Ice, Ice Baby!

Friday, August 6, 2010 by Tucker Glenn
That's right kids, it's time once again to drive expensive BMWs on an ice rink!!

Tire Rack has been putting winter tires through the ringer for the last couple of years by equipping our test vehicles with some popular choices and testing their mettle on glare ice. This year we tested the Continental ExtremeWinterContact, the Dunlop Graspic DS-3, the Michelin X-Ice Xi2, and the new kid on the block, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70.

Now, driving on glare ice does present some problems. If you're like me and just a little clumsy, one false move and WHAM! It's a visit to Ouchtown! But the slickness of the ice is where we really get a feel for the tires' performance in situations where the weather is less than desirable.

The Blizzak tire has been the industry standard for years, providing top notch snow and ice traction compared to its competitors. This year is no different with the WS70, but the gap seems to have been narrowed a bit. Continental has stepped up their game with the ExtremeWinterContact. It handled very well as we made the turns. The X-Ice Xi2 also did very well, and the top three were very close. The Graspic DS-3 lagged a little behind and was the only tire to take out some cones on the turn. Acceleration and braking were all pretty close with these four tires. Complete results will be online soon.

Ultimately, you can't go wrong with any of these winter tires. The snow and ice traction from a winter tire is roughly double what it is with an all-season. When winter safety is a concern, Tire Rack for great deals on studless ice and snow tires!

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