Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General AltiMAX RT43

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General AltiMAX RT43 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.4
 
 

2010 Mazda CX-7 i
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location: Hubertus, WI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
December 28, 2013

These tires are GREAT! The Mazda only has ONE tire available for it (the OEM Bridgestone Duellers), and there was NO WAY I was going to get another set of those! This meant I had to change tire size, and these were a good choice when compared to the factory 215/70-17 size.

The day they were installed, it was cold and rainy out. The tire rode like they were on rails! Since then, it has snowed, rained, snowed LOTS, freezing rain, and cold, dry days. I cannot believe how well these tires perform! We just drove 3000 miles over Christmas, and the ONLY time I didn't feel very confident was the glare ice conditions (with rain) driving thru MO before Christmas. All other conditions were as if it were a pleasant, sunny day!

For the price of these tires, you CANNOT go wrong. It was even better that the Tire Rack installer I chose even installed them for free! I now recommend both Tire Rack and the general Altimax RT43s to everyone! I hope General doesn't change them before I need another set again!

As an aside, I see these can be had in 13", too. My MG Midget may be getting a set this spring as well!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.82
 
 

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited
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Miles driven on tires: 40,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 40,000 Miles on Tires
December 17, 2013

Had these for barely over a year, and have driven in everything from Thunderstorms, to white-out snow, to 110+ degree heat. Wear has been very even, with no flattening or dead spots to create vibration. Snow traction was very important to me in CO, and they've performed admirably. They break loose predictably, brake well, and hold a line even through wet or chunky snow. They're very quiet compared to the Bridgestone's I previously had, and eat up hwy miles with aplomb. I highly recommend.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.4
 
 

1999 Toyota RAV4 4-door 2wd
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Miles driven on tires: 3,900
Location: Bossier City, LA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 3,900 Miles on Tires
January 15, 2014

My car initially came with Bridgestone Dueler 687's. That's an OK tire. My last set was the Bridgestone Dueler H/T 687 II's. VERY good tire, at least for this car! This tire had an aggressive, yet quiet tread design with a wider than average footprint, which made for good stability when cornering. LOVED this tire, but they have been discontinued in my size. This was very upsetting. After a few weeks of research, the tire of choice kept coming back to the Dueler H/L Ecopia 422's. My initial complaint was the squishy feel on the road and the narrow tread, as compared to the Dueler H/T's they replaced. Once the tires got about 500 miles on them, they became run in and felt much better.

I am now in love with this tire! They are much lighter in weight, very quiet on all road surfaces, and have good wet traction. Snow traction is INCREDIBLE, as is ice traction!! I live in Louisiana and recently drove up to Chicago. Never once did snow, slush, or ice become an issue, even in emergency maneuvers!! Mind you all, this was during the "Polar Vortex" event.. My RAV4 is two wheel drive. I even pushed an AWD Equinox (equipped with Michelin Latitude tires) through an on ramp with 4-5 inches of snow accumulation to get back onto I-55!

I am beyond impressed with the performance of these tires and not only will I probably buy again, but I Highly recommend this tire if you own a Crossover/SUV/Midsize Truck!!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Winter Maxx

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop Winter Maxx Reviewer's Overall Rating: 5.11
 
 

1995 Mazda Miata
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
December 11, 2013

Compared to the other Dunlop, Bridgestone, Hankook and current Continental ExtremeWinterContacts I've used on various RWD sports cars, these are without a doubt the worst winter tire I've purchased in the last 15 years.

They're completely adequate in snow and I don't have any complaints. I might go so far as to call them pretty darn good.

The problem is that on cold (<40F), wet pavement they have no grip and are completely unpredictable. If you've driven a pure high-performance summer tire on cold wet pavement, these feel even less secure. Worse, once the car starts to slide, it really doesn't want to stop. In three weeks I've had more "OH SPIT!" moments than in my past 5 years of driving combined.

My Miata on these things makes my more-than-twice-as-powerful M3 on Continental ExtremeWinterContact tires feel like a Subaru. On wet pavement, it's gone from a car that can be tossed and caught ad infinitum to a total widow-maker that starts to squirm around even under normal driving.

In short: good in the snow, remarkably horrible in the wet. Better than an all-season, I'm sure, but there are MUCH better tires for the money.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (H- or V-Speed Rated)

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 (H- or V-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8
 
 

2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 11,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 11,000 Miles on Tires
January 10, 2014

Had OEM Bridgestones Turanza 400 EL a mediocre all weather touring tire. It is unfair to compare as the Michelin is a performance tire but the Michelin is an all weather. I have to say after driving in three snow situations the Michelins were not a compromise. Not snow tires but at least as good as the OEM's.The handling performance is excellent and excellent in dry and wet conditions too. These tires eat up slalom like curves. Overall I am very happy and am enjoying my drives thanks to great tires.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.36
 
 

2007 Acura RDX
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Florissant, MO
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
January 09, 2014

Going through 3rd winter with these tires on OEM rims (only used during winter months). Just traveled through the middle of winter blast 4 days ago (had total of 10+ inches of snow by end) with no problems (slower driving of course) compared to all seasons. Confidence increased when traveling during snow and ice with these tires. Great tire!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Monday, January 27, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.55
 
 

2006 Honda Civic EX Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 8,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 8,000 Miles on Tires
January 22, 2014

If you live in any of the snow states, these tires are a must. It transformed my little open diff fwd economy car into a snow hungry monster. For light snow, I can drive pretty much like it's dry. In heavy snow, I can still plow through with great stability especially when changing lanes on the high way.

Recently my area had about 18" of snow, and my car was able to plow it's way from my driveway onto the street without any problem. My neighbors thought my Honda had awd..

No your AWD with all season tire will not out perform a 2WD vehicle with proper snow tires. You may able to get off the line a little faster, but you'll just end up in a ditch faster. Blizzak offer you better traction ALL around. Acceleration, braking, and cornering.

I'm on my third season and I still have over 9/32" of thread left. It's going to be a while before I have to replace it.

There are down sides, such as dry response and grip. You feel instantly the soft sidewall of these tires compare to AS or summer tire. I got white knuckled once taking a corner aggressively like I would on my AS tire. I only gave this tire a 5/7/6 in the dry category.

However, just looking at the snow performance alone, I give this tire 10/10!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Yokohama AVID Ascend (H- or V-Speed Rated)

Monday, January 27, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Yokohama AVID Ascend (H- or V-Speed Rated) Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.1
 
 

2003 Volvo S60 2.4
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Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Hampstead, MD
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
January 24, 2014

I've owned a lot of cars and a lot of different tires: Michelin, Dunlop, Continental, Pirelli, Semperit, Bridgestone, Falken, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Firestone, Uniroyal. The only tires I've ever owned that were a close match to these were a set of Semperit M-401's I owned back in the late 70's. I put these tires on my front drive Volvo S60. I drive fairly hard and I have yet to get a squeal out of these on a curve on dry pavement. The car is like it's on rails. Very solid on wet roads where they feel almost as secure as on dry pavement. I've experienced no indication of hydroplaning. They will lose traction a bit when starting up quickly on wet pavement, but squeal almost like they would on dry pavement when doing so. We've been having a bit of a wild winter here in the mid-atlantic and I've gotten caught out in some fairly substantial snow several times over the past few weeks. A couple of times I've had to stop on steep hills behind other cars that have gotten stuck. In every case I've been able to wait for traffic to clear and drive right around the stuck car(s) with little effort, at times having to use the uncleared shoulder to get through. They aren't snow tires, but they're darned close. These replaced a set of Michelins and I've seen no noticeable change in fuel economy, but the car noticeably rides and handles better. Compared to the Michelins they replaced these tires seem to ride more smoothly over small imperfections, but slighty more harshly over large bumps and potholes. They are very quiet. I'm not able to rate tread life as I've only had them for a couple of thousand miles, but I am so impressed that I wanted to get this review out on the web for the benefit of others. Highly recommended.

 

What's the Best Handling Performance Snow Tire?

Thursday, January 16, 2014 by Doc Horvath

Many car enthusiasts like to use their performance vehicles all year long, but for those that live in colder climates, there's a challenge: the Original Equipment summer tires can't provide grip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In Europe, the standard is to have a set of performance tires for the summer and a second set of performance tires for the winter.  

One of our recent tests compared the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60, Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D, Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 and Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 to see which one would provide the best balance of performance and winter grip.

To best evaluate the tires' traction levels on ice, we headed back to a hockey rink to measure 60' acceleration times and stopping distances from 12 mph. The Bridgestone and Michelin nearly tied for the quickest times and shortest stopping distances. However, all four were able to beat the figures of any all-season tire.

Before winter arrived in the Midwest, we loaded up the tires and went to a winter test facility in Sweden. While there, we measured each tire's ability to accelerate and brake in light snow, as well as gather subjective ratings of how each tire feels while driving through several inches of groomed snow on a handling course. The Michelin and Pirelli both proved to be responsive and stable when called upon at highway speeds, with the Dunlop and Bridgestone just a little behind. Similar tests were performed on our track when ambient temperatures were in the upper 30°F range to replicate conditions found during the winter season, with both the Michelin and Pirelli tires leading the way.

When all the results were examined, the numbers proved that the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 delivers the best balance of performance in this group, driving well on the road plus providing good ice and wet traction. Pirelli's Winter Sottozero 3 and Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D both have good ice and wet traction and nearly matched the Pilot Alpin PA4's handling on the road. The Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 takes a more focused approach by also providing good ice traction, but it just doesn't have the wet road grip or clear road handling stability of the other three tires.

For a complete recap of our test, read "Testing Performance Winter / Snow Tires: Which have the Right Balance of Performance?"

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology

Thursday, January 9, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology Reviewer's Overall Rating: 10
 
 

2006 Ford F150 Lariat Super Crew 4wd
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Miles driven on tires: 12,500
Location: Smyrna, DE
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 12,500 Miles on Tires
January 07, 2014

Wow, with 215,000 miles on the truck I have bought my fair share of tire, but these take the cake. In the summers I surf fish and find these tires (although not rated) as superior in sand. In the winters we routinely travel to upstate NY and VT and while we have only been once this year and only had them in deep snow and ice 3 or 4 times this year, WOW they are great!! Traction is awesome, hardly need 4wd but when enabled I don't think anything can get these tires spinning. NO complaints, perfect tires, I have owned the factory Pirelli's and Bridgestone Duelers they cant compare to the performance of these tires. If you are on the fence, BUY them. About ready to purchase same set, different size, for my 08 Outback.

 

Best Winter Tires 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013 by Colin .

As we enter into the winter months, it's important to have tires that will give you the best traction possible. The following tires should be considered by drivers who experience harsh winter weather and travel on snow- and ice-covered roads.  

Bridgestone

The Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 is still one of the best winter / snow tires on the market. It rates highly in ice traction against other leading winter tires and also provides excellent snow traction. Bridgestone also offers a similar tire marketed toward trucks, sport utility vehicles and crossovers, named the Blizzak DM-V1.

Blizzak DM-V1 tires use Bridgestone's Multicell Z compound featuring microscopic bubbles and tubes to absorb the thin film of water that forms as tires run over packed snow and ice, while micro bite particles contribute to the edge effect that improves grip on packed snow and icy surfaces. It also incorporates advanced 3D Wash Board Z Sipe technology that increases both block stiffness for handling in the dry and increases the biting edge effect on frozen surfaces.

Michelin

Michelin's leading winter tire is the X-Ice Xi3. This Studless Ice & Snow tire was developed for the drivers of coupes, sedans, family vans and small crossover vehicles that are looking for ice and snow traction along with predictable handling in cold, dry and wet wintry conditions. It also meets Michelin's Green X standard for low rolling resistance and confirms the tire's contribution to reducing vehicle fuel consumption and emissions of CO2 gases. The X-Ice Xi3 is designed to take on ice and snow while providing lasting winter performance.


Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Dunlop Winter Maxx


Dunlop

Dunlop is offering a new tire this year with the release of the Winter Maxx. We tested the tire on ice and it performed well. After comparing the tire against the Blizzak WS70, Continental ExtremeWinterContact and Michelin X-Ice Xi3, we determined the tire matched with the best tires on ice. 

The Winter Maxx's Digital Rolling Simulation technology helps optimize tread pattern stiffness to enhance footprint pressure distribution for improved grip. Snow platform indicators are molded into the Winter Maxx tread grooves to inform the driver when beneficial ice and snow traction will be reduced as the tread wears away. Winter Maxx tires also are designed to increase confidence in cool and cold driving conditions as they enhance traction in slush, snow and on ice.

General

The AltiMAX Arctic has been around for many years and is still one of our popular sellers. We have tested the tire studded and unstudded and it delivers excellent wintertime traction in the snow and on ice. For its price, it's a great value for many drivers.

To view all winter options available for your car, shop by vehicle.

Best Winter Tires for Snow for Crossovers and SUVs

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Crossovers and SUVs are a very popular vehicle segment and are available from smaller vehicles like the Ford Escape and Nissan Murano, to larger SUVs such as the Chevy Suburban and Cadillac Escalade. There are even high performance models like the Porsche Cayenne and Infiniti FX that have acceleration rivaling that of sports cars.  

Most owners of these vehicles aren't buying them primarily for their off-road capability or 0-60 times, but instead for their desire of a balance of utility, comfort and performance. They also want good all-season traction, including during the winter months. To get the most winter traction, the best option is to install a set of winter / snow tires because they provide much better snow and ice traction compared to their all-season counterparts.

Which winter tires are the best for snow and ice traction for your crossover, light truck or SUV? 

 Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
 Pirelli Scorpion Winter
Pirelli Scorpion Winter


I would take a look at the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 and Pirelli Scorpion Winter. Between the two, the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 has better snow and ice traction. Pirelli's Scorpion Winter is a slight step down in snow and ice traction compared to the Blizzak, however it does have better dry road traction and quicker steering response for the days when the roads are dry. These tires aren't just available for SUVs and crossovers, but also make great winter truck tires. 

For more information on the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1, read "Winter Truck Tires."

Caring for and Getting to Know Your Bridgestone Blizzaks

Friday, December 6, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

Once a winter / snow tire has been installed, you should know that the handling traits and personality of your car will feel different compared to the tires you took off. Fresh winter tires start life with deeper tread depths, a more open design and much softer compounds than your alternate set. These features help create great deep snow and ice traction, but also cause more tread squirm and reduction in steering response.

Before a tire is cured after production, a release agent called "mold release" is applied to prevent the tires from sticking in the mold. Some of this release agent is left on the tire's surface, which will result in a slight reduction of traction until worn away. Normal break-in period of a few hundred miles will wear the release agent off.                                             

The Blizzak WS, or Winter Studless line, features a dual tread compound that when viewed through a microscope, the outer Multicell compound resembles the appearance of Swiss cheese as it contains millions of uniformly distributed microscopic pores that are constantly being exposed as the tread surface wears. These pores also help wick away the thin layer of water that develops on top of icy and snow-packed roads. A Blizzak's tread compound comprises the top 55 percent of the tire's tread depth with an underlying base winter compound making up the remaining 45 percent.

The Blizzak LM, or Lamella line, is their performance winter family of snow tires. This compound features tread designs with thin sipes to form thousands of rows of snow-biting rubber. LM tires trade some ice and snow traction for higher speed capability and better steering response. These tires feature a single winter tread compound.


Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32


Just like any other purpose built dedicated winter tire, the Blizzak should only be used during the winter season. Typically, Blizzaks and other snow tires should be used between late November and early April.

Create a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package with the Brigestone Blizzak today to help you have the easiest winter driving experience possible!

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 vs Blizzak DM-V1

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Owners of crossover vehicles, small SUVs and even full size cars with large outside diameter tire fitments often call to ask which one of Bridgestone's popular winter / snow tires would work best for their vehicle. For many applications, there may be only one of Bridgestone's Studless Ice & Snow tires offered in a given size, however there are certainly exceptions.

For example, if you own a newer model Honda CRV which employs the use of 225/65R17 tires, you'll find two models of Blizzak tires that are suitable for your SUV. While you could purchase either and be very well suited, there are differences between them.


Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1


The Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 is designed for lighter vehicles such as small and mid-sized cars and features an extremely soft compound designed to give these vehicles every traction advantage available. The tire is also T-speed rated to provide a more responsive steering feel at speed and retain a more acceptable degree of stability when being pushed into corners. Make no mistake, T-speed rated tires will not set dry track records, however most drivers appreciate the responsiveness they offer when compared to Q-,R- and S-speed rated options.

In contrast, the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 is designed for SUVs and light trucks and may wear slightly better than the WS70 when used on a heavier vehicle. The larger tread blocks and slightly less directional design will also more closely resemble that of a "truck" tire. The most negative trait of the DM-V1 is its relatively low R-speed rating. Aside from having a lower top speed of 106 mph, the DM-V1 will not handle as sharply as the T-speed rated WS70. Both make an excellent winter tire option that can handle the snow and ice winter throws at you.

To further research these two tires, take a look at our Tire Survey Results.

Best Winter / Snow Tires for 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Which are the best winter / snow tires for 2013? The answer depends on your driving style, vehicle and the winter conditions you experience.

Studless Ice & Snow

Studless Ice & Snow tires deliver maximum snow and ice traction when conditions are the most severe. These tires will give up some dry grip and steering response compared to higher performance winter tires. Their rubber compounds have technology that keeps them soft and pliable even in subfreezing temperatures in order to give you great traction in snow and on ice. Studless snow tires have more aggressive tread patterns and often more tread depth to help them bite through the snow. 

They're available for nearly all types of vehicles, from small cars like the Smart ForTwo, all the way up to SUVs such as the Ford Expedition. Drivers who purchase these tires are typically driving in the central or northern regions of the snowbelt or higher altitudes. Studless Ice & Snow tires are also an excellent choice for new drivers and those that need extra confidence when driving in wintry conditions. Top tires in this category for 2013 include the Michelin X-Ice Xi3, Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 and Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1

 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
 Michelin X-Ice Xi3
Michelin X-Ice Xi3
 Bridgestone Blizzak DMV-1
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1


Performance Winter / Snow

Performance Winter / Snow tires give up some ultimate snow and ice traction for better dry grip and faster steering response. The tread patterns on these tires aren't quite as aggressive as Studless Ice & Snow tires, and often have shallower tread depths which leads to more responsive handling. 

Tires in this category are also made for a wide variety of vehicles, from performance sedans such as the BMW 3 Series, as well as larger performance oriented crossover vehicles like the Porsche Cayenne. Drivers who purchase Performance Winter / Snow tires often drive higher performance vehicles and many drive in areas where snow is less frequent or where snow removal is very good. Despite their bias towards more performance, they still have much better snow and ice traction than a typical all-season tire. Top tires in this category include the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4, Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D and Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32.    

 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
 Dunlop Winter Sport 4D
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D


For more help on selecting a winter tire from the proper performance category, take a look at "Should I Buy Performance Winter / Snow Tires or Studless Ice & Snow Tires?"

Blizzak vs X-Ice Winter Tire Recommendation for a BMW

Thursday, November 14, 2013 by Gary Stanley

As a moderator for some BMW forums, I receive many questions about these vehicles. Recently, I got the following e-mail from a BMW owner:

Gary,

I have read many of your posts regarding the topic of winter tire recommendations. I am currently looking to get a winter/snow tire for my 2009 BMW 335i w/sport package. I plan on getting four 225/45R17 tires. However, I am unsure what type of tire and brand I should buy for my area. Currently, I live in Kansas City, but I travel to Chicago about two to three times during the winter. Also, I might be moving to Chicago. I am looking for a tire that is dependable when it's the worst outside, but it's a hard decision because of the two different areas. I am currently looking at the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 and Michelin X-Ice Xi3. What is your opinion/recommendation?

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Michelin X-Ice Xi3
Michelin X-Ice Xi3


Since I get the opportunity to test tires at Tire Rack, I get to see what tires can do on the street, as well as in winter conditions. With many different models of winter / snow tires to test, we really get to see how each tire performs in different environments. With that in mind, here is what I recommended to the customer:

Thanks for your inquiry. Between the two, the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 has better dry grip and faster steering response for the days when there isn't snow on the roads. Bridgestone's Blizzak WS70 offers slightly better snow traction, but does not feel as stable on dry days or at highway speeds. Most drivers in your situation would lean towards the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 as the difference in snow/ice traction between the two is very small compared to the more noticeable difference in fair weather handling

You can learn about my experience with the Michelin X-Ice line of winter /snow tires by reading "My Story on Winter Tires."

Comparing the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, LM-32 and LM-60

Thursday, November 7, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

When shopping for winter / snow tires, it's important to know whether you need a Studless Ice & Snow tire like the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 or a Performance Winter / Snow tire like the Blizzak LM-32 or Blizzak LM-60. Tires in each performance category are designed to function differently in the winter and it's best to know the difference between the two before you decide which tire to purchase.

 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60


Studless Ice & Snow tires, like the Blizzak WS70, are designed for the driver who wants to maximize snow and ice traction without the inconvenience of using studs. These tires were developed to meet challenging winter driving conditions around the world by delivering studded-like snow and ice traction without employing studs. They also feature pliable tread compounds molded into purposeful tread designs that trade some handling in dry and wet conditions to deliver excellent winter traction.

The Performance Winter / Snow category features the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 and LM-60. Tires in this category are designed for drivers who want enhanced dry road handling from their winter / snow tires and are willing to trade some snow and ice traction to get it. Performance snow tires were originally developed for winter driving on European highways where high-speed driving on clear roads must be combined with traction on snow-covered roads. The LM-32 is offered in both a standard and run-flat (RFT) version.

The Bridgestone Blizzak line of winter / snow tires is a name synonymous with the best snow and ice traction. To learn more about the Blizzak tires, read "Bridgestone Blizzak FAQs."

Top Dedicated Winter Performers to Consider

Thursday, October 31, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

Do you live in an area that sees low to moderate snowfall? Are the roads you experience in the winter typically plowed, but you still need traction in the snow? If this sounds like what winter driving is like in your region, then consider a winter tire in the Performance Winter / Snow category.

A few popular tires to consider within the category include the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60, Blizzak LM-32 and Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D. All three options provide similar performance when it comes to snow traction and dry road handling and cornering. When comparing very closely, the Bridgestone tires move the balance closer to the snow traction side, while the Dunlop does slightly better in dry conditions. Both brands are an ideal choice for someone who wants to retain some clear road handing and response, but also needs to get home at night before roads have been plowed.

Drivers who live in more of a rural area, or experience heavy snowfalls, should lean towards a Studless Ice & Snow tire. Two great options in the category are the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 and Michelin X-Ice Xi3. I've noticed in my experience with both, that the added tread depth of the Blizzak helps with deep snow traction. Michelin's X-Ice Xi3 performs a little better on icy surfaces and tends to handle a bit tighter on clear roads due to the 2/32" difference in depth compared to the Blizzak.

Whether you're looking to buy Performance Winter / Snow or Studless Ice & Snow tires, it's best to order early as stock goes down throughout the fall and winter months. Ordering early when most products are still available will allow you to choose what you want to buy. Begin shopping and create your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today!

Want to Drive Your Corvette When it Gets Cold? These Tires Will Help!

Thursday, October 31, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Nearly every Corvette owner I've met will admit that while their car may not be the most practical, they feels it's the most fun to drive than any other car they've owned. Even though the current C6 came with Goodyear run-flat tires that were intended for warm temperatures only, most Corvette owners would love to take their cars out on a clear and cold day and have a little fun. To get the best results in colder weather, a few all-season options are worth considering.

If you want to maintain run-flat capabilities that the Original Equipment provides, take a look at the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT and Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus ZP. In our most recent test, both tires were impressive when pushed near the limit on our test track with the Bridgestone showing best-in-class ride comfort and predictable handling on our road course. The Michelin tire showed it can retain its handling without a big sacrifice in ride quality. For a complete recap of our test, read "Testing Ultra High Performance All-Season Run-Flat Tires."


Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position RFT

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S
Plus ZP

Continental ExtremeContact
DWS


Some drivers would like to switch from a run-flat tire to a non-run-flat, if that sounds like you, there are three strong options worth looking at: the Continental ExtremeContact DWS, Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-Season and new Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3. While all three provide excellent handling and added durability compared to the Original Equipment, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS has set itself apart by providing great light snow traction. In fact, the tire is currently rated number one in our survey results and has the highest marks in the following areas:

  • Hydroplaning resistance
  • Light snow traction
  • Deep snow traction
  • Ice traction
  • Ride comfort
  • Noise comfort

Whether you stick with a run-flat tire or purchase a non-run-flat design, making the switch to an all-season tire will allow you to maximize your time on the road with your beloved Corvette! 

What are the Best Winter / Snow Tires for 2013? Find Out Here!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Which are the best winter / snow tires for 2013? The answer will depend on your driving style, model of vehicle and the winter conditions you experience.

Studless Ice & Snow 

Studless Ice & Snow tires deliver maximum snow and ice traction when conditions are the most severe. These tires will give up some dry grip and steering response compared to higher performance winter / snow tires. Their rubber compounds have technology that keeps them soft and pliable even in sub freezing temperatures in order to give you great winter traction. Tires in this performance category have more aggressive tread patterns and often more tread depth to help them bite through the snow. 

They are available for nearly all types of vehicles from small cars like the SmartForTwo, all the way up to full sized SUVs such as the Ford Expedition. Drivers who purchase Studless Ice & Snow tires typically drive in the central to northern regions of the snowbelt or in higher altitudes. Studless Ice & Snow tires are also an excellent choice for new drivers that need extra confidence when driving in wintry conditions. A few top choices in the category for 2013 include the Michelin X-Ice Xi3, Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 and Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 (for light trucks, crossovers and SUVs).

 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
 Michelin X-Ice Xi3
Michelin X-Ice Xi3
 Bridgestone Blizzak DMV-1
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1


Performance Winter / Snow 

Performance Winter / Snow tires give up some ultimate snow and ice traction for better dry grip and faster steering response. The tread patterns on these tires aren't quite as aggressive as Studless Ice & Snow tires and often have shallower tread depths which leads to more responsive handling. 

Tires in this performance category are made for a wide variety of vehicles, from performance sedans such as the BMW 3 Series, to larger performance vehicles like the Porsche Cayenne. Drivers who purchase performance snow tires often drive higher performance vehicles, and many drive in areas where snow is less frequent or where snow removal is very good. Despite their bias towards more performance, they still have much better snow and ice traction than an all-season tire. Some top tires in this category include the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4, Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D and Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32.  

 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
 Dunlop Winter Sport 4D
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D


Are you having trouble deciding between Studless Ice & Snow and Performance Winter / Snow tires? Then take a look at "Should I Buy Performance Winter / Snow Tires or Studless Ice & Snow Tires?"