Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3

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 Subaru Legacy Sedan 2.5 GT Limited With OE Metal Valve Stems
Miles Driven on Tires: 3,500
Location: RICHMOND, VA
Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City
Driving Style: Spirited
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
Initial Review: 3,500 miles on tires
February 23, 2014

These tires are excellent for winter-rated rubber on dry and wet roads, with progressive and predictable traction loss as you approach their limit while cornering. They are plenty capable of propelling my Subaru Legacy 2.5GT through over a foot of snow, although they are obviously aided by the AWD system's viscous limited slip differentials in this task. At speed, they maintain traction and stability through slush and shallow snow on the road.

On light snow and ice, they brake well but not as well as a fully dedicated snow/winter tire. This is to be expected, however, as these are designed for performance cars in areas with milder winters, where snows happens but infrequently. The trade off is far superior dry and wet traction than fully dedicated winter tires, with handling and braking comparable to some summer tires. Steering response compared to a summer tire is noticeably slower, due to the softer winter rubber compound.

Regardless, these will allow you to enjoy your car throughout the winter months without sacrificing much of the handling, braking, and cornering enjoyed on summer tires during the rest of the year. I highly recommend them, and they are a great deal for the price.

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