Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Monday, March 17, 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 Xi3 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.73
 
 

2010 Toyota Prius
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location: Lake Villa, IL
Driving Condition: Easy Going
 

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
March 10, 2014

After 10,000 miles, I'm impressed with these tires. While not as tenacious as studdable snows, these tires dont suffer from the noise issues with which studdable snow tires are burdened. The ride comfort is a fair trade, as these tires still provide very nice light and deep snow grip, and they seem additionally competent on the ice.

This was a tough winter with lots of opportunities to drive in challenging conditions. I drove through deep snow, across hard packed snow, two inch thick ice on the freeway. My Prius tore through it all. 7 plus inches of unplowed snow posed no issue. I drove at over 60 mph on two inch thick ice (just east of Lake Michigan) and found myself laughing at how easy it was.

What's more, and this is why I find myself buying Michelin tires over and over again, the tires are remarkably quiet in the dry. Although I have a separate set of summer wheels and tires (purchased from Tire Rack) I could easily run these tires with few issues. But I won't.

For those of you who drive a Prius or other hybrid, or are simply concerned with the mileage impact, I have found these tires, which are LRR, to be very good. I can easily average over 50mpg with my Prius in the warm, on fair weather tires. With these winter tires, I found my mileage to be closer to 44. How much of the decline is attributable to the tires, and how much is attributable to the cold weather, I cannot be certain. But now that it's a bit warmer, Ive seen my mileage climb back up to 50mpg, even though the winter tires are still mounted.

I would definitely buy these again, and I would recommend them. I hope this review has been helpful.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Friday, February 28, 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 Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.27
 
 

2008 Honda Fit Sport
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Hellam, PA
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
February 05, 2014

I purchased these tires toward the end of October and mounted them on the vehicle in the beginning of November. This is my first winter season in a few years without a four wheel drive vehicle and I wanted to ensure that I could get to work and other places safely in our lovely Pennsylvania winter weather! Well, these tires did not disappoint! I have roughly 3k miles on them and I have been in a number of snow scenarios with them this year. Every storm I have felt confident in my vehicles handling thanks to these tires!

I purchased a wheel kit from TireRack that included the wheels and tires already mounted and balanced. They are perfect! I do not have any vibrations whatsoever and the tires are not very noisy on dry pavement. The Fit is an econobox, and if these tires were loud, I would definitely know it. They ride comfortably and handle OK. These tires are not performance tires by any means, but they handle well enough and do not suffer from tread wobble like others I have seen. Where these tires really shine are in snowy conditions! I have more faith in my little FWD car than I did in my AWD Explorer or 4x4 Jeep that I had previously owned. These tires will get you moving and stopped in most situations that I have encountered. The one exception to that would be ice. Even though these tires are studdable, I do not have studs in mine. If I did, I am certain even ice wouldn't be a problem. I did not want the extra road noise from studs.

If you want a good all around winter tire, look no further! I will be purchasing a set of these for my wife's Altima for next winter as well. Also keep in mind, skinny tires go better in the winter than wider tires but you will sacrafice some handling on dry pavement. I would definitely recommend these tires to anyone looking for snow tires!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

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 Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.11
 
 

1993 Volvo 2 Series Wagon
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Sandusky, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
January 04, 2014

I purchased these tires for my RWD Volvo wagon which already handled great in the snow to increase my winter driving confidence. I also based my purchase off the Tire Rack winter tire video summary and some YouTube videos. After driving our family Minivan in the winter, the difference between all season and snow tires in night and day for me. I would like to just quickly list the things I like about the tires:

Never stuck in deep snow.
Good acceleration.
Stable at highway speeds in snow.
Sidewall is appealing.
Studdable.

Now I did not stud these tires because we rarely deal with ice in Northern Ohio. Most roads are plowed before the snow gets packed down and/or turns to ice.
I never feel like I will get stuck parking in deep snow which is what I see most struggle with in the winter.
I can accelerate off from intersections at normal speeds like I would if the roads were dry which is a plus. No endless tire spin unless I lead foot it.
I also love the fact I can drive at highway speeds with snow cover because of the stability. I have good control and never feel like the car will spin out from under me.

I do have little issues with this tire that are expected if you don't have constant snow cover in your area. This tire is very soft in warmer weather and dry roads. Therefore the steering is mushy and the car seems to sway more on dry roads with hard turning input. The snow handling benefits far outweigh this little issue, but expect less steering response on dry roads.

BOTTOM LINE: Get this tire if you are looking for more confidence driving in the winter. You can still drive just as slow as you did with your all season tires, but you won't have to do so in fear!

 

Which Type of Winter / Snow Tire Is Right for Me?

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Doc Horvath

Like anything else that relates to your car, tires are available in a variety of models that can be fine tuned to best match what you need. Selecting the best tire starts with narrowing your search to one of our Performance Categories, which Tire Rack has developed by using our own test results, customer survey results and manufacturer recommendations. These Performance Categories help focus your search by comparing tires with similar characteristics, allowing you to choose the best tire for how and where you drive. For dedicated winter / snow tires, there are three categories to choose from.

Studless Ice and Snow

In this category, tires use aggressive tread patterns and the latest high-tech rubber compounds to provide ice and snow traction similar to traditional studded snow tires. Customers that focus on this category are looking to get the best snow and ice traction possible, with the understanding that when the roads are clear, your high speed handling will be a little less responsive than a traditional all-season tire. A few options to consider in the category, include the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, Michelin X-Ice Xi3, Dunlop Winter Maxx and Continental ExtremeWinterContact.

Performance Winter / Snow

Options from the Performance Winter / Snow category feature tires with tread patterns and rubber compounds that are tuned to improve dry and wet traction, along with high speed handling. Drivers that aren't expecting to see heavy or persistent accumulations of snow and want a tire that will handle and perform more like the performance tires the vehicle most likely came with when new will benefit from a Performance Winter / Snow tire. If this sounds like your style of driving, then take a look at the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32, Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 and Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D.

Studdable Winter / Snow

Studdable Winter / Snow tires are designed to allow the installation of optional metal studs to enhance ice and snow traction. Customers that focus on this category are looking for a low cost winter tire option and are willing to allow for more road noise and less comfort than Original Equipment tires. Studded tires are often subject to state laws that dictate when (or if) they can be used, so always check local laws before selecting a tire from this category. Tires in this category include the Firestone WinterForce UV, General AltiMAX Arctic and Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter.

Take a look at our Winter Tire Decision Guide to help you choose the best tire for handling winter conditions. 

Pirelli Makes Some of the Best Winter Tires for 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Pirelli doesn't just make performance tires like the P Zero line, they also produce world class winter / snow tires for a range of vehicles from small cars and high performance sports cars to large SUVs, trucks and crossover vehicles. So, whether you need affordable studded snow tires for your Honda Civic, performance snow tires for your BMW 3 Series or tires for the family's SUV for ski trips, Pirelli has you covered!

 Pirelli Winter Carving
Pirelli Winter Carving
 Pirelli Scorpion Winter
Pirelli Scorpion Winter
 Pirelli Winter SottoZero 3
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3


The Pirelli Winter Carving is a Studdable Winter / Snow tire made in a variety of sizes for those looking for a traditional studdable snow tire. With or without studs, the Winter Carving represents a great value in a traditional studdable winter tire. Note, that while studded tires are not the quietest tires, they do offer great snow and ice traction. To learn more about about using studded tires, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."

Pirelli's Scorpion Winter is an outstanding choice for crossovers, trucks and SUVs. It features an Ecoimpact icon branded on the sidewall to highlight the tire's contribution to the environment with regards to energy efficiency, clean air and low noise. The tire is designed to deliver low temperature wintertime driving performance by combining predictable handling on dry and wet roads with traction in snow and on ice.

Drivers looking for a high performance winter tire that will provide some winter traction for better dry road grip and steering response should consider the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3. The tire was developed with the philosophy that winter tires must perform in a variety of unpredictable weather conditions.

All three tires feature aggressive, directional tread patterns for great water and snow/slush evacuation. Looking for winter aftermarket alloy wheels or steel wheels to mount your winter tires on? Check out "Steel Wheels Available at Tire Rack" for some great options.

Best Winter / Snow Tires for a BMW 335i

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 by Colin .

Just like any vehicle, a BMW 335i will really benefit from running winter tires during the colder months. Even if you own the all-wheel drive model, a winter tire will help you steer and stop with confidence in snow and on ice. The most popular winter tires we offer to BMW customers come from Bridgestone, Michelin and Dunlop. Offerings in this category for the 335i are divided into two performance categories.


Performance Winter / Snow

Tires in this category will keep a lot of the handling you enjoy from your 335i but still provide very good winter traction. The main disadvantage to performance winter tires is that they won't have the same level of ice and snow traction as Studless Ice & Winter tires. If you live in an area that doesn't see large amounts of snow and ice or where the roads are normally plowed, this may be the best category for you.  

Studless Ice & Snow

Studless Ice & Snow tires are designed for drivers who want to maximize snow and ice traction without using winter tire studs (if you're interested in studded tires, check out tires in the Studdable Winter / Snow category). These tires will maximize your snow and ice traction by trading in some handling in dry and wet conditions. Some models exhibit this more than others, but none of them offer the precise steering response and cornering stability as a Performance Winter / Snow tire.

Purchasing a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package will give you the convenience of switching your tires on your own and ability to downsize your wheels and tires. Downsizing often reduces your overall cost and opens up more options in winter tires. Also, narrower tires will give you better winter traction than a wider option, so if you have a staggered wider rear set-up, switching to a square narrower set-up will help.  

For more help selecting the proper winter tire, read "Size Selection of Winter / Snow Tires."

Do Studdable Winter / Snow Tires Come Studded?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

"When I purchase a set of Studdable Winter / Snow tires, will they arrive studded or unstudded?" All studdable winter tires we sell can be sent with or without studs installed. It's important to note that only new tires that have never been driven on can be studded. Tires already driven on cannot be studded nor re-studded.

Studdable Winter / Snow tires without studs are still effective winter tires and many drivers choose not to stud them. If you desire a higher level of traction due to challenging conditions, studs can be added to any tires in this performance category for a $15 charge. 

When placing your order online, simply check the box to add studs when prompted in the checkout.  Because studdable tires are manufactured with different tread depths, studs are manufactured in different lengths that must be matched to the depth of the holes molded in the tire. We will select the correct gauge of stud for your specific tire and ship them out with the studs pressed in.

A Studdable Winter / Snow tire's tread is often lubricated to facilitate stud installation, therefore a special tool is inserted into the molded hole, spreading the tread rubber, and inserting the stud towards the bottom of the hole and retracting. With the stud inserted, the tread rubber compresses around the stud's flat head and cylindrical housing to hold it in place. Because it takes some time for the lubricant to evaporate and the tread rubber to securely compress around the stud, new studded tires require a break-in period.

Some states prohibit studded winter tires completely or restrict them to seasonal use. Check with local law enforcement officials to confirm restrictions in your area.

To learn more about using studded tires in the colder months, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."

Best Winter / Snow Tires for 2013-2014

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by Colin .

Now's the time to purchase your winter / snow tires! Winter tires are offered in three performance categories: Performance Winter / Snow, Studless Ice & Snow and Studdable Winter / Snow.

Performance Winter / Snow tires are for drivers who want enhanced dry road handling and are willing to trade some snow and ice traction to get it. Studless Ice & Snow tires are designed for those who want to maximize snow and ice traction without the inconvenience of using winter tire studs. Studdable Winter / Snow tires provide basic snow traction and/or the additional security by adding optional winter tire studs to enhance traction on ice.

Bridgestone

The Blizzak WS70 and DM-V1 are ranked highly in the Studless Ice & Snow category and continue to score well in our customer feedback. We've been the largest single source of Blizzak studless winter / snow tires in the United States since their introduction in 1993 and have always been impressed with their traction on ice and in snow.   

Dunlop

Dunlop is replacing their very popular Performance Winter / Snow SP Winter Sport 3D with the SP Winter Sport 4D. The tires were developed for sports cars, coupes and sedans that come from the factory equipped with low profile tires mounted on large diameter alloy wheels. They provide dry, wet and snow-covered road competence by delivering traction throughout winter's cold temperatures. Also, when you purchase a set of four SP Winter Sport 3D or 4D winter tires before the end of the year, you can receive a $60 mail-in rebate. View special offer details here.

Michelin

In the Studless Ice & Snow category, take a look at Michelin's X-Ice Xi3, and if you own a light truck or SUV, consider their Latitude X-Ice Xi2. Both tires provide good ice and snow traction, along with predictable handling in cold, dry and wintry conditions. The X-Ice Xi2 meets Michelin's Green X standard for low rolling resistance that contributes to reducing vehicle fuel consumption and emissions from CO2 gases.

View all the brands of winter / snow tires we carry and find the one that's right for your vehicle.

Best Studded Winter/Snow Tires

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 by Steve Huffman

It's that time of year again. Time to get ready for the inevitable snow and ice that awaits drivers in Canada and parts of the United States. Tire Rack has several winter / snow tire options for just about any vehicle. Some drivers, however, prefer a studded tire. These tires do particularly well in rural and mountainous areas, as well as places that see their fair share of packed snow and ice. Studs can provide better bite on ice. If you're looking for one of the better studded winter tires, consider the following options.

Our most popular Studdable Winter / Snow tire is the Firestone Winterforce. This tire has been around for several seasons and has a proven track record. It has a very aggressive and deep directional tread design that helps it plow through the elements.

General's AltiMAX Arctic is another great option worth looking at. This tire does so well on its own that many drivers decide to drive on them without using studs. It can accommodate the use of optional metal studs and is designed to offer high levels of traction at low temperatures.

New for the 2013 winter season is the Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter. Here is another deep, aggressive and directional treaded tire capable of taking on the winter elements. Designed for coupes, sedans, minivans, crossovers, SUVs and light-duty pickup trucks, the tire allows for alternating rows of optional metals studs that can be added in the shoulder and intermediate tread blocks to increase traction on hard-packed snow and icy roads.

Finally, Pirelli's Winter Carving can be studded to give you the additional traction you're looking for. While designed to accept tire studs, it can also be used without studs if desired. Winter Carving radials are designed to perform in wet and dry conditions, as well as enhance overall traction in snow and on ice.

Firestone Winterforce
Firestone
Winterforce
General Altimax Arctic
General AltiMAX
Arctic
Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter
Goodyear Ultra Grip
Winter
Pirelli Winter Carving Edge
Pirelli Winter
Carving


Always be sure to install Studdable Winter / Snow tires in sets of four.

Which Winter Performance Category Is Right for You?

Thursday, October 10, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Are you in the blue? Then it's time to find the winter / snow tire that works best for your vehicle. In order to purchase the correct snow tire, you should decide which performance category works best for your driving style and the winter weather you experience. There are three winter performance categories: Studless Ice & Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow and Performance Winter / Snow.

Studless Ice & Snow

Tires from this category give you optimum ice and packed snow grip, but are less responsive on dry roads. The tires trade a little handling for excellent ice and snow traction. On dry roads, your vehicle will not respond as crisply or quickly to steering inputs. Studless Ice & Snow tires are available in higher profile sizes and include the following:

If you go with a Studless Ice & Snow tire, you should consider going with a narrower tire as it cuts through deeper snow better. This is especially true for a lighter car like the MINI Cooper.

Studdable Winter / Snow

Studdable Winter / Snow tires can be run studded or unstudded. When studded, they'll give good ice and packed snow grip, but will be less responsive on dry roads. When unstudded, they'll perform well in moderate and deep snow. It's important to note that the use of studded tires may be prohibited or restricted in your area, be sure to check with local authorities to confirm legality. If you're looking for the traditional security of winter tire studs for enhanced traction on ice, consider the following Studdable Winter / Snow options:

The AltiMAX Arctic is slightly better on ice and packed snow and quieter than the the Winterforce. Winterforce tires will provide more effectiveness in deeper snow.

Performance Winter / Snow

These tires will exhibit the above dry road deficiencies to a much lesser degree. If your vehicle came with summer performance tires, the Performance Winter / Snow tires will be more comparable in steering response, acceleration, grip, braking and cornering grip. They will give up some ice and packed snow grip. Tires in this category will wear slightly better compared to Studless Ice & Snow tires, especially during the early and late winter days when temperatures are a little warmer. All winter / snow tires will have more tread noise and this will vary from tire to tire. Performance Winter / Snow tires do tend to be quieter than the other performance categories.

Available in lower profile sizes, the following Performance Winter / Snow tires are great options:

Is a Studless Ice & Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow or a Performance Winter / Snow tire right for your vehicle? It depends on your car, where you live, how you drive on dry roads and how you want to balance the above compromises. For example, my brother lives in Marion, Indiana, which is about an hour northeast of Indianapolis. He got the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 Studless Ice & Snow tire in 235/40R18 on Sport Edition A7 wheels for his 2008 BMW M3. He chose this tire because central Indiana is more apt to get ice storms and there's the potential for heavier snow that wouldn't be quickly cleared from the country roads between his offices. He's willing to drive slower on dry roads.

Compare my brother's driving situation with another driver from Louisville with the same car but a heavier foot, he would be better served with the Performance Winter / Snow Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D tires in 235/40R18 front and 255/40R18 rear. Louisville's milder weather allows him to emphasize dry road performance, but still have emergency snow capability.

Let it snow.

 

Get the Most Life Out of Your Studdable Winter / Snow Tires

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

Studdable Winter / Snow tires are used by many who experience harsher than average winters in far north climates or higher altitudes. Introduced in the 1960s, studs help enhance winter traction on ice-covered roads. They chip the icy surface through vehicle weight and centrifugal forces while driving. Studs consist of two primary parts. A tungsten carbide pin is the element that protrudes beyond the tire tread and contacts the pavement surface. The outside part of the stud is a cylindrical metal jacket or body that is held in the tire tread rubber by a flange at the base.

This type of winter / snow tire requires a bit more maintenance and break-in compared to others. As studded tires are driven, the studs are designed to wear at a rate similar to the tread rubber. Below are some helpful tips in getting the most life out of these tires.

  • Slow driving, typically no faster than 31 mph without hard acceleration, aggressive cornering and hard braking is recommended for approximately the first 60 miles. This allows the studs to seat properly.
  • Do not exceed 62 mph for the next 250 miles. This allows the lubricant used to install the studs time to evaporate and the rubber to conform to the stud. If driven too fast, even after a break-in period, you risk ejecting the stud from the tire.
  • Rotate at the beginning of every winter season or every 4,000 miles, whichever comes first. The rolling direction of the tire should not be changed. This means rotating the tires front to rear on the same side.

For more information on Studdable Winter / Snow tires, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."

New Winter / Snow Tires for 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 by Steve Huffman

It's that time of year again. Winter is on the way and there are several new winter / snow tires for the 2013-14 season.

Bridgestone's newest Performance Winter / Snow tire is the Blizzak LM-32. This tire will be replacing the popular Blizzak LM-60 and features a different tread design that should provide better grip in the winter elements. Another new option in the category is the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D. Dunlop's 4D Sipe System combines their 3D sipe technology with transverse sipes to create independent micro-blocks that generate better footprint pressure distribution to enhance snow handling and cornering grip.

A new tire in the Studless Ice & Snow category is the Dunlop Winter Maxx. This tire will replace the Graspic DS-3. The Winter Maxx molds a silica-enhanced Nano-Fit Rubber tread compound into an asymmetric independent block design to provide grip in cool, dry and wet conditions, as well as in slush, snow and on ice. Miura-Ori shaped sipes, featuring a three-dimensional interlocking zigzag design, permit tread blocks to combine higher-density siping with enhanced block rigidity to promote snow and ice traction, dry road handling and even treadwear.

The newest tire in the Studdable Winter / Snow category is the Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter. Its wide tread grooves help evacuate loose snow and slush to enhance wintertime traction, while multiple sipes increase the number of biting edges to improve grip on ice and snow. Metal studs can be added to enhance ice and packed snow traction.  

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
Bridgestone Blizzak
LM-32
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D
Dunlop SP Winter
Sport 4D
http://www.tirerack.com/images/tires/dunlop/du_winter_maxx_ci2_l.jpg
Dunlop Winter
Maxx
Mouseover Text Here
Goodyear Ultra Grip
Winter


Shop by vehicle to find the winter / snow tire that works best for how and where you drive.

Studless Ice & Snow or Studdable Winter / Snow Tires: Which is Best for You?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

In recent years, Studless Ice & Snow tires have improved greatly. Aggressive tires from this category, such as the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 and Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 lead the pack for drivers looking for maximum traction without metal studs. Studless Ice & Snow tires feature soft compounds, deep aggressive tread patterns and lots of tread void for the evacuation of slush and snow.

If you live in an extreme environment you may feel the need to use a Studdable Winter / Snow tire. Studded tires provide an extra amount of bite on ice by using a stud that touches the road between the tire's contact patch. The General AltiMAX Arctic and Firestone Winterforce are included in this category and do not come studded, but can be sent with studs pressed in for an extra $15 a tire. While studs provide a small advantage in the most extreme of environments, they do have their trade-offs. Studded tires are noisy and not allowed in all states. They can also reduce performance in dry and wet conditions. Make no mistake, studded tires are capable but that performance comes at a cost.

Which tire you select will depend on where you live and where and what you drive. If you look around the parking lot at our headquarters in South Bend, Indiana this coming winter, you won't see many, if any studded snow tires because our climate isn't that extreme. If our base camp was located high in the Rockies, the tables might turn. There's simply a case to be made for using different tools for different jobs.

To recap, here are some pros and cons for each category:

Studless Ice & Snow

Pros:

  • Reasonable road manners
  • More than adequate snow and ice performance
  • Friendly on dry and wet roads

Cons:

  • Will give up a slight grip advantage to a studded tire on glare ice

Studdable Winter / Snow

Pros:

  • An extreme tire for extreme environments
  • No more expensive than a Studless Ice & Snow tire

Cons:

  • Road noise
  • Not meant for dry and wet roads
  • Not legal in all areas

Shop by vehicle to find the winter / snow tire that's best for how and where you drive.

Best Light Truck and SUV Winter / Snow Tires for 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by Steve Huffman

This season one of the best winter / snow tires for light trucks and SUVs is the Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2. It debuted last season and proved to be a solid performer. Michelin's FleX-Ice silica-based 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. It's molded into a directional tread design that helps evacuate water and slush to improve hydroplaning resistance.

The Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 has been one of the top winter tires for several years and is back to take on another winter. It uses 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.

If you're seeking a studdable winter option, the Firestone Winterforce UV is a great choice. Firestone Winterforce UV tires feature a winter tread compound molded into an aggressive directional tread pattern with tread blocks that are siped, stepped and can be studded to offer the biting edges necessary to provide traction in snow and on ice. Independent tread blocks feature high-density siping to enhance grip in loose snow while the intermediate and shoulder tread blocks are molded to accept studs that further enhance traction on hard-packed snow and ice. While not required, we can install the studs for your set of Winterforce UV tires. 

Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2
Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
Firestone Winterforce UV
Firestone Winterforce UV


Shop by vehicle to find the winter / snow tire that's right for your light truck or SUV.

What are the Different Types of Winter / Snow Tires?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

When it comes to choosing your next set of winter / snow tires for a passenger vehicle, you'll choose an option from one of three performance categories.

  • Studdable Winter / Snow - Tires in this category are designed to accept an optional metal stud to enhance ice traction. Drivers can run these tires without the studs and they tend to be a very good snow solution, however become a bit more challenged on icy surfaces. When the studs are added, ice traction is improved at the expense of noise level. Because studded tires damage road surfaces, many states restrict them to wintertime use or prohibit them entirely. Check with your local authorities to confirm legality.
     
  • Studless Ice & Snow - This category is created for the tire that really delivers in the harshest of winter conditions. Designed as a friendlier alternative to studded solutions, we like to say they make driving in snow feel like driving in the rain. These tires meet challenging winter driving conditions by delivering studded-like snow and ice traction without employing studs.
     
  • Performance Winter / Snow - These tires will trade some deep snow and ice traction to gain better clear, open-road capabilities. Originally designed for winter driving on European highways where high-speed driving on clear roads must be combined with traction on snow-covered roads, this category is an ideal solution for areas with cold temperatures and less snow.
General Altimax Arctic - studdable winter
General AltiMAX Arctic - Studdable Winter / Snow
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 - Studless Ice and Snow
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 - Studless Ice & Snow
Bridgestone Blizzak LM32 - Performance Winter
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 - Performance Winter / Snow


Shop by vehicle to find the winter / snow tire options available for your application.

Best Winter / Snow Tires for 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 by Steve Huffman

Well it's that time of year again. Football is back, the leaves will be changing colors soon and snow is just around the corner. Drivers should start thinking about their tires and how they're going to safely navigate their vehicle through winter's elements.

Last season our friends at Michelin introduced the X-Ice Xi3. It proved to be one of our top performers in the Studless Ice & Snow category and will help you handle snow- and ice-covered roads. Michelin's FleX-Ice silica-based winter tread rubber compound provides firmness at higher temperatures for wet and dry road stability while it remains flexible at lower temperatures to enhance packed snow and ice traction. It's molded into a directional tread design that helps evacuate water and slush to improve hydroplaning resistance.

Bridgestone's Blizzak WS70 has been providing great wintertime traction to drivers over the past few seasons. This tire features a dual-compound tread with Bridgestone's NanoPro-Tech silica-enhanced Tube Multicell compound layered on top of a standard winter compound. The Tube Multicell compound features thousands of microscopic tubes and cells uniformly distributed throughout the compound that wick away the water that often forms between the tire's contact patch and the surface of snow-packed and icy roads.

If you prefer a Studdable Winter / Snow tire, the General AltiMAX Arctic is a great option to consider. AltiMAX Arctic tires use General Tire's All-Weather Dual Tread compound to enhance cold weather flexibility and wet traction. Alternating rows of optional metal studs can be added in the shoulder and intermediate tread blocks to increase traction on hard packed snow and icy roads.

Michelin X-Ice Xi3
Michelin X-Ice Xi3
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
General AltiMAX Arctic
General AltiMAX Arctic


Create a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for your vehicle today.

Which Winter / Snow Tire is Best for You?

Friday, August 30, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

As much as we don't like to admit it, summer is ending and snow is just around the corner. When it comes to winter driving, traction is key and it starts with your tires. Even those vehicles with four-wheel drive, ABS or traction control still rely on their tires for maximum traction.

By design, all-season tires trade a little dry and wet road traction in moderate and warm temperatures to provide light snow traction in below freezing temperatures. Winter / snow tires trade a little dry and wet road handling in moderate and warm temperatures to emphasize wet, ice and snow traction in cold to moderate temperatures.

Below are the performance categories of snow tires available for passenger cars, trucks and SUVs.

I would recommend placing an advance order when you are sure of your selection, rather than waiting until you are in the midst of the snow season. This will help assure the product you want will be available for you, and likely get it to you ahead of the snowfall. For items that are not in stock yet, our order process doesn't charge your credit card until the product leaves our distribution center, therefore no advance charges will appear on your monthly statement until your order ships.

Take a look at our Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages to help you get to your destinations smoothly in winter's worst conditions. They are the best way to outfit your vehicle for the winter season. You'll have the best tires for the conditions you're driving in this winter!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Winterforce

Thursday, April 25, 2013 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 Winterforce Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7
 
 

2002 Honda CR-V
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 15,000
Location: Springdale, AR
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 15,000 Miles on Tires
April 12, 2013

Tires are used on 2002 (manual trans) and now 2003 (automatic) Honda CRV AWD, these tires are a very cost effective, albeit somewhat noisy, way to get winter traction in snow and slippy conditions. Moderately aggressive tread pattern, durable, softish compound still wears much better than I expected (4th winter now still in very good shape especially considering they spend almost all od their time on dry or rainy roads, the car is the primary "got to get to work car" hence snows over all season tires in our somewhat unpredictable though not usually severe winters) studdable if you need it for lots of ice traction and pretty dang inexpensive. We had a 17" snow over night not long after I got these meats and the little CR-V was a TANK, I expected wheelspin but got so much traction I "plowed" the local street as a real plow never comes and also used the trucklet with these tires to clear the gutters for the snowmelt to be able to get to the drains. I purposely tried to beach the little CR-V but the tires pulled right through both the powdery snow then the melting slop with ease. These tires rock for the price and are pretty stout and long wearing in my opinion (about 15000k miles so far and look like they have still several winters left). Do be aware of noticeable tire noise/drone though. Just add stereo and forget it...

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Grabber AT 2

Thursday, January 24, 2013 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 Grabber AT 2Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.67

2004 Land Rover Discovery 4.6 SE
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 16,000
Location: San Francisco/Tahoe City, CA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 16,000 Miles on Tires
January 08, 2013

This is the 2nd set of tires I have had on my truck. At first I had a set of Nexen street tires on the beast. The winter of 2010-11 had me replace those things fast.
The wife and I are powder hounds and therefore need a tire that performs well in ice and snow. This is where this tire really just delivers. I can't tell you how many storms I have driven through in the Sierra Nevada both with these tires and with street tires. These make all the difference. No tire is great on ice unless you have studs and these are studdable but I like to keep a good amount of distance between me and the guy in front of me in icy conditioons and these perform just fine. These tires really shine in deep snow. So far the record is just below my knee which is about 10-12 inches or so. I was nervous for the first 500 feet but after that it was actually a little fun.
I have driven these on the beach and off road quite a bit as well. They aren't great in sand. They aren't great in mud but I haven't gotten stuck yet. Knock on wood. On dirt roads and rocks they are fine but my street tires were fine in those conditions as well. I haven't noticed any difference in gas mileage since I put them on.
I have driven them about 16k miles and the tread has worn a little more than I like but they come with a 60k warranty we'll see how that plays out. I have them rotated every 6k miles when I change my oil.
Overall a very solid tire. I know they will last longer than the Michelins I have on the BMW and I know they are made better. The balance weights on the tires is proof of that.
They perform where I absolutely need them too and that is to get me to the mountains and back so I couldn't be happier with my purchase.