Bridgestone Blizzak vs. Michelin X-Ice Winter / Snow Tires

Thursday, October 18, 2012 by Gary Stanley

Some of the best tires on the market today for handling snow and ice are Blizzak tires from Bridgestone and Michelin's X-Ice series of winter / snow tires. I'm a big fan of options from both manufacturers.

Bridgestone was the first to market a soft studless compound winter / snow tire that rivaled or surpassed the snow traction levels of studded tires. Over the years, I've owned almost every generation of Blizzak studless compound tire since the original Bridgestone Blizzak WS15 was introduced in the 1990s. Since that time, we've seen the Blizzak MZ01, Blizzak MZ02, Blizzak WS50, Blizzak Revo 1, Blizzak WS60 and finally the newest addition, the Blizzak WS70

Approximately two years ago, I purchased a newer car and wanted to use Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires since I had such good experiences with them in the past. There was just one problem though, no Blizzak model was made in the size that my vehicle used. Fortunately for me, the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tires were made in the size I needed and I decided to give them a try. During my two years of owning the tire, I have been quite pleased. You can read about my experiences with the tire in two of my blog posts, "My Story on Winter Tires" and "Michelin X-Ice Xi2: Second Season Review."

Michelin's X-Ice Xi2 handles much like an all-season tire but performs great in the snow and on the ice. Recently, Michelin introduced the third-generation of the X-Ice tire with the X-Ice Xi3. It's designed to take on ice and snow while providing lasting winter performance. The tire's winter tread rubber compound offers firmness at higher temperatures for wet and dry road stability while it remains flexible at lower temperatures to enhance packed snow and ice traction.

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 and on the ice rink. With many different models of winter / snow tires to test, we really get to see how each tire performs in different environments. Here are the differences I see between the Michelin and Bridgestone tires from my direct experiences:

  • The Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 has slightly better packed snow and ice traction between the two when compared to the Michelin X-Ice Xi2.
  • Michelin's X-Ice Xi2 has better dry road grip and slightly faster turn in and steering response. 
  • In deeper snow, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 has a noticeable advantage over the Michelin X-Ice Xi2.
  • In recent testing at a local ice rink, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 had better ice cornering. I felt more confident overall on these versus the Michelin X-Ice Xi3.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a winter / snow tire that'll deliver maximum traction and safety when you need it most, I would suggest you lean towards the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70. If you're willing to give up a little ice and snow traction for better dry road grip and handling, look into the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 or X-Ice Xi3. Keep in mind that all three are great options, so you really can't go wrong with any choice.

 

Comments on Bridgestone Blizzak vs. Michelin X-Ice Winter / Snow Tires

Thursday, October 18, 2012 by Peter:
Any idea why Michelin has gone with an H speed rating and XL load rating on most sizes of the Xi3? The H rating seems like overkill for an "ice and snow" tire, and the XL rating can't IMO help ride quality on rough winter roads.
Thursday, October 18, 2012 by Michael:
TireRack has the ability to shave down tires, right?
So when you test at the hockey rink, after completion of the full tread depth test, progressively shave each tire to 2/3rd, and then 1/3rd of its new tread depth, and re-test.
I'd like to know just how much the tube multi-cell compound affects the Blizzak's ice/snow/winter performance.
Thanks.
Friday, October 19, 2012 by Gary:
Peter,

The speed rating is only a measure of the max speed capability of the tire and in itself does not have a direct impact on winter traction. These tires still ride very softly due to their soft sidewalls and soft tread compound despite many sizes having an XL load rating.
Friday, December 7, 2012 by PF:
Where do find your test data for fuel economy of winter tires? I have Bizzak WS-50's now and the drop in MPG is staggering in my Camry. I'll need to buy soon, but rolling resistance and MPG will be big factors.
Friday, December 28, 2012 by tito muniz:
i like to know if you carry blizzak mz-01 in 205/55r16 i need one tire thanks
Friday, December 28, 2012 by Gary:
Tito,

I'm sorry, the MZ-01 was phased out many years ago. We have no more left in stock.
Sunday, December 30, 2012 by Aaron Marshall:
Gary,

I just bought a new set of Blizzak Revo1 for my 03 alero from my local tire shop. but when i go to bridgestones website i dont see them listed. what year did they stop getting produced? Im just curious to know if i get cheated out of new pair of tires and got used ones instead. Whats the tread depth on a new pair of Revo1's?

Leave a comment





Captcha