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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

Bit early in the season, I know, but there are some good deals it seems! Just curious what snow tires folks have run and what has worked well in snow and ice. I'm looking at Firestone Winterforces right now as a semi-budget option (clearance $71), but if it's worth it to spend a bit more I could. Main concerns are snow and ice grip, happy to sacrifice tire longevity, noise, and mpg in exchange for traction in bad weather (ski trips mostly, not putting a ton of miles on it).

Thanks!
 

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You might want to let us know where in the USA you are as this will give a clue as to what sort of driving conditions you will experience. I live in Southern Ontario and we generally get snow covered roads only 5-6 days out of the year. We do get more snow, but as they tend to be rather good at the snow removal, it generally comes down to only the less travelled side streets that might have snow and ice on them. the major highways get that much traffic that you're more likely to run into loosing grip from too much salt on the road than actually finding a spot that snow has accumulated on.
But if we head south of us to Buffalo and the northers parts of NewYork state, they get far more snow than we get and I'd understand the want and desire to put on a propper winter tyre.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You might want to let us know where in the USA you are as this will give a clue as to what sort of driving conditions you will experience. I live in Southern Ontario and we generally get snow covered roads only 5-6 days out of the year. We do get more snow, but as they tend to be rather good at the snow removal, it generally comes down to only the less travelled side streets that might have snow and ice on them. the major highways get that much traffic that you're more likely to run into loosing grip from too much salt on the road than actually finding a spot that snow has accumulated on.
But if we head south of us to Buffalo and the northers parts of NewYork state, they get far more snow than we get and I'd understand the want and desire to put on a propper winter tyre.
Thanks! Kind of an unusual case here-I'm in the Portland area which for practical purposes doesn't get snow, certainly not enough to warrant snow tires. But I spend most winter weekends at Mount Hood which doesn't have much in the way of snow plows or other equipment. The roads are snowy several months of the year and there are occasional days where you're on packed snow/ice in traffic on banked roads. A couple friends run extreme winter (Blizzaks) or even studded tires on AWD cars and it isn't overkill on bad icy days. So I'm definitely looking for lots of snow/ice traction haha!
 

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I live in the Chicago burbs and frequently need to get to work before the roads get plowed. Since the mid 2000s I have put Nokian WR tires on my cars as they have the mountain snowflake traction and I dont need to swap out snow tires every winter. They have worked well. I would say the snow traction is as good as a performance dedicated winter tire (like I would have on my WRX) and in summer they are as good as any factory all season. I have used them on all my Subaru Outbacks/Foresters and FWD minivans - Sienna, Windstar. I even gave up getting dedicted winter tires for the WRX and last few seasons have run the Nokians as my winter tire.
However for my Niro I have just put on the Michelin Cross Climate + which like the Nokian is "all weather". Has great reviews both for snow traction and all year running. So far they run as quiet as the factory Michelin Energy A/S and don't squeal in the wet when I floor it at a stop. Will have to see how they do in the snow this coming season. If you believe the Michelin site its better than the Energy for being eco!
I am firmly of the opinion a FWD car with winter tire traction capability and traction control beats an AWD car with all seasons any day. Since you are going up into the mountains its difficult to say if the Nokians and Cross Climates (and there are others like the Toyo Celsus, Vredestein Quatrac, Goodyear Weather ready) will be adequate. But getting around in several inches of packed snow, slush on the flat and pushing through a foot or two has never been an issue on my Nokians and I suspect the Cross Climates will do the same. Only problem I have with the Cross Climates is they are directional so will have to be more OCD about rotations to maintain even tread wear. On some of the directional tread Nokians, they get crazy loud if tread wear is uneven
 

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Ive used General Altimax artics last couple years, and have been satisfied. Might not be the best for pure ice, but for wet and sloppy snow, they are great.
As with many snows, you do lose a couple of mpg.
 

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I have Continental Viking Contact 7, used last winter. They are created for the 30 degree icy roads in scandinavia and are unbelievable at gripping the ice, they have canola oil, of all things. Over 40-50f though they grab the road way too much. Haven't failed to start on any municipal roads, traffic stops etc, though I don't risk deep enough where I can bottom out.
 
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