Barum Polaris 5 vs Matador MP93

It’s a clash of the titans, as Barum Polaris 5, lauded for its exceptional snow handling, battles Matador MP93, commended for its excellent grip on ice. Let’s see which out of them, comes on top, starting with the snow performance of both tires.

    Barum Polaris 5
    Barum Polaris 5

Snow Performance

In the realm of snowy conditions, both tires exhibit impressive capabilities. However, it is the Matador MP93 that stands out as the more proficient option, particularly on fluffy snow. And a closer examination of its tread design sheds light on the reason behind its superiority.

The Matador MP93, basically, showcases a larger number of tread voids, predominantly in the form of in-groove notches. These intricacies enable the tire to adeptly trap snow particles, thereby improving snow-to-snow contact.

And as snow has a stronger affinity for itself than it does for rubber, this characteristic results in enhanced gripping efficiency.

Furthermore, the sweeping lugs of the Matador MP93 excel in clearing away heavy snow. As the tire rolls, it casts the snow backward, enabling forward momentum. This unique attribute contributes to slightly superior acceleration times.

On the other hand, the Barum Polaris 5 (review) displays somewhat diminished efficiency in braking and handling under snowy conditions. Its design is relatively enclosed, featuring a continuous central rib and narrower in-groove notches. Although it possesses a directional tread pattern, it lacks the comprehensive swooping arms of its counterpart, limiting its effectiveness in traversing through snow.

Verdict: In the battle for snow performance, the Matador MP93 emerges as the winner.

Ice Performance

The dynamics shift when confronting icy terrains, as the Barum Polaris 5 showcases its prowess by offering significantly shorter braking distances and faster acceleration times compared to the Matador MP93.

This superiority can be attributed to the numerous intricate biters spread across the tire’s tread. The central area of the Barum Polaris 5 features slanted incisions of varying width. When combined with snow vices, this design ensures superior longitudinal ice traction.

The Barum Polaris 5 further enhances its performance with multi-angled sipes that provide extra gripping on almost all types of icy surfaces.

On the other hand, the Matador MP93, with its wider tread voids, does not grip the ice as efficiently as its counterpart. Moreover, it lacks notches and multi-angled siping on both the central and shoulder lugs, leading to longer average braking distances and handling times. However, subjectively, its steering feedback is nearly on par with the Barum Polaris 5.

In terms of ice performance, the Barum Polaris 5 emerges as the winner.

Dry Traction

Dry grip efficiency largely depends on the tire’s contact with the ground, with directional grip and lateral traction playing pivotal roles.

In this aspect, the Barum Polaris 5 holds the upper hand. Its continuous central rib ensures superior and consistent surface contact as it moves in a straight line, particularly on highways. This, in turn, translates into shorter braking distances and quicker acceleration times in tests.

The continuous running rib of the Barum Polaris 5, combined with its surrounding closed-up lugs, significantly contributes to this aspect. Additionally, its lighter weight plays a considerable role in improving handling.

On the other hand, the heavier structure of the Matador MP93 offers limited performance. The added weight induces greater lug movement when the tire corners, reducing steering feedback and resulting in longer handling times compared to its counterpart.

In terms of dry traction, the Barum Polaris 5 emerges as the winner.

Wet Traction

Wet traction hinges primarily on two factors: tread design and rubber composition, which determine grip and hydroplaning resistance, respectively.

In terms of grip, despite both tires boasting ample siping and soft tread rubbers, the Barum Polaris 5 takes the lead. This advantage stems from the tire’s extensive collection of straight and interlocking sipes, which offer superior water absorption capabilities, leading to enhanced wet grip.

On the other hand, the Matador MP93 features less aggressive sipes which do not provide as much overall traction. Consequently, it exhibits longer wet braking distances and handling times on average.

However, when it comes to hydroplaning resistance, the Matador MP93 is taking the lead. Its wider grooves and sweeping arms allow for higher float speeds in both curved and straight aqua tests. The interconnected network of grooves efficiently disperses water in all directions, offering better resistance to hydroplaning overall.

In terms of wet traction, both tires emerge as winners, each excelling in different aspects.

Comfort Levels

Comfort in a tire primarily depends on factors such as road noise and vibration absorption. These aspects are heavily influenced by the tire’s construction, materials used, tread pattern, and overall sidewall design, which primarily dictate cornering smoothness.

When it comes to road noise and vibration absorption, the Barum Polaris 5 exhibits superior performance in terms of quietness. This advantage can be attributed to the tire’s less voided tread, as noise typically arises from air particles colliding with the tread walls.

However, the Matador MP93 compensates for its noisier operation by providing better vibration absorption, resulting in a smoother ride over bumps and ultimately enhancing overall comfort. Considering all these factors, both tires offer comparable comfort levels.

In terms of comfort levels, both tires emerge as winners.

Tread Life

The longevity of tire tread is significantly influenced by rolling resistance, particularly in the case of these two tire models. In this regard, the Barum Polaris 5 takes the lead.

Due to its lighter weight, the Barum Polaris 5 exerts less pressure on the tread blocks as they interact with the road. This reduces friction and slows down the rate of rubber degradation, ultimately prolonging the tire’s lifespan.

Conversely, the Matador MP93, with its heavier weight, concentrates more load on a smaller rubber surface due to its larger tread voids. As a result, each lug bears more weight, accelerating tread wear and reducing the tire’s overall lifespan.

It is worth noting, however, that the performance gap between the two tires is relatively small, which likely explains why neither model comes with any tread life warranties.

In terms of tread life, the Barum Polaris 5 emerges as the winner.

Fuel Economy

Fuel consumption in tires is closely linked to their road surface adhesion and overall structural weight. These are areas where the Matador MP93 could use some improvement.

The Matador MP93’s significant weight increases its rolling resistance, while its wider tread voids lead to increased friction as the tire rolls over asphalt surfaces.

Conversely, the Barum Polaris 5, being lighter, exerts less pressure on the surface, thereby reducing overall friction. Furthermore, its tread features longitudinally aligned ribs that streamline the tire’s movement when rolling straight, minimizing obstacles and conserving energy. This, in turn, improves fuel economy.

In terms of fuel economy, the Barum Polaris 5 emerges as the winner.

In Conclusion

When it comes to snow performance, the Matador MP93 shines with its unique tread design and higher number of tread voids, delivering superior snow gripping and clearing capabilities.

However, in icy conditions, the Barum Polaris 5 outperforms its counterpart, thanks to its intricate biters, slanted incisions, and multi-angled sipes that provide enhanced traction and handling.

On dry asphalt, the Barum Polaris 5 leads in terms of grip, although the Matador MP93 shows superior resistance to hydroplaning.

Considering overall performance, the Barum Polaris 5 appears to be the more desirable choice. It offers slightly better fuel efficiency and tread life, along with quieter operation, providing a balanced blend of performance, comfort, and durability.