Colorado, Malibu, Caprice, Malibu Limited, Impala Limited and Impala
- Acura TLX
- GMC Canyon
- Volvo V60 Cross Country, XC70 and S60 Cross Country
- Lincoln MKC and Continental
- Volkswagen Tiguan
- Maserati Ghibli
- Ford Mustang and Escape
- Lexus LS600h and LS460
- Buick Regal, LaCrosse and Regal TourX
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D Price Range
The Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D is currently retailing at approximately $180 to $450. As you may expect, the actual price that you will pay for this tire will ultimately depend on your vehicle’s wheel size.
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D Pros
- Outstanding performance in snow and ice
- Top-notch wet traction, grip, handling and performance
- Reliable dry performer
- Durable construction
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D Cons
- No mileage warranty
Should You Buy the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D?
The Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D is, without a doubt, a great winter tire. It ticks all the right boxes as to what you may expect from a winter tire. It performs exceptionally well on snow and ice, handles wet conditions perfectly and remains a reliable performer on wet pavement. It also delivers a cozy ride, especially when you are driving on smooth roads. Drivers who have used this tire have also noted that it lasts longer than most of its competitors. So, if you are looking for a reasonably priced, reliable and durable winter tire, then the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D is a worthy consideration.
About THE AUTHOR
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding