Wow, this is quite an unbelievable tire!
I stopped at Tire Rack in South Bend to put a knife in my OEM Continentals Cross Contacts - with 30K on them, they were unbelievably loud and gave new meaning to white-knuckled winter driving.
From there, I went on a 3K odyssey to Myrtle Beach, and then back home to Lincoln, NE.
The first thing I noticed is quiet - even in a rainy environment, it was evident that the tire performed well.
As the miles wore on, the tire actually got quieter. It is an amazing highway handler, allowing even bumps on the road to soak quietly up. If I have any criticism here, they tend to be a bit floaty, although this could also be the recent alignment that I completed before putting the tires on.
Coming back, we ran into the remnants of Winter Storm Ion as we crossed over I-540 in Arkansas. Here, the tire showed me a new face - winter traction that seems unbreakable! I was able to pass slow-moving vehicles in a snow-covered lane at decent speeds with no slipping and sliding.
As the road wound down into a 2-lane highway, I came into a quick-changing stoplight situation. I hunkered down on the brakes as I expected the ABS to fire off, and got my third surprise - the front end of the car squatting down as the tires gripped into the snow/ice combo in the lane. I couldn't even tell that the lane was slick - there was so much grip that I stopped like it was dry.
Oh, but wait - one final surprise came when I tooled around the 6-8 inch unplowed roads around Carthage, MO. I stopped in a big snowbank, expecting that the 4WD would finally get to come alive. After a little throttle, the 2 fronts pulled the car straight out, with nary a push from the rear.
These are highly recommended by me, and I'm certainly glad I dropped my bias that the OEM tires formed in my perception. Oh, and I think the traction control recommends these too, since it's been sleeping every since these tires are on!