Topic:Winter Tires Compared
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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Jim BaldwinAnyone know of a site doing a current comparison/test of winter tires? I've been to the Tirerack. At first, (with the internet having an answer to everything) I thought it would be easy. Perhaps there just haven't been any testing sessions yet this year? I like the idea of the TOYO and the walnut shell in the rubber but haven't been able to see it yet. The Green Diamond recaps sound interesting but it's even more unlikely I'll see one of those! I was told the Michelin Arctic Alpine was rated best during a test in Quebec last year??? Personally and from the research I've done, sounds like studded tires are still the best if you can legally use them. Seems like manufacturers try to play them down but I think it's so we'll all buy their more expensive, more exotic, studdless, winter tires! Nokian shows graphs themselves where their own Hakepolida (sp?) tires are far superior with studs (of course). Any thoughts? Thanks.
EDJim: Use your browser search function for ADAC Winterreifentest. ADAC is the german auto club. They do extensive winter tire testing every year. There are links for various tire sizes. Unfortunately it is in german, but you should be able to figure out which tires are highest rated (generally the Continentals, Goodyears and Pirellis's. Good luck.
Jim BaldwinThanks but couldn't make out much from the site.
Originally posted by Jim Baldwin:
Thanks but couldn't make out much from the site.

The link below (well, I don't know how to make it a link, but anyway...) will give you an option of translating any web page. It worked quite well for me...

fsdriverI hope by now you have found the tests in the last months copy of consumer reports. This time the Dunlop Graspic came out on top, in previous years the Arctic Alpine and the Yokahama Guardex 600 have won. I personally have the 600s on a car that commutes 60 miles daily and they have been going for 3 winters with little wear. The stop/start/traction is wonderful, but I bet the others are great depending on what deals you find
Jim BaldwinI didn't see the report in consumers but that's because I decided to get TOYO's. They seem decent but haven't really been tested yet. Were they in the test?
Eric KConsumer reports is a decent source of objective info. However, they don't report raw scores, just relative ratings. If you don't have a copy go to your local library.

Keep in mind while independent tests are typically the most objective, they each test under different conditions with different rating criteria.

Keep in mind your own driving needs and when you are most likely to need the absolute best from your tires (ice?, snow? or rain?) For me it is most likely ice.

Also check out the Nokian site for tests they have reported at

Eric K

fsdriver-hotmailNo, Toyos were not in the test. If they are Q rated I bet they are ok. I have been happy with most of the "Ice tires" Going to mountains every year skiing they are wonderful. On rough sleet you will find yourself going up hills that the 4wds are unable to climb, in deep snow 4wd has more traction, but not nearly the brakes or cornering. Just make sure you have 4, or at least 2 on the rear. 2 on the front is undrivable, try pushing a grocery cart backwards for a demo!
Eric KThe Nokian WR and a number of winter tires were evaluated by ADAC - a German automobile organization. The Nokian WR received the highest ratings among the winter tires in dry road performance, wet road performance, and performance on ice . The biggest detractor was long braking distance in snow. Additionally, it rated low in wear. However, the WR has a Nokian warranty of 50k miles. I spoke with a few Nokian tire dealers. One has the WR's on his F150 truck. He sees them going 50k miles. Are there any other winter tires with that kind of mileage warranty?

Overall, the WR sounds like a strong winter tire, an all season tire and long wearing. Anyone have personal experience with the WR?

Eric K

EricJust a general point. First off, I do presently own and have owned Nokian tires for the last 15 years.

I very much like the tires and think they are the best out there for well-balanced performance and ultimate winter grip. Nevertheless, I find that there is an unpleasant aura of cult-following with Nokians in general which cloud peoples' judgement.

That aside, Nokian continues to be at the forefront of development and testing for winter tires. I will continue to buy their products for as long as they maintain this distance ahead of the rest of the pack. Other manufacturers' tires are getting closer but they're not quite there yet with a few exceptions.

The Toyo Observe series of winter tires is on my list of favourites. I have tried the Michelin Arctic Alpins and found them not particularly suitable for the severe winter conditions that we have here in Canada's particular, deep snow. Though they *are* good on ice. I understand that Bridgestone's Blizzak tires are very good as well. I think Bridgestone was largely responsible for raising the prominence of the need for winter tires in North Americans' eyes. Their studless winter tires were seen as the answer for our disenchantment with all-season tires. "All-season tires" being a fiction that was foisted on us by the tire manufacturer industry 2 decades ago.... People whose experience with snow tires was with knobby, fast-wearing, noisy, deep-lugged, slippery-on-ice, single-purpose *snow* tires.

Treat my opinion, though, as simply anecdotal and worth as much as you paid for them unless you can corroborate them with instrumented testing by an authoritative tester {not Tire Rack who would like to sell you either 1) Blizzaks 2) Blizzaks or 3) Blizzaks.} ;-)

Any manufacturers' winter tire is better than driving in a Canadian winter with all- (no-) season tires!

Ottawa, Canada

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