Studded Hankook v. Conti Extreme Winter Contact

Messages
498
Location
Vermont
Vehicle is a Mercury Grand Marquis, secondary family car, usually not driven in snow unless other cars are unavailable or out of service (rare). Has ABS but no TC. Terrain is north central Vermont, one of the snowiest towns in New England from what I am told (I am pretty new here). Lots of hills and steep curves. I had decent luck with studless General Altimax Arctics the past two years. The car went almost anywhere I asked it to, even in significant snow. My fiancee and I have decided that since this is a secondary car that is rarely driven in snow, we are not going to put too much money into a new set of snow tires, however we want something that will give the car competent handling. Shopping for new tires now, based on discounts a friend can get me through his towing business, and have narrowed my choices down to the Hankook iPike (I would have them studded) and Continental Extreme Winter Contact. I have never owned a Hankook tire, and the reviews seem to indicate that the tire is subpar without studs. There are not many reviews of the tires with studs. My only Continental experience was just plain OK. I ran a set (forgot the model name) as summer tires on a 99 Monte Carlo. They seemed especially prone to hydroplaning and I am guessing the rubber compound was super hard, as the tires had almost no bite in any amount of loose sand on the pavement. But the treadwear was incredible, and cornering like a dream. The EWC seems to be a great tire for my application, even without studs. Any input or opinions would be appreciated. Right now leaning toward the Continentals, as they seem to be a better quality tire overall.
 
Messages
156
Location
NE Ohio
If you have a nice concrete or asphalt driveway and run studded snows, be prepared for plenty of "scratches" if you are not super careful. A slight glaze of ice, no TC and wheel spin will leave permanent marks. I now run Blizzacs or Michelins. But if cost is a factor and you feel you need studs, they worked great for me. I ran off-brand studded tires from local dealer, so can't help on the Hankook v Conti issue. Also studded tires tend to be noisy and increase stopping distances on dry pavement.
 
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Messages
4,912
Location
Lakeville, MN
I run the Hankook Winter I-Pike W409 on my '97 Explorer. I do NOT have them studded - they are illegal in Minnesota (and many other upper midwest states). While I do not have any other snow tires to compare to, they make the Explorer drive like its on rails in snow, slush, and handle predictably on ice. They give a slight rumble at certain speeds, but that isn't a shock given the tread pattern. Wear has been excellent to date - I've run 1 1/2 winter seasons on them, about 7,000 miles or so, and the wear is barely noticable at this point. For the price (and it was low for these when I bought them), they are a bargain.
 
Messages
778
Location
Southeast Michigan
You mentioned that the issue is going to be a lot of snow - studded tires are in their element on ice, and they're not going to have any advantage in snow. Also, like Gopher mentioned, studs aren't legal everywhere. If you're given to drive anywhere that frowns on studs during the winter, I'd definitely rule out the Hankooks.
 
Messages
7,256
Location
USA
Studded tires don't help much in snow but ice. Remember studs wear down on those black pavement days, increase stopping distances on dry pavement and make noise. The major problem is as the studs wear you will end up with a mediocre winter tire underneath. It likely the studded winter will do somewhat better than studless version on ice. However is that the condition you hit the most? I would not apply old experience of any brand tire to another model. They all differ even within a brand.
 
Messages
4,021
Location
New England
Where in Vermont? Regardless, go for studless snows over studded "all-season" tires. It will be an interesting winter for you with the Grand Marquis, I can tell you that from experience in Vermont.
 
Messages
704
Location
Canada
Unless the pricing has changed for this season, the General Altimax Arctics you've used on other vehicles are phenomenally priced, especially considering their performance rivals that of winter tires considered to be in the top. Don't know much about the Hankooks. I've heard the Contis are a good choice, but haven't used them myself. Quite a few on this forum like them, though.
 
Messages
16,002
Location
NE,Ohio
I've had the contis EWC they were the best snow tires I've ever used. I would skip the hankooks.. there was a test that showed the altimax arctics while looking similar to the hankooks are much better also. One thing to note some size availablity issues with the conti EWC this year.. for instance my 2 sizes are estimated at 12/9 and 12/16/2011 availability. I ended up paying 60$ extra and buying my GF michelin xice xi2's I have yet to see a review of anyone liking the hankooks "better" than other winter tires.. its pretty much people comparing them too all seasons.
 
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Messages
297
Location
Michigan
I can't comment on the Hankook tires but I have the Continental Extreme Winter Contact and they were great last winter. I could get through anything I needed to with my open-diff rear wheel drive 3-series in lake effect snow. They were also very smooth and quiet for being snow tires. I would highly recommend them.
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
I'm very satisfied with the Hankook iPike studded tires, but as others have said, I'd only get them if ice was your main concern--or the highly polished snow at intersections, etc. My wife is not a confident snow driver, so I put these studded tires on her FWD Volvo. We live near the water, so much wet snow and slippery packed snow at or near 32°. One day she was driving on a highway and noticed a 4wd truck about to pass her. The next thing she saw in her mirror was this truck rolling over into the median. We don't know what tires he had (probably big Desert Duelers, etc.), but she was driving straight and confident on the iPikes.
 
Messages
321
Location
IL, USA
The Continental Extreme Winter Contact tires were in a four tire test by Tire Rack and were rated Number 1. You might want to check it out. I was able to ride with a friend of mine in last winters blizzard here in Chi Town who has them on his ES350 and they performed very, very well. Consumers Reports ramked the pricey Michelin X Ice XI2 number one with the General Altimax Artic 2nd. ( BIG diffference in price ) The Continental Extreme Winter Contact was ranked 6th, but performed better than the above in dry braking and handling than the Michelin X-Ice acccording to Consumers testing. For the money, both the Continental Extreme Winter Contact and the General Altimax Arctic look like pretty good values.
 
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