Tested: Studless Ice & Snow Tires at the Arctic Circle I Tire Rack

During the height of the winter season in Northern Sweden in late January of 2009, we compared three Studless Ice and Snow winter tires, each designed with advanced tread compounds and highly evolved tread patterns to be the best for when winter conditions are the worst. We evaluated each tire’s ability to accelerate, brake and drive through the snow and across ice. Both objective tests measuring each tire’s performance with sensitive on-board instruments, and subjective ratings of how each tire felt from the driver’s seat were conducted.


RemeberME ReMaS says:

I just ordered today 4 michlin I hope it’s good, SO after a lot of searching, I found it cheapest one for the size 15 only !

Hayk Samvelyan says:

you should include the price of the tires in your videos.

Kawai Hui says:

Not includes comfort, noise, and durability???

dave0mary says:

Comments left here concerning FWD vs RWD are under vastly different parameters. To say “my Corolla got good traction with these tires” as opposed to a RWD BMW for example is critical. My 2001 BMW 530i sport (RWD) going from Michelin Pilot Sport PS2’s to Extreme Winter Contact tires was absolutely phenominal. Not dissapointed in the tires OR TireRack.

Tire Rack says:

Occasionally the Tire Rack team will have the opportunity to experience prototype tires during their development. This allows our feedback to assist the manufacturer in the final fine-tuning of the tire’s specifications. However, these experiences are not reported or reflected in our test results.

Serveck says:

@kawaihui with winter tires, i’d take the noisiest roughest tires i can find so i don’t go off the road, or into you.

Vaughn Hoffman says:


xilix says:

@mrjost55 Prices are subject to change (and they do), that’s why they don’t mention them in the video, because tons of people would be bitching about the tires not being (insert price here). Not worth it. If you want to know the price, it takes 30 seconds on their site.

autoxerwgn says:

Ice vs Snow performance, 2 different things.

tiredrummertube says:

This test is already out of date; when will TR compare Alpin4; Goodyear8; Bridgestone WS70; and the GZ against best two years ago ContiExtreme Winter???

empty pockets says:

i have a 91 mr2 turbo with about 360 rwhp i know i shouldn’t be driving it in snow but i live in Chicago and what started as a warm winter day in the morning can turn into a blizzard by time i get off work (as i’m sure you know) will blizzaks help me or should i just leave her in the garage?

MrDany20100 says:

Where can i buy x-ice ?

Hayk Samvelyan says:

yeah but an average size comparison would be nice

empty pockets says:

thank you. ill wait till it’s a little closer to winter but i will be calling you. i bought my last two sets of tires from tirerack and was very happy with my purchases.

Detmer says:

Durability, ok.

But comfort, noise? who cares about that if your’e stuck in the snow or slided of the road? Traction is what’s it’s all about.

TheNinjawithagun says:

Yeah, yeah, yeah – and I saw several other reviews that placed the X-Ice 2 as the best overall tire.

Paul Leonard says:

General Altimax artic > all these and are only $68 each for 195/60/15s

rtsoccerplayer says:

the price will depend on your size

Victortrotska says:

@sanmusa Were they good in icy conditions? Also in curves? I am looking for winter tyres so checking around for feedbacks!

Victortrotska says:

@mbdulka I know nothing about Nokian, are these good winter tyres?

Tire Rack says:

@OttovonEarth In order to avoid this issue, Tire Rack only evaluates production tires in our tests. We wait until we can select our test tires from inventory that’ll also be sold to our customers. Additionally, since new tire lines are typically designed to offer best-in-class performance, we’ll often repeat recently introduced tires as competitors when even newer tire lines that are introduced in the same category. Our tire tests will discover if a tire’s performance slips in subsequent tests.

fubeca says:


I’d like to see a source for your statements. The tests I’ve seen have the blizzaks better on snow, cold dry roads, and roughed up ice and only 3-5% worse on glare ice than studded nokians. But I live in AK where temperatures are below freezing from Nov. through March and don’t deal with glare ice very much.

Victortrotska says:

@sanmusa Thanks!

sh856531 says:

@cliffcox66 2 things:
1. The material in summer tires becomes hard like glass in frozen temperatures meaning they are effectively useless. WT are designed to remain very soft at low temps
2. Winter tires have very deep channels and grooves that dig into the snow and ice as you go over it.

It may not seem like these two things could make that much of a difference – but they really do. I’ve seen cars do seemingly impossible things with the tires changed…

Tire Rack says:

Definitely sounds like a car that would prefer to stay out of the snow, but a good set of snow tires should get you home in most cases. If you would like to try to put together a winter package for this car, please email ben@tirerack.com.

W8MPX says:

general altimax artic all the way cheap when you try them you will love it Michelin 160 each  general 89.00 each. check the reviews for the general altimax artic and see for your self. if you feel to throw your money go ahead and get Michelin continental or bridestone

Tire Rack says:

We have seen tire specifications change as a new line goes from development into full production. Compared to the prototype tires; we’ve seen changes in rubber thickness, body ply angles or even tread compounds when the tire line goes into full production. Maybe what you called a “scammer” was just part of the development evolution.

Renato Piereck says:

I had Blizzak WS60 on my Subaru Forester in Alaska and they are truly great tires for winter driving. I was driving at near summer speeds, wondering why everybody else was so slow.

OttovonEarth says:

In Dec. 2004 Nordic magazines tested winter tires as usually in Ivalo, Finland. Continental AG submitted tires to the test cause the model was brand new, not in production at the time yet. The main organizer of this test was a Tekniikan Maailma magazine, and they use to check out production tires when they’re avaible for consumers – they found that the production Continental had 10% thinner sidewall than its originally tested tires had – winner of the test, Continental AG revealed a scammer.

Hayk Samvelyan says:

@xilix that’s a good point

fubeca says:


In AK the Nokian tires are often double the price of Blizzaks. I’m not paying double the price for maybe 3% more performance, especially during the middle of the Greatest Depression.

Renato Piereck says:

@Victortrotska Blizzak are great, yes they were good in icy conditions. My buddy ahs the new Blizzak WS70 on his Honda Civic Si and they grip very well on front wheel drive too.

Vaughn Hoffman says:

what about the toyo  tire

Michael Campbell says:

You guys should test some dedicated AWD vehicles to see if there is a difference.  I have an Audi RS6 and Subaru Outback and these cars drive different in the winter from rwd or fwd vehicles.  I’ve always wondered how the winter and all seasons perform on vehicles like this.  I have a suspicion these tires are engineering for 2wd vehicles and there may be one that does awesome on awd.

Future Mech says:

All three tires are exellent for over all traction, the blizzack has a slight advantage if your a Zamboni driver, cause as icy as I have seen has never come close to a skating rink.

Mast3rSkillz says:

You cant really go wrong with any of these tires

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