This tire is new for the 2012-2013 winter. Mine were made in Thailand, which sees no snow so they are made completely for export. My driving style is spirited much of the year but very easy going in the rain and much of the winter.
These tires are extremely quiet for a snow tire and quiet for any tire. Few people have a decibel meter but I pay close attention when changing tires. Usually my snow tires are the benchmark because they are not used much but it is also possible to assess these new snow tires by comparing them with my summer tires (which is a little harder since noise levels in summer tires might change over time as they are driven on more). These tires have little high frequency noise as noticed by my ear when driving and also playing CD's in the car. With CD's, I can here certain high notes and lyrics better than when I played the same song with my summer tires a day earlier. The noise is mostly low pitched (bass).
The handling cannot compare with tires like the Continental ExtremeContact DW but the Xi3 is a decent tire in dry weather around 41 degrees F (5 degrees C). Like most or all snow tires, it has a slightly spongy feel. It is not easy to activate the traction control but with another model of tire, I could easily do so and still not drive like a maniac or get a ticket. With a deep tread that I currently have, it feels stable in drizzle and heavy rain. This winter, snowfall was the second lightest in recent years so I can't comment on ice and snow capability. In the 1,500 miles that I drove, there was hardly any wear so my estimate is that it will last me 7 seasons, at which time they get changed. I usually change snow tires if they are less than 6/32 (say 5.5/32) at the start of winter or 7 seasons. The only exception would be if winter was slow to start, then I might use them one more season at 5.5/32