Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II

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: 2001 BMW 330Ci Sport Package
Miles Driven on Tires: 6,000
Location: Vancouver, Bc
Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City
Driving Style: Spirited
Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II
Initial Review: 6,000 miles on tires
January 12, 2013

I have used these tires over 3 seasons driving around Vancouver, and to whistler. Here is what you need to know: dry, wet, light snow at temperatures between -10 and +7 these are fantastic. However, because of the temperature here, rear tread wear is the worst I have ever experienced on any tire summer or winter, and the worst of any Pirelli winter tire I have used. The problem is exacerbated by the suspension design and the fact that wear occurs primarilly at the location of the two vertical grooves leaving you with little or no traction in the rear of the car during winter conditions.
On the front of the car, the grip and precision is excellent, as is the wear.
I will be replacing the rear tires with sotto zero series ones which have a harder compound, and only one grove. I am assuming this should balance out tire wear, and improve long term t.raction in the rear. My previous experience with these out here was good, and sadly Pirellis advice to change to the newer softer tire was not well thought out.
If you reside in a place with real winter, cold temps for several months, these tires could be an excellent choice. However, if you are on the west coast where the weather typically provides above zero temps, and a bit below zero in the mountains, tread wear will be a significant problem on the rear of a rear drive car. The tires are useless in winter conditions when they are at 4 mm or 40%. Rear tires previously typically lasted 2 winters and when worn, front tires are moved to the back (last one season) and new rubber goes on the front to maintain maximum grip on the front of the car. Sotto 2s last 1 1/4 on the back if you are lucky here. That's 20 round trips per season to whistler and some limited local driving, or 40% less than series 1 in my experience. Or in real money terms: these tires have added 1000 dollars of additional expense to replace due wear in the last 3 years.

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