Which of these winter tires should I pick?

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467
Location
Central NY
The only tire listed that I have used is the Firestone Winterforce. It never left me stranded, but so didn't the General Altimax Arctics, Nitto SN2, Toyo Snowprox, and Bridgestone Blizzak WS60. My car has TP sensors so I usually get whatever's used on craigslist. When I had the Toyo Snowproxs on my Subaru it would plow through the snow. I would try to drift it around corners and it wouldn't even slide an inch. All of those tires are better compared to the ones I get, so I say just get what's cheapest, or what's most expensive! lol BTW not sure if Discount tire direct carries your size but they do offer free shipping.
 
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3,381
Location
Idaho
Originally Posted By: ExMachina
….With H speed rating and 40,000 treadwear rating, you could run them all the time. I thought about getting the Blizzak LM32 today, but would miss the long treadwear and dry road handling of the Xice3's.
Michelin does have a stipulation about the 40,000 mile tread wear warranty for the Xi3: "MICHELIN® Winter tires require documentation of the timing of the installation and removal of the tires each winter to maintain coverage under the limited warranty for treadwear. Winter months is defined as the period beginning on or after September 1 of a given year, and ending no later than April 30 of the following year." http://media.michelinman.com/content/dam/master/Michelin/pdf/limited_mileage_warranties.pdf
 
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6,763
Location
New England
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Originally Posted By: SHOZ
Originally Posted By: si_jeff
Ok, so for those who have had both winter performance and studless ice, which one do you prefer?
I've had Michelin Pilot Alpin performance tires and was unimpressed. Better than all seasons but not a good winter tire. I had Michelin Alpin from the '90s first they were a true winter tire and made my Taurus a snow plow they had such good bite. I'll buy a set of the Xi3s for this winter.
But that IS the trade, no? Performance snows give up a lot of snow and ice traction in the interest of dry cold weather performance. True snows add a lot of rolling resistance and much better ice grip at the expense of wear and noise and handling.
I have owned performance snows (Dunlop LM somethings) and found them nice to drive on the dry/wet days. However on wintery days wondering why anyone would buy them except if they owned summer only tires. Thankfully they were used and essentially free on the used winter rim set I had.
 
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Where I live, to get to my house... it could not get up the 2 main roads into my development because due to them being super steep hill (FWD car). Nokian Hakkapelitta RSI? Nope. General Altimax Arctic? Nope. Even scarier is descending down them, with the top tires. Chains solved those issues for my car, especially braking down the hills. So, that's when I went to performance winters.... starting with Hankook Icebear W300, then Nexen Winguard Sport....not to mention I have curvy back roads as part of my commute... and I like to put the cruise control on 50 mph (speed limit), though the curves have advised speeds of 35 mph... so, I just corner through them with the cruise control still at 50 mph. and this time, I went with Nokian WR G3.
 

JHZR2

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New Jersey
Originally Posted By: UG_Passat
Where I live, to get to my house... it could not get up the 2 main roads into my development because due to them being super steep hill (FWD car). Nokian Hakkapelitta RSI? Nope. General Altimax Arctic? Nope. Even scarier is descending down them, with the top tires. Chains solved those issues for my car, especially braking down the hills. So, that's when I went to performance winters.... starting with Hankook Icebear W300, then Nexen Winguard Sport....not to mention I have curvy back roads as part of my commute... and I like to put the cruise control on 50 mph (speed limit), though the curves have advised speeds of 35 mph... so, I just corner through them with the cruise control still at 50 mph. and this time, I went with Nokian WR G3.
So IOW becaue true winters couldnt cut it, you went to the ultimate option of chains, and then sacrificed a bit more on the tire side to get better performance? Is that accurate? That seems sensible to me, but isnt there typically issues using chains on cars with alloys?
 
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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
So IOW becaue true winters couldnt cut it, you went to the ultimate option of chains, and then sacrificed a bit more on the tire side to get better performance? Is that accurate? That seems sensible to me, but isnt there typically issues using chains on cars with alloys?
Yes, the good winter tires, studless and studdable cannot get me home. Not to mention, going down said snow covered hills are scary with those tires. Chains are the solution for me (since I don't have AWD, and AWD won't help me with braking down the hill) So, I sacrificed ultimate snow & ice traction to for dry grip for when it's not snowing or freezing over. Chains don't touch my wheels. They touch the tire, and I'm also talking about 235/45r17 tires. The Nokians and Generals had 215/50r17 tires. I used regular Thule chains (CB-12) with the 215's. 235's, I started on Spikes Spider Sport, but got tired of the bolt stripping issue, so, I went with Thule K-summit. Like I said earlier, once you figure out what you really need, then you can narrow down your choices. I know what I need, hence my tire choices for winter.
 
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JHZR2

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Originally Posted By: UG_Passat
Like I said earlier, once you figure out what you really need, then you can narrow down your choices. I know what I need, hence my tire choices for winter.
And on two cars Ive run: one set of "regular" snows and one set of "performance" snows. Including trips into the mountains of Monroe County, PA (not fr from you and some pretty steep grades where our cars with all seasons havent necessarily made it, but we have not had a true necessity either), ski trips to VT, etc. I cant say much more than I have about what I need. I dont have the fairly extreme situation that you have. You know the "typical" climate and snowfall in NJ, and my use is primarily on well improved and maintained roads. Part of my posting here is also to find recommendations for what is the best selection... as it seems that there is a lot more variability here than in regular all seasons/seasonal tires. Id rather have better handling, lower noise and less rolling resistance, but if the performance is no better than all seasons for the most part, what's the point? Again, then whats the point? Important consideration. So, think Turnpike, I-80, GSP, I-295 traveling. Plows WILL come, salt will come, but especially commutes home in snow, etc. demand superior performance. Doubly so since I drive a lot, and so could easily be driving to upstate NY or down to the DC area and get snow, slush or ice. Im looking to do better than the next guy with all seasons, but not kill my MPGs or be noisy. I dont have an absolute set need like your hill that defines my requirements. And not having a specific need besides having superior grip and control in mid-atlantic winter weather is why it is indeed an open question.
 
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I used to live in East Stroudsburg, so, I am familiar with their fun mountain roads. and made plenty of trips to Killington, Mt Snow, etc in the snow, with each of the tires listed for my car. Anecdotally, I can tell you the Nokians handle well, and they have low rolling resistance. It's fairly quiet for a winter tread. One of my buddies took a new Infiniti QX60 which came with Michelin Latitude Tour, and he complained of lack of grip on a steep curvy driveway of a house we rented in Killington. I didn't have trouble. When I first saw the driveway, I was worried about making it up and needing my chains....no issues with the WR G3.
 
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Messages
85
Location
CT
I have used Performance winter tires on my Audi and Subaru in the past. (winter sports) Performed well in dry/wet conditions, weren't loud and did well in snow and ice....though the AWD helped. Wifes new Subaru will most likely be getting the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3. Tops in all the tests so far.
 
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Messages
85
Location
CT
Look at post #1 for owner surveys and the test on the tire rack site. Michelin does well but not in my size. I tend to favor dry condition handling traits in winter (as that is what I mostly drive) Performance snows just handle better than regular snows that do best in deep snow but handle poorly in dry conditions.
 
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225
Location
Minnesota
What size? The Michelin Xi3 is pretty dang good all around, it handles all conditions "good" And has above average tread life. The blizzak ws80 has it beat in snow and ice, but IME with the ws70, they are downright squirmy on dry roads. I truly believe the BEST snow tires are the Nokian Hakkapeliitta's when you consider all the factors, but they charge accordingly.
 
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85
Location
CT
I was talking about the Michelin PA4 in the performance snow category. I will look into the Nokian but no one has them in stock yet and only discount tire direct seems to carry them. Also looking for a tire and wheel package and tire rack has done well for me in the past.
 
Messages
225
Location
Minnesota
Nokians are tougher to come by in the US, but if you can find the Hakka R2's, people are saying they have really nice manners on clear roads, behaving almost as well as a performance winter tire, and then they run with the best of any class in foul weather. Nokian is a Finnish company, and take this for what it's worth, but Finn's are the absolute experts in safe driving, especially in the winter. Look up their drivers ed program and car accident statistics, it's kind of amazing. I worked for an Audi and Porsche dealership for a while and have driven on MANY different snow tires. I'm just not a huge fan of the "performance winter" class of tires. With that said, I don't know what winter's are like in Connecticut. Around the city's in MN it's mostly hard packed snow and ice, which seem to be an Achilles heal for performance winter tires.
 
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16,147
Location
NE,Ohio
Originally Posted By: aircooled
Look at post #1 for owner surveys and the test on the tire rack site. Michelin does well but not in my size. I tend to favor dry condition handling traits in winter (as that is what I mostly drive) Performance snows just handle better than regular snows that do best in deep snow but handle poorly in dry conditions.
I dont trust the owner surveys esp on new(er) tires. Doesn't take much paid shilling to skew the results. Also I think that hardly qualifies as "all the tests"
 
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85
Location
CT
Originally Posted By: Rand
[quote=aircooled] I dont trust the owner surveys esp on new(er) tires. Doesn't take much paid shilling to skew the results. Also I think that hardly qualifies as "all the tests"
Well, that's all the tests I could find. If you have any, I'd love to look at them. As for now, all I have to go on is owner survey and tire racks test. The Sottozero three does very well and slightly above the Dunlop........another good choice.
 
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6,258
Location
Illinois
Never did wear out the X-Ice Xi2s. Took the tires off to paint the steel wheels. Just ordered a set of the X-Ice Xi3s. Last day for the $70 gift card rebate at the Tire Rack.
 

JHZR2

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New Jersey
Right or wrong, I picked the Pirelli Sottozero 3 tires for my car, on the BBS anthracite wheels. I had originally wanted the Dunlop 4D tires because of pricing and two MIRs at the same time (through yesterday). So yesterday I pulled the trigger at around 10pm. The sizes I really wanted were discontinued, so I had selected 205/55-16, which is common. Today I got a call from TR telling me that my selection was more than 3% off, and while they would sell them to me, they wanted me to know that the ABS, TPMS, TC, SC, etc may be affected by error >3% (that size was like -3.8%). I had to run out, made a quick decision and went with the pirelli. That was the tire I originally thought I wanted, but the 4D was a better price point. So Ill now have the Sottozero in 215/55-16 in 97H XL load rating, which I figured might be better for battling frost heaves and potholes than the 93H rating. Either was OK from an axle load rating perspective. Test can be found here: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=181 It is clear from this test that they outperform in wet and in handling, compared to other tires, while also performing admirably in the snow and ice tests. They are superior in that test to the Dunlop 4D which was my top choice. No Nokian to compare to, but for an initial buy, it wasn't sensible to chase those since buying a package gets me Hunter road force balance free. Their design philosophy fits mid-Atlantic use, in that "Winter Sottozero 3 tires are designed not just as snow tires, but as seasonal tires suitable for the cold weather and freezing road conditions." I ordered last night, changed the order after noon today, and it looks like the road force balanced tires and wheels will be delivered Friday, with Thursday being Thanksgiving... Not bad. And still a $60 MIR.
 
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