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Martin gets his 2007 Freelander 2 TD4 some all seasons rubber : credit: © Martin Domoney
Martin ponders the importance of the right rubber

Compared with many other countries, the UK has quite a different culture when it comes to tyres. Generally speaking, most motorists will buy a car with a set of tyres on it and leave them on until they’re worn out, replacing them when needed, without a second thought given to their chosen tyre’s performance at different times of the year.

Granted, our winters are nowhere near as harsh as those elsewhere, but shoeing your Land Rover with all-season tyres rather than the more common ‘summer’ type means you’re upping its handling and braking abilities in rain, slush, ice and snow. And let’s be honest, we certainly get plenty of the former in the UK.

Now, I’ll admit to being as flippant as most of the rest of the nation when it comes to choosing tyres based on the seasons rather than how good they look or how well they perform off-road, but this year I decided to give it a try. The road-biased all-seasons I went for are Davanti’s new Alltoura H/T, its new four-season tyre which promises great all-weather traction, increased adverse weather safety and good fuel efficiency. Keen to check out these promises, I headed to Specialist Tyres in Letchworth, armed with a set of secondhand 18-inch Evoque wheels off Marketplace to have the Davantis fitted to.

Faz is very respectful of the Freelander's alloys and locking nuts...

...and it was in good company

Incidentally, Specialist Tyres is unlike any other tyre place I’ve ever been to – the friendly owner, Faz, keeps the shop immaculate and clearly takes huge pride in what he does. Flicking through his Instagram page (@specialisttyresuk) you’ll see that his loyal clientele includes some of the most exotic and expensive supercars in the country, so I knew my ageing Freelander would be in good hands.

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New Davantis slip on easily to Martin’s second-hand Evoque 18-inch alloys

He soon had the old tyres removed from the Evoque wheels, and the new ones popped on with no drama. If you’ve got expensive alloys or special wheels that need extra care when tyres are changed, Faz is your man. He used kit I’ve never even seen before when fitting the Alltouras to ensure the paint on my wheels went unmarked, and blasted the beads on with a ‘cheater’ to minimise contact and eliminate the need to bounce the wheel around to get the tyre to seal. Once changed, he carefully jacked up the Freelander, avoiding using the impact gun on the locking wheel nuts, swapped the wheels and torqued them up.

Specialist Tyres keeps lots of quality brands in stock

Time will tell how the Alltoura H/Ts fare over the colder months, but first impressions are good; they’re quiet, smooth and took next to no weight to balance up. I’ll certainly be refitting the chunkier BF Goodrich Trail Terrains for greenlaning and any other off-tarmac exploits (the Alltoura is purely a road tyre) but I’m excited to try them out. It’ll be interesting to see if economy is improved, too. Keep an eye out for a full review once they’ve travelled some proper miles, and consider whether it’s worth swapping your own summer tyres for some all-season ones for the best year-round grip.

 

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