Altimax Arctic 12?

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Oct 30, 2002
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This tire was introduced a few years back now. Just trying to see if any BITOGers have accumulated some miles on them and what their general thoughts are. It seems be ranked #1 on TireRack in Studdable Winter/Snow category, alas, I don't intend to stud it. This is for my '02 530i. The size I run during winter is 215/60/16. I have the original Arctic on it now, and have been happy with it, but at 10 years old, it's time for new tires. I'm just East of Lake Michigan, so we do get plenty of snow here, and occasionally some ice, too. Are there any other winter tires available in this size that I should be seriously considering instead of Arctic 12? Back in the day, Arctic was the budget option. Nowadays, it's a wash.
 
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Aug 13, 2017
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Without studs I would and have gone for the Michelin X-ice or Blizzaks . I use the Altimax's but I stud them. Have 3 mounted sets on winter wheels in my garage right now.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2017
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MN
Have them on my E34. I'd say that they're better in deep snow than the Michelin X-Ice Xi3s I have on my Kia. They also wear out a good bit faster. Mostly low-speed in town driving- the E34 rarely sees the interstate these days. Notably worse dry handling/ braking than the Michelins as well. That said, I like them a good bit. Edit: I do run them without studs.
 
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Joined
Nov 14, 2013
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Chicago, IL
I got a set of size 205/60R16 in October 2017 for our Nissan LEAF, so I have a couple winters of experience, although my wife is the primary driver, so I can't say too much. In addition, we really only take it around town, so I can't comment as much on longer highway drives. Also as background, my only other experience with winter tires is with Firestone Winterforce tires, so nothing high end. The LEAF averages about 7,000mi per year, so I haven't bothered tracking the tread wear, they'll likely age out before they wear out. With all that said I'd buy them again. Never got stuck, even in the taller snow (I can only remember maybe two significant snow accumulation events in the last couple years here in Chicago). The tires are much quieter than the Winterforce (not a difficult accomplishment). We're still using the OEM 17" Michelins during the warmer season and I feel that the Altimax Arctic 12s are noticeably smoother over bumps, but that's probably more attributable to the taller side wall. I wish I could offer more insight into the tire's performance. I purchased these tires for the value. Living in the city, we could really get by without winter tires (and have for many years), so I just wanted winter tires for the extra safety factor, and because of that, I didn't want to pay a premium for high end tires. I bought them under the assumption that they'd at least be as good as the Altimax Arctic that it replaced. They're more than good enough for our use.
 
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Aug 5, 2017
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I have used General arctic for several years now on both Sonata and Forester. I run them from Nov to early april. Not studded, but they work well in snow and better than any all season tire. II see many many vehicles with all seasons struggle in snow and I have never had that issue with dedicated winter tires.
 
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May 27, 2008
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Parts Unknown
Yes, the Arctic 12 was introduced under the General label a few years ago, but it's technology an old tire, as General Altimax Arctic passenger car tires are hand-me-down from Gislaved (Nordfrost 100). But using old tire designs, Continental (which owns General and Gislaved) can keep the pricepoint down. If you're willing to live with a squirmy tire when the road is dry, the Arctic 12 is fine.
 

Quattro Pete

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Oct 30, 2002
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Originally Posted by UG_Passat
But using old tire designs, Continental (which owns General and Gislaved) can keep the pricepoint down.
I think Continental became greedy, because Arctic 12 is not budget priced like the old Arctic was. In the size I'm looking for, it's within $10-15 of Goodyear, Bridgestone, and Michelin.
Quote
If you're willing to live with a squirmy tire when the road is dry, the Arctic 12 is fine.
Yup. This was never an issue for me with the original Arctic, and I'm assuming Arctic 12 is no worse in this area.
 

Pew

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Mar 12, 2018
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I liked my previous set of Goodyear Ultragrip Ice WRT more than the General Arctics, but I had the old version. I'm not sure if I'd shoot for General tires anymore though, the Arctics and RT43 feel sub par despite everybody raving about them.
 
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Mar 14, 2006
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Pennsylbammyvania
I have these in 195/60-15 on my winter/'rally working' setup wheels (Method MR501VTs in 15x7). Ironically, I have not had them on actual snow/ice/slush yet, since I have been trying to save them for the summer gravel stage driving use when working those ARA rallies. But I can say that they are quite impressive for winter tires on dry pavement, when pumped up to high pressures, and not a tenth as 'squirmy'/scrubbing as I expected them to be on warm/dry tarmac. (On the paved 'transit' back roads out to the gravel stages, I was keeping right up with all of the summer tire/UHP all season equipped Scooby WRXes/STIs, and these are about the closest one can get in a winter street tire to the performance of an actual gravel rally tire <- which are totally useless on pavement, and wear lightning-quick off of gravel.) I may just leave them on this go 'round after the ESPR event two weeks from now, to see how they perform in the cold dry, and maybe any frozen precipitation, IF we get any this year. wink
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
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Alberta, Canada
I had several winters with the original Altimax Artic. I have the AA 12's with the Si and they are even better and...they are <span style="font-weight: bold">still</span> budget priced compared to whatever else is out there.
 
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