Originally Posted by Garandman
I made the mistake of replacing the old Nokian WR's on my wife's minivan, having listened to some of the folks here and elsewhere that some A/S's are only a little bit worse than "real" snow tires. The WR is the only passenger A/S with the Mountain/Snowflake rating.
We bought Pilot Exalto A/S and had a chance to drive them in snow yesterday. I am an idiot: should have bought another set of the Nokian WRG2's. They are OK stopping but going and turning is poor compared to the Nokian WR.
I've got Nokian WRG2s on my '06s (leggy & OB) and love 'em. I recently had to put new tires on a '99 Legacy wagon, but couldn't justify the WRG2's price on that vehicle. I went with the Hankook Optimo H727 that CR rated so highly. I have no experience with the Hankook brand, and was a little hesitant, but so far I'm quite impressed. CR liked them in the snow, but I haven't driven 'em in it yet so can't comment on that. The H727s do well in rain and standing water and are EXTREMELY quiet and smooth-rolling. And a 100,000-mile rating? I don't expect to reach that number, but it's impressive they'll stand behind the tire that long.
So far the H727 is a great budget alternative to WRG2... less than half the price makes it an outstanding value, particularly for older cars where you don't want to fork out 1/3 of the car's value for tires.
I'd still keep the WRG2s on the '06 Outback, which is our vehicle that sees the most snow by far, but next time 'round I'd give serious thought to replacing the WRG2s with H727s on the '06 Legacy. We'll see how well the Hankooks age, but so far so good.