ditched X-ice Xi2's for Altimax Arctics

Messages
449
Location
Minneapolis MN
What a tremendous difference the past week has been. I bought the Michelins 2 years ago against my better judgement. I had the original Michelin Arctic Alpin a long time ago and that was a horrible winter tire. That soured me on Michelin for a long time. I should have bought the General 2 years ago, but decided to give Michelin another chance. It was a huge mistake. When my wife even asks me when I'm going to put the winter tires on while driving on them all along, you know they are not effective. We had snow on Monday and yesterday during the day and overnight. The Generals are so much better in the snow and slush. They truly feel like a winter tire should feel, and I've been driving on winter tires for 38 years. The advantage the Michelin may have on ice is so much smaller than the General has on slush and snow that it's a no-brainer. Maybe in areas that do not get a lot of snow the Michelin may be better, but in my area, the studded design (run without studs) works better. I sold them with 8/32" tread left in the center to a guy with a Charger. I told him that they would be better than his current all-season tires.
 
Messages
13,439
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
This is good to hear! We have the AltiMAX Arctic for the Mazda 3 in the signature below. Last year in Central PA, the General's did well but, there was more ice than snow in Happy Valley! Still a little slippage when stopped & starting off on hilly slopes but, not as bad as the H727's had gotten.
 
Messages
3,858
Location
Cape Cod, MA
Your confirmation is good to hear, lyle. I bought Altimax Arctics for the ex's Mercury Marauder (not the one in my sig) a few years ago...I think this will be the third season on them coming up. She says she feels safe and the car has never gotten stuck, so it must have been a good choice for the use. (Plus, she's somewhat of a motor-head and actually KNOWS how to drive... drive ) My other choice would have been Blizzaks, but the local tire store I deal with doesn't sell Bridgestone.
 
Messages
3,315
Location
West Michigan
I ran Michelin Xice 2 in 225/60r17 on my 2012 Mustang when I had it. They were FANTASTIC. Not the best for deep stuff, OK but not designed for that. Otherwise they were great in slush, ice, rain, cold, packed snow. And like I said totally OK in deep snow just not their best attribute. What size tire on what vehicle were you using?
 
Messages
5,445
Location
MTL, CANADA
Not many people share your review but again each person wont necessarily like the x ice's. I might go for generals next year based on price alone.
 
Messages
40,964
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: Rolla07
I might go for generals next year based on price alone.
Altimax Arctic is a great winter tire at any price, IMO. The low price is just an added bonus.
 
Messages
16,120
Location
NE,Ohio
I'd agree with reservations. The xice xi2 is more a bad weather tire thats great in winter but handles and feels like a regular touring tire. Altimax arctics are great severe weather tires but you do have some trade off in the dry and wet.. and need to be studded to have good ice grip. my 2cents on the reason your wife wonders when you put on the winter tire is because the xice xi2 handles and feels like a regular tire in the dry/wet no doubt the altimax arctics are better in very severe conditions.
 
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Messages
74
Location
Chicago, Illinois
I wonder how the newer Xi3s compare to the Artics... I'm having a hard time deciding between the two. The studdable feature of the Artics are no benefit to me as studs aren't legal in the Chicago area.
 
Messages
13,439
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
My understanding is that the X-ice Xi3 are among the best highway snow tires when less deep snow is encountered. Where as the Blizzak and Arctic are more for the deep snow & ice.
 
Messages
705
Location
Canada
I had General Altimax Arctics on my van, and I quite liked them. Non-studded, and there was some slippage on ice towards the last half of their lives. My wife didn't like them at all, though. Too much slippage for her. I think it boils down to the lack of driver control over an automatic versus a manual, the latter being my wife's preference. I let up on the accelerator of the van when I begin to feel slippage, and she doesn't seem to as much. She told me the tires she thought were way better were the Canadian Tire branded Motomaster Nordic IceTrac, which were made by Michelin, and were a copy of their European Kleber KrisAlp. She also liked the Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50 on our car, which by that point was no longer in our fleet. The General's were done in early last winter, after irreparable damage happened to one. They were all near the 5/32" point I would replace winter tires, and that would have been their last winter anyway, and seeing I couldn't find a used Altimax Arctic to match, we sprung for replacements. We also got a new car this January, and it ended up with the same tire we got for the van. My in-laws had the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 on their van, and I drove it a couple of times and had to admit they felt better on ice. This lead us to the Xi3, which replaced the Xi2. While I wouldn't call them horrible, I am not overly impressed with their winter performance, especially this season with the ice and snow having just hit us. Perhaps I should lower the PSI slightly (I tend to run 2 PSI over placard), but that small a PSI change has never had an impact on any previous winter tire I owned. The van, running 215/65R16 102T, is slightly better, but I still find the tires losing ice traction sooner than I think they should, nothing that can't be very quickly corrected by a throttle adjustment, but still happening when my experience says it shouldn't. Worse is the car, equipped with a manual I might add, and running 215/60R16 99H. Maybe it is an overly aggressive traction control system (the van does not have TC). Maybe the H compound is harder than the T compound. I don't know, but I am underwhelmed. I could have bought a "lesser" tire, enjoyed the same performance, and pocketed the savings. My wife on the other hand seems quite happy with them. We switch off both vehicles regularly, so it's not a vehicle difference that is causing our differences in perception. While it will be years down the road, I think the next sets of winter tires I get will be studded.
 
Messages
705
Location
Canada
I would say so, as I think the Arctic's ice traction is the same (versus the Xi3 now on the van) or better (versus the Xi3 on the car), and for a far lower price than the Michelins. I think with studs, the Altimax Arctics would likely be even better.
 
Messages
16,120
Location
NE,Ohio
The conti EWC I felt were very good in snow. Studded tire good. They did give up a (very)small amount of ice traction vs the michelin and ws-70.
 
Messages
90
Location
Colorado
For what it's worth, the General Altimax Artics were originally designed and produced by Gishalved, a Scandinavian tire company acquired by Continental Rubber (General's parent company). Most Altimax Artics are still made in Germany by Continental but some sizes are now being made in the USA. Those Scandinavians know a thing or two about making good snow tires. Because their tires are often used for 8 to 9 months of the year they build some tread-wear into them without compromising too much traction (the same holds true for Nokian/Hakka snow tires albeit they cost quite a bit more). I have had three sets of Artics on three different cars. The oldest set was used for five winters on a VW GTI and have recently gone on my sons new GTI for this year. There's over 50% tread left on those tires. A nice feature is that the fine sipping goes the full depth of the tread blocks and surprisingly they are not all that squishy as a result. On other snow tires I have had, the sipping only went about half way through making the tires worthless at 50% tread depth.
 
Messages
40,964
Location
Great Lakes
After 5 years, my Arctics still have 10/32" of tread left. Granted, I don't drive a ton. Age-related rubber hardening has made their winter performance somewhat worse, so I'll probably replace them long before the tread is worn.
 
Messages
3,877
Location
Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: GaryMX5
For what it's worth, the General Altimax Artics were originally designed and produced by Gishalved, a Scandinavian tire company acquired by Continental Rubber (General's parent company). Most Altimax Artics are still made in Germany by Continental but some sizes are now being made in the USA. Those Scandinavians know a thing or two about making good snow tires. Because their tires are often used for 8 to 9 months of the year they build some tread-wear into them without compromising too much traction (the same holds true for Nokian/Hakka snow tires albeit they cost quite a bit more). I have had three sets of Artics on three different cars.... A nice feature is that the fine sipping goes the full depth of the tread blocks and surprisingly they are not all that squishy as a result. On other snow tires I have had, the sipping only went about half way through making the tires worthless at 50% tread depth.
This was my main motivation for getting them for my DD. Cost was a side benefit. It is still the best winter tire value for the $$. No winter tire can excel in all situations, where the tire excels in one situation for eg: deeper snow/ice/slush/dry it is at the cost of another. You have got to pick the condition you mostly encounter and run with it.
 
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mva

Messages
765
Location
BC, Canada
Interesting thread. I recently bought a set of Xi3's for my Civic and a brand new set of studded Altimax Arctics for my girlfriend's BMW 320i. I have over 25 years of experience driving in severe winter conditions and my current home has a steep hill leading out to the highway. Granted that they are different cars both tires are amazing: Xi3 on the Civic has very good traction in snow and ice and is a very quiet tire. Breakaway is predictable and I feel confident driving the car on icy roads. The tire even worked well going through deep snow. The Altimax with studs seems to have slightly better traction than the Xi3. The BMW with rear wheel drive is not great in deep snow but these tires are excellent on snow and ice. Beware that this is a very noisy tire. Overall I prefer the Xi3 because of the very good winter performance combined with a quiet ride.
 
Messages
4,257
Location
Central Maryland
Originally Posted By: mva
The Altimax with studs seems to have slightly better traction than the Xi3. The BMW with rear wheel drive is not great in deep snow but these tires are excellent on snow and ice. Beware that this is a very noisy tire.
Just a counterpoint, I have the Altimax Arctics without studs, and they are not very noisy. I think the issue is the studs, not the tire.
 
Messages
40,964
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: HangFire
Just a counterpoint, I have the Altimax Arctics without studs, and they are not very noisy. I think the issue is the studs, not the tire.
Agreed. I have them non-studded on my BMW, and they're not noisy at all. Great tires and they work well in snow even without studs.
 
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