Dunlop Winter Sport 5 vs Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

In this article we will be looking at independent tyre test data, and real world driver reviews of the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 and the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 to find out which tyre is best for your own driving.

The good news is that both the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 and Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 are Ultra High Performance Winter tyres designed to be fitted to Passenger Cars, which means comparing the two tyres is relatively simple.

Both tyres are hugely popular in the market place with drivers, and both have been featured in independent tyre tests.

Winter-Sport-5 VS Winter-Sottozero-3

Test Results

Independent comparison tyre tests are the best source of data to get tyre information from, and the good news is there have been twenty-three tests which compare both tyres directly!

Out of these twenty-three tests:

  • Dunlop Winter Sport 5 finished ahead of the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 in twenty-two of the tests
  • Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 finished ahead of the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 in one of the tests

While it might look like the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 is better than the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 purely based on the higher number of test wins, tyres are very complicated objects which means where one tyre is better than the other can be more important in real world use.

Lets look at how the two tyres compare across multiple tyre test categories.

Dry Braking

Looking at data from five tyre tests, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was better during five dry braking tests. On average the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 stopped the vehicle in 3.01% less distance than the Dunlop Winter Sport 5.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
45.12M
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
43.76M
Dry braking in meters, lower is better

Best In Dry Braking: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

2017 AMS Performance 18 inch Winter Tyre Test
225/40 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 45.9M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 45.7M
2017 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test
225/50 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 45.1M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 43.7M
2018 Autobild UHP Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 42.7M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 41.4M
2019 Auto Bild Winter 17 inch Tyre Test
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 46.3M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 44.3M
2020 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 45.6M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 43.7M

Dry Handling [s]

Looking at data from zero tyre tests, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was better during zero dry handling [s] tests. On average the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was NAN% faster around a lap than the Dunlop Winter Sport 5.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
NANs
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
NANs
Dry handling time in seconds, lower is better

Best In Dry Handling [s]: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

Dry Handling [Km/H]

Looking at data from five tyre tests, the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 was better during two dry handling [km/h] tests. On average the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 was 0.04% faster around a lap than the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
100.42Km/H
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
100.38Km/H
Dry Handling Average Speed, higher is better

Best In Dry Handling [Km/H]: Dunlop Winter Sport 5

2017 AMS Performance 18 inch Winter Tyre Test
225/40 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 118.2Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 117.1Km/H
2017 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test
225/50 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 108.7Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 109Km/H
2018 Autobild UHP Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 84.1Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 84.5Km/H
2019 Auto Bild Winter 17 inch Tyre Test
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 81.6Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 81.8Km/H
2020 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 109.5Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 109.5Km/H

Wet Braking

Looking at data from seven tyre tests, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was better during three wet braking tests. On average the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 stopped the vehicle in 0.45% less distance than the Dunlop Winter Sport 5.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
39.69M
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
39.51M
Wet braking in meters, lower is better

Best In Wet Braking: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

2017 AMS Performance 18 inch Winter Tyre Test
225/40 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 34.5M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 36M
2017 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test
225/50 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 33.6M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 32.2M
2018 Autobild UHP Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 53.7M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 55.6M
2019 Winter Tyre Test Market Overview
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 32.9M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 31.3M
2019 Auto Bild Winter 17 inch Tyre Test
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 32.9M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 31.3M
2020 Winter Tyre Market Overview - 52 Tyre Braking Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 35.2M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 35.2M
2020 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 55M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 55M

Wet Handling [s]

Looking at data from zero tyre tests, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was better during zero wet handling [s] tests. On average the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was NAN% faster around a wet lap than the Dunlop Winter Sport 5.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
NANs
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
NANs
Wet handling time in seconds, lower is better

Best In Wet Handling [s]: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

Wet Handling [Km/H]

Looking at data from five tyre tests, the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 was better during three wet handling [km/h] tests. On average the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 was 0.17% faster around a wet lap than the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
72.68Km/H
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
72.56Km/H
Wet Handling Average Speed, higher is better

Best In Wet Handling [Km/H]: Dunlop Winter Sport 5

2017 AMS Performance 18 inch Winter Tyre Test
225/40 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 74.7Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 74Km/H
2017 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test
225/50 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 74.2Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 75.8Km/H
2018 Autobild UHP Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 71.5Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 70.5Km/H
2019 Auto Bild Winter 17 inch Tyre Test
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 71.3Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 72Km/H
2020 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 71.7Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 70.5Km/H

Straight Aqua

Looking at data from five tyre tests, the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 was better during two straight aqua tests. On average the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 floated at a 0.24% higher speed than the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
83.76Km/H
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
83.56Km/H
Float Speed in Km/H, higher is better

Best In Straight Aqua: Dunlop Winter Sport 5

2017 AMS Performance 18 inch Winter Tyre Test
225/40 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 86.1Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 87.4Km/H
2017 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test
225/50 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 86.8Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 88.9Km/H
2018 Autobild UHP Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 82.9Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 87.4Km/H
2019 Auto Bild Winter 17 inch Tyre Test
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 73.3Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 68.1Km/H
2020 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 89.7Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 86Km/H

Snow Braking

Looking at data from seven tyre tests, the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 was better during seven snow braking tests. On average the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 stopped the vehicle in 6.47% less distance than the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
25.57M
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
27.34M
Snow braking in meters, lower is better

Best In Snow Braking: Dunlop Winter Sport 5

2017 AMS Performance 18 inch Winter Tyre Test
225/40 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 27.7M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 29.7M
2017 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test
225/50 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 27.6M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 29.8M
2018 Autobild UHP Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 25.1M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 27.5M
2019 Winter Tyre Test Market Overview
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 24.3M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 26.4M
2019 Auto Bild Winter 17 inch Tyre Test
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 24.3M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 26.4M
2020 Winter Tyre Market Overview - 52 Tyre Braking Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 25M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 25.8M
2020 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 25M Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 25.8M

Snow Traction

Looking at data from one tyre tests, the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 was better during one snow traction tests. On average the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 had 2.89% better snow traction than the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
2909N
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
2825N
Pulling Force in Newtons, higher is better

Best In Snow Traction: Dunlop Winter Sport 5

2020 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 2909N Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 2825N

Snow Handling [s]

Looking at data from zero tyre tests, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was better during zero snow handling [s] tests. On average the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was NAN% faster around a lap than the Dunlop Winter Sport 5.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
NANs
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
NANs
Snow handling time in seconds, lower is better

Best In Snow Handling [s]: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

Snow Handling [Km/H]

Looking at data from five tyre tests, the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 was better during five snow handling [km/h] tests. On average the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 was 2.77% faster around a lap than the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
62.92Km/H
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
61.18Km/H
Snow handling average speed, higher is better

Best In Snow Handling [Km/H]: Dunlop Winter Sport 5

2017 AMS Performance 18 inch Winter Tyre Test
225/40 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 55.5Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 54.8Km/H
2017 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test
225/50 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 51.6Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 50.2Km/H
2018 Autobild UHP Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 69Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 65.7Km/H
2019 Auto Bild Winter 17 inch Tyre Test
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 77Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 75.3Km/H
2020 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 61.5Km/H Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 59.9Km/H

Subj. Comfort

Looking at data from zero tyre tests, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was better during zero subj. comfort tests. On average the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 scored NAN% more points than the Dunlop Winter Sport 5.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
NAN Points
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
NAN Points
Subjective Comfort Score, higher is better

Best In Subj. Comfort: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

Noise

Looking at data from five tyre tests, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was better during four noise tests. On average the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 measured 1.98% quieter than the Dunlop Winter Sport 5.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
73.7dB
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
72.24dB
External noise in dB, lower is better

Best In Noise: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

2017 AMS Performance 18 inch Winter Tyre Test
225/40 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 73dB Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 73.3dB
2017 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test
225/50 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 73dB Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 72.8dB
2018 Autobild UHP Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 73.8dB Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 71.8dB
2019 Auto Bild Winter 17 inch Tyre Test
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 73.9dB Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 71.6dB
2020 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 74.8dB Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 71.7dB

Wear

Looking at data from three tyre tests, the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 was better during three wear tests. On average the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 is predicted to cover 10.67% miles before reaching 1.6mm than the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
39356.67KM
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
35158.33KM
Predicted tread life in KM, higher is better

Best In Wear: Dunlop Winter Sport 5

2017 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test
225/50 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 35250KM Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 29625KM
2019 Auto Bild Winter 17 inch Tyre Test
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 40180KM Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 36080KM
2020 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 42640KM Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 39770KM

Value

Looking at data from three tyre tests, the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 was better during three value tests. On average the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 proved to have a 7.51% better value based on price/1000km than the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
13.79Price/1000
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
14.91Price/1000
Euros/1000km based on cost/wear, lower is better

Best In Value: Dunlop Winter Sport 5

2017 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test
225/50 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 15.04Price/1000 Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 16.88Price/1000
2019 Auto Bild Winter 17 inch Tyre Test
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 11.57Price/1000 Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 11.64Price/1000
2020 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 14.77Price/1000 Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 16.22Price/1000

Price

Looking at data from two tyre tests, the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was better during one price tests. On average the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 cost 1.74% less than the Dunlop Winter Sport 5.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
575
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
565
Price in local currency, lower is better

Best In Price: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

2018 Autobild UHP Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 685 Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 710
2019 Auto Bild Winter 17 inch Tyre Test
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 465 Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 420

Rolling Resistance

Looking at data from five tyre tests, the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 was better during three rolling resistance tests. On average the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 had a 0.74% lower rolling resistance than the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5
8.04kg / t
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
8.1kg / t
Rolling resistance in kg t, lower is better

Best In Rolling Resistance: Dunlop Winter Sport 5

2017 AMS Performance 18 inch Winter Tyre Test
225/40 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 8.6kg / t Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 9.2kg / t
2017 Auto Bild Winter Tyre Test
225/50 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 8.03kg / t Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 8.25kg / t
2018 Autobild UHP Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 8.19kg / t Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 8.05kg / t
2019 Auto Bild Winter 17 inch Tyre Test
225/45 R17
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 7.77kg / t Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 8.04kg / t
2020 Auto Bild Performance Winter Tyre Test
245/45 R18
Dunlop Winter Sport 5: 7.59kg / t Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3: 6.95kg / t

Real World Driver Reviews

Tyre Reviews also collects real world driver reviews for the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 and Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3.

In total the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 has been reviewed 40 times and drivers have given the tyre 83% overall.

The Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 has been reviewed 48 times and drivers have given the tyre 84% overall.

This means drivers in real world driving, people prefer the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3.

Best Review for the Dunlop Winter Sport 5
Bei 81% 225/40 R18 W auf a combination of roads für 24,000 spirited Kilometer
I bought these as the successor to Dunlop WinterSport4 which I had been very happy with before, especially with wet grip and good feel in wet/poor conditions. Living and driving around Scotland I use the WinterSport as an all-season tyre. The 5's have improved in all areas and especially in dry handling which was a slight letdown with the 4's. Performance now tails off above around 12 degrees ambient, compared to around 7 degrees with the 4's. At high speed in summer the tyres can get a little 'floaty', but for me this is an acceptable compromise to the excellent grip in cold wet... Continue reading this review using the link below
Helpful 133 - Reifen beurteilt in September 24, 2016
View all Dunlop Winter Sport 5 driver reviews >>
Best Review for the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
225/45 R17 auf für 0 Kilometer
If you drive soft winter tires in the summer, and then complain that they wear quickly...
Helpful 1160 - Reifen beurteilt in July 12, 2016
View all Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 driver reviews >>

Conclusion

In conclusion the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 was better in dry handling [km/h], wet handling [km/h], straight aqua, snow braking, snow traction, snow handling [km/h], wear, value and rolling resistance tests, whereas the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 was better in dry braking, dry handling [s], wet braking, wet handling [s], snow handling [s], subj. comfort, noise and price tests.

Which tyre is best for you depends a lot on your driving style and situation, plus what you want from the tyre, but comparing all the data in the tyre reviews database, on balance the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 seems to be the best tyre overall.

Overall Winner: Dunlop Winter Sport 5

 Overall Winner: Dunlop Winter Sport 5

Footnote

This page has been developed using tyre industry testing best practices. This means we are only comparing tests which have had both tyres in the same test.

Why is this important? Tyre testing is heavily affected by things like surface grip levels and surface temperature, which means you can only compare values from the same day. During a tyre test external condition changes are calculated into the overall results, but it is not possible to calculate this between tyre tests performed on different days or at different locations.

As a result you will see other tests on Tyre Reviews which feature both the Dunlop Winter Sport 5 and Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3, but as they weren't conducted on the same day, the results are not comparable.

Lots of other websites do this sort of tyre comparison, Tyre Reviews doesn't.