At Treadreview, we focus on getting the best tire information we can, where it might be. Today we bring you this comprehensive test from Norway. The Norwegian Auto Association just completed a thorough test of snow tires. In their opinion the most important task for a winter tire is to stop the vehicle as fast as possible. Next, they looked at how well tires performed at holding vehicles safely on the road during turns and curves. Then they looked at the ability of tires to provide adequate traction to get moving, and lastly at how little noise the tires make.
Here is what they found: As a rule they found that you get what you pay for; the most expensive winter tires did the best. Their test found the best winter studdless tires were made by Michelin, Nokian, Goodyear, and Continental, in that order. And in the studded category they found Continental, Nokian, Bridgestone, and Pirelli tires to be the best. But, they did test less expensive tires that can also provide good and safe performance during the winter.
I am including the tests of tires you can find in the USA, but it is interesting to see that some of the best winter tires never get sold here.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 8.4 points out of 10.
The Second highest rated Studded Tire in their Test. The top rated studded tire, the Continental Conti Ice Contact is not available in the USA.
“Nokian Hakkapeliitta showed itself once more to be at the top level when it comes to ice and snow performance. Braking distances are short, the grip under acceleration and lateral grip are very good. As a result, it provides a very secure driving feel, even if it’s on snow braking is a little worse than the best on snow tires. On asphalt, including wet braking, the Nokian is among the weaker tires, but it has the least rolling friction and quietest rolling resistance of all of the studded tires.”
TreadReview Note: Everyone I have spoken to that has had Nokian Tires has praised them, and they do very well in European tests. They are probably the most expensive winter tires you can get.
Pirelli Winter Carving Edge 8.3 out of 10.
The fourth highest rated studded tire in their test.
“The Pirelli is the best of all the studded tires on snow. When it comes to braking, pulling traction, and lateral grip it is at the top. The tire is also good on ice, but it’s braking distances on ice held it back from being the top tire. On wet asphalt it was average, but had weaker performance stopping on wet asphalt. This tire was louder than most other tires in this test.”
Hankook Winter I*Pike 7.3 points out of 10.
Rated 7th overall in the test.
“Hankook is an economical tire. It grips relatively bad on ice, except for it’s lateral grip which is good. On snow it was it was a little better than the Vredestein, but it had the longest braking distances on wet asphalt of all of the tires in the test. On dry asphalt the tire is pleasant and stable to drive, and it is quite for being a studded tire.”
TreadReview note: I have driven these tires on two of my cars in harsh winter conditions, and in my opinion they are a good tire for the price. They are pretty quiet for a studded tire, and their biggest weakness is in slush. I have had good experiences with them on snow, and ice. They have provided me with great traction for the price.
Michelin X-Ice XI2
The top rated studless tire in the test.
Translation: “Michelin has made a good deal of improvements in this yers version of the X-Ice. Last year they rated it as a mid-range tire on ice, and this year it was clearly the best on ice in the studless tires.
In braking on ice it performs better than some studded tires. On snow it was a little worse than the best studless tires. On dry asphalt it was very good. It was also, the quietest tire in the test of studless tires. A great tire for the hard Norwegian winter conditions.”
Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70: 6.9 points out of 10
The 5th rated studless tire in their test.
“Bridgestone can’t compete with the top studless tires, but it is still a good choice for Norwegian winter driving. The key advantage is good braking performance and lateral grip on ice. Snow performance is the tire’s weakest point. On snow many of it’s competitors noticeable better both in terms of braking, lateral grip, and pulling traction. On wet aspalt the Blizzak is in the middle.
Dunlop SP Ice Sport 6,7 points
Rated 2nd to last in the test.
“Dunlop is among the worst tires (tested) on ice. Also, it was short on lateral and braking grip. This leads to a unsecure driving feeling. On snow it is better, especially when you need pulling traction. In that case, it was one of the best. On wet asphalt
It had the best braking performance of all of the studless tires. It was louder than the other studless tires, but had low rolling resistance.”
Link to original article: http://www.klikk.no/motor/bil/dekkogutstyr/article704239.ece
The complete tire test: http://www.naf.no/Forbrukertester/Dekk/Dekktester/Vinterdekktest-2011/
Studded Tires: http://www.naf.no/Forbrukertester/Dekk/Dekktester/Vinterdekktest-2011/Piggdekkene/
Studless Tires: http://www.naf.no/Forbrukertester/Dekk/Dekktester/Vinterdekktest-2011/Piggfrie-dekk/