Topic:Regarding Ride Quality -- winters v. a/s in performance app. (LONG)
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T O P I C     R E V I E W
jck22903Most of the winter tire threads seem to focus on "what's good in the snow that fits on my car". My question is a bit different; I have a new M3 (RWD) that I hope to not have to leave in the garage from December to February. I want to purchase and mount a tire/wheel combo that will allow me to drive in the snow if I get caught away from home and it snows. BUT ... ride quality is a huge concern of mine. I want to handicap the FEEL of the car as little as possible and be able to enjoy the car throughout the months that it has the other tires on. So ... how do the best, V-rated, low-profile winter tires compare to the best all seasons IN ROAD FEEL? (I know I won't get as good traction in the snow, but it'll be better than the summer tires that are on this rear-wheel-drive car now.) Would it be better to get a high-performance all season tire? Or would a premium winter tire serve just as well regarding road feel, agility etc.? Can I count on a snow tire's "speed rating" (Q, H, V) to be a reliable indicator as to it's sidewall stiffness (and ability to transmit road feel) like I generally can with summer (performance) tires? I am wondering how to combat this winter-driving dilemma and any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks! (BTW, I have seen this month's 'european car' and the article really didn't answer my questions.)
JackWow! Long question but a short answer, Pirelli snows rock. Pirelli performance snows seem to be willing to give up a little snow traction to keep a summer tire road feel. I've used them and really liked them.
jck22903Thanks Jack!

As you might imagine, I wouldn't mind hearing the details. Which Pirellis have you used, and what size? Which summer tires could you compare them to? What kind of car?

Thanks for wading through my original post!

JayI'll agree - the Pirellis are probably the best performance oriented true snow tire. I've used the Winter 190's and Winter 210's and they are probably comparable in "road feel" to an all season tire, as opposed to the really squishy feel you get on snows. Hakka Q's or Blizzaks are going to give you the most confidence in real snow conditions, but the Pirelli's aren't far behind. No snow tire will compare to your summer tires in road feel though. I wouldn't bother with hi-performance all seasons. They'll be better in winter than summer tires, but they'll still be scary in the snow.
JackOk. I,ve used Pirelli snows on two cars.
Ford Taurus LX 205/65-15, OE Firestone and Michelin X One all seasons and Pirelli 190 snow tire. The Pirelli snow was kind of loud but had much better steering response then the all season tires I had used. All the tires were T rated, I think. 1999 Taurus SHO 225/55-16 H rated Eagle RA-S and Pirelli
210 A H rated. The Pirellis don't have the steering response of the Goodyears but they are close. I can push the Pirellis in the dry and not feel like I'm grinding off the tread. Snows are Snows but these let me enjoy driving in the winter even when the roads are dry. Oh yeah, they do have good snow traction also, I live in the northeast with way too much snow.
jck22903Thanks guys! I still haven't decided between all-seasons for wintertime, or snows. If I go with snows it'll be the Pirellis.

You don't have to choose. The Nokian NRW is a V-Rated High Performance snow tire, rate by the Rubber Manufacturers Association for use under Severe Winter Conditions. But it was designed as a year round "All-Season Plus" tire, "Plus" meaning plus winter. It is available in 17 inch sizes for your M3 and carries a 50,000 mile treadlife warranty.

You might think I sound biased and I am. I am a Nokian dealer and I sell them online at, but I also sell Michelin, Pirelli, Dunlop, Goodyear, etc... Nokian is what I drive on, and my family drives on daily - that's year round including through Chicago's famous winters.

Steve Leffler

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