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Winter Tire Ratings and Reviews for 2012 – 2013

Well, I am not in the market for winter tires this year again, but my summary of others’ ratings last year was a bit of a hit so I thought I would do it again. Once again I will be gathering reviews from Canadian online tire retailers and consolidating their results here. I hope you find it helpful.

PMC Tire

PMC Tire, a tire retailer based Quebec, is again offering Winter Tire Ratings and Reviews for 2012 – 2013 in several categories. The ratings are out of 10 points.

Passenger / Touring

  1. Nokian ‐  Hakkapeliitta 7 Studded – 9.3
  2. Nokian ‐  Hakkapeliitta 7 – 9.2
  3. Nokian – Hakkapeliitta R – 9.1
  4. Michelin ‐ X‐Ice Xi3 – 9.0
  5. Vredestein ‐ Snowtrac 3 – 9.0
  6. Vredestein ‐ Arctrac – 9.0
  7. Bridgestone ‐ WS‐70 – 9.0
  8. Continental ‐ ExtremeWinterContact – 8.9
  9. Yokohama ‐ Iceguard IG20 – 8.9
  10. Toyo ‐ Observe GSi‐5 – 8.9

SUV & Small Truck

  1. Nokian ‐  Hakkapeliitta 7 SUV Studded – 9.3
  2. Nokian ‐  Hakkapeliitta 7 SUV – 9.2
  3. Nokian ‐  Hakkapeliitta R SUV – 9.1
  4. Vredestein ‐ Arctrac SUV – 9.1
  5. Michelin ‐ Latitude X‐Ice Xi2 – 9.1
  6. Yokohama ‐ Geolandar G072 – 9.1
  7. Bridgestone ‐ DM‐V1 – 8.9
  8. Goodyear ‐ Ultra Grip Ice WRT – 8.9
  9. Toyo ‐ Observe GSi‐5 – 8.9
  10. Dunlop ‐   Grandtrek SJ6 – 8.9

Performance Passenger / Touring

  1. Vredestein ‐ Wintrac Xtreme – 8.9
  2. Michelin ‐ Pilot Alpin PA4 – 8.9
  3. Bridgestone ‐ LM‐60 – 8.9
  4. Michelin ‐ Primacy Alpin PA3 – 8.8
  5. Dunlop ‐   Winter Sport M3 – 8.6

Performance SUV & Small Truck

  1. Vredestein ‐ Wintrac 4 Xtreme – 8.9
  2. Bridgestone ‐ LM‐60 – 8.9
  3. Michelin ‐ Latitude Alpin HP – 8.9
  4. Michelin ‐ Latitude Alpin – 8.9
  5. Goodyear ‐ UltraGrip SUV – 8.7

Commercial Vehicles

  1. Nokian ‐  Hakkapeliitta LT – 8.9
  2. Nokian ‐  Hakkapeliitta C – 8.9
  3. Michelin ‐ LTX Winter – 8.9
  4. Continental ‐ ExtremeWinterContact – 8.9
  5. Goodyear ‐ Ultra Grip Ice WRT LT – 8.8

1010Tires.com

As I mentioned last year, 1010Tires is probably the largest Canadian online tire retailer if you exclude Canadian Tire and Costco. I think it is the Canadian equivalent of TireRack.com in the US.

One of the things I like most about the 1010Tires.com is the fact that they provide a place for consumers to review the tires they have used based on a number of criteria. That feature is used frequently enough by 1010Tires customers and others to make the reviews useful in decision making. Although consumer rankings and reviews can be easily faked by someone who wants to waste their time, I thought it would still be worthwhile to include the top reviewed winter tires from 1010Tires.com in this article.

I will list the top 10 tires in each winter tire category as they were in November, 2012. The ratings in these lists are out of 5. I have excluded any tires that did not have at least 10 ratings at the time.

It should be noted that the ratings are only for tires that 1010Tires.com sells – which is a lot of tires. For the most up to date list, go to the Tire Reviews section at 1010Tires.com.

Passenger Cars – Winter

  1. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5 – 4.4
  2. Pirelli Winter 210 Sottozero – 4.4
  3. General Altimax Arctic – 4.3
  4. Hankook W409 Winter i-Pike – 4.3
  5. Pirelli Winter Carving – 4.3
  6. Pirelli Winter 210 Snowsport – 4.3
  7. BFGoodrich Winter Slalom KSI – 4.2
  8. Bridgestone Blizzak WS-60 – 4.2
  9. Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3 – 4.2
  10. Goodyear Eagle Ultra Grip GW-3 – 4.2

Light Trucks and SUVs – Winter

  1. Toyo Observe GSi-5 – 4.5
  2. Yokohama Geolandar I-T G072 – 4.4
  3. Hankook RW11 i-Pike – 4.4
  4. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-Z3 – 4.3
  5. Bridgestone Blizzak W965 – 4.2
  6. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 – 4.2
  7. Pirelli Scorpion Ice – Snow – 4.1
  8. Dunlop Grandtrek SJ6 – 4.1
  9. Toyo Open Country G-02 plus – 4.1
  10. Dunlop Grandtrek SJ5 – 3.9
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Posted by on November 8, 2012 in Automotive

 

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Winter Tire Ratings and Reviews for 2011 – 2012

Last year around this time I did a lot of research on winter tires for my two vehicles and shared my research and my decisions in the following articles: Purchase Decision – Winter Tires – Part 1 and Purchase Decision – Winter Tires – Part 2. Based on the number of page views and comments I have received on each, it seems that research has been useful to others.

Although I won’t be in the market for winter tires again for a few years, I thought it might be helpful to give an update on winter tire choices for the winter of 2011 – 2012. I won’t be calling around looking for options this year so I thought instead I would piggyback on work that others have done and consolidate that information here for you. Below I will show you Winter Tire ratings from a few different websites which along with my articles from last year should help you in your decision making.

APA Winter Tire Ratings 2011 – 2012

You may remember last year I mentioned videos from the Automobile Protection Association which seems to be an automotive consumer protection group. APA has produced winter tire review lists for the past several years. Their rating methodology for this year is described as follows:

This year’s APA winter tire reviews are the most usable and comprehensive available in Canada. We surveyed tire experts and tire dealers for their ratings of winter tires. We then cross-checked the results against APA’s test results archive from previous winters for tires that have not changed. This hybrid system offered several benefits, including the opportunity to rate over 50 tires — a much larger selection that we could normally evaluate in a conventional tire test. The APA places a higher  priority on  performance on uncleared roads over handling on dry payment, which accounts for differences between the APA’s recommendations and published reports from some other sources. The tires listed here include most of the highly rated models on the market.

I am not sure I am loving the methodology they used this year but I still think it is worthwhile to include their rankings here. APA ranks winter tires in tiers rather than sequentially. I will show their top two tiers in each category. For a complete list, go to the APA website.

Passenger Car Winter Tires

Top Rated

  • Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70
  • Michelin X-Ice Xi2
  • Toyo OBSERVE G-02 plus

Very Good

  • BF Goodrich Winter Slalom KSI,
  • Continental ExtremeWinterContact
  • Continental ContiIceContact
  • Dunlop Graspic DS-3
  • General Altimax Arctic
  • Gislaved Nord*Frost 5
  • Yokohama Ice Guard IG20

SUV Winter Tires

Top Rated

  • Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
  • Dunlop Grandtrek SJ6
  • Michelin X-Ice Xi2
  • Toyo OPEN COUNTRY G-02 plus
  • Yokohama Geolander I/T G072

Very Good

  • BF Goodrich Winter Slalom KSI
  • Continental Extreme Winter Contact
  • Dunlop Grandtrek SJ4 and SJ5
  • General Altimax Arctic

Performance Winter Tires

Top Rated

  • Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
  • Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
  • Pirelli Winter Sottozero Series II
  • Toyo OBSERVE GARIT KX

Very Good

  • Goodyear Ultra Grip GW3
  • Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3
  • Michelin Primacy Alpin

Auto123.com and PMCTire.com Winter Tire Ratings 2011 – 2012

Auto123.com is a website based out of Quebec that offers automotive information and reviews. Working in conjunction with PMC Tire, a tire and wheel dealer also based in Quebec, to rate 129 different winter tire models. It is significant that two Quebec-based organizations got together to produce this list since it was only a few years ago that Quebec passed a law requiring winter tires on vehicles from December 15th until March 15th – they know winter tires in La Belle Province.

Auto123 / PMC rates the tires on their extensive list based on…

several information sources, including personal and professional road tests, feedback from customers, articles by renowned auto journalists, and a number of consumer reviews from various North American websites and message boards.

The tire rankings are categorized into the four categories listed below. I will include the top 10 tires in each category in the lists below. For more details and complete lists go to the 2011 Winter Tire Review article at Auto123.com.

Winter Tires for Cars

  1. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 Studded
  2. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5 Studded
  3. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7
  4. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5
  5. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R
  6. Michelin X-Ice Xi2
  7. Vredestein Snowtrac3
  8. Vredestein Arctrac
  9. Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70
  10. Continental ExtremeWinterContact

Winter Performance Tires for Cars

  1. Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme
  2. Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3
  3. Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
  4. Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3
  5. Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2 RunFlat
  6. Toyo SNOWPROX 952
  7. Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3
  8. Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
  9. Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D ROF
  10. Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3 DSST

Winter Tires for Light-Duty Trucks / SUV’s

  1. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 SUV Studded
  2. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5 SUV Studded
  3. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 SUV
  4. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R
  5. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5 SUV
  6. Vredestein Arctrac
  7. Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2
  8. Yokohama Geolander I/T G072
  9. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
  10. Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT

Winter Performance Tires for Light-Duty Trucks / SUV’s

  1. Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme
  2. Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
  3. Michelin Latitude Alpin HP
  4. Michelin Latitude Alpin
  5. Goodyear Ultra Grip SUV
  6. Continental ContiCrossContact Winter
  7. Dunlop Grandtrek WT M2
  8. Dunlop SP Winter Sport
  9. Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
  10. Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D ROF

Winter Tire Reviews at 1010Tires.com (as of November, 2011)

You may remember that the winter tire articles I published in the fall of 2010 provided links to consumer reviews posted at 1010Tires.com. 1010Tires is probably the largest Canadian online tire retailer if you exclude Canadian Tire and Costco (I am not sure if those two should be really be considered online retailers anyway). In my opinion 1010Tires.com is the Canadian equivalent of TireRack.com in the US.

One of the things I like most about the 1010Tires.com is the fact that they provide a place for consumers to review the tires they have used based on a number of criteria. That feature is used frequently enough by 1010Tires customers and others to make the reviews useful in decision making. Although consumer rankings and reviews can be easily faked by someone who wants to waste their time, I thought it would still be worthwhile to include the top reviewed winter tires from 1010Tires.com in this article.

I will list the top 10 tires in each category as they were in November, 2011. For the most up to date list, go to the Tire Reviews section at 1010Tires.com.

Light Trucks and SUV’s – Winter

  1. Toyo OBSERVE GSi-5
  2. Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT
  3. Yokohama Geolander I/T G072
  4. Hankook RW-11 i-Pike
  5. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-Z3
  6. Bridgestone Blizzak W965
  7. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
  8. Toyo OPEN COUNTRY G-02 plus
  9. Michelin Latitude Alpin
  10. Goodyear Ultra Grip SUV

Passenger Cars – Winter

  1. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R
  2. Toyo SNOWPROX 952
  3. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5
  4. Hankook W409 Winter i-Pike
  5. Pirelli Winter 210 Sottozero
  6. Pirelli Winter Carving
  7. General Altimax Arctic
  8. Pirelli Winter Carving Edge
  9. Continental ExtremeWinterContact
  10. Pirelli Winter 210 Snowsport
 
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Posted by on November 26, 2011 in Automotive

 

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Canadian Black Book Announces 2011 Retained Value Awards

Canadian Black Book, the company that publishes the Canadian automotive industry’s used car value “bible”, announced their 2011 retained value awards recently. These awards recognize the 2007 vehicles in 17 categories that experienced the lowest average depreciation in the first four years of ownership. Black Book indicates in their press release that past performance is not a guarantee of future results, but it is generally a very good guideline.

Last year, Asian brands dominated the winners circle with European brands a distant second. This year, things have tightened up considerably.

Asia, specifically Japan, had 8 winners this year, but was closely followed by Europe with 7. The remaining two winners were from North American brands.

The Toyota group had the most winners with six between the Toyota and Lexus brands. Volkswagen was next with three winners, while the Chrysler group and Volvo both had with two winners.

Here are the winners and runner’s up by category…

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Posted by on June 5, 2011 in Automotive

 

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Purchase Decision – Winter Tires – Part 2

I recently posted an article titled Purchase Decision – Winter Tires – Part 1. In that post I discussed the fact that I was looking for winter tires for both of my vehicles. The stock sizes I was looking for were 205/55 R16 and 235/60 R17 (for the second vehicle I was also considering tires in 225/65 R17 to give me more options to choose from). I have now made both of my purchases and I thought I should update you on what I bought, why I made that selection, and what the cost was. As I mentioned in my previous post, the prices I will quote do not include the mandatory tire recycling fee of $3 the Nova Scotia government requires on each new tire purchase, the installation and balancing charges of approximately $10 to $20 depending on the shop, or Nova Scotia’s Harmonized Sales Tax of 15%. Yeah…I shake my head every time I write all of that down.

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Posted by on November 20, 2010 in Automotive

 

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Purchase Decision – Winter Tires – Part 1


As I write this, winter will soon be upon us up here in the Northern Hemisphere, and this is the time that the thoughts of many drivers turn to winter tires. Winter tire technology has changed a lot over the past several years. Gone are the days when your only choices were loud luggy winters with poor handling characteristics which used the same hard rubber compounds found in “all season” tires. Today’s winter tires come in a variety of tread patterns with new rubber compounds that stay soft an pliable in the cold weather to grip the snow and ice better.

I put the “all season” in quotes above because those tires are not really built for ALL seasons. I call them “All Season But Winter” tires. If you live in a place where the roads get occasionally covered in snow and ice, running all seasons in winter is a big gamble. All seasons are constructed of harder rubber compounds with tread patterns which maximize dry and/or wet road performance as well as tread life. If you are running that type of tire on snow or ice, you are essentially asking for traction from a set of bumpy skis. If you are still not convinced that all seasons aren’t a good choice for winter driving, have a look at the series of Winter Tire Test videos produced by the Automobile Protection Agency out of Toronto.

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Posted by on November 15, 2010 in Automotive

 

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Which automobile manufacturers are taking you for a ride?

Now that the Canadian dollar is hovering around par with the US greenback again, we will likely be hearing plenty of complaints about the fact that things still cost more here in Canada than they do in the US, even though our dollar is worth the same or even more.

It seems to me that nothing illustrates that complaint better than comparing the cost of  the same automobile on both sides of the border. Canadian consumers have been suffering for a number of years from new car prices that seem to ignore the comparative value of our dollar. As a result, used car dealerships and individual consumers have been importing vehicles from the US in record numbers over the past few years as the Canadian dollar has continued to strengthen.
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Posted by on April 18, 2010 in Automotive

 

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Canadian Black Book Announces Retained Value Awards

Canadian Black Book, the company that publishes the Canadian automotive industry’s used car value “bible”, announced their fifth annual retained value awards yesterday. These awards recognize the 2006 vehicles in 17 categories that experienced the lowest average depreciation in the first four years of ownership. Black Book indicates in their press release that past performance is not a guarantee of future results, but I think we can all agree that its better than not winning.

Not suprisingly, Japanese brands dominated these awards with 13 of the 23 winners (including ties). Despite their recent troubles, Toyota took home the most awards of any brand with 6. Honda was second with 3 winners.

German nameplates had the second large block of winners with 8 of the 23 winners (including ties). BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen each had two winners.

The only American company on the list was Chrysler, with the Dodge Sprinter. I’m afraid I can’t really call this vehicle American since it is built by Mercedes-Benz and is a left over from the failed marriage of Daimler-Chrysler.

The Mini Cooper seems to stand out as the only vehicle from a brand that isn’t Japanese or German. That said, BMW owns the Mini brand and the new Mini’s have significant BMW engineering influences. Although final assembly is still done in the UK, I’m calling this one a German car too.

So that’s 13 wins for Japan, 10 wins for Germany, and 0 wins for every other country. Very interesting.

Here are the winners by category…

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Posted by on March 9, 2010 in Automotive

 

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