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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This month's Consumer Reports has all season and winter tire test results. They recommend the Nokian WRG2's, but the winter test results are surprisingly mediocre: "good," the middle of their five level scale, for both snow traction and ice braking. Quite a few other all season tires did better. One, the Hancook Optimo H727, tested "very good" on both winter measures. Quite a few others tested "very good" on one of the winter measures and "good" on the other, also beating the Nokians. Almost all the winter tires outperformed the Nokians as well, many by quite a lot.

These results surprised me, because my understanding is that the Nokians are unique among "all season" tires in providing true winter tire level performance in frozen conditions. But if CR can be believed, there are better "all season" tire choices for winter safety and the Nokians do not in fact come close to equalling good winter tires in snow and ice.

I always take CR with a large grain of salt, but I would think their tests of snow traction and ice braking would be pretty straightforward and believable.

I know there are lots of Nokian WR fans here, so I thought I'd ask for thoughts.
 

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I gave up on C/R along time ago ! I have the WR's on mine and they are great ! I would think that the new G2 would be made from the same compounds and would think you don't mess with something that works and SELLS ! Advertising dollars are now the leading choice for picking what's best these days . You don't advertise with us ..... bottom of the pile !
That's my story and i'm sticking to it !
RUBY
 

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I can tell you from personal experience Just how good the WR Suv's are. The G2 tire is another thing. I have not driven them in Ice or Snow. I'll reserve judgment for the real world testing done by our members. They will tell us if the tires are junk or not. I have learned that our members can and will tell you if a tire is performing or not. Also under what conditions it they find it working poorly. I had been under the impression that the Michelin XLT was an outstanding choice. Then after talking to several people in this club I found they had issues with Hydroplaneing. It was just after an EOC meet we were returning from, in a heavy rain. When one of our members fell back. I was doing the speed limit, or just slightly below, towing our small trailer ( about 300 Lb. ) .

At the next stop I asked what was keeping him. He told me that he had to slow down do to Hydroplaining. I had had none of that at all. Same storm, same road, same car, same time of day. At the time his tires were newer than mine. Time and mileage wise, he should have had the advantage.

The tires I had on ( still have on ) were rated lower by Consumer Reports under those conditions, at that time. I am not fond of the tires, Goodyear Fotera Silent armor, But find them to be adequate under the majority of conditions. They ride hard and are much noiser than the wifes Nokian WR Suvs, on her Element.

I have also noticed that on the Audi forum, The Nokians rate highly with the members.

Trust our members to deliver the truth.

Dom
 

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Please list the other tires in the CR test for us.

Also, I do not consider a test against a dedicated winter tire a fair comparison to an all-season.

How did the other all-seasons do in other tests vs. the WRG2's (wet, dry, cornering, braking, etc)?
 

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But if you are buying Nokians so you don't have to buy a separate set of snow tires, then the comparison is useful. You should have a realistic idea of what the all-season compromise involves.

I don't see why owner reviews should be any more 'true' than the CR ratings. An owner in California may be quite happy with G2s, especially compared to the stock tires. But his testimony does not tell me whether I'd be even happier with Cooper M+S tires in aNew Hampshire winter.
 

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Within their own category they were only outperformed by one tire on snow and ice . They tied for second within their category overall. So Consumers actually rated them very high and recommended them. The Nokians tested were sedan size Performance All Season.

CU Recommended Nokian WR G2 see here

CU Recommended
Nokian WR G2
Price: $160
Summary: The Nokian WR G2 is designed for all seasons, but has a severe winter tire symbol like dedicated winter tires. There is no tread wear warranty. It has an asymmetrical tread pattern. - Check that the tire isinstalled with the sidewall label noting this side out. This tire is suitable for many late model coupes and sedans.

so with the great rating from Consumers and the booming endorsement from so many E members how could you go wrong!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Within their own category they were only outperformed by one tire on snow and ice .
You're right: within the "performance all-season" (H speed rating) category they were only outperformed on snow and ice by one tire, the Michelin Primacy MXV4. But that's misleading.

Within that category, seven other tires tied the Nokians on snow and ice. And within the "all-season" (S and T speed ratings) category, another six tires beat the Nokians on snow and ice and four tied them. Within the "performance all season" (V speed rating) category one tire also beat the Nokians on snow and ice and four more tied them. So a total of 23 all season tires equalled or bettered the Nokians on snow and ice according to CR's tests. That's almost half of all the tires tested.

So CR's test results suggest that while the Nokians are fine tires, they are in no way unusually good in the winter compared to other all season tires—and that they are clearly inferior to dedicated winter tires (14 out of 17 such tires outperformed the Nokians on snow and ice).

This extremely clear result surprised me since the overwhelming reputation of the Nokians among owners (here and on other forums) is that they are unique among all season tires in providing true winter tire level performance on snow and ice. CR's results suggest they're not unusual at all in winter performance; rather, just like other all season tires, they don't come close to the capabilities of true winter tires.

Don't get me wrong: I think the Nokians are great tires. We have them on our Element right now and use them year round. Our experiences have been good, like other owners. I have been planning to put a set on my new 2010 Surbau Outback as well. But either CR's measurements are misleading or the Nokians' reputation as uniquely capable all-seasons in winter is misleading. Both can't be true. So I'm curious how to make sense of this.
 

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was,
I don't disagree with any of your observations about the CR ratings. I did not mention the other tires that were the equal of the Nokians because they were lower rated for other reasons. I always wonder if one can apply the ratings of a sedan sized tire to a truck or van sized tire. (note the Nokians were not tested on a truck or van). If the tires were tested on a recommended sized vehicle they may behave very differently on a box like the Element. CR tests the tires at 10-0 mph braking on an ice rink and acceleration from 5-10 mph on moderate snow. How that translates to real world performance on an asphalt or cement surface with an irregular surface who knows.

Dom fives anecdote about hydroplaning is an example of how hard it is to make sense of the things you hear and read. He had a trailer and who knows if the other e did. Was the other E similarly loaded with gear? Granted they were driving the same road under the same conditions but there were so many other possible variables. Auto/manual, AWD or front wheel etc

My wife has the Michelin Primacy tires on her car and they have been very good. Hopefully CRs tread wear rating is accurate and they will be higher milage than the Nokians. I noticed that Nokian calls them tyres not tires.:)
 

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The side by side comparisons done by Tirerack, usually show only modest differences in various criteria (braking distance, noise etc). They only compare 3 or 4 similar tires at a time. Still it suggests that subjective judgments (ower reviews) often have a wider spread than hard numbers. A person may say that xxx tire is twice as good as yyy, when the xxx braking distances are only 5% better.
 

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got a winter with the WRG2's under my belt, nearly unstoppable. almost got stuck with them b/c i sunk into the unfrozen ground and into the mud and they got clogged and almost high centered.... no tire would have done well unless they were an open block mud tire. i did an Audi Club NEQ Ice Event on them, pulled 18 cars out of the snow with the element and a tow strap during the course of the day. On the ice i overheated my rear diff during the two hours spent on the skid pad. there was a 1.5 mile road course on the lake and i passed quite a few vehicles with both dedicated snow and studded tires. Blizzaks were better on polished smooth ice b/c they have more siping, but these aren't ICE tires, they're SNOW tires. Blizzaks are poor in deep snow and slush due to the lack of voiding between blocks. got an entire summer on them as well, and they show little if any wear. definitely safe to run year round, and i highly recommend them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
CR tests the tires at 10-0 mph braking on an ice rink and acceleration from 5-10 mph on moderate snow. How that translates to real world performance on an asphalt or cement surface with an irregular surface who knows.
I think you're on to the key issue here. If CR's measurements are believable (likely) and owners' many reports that the Nokians are uniquely capable all seasons in winter are believable (also likely), then it must be the case that CR's measurements do not predict real world winter performance very well.

What I don't understand is why. Based on the Nokians' reputation, I would think that they'd be very good braking from 10 mpg on an ice rink (although many owners have said that their ice performance isn't quite as stellar as their snow performance). Likewise, I wonder why CR's snow test (it's actually the distance required to accelerate from 5 to *20* mph according to their web site) would be so poorly correlated with real world snow experience.

Can anyone shed light on this why CR's tests would disagree with owner experiences so much? Are they doing the wrong kinds of tests?
 

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For the summaries here, the CR tests don't show that the G2 tires are bad in snow and ice, they just aren't head-and-shoulders above other tires designed for the same purpose.

For the most part, we don't know whether or not G2 owners would be equally happy with the other tires that fared well in the CR tests.
 

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That was my point about Our Forum Members tests and thought's being more valuable to me than CR.

Our members are driving " The SAME Car " I am. Not something with weighs 1700 Pounds more or 700 Pounds less. The same basic suspension setup. The same balance ( weight distribution ) and wheelbase/width. The same car! That information is what's key. The majority of us looking for snow tires are in snow belts. The vast majority of those are 4 wheel drives. ( Honda produces far fewer 2 Wd's in the Element platform ) With that information in hand, The consumer test results, using a ford focus, or Chevy Blazer are less likely to provide me with accurate information, about how it will work on MY E .

Their tests do provide a good baseline for the average consumer. They deliberately pick an automobile that is one of the top 3 or 4 sellers. ( The E is not in that category by any stretch of the imagination. )

Personally knowing Spam16V, gives his observations more credibility than if he was just another poster. He has a vast amount of automotive experience. In fact he was an instructor at a well known automotive school. That and the fact that he's just plain honest carries a lot of weight with me.

In the case of The Hydroplaning In an earlier post, One was an 05 EX 4X4, mine is an 06 EX 4X4b they are automatic's. Wight was about the same. With the exception that I had a passenger ( Patty ) and a trailer with 25 pounds of tong wight. If that helps.

Interesting to see how a topic such as Tires or Oil can bring so many interesting ideas and points of view to the table.

Thanks one and all !!

Dom
 

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I agree with Dom. I was the one who was following Dom that day. We were coming from a meet in Virginia and encountered heavy rain.

I have the Michellins on my car that CR rated higher than what Dom had on his car for the condition we encountered. My Michellins were also newer and had more thread depth. We were travelling on the same road, same conditions, and until I encountered the hydroplaning issue, similar speed.

The Michellins performed poorly considering that I carried no load and no passengers versus Dom who had a passenger, fully loaded cabin, and was pulling a trailer. I was hydroplaning at speeds just above 50 mph. I encountered similar hydroplaning issues coming back from the Ohio National Meet last year following Fujiisan and Wastedonanime.

In this instance, what I experienced first hand is more "true" to me than CR's rating which proved to be miserably wrong. I have encountered other people stating the same thing about CR's ratings on this board as well as others. I myself have seen CR's ratings to be way off in other things beyond my tires.

Does this mean that CR is always wrong and never right? Probably not. What it does mean is that I, and apparently many others, do not trust CR's ratings and would prefer to make our choice based on sources that have proven to be more reliable, more often. In other words, take what CR gives you with a huge grain of salt, preferably the size of Jupiter, and use it a "guide". Nothing more.
 

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Looking to get WRs or WRG2s

I've had a couple iterations of Nokian tyres ...in my Subaru days. Now I have an Element and would like to get some 17" WRs ...or the G2s. Price is about the same - any big difference? I live in Vermont, so I do deal with some wintery conditions. My plan is to get the 225/60R17 size (SUV) tires.
 

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I've had a couple iterations of Nokian tyres ...in my Subaru days. Now I have an Element and would like to get some 17" WRs ...or the G2s. Price is about the same - any big difference? I live in Vermont, so I do deal with some wintery conditions. My plan is to get the 225/60R17 size (SUV) tires.
The WR SUV is the old model, the WR G2 SUV is the newest version. Your dealer might be able to track down 4 WRs for you, but don't hold your breath. Nokian doesn't import too many of these and they are letting the WR stock drop so they can sell the G2's instead.

I have gone through 2 sets of WR SUVs on my Element and will be getting a set of G2's next week when they come in. I had 2 sets of WR's on my Audi TT before this and put a set of WR's on my Mom's Camry. When Rachel gets her new CR-V or whatever she finally decides on we will be replacing those tires with Nokian's as well.

For those that are curious as to the type of mileage I am getting from my WR's... the first set lasted just under 55,000 miles and this set is at approx 58,000 miles. I can't complain about that at all! :) What is insane is that I went through this set in 2 yrs! Damn stupid long car trips out to Yellowstone and everywhere else I have gone since 2007. lol



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Here is an interesting little formula for hydroplaning. This is taken from THIS site.





nhtsa site said:
Skidding and/or loss of control from hydroplaning
The conditions that influence hydroplaning include speed, tire design, tread depth, water depth on the road, load on the tires, and inflation pressure. At low speeds (less than about 50 mph), if your tires are under-inflated, you actually have more tire touching the road. However, hydroplaning does not occur very often at speeds below 50 mph, unless there is deep water (usually standing water) on the road. As you get to about 55 mph and the water pressure going under the tire increases, an under-inflated tire has less pressure in it pushing down on the road and you have less tire-to-road contact than a properly inflated tire as the center portion of the tread gets lifted out of contact with the road. As speed increases to 70 mph and above and water depth increases due to a severe local storm with poor drainage, the under-inflated tire could lose 40 percent of the tire-to-road contact area compared to a properly inflated tire. The higher the speed (above 50 mph) and the more under-inflated the tire is, then the lower the tire-to-road contact and the higher is the chance of hydroplaning.
Tread depth has a substantial impact on the probability of hydroplaning. If you make a simplifying assumption that the water depth exceeds the capability of the tread design to remove water (which most likely would occur with very worn tires), then an approximation of the speed at which hydroplaning can occur can be estimated by the following formula:
Hydroplaning speed� = 10.35 x
inflation pressure [25]
Under this assumption of water depth exceeding the capability of the tread design to remove water:
At 30 psi, hydroplaning could occur at 56.7 mph
At 25 psi, hydroplaning could occur at 51.8 mph
At 20 psi, hydroplaning could occur at 46.3 mph.
This is presented to show the relative effect of inflation pressure on the possibility of hydroplaning.
 

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Advertising dollars are now the leading choice for picking what's best these days . You don't advertise with us ..... bottom of the pile !
Not arguing for or against the accuracy of CR's reviews but they don't accept advertising for that reason.
 

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I agree with Dom. I was the one who was following Dom that day. We were coming from a meet in Virginia and encountered heavy rain.
This is why CR style reviews, of products that have a high number of usage variables, are contested.

There are too many variables to just trust CR. I'm gathering data already for tires to be replaced next summer. The tires tested will work well on vehicles very similar to the ones used in the review. I don't think the review speaks for all vehicles. Also, I don't expect to ever drive on ice in my current location. I also don't expect snow. I do expect lots of rain, heat and possibly mud. Therefore, when I search here, I'm looking for people who have driven in sunny areas with rain season and possibly mud.
 

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Thanks Larry.

My mechanic was able to track down WRs in the 225/60R17 I was looking for. In fact his distributor still had a couple hundred of these tires. It sounded like he thought they lasted better than the G2s ...and I prefer the look of the symmetrical WRs ...and have had great personal experience with them. Looking forward to riding on them Friday.

Thanks again!
 
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