Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Note: The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.
Vehicle: 2006 Honda Civic SI Coupe
Miles Driven on Tires: 15,000
Location: Westlake, OH
Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City
Driving Style: Spirited
General Altimax Arctic
Initial Review: 15,000 miles on tires
December 02, 2011

I was nervous about buying this tire at first, but after reading reviews here and elsewhere online, I decided to take the plunge just before Winter of '09. After two whole winters (and starting a third), the snow performance of these tires continue to leave me satisfied. I have intentionally put my little FWD Civic in nasty situations (unplowed parking lot after 12 of snow? why not!) and have never gotten stuck with these tires on the car. I've owned Hakkapelittas, and Blizzaks, and the Altimax Artic is a comparable contender to both at a fraction of the price.

The biggest detractor from these tires is their sidewalls. I expect a bit of softness in a snow tire, but these go to extremes. My car feels like it's floating at highway speeds, and requires some extra wheel input to keep it straight. When it's dry out, taking turns at speed in these tires will leave you guessing every time. Throughout the turn, the tires never settle, so you're constantly on edge trying to manage through the turn. Steering response is horrid as the sidewall turns to mush from any inputs. That said, lateral grip is impressive for such a cheap tire once you can tame the sidewall.

Overall, once you get the hang of the poor sidewall performance, the snow and ice performance makes you forget you ever doubted the tire.

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