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Discussion Starter #1
It's time to think about winter tires. Our Bolt's run a tire size of 215/50/R17, whether you want to run that or a size you figure is better is up to you. Use this thread to compare and discuss sizing, pricing, brands/models, wheel/tire packages, comparisons, reviews, where to buy, etc.

Starting this thread off i'm keeping myself open to the following three winter tires:
  • Dunlop Winter MAXX
  • Michelin X-ICE XI3
  • Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
 

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I've been running Pirelli "Carving Edge" snows on my Leaf for four Winters. They are harder compound "studdable" tires. They give decent (but not great) traction without studs, the range hit is relatively small for them not being LRR tires, and they handle well. The biggest downside is they howl like banshees, even at higher inflation pressures.
 

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Even in snow tires, I tend to prefer tires with at least an H speed rating.

But I will make an exception for Nokian Hakkapelitta snow tires. They are the hot set up for winter here in Vermont.
 

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Alright,
since we talk snow here and cold weather, lets not forget to recommend appropriate Propane Heater like "Coleman" for the interior to ease the range deterioration anxiety and risk of hypothermia if juice runs out!
LOL
 

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The X-Ice does have really good reviews. Great dry performance as well which is important for me as sometimes we have a good amount of snow and sometimes it's just really cold and dry. At $152 on tirerack, you really can't go wrong. Ran the X ice 1s a long time ago and the 2s and never had any issues. I'm really inclined to go for these now.
 

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I've been running Pirelli "Carving Edge" snows on my Leaf for four Winters. They are harder compound "studdable" tires. They give decent (but not great) traction without studs, the range hit is relatively small for them not being LRR tires, and they handle well. The biggest downside is they howl like banshees, even at higher inflation pressures.
As long as it provides good braking without any slippage then the whole sound part of it for me would go right out the window, and that's one important thing we need to discuss here. Even someone with say an AWD Subaru still needs winter tires that grip well enough under braking.
 

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The Pirellis perform adequately in both cornering and braking. They are a little slippery on actual ice - no studs are installed - but overall they are ok. I have, after all been using them for four years! I would expect softer-compound tires to do better on ice, at the cost of reduced range.
 

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Why not the Blizzak WS80? It will perform along with or outperform all on your list depending on the test.
I was wondering the same thing. The WS80 is one of the best winter tires out there and definitely out performs the X-Ice and Dunlop Winter Maxx both.
 

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The Pirellis perform adequately in both cornering and braking. They are a little slippery on actual ice - no studs are installed - but overall they are ok. I have, after all been using them for four years! I would expect softer-compound tires to do better on ice, at the cost of reduced range.
Not bad at all, at that point you just have to be as aware as anyone else about road conditions before your tires touch them along knowing what to look out for on the road. Most people living in the city should be in the clear unless the city forgets to de-ice... then you have this:

 

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In all the years I've driven (mainly CT and MD), I've never switched to winter tires...I've always used stock all season tires and I've been fine. Sure, I'm not driving around in 18 inches of snow, but not many cars can regardless of tires.

I've also only owned FWD vehicles (Volvo C30, GMC Terrain, Volt), which is definitely better than RWD in the snow. And CT and MD get their fair share of snow.
 

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I think that's partly due to the poor weather and partly due to the hill those accidents are occurring on. Most winter tires won't help in that situation, probably need spiked winter tires at that point.

Luckily, I live in a relatively flat area and the general Michelin set of winter tires are more than adequate when it comes to snowy streets.
 

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In most of the (winter) climates I've lived in, it's foolish not to switch to winter tires. Sure you can sometimes get by without them, but they can also save your life. You can "get by" without a lot of things, until you have them. Then you won't want to go back. No season tires, as I call them, are by nature a compromise. Some better than others, but none will be as good as a dedicated winter tire. Even with my AWD Audis, they all have a set of snows and/or studs. Critical for going, stopping, and safe handling.

I've had a set of 215-50-17 Nokian Hakkapelita R2s sitting in my basement for a month or so, waiting for Boltar to roll in on a train. They are fantastic winter tires, studless, and don't have their winter tread stop at half tread depth like Blizzaks do. Got them pretty price competitive with the lesser tires online. I've used most of the brands of winter tires, and these are by far the best studless winter tires I've used (they're also on the wife's car). As a bonus for the Bolt, they are low rolling resistance. Not sure what that means exactly for a winter tire that's designed to have as much traction as possible---kind of like I haven't yet seen a Z rated LRR tire--but they indicate that it is more LRR than their other compounds, for example.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
LRR tires are supposed to be more fuel efficient. As great as that sounds, when it comes to numbers I haven't seen anything that shows the difference they can really make. But of course its easier to get EV and Hybrid owners to buy those, you tell them "fuel efficiency" and most won't think twice about it. But 5-7+ years down the road as these go to 2nd owners then people start to think through it more.
 

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In the cases of first generation mass-market EVs like the Leaf, the LRR tires make a real difference in range. 5 miles can mean the difference between a Leaf getting there and not getting there. With longer-range EVs like the Bolt, though, as well as with PHEVs, the LRR aspect won't be that important to most drivers.
 

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FWIW, have driven the Bolt in snow with the Nokian R2s now, (stock wheel and size) and my strong recommendation stands. By far the best snow tire I've driven, have it on multiple cars now. Pretty good deals via eBay.
 

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FWIW, have driven the Bolt in snow with the Nokian R2s now, (stock wheel and size) and my strong recommendation stands. By far the best snow tire I've driven, have it on multiple cars now. Pretty good deals via eBay.
I've generally stuck with Michelin as they're just my tried and true brand, but I'm always open to better tires as safety is paramount in the winter months.

Have you tried Michelin winter tires before Nokian? How do they compare if you have?
 
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