Re: Can you afford .... - Saab General Bulletin Board - Saabnet.com
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Re: Can you afford ....
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Posted by Snowmobile [Email] (#686) [Profile/Gallery] (more from Snowmobile) on Thu, 9 Oct 2014 03:35:22 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: Re: Can you afford ...., TML [Profile/Gallery] , Wed, 8 Oct 2014 23:15:15
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I was in a rush earlier...

There are different generations of XIce, and they are now on XIce3. I would be sure to check the age and tread depth of any new tires and I would not buy original XIce's today - there are better options used and they could be quite old. XIce2 was apparently quite a good tire, but they start off at the same tread depth as all the other Michelins. Nokian's winter tires have greater tread depth than their all seasons (their all seasons are about the same as Michelin and most other tires)... Anyway, that is something to watch.

What type of winter driving do you do? Mainly city? highway? mostly plowed salted clear roads (city) or less frequently treated snow and ice (rural)? Do you venture out far on snow days skiing? For primarily city use, something like the Michelin Primacy Alpin will give a nice driving experience for all days throughout the winter - even though it is less capable in the worst conditions than the best winter tires, it is not bad, and it behaves much better on highways/dry roads if that is what you mostly will see. I had a set (bought and sold used on SAAB rims - I highly recommend this as it will save you $100).

If you want to venture out on ski days (that's me) I would buy new (or really almost new!), and get something with a deep tread. At the high end of price, I would go for Nokian Hakkas - either R2 if you see much ice and can't use studs, or Hakka 7 (or now 8) if you can, or maybe anyway. Blizzak and XIce2/3 would be competitors. There are discounted tires also that knock off older Nokian designs, like Pirelli winter carving and I think General Tire or Cooper also do that. I have heard lots of good things about those tires if you are on a budget. Deep open directional treads really help in deep snow. Studs are best on ice. Narrow tall tires are better also (opposite of dry roads).

So far, I have had better luck with deep tread tires aimed for full on snow, than so called "ice tires", even if the other tires were studdable but without the studs in them. All these tires now have sipes and various technologies, but in the end, if it clears well, that helps a lot. I've been kind of disappointed with the Nokian R's on our 9-5 because they don't clear as well as the numbered Hakkas, and the ice grip is not really that spectacular. R2 has grit in it so ice grip should be much better. I think they went too far for LRR fuel economy in the R, which impacted snow clearance I think. But this is hard to separate - as the numbered hakkas I've used are narrow old ones on c900's. All I know is the 1989 winter beater on close to 10 year old 185 hakka 4's (and no abs even) drives circles around the 2004 9-5 with brand new 205 Hakka R's (with TCS on even!) in all conditions but dry.

One other thing I've noticed - not all brands last as long. I inspect my tires every year when I put them on. 10 year old Hakkas look perfect. No indication of problems beyond normal wear. After 6-7 years, Michelins and many others are full of spider line cracks and I wouldn't used them in that state!! We don't always put a lot of miles on our cars so that is definitely a buying consideration for me.

good luck!

->Posting last edited on Thu, 9 Oct 2014 03:35:55.


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