Michelin X-Ice Xi2
Follow-Up Review: 8,000 miles on tires
These tires, mounted by TR on Sport Edition D5 wheels, don't seem like they have given up any performance whatsoever and this is the third Winter we've used them. We have icy, icy, side streets everywhere in Boston right now and I just can't believe how good this tire, combined with traction control, works! And below 45 degrees F, the ride is just unbelievable and road noise is just impossibly low for a true Winter tire. <br><br>A week after mounting them in November we had an unusual rise in temperature and I drove them on an unseasonably warm (> 60 degrees F) and rainy day. The traction was fine, but you could feel how hard the tires became in higher temperatures, temperatures outside the intended range. Last Spring when I took these wheels off on a 60 degree day I couldn't believe how much improved the ride was with my OEM tires. Similarly, when I remounted these wheels on a 40 degree day last month, I, again, couldn't believe how much improved the ride was with my Winter tires.<br><br>Getting back to today, I parked in very deep snow(about 7) that hardened overnight. I had to turn the traction control off and rock the car a bit to get out, but no big deal. On my way to and from work I sought out icy, hilly roads and did some test accelerations and panic stops. I just can't get over how wonderful these tires are, especially combined with ABS and traction control. If I turn the traction control off, it's obvious that the acceleration is a team effort as I can easily spin the wheels without using it, but it's ice after all! As for stopping power, these tires are just stellar. I can stomp on the brake and let the ABS and the tires impress me, but I can usually stop as short or shorter without engaging the ABS at all. In 1996 I bought my first 4WD and decided we would never be without one in Winter again. Even though we still have a 4WD, the combination of Michelin X-Ice tires and traction control make me think that maybe 4WD is no longer a necessity.
Initial Review: 4,000 miles on tires
After over 15 years of exclusively 4WD vehicles we finally added a FWD family sedan. As we bought the car in the fall, I used Tire Rack's database to check the winter-worthiness of our OEM tires. The red and yellow winter ratings made me decide that we needed a second set of wheels with Winter tires mounted, just like I used to do with my sports cars in the 80's (Conti Contacts back then). I am absolutely amazed that winter tire technology has advanced this far! I would say our FWD car with the Michelin X-Ice XI2's equal the snow traction of our 4WD with All Season/Highway tires (Yokohama Geolander HT/S) and EXCEEDS our 4WD in lateral roadholding AND braking, which I guess is what they're designed for. I'm so impressed that I will even consider outfitting my 4WD vehicles with Winter tires from now on. Except for ground clearance in very deep snow, you almost don't need an SUV anymore for on road winter driving. I'm equally amazed at how compliant the tires are on dry roads and how quiet they are on the highway. Last year about this time when I had these tires and wheels mounted for the first time, I was astounded how they were immediately more comfortable and grippier than the stock tires in the cold. I did minus 1 rim size and two sizes down in width, 215/55-17 to 205/65-16. The sales pitch is that winter tires give you an advantage in every condition below 45 degrees F, which seemed like a bold claim. After 1 winter, I'm convinced. Just mounted them yesterday for winter #2. Nice job Michelin and GREAT job Tire Rack for assembling the data, surveys and tests that convinced me. The way I figure it, if these tires save me even one accident, they pay for themselves. Toward the end of last winter a woman in a mini van spun out in front of me on a four lane divided 40mph road. She instantly was a spinning top across both lanes of the curve. I just came to a quick controlled stop on the curve and put my flashers on to alert other drivers. All Paid for.