Initial Review, 5000 Miles on Tires
January 10, 2010
I bought these tires after researching them online and finding numerous positive reviews and then I saw the latest Consumer Reports winter tire test that rated them 2nd overall and that clinched it. These tires are rebranded Gislaved NordFrost 3's made in Germany by Continental (Continental owns both the Gislaved and General Tire brands).
I've used many winter tires over the last 20 years (Bridgestone WT-02, Michelin Alpin, Blizzak WS-50, Dunlop Winter Sport M3, Blizzak WS-60) and price independent these are without a doubt the best overall with the WS-60 a close second. When you factor in the price of these versus the WS-60s it's not even close.
They have very little noise, ride is excellent, actually even better than my all seasons as I went from 205/50R17 to 205/55R16 for the winters on separate steel rims. If somebody dropped you into the car and asked what type of tires it had you probably would never guess they were winter tires. Of course, not being performance winter tires you do give up some dry traction (most noticeable on the on-ramps) but they are the least "feeling" winter tires I have owned with the exception of the Dunlops, however the Dunlops did not inspire the same level of confidence as the Altimax when the weather turned nasty. They are very stable on the highway and do not exhibit some of the mushiness that affects many winter tires. I can't comment on wear as I've only had them 3 months however if I get at least 3 winters I'll be happy. I only managed 2 winters out of the very soft WS-60s and once the multicell compound wears away on those (55%) you are back to a standard winter compound negating a good portion of their ice traction.
Deep snow, packed snow and ice traction are all very good with the Generals, I have to really slam on the brakes to even engage the ABS. Backing up a sloped driveway after a freezing rain storm I did not slip once. Unlike snow tires of old, wet traction is also very good with no sense of hydroplaning on