Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi2

Thursday, February 20, 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 X-Ice Xi2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.5
 
 

2012 Ford Edge Limited
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Crittenden, KY
Driving Condition: Easy Going

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
February 13, 2014

Great Ride, Almost No Noise, I love Michelin Tires and run them on all my equipment. Took very little weight to balance. I went from Pirelli Scorpion All Weather O.E.M. tire to the Michelin X-ice Winter ties and actually gained 1.5 MPG, going from 25 to 26.5MPG. I thought the traction was great but this is the first time I have put winter tires on a car so I have nothing to compare them to.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

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.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.64
 
 

2013 Audi A3 2.0 TDI
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Miles driven on tires: 8,000
Location: Champaign, IL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 8,000 Miles on Tires
February 11, 2014

We've had an awful winter in Central IL (lots of snow and ice plus sub-zero temps)and this tire has performed beyond my expectations. I'm not always great about clearing our drive way and our A3 TDI (front-drive) plows right in and out. Great tire!!!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

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 ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.78
 
 

2012 Volkswagen GTI
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location: Bolton, MA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
February 06, 2014

This is my third set of DWSs. I had them on my Subaru, and recently changed the tires on my GTI from Pirelli PZero Nero to these because The Pirellis were awful in the snow. We got a foot of snow yesterday and the Contis handled it admirably! For a high performance tire the snow traction is outstanding. This is the only all-season tire I've used that could truly handle all seasons. The dry handling isn't as razor-sharp as a high performance summer tire, but it's a minor trade off. I'd rather drive safely all winter and be able to corner at 8/10ths in the summer than skate around all winter just to be able to run at 9/10ths in the summer. I believe this is the best possible tire choice for year round high performance. The only thing better would be having a dedicated set of summer and winter wheels, but I am completely satisfied with the DWS under all conditions. Ride comfort improved, too.

 

Tread Design Types and How They Differ

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Not every tire is made the same, nor do they look the same. Tread designs help play a key role in traction ability, road noise and treadwear. Take a look at available tread designs and how they compare against one another.

Symmetric

A symmetric tread design is the most common and features continuous ribs or independent tread blocks across the entire tread face where both inboard and outboard halves feature the same pattern. Tires featuring symmetric tread patterns can be mounted in any direction and allow for multiple tire rotation options.

Asymmetric

An asymmetrical tread design changes pattern across the face of the tire. They're designed to blend the requirements of dry grip, water dispersal and snow traction. They incorporate larger tread ribs and blocks on the outboard side to increase cornering stability on dry roads by offering greater contact area. This also helps to reduce tread squirm and heat buildup on the outside shoulder. The inboard side usually features smaller independent tread blocks to aid wet and winter traction when driving straight ahead.


Firestone Precision Touring (Symmetric)

Michelin Defender (Asymmetric)


Directional

Also known as an unidirectional design, these tires are designed to roll in one direction. Their tread design points one way like an arrow or V. These grooves enhance hydroplaning resistance at high speeds. Unless they are dismounted and remounted on their wheels to accommodate use on the other side of the vehicle, directional tires are to be used on one side of the vehicle and are intended to be rotated from the front axle to the rear axle. If different tire sizes are used on the front compared to the rear axle, the tires become location-specific and prohibit tire rotation, unless remounted.

Asymmetric and Directional         

Although rare, these dual tread design tires have V-shaped tread grooves that are offset compared to the centerline of the tire. Tires featuring asymmetric and directional tread patterns must be treated as directional tires for tire rotation. However, if different tire sizes are used on the front and rear axle, they become location-specific and prohibit any tire rotation possibilities.


Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110
(Directional)

Pirelli P Zero Corsa System
(Asymmetric and Directional)


To learn more about tire designs, read "Tire Tread Patterns."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II

Thursday, February 6, 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.

Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2014 Mini John Cooper Works
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Centennial, CO
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
January 28, 2014

I have had these tires twice, once on a Subaru and now I put them on a JCW Mini Coupe. The dealer ordered them from Tire Rack for me and put them on before I picked up my new car. It was December in Colorado.

I absolutely love these tires. I have used the Blizzaks and Michelins on other vehicles and this is my favorite. The primary thing I like is that the snow traction is terrific but what makes it exceptional is the dry traction. In this season I have used the tire on every type of snow and ice possible in Colorado. Outside of slush which no tire does well the tire is excellent. I will also tell you that if you drive a stiff suspension sports car you will like the ride with the non runflats. I believe that I could drive this tire competently in virtually all conditions short of track work.

With a front wheel drive and these tires you can drive with confidence. I went out to unplowed lots and put the tires to the limits, even turning off traction controls. I would purposely cut hard, throw up some rooster takls and try to slide and recover. It was easy.

I strongly and confidently recommend these tires to my fellow enthusiasts.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Scorpion Winter

Thursday, February 6, 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.

Pirelli Scorpion Winter Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9
 
 

2011 Subaru Outback
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Miles driven on tires: 3,480
Location: Palatine, IL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 3,480 Miles on Tires
January 27, 2014

We drove our Subaru to East Tennessee in December. We drove through light snow, then rain, then finally encountered temps in the 70s I. TN. The tires were very quiet during the trip. During heavy rains througn the mountains the tires never slipped. As temps dropped to freezing, then below freezing, we never lost grip. Back in Chicago, the tires have performed really well in the snow, even through 4 to 5 inches of slush in unplowed parking lots. Icey side streets are no problem. LOVE these tires!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Defender

Thursday, February 6, 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 Defender Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.55
 
 

2003 Buick Lesabre Custom
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Fanwood, NJ
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
February 03, 2014

I purchased these tires for my mother’s car mostly with winter weather driving being my main concern, as I tend to use it for commuting to work in snowy bad weather. This car, with the right tires, is a TANK in the snow. It’ll go and stop in anything! After prior bad experience with Good Year tires, I knew I wanted a quality tire from Pirelli or Michelin, so after a lot of research on TR I settled on these tires and was delighted to get a rebate at the time. As for the tires, they’re great. I just had this car in some serious snow storms here in NJ this winter and I commute to Morristown through the Great Swamp, which has tight turns with no shoulder and steep hills and the tires performed great. The one snow day it took me 1.5 hrs to go less than 2 miles in the severely unprepared roads and saw at least 10 accidents, with SUVs hitting snow ploughs, cars in ditches, 5 cars daisy chain crashed together, mult wrecked cars on flat beds going past me, SUVs just sliding down hills with the wheels turned full lock, and tractor trailers just parked on main roads, yet this car with these tires just kept on going with no drama. When you experience driving like this, you take your tires very serious. I plan on getting rid of the worn out POS Good Year Integrity tires on my father’s other Buick with these very same tires. They’re that good, the price isn’t too bad, they ride nice, and the mileage life is high. When it comes to tires, it’s your life, your insurance rates, and the headache of a car accident. Don’t get cheap!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season

Thursday, February 6, 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.

Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.2
 
 

2011 Audi A4 2.0T quattro
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Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Avon Lake, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
February 05, 2014

Have been a Tire Rack customer for almost 20 years. Have purchased about 200 tires in that time! These P Zero Nero's are the first Pirellis....don't know why. I drive fast and I don't care much about tire wear because I buy speed rated tires and change them out by 30,000 miles. Live in Ohio so I buy High-Performance All Season tires. This winter has delivered approximately 5' of snow and it's only February!! Had to write a review...these tires are simply the best tires I have owned for snow and wet!! Can say for sure they beat Pole Positions(and they are properly rated higher)in bad weather. I have them at 7 or better in snow/wet. I am confident you would find them dead quiet and smooth at....let's just say around twice the legal limit. Can't wait to put them on '13 Tiguan AWD and '11 328ix!! Thanks Tire Rack! I'll be back!!!

 

Big Improvements in Snow Traction for Your 2014 Porsche Cayenne GTS

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Our test BMWs are fun, but I have really enjoyed our Porsche Cayennes. For a large SUV, the Cayenne can really move. It's a Porsche, so the power is to be expected, but the cornering stability at this size and with this weight is a pleasant surprise.

If you've recently picked up a 2014 Porsche Cayenne GTS (Turbo S model is pictured), I'm sure you've also been impressed. Once winter arrived, you quickly discovered that the Original Equipment 295/35R21 Max Performance Summer tires lack even minimum cold weather competence. Don't be too hard on them, their specialty is great dry and wet grip. That's why you need to find the right winter tire for your new Porsche.

Winter / Snow Tire Category

Since tire engineers balance snow grip with dry road handling, it's helpful to ask yourself the following questions as you make your choice:

  1. How severe do winters in your area tend to be?
  2. How often will you drive on icy and hard-packed snow roads?
  3. How spirited of a driver are you?

Performance Winter / Snow Wheel & Tire Package

Many spirited drivers in the light blue region of our snowfall map rarely see ice-covered roads for a long period of time, so they are best served by options in the Performance Winter / Snow category. The ideal Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for a spirited driver would be the 275/45R20 Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow on the 20x10 5-130 45ET silver painted Andros Spec P.

275/45-20 Pirelli Scorpion Ice and Snow N0 $317**
275/45R20 Pirelli Scorpion
Ice & Snow
20x10 5-130 45ET Silver Andros Spec P $229**
20x10 5-130 45ET Silver Painted
Andros Spec P


With the 275/45R20 being about one inch narrower than your O.E. 295/35R21, it's skinny enough to handle a deep snow blizzard, yet wide enough for your Cayenne GTS to remain fun on good weather days.

Studless Ice & Snow Tire & Package

Moderate drivers in the dark blue region of the map who frequently experiences icy roads should search for a tire from the Studless Ice & Snow category. The optimal package for this driver is the 255/55R18 Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 on 18x8 5-130 50ET silver painted Sport Edition TX8 wheels.

255/55-18 Michelin Latitude X-ICE Xi2 $160**
255/55R18 Michelin Latitude
X-Ice Xi2
18x8 5-130 50ET Silver Sport Edition TX8 $155**
18x8 5-130 50ET Silver Painted
Sport Edition TX8


255/55R18 is approximately 1.5" narrower than your O.E. 295/35R21 and provides more emphasis on deeper snow traction. Among the 255/55R18 Studless Ice & Snow options, the Latitude X-Ice Xi2 does the best job at balancing ice and packed snow grip with dry road handling.

Create your ideal Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

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 WS70 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.1
 
 

2011 Audi A4 2.0T quattro
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Andover NJ
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
January 31, 2014

The noise level of these tires is not much higher than the Pirelli's I have for the summer. I can feel a slight differance in stability but the ride is not bad at all. Get into the nasty stuff and they are simply amazing on the Audi. I have a Nissan Titan 4x4 with new Firestone destination tires also. The Audi with the Blizzaks puts it to shame in the snow and ice. Great winter tires!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P4 Four Seasons

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.

Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.73
 
 

1999 Saturn SL
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Miles driven on tires: 427
Location: Cottage Grove, MN
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 427 Miles on Tires
January 14, 2014

alright, just drove from home from work. these tires prior to this drive had just over 400 miles on them, so the tread was well broken in. on this particular drive however, there was 4 inches of snow and counting. the snow was extremely thick, not powder. on this drive, i never once white-knuckled the steering wheel as i had the previous winter on my not so enjoyable tires (kumho solus kh-250). these pirellis inspired confidence in the way i drove. i am very pleased with the winter performance of these tires and cant wait to see how summer goes!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Solus KH16

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.

Kumho Solus KH16 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 4.22
 
 

2007 Toyota Prius Touring
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Miles driven on tires: 27,000
Location: Bluff, UT
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 27,000 Miles on Tires
January 14, 2014

I knew our winter tires were due for replacement and intended to shop around on Tire Rack. We had the Prius in for service at our Toyota dealer when they called me and noted we were down to the wear indicators on our Continental Conti Winter Contact tires. (The Contis had been a good winter tire and I would still consider them) I agreed to have them put on these all season Kumhos. What a mistake. After 27000 miles these tires are shot. Down to the wear indicators. I've just ordered new Pirelli P7 Plus from Tire Rack. No more Kumhos for me.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

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.

Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.22
 
 

2013 Subaru Impreza WRX 4-Door
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Miles driven on tires: 1,400
Location: Franklin, IN
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,400 Miles on Tires
January 13, 2014

We've had two BIG snows since I bought these tires this season. They work marvelously. I get great straight line traction and very predictable cornering in the snow. I’m more worried about the other cars around me that don’t have these tires…

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

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.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.56
 
 

2010 Dodge Journey
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Saline, MI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
January 21, 2014

Initial experience - this tire is so much better than the OEM Kuhmo Solus KH16, it's an unfair fight. Given my purchase of the P7 was for less than the Kuhmo here - slam dunk, game over.

The Solus was noisy, poor ride, so-so tread life and awful in snow. With the snowy winter we have had around SE Michigan this season, the improved performance of the Pirelli has been pretty astounding.

Although more miles are needed for a full assessment, thus far the snow, slush and dry performance of the tire has been excellent for a four-season tire. The ride and noise improvements are just as noteworthy. Highly recommended so far.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow

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.

Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.18
 
 

2010 Infiniti FX35 AWD
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Brookfield, WI
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
January 19, 2014

So far the tires are great. They have excellent grip when accelerating in the snow and surprising very good on dry roads. One of the better winter tires I've driven. Stopping power on snow has been excellent and a great improvement over the Bridgestone All Season. Ride comfort is great but I'm coming from 20" all season rims. Road noise I think is normal. I typically have the stero on so I'm never to worried about noise. For those interested these are meant for winter time only. I personally will be switching back to all seasons for the spring. So far so good and Extremely pleased with my purchase. I will buy these again.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Snowcontrol Serie 3

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.

Pirelli Winter Snowcontrol Serie 3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.12
 
 

2013 Fiat 500 Turbo
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Des Moines, IA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
January 21, 2014

After a harrowing trip down the icy freeway with my stock tires on my 500 I bought the bullet and ordered a set of these tires and a set of wheels from tire rack. The difference is amazing. I installed the new mounted wheels in a neighbors garage. had to take 4 runs at his driveway to get in the garage. put the wheels on, pulled back in the street and walked right up the driveway with no issues. No more spinning out at icy intersections or wallowing all over the road in the snow. I have never had winter tires before but I will always have them now. The price I paid is a lot less than the cost of a beat up suv that I was thinking of buying just to get around in the winter. Also the service at Tire rack was top notch. Everything I needed was included including new bolts and a spacer ring for each wheel that I didnt know that I needed.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Precision Sport

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.

Firestone Precision Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.91
 
 

2000 Toyota Avalon XL
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Miles driven on tires: 15,000
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 15,000 Miles on Tires
January 22, 2014

Well what can i tell !!! its winter 2014 in New York im the happiest buyer !!! This tires are not soft like Pirellis and not as quiet too .
But i must tell you this are the best traction tires i ever had on Sedan . Hard rain is only a matter of visibility ! Never hydroplaned on Highway or city !!! Now its winter not that bad but i dont even clean snow on my parking lot ! just the car !:) Because those tire a hard you need lil more time for them to warm up and it much softer for me its like 2-3 miles!!!!

 

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.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Snowcontrol Serie 3

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.

Pirelli Winter Snowcontrol Serie 3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 10
 
 

2012 Fiat 500
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
January 25, 2014

have a 2012 fiat sport equipped it with this tire now. Really impressed with the tires. Pittsburgh driving and its been below freezing with a few inches and have had total satisfaction.
Grew up in NY and have never had a 4x4 for snow, all you need is good tires.
Spend the $$ and make yourself safe.
Additional note: all I see here is Subaru's in ditches with all-season tires on them.
The tires make the car!

 

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?"