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: 2008 Honda S2000
Miles Driven on Tires: 1,000
Location: branchburg, NJ
Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City
Driving Style: Spirited
General Altimax Arctic
Initial Review: 1,000 miles on tires
January 13, 2013

This is my first experience with a snow tire. I quickly learned that even in dry conditions, the three season tires on my s2000 would not safely carry me through the winter. I did my research and got these Generals. I maintained my staggered setup on the smaller 16 AP1 wheels. 205/60/16 in the front, 225/55/16 in the rear. They don't rub.

SNOW: these tires are fantastic. I couldn't have a car more poorly suited for snow and yet I was able to make a 40 mile trip in changing conditions a couple weeks ago with snow accumulations peaking at 2 inches. It was nerve racking for sure and I was constantly poling the tires to determine their grip level but I didn't have even one moment that worried me. Snow tires + VSA + ABS is a powerful combo.

DRY: these tires provide ample cold traction. The rubber blocks that keep snow from accumulating in between your treads work against you in the dry though. The car starts having the most unpleasant vibration around 80MPH and any fast input you feed the steering wheel will be delayed by these rubber blocks shifting under your cars weight. Feels bad. Take your turns slow. Ripples or bumps in the road while cornering are quite unnerving as the blocks continually shift. Additionally, this action in the tread engages my VSA when applying power mid-low-speed-turn and any time VTEC engages in 1st or 2nd gear.

WET: these tires perform quite well in the wet. It's very unpredictable though. The tire evacuates water well enough through puddles but is sensitive to road surface. You might find yourself very surprised on a water covered roadway that happens to be unusually smooth. The tire has frightened me a couple times with this condition. I'll feel confident with the grip level, then suddenly my front end (on the brakes) or rear end (on the power) is drifting around.

BOTTOM LINE: these tires will get you through the winter safely but you might have to drive a good bit more sensibly, especially if your car is of a sporting nature.

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