This is my second set of studded Altimax Arctics. the first is on my 1999 E320, and those also are holding up well after 5 seasons. They are noisy as are any studded tires, so the noise rating is relative to other studded tires, not to plain rubber. The handling is surprisingly stable on freeways and mountain roads. These tires get me around as well as most AWD vehicles, on miserable roads driving to and from ski areas in Idaho and Utah. I'm surprised at how comfortable these are on the 2003, more so than on the 1999. I'm guessing that difference may be related to the age and mileage on the '99 compared to the '03 and normal deterioration of rubber parts in the suspension. Having the studded tires is a must for night time driving in high river valleys where cold temps and any humidity turn instantly to black ice.