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Old 09-25-2006, 03:48 PM   #1
2wheelsx2
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Default Tire advice from people who travel to the interior in winter?

Guys, I have a dilemma. I've been getting mixed opinions elsewhere, and have looked at a few options, so I thought I would just throw up a thread here.

My dilemma - 2 cars needing new tires:
'04 WRX sedan still running the Rockstone RE092's
Just got an '03 Matrix XRS with 40000 km's on it running the OEM Firestone Firehawks (summer only) because I have a kid on the way (in Nov).

Anyway both need new tires. My in-laws are moving from the Island to Vernon. Prior to this, I've never thought about winter tires. We went up to Mt. Seymour in a blizzard for snowshoeing a couple of winters ago with the WRX no problem. But now that I might have to travel to the interior with a kid, I am reconsidering.

My options are:
1) Get all seasons for both. PZero Nero M+S is what I am thinking.
2) Get all season for the WRX and steel wheels and snows for the Matrix, and summers for the stockers next spring.
3) Get 17" wheels and summer tires for the WRX and snows for the stockers, and do the option 2 thing with the Matrix (stockers are 17" already).

Obvious, price is increasing from options 1 to 3. And with a kid (the first) on the way, money is a bit of a concern. I am thinking that if I get the Pirellis on the stockers, I can always just get wheels and tires in the spring for the WRX if money is ok.

What do you guys who have kid needs (Hypa?) and drive to the interior think? Is it worth my while to shell out all that ca$h for a couple of trips in the snow each year. I hear Environment Canada is saying it's going to be a mild winter, so it probably won't even snow in the Lower Mainland.
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Old 09-25-2006, 04:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wheelsx2 View Post
What do you guys who have kid needs (Hypa?) and drive to the interior think? Is it worth my while to shell out all that ca$h for a couple of trips in the snow each year. I hear Environment Canada is saying it's going to be a mild winter, so it probably won't even snow in the Lower Mainland.
I have kids and if I had to drive into the interior during the winter, I would definitely get dedicated winter tires especially if I had to use the Coquihalla. I bought Hankook Ice Bears because they are a reasonable price and perform way better than any all-season would.
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Old 09-25-2006, 05:05 PM   #3
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I agree - the weather on the Coquihalla can be nasty during the winter. The Hankook Icebears W300 are V-rated winters (Hankook calls them performance winter tires) and drive quite decently on dry and wet roads as well. But for the most security - you should definitely get a set of dedicated winters (most will have a Q rating)
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Old 09-25-2006, 05:17 PM   #4
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I agree - the weather on the Coquihalla can be nasty during the winter. The Hankook Icebears W300 are V-rated winters (Hankook calls them performance winter tires) and drive quite decently on dry and wet roads as well. But for the most security - you should definitely get a set of dedicated winters (most will have a Q rating)
The Hankooks are dedicated winters. Despite (or in addition to) the superior speed rating, it also has been rated for severe snow conditions:

"Severe Snow Tire Grading

On February 1, 1999 the Rubber Manufacturer's Association (RMA) and the Rubber Association of Canada (RAC) introduced a winter tire grading. These tires are specifically designed for severe snow conditions and meet snow traction performance requirements. Tires meeting this standard are marked with a pictograph of a peaked mountain. This standard helps drivers choose a tire that will help make their winter driving safer."

http://1010tires.ca/tire.asp?tirebra...l=Icebear+W300
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Old 09-25-2006, 05:20 PM   #5
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Put winter tires on your stock WRX wheels. Might as well use AWD and put it to good use. I can honestly say I haven't gotten stuck anywhere snowing with AWD+winter tires yet.

I've commuted to and from Alberta in the snow and ice and I was glad I didn't try it in all seasons. Once my car even drfited sideways going 80km/h on a ice-covered section of No. 1 and luckily we straightend out ok. I'm pretty certain they saved me that time. I had the Toyo Observe G-02's.. suppose to be for snow and ice.. I never totally verified that tho.
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Old 09-25-2006, 05:24 PM   #6
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Yeah, I lived up north for a while (west of Prince George - Fraser Lake), so I've driven the Coquihalla quit a bit in winter. But back then I had a two wheel drive Toyota P/U with 4 snow tires (Goodyear F32's), so I know the value of snow tires in winter conditions.

I am just wondering if the WRX with good all seasons would do well enough with the 2 or 3 trips a year that I would need to do in the winter. Or say the heck with it, don't visit in the winter.
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Old 09-25-2006, 05:34 PM   #7
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Would you have to take both cars into the interior? Couldn't you put snows on one and use that if you have to?

You could save money by putting snows on just one car this season. Maybe the WRX because with the AWD it would be awesome. Put the all-seasons on the Matrix and leave it at home during heavy snow since it's more of a regular commuter vehicle.
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Old 09-25-2006, 06:01 PM   #8
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Why risk not having dedicated snow tires when driving the highway. The weather can change quickly on the coquihala and you don't want to get caught in it unprepared. Just shell out the estimated $1000 on wheels and tires for the wrx and you'll feel alot safer.
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Old 09-25-2006, 06:23 PM   #9
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I was actually thinking that it would be more prudent to put snows on the Matrix because it doesn't have AWD. And no, I don't have to bring both cars to Vernon.

Ummm...$1000 doesn't sound like a lot. But it is if you have a kid on the way, just bought the Matrix, and are renovating your house to accomodate the kid.
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wheelsx2 View Post
I was actually thinking that it would be more prudent to put snows on the Matrix because it doesn't have AWD. And no, I don't have to bring both cars to Vernon.
I guess my thinking is that with winter tires on the Matrix, you're still not going to maximize your safety and abilities not to get stuck in snow. If you leave the Matrix in the lower mainland with all-seasons, unless you live above the snow line, you aren't going to encounter snow that much--let alone cripling snow. All-seasons will be fine in Vancouver--there's compromises, yes, but you have to make compromises when cost is a factor. But you will still be fine.

If you have winter tires on the WRX and take it into the interior, you maximize your safety because if a sudden snow storm starts in the mountain passes (where weather conditions can change rapidly) you have the added benefit of AWD. You're still not going to plow through 3 ft snow drifts, but if it comes to making it the last crest to avoid the jam at the bottom of a hill, the WRX will perform better than the Matrix. I would much rather be able to make it home in a slow crawl in heavy snow, than to sit stuck at the side of the road because I don't have AWD.
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:14 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the insight guys. Makes sense to me. I'll take it home and discuss with the wife. Gee, now, maybe I can convince that I need some of those sexy wheels which have been for sale on here.
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:15 PM   #12
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One thing I just thought of, does the Matrix have stability control? That would be one advantage over the WRX. I had a vehicle with stability control and it was definitely helpful (a fun killer, but safe ).
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:54 PM   #13
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Nope. That's only in the higher end Toyotas and Lexus. Matrix is just barely up from an entry level car. The XRS is the top end model with the Celica GTS engine and suspension and ABS standard, but not any sort of traction or stability control.
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Old 09-25-2006, 09:51 PM   #14
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+1 for putting winter tires on the stock wheels..

I drive up north, almost every year, deep into the Cariboo region, where there's always snow and ice on the roads and cars are rarely seen driving during the winter.

The WRX with Blizzak LM22 series sport ice/snow tires is as good as it gets without studded tires or chains. The price on these tires is just as shocking as the performance, but why would you put anything less on a WRX?

Last winter we had down here I was driving a big truck loving friend of mine around and we had to go out to Sooke before they could get plows on the road. So there we are going 10-20kmph on the 4 lanes following a single lineup of cars n trucks with almost no traffic coming the opposite way. My buddy says, "Why aren't the trucks taking the middle lane? Most of these guys have 4WD and aren't using it. How good are these Blizzaks you are always bragging about?".. I smiled, cautiously pulled the WRX out into the fresh snow in the middle lane, and even though I was blazing a path in the snow, we were passing with ease (think 30-40kmph)! I can just imagine the truck owners looking at this little sports car passing them by as they are thinking I was insane/doomed. I actually didn't have any trouble until I got to the end of the four lanes and had to merge back in. Even then it was only a moment of slip while the car found a rut in the ice/snow and we were golden.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:13 AM   #15
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12345 for good snow tires. Especially because of that long downhill stretch on Hwy-5 by the snowshed. It's even more scary in the winter, with an 18wheeler on your tail on the cleared slow lane. In Vernon they sometimes don't plow the center line after it piles up a bit so you could get hung up on there too if you have crappy tires.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:26 AM   #16
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IMHO, sell the matrix. the WRX is a far safer car, and not exactly wanting for interior space either. unless you need a second car, then, get another wrx.


and yes, snow tires for both.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:34 AM   #17
marooned RS
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Default snow tires

...............Nokian Hakkas,............Made in Finland,tested extensively on the ice and snow over there............,unbelievable traction on snow and ice........just ask any ice racer,but very,very expensive,avaliable at Kal Tire
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
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IMHO, sell the matrix. the WRX is a far safer car, and not exactly wanting for interior space either. unless you need a second car, then, get another wrx.


and yes, snow tires for both.
Hahaha...ever tried to get a baby carriage in a WRX sedan, my man? If my wife had listened to me, we would have wagon, and I would not have even considered the Matrix. I would have been looking at different cars or even a truck. However, such as it is, I need a beater vehicle because we both commute to work, my other vehicles are motorcycles, and I just don't need another performance, since even my slow poke BMW will do 0 - 60 in under 5 seconds.

Oh yeah, as for interior space, I am 6'2" and no one can sit behind me (therefore, can't put the baby seat behind me) and my head touches the headliner in the WRX. Not a super comfortable touring car for me, wouldn't you say?
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:52 AM   #19
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...............Nokian Hakkas,............Made in Finland,tested extensively on the ice and snow over there............,unbelievable traction on snow and ice........just ask any ice racer,but very,very expensive,avaliable at Kal Tire
I'm gonna stay away from super expensive snow tires, because I am pretty sure they won't last 2 seasons if I put them on in Vancouver. I think the Nokian WR is the only one which can handle the warmer winters here. I am actually thinking Kumhos or Hankook or something like that.
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:02 AM   #20
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I agree with everyone else. Put snow tires on the WRX and put some nice all season on the Matrix. I used to drive FWD cars in the winter time a lot (going up SFU/Cypress) and they droved okay if you are careful with them. Just keep a set of tire cable in the Matrix for those really rare snow dumps
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:26 AM   #21
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Hahaha...ever tried to get a baby carriage in a WRX sedan, my man? If my wife had listened to me, we would have wagon, and I would not have even considered the Matrix. I would have been looking at different cars or even a truck. However, such as it is, I need a beater vehicle because we both commute to work, my other vehicles are motorcycles, and I just don't need another performance, since even my slow poke BMW will do 0 - 60 in under 5 seconds.

Oh yeah, as for interior space, I am 6'2" and no one can sit behind me (therefore, can't put the baby seat behind me) and my head touches the headliner in the WRX. Not a super comfortable touring car for me, wouldn't you say?
i geuss the matrix has more space, then? like i said, if you need the space, etc, i can understand using the matrix. but as far as safety for your family, subaru all the way if you ask me.
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:39 AM   #22
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Having driven Prince Rupert to Edmonton and Prince Rupert to Van. dedicated snow tires...a must. I'm buying the Pirelli Sotozero's this season. Lots of driving in coastal slush.
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:52 AM   #23
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I used to have a '03 matrix XRS and now a '06 WRX........ my sister has a '03 TS

First question is which car is going to be your "fun" car.... the "fun" car should always have 2 dedicated sets of tires....... .. all seasons are just good for no season.

I had the stock summers on the matrix + a set of 16" steelie snows. With snow tires on the matrix was better to drive in bad weather (snow storm) than the subaru (TS... my sisters car) with brand new re-92's.... Sure the subaru had lot more traction to get you going but it would not turn OR stop very well........ the matrix never got stuck even tho I was up to the bottom of the front skirt on fresh power (with ice underneath).... just keep on the gas and you are fine.

We later put a set of snows on the TS and all I can say is wow........ sticks like "glue" even in bad weather.


So I guess it boils down to this...... do you still want summer tires on the matrix?? being a fairly top heavy car, with snow tires (or even all seasons) the car will feel like a walloping wale to drive...... not all that much fun...... BUT.. if you can live with the allseasons.. then go that route.. save the snows for the subaru (and leave the matrix at home for the long trips).

ps... if you are intrested I do have a set of OEM 16" steel rims for the matrix I could sell you. They only have 600-1000km on them and was purchased new. (I used it for about 3 weeks.... they have sat in my shed for over a year now... I no longer have the matrix..).
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
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i geuss the matrix has more space, then? like i said, if you need the space, etc, i can understand using the matrix. but as far as safety for your family, subaru all the way if you ask me.
Yes...by far. The Matrix can have the entire car a flat deck, as in a pickup truck. Plus it has a hatch in it. I can put a 50 inch TV in the Matrix. I can't even fit a 27" TV in the WRX sedan.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:20 PM   #25
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I used to have a '03 matrix XRS and now a '06 WRX........ my sister has a '03 TS

First question is which car is going to be your "fun" car.... the "fun" car should always have 2 dedicated sets of tires....... .. all seasons are just good for no season....
I guess the fun car is the WRX. I guess you guys are all convincing me. I am going to look into two sets of tires for both cars.

It is more money....but safety first for my family.....and I can have more fun at the same time.

Hey Jonney_boy, I'm interested in the steelies. Give me a price. The tire place I am dealing with will sell me used ones, but I am not how good they will be. I am assuming yours don't have tires on them based on your post?
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