General Altimax Arctic Review

Messages
527
Location
Columbia, MD
I have had these tires on for about 2 months now and I can say I have been very pleased with their performance. I have 185/60r14s on 14x5.5 steel wheels on the front and 195/60r15s on 15x6.5 steel wheels on the back of my 1993 Toyota MR2. FWIW I am also running a 3mm spacer in the back. My car has no driver aids nor does it have anti-lock brakes. I bought the tires new from TireRack (live 3 miles from their distribution center) and got the wheels from the local junkyard for $7.50 a piece on 50% off day. Initially I assumed they would be very squishy and miserable in the dry. Much to my surprise, they are not bad at all. Sure they are no summer tire, but they don't make me feel as though I am going to roll the car over in every turn. Not bad at all in my opinion. Cut to the first snow. We got about 6" on a Saturday and I figured why not go see what the car can do. After all, this is my daily driver and I need to know what I'm getting into. I was very impressed. I had no trouble driving through 6" of fresh snow. At points the snow would be 8-9" deep and would come up over the front of the car as the low nose plowed through. I did several stops and starts with much success. Tire spin was very predictable on starts and much more minimal that I would have expected and braking was MUCH better than I thought it would be. Several times on straight roads with no traffic I applied the brake linearly until the fronts locked up when I would back off until I was right at the threshold for braking/slipping. I had MUCH more braking power than I expected and was able to easily stop in 6-8" of snow almost as if I was on dry pavement. I drove up an down inclines of varying grade and never once felt out of control. The limits of the tires/car were very easy to find. The rear end was easy to swing out and hold there with some liberal right foot and counter steer but it was very predictable and never once did I spin the car out. I have also, more recently, driven the car on slushy/icy roads and the tires performed admirably. They clear slush very well and provide some ice grip where cars around me had none at all. There is a fairly steep hill leaving my office I have to navigate every evening. 10 days or so ago, there was wet fresh snow (about 2" or so) on the ground and more falling as I left the office. I planned for the worst and just assumed I would get stopped on the hill at the light. Well of course that was my luck. Stopped 4 cars from the top on the steepest portion of the incline. When the light changed all the cars in front of me (with the exception of the first guy in line who was on the crest already) were unable to move forward. The guy in second car in line stuck his arm out the window and began to wave people by as he knew he wasn't moving. The next lane over was empty (we were all waiting in the right turn lane an no one goes straight at this light because it just goes to a gas station. This makes the next lane over always empty.) After I saw a Subaru Outback and a Dodge RAM 1500 successfully turn into the other lane and spin their way up the hill I decided I would try. With no one coming I stuck it in gear (manual transmission) and, honestly, a bit to mu surprise started to move forward. I swung it into the next lane and continued up the hill with no wheel spin. I stopped at the top next to the guy waving and made the right turn. This sold me, not only on winter tires in general, but on the Generals. An excellent tire for the cost and have allowed me to drive my car in situations I would have never though possible.
 
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Messages
2,927
Location
utah
Winter tires are so nice to have for the cold weather. On my 15" wheels, a michelin X-ice 3 (compared to an all season) just dominates in dry grip in the cold. Sure it does great in the snow too, as designed, but having the winter compound for the dry cold is really good too. I've had the generals before and they did just as good traction wise as the michelin just not as quite or smooth. Not that there was much difference honestly.
 
Messages
203
Location
usa
Lovely car. The engine placement helps with traction too. It is amazing the difference proper winter tires do when the white stuff fly
 

TinyVoices

Thread starter
Messages
527
Location
Columbia, MD
Originally Posted By: panther427
Lovely car. The engine placement helps with traction too. It is amazing the difference proper winter tires do when the white stuff fly
I actually got caught on my summers in the first little dusting we had and I feel 100x better in 8" on the winters than I did in 1/4" with the summers. It's night and day. The car was barely derivable on the summers. And thanks! I love the car.
 
Messages
704
Location
Canada
Originally Posted By: dareo
Winter tires are so nice to have for the cold weather. On my 15" wheels, a michelin X-ice 3 (compared to an all season) just dominates in dry grip in the cold. Sure it does great in the snow too, as designed, but having the winter compound for the dry cold is really good too. I've had the generals before and they did just as good traction wise as the michelin just not as quite or smooth. Not that there was much difference honestly.
Wish my experience were the same as yours. My General Altimax Arctics were replaced with Michelin X-Ice Xi3 after the Generals were worn out. I find myself cursing the Michelins almost every time I go for a drive in the winter, wishing I still had the Generals. I find the ice traction to be the worst out of all winter tires I've used over the years. The Altimax Arctic is definitely a great tire at any price, and the bonus is, it is among the lower priced options out there.
 

TinyVoices

Thread starter
Messages
527
Location
Columbia, MD
Originally Posted By: SatinSilver
Hello, Any pictures of the girlfriend's Matrix?
None on the work pc, sorry! It's just a stock 06 awd xr in silver.
 
Messages
9,559
Location
Boston, MA
A family member has a V6 Camry with Finnish snow tires on the back and new General snows on the front. He's very pleased with the performance of the Generals on the drive wheels. No doubt some Conti DNA there.
 
Messages
3,610
Location
Parts Unknown
Originally Posted By: HerrStig
A family member has a V6 Camry with Finnish snow tires on the back and new General snows on the front. He's very pleased with the performance of the Generals on the drive wheels. No doubt some Conti DNA there.
It's a Gislaved Nord Frost 3 tire.
 
Messages
100
Location
Redmond, WA
The Altimax Arctics are our snow tire of choice, and it's the only snow tire that I now choose for our vehicles. After using many different types of studless snow tires, none of them match the deep snow performance that the Altimax Arctic can provide, nor the durability when driven on dry or wet pavement. The only place where studless snow tires are noticeably better is on glare or black ice, but these tires are better almost everywhere else. We run them without studs. The last time we had a significant snow, I took our CUV out and ran a 6 second 0-40 in fresh, unplowed snow. The traction on snow is so good it doesn't require much more compensation than we would when driving in the wet.
 
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Messages
572
Location
Ohio
Watch out for the big ice chunks that build up behind people's tires and eventually fall off. They can destroy the plastic underbody panels.
 
Messages
873
Location
Fredericton
Winter tires are simply required equipment when you have those conditions. I used up a set of Altimax tires on the Grand Caravan that we off-loaded for a CX-9 this year. Loved those tires & the value that they represent. A set of Goodyear UltraGrip Ice tires on rims were included on the deal & they work well. Using a set of those also on a Cr. Vic at work & they are scary good. John.
 
Messages
207
Location
USA
I had the Arctics years ago... maybe 7 years or so. It was just before or about the time people started to learn about them. They were a good tire for me and for the price, but I was never blown away, maybe even disappointed a time or two. I've never purchased them again, but they were fine and performance matched their price. The person above who mentioned the Goodyear Ice, I had the WRT, those are amazing snow tires for the type of winter roads I drive on. Best I've had, but I haven't been able to find the right deal for the size I need for my current vehicles. If price wasn't a factor, I'd buy those every time. Good review.
 
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