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Old 10-18-2020, 01:48 PM   #1
bobsmithfarted
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Default Two Options for Winter Tires

Time to buy some new winter tires for my 2016 base WRX (17" OEM wheels). I was running 235/45/17 Dunlop WinterSport 3D but they are bald. Contemplating switching to a narrower size bc I heard its better in snow but not sure. I believe 215/50/17 is the only other size I can run. I live in Buffalo, NY. Streets are usually plowed pretty well but do get occasional deep snow.

Option A: 235/45/17 X Ice XI3 ($515)

Option B: 215/50/17 Altimax Arctic 12 ($450)

If I were to get the XI3 in narrower size they would be around $700.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:17 PM   #2
krzyss
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Xice Xi3 is not performance tire. You may not like how the car drives.
While narrower is better in deep snow and water (better hydroplanning resistance) it is worse in dry, and some claim worse on the ice.
If you drive in deep snow and have a chance of reaching the pavement go narrower. Or your main concern is aquaplanning.
Otherwise go OE size, IMHO.

Krzy***347;

PS. I would suggest that you stick with winter performance tires if you want to keep the handling.
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Old 10-29-2020, 01:10 AM   #3
CerOf
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What about a wider tire in “deep” snow for better chance of flotation; or staying on top? I could see a wrx high centered on anything more than ~5” or so...
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Old 10-29-2020, 12:44 PM   #4
idiosyncrisia
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I have had the Altimax in that size for about... 4 years now. I hate them on dry roads. They're squirrely and gummy and just make me baby the car. However, they're great on snowy roads. If you get snow on your roads where you live (Buffalo gets a lot, yeah?) then the Altimax would be fine if not great for that.

I live in NJ where our roads are plowed within a day and I'm not driving on or through snow. I wish I went with a wider tire for myself.
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Old 10-29-2020, 04:12 PM   #5
Samurai Jack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsmithfarted View Post
Time to buy some new winter tires for my 2016 base WRX (17" OEM wheels). I was running 235/45/17 Dunlop WinterSport 3D but they are bald. Contemplating switching to a narrower size bc I heard its better in snow but not sure. I believe 215/50/17 is the only other size I can run. I live in Buffalo, NY. Streets are usually plowed pretty well but do get occasional deep snow.

Option A: 235/45/17 X Ice XI3 ($515)

Option B: 215/50/17 Altimax Arctic 12 ($450)

If I were to get the XI3 in narrower size they would be around $700.
I have run the Michelin X3s, 225/45 x 17 in MA / NH winters with zero issues.
Obviously, they will not handle like a Summer Performance tire but they still handled pretty well in the dry.

No one tire will be perfect in every possible winter condition. You have to decide what your average conditions are and go with the tire that best meets your conditions.

A narrower tire will " float " less on the snow.

Cheap Plug:
If anyone in the Nashua / Boston area needs snow tires, I have Michelins up for sale. Comes with FREE wheels.

PM me if interested
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Old 10-30-2020, 09:36 AM   #6
krzyss
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Narrower is supposed to avoid floating and get to hard surface below. Better hyndroplanning (and slushplanning) resistance.
Wider may work better on ice (more, longer edges grabbing ice) and works better in dry.

Pick your average, typical conditions or go for the worst.

As said: there is no tire that excels in all situations.

Krzy***347;
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Old 11-02-2020, 03:25 AM   #7
speedyHAM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsmithfarted View Post
I live in Buffalo, NY. Streets are usually plowed pretty well but do get occasional deep snow.

Option A: 235/45/17 X Ice XI3 ($515)

Option B: 215/50/17 Altimax Arctic 12 ($450)
I think most people don't understand where you live. You get a CRAPTON of snow. I'd go Option B. I have lived in places that get 300+ inches of snow every winter and I understand the issue. Best of luck.
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Old 11-02-2020, 08:14 AM   #8
Garandman
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Tried the narrower approach, did not find much improvement on snow and ice but much squirmier in the dry.

Not a fan of X-Ice: as expensive as Nokian but do not last as long.

The Arctic 12 is a rebranded Gislavid NordFrost. Good bang for buck but not the latest technology.

The top tires this season seem to be the Nokian Hakkapelliitta R3 and Continental VikingContact 7. Continental (who owns General and Gislavid) and Nokian (who invented winter tires) are usually the top offerings.
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