Viking7, Hakka R3, Pilot Alpin PA5 on AWD BMW?

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Jan 15, 2006
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Canada
Last year, we picked up our beater Chevy Impala, and one of the first things I did with it was get a set of Continental VikingContact7. Yes, this is a FWD vehicle, versus the RWD BMW that you have, but I suspect it would work similarly.

These tires turned the Impala into a force to be reckoned with on ice and deep snow (so long as it wasn't so deep that the undercarriage is resting on packed snow), very difficult to get it to lose traction.

This has been my experience with the Continental group's winter tires (many now replaced my newer models):

  • Continental ExtremeWinterContact - on my (now gone) Sienna, just as good as the new VikingContact7
  • General Altimax Arctic - on my Sienna, again, very close behind the ExtremeWinterContact
  • General Altimax Arctic 12 - on several service loaners, even closer to the ExtremeWinterContact / VikingContact 7 level than the original Altimax Arctic
  • Various Gislaved Nordfrost Models - again on service loaners with performance as good as the Altimax Arctic 12 or better
Based on these tires, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of the Continental group's winter tires.

I can't say the same about Michelin, though - extremely underwhelming.
 
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Last year, we picked up our beater Chevy Impala, and one of the first things I did with it was get a set of Continental VikingContact7. Yes, this is a FWD vehicle, versus the RWD BMW that you have, but I suspect it would work similarly.

These tires turned the Impala into a force to be reckoned with on ice and deep snow (so long as it wasn't so deep that the undercarriage is resting on packed snow), very difficult to get it to lose traction.

This has been my experience with the Continental group's winter tires (many now replaced my newer models):

  • Continental ExtremeWinterContact - on my (now gone) Sienna, just as good as the new VikingContact7
  • General Altimax Arctic - on my Sienna, again, very close behind the ExtremeWinterContact
  • General Altimax Arctic 12 - on several service loaners, even closer to the ExtremeWinterContact / VikingContact 7 level than the original Altimax Arctic
  • Various Gislaved Nordfrost Models - again on service loaners with performance as good as the Altimax Arctic 12 or better
Based on these tires, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of the Continental group's winter tires.

I can't say the same about Michelin, though - extremely underwhelming.
Altimax Arctic 12 is the old Gislaved NordFrost 100.
the original Altimax Arctic is the old Gislaved Nordfrost 3.

It happens that Continental owns both General and Gislaved brands.

And the Gislaved SoftFrost 200 are hand-me-downs from Continentals, as it is the ExtremeWinterContacts.
 
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Altimax Arctic 12 is the old Gislaved NordFrost 100.
the original Altimax Arctic is the old Gislaved Nordfrost 3.

It happens that Continental owns both General and Gislaved brands.

And the Gislaved SoftFrost 200 are hand-me-downs from Continentals, as it is the ExtremeWinterContacts.

Didn't realize that the ExtremeWinterContacts are still around as the Soft*Frost 200, but I also see that tire doesn't seem to be available in North America.
 

Pew

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Mar 12, 2018
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1,851
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Illinois
I've used:

  1. Michelin Alpin PA3s on my Evo and I loved them. They were rated more as a 'performance' winter tire but I never had issues with them in deep snow but they shined the most with dry, wet, and light snow/slush over other winter tires. Not recommended if you regularly get deep snow.
  2. Blizzacks LM-20 and WS-80. Seemed like the generic benchmark for snow tires at the time. Great in deep snow but dry/wet handling characteristics of them were abysmmal.
  3. Goodyear Ultragrip Ice WRT - my favorite winter tires so far. I had these on a FWD focus and I had more confidence in these tires than the Evo in the Alpin PA3s. Used then during a roadtrip through CO/UT/AZ in winter of '16-17. Dry/wet grip were admirable and had great highway cruising charactistics. Nothing but good things to say about these tires.
  4. General Altimax Arctics (original) - hated it. Other than being cheap I couldn't find a good reason to purchase this over any other snow tires. They couldn't grip very well in any sort of snow. Kind of felt like I was on worn all seasons.
 

Craig in Canada

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Apr 6, 2006
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@Craig in Canada Did you decide which one to get? I picked up a set of PA5 (to be delivered Monday) but may change my mind.

I think at the moment I'll be running my R2s another season.

If I get an unrepairable puncture or something like that then I'll need a new set on the quick (R2s aren't available anymore to just get one, I don't mix types of tires, I have transfer case based AWD and tread depths need to match. So if I lose a tire, I lose 4 at the moment). Hopefully if that time comes supply chain issues don't hose me. My summer tires are summers (PS4S) so I can't just limp through winter on those either.

Ideally I like to know what I'd want to run next so the research, decision-making and ranking is already done. I'm waiting to hear some more season feedback in this thread on a few of the options out there. For me it might be Viking7s or PA4s if I woke up tomorrow and had to buy. I did alter my sway bar balance since the last time I was running the R2s and I have to say that it has improved running on the R2s. I haven't done a lot of wet driving on them yet - mostly dry or snowy. The "winter" has been a little weird here so far.

I'm interested to hear about WS90s from edyvw. I was interested in the LM001s (sportier than many winter tires but not as sporty as PA4/PA5) but looking around they received some terrible user reviews so that's given me second thoughts.
 
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I'd like to say again.. the viking contact 7's are reallly nice. Good for the extreme stuff.. not as bad as R2 on dry or wet roads.

I wouldnt recommend the dmv2 but I'm on winter #5 with them on 2 cherokees they are lightyears better than an all terrain.. but esp lateral traction and wet/dry handling are lacking vs the viking contact 7.
 
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I think at the moment I'll be running my R2s another season.

If I get an unrepairable puncture or something like that then I'll need a new set on the quick (R2s aren't available anymore to just get one, I don't mix types of tires, I have transfer case based AWD and tread depths need to match. So if I lose a tire, I lose 4 at the moment). Hopefully if that time comes supply chain issues don't hose me. My summer tires are summers (PS4S) so I can't just limp through winter on those either.

Ideally I like to know what I'd want to run next so the research, decision-making and ranking is already done. I'm waiting to hear some more season feedback in this thread on a few of the options out there. For me it might be Viking7s or PA4s if I woke up tomorrow and had to buy. I did alter my sway bar balance since the last time I was running the R2s and I have to say that it has improved running on the R2s. I haven't done a lot of wet driving on them yet - mostly dry or snowy. The "winter" has been a little weird here so far.

I'm interested to hear about WS90s from edyvw. I was interested in the LM001s (sportier than many winter tires but not as sporty as PA4/PA5) but looking around they received some terrible user reviews so that's given me second thoughts.
I was in the exact same dilemma. My current LM32's are on its way out and they did its job (although not great on ice or deep snow) in the varying Canadian weather which is mostly just cold and wet. I just picked up the Michelin PA5 last night and so far feels alright in the dry, but will have to test when it starts snowing this weekend.
 

Craig in Canada

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I was in the exact same dilemma. My current LM32's are on its way out and they did its job (although not great on ice or deep snow) in the varying Canadian weather which is mostly just cold and wet. I just picked up the Michelin PA5 last night and so far feels alright in the dry, but will have to test when it starts snowing this weekend.

Please check in with this thread in the wet and the snow.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
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Colorado Springs
Well, my Viking’s got me here today:
0F005F5A-DDE9-40CC-8D70-502FF2D2A0E9.jpeg

3hrs drive on back roads bcs. blizzard conditions, but worth it. Some skiing, 3 beers in between, got back in two hrs.
Avoided horrid day in COS and winds peaking at 110mph. Wife had to deal with that and picking up kids :).
 
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