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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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Product Review – Media Player – WDTV Live

You may remember that a while back I posted an article where I discussed the options I considered for a media player. I looked at a lot of possibilities and in the end I decided to purchase the Western Digital WD TV Live HD Media Player.I have had the device for several months now so I thought it was time for a review.

The WD TV Live is a device which is a little smaller than a desktop hard-drive. The retail box contains the device itself, a small and very simple remote control, batteries for the remote, an AC adapter, a special component video cable, a special analog stereo cable, and an installation guide.

In case you are not sure what this device and others like it do, the concept is pretty simple. These media players have several inputs which allow you to read files on your computer, network, or a portable storage device, the software (codecs) required to read/play them properly, a small operating system to allow you to navigate and consume your media, and the outputs necessary to send the audio and video to a Home Theater system or directly to a TV.

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Posted by on January 24, 2011 in Consumer Electronics

 

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Product Review – Mobile Phone – Samsung Impact / Highlight (SGH-T746 / SGH-T749)

A few months ago I posted about my decision making process around the purchase of two new cell phones (Post 1, Post 2). I decided to go with cell phones rather than a smart phones to save on my monthly cell phone bills. I figure by going with that approach I am saving at least 30 dollars a month per phone – that’s over 2 grand in savings over three years, not including the savings on the original phone purchases.

The savings are nice, but admittedly a regular cell phone can’t offer the same level of convenience and utility that a smartphone offers. My goal was to find a cell phone with a pretty rich feature set that made it somewhat smartphone-like. I decided to go with the Samsung Impact (model number SGH-T746) through Bell Mobility – it is now also offered through Bell’s value carrier Virgin Mobile. From what I can discern from the specs and pictures of both models, the Impact is essentially the same phone as the Samsung Highlight (model number SGH-T749) offered by T-Mobile in the United States. With some reservations around differences in network performance etc., I believe this review would also be useful for people who are considering the Highlight.

We have had the Impacts for a few months now so I thought it was time to offer up a review of the device based on my experience with it.

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Posted by on August 15, 2010 in Consumer Electronics

 

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