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Old 09-21-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
TBolt1003
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Default Dedicated winter tire or Nokian WRG2??

I've been debating back and forth between running a summer tire from spring through fall and using a dedicated winter tire for the winter months OR getting an all-weather tire such as the Nokian WRG2. I don't have a WRX or an STi but a basic '95 Impreza wagon with 195/60/15's. I live in the western suburbs of Philadelphia and our winters can be very unpredictable. If it doesn't snow, we get ice. If it doesn't do either of them, it rains or is a dry winter with little precipitation and cold temps. I've only had my wagon for a year and a half and the car has summer performance tires on it. They did "ok" last winter, but I could definitely tell I didn't have the grip I needed, hence being in the market for something that will handle the temps and precip winter can possibly throw at me. My commute is 75% 4-lane roads with a few country backroads that don't get plowed as quickly or as well as the state roads do.

The car will need tires shortly. I've thought of running the current tires until winter then getting a dedicated set of studless ice/snow winter tires mounted such as the Conti Extreme Winter Contact, and then come spring get a new set of non-winter tires mounted. In the last week, I've thought about just going and getting the Nokian WRG2 and running them year round.

Does anyone run the WRG2's the way I intend to? I know they are branded with the Snowflake Emblem and are severe weather rated, but being a year-round tire, will they perform as well as a dedicated winter tire? Looking for input on which direction to go. Thanks for everyone's help!
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
krzyss
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They will perform similarly to winter performance tires like Dunlop Winter Sport 4D, Blizzak LM series or Michelin Pilot/Primacy Alpin.
If your main concern is ice then studless winter tires like Michelin Xice Xi3 or Nokian Hakkapellitta R/R2 will do better.

Krzys
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:11 PM   #3
TBolt1003
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krzyss, thanks for the response. I've noticed you've had a lot of input on other posts about tires and was hoping you'd have some input for me, as well. I've never run a dedicated snow tire on any of my vehicles before, however everyone I've talked to tells me that if I put a set of snows on my Subie, I'll go places I never thought possible, so willing to give it a try. Thanks, again, for the input. Definitely helps me get closer to deciding which way to go.
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
RM3851
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Also, WRG3 is out now as well.
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:12 PM   #5
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With winter tires the only issue with your Subaru (assuming AWD) will be ground clearance. With FWD you will get stuck closer to civilization ;-)

Krzys

PS Winter tires are compromise, as all tires are. Winter tires usual weak spots are dry and wet performance.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:33 PM   #6
TBolt1003
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I've heard that about winter tires. Everything is a compromise and you can't have it all. The summer tires that came on my Impreza did ok last winter, but we didn't really get any snow; it was mainly very cold temps and a dusting of snow here and there. After reading the differences between tires, I now know why their performance was marginal in the cold temps - not designed for it.

I looked at the Hakka R2 over the weekend and am impressed. Would you suggest them more over the Conti Extreme Winter Contacts?
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:40 PM   #7
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The problems with Hakka R2 are:
price
price
dry
wet
price

If you can get Michelin Xice Xi3 in your size for less than Nokian Hakka R2 - buy Michelin.
Continental is a few notches below these two.

Krzys
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:07 PM   #8
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I have a set of Nokian R2 on order, but I also took a close look at the Xi3. Between the two, the R2 sacrifices more wet and dry traction/handling in favor of better ice and snow traction. The Xi3 does the opposite, it sacrifices ultimate ice and snow traction in favor of better dry and wet traction/handling. Since I do very little winter driving on the freeway, and because all of my winter "white knuckle moments" have been on ice, I chose the R2 instead of the Xi3. A studded Nokian Hakka 8 would work even better for me in my climate, but the tire noise would make me miserable. I will soon find out if the "Nokian tax" is justified. The tax was not too large, the difference being only $40 total for 4 tires shipped to my house (compared to TR price for the Xi3).

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Old 09-27-2013, 09:18 PM   #9
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I've had the WR and WRG2 on a Tribeca and WRG2 on OBs. Have previously used Blizzaks and have X ices on a sienna and Winter contacts on a WRX.
The WRs are no Blizzak on ice but then neither are the X ice or winter contacts. The WRS are as good as the others on snow and better than any factory all season in summer. Live in Chicago burbs. Mostly state routes and local roads for commute but I do need to get to work before the plows are out.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:55 AM   #10
sc00by4life
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krzyss View Post
PS Winter tires are compromise, as all tires are. Winter tires usual weak spots are dry and wet performance.
Below ~45*, they'll out perform summers or all seasons.
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:09 PM   #11
krzyss
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That is not that clear cut.
Summers - probably most. All seasons - if they suck in snow but have great water removal pattern then I would expect all seasons to beat winter tires down to 32.00001F (above freezing) in the wet ;-)
These hundreds of lamellas that are on the surface on any self respecting winter tires suck at water removal.

Hence if your winter is dry you may be better served by all season. But if you have snow and ice nothing beats winters.

Krzys

PS 45F is safe boundary to switch as there may be pockets of colder air transforming liquid into solid state.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:40 PM   #12
RM3851
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubLGT View Post
I have a set of Nokian R2 on order, but I also took a close look at the Xi3. Between the two, the R2 sacrifices more wet and dry traction/handling in favor of better ice and snow traction. The Xi3 does the opposite, it sacrifices ultimate ice and snow traction in favor of better dry and wet traction/handling. Since I do very little winter driving on the freeway, and because all of my winter "white knuckle moments" have been on ice, I chose the R2 instead of the Xi3. A studded Nokian Hakka 8 would work even better for me in my climate, but the tire noise would make me miserable. I will soon find out if the "Nokian tax" is justified. The tax was not too large, the difference being only $40 total for 4 tires shipped to my house (compared to TR price for the Xi3).
Have you try ordering from Tires By Web, free shipping and no sales tax if outside Michigan. Win!
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