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This is an interesting article. Watch the video first if you don't want to read through the text of the article - the content is identical.

Tire Test Results : Testing the Newest Studless Ice & Snow Winter Tires

Even if you aren't interested in these tires, you will learn about what to look for when choosing another brand.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

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Thank you for posting this. One thing I find quite deceiving is that the current rankings tire rack lists have the X-ice Xi3's miles ahead of the competition based solely on the "Real World Road Ride Ratings" Overall (click on the "Test Results Charts" tab and you'll see what I'm talking about). The WS70 still had the best stopping distance (though marginally) on ice, but that is of course buried within the report.

No doubt the X-ice Xi3 is a superb tire, but publishing results that appear to put the Xi3 leagues ahead of the competition at a glance like this based solely on dry road handling makes it harder for me to take TireRack results seriously and not view their test results as just another attempt to peddle a particular product that they get higher profit margins from.
 

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No doubt the X-ice Xi3 is a superb tire, but publishing results that appear to put the Xi3 leagues ahead of the competition at a glance like this based solely on dry road handling makes it harder for me to take TireRack results seriously and not view their test results as just another attempt to peddle a particular product that they get higher profit margins from.
I don't have a clue about profit margins. But there would be no reason for an online tire vendor to test tires that they do not sell, and they only stock those tires that they sell in decent quantities to keep them making a profit. Sure I would like to see them test a Nokian or even a Vredestein..... but they don't sell those brands.

The on-ice performance of all the tires (on the hockey rink) was very similar. Look at the braking and acceleration chart figures on the text page. So ranking them by that aspect would not accomplish much. They are ALL good. Unless you install studs or chains, you can't improve a whole lot here.....

Since they can't test them on snow yet (unless they haul their cars down to West Virginia), all that is left is "Real World" driving - clear pavement road handling and NVH. I don't think they are being deceptive. They specifically said that they waited for cool temperatures to simulate early season driving before the roads got covered. If you want different testing, check Consumer Reports or use Google for online tests and consumer reviews.

I've used tires with "3D siping" before (Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D) on an Audi quattro. I bought them for their superior handling on clear pavement. They were just OK on snow and ice, but excelled the rest of the time. That is a feature I look for on a tire for a good handling car.

Depending on what you drive (an OB vs a Legacy GT for example), you need to look at different aspects when choosing a tire. For my location and my Acura TL SH-AWD, which is indeed Super Handling, my priorities were good lateral grip on clear and snow covered roads (cornering) and acceptable performance on glaze ice. So any studless ice tire would work fine, but the X-Ice 3 has notably better handling that any other tire, so that is what I ordered last week. But I checked a lot of other resources first, before deciding.

Another thing that is important to check is how long you can run them before wear makes them unsafe on snow and ice. For many tires this comes at 50% tread depth, at which point you must buy another set of tires for winter use. Other tires can be run longer, so they are better choices for folks who drive a bunch of miles in winter.

The Nokians come with cool tread wear indicators that show percent remaining, and when they get past 40% and the winter snow flake wears away, you need to change them. Cool.



Anyway, you can't trust what you read online, especially this post ;), so you have to do some research, maybe narrow the choices to two, then flip a coin...

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

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But there would be no reason for an online tire vendor to test tires that they do not sell, and they only stock those tires that they sell in decent quantities to keep them making a profit.
I'm certainly not griping about them not testing tires that they don't sell, I just want vendors to give an unbiased presentation of results if that is what they appear to be promising.

Look at the braking and acceleration chart figures on the text page.
Where did you see the results charted (apart from inline in the text)? I was expecting to see results akin to 2010's testing with a separate charts page detailing all of their tests and not just dry road manners Tire Test Results : Testing Winter Weather Specialists: Studless Ice and Snow Tires

I'm happy they are generating objective results, I'm just unhappy with how the final summary chart was generated since many people will take this chart at face value. If you test a snow and ice tire and the only thing you have to say about it after all of your testing is "man, it's noiseless and cushioned on dry pavement relative to the other tires" without bothering to consider how it handles in ice in the overall score, etc., in my opinion, it isn't worth publishing results and comes across as deceptive to me since this is not why I buy a snow tire.

To further illustrate my point, if they were to repeat this test and include the Michelin Defender (not a snow/ice tire), it would come out as the top snow/ice tire in the summary chart they display because it will certainly have the best dry road manners.
 

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So it sounds like the X-Ice is quieter, longer lasting, and better performing on non-snowy/icy winter days than the Blizzak, which does better on ice and in deep snow. Sounds like they're both excellent tires and nothing has really changed in the X-Ice vs. Blizzak holy wars lol.
 

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I could almost turn the argument around. From what I hear/read, most true winter tires do fine in snow and ice at least for most people. So when shopping for winter tires, I look more at how well do they hold up when the roads aren't so bad. That gives me a better idea of handling and tread life since most of winter involves driving on cleared or snow packed roads in my situation. It's also of concern for me because I have a very wide "potential winter conditions" window. I already ordered a set of x-ice xi3 a few weeks ago but this test looks to reinforce my reasoning and suggests that I may get more life out of them in my conditions than the other tires.

I can't say I find it deceptive. When I looked at the chart tab, my first reaction was "okay, no winter charts yet but at least I can see what dry handling is like for them". They noted a couple of times that the snow condition tests will happen this winter and will be added to the test results once completed. I would expect at that point a second chart will be added to include winter condition tests.

Although to be honest, looking solely at charts is never a good idea. Full test details usually have more information to explain the numbers along with subjective results that charts can't show. In this case, they really don't seem to favor any of the tires over the rest except that the Goodyear would seem to lag behind the other three by a bit.
 

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doing a dry-road based test for snow tires makes sense when you want to sell snow tires to people who don't really need them to begin with- a much bigger market.
 
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