Winter tire choices - tread pattern

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Dec 26, 2007
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Good evening all, I am looking to buy four new winter tires on my FWD Mazda6 and my local tire shop has the following options. Michelin Xice xi3 for $90.50/tire Michelin Xice xi3 Tread Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter for $92/tire Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter Tread Cooper Wathermaster S/T-2 for $99/tire Cooper Weathermaster S/T-2 My tires size is 205/65R16. All above tires are T speed rated. My main concern is traction in snow and also very important is treadlife. I am wary of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 as I hear the treadlife is poor even though they have great traction so I have not included them. I travel mostly highway and anticipate plenty of dry pavement at highway speeds. I will do probably 6k miles every winter season and would like to get a few seasons out of them. The Michelin has hit and miss reviews....the tread looks too all-season to me and I'm pretty concerned that they won't be aggressive enough getting out of my steep driveway. Noise is not a huge factor to me. The Goodyear and Cooper treads look much beefier. Right now I'm leaning most toward the Goodyear and as an added plus it's made in the USA. Opinions? Please don't recommend Nokians, they are not available at my local store and I want to support the local business. Thanks! Meh, looks like the Coopers are made in China..
 
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Nov 17, 2014
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Originally Posted By: GMFan
Good evening all, I am looking to buy four new winter tires on my FWD Mazda6 and my local tire shop has the following options. Michelin Xice xi3 for $90.50/tire Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter for $92/tire Cooper Wathermaster S/T-2 for $99/tire My tires size is 205/65R16. All above tires are T speed rated. My main concern is traction in snow and also very important is treadlife. I am wary of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 as I hear the treadlife is poor even though they have great traction so I have not included them. I travel mostly highway and anticipate plenty of dry pavement at highway speeds. I will do probably 6k miles every winter season and would like to get a few seasons out of them. The Michelin has hit and miss reviews....the tread looks too all-season to me and I'm pretty concerned that they won't be aggressive enough getting out of my steep driveway. Noise is not a huge factor to me. The Goodyear and Cooper treads look much beefier. Right now I'm leaning most toward the Goodyear and as an added plus it's made in the USA. Opinions? Please don't recommend Nokians, they are not available at my local store and I want to support the local business. Thanks!
I have Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT's on my Cruze Diesel and have been thrilled with them so far. Can't comment on tread life though.
 
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If snow is your main concern, forget the Michelins, they are designed primarily for icy conditions. I'd go with the Ultra Grips myself. Like the aggressive lugs on them.
 
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when it comes to winter tires, do not look at the thread/block pattern designs as if you looking at water drainage patterns on all-seasons/summer high perf tires. Instead: look for big thread blocks with deep grooves for snow, soft silicone-impregnated rubber compound (such as Bizzak, Toyo Observe with walnut bits, etc.) with sipings to grip ice. snow tires is about compromise: tires that bite snows and grip ice confidently may become squirmy on the highway or during dry road conditions. The only exception (my experience so far, YMMV) would be Bizzaks due to soft cell rubber compound, which grips ice like a cellulose sponge(that's the best description I can think of). Even my current Hankook 4S (all weather, RAC-rated for winter road conditions also) tends to be a bit loud and squirmy during summer hot months. high water (summer time) draining is so-so, dry-braking is confident. Winter times is where they work their best. Good luck on your endeavours. Even cheaper, squirmy sounding winter tires can get you around nicely for most of the time, including most recent NY/Buffalo snow dumps I bet. Q.
 
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Toyo makes very good winter tires . 3 cars in our family using them and no issues , wear well and plenty of traction . Not as noisy as X-ice I had some years back but that may have improved .
 
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There is only 1 tire out of those 3 that's average or better... thats the michelin. The cooper design is antique obnoxiously loud. and the goodyear is generic and bad old design. I got for of those goodyears for a focus for 200$ and that was overpaying.. they were terrible compared to my dunlop m3 sports at the time... let alone a modern studless like the xice xi3. Blizzack ws-80 is too new for anyone to know the treadlife yet. my ws-70's went 10000miles and wore to just over 10/32 from 12/32 so I would have expected 30000 good snow miles out of them. the ws-80 are supposed to have been improved in many ways.. including tread life. as long as you dont run them when its warm out... too early to tell. Ask me in 16 months or so. when I have 2 winters on them.
 
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I'm in the hunt for tires as well albeit they will be a lot more expensive than you listed! Are Blizzaks really horrible for tread life? I have a 100 mile commute per day(r/t) and am afraid I'll burn through winter tires in one season. I was really going to get them but now low tread life have me thinking I'm going to revisit the Goodyears....the State Police use them and I'm sure they pile up the miles pretty quickly. Jeez this may be one winter I'n wanting gobs of snow lol
 
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Originally Posted By: Blue_Goose
Are Blizzaks really horrible for tread life?
short answer: NO. Long answer: no one really knows yet. This is the first year. I would have expected 30000miles out of my ws-70's before they wore halfway to 6/32th (from 12/32) I heard the ws80s were improved but who knows. People rag on the blizzacks because their special multicell compound is only the outer half of the tread (by depth) ie the part from 6/32 to 12/32 (in my tire size) The michelin xice xi3 is among the longest wearing winter tires. On a 100mile commute I'd want something with good low rolling resistance. You will save $$$ fast. Which would make me pass on the ws-80 and look at the xice xi3 and hakka r2
 
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Michelins ice x3 out of those groups you have selected. If you commute so much on dry pavement maybe a performance winter is more to your needs. I had alpines the first editions on my integra GS-R, for 4 seasons before I sold the car. Sure, my finance's civic with the x3's could munch through anything, but on dry pavement the alpines where smooth and quiet and not nearly as squirmy. And even then I could drive all around people with all seasons. I can still remeber the face of the Camry driver who couldn't get going after a light turned green on a slight incline. I backed up, drove around him, and the look of that guys face was like how the [email protected]$ is he doing that! Even after all that I just got Michelins x3's for my fiesta ST. Just because the future wife's civic was a snowmobile.
 
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Joined
Mar 8, 2012
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Originally Posted By: GMFan
Good evening all, I am looking to buy four new winter tires on my FWD Mazda6 and my local tire shop has the following options. Michelin Xice xi3 for $90.50/tire Michelin Xice xi3 Tread Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter for $92/tire Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter Tread Cooper Wathermaster S/T-2 for $99/tire Cooper Weathermaster S/T-2 My tires size is 205/65R16. All above tires are T speed rated. My main concern is traction in snow and also very important is treadlife. I am wary of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 as I hear the treadlife is poor even though they have great traction so I have not included them. I travel mostly highway and anticipate plenty of dry pavement at highway speeds. I will do probably 6k miles every winter season and would like to get a few seasons out of them. The Michelin has hit and miss reviews....the tread looks too all-season to me and I'm pretty concerned that they won't be aggressive enough getting out of my steep driveway. Noise is not a huge factor to me. The Goodyear and Cooper treads look much beefier. Right now I'm leaning most toward the Goodyear and as an added plus it's made in the USA. Opinions? Please don't recommend Nokians, they are not available at my local store and I want to support the local business. Thanks! Meh, looks like the Coopers are made in China..
If your primary concern is deep snow, slush then Cooper or Good Year. However, I have to say that Bridgestone WS80 are much better then either you mentioned. If you want very good winter tire forget long life span of a tire. I have LM-60, and this is their 2nd season in Colorado mountains. Trust me, there is no AWD car with all seasons that can follow me.
 
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NO2

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I'd also go with the XI3. They have low rolling resistance, and are excellent on both ice and snow. The tire has a 40K warranty - 7 seasons for your driving distance. Other companies make no promise and you'll probably only get 3-4 seasons from them. These tires are not that great on dry and wet pavement, like most winter tires. I'd seriously consider the WS80's if you want the best possible traction.
 
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I highly doubt the Blizzak WS-80 tread life is much different than any other name brand standard studless tire. I'm starting my 7th season on my WS-60s. Borderline whether they should be run this season as they are getting a little low, but this is this car's last season. They are at 6/32" (.19"). They have been used for almost exactly 30,000 miles (48,000 km). Each season averages about 5,000 miles. Not gonna buy new tires for one season. I measured and documented tread depth and mileage each season and they have averaged .027" wear per season. Max wear per season: .035", Min: .015"
 
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Originally Posted By: E365
I highly doubt the Blizzak WS-80 tread life is much different than any other name brand standard studless tire. I'm starting my 7th season on my WS-60...
Winter tire tread wear is HIGHLY dependant on driving style... on bare pavement, hard stops and starts, and especially hard cornering will wear the tire fast. Driven gently, and most winter tires will last 3 + winters easy. And, as a friend who simply cannot drive gently, period, ever, never discovered... some winter tires will last one winter... ! And that gets real expensive, real fast. Yes, they were Blizzak WS-70's... on a high performance rear drive sedan. Probably the wrong tire on the wrong car, with the wrong driver...! I am going into my fourth winter on a a set of Toyo GSI-5's , and they still have a millimeter or more above the snow bars... so about 7-8/32's from 12 starting. AWD helps even out the wear, but I can't complain. I do drive them very gently on bare pavement though.
 
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montreal.qc
I have used the Continental extreme winter tires ( google a pic of them) Excellent in snow/ slush and on ice have used the the past 2 winters , Very happy with them i got them thru my GM dealer my father has them on his last 2 card . Great for Canadian winter Cheers Mike Z
 
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Narrow down your choices by climate and driving style. NY State has brutal winter with lots of snow and wind.
 
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Feb 18, 2012
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Originally Posted By: carman594
How does the treadlife of the Continental EWC compare to say, Xi3 and R2s?
Nobody knows. Xi3 is the only winter tire with treadwear warranty, if it means anything. Both Xi3 and R2 are the best currently available, excluding WS80 as it is too new to be tested in winter. I bet Bridgestone knows exactly how it stacks against competition but I know they will never release the data, nobody does. Continental EWC is good design 1 or 2 generations older than current top tires. Krzys PS In short: There are better winter tires than EWC but for more money.
 
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Well in Tire Rack's most recent test, the EWC outperformed the Xi3 ever so slightly. Canadian Tire and the Russian testing company came to the same conclusion.
 
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